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Mar 3, 2009 11:38 AM

Wanted: retro melita coffee rig

I loath my coffee maker. About 2-3 years ago my beloved coffee thermos fell from the counter and exploded, as they are want to do. When I went looking for a replacement, the brand I had was gone. And I did not find anything similar.

So I went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond and got a generic drip coffee machine -- the kind I had always avoided in the past. The brand doesn't matter. They're all the same, all flawed, cheaply made. Years later I'm brewing semi-OK coffee. Good beans, freshly ground yields decent coffee no matter what you brew it with. But it gets gunked up and is hard to clean without leaving flavor-killing soap residues behind. The carafe is not a real thermos jug so it doesn't keep the coffee warm for long. I hate it.

I miss my old 6-cup melita filter cone sitting atop a thermos carafe, dripping directly into the thermos. The cone and the carafe were designed as one unit, fitting securely and stably on top, with a screw in top to use after the drip was finished. Boil the water in the teapot, pour directly into the grounds (in one, even pour) and voila. Great coffee kept warm. So simple. Was so cheap.

Why can't I find it anymore? Who sells an integrated 8-cup filter cone plus thermos jug?

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    1. re: ferret

      I've been using the filter cone cited by "ferret" together with a stainless steel Thermos-Nissan 1.5 liter (51 oz) thermal carafe.

      Makes great coffee, easy to clean, and there is a coating on the outside of the stainless steel carafe that minimizes fingerprints and water spots. (Supposedly the carafe is dishwasher-safe, but I assume it will get scratched in the dishwasher.)

      As this is a sturdy, all metal carafe, the occasional tumble should do little more than dent it - if that.

      1. re: srgoodman

        Sold! Thanks for the testimonial; exactly what I was looking for.

        To clarify: the 51oz carafe is compatible with the filter cone in the amazon link? I've tried the mix&match route with cones and carafes that were not designed to work together and it did not work out.. I'll go with the smaller carafe if necessary, but if you tell me they work together....

        1. re: BernalKC

          I believe that the filter cone in the Amazon link is the same as the two I bought from Sweet Maria's:
 - search for "ABS Plastic Thermos Filtercone Holders" about two-thirds down the page.

          If you compare the two photos, I believe that the filter cones are the same. Assuming they are the same, the filter cone fits the Thermos carafe *perfectly*. The fit is so perfect that I believe the filter cone was designed with Thermos-Nissan carafes in mind.

          ( I didn't suggest you buy the filter cone from Sweet Maria's since they have a $15 minimum order.)

    2. Amazon hasomething that resembles what you're looking for:

      In case that link doesn't work, the name of the product is:
      Bistro Double-Wall 30-Ounce Pour-Over Drip Coffee Maker with Gold Filter

      It's a Bodum 30-oz carafe with an integrated pour-over filter. The carafe is double-walled and will keep the coffee hot for 2 hours.

      It is only 30 oz, so it's smaller than what you want, though. And not cheap, but very stylish. Of course, you can always get a large Melitta filter and simply place it on an insulated jug, which may be a fallback option if you can't find an integrated unit.

      I know you can easily get Melitta pots with integrated filters (I have one), but they are just regular glass carafes, not insulated, and they won't keep the coffee warm for any length of time.

      Good luck in your search!

      1. Thanks for the links. Looks promising. I'm not sure if they are as large as my old one. But I suppose 30oz ought to be enough for my morning ritual.

        I'm also not sold on the reusable gold filter cone. My paper ones make good compost and require no washing. Seems like the reusable one would actually be less "green" in that sense -- and more importantly introduce a risk of soap contamination.

        10 Replies
        1. re: BernalKC

          my brother swears by a gold filter.I got one for my capresso machine and tried it-- couldn't tell a difference so went back to my paper filters, which I feel like you make cleanup so easy- right into the compost. Sounds like that thing on amazon is pretty darn fragile.

          1. re: DGresh

            yeah, looks fragile to me to. And in my kitchen, that's just not going to work. (But it does look cool!)

          2. re: BernalKC

            I've got several drip pots and use gold filters for all of them. The paper cones remove too much of the oils and flavor from the coffee resulting in a thinner brew with less body.
            To clean them, a sharp smack against the compost bin works just fine. The grounds fall right out. In good weather, I throw them straight into the garden and cut them into the soil when I have a few minutes.
            Why would you buy paper year after year when you don't have to? It's not the trees that you killed; it's the processing and transportation over and over again if you're going to factor in environmental concerns. Making teeny bits of compost doesn't make up for that.
            There should be no more worry about "soap contamination" from your gold filter than from your coffee cup?

            1. re: MakingSense

              This is wandering off into the weeds. Not sure if we are going to have the data to make a good case one way or another, but I have a few concerns.

              For one, there is balancing the energy and resource inputs that go into making a metal filter versus those going into paper filters. Paper is renewable, and when they're used up they are compostable. The metal filter, gold no less which takes a lot of energy to extract, lasts until it is ripped, worn, or lost. Then, every time you use it you have to clean it, which uses up water and the energy to heat it. Is that more or less water and heat than goes into a paper filter? I don't know. I've owned one metal filter and it did not last a year, but that is probably on the short end of a metal filter life cycle. But if I look at a metal filter for one year versus 365 paper filters, I think paper wins. I have a similar concern about the metal compost bin we use near our sink. There is a lot of energy that goes into mining, milling, and manufacturing a metal object. Sometimes disposable, recyclable and compostable alternatives are better.

              Then, the soap problem is real. A good filter has a lot of effective surface area - way more than the laid-flat surface area of the filter cone. (And I did not think my metal filter was a very good filter. When it was clean the coffee dripped way to quickly. It only worked well when it had captured some of the oils and residue from brewing. But for the sake of argument, lets say a gold one is better and works well as a filter.) The same ability to trap the grounds and let the brewed coffee through is going to tend to capture soap and soap film. Sure the same problem exists with the cone, but that is the same with a metal filter. The soap captured by the filter is added to it. So really the comparison is soap residue in the metal filter versus whatever foriegn stuff is given off from the paper filter into the brew.

              I don't have the ansers. I just have a lot of questions. But my bottom line is that I just did not like using the metal filter I owned. I was glad to be rid of it when it ripped, and I doubt I'll try it again.

              1. re: BernalKC

                Thanks for the Amazon lead. I have been looking for a large Melita filter cone and I can't find one anywhere. I have several smaller sizes that are very old. I use them to with a paper coffee filter, to drain yogurt for yo-cheese, over a Mason jar.

                1. re: BernalKC

                  You are probably right about that bottom line - you didn't like the metal filter you bought. Sorry, but that's no reason to invent rationales for disparaging them.
                  It may well have been a poor quality one if it it actually tore within a year. I've got three that I use regularly and the newest is more than 10 years old.
                  They aren't "gold" but the metal is merely gold-washed because gold is a non-reactive metal that doesn't affect flavor.

                  In general, over the life of a quality product, the resources that are used would certainly be less than the disposable products it would replace and the impact of its processing, packaging, and transportation.
                  These are considerations anytime we purchase something.
                  There should be no more reason for the permanent filter to " capture" soap "residue" than any other kitchen item as long as it's properly washed and rinsed.

                  You can "ask" and "answer" until the cows come home. Ultimately, people justify a lot of decisions based on convenience. It's easier to throw away paper filters, even into the compost pit.

                  1. re: MakingSense

                    Yeah for me, it's the convenience of paper and less mess. Hate the loose grounds in the compost bucket, makes more of a mess when I clean the bucket, yada yada. And for me, I just don't notice a taste difference. If I did, it would be worth the tiny extra trouble, but I don't. We all have our little things that are worth it or not. It's just funny when people get into long arguments about how "you're totally missing out on the joys of" sharpening your own knives, making your own pasta, fermenting your own pickles, butchering your own cow,.... whatever. I do some of these, don't do others :) You didn't do that MakingSense, just making a general observation.

                    1. re: DGresh

                      Agreed. Each of us makes our own choices and we can rationalize them or not if pressed - even if the arguments are sometimes half-baked. The bottom line is that we like doing what we do for some reason that is wholly our own and we've personally justified the series of trade-offs.

                      Re: compost. This has gotten downright silly. I've been doing it for years as garbage management if nothing else and because I'm a gardener.
                      The amount that an ordinary home produces is not terribly significant unless you have a decent sized yard and add in raked leaves.

                      The bottom may have been hit in my mind this week when one of my gardening catalogues promoted their new electric composter for $299. Electric! With accessories at additional cost of course. To speed it up because we're such an impatient culture, I suppose, but it allows you to make compost in your mudroom or on your deck.
                      Make sure to purchase all the boosters so you produce the "right" kind of compost.
                      You can also purchase $159 worm composters if you want new pets, special $249 ones that are gravity fed so you never have to turn the nasty stuff, and ordinary ones for about $169.
                      Let's not forget compost pails. Perfect crocks for $30 or lovely copper ones (likely guaranteed to tarnish if you don't polish away) at $35. Their stainless model is guaranteed to "keep it simple" for only $20.
                      Hell, I've kept it simple for decades by repurposing used plastic tubs with tight fitting lids. They were free and easily replaced with new free ones when they wore out. The old ones now go into the recycling.

                      Is there nothing that our consumer culture is unwilling to spend money on?
                      Compost was once "garbage." Should we now view it as part of an "economic stimulus package"?

                      1. re: MakingSense

                        Don't forget RR's "garbage bowl."

                        You could have been reading Friedman's "The Inflection Is Near?"
                        For that matter, you could be writing it.

                        1. re: yayadave

                          Friedman forgot the part about our having so much crap that we have to buy organizing systems for it. Plastic, wood, or metal containers to store it in and shelves to stack them on. Labeling systems. Temperature control systems to protect our stuff. (Notice that it's all "systems.") Computer back-ups for files we never go back to. iPods with 20,000 songs that we don't have time to enjoy. Archival quality materials to keep it from deteriorating. Alarms to alert us. We have to insure it. What if somebody takes our stuff?
                          Then we have to rent storage compartments because it doesn't fit in either of our houses....
                          OMG, where will it end???

            2. I just spotted Melitta filters and Cones at Smart & Final!

              1 Reply
              1. re: mnosyne

                I was just there and didn't think to look - thanks.

              2. Zojirushi makes superb products. If you're not taken by their coffee maker(got one, love it), their ss thermal carafes are killer.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Kagemusha

                  I have that Zojirushi coffee maker and it just collects dust now. I only break it out when I have a large group of people coming over. The coffee isn't *bad*, it just isn't stellar. The only thing that gets use in my house these days are my two Bialetti Moka pots.

                  No, if you want a coffee maker, do yourself a favor and do it right the first time like I should have: get a Technivorm and be done with it.

                  1. re: sobriquet

                    If you're willing to pour the hot water yourself, the combination of a thermal carafe and a filter cone makes coffee every bit as good as a Technivorm, at a fraction of the cost.

                    1. re: srgoodman

                      Agreed, I was just commenting on the Zojirushi.

                    2. re: sobriquet

                      If not the maker then their carafes. They're some of the best on the market and not extortionately priced for the quality.