Coffee maker advice

I have both Technivorm and Newco, which are pretty much the same method.

Newco is significantly cheaper and brews directly in to a thermos, through the top. I like it better in some ways. Both make top flight cofee and are easy to use.

I like going old school:

I have been using a Braun blade grinder and a french press for over twenty years. I can’t imagine that a $200.00 burr grinder is going to make the coffee taste that much better.

Matter of fact, I think I’m going to make a pot right now.

The main advantages of the burr grinder are consistency of the grind and the benefit of not overheating the coffee from the friction of the blade. Both are things that are incremental improvements on flavor and are best appreciated over time. I doubt that I would be able to spot a blade-ground cup from a burr-ground cup at any specific instance. However, since I have my grind dialed in for different types of coffees, it’s simple to get exactly the consistency I want, every morning, without thinking about it. I didn’t spend $200 on a burr grinder, but I have the Capresso grinder that costs about $99 list, and which I got for $70 on Amazon. It has been worth every penny.

I can’t imagine spending the kind of money any of you are suggesting on a coffee pot or grinder, etc., for a pot that is only going to be used very occasionally.

Hence my $100 idea. But, hey, you know a lot of folks are as geeky about coffee as they are about wine.


I have the Capresso grinder that costs about $99 list, [/quote]

THREAD DRIFT ALERT (with my apologies)

Do you have a problem with static build-up with your Capresso burr grinder (or anyone else with any brand)? I originally bought the Capresso with the plastic body and non-grounded plug. When I’d pull the grind bind out, it was like a confetti drop. Returned it for the metal body and grounded plug. That was much better, for a while. But it’s now getting progressively worse to where it throws more and more grounds everywhere. On the plus side, by the time I wipe up the mess every morning, the coffee’s finished brewing.

I’ve tried touching metal before ejecting the grounds, adding a piece of aluminim foil in the grounds container, but nothing’s worked. Has anyone solved this issue?

Let’s not forget something, folks, Brad lives in Manhattan, where space is at a premium, especially in a kitchen. So something like the Technivorm, which is fantastic, takes up a lot of real estate.

Plus, there are a lot of great coffee places around where I can get beans ground to order in whatever quantity I want he day of a dinner.

Don’t need a burr grinder for drip coffee, IMO.

Just made a pot in the Chemex. Looks like a wine decanter, also.

Hmm. So as interesting as the Capresso etc sounds, if Brad’s entertaining the coffee will be consumed right after it’s made… so the need for a thermal carafe is out. The question then is whether any of the suggest makers will actually make a substantially better cup than his Braun (or my Krups). I guess the main variable will be the water temp and the flow rate… But honestly if the Braun is doing it for you Brad, I’d not bother. I have a 25 year old Krups. You pour water in. It heats it, sprays it over coffee. Done. Makes a nice cup (I’m enjoying one now). The $99 Capresso sounds interesting though.

Large french press is best IMO … 2nd choice would be a Chemex. Both can be put away and not take up counter space when not in use easily. French press coffee takes 4 minutes to make once you boil water. Everything else is a machine that will take up more precious counter or cupboard space. Save $70 and get a 12 cup french press and a thermal carafe.

Can they deliver coffee, too…then you have it all solved. Do you live near Zabar’s? Maybe they’ll rent you the equipment, too, so you don’t have to store it?

This sounds like a variation of the Saul Steinberg poster. Serving the best coffee…a view from 9th Avenue. (I tried to insert a link, but…it must be copyrighted) .or the Five Easy Pieces scene: I’ll have a cup of coffee, please…but, hold the equipment, as I live in NYC and don’t have room…or need for it…

Sorry…I couldn’t resist, but…after all this discussion, now we have to consider the pluses and minuses of life in Manhattan. [truce.gif]

Oops, this was the machine I was thinking of above when I mentioned the comparable machine to the Technivorm.

I’ll echo David’s point on a french press and thermal carafe. Below your budget and yet perfectly capable of producing a top shelf cup with modest effort (assuming quality ingredients). Do your best to have your freshly roasted, degassed beans ground as close to your brewing time as possible. (In the event that you ever elect to purchase a grinder, a Baratza Maestro or the like pairs nicely with a basic press or drip set-up.)

If you really prefer a drip machine to a press pot or pour over (and do not intend to spend Technivorm or Newco dollars), there’s no reason to recommend one over the others. Get one with a small footprint that you can stash away. Brew your pot of drip and get it off the hotplate and into the carafe.

(I disagree with a few of the points made re: blade vs. burr grinders, how quickly preground coffee deteriorates, etc.; but with that being said, I’ve really tried to give advice tailored to your needs. I’m an admitted coffee snob. See below. [wink.gif] )

Gee, Mark, that doesn’t sound too biased! neener

One or two ticks this way or that way on the burr grinder can make a big difference. As Ken said, the burr grinder gives you the consistency of grind that a blade grinder simply cannot deliver. In the 20 years I’ve been taking coffee seriously, I’ve done French Press, drip, percolator, espresso, vacuum pot, and moka pot at home. Grind can make a big difference, and the reason why you probably don’t notice is that French Press usually requires a coarser grind which gives you a lot of the essential oils and a rich cup but can also muddle the flavors quite a bit. If I had to only have FP coffee the rest of my life I would be very happy, but folks don’t spend money on all of these contraptions for nothing. The whole point of drip is to filter out some of those oils and allow you to get some of the more subtle floral, fruity and nutty aromas that are muddled in a French Press extraction. To be truthful, I think the most difficult and challenging part of making coffee is getting the grind right for the machine. I’m still tweaking and I’ve had my burr grinder for 6 years already. [soap.gif] End of Coffee Geek rant.

Also, i was thinking that there is an even simpler and cheaper solution for Brad–get a simple cone filter and do it by the cup as they do at Blue Bottle. I don’t think that they cost more than $10 (plus filters) and all you have to do is boil the water and put it in an insulated pitcher/carafe and pour the water over the grinds, cup by cup. It will take a little longer but it’s a bit of a show as you can do it at the table or on your counter top with ease.

Oh–what Sean said. [highfive.gif] Nice setup there!

And my point is that $100 is WAY more than you would need to spend to make coffee every once in a while.

Well, consider that your base Chemex is $40 or so. So the issue is whether the extra ~$60 is buying you convenience, quality, etc. If so, go for it. At the end of the day, $100 every few years isn’t a big deal.

Another random thought to interrupt your regularly scheduled thread…

Has anyone else noticed that wine geeks tend to be beverage geeks in general? It’s very easy to get me (and history would indicate, a large portion of our Berserker community) into a robust debate on beer, gin, coffee, or any of sundry other drinks, both alcoholic and non. I’m sure Dr. Freud would have some theory on why this is so.

We use an ancient Chemex for regular coffee (mostly for guests). We primarily drink Espresso now and use our Simonelli ‘Oscar’ the couple times a month we have it at home. We also have an adjustable burr grinder, for grinding either regular or espresso beans.