The Great Spring Flood of '09, Part V


the culprit: funny to think that a tiny piece of rubber can cause so much grief

I couldn't help but laugh this morning after getting off the phone with "Tom" from Safeco insurance. The company, which I will likely end up haggling with over our insurance claim, is willing to throw away $150 to test the above piece of exhausted plumbing in effort to determine exactly what caused our leak. I may not be the expert Tom is looking for but I am beginning to wonder myself, "Was it the fact that the rubber gasket was completely dried out? Perhaps it was the slit that covers nearly half of its circular shape? Or maybe, just maybe, it was the rubber's age, and the loss of all of its elasticity that rendered it incapable of properly connecting the copper supply line to our sink." In other words, is that $150 Safeco is willing to spend [on the obvious] going to result in an equal reduction of our claim's estimate?

warming up the syphon brewer;
or my "mini-meth lab" as my friend James likes to call it

Back on planet Earth, it was morning time, so I decided to make myself a cup (or five) of coffee. The Syphon brewer, which Joel left at the cafe weeks ago, has "somehow" managed to find itself a welcoming home in our kitchen during the past few days. Originally I had vowed never to touch this contraption, mostly in fear of becoming liable for expensive replacement glass or any other parts I thought I might inadvertently break. These days I am having trouble keeping my hands off of it. My fascination with the device seems to outweigh my body's tolerance for caffeine (a feat in and of itself), and I often find myself eager to whip up a brew at times when I know I definitely shouldn't be drinking coffee, or don't have the time to.

my morning medicine: five cup brew, 50 grams of Bolivia Cenaproc Cooperative (organically grown), roasted on Saturday 4/25, at 4:53pm, 12:50 min roast

At first I thought the whole Syphon brewer thing was a fad, something that I would get out of my system, like a kid who slowly loses interest in his new toy. Nope. Not the case. I am now more than one week into my obsession and I am still in full-blown geek mode. So much so in fact, that last night I hatched a crazy idea to Ali:

What if on a Monday, a day the cafe is normally always closed, I opened the shop by myself, serving only syphon brewed coffee. Would anyone come? Could I produce enough coffee by myself, quickly enough, to keep customers happy? Would people be willing to pay higher than normal prices for said coffee, given that it takes more coffee, more time, as well as more man-power in order to brew it? Does anyone but me (and Ray, and CCR) care about any of this? Wait, don't answer that last one.

Getting back to "The Great Spring Flood of '09," or as I like to call it "TGSPF-9" (sounds like some sort of sunscreen from the future, nanotechnology included free of charge), progress is coming. We are beginning to feel it, as though it is waiting around the corner, ready to jump out and surprise us at any minute. By the way, thank you to all of the industry folks who have recently made contact thanks to none other than Portland's beloved Food Dude. Thanks, Dude, for everything. In overwhelming situations like these we are forced to ask ourselves, "whatever did we do to deserve such good friends like you?" Seriously guys, we appreciate your insights and assurance, and trust that there is light at the end of this tunnel. Insurance and adjusters, tenants and landlords, and leases and lawyers be damned!

As of this afternoon I have met with four different contractors. Two have submitted bids, we currently await bids from two others, and one contractor I contacted earlier was forced to retract his bid due to a current job that is taking longer than expected to complete. All of the contractors seem to be in agreement that we are dealing with roughly two to three days worth of work. The tricky part (isn't there always one?), seems to be that it may be difficult to source black melamine, a product which is needed in order to match the existing melamine cabinets and counter frame which seem to be damaged the most by the water. FYI, we have no allegiance to this product whatsoever, it's simply what was already in the space to begin with, and if our landlord wishes to match new cabinets to preexisting materials, then melamine is what we shall look for. Though I haven't yet had time to search for replacement cabinets myself, two of the contractors I've spoken with have informed me that it is difficult to track down black melamine, white being the more prominent color option these days.

Soon all of this will be nothing more than a memory. When have we ever let some plastic hold us down? Seriously folks, I'll be damned if I am going to let black cabinets get in the way of serving up biscuits and gravy this weekend. Particularly when I know this weekend is UP's commencement weekend which last year, was our biggest day to date, and this year represents our little cafe's chance of gaining a second wind.

So, as for that reopening date I mentioned in a previous post...or three...well, gee...about that...hmmm, let me get back to you on that one. Really, whenever we can be certain, you'll know.

Thanks for hanging in there. Seriously. This experience has redefined the term "pins and needles" for us.


noble pig said...

Oh that's a bummer!

Jaynel said...

Very cool coffee contraption!

Unknown said...

well since we dont know how to work our own website and LRBC's blog is as close as it comes to CCR news. ahem. CCR will be siphon brewing in the street may 16th on mississippi for a Batizado- a party for Daphne's Capoira group. We are warming up by Siphon brewing a hundred person wedding the weekend before, and the weekend before that we will be doing time-trials probably and thats in 3 days!! perhaps we will set up in an abandoned warehouse and send out a twitter 1-hour before hand. set up brew coffee take town.

F.J.V.A. said...

Get Well Soon LRBC...