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Which machine/device(s) will give me the absolute best cup of coffee I can possibly brew at home?

Breadcrumbs Jul 9, 2012 04:49 PM

After having gone through an endless number of drip coffee makers over the years, we are still not delighted with our home-brewed coffee.

Yes, a burr grinder is a must and has upped the quality for us.

We also buy freshly roasted beans and they too definitely make a difference.

We've done home taste tests using our French press and a cup from our coffee-maker du jour and results have varied but nothing has blown us away.

We love coffee and are willing to invest. I've read the threads on k-cups, French press coffee makers and drip machines but I didn't see a recent thread looking for the absolute best home brew.

We're willing to invest if need be. What machine or device(s) will get us to coffee nirvana at home?

FWIW over the years we've had coffee makers made by:

Krups
Cuisinart
Breville
Braun
Bunn
DeLonghi
and Proctor Silex

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and experiences.

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  1. cowboyardee RE: Breadcrumbs Jul 9, 2012 05:24 PM

    Best fool-proof maker:
    The technivorm always seems to get high marks. And you don't have to know a whole lot of technique to get good coffee - just add good beans, good water, don't mess up the grind or the proportion and you should get good results.

    OTOH, The device I've used that actually makes the best cups of coffee:
    The Aeropress.
    Don't be constrained by the maker's instructions. This is an extremely versatile coffee maker that can use different grinds, different proportions, different temperatures, different brewing times, and even different brewing methods to bring out what's best about any given coffee bean. The downside of it is the same as the upside - it's as good at making coffee as you are. You can easily make a bad cup of coffee in it just as you can make a great cup. Also note that it is best used to make only one cup of coffee at a time.

    A simple pour-over cone is no slouch in terms of making pretty decent coffee either, btw. Again though, this takes a little technique.

    1. TeRReT RE: Breadcrumbs Jul 12, 2012 10:14 AM

      I am a fan of syphon coffee, though at the moment I am using a hario v60 and enjoy it, and plan to eventually get an Aeropress but they are expensive where I am.

      1. TraderJoe RE: Breadcrumbs Jul 12, 2012 10:28 AM

        La Pavoni lever, Hario or FP. I likes it all.
        K-cups? WOT? Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo

        1. m
          Mcooper RE: Breadcrumbs Jul 12, 2012 10:46 AM

          For me it's the Chem-ex. I've not had a cleaner tasting coffee.

          1. j
            jljohn RE: Breadcrumbs Jul 12, 2012 12:46 PM

            In my humble opinion, you will get the best possible cup of coffee at home by using (1) fresh cold water, (2) a kettle, (3) a thermometer, (4) high quality, fresh-roasted, beans, (5) a top notch grinder, (6) an accurate scale the reads in grams, (7) a French press (no larger than you need per round of coffee), and (8) a timer. The variables you will need to play with to get the coffee to taste the best to you are (a) the temperature of the water when it hits the beans, (b) the courseness of the grind, (c) the mass of beans used, and (d)the duration of the steep. In the end, with any method, you cannot just throw hot water at ground beans and expect magic. The devil is in the details, and it takes careful experimentation to end at your 'best' result.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jljohn
              ladooShoppe RE: jljohn Jul 13, 2012 08:15 AM

              +1 for French Press. When you water boils in the kettle, give it 10 seconds to cool off before adding it to the press pot. I find that most traditional coffee makers are too hot and tend to give the coffee a bitter flavor. I bought my FP at Ikea for 10 bucks. When it gets old and cruddy, I buy another. And freshly ground beans is another important factor.

              But also agree with Bacardi1; it all comes down to personal preference.

            2. Eiron RE: Breadcrumbs Jul 12, 2012 02:04 PM

              +1 on the TechniVorm.

              Or DIY with a tea kettle, Melitta manual drip pot, & decent thermal carafe (around $50 on up to $200 or more, depending on which equipment you choose).

              A friend has an Aeropress & likes it, but I didn't care for it compared to what I get from my TechniVorm (or a Melitta).

              At work I bring in my own beans & brew in my French Press, but it's quite different from drip, just like moka is different from espresso.

              1. Bacardi1 RE: Breadcrumbs Jul 12, 2012 02:28 PM

                Unfortunately this is a question that no one will be able to answer but you. The "best cup of coffee" has been & will debated forever, since - like all things food - it all boils down to personal preference.

                I love my Keurig K-cup & the variety it affords me - including being able to use my own choice of beans, etc., in the special cup. But there are most likely many others who will disagree. And since I don't drink coffee all day, just a cup or two in the morning, my needs aren't as rigorous as many others.

                1. ipsedixit RE: Breadcrumbs Jul 13, 2012 08:26 AM

                  Moka.

                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/719198

                  1. Sid Post RE: Breadcrumbs Jul 13, 2012 09:38 AM

                    My Pasquini® Livia make a stellar espresso. With ILLY coffee, it puts Starbucks and similar places to shame.

                    My Bodum french press does a really good job for me as well.

                    For drip, I have a .... gasp ... Kitchenaid Pro-Line and it really makes a great "Pot" of drip coffee. My Zojirushi Zutto does a really good job making a smaller pot of ~2 Americano's.

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