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Coffee maker shopping, suggestions?

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  • lisaf Jan 29, 2008 08:25 PM
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My 7 year old Capresso coffee maker broke last night and we are shopping for a new machine. Things I loved about it that I would like to find in a new one:

1. Thermal carafe, not glass
2. Auto-timer so I can preset the night before
3. Stop and pour, so you can sneak a cup before it's done brewing
4. permanent gold filter
5. removable water reservoir

I checked online and went to Williams Sonoma and Crate and Barrel to see what is out there. Leaning towards this10 cup Cuisinart which has all but #5.
http://tinyurl.com/25oban

No need for the built in coffee grinder, as I already have a great burr grinder and don't believe in combination appliances.

What do you have that you think I should consider? Just looking for fabulous drip coffee, not espresso. My budget is $125. Thanks for any suggestions.

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  1. Should you want to reevaluate your budget, the Technivorm is purported to be the best drip machine out there. Over your budget but you will get years of use from it.

    http://www.sweetmarias.com/prod.techn...

    5 Replies
    1. re: scubadoo97

      that technivorm better make some seriously good coffee to justify such a big, ugly appliance taking up valuable counter space!

      i have the same krups as sam harmon, and i think it's great.

      the cuisinart does make good coffee, but definitely skip the built-in grinder. it gets clogged too easily & is impossible to clean.

      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        I can vouch for the Technivorm that it makes seriously good coffee. It gets less ugly time goes by. It beats all the coffee makers I have in the past....Krups, Cuisinart, Bosch, etc. etc. Go to www.coffeegeek.com and talk to people on the forum. In addition, the people at Sweet Maria's are as nice as they come!

        1. re: Jane917

          The Technivorm is the best coffee maker I've ever had. And I think I've owned most of them. It's well worth the investment, IMO. I bought mine after reading all the "serious" coffee forums. I was skeptical at first, but now I'm sold. Plus, less little gadgets (it only really has an on/off switch) means less to break.

      2. re: scubadoo97

        At 270, the technivorm is not good - while we did have great tasting coffee for 6 months, the thing just completely went bust on us. It wont heat at all. Would never buy it again.

        1. re: BillyBob

          You're the first person I've ever heard complain about one. Wouldn't they honor the warranty?

      3. I've had this for over a year now, and it's worked great. $100, before a 20% coupon at BB&B.

        http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/produ...

        1. Mine is a different model than the one you're looking at, but I love Cuisinart coffee makers in general. I'd go with your original idea.

          As an aside, I *hate* the stop and pour feature. This is like the worst feature ever invented, and nearly every drip coffee maker has it now. For one thing, the cup you stop to pour will be too strong, and the rest of your pot will be too weak. For another, if you fail to set the coffeepot square on the plate, the plunger will go all the way down, blocking the drip and causing water and coffee grounds to back up all over your cabinet.

          Seriously, I can wait a few minutes.

          2 Replies
          1. re: JonParker

            I have a cuisinart grind and brew, and I certainly don't like it. The best way to put it is, I've learned to live with it. I have finally (i think) figured out how to brew a pot of coffee without it going all over the counter and floor. It still happens at least once a month. There are at least 2 things which I think can go wrong
            1. What "JonParker" said about the carafe not sitting exactly right.
            2. If you get any grounds in the opening to the carafe, it blocks coffee from going in, causing a backup. So every pot we make, we only make 8 cups, for fear of backups

            by the way,
            I'm glad to see you aren't leaning toward a machine that booth grinds and brews. Sounds great in theory, but in practice, doesn't work too well. The steam gunks up the leftover coffee dust in the grinder, so every time you make coffee, you have to totally clean out the machine. At least on mine, that is the case.

            1. re: TroyTempest

              I have never been tempted to get a grind and brew machine. It just sounds like a bad idea on the surface.

          2. My wife and I searched high and low for exactly what you describe and after trying a few different ones, we settled on this, which we've been using for almost a year and really like:
            http://www.amazon.com/Black-Decker-TC...

            It gains for being comparatively less expensive also.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ccbweb

              I finally gave up on B&D because they all seemed to die after a year to a year and a half. They had some nice models, esp. the under the counter ones, but they're just not reliable in my experience.

            2. I hated the Cuisinart thermal caraf. It is insulated, which can be a good thing, as leaving coffee on a hot plate can do bad things to the flavor, BUT the SS carafe is so large it sucks A LOT of heat out of the coffee. We traded-in the model with the glass instead. We then pour the coffee quickly into a an insulated "commuter mug" even if there is no commuting from kitchen to office... Some of the older thermal glass carafe machines were much better about keeping coffee HOT, but I suspect the majority of buyers hated the fragile nature of them. Oh well.

              The water reservoir is kinda sucky on the Cuisinart too -- weird "stepped down design" that is hard to see water level, but we have a bright light over sink and pullout faucet so that is not too bad.

              It is maddening to shop through all these flaws, but the coffee it makes is actually pretty decent, the whole unit seems well made and fairly priced.

              1. Whatever you decide upon PLEASE be sure that the entire drip basket is removable. I have a Krups and there is no way to clean out the underbasket which holds the brew basket and filter. If you accidentally drop coffee into it it's virtually impossible to clean.

                1. Get a Bunn Home Model. You'll have to pour the water over when you get up, but it's so fast it doesn't matter. The water is preheated in a resevoir so it makes better coffee. Available with a thermal pot in your budget range.

                  1. lisaf
                    im registered at williams sonoma and was wondering if the capresso drip coffee maker was worth the $$$? it looks beautiful but i feel like im greedy asking relatives to buy me a coffee maker that costs so much.
                    thanx in advance

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: swanly21

                      The drip Capresso that I had is no longer made. I think the original one was worth the $125 that our friends paid, but not sure about the new model. I got a good 7 years of use out of it before it broke and would repurchase it in a heartbeat if they still made it.

                    2. Michael Ruhlman recently enthused about the old-fashioned percolator. See the Feb 6 post on http://blog.ruhlman.com/ . I'm not agreeing or disagreeing, but it's worth thinking about too.

                      1. I just go the Capresso at Williams Sonomo a month ago and LOVE it -- both for the coffee it makes and for the relatively small footprint it makes on my counter. Coffee stays hot for hours. The water reservoir is not removable, though.

                        Good luck in your search!

                        1. Lisa-
                          Some things to think about when it comes to brewing really great coffee:

                          - Fresh beans (no more than two weeks out of the roaster)
                          - Beans ground right before using (means you should have a home grinder)
                          - 198 to 203 F temperature water
                          - 4 minute brew time

                          Many coffee brewers on the market cannot achieve the proper brew temperature (for full flavor extraction) and most cannot achieve a 4 minute brew time (means over steeping that pulls out additional bitters in the grinds).

                          It's pricey and not as sleek-looking as the others, but the already mentioned Technivorm truly is the only home coffee brewer that meets the criteria above. It's demonstrated this time and again and is the only home brewer certified by the Specialty Coffee Association of America. If you're looking for a great brewer that will make great coffee day in and day out, the Technivorm really is the only choice.

                          As for Ruhlman and percolation - Michael is like most chefs, he may know food but he demonstrates no understanding or respect for coffee. Percolation is a great brewing method for over-extracted and burnt coffee precisely because of the excessive heat (boiling=212F) and the continued re-heating of the water during the brew cycle.

                          Percolation is akin to charring your grass-fed, free-range ribeye to a deep well-done. Might as well toss it in the fryer...

                          7 Replies
                          1. re: onocoffee

                            Four minute brewing time is not carved in granite. Look at the success of espresso, aeropress, Clover, and press, 0-2 minutes.

                            1. re: jayt90

                              Apples and oranges. Drip is drip and espresso is a complete different animal. And even espresso, if you total the time of measuring beans, grinding, distributing them and tamping combined with the 25 second brew it comes out to over three minutes.

                              As for the technivorm, I agree with all the other comments. I bought one for a friend and it is all that is advertised. If I was a regular drip coffee drinker that is the machine I would buy. And Sweet Maria's is hands down the best one line company I have ever bought from.

                              1. re: jayt90

                                jayt90-
                                A four minute brew time is ideal for drip coffee - which is exactly what we have been discussing: drip coffee a la Technivorm, Cuisinart, Fetco, Mr. Coffee, etc. We have not been discussing alternative brewing methods such as espresso or pressed coffee (although pressed coffee is ideal between 3:30 to 4 min).

                                That said, if the original poster goes with the Technivorm, I think it will be the best route.

                                1. re: onocoffee

                                  The Clover is generally described as drip, and the Aeropress is a similar manual filter drip. I use it most of the time now, leaving behind my sleek Bosch-Porsche, which meets all the OP requirements except programming, similar to the homely Technivorm, although the latter may not have a removable reservoir.

                                  http://www.wholelattelove.com/article...

                                  http://www.coffeecrew.com/content/vie...

                                  1. re: jayt90

                                    Remember Jay that in the aeropress your coffee to water ratio is far higher than the standard drip ratio. That's one of the reasons why there is such a short extraction time.

                                    1. re: jayt90

                                      I'm sorry jayt90, but the clover IS NOT "generally described as drip."

                                      It is being used by a few coffeeshops as a REPLACEMENT of a drip brewing program, but it is not drip by any stretch of the imagination. The two brewing processes and methodologies are vastly different.

                                      1. re: onocoffee

                                        Yeah, but the coffee you get out the other side could be said to be a *replacement* for drip, right? I mean, both are actually brewed coffee, in my mind.

                                        Technique aside, they're intended to give you the same-ish cup of coffee, as opposed to one giving you an espresso.

                                        The Clover, properly used, gives a seriously better cup of coffee than just about anything, though.

                              2. the technivorn is hands down the best coffee maker I have ever had. It is worth every penny.

                                1. For the purpose of our kitchen renovation when we are washing everything in the sink, we put away our Cusinarts Grind and Brew with the thermal carafe and purchased a Keurig coffemaker. I was never completely thrilled with the Cusinarts due to too many counter overflows, and I have to say that I am very happy with the Keurig's coffee and the fact that I am not throwing a half cup or so of coffee down the drain everyday. My husband was dubious when I bought it, but he now says that he wants this to be our everyday coffee maker. This time last year we were using either a percolator or a Melita drip, but this is soooo much easier and great for friends who drop in during the morning a want a cup of coffee. No more disassembling the coffee maker, washing it, waiting for the water to boil and then washing it again once it's done. I love perk coffee and may sometimes make a pot of that for the enjoyment of how rich and HOT it is, but I think this is going to be it for us.

                                  10 Replies
                                  1. re: roxlet

                                    keurig coffee is so nasty and it makes so much trash! im really surprised that a chowhound would recommend this...

                                    1. re: swanly21

                                      Well, I guess I woud be another surprise!!! I bought the Keuirg last year and love it. I am the only coffee drinker in the family , so it is easy and perfect for my needs.

                                      1. re: swanly21

                                        There are bad cups of Keurig and very good cups. We have a machine at the office that nobody has been happy with. It's primarily because the selection of coffees purchased are thin and flavorless. I bought one for the house and am very happy after finding three or four excellent blends. It's our "go-to" coffeemaker in the morning.

                                        1. re: ferret

                                          Which blends do you like?

                                          1. re: Mother of four

                                            So far, our favorite is Timothy's Kona blend. My husband drinks coffee black, and I like it with milk, and this one seems to work for both of us.

                                            1. re: Mother of four

                                              Coffee People's "Black Tiger" & "Donut Shop", Caribou's "Caribou Blend" and Green Mountain's "Dark Magic". Now these aren't necessarily on the list of the "best coffees I've ever tasted" but they're very serviceable morning cups and comparable to, or better than, what my wife gets at Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks.

                                              1. re: ferret

                                                Plus a lot less!!!! Thanks.

                                            2. re: ferret

                                              Interesting . . . I've never had a good "K-cup."

                                              1. re: zin1953

                                                I have. I mixed it with hot chocolate powder and milk so I couldn't taste too much of the 'coffee' and it was fine. :P

                                            3. re: swanly21

                                              I really like my Keurig as well. Like Roxlet said, it's great for friends who come over and it's convenient to make a quick cup of hot water if I want to have a cup of tea. (I don't buy the kcups for that- no point.) Yes, there are a lot of less-than-desirable blends. I find the lighter roasts to be a bit flavorless, so I tend to go for the darker ones.

                                          2. Another Technivorn fan here.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: UnConundrum

                                              GREAT brewer!

                                            2. General warning: My Black & Decker just gave out after 6 months of home use.

                                              1. If you're set on an auto drip brewer, Technivorm is definitely your best bet, with Capresso in second place. Most other machines don't get the water hot enough to make a decent cup.

                                                That isn't a problem when I make drip coffee - the kettle whistles at 212F every single time. But my strong preference is for vacuum-brewed coffee over drip. Yes, it's a little more hands-on, but IMHO the difference in flavor is well worth it.

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: alanbarnes

                                                  Try again with the pic - the last one got the top and bottom cropped off...

                                                  1. re: alanbarnes

                                                    According to actual temperature testing by Consumer Reports, almost all auto drippers deliver water at the right temp.

                                                    1. re: mpalmer6c

                                                      I've got the Consumer Reports review open in front of me, and can't find any mention of brewing temperature. Cook's Illustrated did check brew temps when it reviewed eight drip coffee makers in April 2007; it found that none of them succeeded in reaching a hot enough brewing temperature or a short enough brewing time.

                                                      1. re: mpalmer6c

                                                        Cook's Illustrator's Technivorm review from 9/2008: "The Technivorm’s price tag is high, but its consistently full-flavored, smooth brew—made with all the convenience of that old Mr. Coffee—will pay for itself when you start skipping a few trips to Starbucks." “Fast, very simple to operate. Tasters described coffee as a dynamic and clean cup, flavorful and expressive,” “very good; robust but smooth.” Achieved perfect temperatures for brewing and serving and was the closest of all the coffee makers to reaching the ideal brewing time. Pieces disassemble easily for cleaning. Though not programmable, this machine was so fast and easy to use, we didn’t mind.'
                                                        We like it a lot, though we would like a removable water reservoir.

                                                    2. The TECHNI VORM works so well that it's impossible to enjoy coffee from other Coffee Makers once you have one. The only other Coffee Maker that reaches the Sacred 200 degree temp is the Heavy Duty Bun (approx $150-). Yes it's a 100- cheaper but we like our Technivorm better. Both make great Coffee. A slow Burr Grinder is important also like the Baratza "virtuoso" which grinds perfect even beans. ($200-). Quality Water is critical and 19 grams of beans per 8oz cup.