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Coffee machines

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  • SYC Jun 22, 2006 08:12 PM
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Need to buy coffee machine to a young coffee lover.

Looked at various websites - cannot decide which one to buy.

I'll be grateful for a recommendation about a professional web site or coffee lover’s message board where I can get recommendations.

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  1. Here are four website that I like:

    http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?s...

    http://www.coffeegeek.com/reviews

    http://www.coffeereview.com/

    http://www.sweetmarias.com/index.htm

    The last is mostly focused on home coffee roasting, but they also have a nice section on accessories, brewing, etc.

    My 2 cents on coffee machines: assuming you want an automatic drip machine, much of the difference between higher priced models and lower-priced models is because of bells and whistles. The quality of the coffee is not that different. Second, get a coffee maker that brews into a thermos, not into a glass carefe that sits on a hot plate. The later leads the coffee to get stale and bitter much quicker. Finally, there are a lot of great brewing methods besides automatic drip. I rotate between the french press, auto drip, manual drip, etc. almost daily. I'm about to buy a vacuum press.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Darren

      I tinkered around with a lot of the lower end coffee toys (Vietnamese, French Press, manual drip, American drip machines, etc.)

      The best, by far, is the French Press with fresh beans.

      There's no reason to get a bulky machine unless you're making coffee for several people every day. A large French Press is enough for two, and a small one is enough for one.

      If you do get a drip machine, look for one that actually gets the water close to boiling. The biggest problem with the cheap machines is their inability to get water truly hot. I had one where I could stick my finger under the drip and not get burned. The coffee was horrible. This is also why the French Press is ideal: you can get the water as hot as you need to and pour it into the carafe.

      1. re: nooodles

        Two quick things: first, you want the water around 205 degrees. That is, just below the boil.

        Second, I love french press, but french press is a different style of coffee than drip. Saying that one should just buy a french press and not bother paying for a machine is a little like saying you should always have spaghetti with bolognese sauce, and not bother with other pastas or other sauces. They're different and someone one is in the mood for the french press style and sometimes in the mood for the drip style (and sometimes in the mood for an espresso and sometimes in the mood for a vacuum brew....)

        1. re: Darren

          All very good points. But the OP is looking to buy one present, and if I could only have one coffee toy it would be a French Press (okay, a French Press and a good grinder).

          That's not to say that in the perfect world, I wouldn't have ten coffee toys. They are a lot of fun, aren't they?

          1. re: nooodles

            Or you could go to any of the manual devices that use any of the various sizes of Melita filters. You can have your water as hot as you want. That's as low tech as it gets. You still need a grinder.

            1. re: yayadave

              I would go for the Melitta drip or French press, and if you want to spend more money, buy a nice grinder.

              I really like making coffee without the intervention of electronics, just great coffee beans and hot water. Sometimes I make coffee in a pan (water and grounds), very low tech coffee; this was my mother and grandfather's favorite because it reminded them of all their great camping trips. (Turn the heat off when it is almost but not quite boiling, and then shake the pan gently to help the grounds settle, wait a couple minutes for it to steep before drinking.)

    2. I bought my Capresso coffee maker from wholelattelove.com. It was the cheapest one they had, no carafe (coffee never sits at our house), no grinder attached but it makes the best cup of coffee ever. wholelattelove has a lot of information about their products and has customer reviews. Their phone customer service people are great too. I came to my decision to try Capresso through the reviews and discussion on coffee geek.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Tracy L.

        I bought a Capresso about a year ago, the one that stores and grinds the beans. It makes the best coffee I've made at home in thirty years. I got mine brand new on Ebay, and saved a lot off the retail price, even with shipping.

        1. re: CynD

          Capresso, thermal carafe, with a timer from Wholelattelove.com is a very nice coffee brewer, under a 100.00 bucks. Ebay would be a good choice also for cheaper. But this is a very good machine, holds the coffee without scorching. I use Peet's with a gold filter. The website is wonderful for anything coffee.

      2. If you can get your hand on the Nespresso machine, go for it. The Ferrari of coffee machines. And, you can get it in Ferrari red if you like!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Yukari

          Agree with you Yukari - you can't beat a Nespresso machine - I've had mine for about 6 years and would not be without it.

        2. I'm loving my new Toddy cold brew thing, found it on Amazon after reading about it. It makes really good rich coffee, and less acid. The quality of coffee you use in it really makes a huge difference.
          It it so much easier for my mom (88, lives with me) to make herself one cup from the concentrate.

          My second favorite is an all-stainless french press I got up in eastern Washington a few years back. I have recently seen them in the Williams Sonoma catalog. Double-walled, it stays hot a good long time, is dishwasher safe and safe from clumsies like me.

          1. I've had my Capresso MT500 (no bean grinder, but with a filter, timer, and thermal carafe) for three or so years now. It makes fabulous coffee every time with beans I've ground in our Solis burr grinder. I've now given it as a gift 4 times for weddings etc. I can't speak highly enough of this coffeemaker!

            1. To Betty:

              I used the Toddy process for a long time, but I began to suspect that the filters would get moldy and contribute off flavors to the coffee. How long have you been using yours? Have you noticed any off flavors?

              To the OP:

              I have tried many different methods, but always return to lo-tech Melitta. I agree w/ another poster who suggested such a contraption with a nice coffee grinder to up the value of the gift.

              Bruce

              1. 2 filters came with it, and they said to keep it moist in the fridge in a baggie. I always squeeze and rinse it after using. They also suggest replacing them about 5 or 6 uses. So far, mine looks ok. nothing scary growing in it.

                1. I never noticed that 5 or 6 uses rule. I used mine MUCH longer than that. So, there might be the answer.

                  Brice

                  1. Thank you all for the links to resources and the good advises.

                    After a long research work I purchased La Pavoni Europiccola.

                    The recipient of the present is ecstatic.

                    1. Cuisinart DCC-1200

                      Not the cheapest one, approx $100, but makes great coffee. Also, auto timer, auto shutoff, temperature control, water filter. A couple of caveats though, no thermal carafe and it takes a little longer to brew coffee.