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Mar 16, 2009 05:28 PM

Is there such a thing as a GOOD drip coffee maker?

I used to have a drip coffee maker made by Braun. It made REALLY GOOD coffee. Every body said, "Bill you make GOOD coffee". Unfortunately it died. I could not find a replacement and suspect they don't make it anymore.
I have been through 3 different makes since then and they make drinkable coffee, but a long way from good.
Help me out here please.
I miss my coffee. :-(

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  1. You may want to check out a Melita.

    1. Oh, i hope you get a resounding concensus on this - I'm in desperate need of a new coffee maker. My Mr. coffee thermal just doesn't get hot enough, either that or the thermal carafe is less thermal than I'd like it to be :-)

      I've had 2 people refer the Cuisinart Grind & Brew but it will be interesting to see what the CH'ers think. I'm curious if it's because they are the "coolest" looking mass market machines or if they really do make good coffee.

      1 Reply
      1. re: chicaraleigh

        a lot of people have issues with the Grind & Brew because apparently steam gets into the grinder so it gets gunked up with soggy grounds & needs to be washed/cleaned after each use.

        i can also tell you that my mom sprang for a Capresso last year, and she's not thrilled with it. it makes pretty good coffee, but the water doesn't quite get hot enough, and the thermal carafe is a bitch to clean.

        sooo...i told her to check out the new Krups Dahlstrom Power Brew when i first saw it in a W-S catalog, but apparently it's got a couple of major design flaws - reservoir is in a place that makes it difficult to fill without spilling water everywhere, and the carafe drips when you pour coffee.

        i think i'm glad i primarily drink tea these days ;)

      2. The Technivorm Moccamaster Coffeemaker is supposedly the cadillac of drip coffee makers, it's about 260 dollars though
        I recommend getting the one with the thermal carafe, also ignore their instructions for the amount of coffee, you need at least 1 tbsp per ~4 oz of water, which translates to 10 tbsp of medium grind coffee for a full batch.

        5 Replies
        1. re: rockfish42

          Technivorm makes the only automatic drip coffeemakers certified by the SCAA. But my preference for drip coffee is an electric kettle, a big cone with a #6 filter, and a 1-quart thermal carafe. Same idea, much simpler execution.

          As far as quantity of coffee goes, I disagree with reducing the amount called for. A quart of coffee requires 2 ounces (by weight) of beans. Yeah, that's a lot, but it costs less than a single cup at the local coffeehouse. Don't skimp.

          1. re: alanbarnes

            Pretty sure Braun still makes several deifferent Aromaster models. If you start with great beans and grind properly in a burr grinder, the Braun cranks out a darn good cuppa joe. They aren't all that expensive either.

            A Mellita is capable of turning out a better brew BUT my experience is that the quality can be wildly inconsistent. Between water temp and pouring technique you can end up with anything from liquid heaven and something that tastes like warm water with a brown crayon melted in it. If you have the procedure down, good for you -- too much monkey business for me.

            1. re: MikeB3542

              I tend to agree with you on the Melitta. It requires some technique, but is fairly easy to master. It's not my favorite brewing method, but since the OP asked about drip coffee, that's where I stayed.

              If you want seriously great coffee over and over again, I'm a big fan of the vacuum pot. Controlled temp in the upper chamber, the ability to control the amount of time the grounds spend in contact with the water, and a nice clear cup - there's not much room for improvement IMHO. Varietal flavors just shine through.

            2. re: alanbarnes

              I wasn't reducing the amount, their instructions unless they've changed them suggest 5 tbsp medium ground coffee for 1250 ml of water.

              1. re: rockfish42

                Sorry, I misunderstood you. You're right - the instructions call for about half the coffee that should be used. The SCAA standard is 7g coffee for 125ml water. A tablespoon of coffee is at most 7g. So 10 tablespoons is about right for a 1250ml batch.

          2. Been told Technivorm is the best automatic drip machine, would like to get one, not sure it's worth the expense.

            My favored manual drip is the Chemex Brewer, I have an old 6 cup model that's hand blown. Understand they're all machine made now.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Demented

              Love, love the Technivorm - we have the glass carafe one and it makes excellent coffee! We're spoiled for anything else at this point. We really liked our Bunn but the Technivorm makes better, hotter coffee. If you like hot, clean coffee, it's well worth the $200 IMO. It's outlived our Bunn's life by twice and is still going strong. My only complaint is the glass carafe is prone to chipping and expensive to replace.

              1. re: koigirl

                $299 is the lowest price Technivorm these days, I'm sad to say. . .

              2. re: Demented

                You can still buy the hand blown ones, they're just appropriately more expensive.

                1. re: Demented

                  I believe you can get the hand blown variety. sells them

                2. Well, I am NOT going to buy a $200 coffee maker. I remember the braun I had cost about $20 so I know it can be done.
                  I think for the time being I will take Alan's advice and go with the Melita and the teakettle.

                  14 Replies
                  1. re: billieboy

                    Seriously, try a vac pot. (Sorry if I'm too much of an evangelist.) You can get an expensive one made of hand-blown glass, but I have a couple of the Taiwanese Yama stovetop models that cost under $50, and they make fantastic coffee. IMHO, siphon brewing may well be the best way to make coffee that's ever been devised. (Okay, the Clover is supposed to kick ass, too, but its $11,000 price tag will pay for all the appliances in my upcoming kitchen remodel several times over. And I kinda like the low-tech approach.)

                      1. re: alanbarnes

                        Oh yes!!! I remember those. Haven't seen one in years. Will look online.
                        BTW sad story here in town. A house was almost finished being renovated. They spent $10,000 on the kitchen alone, which is why your remodel reminded me of it. The contractors were having trouble with blowing the fuses so they bypassed the fuse box. Burnt to the ground. Heartbroken owners. :-(

                        1. re: billieboy

                          Found online right away and in Canada too. Which one do you recommend?


                          1. re: billieboy

                            They all work essentially the same, so the primary differences are going to be size, looks, and heat source. I mostly use the SY-5; it makes just the right amount (~22 oz.) for my daily consumption. The SY-8 (~33 oz.) comes out when we have company.

                            The models that have their own burners look pretty cool. And you don't have to worry about melting the handles on the stovetop (I found out the hard way that Yama means it when they say to only use low heat). With either kind of pot, you should boil your water first, then pour it into the lower vessel.

                            1. re: alanbarnes

                              Thank you Alan. I will order the SY-8. I drink a lot of coffee and two lovely ladies are always over for a KoffeeKlatch.
                              Again I thank you.

                            2. re: billieboy

                              You'll likely be satisfied by mail order service (coffee too) from greenbeanery, since you are in Ontario. The Yama's will have the correct brewing temperature, and many if not most drip machines will be too low. Especially if they have a warming plate which sucks power from the brewer, and if they are rated less than 1200 watts (I have seen many, including the current Brauns, below 950 watts.) I think you are on the right track.

                            3. re: billieboy

                              Vacuum brewing is a wonderful technique. However, do not, under any circumstances, at any price, buy a Bodum electric Santos automatic vacuum pot.

                              Yes, it makes excellent coffee. Excellent coffee is not a reason to buy one of these things. You have been warned!!!!

                          2. re: alanbarnes

                            The Clover is(was) a waste of money. The only people really touting that brewer were the people most heavily invested (i.e. distributors). The coffee quality of Clover is too similar to a vac pot to be worth $11K.

                            billieboy- the Technivorm recommendations are spot on. Yes, it costs a considerable amount more than the stuff you buy at Target. However, a critical component to coffee brewing is temperature (proper temp allows proper flavor extraction). Only the Technivorm achieves the 200F necessary to properly brew coffee (I know, I've tested a number of home brewers).

                            While the tea pot method is great. It does require your total commitment during the brew time. With the Technivorm, you can grind the coffee the night before (not that I recommend it), leave it in the brewer, set the timer and wake up with fresh coffee ready to go that's properly brewed - no other brewer can make that claim.

                            The price is considerable but the construction is top notch and the results are unmatched. This is a brewer that you can expect to die with. Considering that, it's really not that expensive.

                            1. re: onocoffee

                              You are spot on about the temperature thing. The compounds that are released from the coffee depend on the temperature of the water. I am yet to find a drip mechanism that has the ability to vary the temperature of the water. The hotter it is the more bitter the coffee, but then again the more flavour it has.

                              I still find that the best cup is made by pouring (almost) boiling water through a simple one/two cup filter that stands on top of the cup.

                              1. re: Paulustrious

                                While temperature is certainly a critical component of a proper brew, the flavor of the coffee has much to do with the quality of the green bean, the custody of the green, the roast profile, the grind quality and the amount of coffee used.

                                With any brewing method, there are compromises to be made. Pour overs are by no means "the best" brew but you can get a great cup of coffee that is to your liking. The drip brewers offer simplicity and convenience and one must decide what are the important criteria for their coffee. Drip brewers have the advantage that they can have your coffee ready when you awaken in the morning.

                                As for myself, I'm not a big fan of the pour over. I prefer the depth and body of a French Pressed coffee or the clarity of vac pot brewed coffee.

                                And I have to disagree with the above poster, the Bodum Electric Santos brewer can make some great coffee. I've gotten fantastic results from it. However, that required me to brew the coffee in the same manner that I use to brew in my Hario vac pots.

                                1. re: onocoffee

                                  I'm curious about the Hario. What do you mean by "that required me to brew the coffee in the same manner that I use to brew in my Hario vac pots." Could you explain?

                                  I think you may have misunderstood my post. The Bodum electric Santos can, indeed, make great coffee. Unfortunately, there is a serious problem with design and with quality control.

                                  On the design front, the pot is extremely difficult to keep clean due to its shape, where style trumped function. The siphon tube is a fraction of an inch too long, so the polycarbonate must be cut for optimum brewing. Units cannot be repaired if anything goes wrong.

                                  Bodum replaced approximately 16 units for free, sending new ones long after the warranty had expired. Then management changed, and they won't do post warranty replacements any more.

                                  A few were DOA or missing critical pieces (e.g., the seal that keeps water out of the electrics). All of the others failed quickly under typical household use. Since they failed in several different ways, we have been able to keep a unit operating from our accumulated parts collection. However, we now use it mainly for the "show" since it cannot stand up to frequent use.

                                  It's a beautiful, expensive piece of junk that can make great coffee during its probably short lifetime.

                                  1. re: embee

                                    I don't think I agree with you regarding the siphon tube on the Bodum. Mine seems to work just fine. And what I mean by the same manner as my Hario is that to get great results with the Bodum, I'm brewing by hand - meaning that I'm preheating the water in the lower chamber, adding the top one we reach a boil, stirring in the coffee and brewing 45 seconds before cutting the power and cooling the lower chamber so the suction works quickly.

                                    I don't use it that often since I prefer the french press but I'm in definite agreement with you on their service. Even as a retailer/distributor, their service sucks. I had the opportunity to express my disgruntlement with a VP of Bodum a couple of years ago at a trade show where I was leading a new retailer around and openly (and loudly) telling them about the problems purchasing from Bodum while touring their booth.

                                    At least the VP wanted to do whatever he could to appease me, but it still didn't change their policies.