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What is the strangest coffee maker you have come across?

prophet25 Mar 17, 2009 12:55 AM

I was just looking around for coffee makers and out of interest would like to know what are the "not so common" coffee makers that any of you folks have come across. It would be great if there are some photos too...

  1. Caroline1 Apr 2, 2009 05:45 PM

    Well, no one has mentioned Turkish/Greek or Arabic coffee yet, so I will. I've attached a picture of two of my coffee pots, the shorter copper one for Turkish or Greek coffee (and called a cezve or ibrik) and the tall brass one with the toucan style spout is for Arabic coffee. I forgot to include my Turkish coffee grinder in the picture and I'm too lazy to get the camera out again, but you can see one here: http://www.turkishgiftbazaar.com/grin...

    For Turkish/Greek coffee, depending on how many cups you want to make, you start with one cup of cold watter for each cup. Now, in this case, the "cup" size is absolutely not 8 ounces. We're talking demitasse cups. So you fill the little cup with cold water, put it in the ibrik, add a a huge mounded tablespoon of coffee that you've just ground in the tall Turkish grinder for each cup, and then the amount of sugar per cup you desire. Very few people in this world drink Turkish coffee black. The options are usually sweet or very sweet. So when you have water, powder-fine ground coffee and sugar in the ibrik, whisk it briskly with a small balloon whisk, then set the ibrik over heat. And watch it. When it begins to boil, it will start building fine foam around the edges, and then that will roil up towards the top of the pot and you must remove it from the heat before it boils over. Let it simmer down, then repeat this twice more for three times in all. Then, with a spoon, divide the foam among the cups before pouring in the coffee. You want to do all of this rather rapidly before the grounds settle in the ibrik. Serve immediately, usually with a tall glass of ice water, and in the afternoon, often with a small plate of fruit "jam" with a small spoon for eating. And if you're lazy -- my Turkish coffee mill is over fifty years old and it's really difficult to turn the handle to grind the coffee -- you can buy Turkish and/or Greek coffee already ground. It looks rather like old fashioned powdered instant coffee, but it is not. And ALWAYS allow your cup of coffee to rest a bit before drinking so the grounds can settle to the bottom of your cup. I prefer mine strong enough that there is about 1/3 cup of dense dark "mud" (grounds) left in the cup after drinking all of the coffee that's fluid enough to drink. And there is an old tradition in Turkey, of turning the cup upside down on its saucer after you're through, and letting it rest for about five minutes or so. The grounds will make their way down the inside of the cup, which is then turned upright and your fortune is read from the grounds and the paths left open. Hey, if you don't know how to read coffee grounds and have no one to do it for you, you will still have some interesting patterns to study.

    The taller pot in the picture is for making Arabic coffee, which is rather different than Turkish coffee. I don't know how coffee is made in Saudi today, but my uncle brought me the coffee pot when he came back from Saudi Arabia in the late 1940s. He was a frequent guest of sheiks, which meant he was often presented with a tray that held several bowls of various spices such as cardamom (today it's standard), ginger, cinnamon, and a few others I've forgotten. The tray also held a bowl of green, unroasted coffee beans and a brass mortar and pestle. Uncle Hank was then invited to mix beans and spices in the ratio he thought would be good. They were then roasted over a flame in a small "frying pan" before being returned to the mortar and pestle. It was usually the sheik, but sometimes a servant, who then crushed it all into dust before adding it to a pot similar to mine and adding hot water. I was told that sometimes the spices were roasted along with the beans, sometimes they were added after the beans were roasted. The long beak on the pot makes it really easy and interesting to pour the coffee through the air for some distance before it reaches the cup, but that does require a lot of practice to get it into a small cup without splashing out. The sheik would taste the coffee to see if it was suitable, then pour the honored guest a cup, then the remaining guests, and finally himself. In the late 1940s, my uncle drank his Arabic coffee sitting on layers and layers of carpet that made up the floor of the sheiks' very elaborate tents. Not a bad way to fly, if you don't mind not having air conditioning in 100+F weather. And of course, there were never ever any women present. I don;t remember if or when the Arabic coffee was sweetened, but I assume it was at least an option.

    Personally, I much prefer Turkish/Greek coffee to Arabic coffee. I prefer my cardamom in pastries or mixed in with sour cream, sugar, and horseradish as a dip for fresh fruit. People often assume that Turkish coffee must give you a serious jolt of caffeine, but it doesn't. On the other hand, I've never downed a ten ounce mug of it at one sitting either.

    Oh, and for the record, my copper ibrik once had a "hat" (lid) on it too, much like the one on the Arabic pot, except it was chased. It broke off about 35 or 40 years ago, but the pot still makes great coffee!

    1. Caroline1 Mar 29, 2009 11:10 PM

      A lot of people have talked about vacuum coffee makers. I have one. It's a "Cona" from England. You can see it here:
      http://www.espressozone.com/CONA.html
      It makes very clean pure coffee, no filters required, therefore no paper taste to the coffee. It uses a glass rod to keep the grounds from seeping back down into the "pot", and an alcohol burner to heat the water. I use bottled or well filtered water. Besides making great coffee, it's also very pleasing aesthetically, and impresses the hell out of dinner guests! I just bring it to the table already cocked for cooking and light the fire!

      But alas! I don't use it that much any more. I now have the ultimate in lazy but truly great and uniform coffee makers. I have a Jura Capresso super automatic espresso machine that makes coffee for me and my guests one perfect cup at a time with only the push of a button required of me. How do you spell "spoiled and pampereed old broad"? C - A - R - O - L - I - N - E !!!! '-

      )

      .

      2 Replies
      1. re: Caroline1
        s
        Sharuf Mar 30, 2009 01:19 AM

        Caroline, You're talking espresso here, right? Do you have anything that puts out a plain ole cuppa java to go with breakfast?

        1. re: Sharuf
          Caroline1 Mar 30, 2009 05:33 AM

          I assume you're asking about the Jura Capresso, and not the Cona. '-)

          Yes, it makes espresso, BUT....!!! Espresso is a brewing method, and only in the Americas has it come to mean dark roasted, often bitter coffee grounds/beans. On my machine (and I assume on all super-automatics) I choose how strong I want the coffee brewed and how much. I normally set it to a medium strength to brew two 4.5 cups at a time, which means my coffee mugs will sit under the two nozzles and collect the coffee into one mug. That's the perfect amount to fill my 10 oz mugs to a bit short of overflow. Of course, it always has a wonderful "head" of crema on top. I have one friend who normally drinks her coffee with lots of cream, but in my house she insists the crema is cream enough. She also insists she would NEVER drink black coffee. LOL! I don't disabuse her. Anyway, this is as close to a "plain ole cuppa coffee" as I want to come these days. GREAT breakfast coffee!!!! Just think; plain old coffee, espresso, capuccino, latte, tea, hot water and steam all out of the same pot! And no barista to give me a hard time about how I pronounce (or mispronounce) things. What could be better than that? '-)

      2. Passadumkeg Mar 29, 2009 05:06 PM

        In Norway they sell 250 g bags of Kokkemalt (boiling coffee). Boil 1 l. water in a sauce pan. turn off heat, dump bag of coffee into water, let sit 10 min. Great coffee. The grounds all settle to the bottom of the pot!
        The coffee maker is a sauce pan.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Passadumkeg
          alanbarnes Mar 29, 2009 05:19 PM

          Where I come from they call that "cowboy coffee."

          1. re: alanbarnes
            Passadumkeg Mar 29, 2009 05:47 PM

            I thought of that; maybe those ol' cowboys were Norsk?

        2. John Manzo Mar 29, 2009 12:01 PM

          My avatar, an elektra microcasa a leva, which I use every single day.

          1. s
            saeyedoc Mar 26, 2009 12:20 PM

            Check out coffeegeek.com , they have many unusual types of coffee devices there. I have a technivorm and it is great (bought it from sweetmarias.com) ! Very simple design, easy to clean and I think it's built well. Very heavy duty power cord. According to coffee geek there are very few that get the water hot enough.

            1. jmckee Mar 26, 2009 10:42 AM

              My wife's aunt. You can see the bottom of the cup when she pours.

              2 Replies
              1. re: jmckee
                c
                Cachetes Mar 26, 2009 12:24 PM

                Coffee flavored tea! Just like my dear departed Mom used to make!

                1. re: Cachetes
                  jmckee Mar 30, 2009 09:31 AM

                  What was Lincoln's statement in a cafe? "If this is coffee, please bring me some tea. If this is tea, please bring me some coffee."

              2. alanbarnes Mar 20, 2009 10:19 PM

                Gotta be the Etienne Louis espresso machine. Designed by Carlo Borer, made by Saeco (Psycho?). Dominatrix barista in latex cat suit not incluaded.

                 
                1. fmed Mar 20, 2009 08:58 PM

                  This Japanese cold drip system is pretty retro-futuristic.(I shot this photo at a local coffee place). Definitely not a home machine, though.

                  I really like the Aeropress and use it everyday. http://www.aerobie.com/Products/aerop...

                   
                  1 Reply
                  1. re: fmed
                    BostonZest Mar 21, 2009 06:15 AM

                    Also love my Aeropress. It's my travel coffeemaker and in summer it makes the best concentrate for iced coffee. I make a few presses and freeze or refrigerate them until needed.

                  2. c
                    Cathy Mar 20, 2009 07:11 AM

                    Called a Syphon. A vacuum concept.

                    My parents used it when I was growing up. I found one at the Vermont Country Store catalog a few years ago and use it when I have time and guests.

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/vacuum_c...

                    1. s
                      serious Mar 17, 2009 03:44 AM

                      I came across and bought..the Moccamaster, a Dutch coffee maker that brews at a higher temperature than other commercial coffee makers. It does make better coffee than others I've used but it's rather more flimsy construction than you would expect.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: serious
                        prophet25 Mar 18, 2009 05:20 PM

                        Hi, is this the one by technivorm? I heard something about it too. Thanks for the information.

                        1. re: prophet25
                          s
                          serious Mar 20, 2009 04:35 AM

                          Yes, technivorm.

                        2. re: serious
                          John Manzo Mar 29, 2009 12:00 PM

                          Technivorm is domestic not commercial, and its advantage is not that it brews at higher temps- higher temps are bad for many coffees.

                          1. re: John Manzo
                            s
                            serious Mar 30, 2009 03:56 AM

                            "The Technivorm is certified by the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) to brew at the correct 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Because the water has to boil in order to leave the heater - there is no pump and water does not fall from top to bottom like some brewers - you know that the water coming out is the right temperature." (from technivorm site.)

                            1. re: serious
                              John Manzo Apr 1, 2009 09:19 PM

                              Exactly- it brews at 200 instead of 212.

                              1. re: John Manzo
                                alanbarnes Apr 2, 2009 07:32 AM

                                Which is 10-20 degrees **hotter** than most automatic drip coffeemakers, especially those that have seen a little use. Serious was correct - the advantage of the Technivorm is that it brews at higher temperatures than other automatic drip machines. If you doubt this, there's plenty of info at www.coffeegeek.com.

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