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Best place to buy a French press or ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

ok never ever make coffee at home , but have decided it would be nice to make and grab a cup to go at home, am kind of trying to decide between just a simple French press and an espresso machine what would be your advice between the\two options and where would be the best places to buy either of them?

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  1. btw i am looking for best places in DT Vancouver, but will travel a bit if necessary

    1 Reply
    1. re: vandan

      Winners has inexpensive French presses.

    2. French press does not require power :) Call the Kettle Black on West 4th Ave. is having a "holiday sale"... they have a Bodum Gallery.
      But for a single cup, I like my Aeropress, which is non-breakable polycarb & easily packed for travel, too.

      6 Replies
      1. re: KarenDW

        Is aeropress sold strictly online ?

        1. re: vandan

          I got an Aeropress at the coffee gear place in Richmond, Espressotec. Bit of a schlep from downtown but it's one stop shopping. They also carry Baratza grinders. The SO got one for a home setup in March and loves it.

          1. re: grayelf

            how do you like your aeropress ??

            1. re: vandan

              It works really well and it doesn't take up too much cupboard space; it's also unbreakable which is an advantage over the standard Bodum, but it looks a bit "science projecty" if you're thinking of leaving it out on the counter. You have to buy little filters for it; they can be rinsed and reused if you're so inclined. It is a one cup at a time gizmo and cleanup is pretty easy.

              The Frieling presses peter.v mentioned are pretty spiffy, if you're planning to leave your coffee making vessel out and they are also unbreakable (though I suppose you could dent 'em if you get too rowdy when you're making your joe). You might want to get the large one even if you're mostly going to be using it just for yourself, to give you more flexibility.

              ETA the other nice thing about the Frielings is that they keep your coffee warm much longer than the glass Bodums, even with a "quilt."

            2. re: grayelf

              same place as I picked up my setup. I also have the Baratza grinder. I work from home, and have anywhere between 3-6 mugs of coffee in a day. And then there are the weekends... For larger quantities of coffee, we use either an electric drip (for shame!) or a stainless steel insulated Bodum French press. But the grinder was totally worth the $150 for us. Haven't tried them yet, but there are a few burr grinders at London Drugs, which look as though they would stand up to occasional use.

              1. re: KarenDW

                The Baratza grinder we have is called the Vario and it was a package deal with the espresso machine we got, the Rancilio Silvio, so don't know the price offhand. It does seem to benefit from a fair amount of geeking out ie. timing the grind to the second and so on that is way beyond my skill level/patience but that is part of the fun for the SO, go figure.

        2. Mountain Equipment Coop :) A press is a favorite way of making coffee for campers.


          1. If you've never really made coffee at home I highly recommend that you do not go the route of home espresso. A good home setup will run you about $1200. A passable, but not great setup will still be $700+.

            A french press on the other hand is a terrific and simple brew method. Fmed is right about Winners often having Bodum and other presses in stock. Ming Wo is another spot to buy Bodum product. Other options would include Frieling double walled stainless steel presses (from 49th Parallel) or the locally designed Espro Press (www.espro.ca). Both are about 2.5 times the price of a Bodum Chambord press.

            I would also highly recommend a proper burr grinder as this will improve your coffee immensely. Baratza is a company that only manufactures burr grinders aimed at the consumer. Their base model, the Maestro Plus, is a great grinder for home use. Less expensive options include hand grinders. Brands such as Hario are highly regarded.

            5 Replies
            1. re: peter.v

              How much will an entry level grinder cost me?

              1. re: vandan

                MEC has a GSI brand grinder for $17. For the price it's pretty good grinder. The main challenge is finding a comfortable way of holding the fly saucer with one hand while grinding with the other.

              2. re: peter.v

                700 bucks for a passable, but not great setup?


                Personally, my Saeco and Baratza setup at home @ under 600 all in is great for my needs. You can go more money for a nicer setup obviously .... but IMO you have to get right into the lifestyle and consistently in order to be able to get the most out of it/value.

                700 dollars for the average person who just wants an "espresso" or an "espresso-based drink" is a alot to swallow, pun intended.

                vandan, I picked up my Baratza Virtuoso from Baratza online. It was a refurb that was a return, nothing was wrong with it I was told, got a much better price too. I had to ship it to Point Roberts though and pick it up. Otherwise Espressotec in Richmond carries it.

                1. re: bill_n_opus

                  Shy of $600 is pretty close to $700. Especially compared to $40 for a french press and $140 for a Maestro grinder. Plus, you drove out to Pt. Roberts. Npt trying to be harsh there, but I was looking at purely domestic Canadian prices since Vandan was looking for DT Vancouver spots.

                  As you say, home espresso requires dedication. I know, because I did it for years. Now I just use various manual brew methods at home (french press, hario pourover, aeropress). Helps that I make espresso for a living though...

                  1. re: peter.v

                    No offense taken ... I realize that I may have come off wrong ... what I was trying to say is that the average person gets freaked when presented with a ballpark number that people who hobby coffee/espresso have come to accept as is.

                    Like people in the biz (you) and consumer hobbyists like me.

                    Especially once you totally geek out ... and drool over good setups costing (well) over 1500 bucks. Or when you dream of naked portafilters just so you can see what's going on, lol.

                    What do you think of a Saeco Aroma/Baratza Maestro for vandan from espressotec for ~ 450 plus taxes? 504 total.

                    Probably can get a small discount come xmas/boxing day too.

                    The aeropress is 38 bucks there as well. vandan, I haven't used mine very much (like twice) and there seems to be some specific methodology to get the "best" tasting coffee from it ... but it seems to have some pretty solid following (and hype too). Having said that, I prefer making my espresso-based drink, mainly for the steaming wand action. Anything steamed like milk, eggnog etc ... just makes my drink taste so much better! Steaming is vastly underrated IMO.

              3. Okay now how about where to buy the best value coffee beans

                11 Replies
                1. re: vandan

                  Your source may depend upon how much coffee you are planning to make at home. Most of the roaster cafes have a 1/2 lb (250 gm?) minimum, which is enough for about 10 cups. It is possible to purchase lesser amounts in bulk, at supermarkets such as IGA or Urban Fare. I like JJ Bean on Davie. YMMV.

                  1. re: KarenDW

                    Ended up buying a clever use it for the first time this morning so far so good

                    1. re: KarenDW

                      Congrats on your Clover, hope you enjoy!

                      re beans: Some places will let you buy a whole pound but take 1/2 pound at a time which is handy if you are using smaller amounts. The SO is more into taste than value and at the moment favours Kafka's (previously 49thP) for espresso beans.

                      He hasn't got into roasting at home yet, though I'm preparing myself for that eventuality :-).

                      1. re: grayelf

                        Wow, thanks for that: I honestly thought he bought a cleaver and I spent the last few minutes trying to wrap my head around grinding beans that way. Perhaps I need some coffee.

                        1. re: grayelf

                          I actually bought a clever not a clover lol

                              1. re: fmed

                                Ahhh, it is all becoming clearer.

                              2. re: vandan

                                I thought you pushed the boat out, vandan! My bad for assuming it was a typo. I've never heard of a Clever so I learned something tonight.

                                Congrats on the Clever. Who cares how much your gear costs as long as you like the end result.

                                1. re: grayelf

                                  The Clever is a brilliant little brewer. Good choice vandan!

                                  1. re: grayelf

                                    yup Greyelf i have not ruled out spending a bit of $$ in the future to upgrade but for entry level stuff i'm quite happy for now

                          1. Oh and what vessel/method is most economical when it comes to brewing the beans

                            11 Replies
                            1. re: vandan

                              I think a pour-over like a Clever is most economical since you make one cup at a time which (in theory) means you don't waste any product. An Aeropress (which I use often) is probably as economical.

                              You have to factor in the cost of the filters - paper or reusable (eg Swissgold or a steel Coava for the Aeropress).

                              1. re: vandan

                                As long as it's not espresso, any of the other methods I use (french press, siphon, manual pourover) are pretty much at the same price point. As for buying beans I get them from local roasters at the source (Kona for ex:) or from the roasters that import them into the country. For variety of sources Klatch is one of my favorites. The key is buy beans that are fresh roasted and not sitting on a counter for 4 months.

                                Espresso is just a totally different territory :-).

                                1. re: unagi1

                                  actually it is espresso beans i'm interested in, its what i bought this time and really want to stick with, i tried a South American one and it just didn't do it for me

                                  1. re: vandan

                                    Espresso beans with non-espresso brewing methods? Not too sure on that one. If you like stronger flavor why not go with a darker roast, or a more full flavored bean such as sumatra, kenyan, etc.

                                    1. re: unagi1

                                      Espresso defines only a method involving a machine that brews at a pressure of ~9 bar. Beans labeled as espresso are simply coffees roasted and/or blended with that method in mind. As espresso produces a concentrated coffee, lightly roasted single variety coffees tend to taste akin to hot lemon juice. If you roast the beans to a medium-ish level and blend for rich, full bodied chocolate notes (by using a Brasilian coffee as a base component for example), you can have coffee that tastes delicious whether or not it's brewed as espresso or not. It's often a coffee I recommend to people looking for low acidity and full body.

                                      1. re: peter.v

                                        i actually am talking about the Espressop blend i bought ( at The Elysian btw) i quite like it so yes not even sure what the blend is but i really like it

                                        1. re: vandan

                                          Ha, awesome. Black Cat works well as brewed coffee for sure. It's mostly from Brazil, with a bit of El Salvador at the moment. It does tend to change every month or so depending on coffee availability.

                                        2. re: peter.v

                                          i kind of knew that , but will an aeropress give the closest espresso like cupper other than the actual machine

                                          1. re: vandan

                                            I use my Aeropress almost daily. It is closer to a strong americano. Or perhaps a strong french press without the fines (owing to the paper filter).

                                            It can be espresso-like with crema, etc sometimes. It depends on the beans and its freshness.

                                            1. re: fmed

                                              Cool because the ultimately what I'm to achieve minus the expensive machine

                                              1. re: vandan

                                                Edit: what i was trying to say was that ultimately that is what I want to achieve

                                2. Btw I mean the ground up beans

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: vandan

                                    not roughly chopped with your new cleaver...?

                                  2. Hey all, I'm looking to buy a french press for my gf. We previously had a Bodum french press but the filter part recently broke.

                                    I've never heard of the aeropress before. How do you guys find it? There seems to be a lot of steps involved to making a cup of coffee. If you were to choose a bodum french press (or any other brand) or the aeropress which one would you guys prefer?

                                    thanks in advance!

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: mh0408

                                      The Frieling press mentioned above is a nifty French press, combining durability, good looks and keeping warm capacity. I bought one for the parentals at 49th Parallel on 4th so you could check and see if they still have them but I don't think they do. Here's a link to a pic of one to see if you like the styling, which is quite different from the Bodum you're used to: http://www.amazon.ca/Frieling-Ultimo-...

                                      1. re: grayelf

                                        Elysian carries Frieling presses again.

                                        Also, just as a note, the Aeropress is not a french press, but is a unique brewing method. I quite enjoy mine, especially with the Able Brewing Disk filter, an aftermarket metal filter designed for the Aeropress.

                                      2. re: mh0408

                                        Ended up bihing an aeropress, love it and making coffee is easy peasy

                                      3. i like the thermal french press

                                        also - i like those things they have in hotels now - the little plastic cups that you shove in to slot on machine. some are in London Drugs. I probably would not buy one for home but ....

                                        i would never pay big bucks for coffee
                                        we had one of those *it was a gift) and never used it - returned it. it was restaurant quality

                                        that said, we have italian friends who swear by their huge (relative term) countertop big machine. they can't live w/0 it --- clearly i could

                                        1. I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Bialetti Mokka pot. Every home we stayed at in Italy used these for their in-home coffee making needs and we've been using them ever sense. Hands down the aforementioned Espressotec in Richmond has the best price I've found.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: islandgirl

                                            We had a Mokka (the black and white one that looks like cowhide, LOL) that worked quite well for several years. Then it didn't, so it got the boot. Weirdly, the best price I saw for it was at Gourmet Warehouse, but that was a while ago.

                                          2. Why not get one of Vancouver's own Espro Presses? Much cleaner brew than a French Press. I still prefer an AeroPress or V60 over it but it's easier for multiple cups.

                                            1. If you want to go high end then get an espro press or a stainless one. They are pricey but they will last forever. Its probably a worthwhile purchase

                                              The glass ones will break and are expensive and a pain in the arse to replace.

                                              or go low end:

                                              Its works great and when you break it....just buy a new one.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: koshfoodie

                                                Can you buy an espro press locally or strictly online ?

                                                1. re: vandan

                                                  The Espro Press website lists several retailers in the lower mainland. Just click on to "find a retailer" to find out which is closest to you.