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Coffee Makers


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Add me to the Bialetti moka stovetop list, with Chemex as an "after dinner" or weak dessert coffee. But it's usually a shot of espresso from the Breville machine, though my better half wants desperately to trade up. The Bialetti makes a nice cup with substantial body, without any moving parts or stuff to break. Do get a "real" Bialetti, though: the cheaper moka pots aren't as nicely fitted.

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I recently bought a Clever Coffee drip cone ( http://www.sweetmarias.com/sweetmarias/coffee-brewers/filtercones/clever-coffee-dripper-large.html). It's like a regular coffee cone, except it has a valve at the bottom that allows me to control how long it steeps before running into my cup(s). I prefer french press, but don't care for cleaning it and taking the screen assembly apart. This cone gets me close to french press with the ease of tossing filters rather than the cleaning associated with a french press. My french press works well too--it has a stainless steel thermos-like build and maintains the temperature much better than the fragile glass ones.

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if you use Brita water there will be less need to descale. I use Brita passed water in my high end Alexia PID and check that water with ChemStrips for Calcium.

for odd reasons, outlined on HomeBarista Brita cant market their systems as removing calcium but they do!

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As someone who's worked as a roaster, taster and buyer in the speciality coffee biz for 28 years I have to say this is certainly the most well-informed "consumer" discussion of coffee makers I've seen - great stuff!

For overall versatility for a couple of people looking to brew coffee in the morning I recommend a Nissan 32 oz. stainless steel thermos with a #6 RSVP filter cone on top (you can get the thermos from Amazon, the cone from them too, or Sweet Maria's (.com), the best overall source of coffee anything in the U.S.

If you have an electric kettle to boil water (and you should) the Nissan thermos set-up brews coffee that's as good or better than the Technivorm or Brazen for a fraction of the price. If you live at high altitude as I do that setup or the Brazen are the only things (aside from a fussy vacuum pot) that will work well due to the lower boiling temperature of water at altitude. In 4-6 minutes you get a quart of delicous coffee that remains piping hot, with no sediment, in an essentially indescrutable yet aesthetically pleasing serving vessel that you can take anywhere.

That said, the Aeropress is still my favorite home coffee maker and for travel is truly unbeatable. The cup it produces combines the clarity of drip with the body of French Press.

For both the pourover drip setup and the Aeropress a decent $25 blade grinder works just fine. Of course a burr grinder is better (the Bodum Bistro conical burr grinder is the best afforadable option I've found), but spend your money on great, truly fresh (less than 7 days out of the roaster) coffee first.

With the money you save by not buying a fancy grinder or a $300 electric drip brewer whose output is no tastier than what you can make with a kettle and filter cone you could buy a Behmor roaster and some green coffee from Sweet Maria's and be drinking far better coffee than you can buy at any boutique roaster for a third the money.

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  • 1 year later...

Keurig became popular after I got my ‘free’ Gevalia coffeemaker so I was not inclined to get a new one and not a Keurig because 1. I wanted to be sure it wasn’t a passing fad with coffee pods disappearing from the market after a few years. 2. I drank more than a cup at a time and 3. I prefer coffee black, no flavors please.

Now time has passed, my Gevalia is dying and I am retired and only drink a couple cups a day. Keurig and pods seem here to stay but pods still seem a compromise over Peet’s whole bean coffee, but I see there are little filters you can buy extra so I can use my own coffee... I went to Bed Bath & etc. with my 20% off coupon to get one. What I came home with was a Hamilton Beach coffeemaker that has a full pot on one side and a single cup brewing feature on the other side. The single cup is actually 2 1/2 of my normal mugs worth. I think I can use pods if I want or the supplied filter to use with my favorite brands without getting extra stuff.

I hope I made a good decision. Anyone have opinions/ experience advice with either of these?

Edited by Norm Matthews (log)
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Here is a picture of the coffeemaker. It is different than any in the previous discussion. I believe it is a new one offering pod brewing on one side and carafe brewing on the other side. Both sides can be used with loose coffee. It comes with a travel mug or a regular mug can be used.

DSCN1139_zps2c7431f2.jpg

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Can't comment on the OP's coffee maker but here's what I'm getting as soon as they make a 220 volt version

:gort3-corrected.jpg

It's more a thing for the coffee-obsessed than the convenience-oriented pod users. It has many excellent features to please coffee nerds. It's basically a pour-over machine; it lets the grounds release gas after wetting them before continuing with the pour. The most noteworthy feature, however, is its rigorous temperature control. Not only can you choose your brewing temperature, you can expect your machine to maintain it.

Here's their description of it:

http://www.behmor.com/brazen.php

I don't work for them or get kickbacks, and I haven't even tried this machine yet. I just think it will be a great way to make coffee if it works as described.

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Senseo,

Norm, I believe I read that andiesenji has a device that will make pods out of your own coffee. I guess it's something like this. Would one of those help?

This machine takes Senseo pods but it also takes loose coffee which is what I plan to use in it. I made a cup this morning with my regular brand and it was quite satisfactory.

I have a 'collection' of coffee pots that include a 40's-50's Vaculator, a French press and a Chemex type arrangement. What I like about this is that I can control smaller brews and still have capacity for full pots. It's less fuss than the other kinds I have as well.

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""" choose your brewing temperature """

why would you want to do that? the brewing temperature should be at least 200 F :

http://www.sweetmarias.com/sweetmarias/coffee-brewers/technivorm-brewers.html

Some combinations of coffee and roast are particularly temperature sensitive. This adjustability could potentially be useful if this matters to you. Also, it's the temperature when it contacts the grounds that matters. Typically, by most brewing methods, that 'at least 200 F' will end up a fair few degrees lower than 200 F, and in my experience this results in a rather weak extraction. Temperature is one of the variables you could tweak.

Finally, if you believe that there's a set temperature that applies to all coffees, wouldn't the ability to lock that temperature in be useful? I'd say, if you're at all fussy about your coffee, hell yeah...

That said, capsules make a consistently OK cup of coffee, whereas all this anal-retentive tweaking will result in some brilliant cups, some awful cups and many in between. I expect most people would almost never bother with adjusting the temperature, but would still benefit from the machine's ability to maintain a constant temperature (something I've found very, very hard to do with a manual pour-over).

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Norm, I believe I read that andiesenji has a device that will make pods out of your own coffee. I guess it's something like this. Would one of those help?

Yes. I make my own pods for my Senseo and they also fit the Melitta pod machines.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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One thing about this coffeemaker that does not excite me is the large basket is flat bottomed. When most coffeemakers work, the water goes into the center of the basket in a single stream. The problem with that is that coffee floats. The water goes into the bottom of the filter then perhaps a third of the carafe has water in it before most of the grounds even get a chance to get wet. The advantage of the pour over method is that the pourer can move the stream of water to get all the the grounds wetted down earlier. A coffee basket with a cone shape is more efficient as well.

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200 seems excessive. I use 84 C; the lowest I've seen people go is 82C. At that temperature the coffee comes out perfect.

There are those laboratory looking coffee makers that use vacuum; my dream is to get one ;-)

Silex and Pyrex made vacuum coffee makers 60 to 70 years ago. Sometimes you can find them with good rubber and still in working order in antiique/junque stores for reasonable prices.

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...There are those laboratory looking coffee makers that use vacuum; my dream is to get one ;-)

Yeah I like the looks of those 'mad science' coffee makers too. I may go in for one myself; they're not too expensive, at least not compared to espresso machines.

Japanese companies (Hario for example) make them now if you can't find an old one on eBay...

Edited by Jeff K (log)
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200 seems excessive. I use 84 C; the lowest I've seen people go is 82C. At that temperature the coffee comes out perfect.

There are those laboratory looking coffee makers that use vacuum; my dream is to get one ;-)

Silex and Pyrex made vacuum coffee makers 60 to 70 years ago. Sometimes you can find them with good rubber and still in working order in antiique/junque stores for reasonable prices.

I have several in good working order that I will be offering on ebay during the coming weeks. Sunbeam "C" series "Coffeemasters" .

I also have some glass Silex ones, including a New in Box, never used - I think it is a 4-cup. My others are older and I'm hanging onto them for awhile.

Edited by andiesenji (log)
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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Keurig became popular after I got my ‘free’ Gevalia coffeemaker so I was not inclined to get a new one and not a Keurig because 1. I wanted to be sure it wasn’t a passing fad with coffee pods disappearing from the market after a few years. 2. I drank more than a cup at a time and 3. I prefer coffee black, no flavors please.

Now time has passed, my Gevalia is dying and I am retired and only drink a couple cups a day. Keurig and pods seem here to stay but pods still seem a compromise over Peet’s whole bean coffee, but I see there are little filters you can buy extra so I can use my own coffee... I went to Bed Bath & etc. with my 20% off coupon to get one. What I came home with was a Hamilton Beach coffeemaker that has a full pot on one side and a single cup brewing feature on the other side. The single cup is actually 2 1/2 of my normal mugs worth. I think I can use pods if I want or the supplied filter to use with my favorite brands without getting extra stuff.

I hope I made a good decision. Anyone have opinions/ experience advice with either of these?

While I don't have experience with the unit you've acquired, Norm, I generally find that machines that do more than one thing don't usually do either of the things they do better than a single purpose unit. That said, it will be interesting to hear from you how this thing works out over the next couple of months.

As to the Brazen, while I haven't seen a full-blown review on the product yet, Sweet Maria's has a video review - they like it but with a few caveats.

Even with the temperature on the unit set to 205°F, the temperature at the brew head was actually 196°F. They also don't love the flat-basket design.

As to the ability to control temperature of water, many people like to play around with brew temperatures. A quick search here through some of the coffee threads will point that out easily.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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My better half is coffee obsessed; we have an entire cabinet full of coffee devices, from an Aeropress to a Chemex, with far too many stops in between. But I had an espresso from a Nespresso machine for the first time last week, and it was better than decent. I didn't expect to like it, but I did. (I think it was an Arpeggio pod). LIght years better than the K-cup stuff I drink at work.

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Keurig became popular after I got my ‘free’ Gevalia coffeemaker so I was not inclined to get a new one and not a Keurig because 1. I wanted to be sure it wasn’t a passing fad with coffee pods disappearing from the market after a few years. 2. I drank more than a cup at a time and 3. I prefer coffee black, no flavors please.

Now time has passed, my Gevalia is dying and I am retired and only drink a couple cups a day. Keurig and pods seem here to stay but pods still seem a compromise over Peet’s whole bean coffee, but I see there are little filters you can buy extra so I can use my own coffee... I went to Bed Bath & etc. with my 20% off coupon to get one. What I came home with was a Hamilton Beach coffeemaker that has a full pot on one side and a single cup brewing feature on the other side. The single cup is actually 2 1/2 of my normal mugs worth. I think I can use pods if I want or the supplied filter to use with my favorite brands without getting extra stuff.

I hope I made a good decision. Anyone have opinions/ experience advice with either of these?

While I don't have experience with the unit you've acquired, Norm, I generally find that machines that do more than one thing don't usually do either of the things they do better than a single purpose unit. That said, it will be interesting to hear from you how this thing works out over the next couple of months.

As to the Brazen, while I haven't seen a full-blown review on the product yet, Sweet Maria's has a video review - they like it but with a few caveats.

Even with the temperature on the unit set to 205°F, the temperature at the brew head was actually 196°F. They also don't love the flat-basket design.

As to the ability to control temperature of water, many people like to play around with brew temperatures. A quick search here through some of the coffee threads will point that out easily.

Your comment brings to mind the Oster Kitchen Center that had one motor to drive a mixer, blender and processor. My ex sister in law got one after she asked me to teach her how to make potato bread. She left it here when she moved and it did not do anything better than individual dedicated appliances. I can only hope this coffeemaker does make coffee from two sides. I have only used the small side and am satisfied with it so far. There are more complicated and finicky ways to make coffee and I have tried most of them, but I am not sure the extra trouble is worth the end results. Good coffee, decent water and hot enough temperatures are all I really need at this stage of my life.

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Good coffee, decent water and hot enough temperatures are all I really need at this stage of my life.

That's what I get with a water boiler and my trusty Melitta or Hario cone filter.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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