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Nice Coffee Maker made in the USA, France, or Italy

r
rores28 Oct 20, 2012 08:13 PM

Hello, I am looking for a quality coffee maker that is preferably not made in China.

I need it to be able to make single cups or whole carafes of coffee and at varying strengths.

I would like the carafe to be glass.

It does not also need to be able to make espressos but that would be a plus.

Preferably it would be stainless steel.

I am looking to spend between $100-300 dollars.

Does anyone have any suggestions of coffee makers that they have used and liked?

thanks a lot

  1. jnk Oct 22, 2012 12:15 PM

    The Zojirushi coffeemaker, one of which I've owned now for two years is made in Osaka Japan. We use it twice daily and it hasn't given us a problem. It brews a great cup of coffee without spending $300. Good luck in your decision.

    1. n
      Ninevah Oct 22, 2012 12:09 PM

      I've been amazingly happy using a Bunn VPN for a number of years. It's a huge space hog, but it's minimal-plastic, and I added a thermal drip-through carafe from another brand of maker. It's the best system I've ever had, and I've had quite a few. Not sure what the brand new cost on one of these machines is, but I've frequently seen them used and very affordable.

      Mine is older, as I found it used, but this is the beast:

      http://www.amazon.com/VPR-Commercial-...

      1. Eiron Oct 22, 2012 09:57 AM

        If you live in the US, Costco is now selling TechniVorm brewers at lower prices than the coffee-only competition. I've been using TechniVorm's 1 liter (34oz) thermal brewer (KBTS) for the past 6 yrs & love it. And I NEVER mess around with the coffee maker once it starts brewing!!

        It's made in Holland to commercial build quality standards & safety features, unlike any residential brewer that I know of. This adds to the cost of the unit, as does the cost of labor to build it in a 'first-world' country. These were all factors I considered when I was on a similar quest.

        Yes, it does have hot water contact with 2 plastic parts: the polycarbonate column (about 4" long?) that connects the copper boiling chamber to the steel brew pipe, & the polypropylene filter basket. Both of these materials are "lab grade," but they do exist.

        To completely eliminate plastic contact, your most cost-effective option will be a steel water kettle, a Melitta manual pour-over carafe, & a ceramic filter basket. (Several companies make ceramic filter baskets; you'll want a #4-size.) This can cost around $50 or less. Then all you have to decide is if you want to use paper filters or a 'permanent' mesh-type filter.

        The Chemex is a comparable system for good coffee, but it costs a little more & I've heard that it can be more fussy than the Melitta. I have lots of personal experience with the Melitta manual pour-over, but none with the Chemex.

        1. c
          chefwong Oct 22, 2012 05:35 AM

          The OP wanted a stainless no RPC made coffee machine in the budget of $300 that would be able to handle UP to varying volume of Carafes.

          Out of all those mentioned, I'd still recommend the Breville that fits this bill...and it's got a built in grinder.

          Chemex would be 2nd...but that's a whole different animal requiring a seperate grinder, kettle = *time*.

          The Brazen is interesting.....but still requires a grinder.

          Rores, if you had the budget + footprint, I'd looked at the Brazen and a good Grinder.

          8 Replies
          1. re: chefwong
            Eiron Oct 22, 2012 09:35 AM

            ... and the BraZen is made in China, with LOTS of electronic controls & no established track record since it's only just been released for sale.

            Just so that's part of the knowledge base, right?

            1. re: Eiron
              c
              chefwong Oct 22, 2012 09:48 AM

              Ha. What is not made in PRC.
              FWIW, the Breville in my office konked out in 1 month. It seemed like the boiler would engage but not really...Got it swapped out....and it's been solid since.

              You won't get this issue with a Chemex but I don't think the Chemex is what the OP is looking for....

              1. re: chefwong
                Eiron Oct 22, 2012 10:06 AM

                :-D Just wanted to make sure the OP knew that the BraZen was made in China, since that was one of the exclusion criteria. (It certainly was one of mine!)

                Also, for me personally, I think I'd rather perform a manual pour-over manually, than pay a premium for a box of (yet unproven) electronic controls to simulate the exact same thing. But I understand that not everyone wants to do that.

                I think that if I had never had any experience with a manual pour-over, that I wouldn't have any idea how I'd want to program a BraZen! How would you know where to start if the entire brewing method is foreign to you?

                What do you think?

                1. re: Eiron
                  c
                  chefwong Oct 22, 2012 11:32 AM

                  "I think that if I had never had any experience with a manual pour-over, that I wouldn't have any idea how I'd want to program a BraZen! How would you know where to start if the entire brewing method is foreign to you? "

                  That is a subjective question.....
                  If one can't taste the difference between a cup of starbucks and a cup of Counter Cuture , etc...... I'm all in for better brewing methods, better beans, etc ;-)

                  I hope Santa is nice this year and brings me a single group Synesso

                  1. re: chefwong
                    Eiron Oct 22, 2012 12:42 PM

                    Wow! That's a lot of machine! So is the Hydra their only single group model?

                    I'd love to upgrade my QuickMill 0930 to an Elektra Microcasa. It'll have to wait for now, however.

                    1. re: Eiron
                      c
                      chefwong Oct 22, 2012 04:25 PM

                      I just want some pressure profiling ;-)

                      Ever have a brew made off a Clover. In the right hands, with the correct barista tuned to it, THAT is one coffee machine that makes one badass cup of ~coffee~.
                      I found my favorite barista while frequenting this place that had a clover

                      1. re: chefwong
                        grampart Oct 22, 2012 04:33 PM

                        And how much is a Clover machine these days? How many thousand dollars? One thing for sure, it makes the Technivorm look like a real bargain.

                        1. re: grampart
                          c
                          chefwong Oct 22, 2012 04:38 PM

                          Sadly , they have been bought out by 'buck - dismantled - with TRUE coffee shops who bought the machine scrambling for parts. My coffee chain pulled them out of their 3 locations and have it only in 1, with the remaining machines as backup/spare parts.

          2. c
            chefwong Oct 21, 2012 05:32 PM

            RORES...

            Dare I ask....are you planning to grind the beans on premise *home/office* prior to brewing or are you grinding beforehand. Different strokes for different folks.,,

            3 Replies
            1. re: chefwong
              r
              rores28 Oct 21, 2012 06:30 PM

              It will be a little of both, if my g/f has to get up really early she will grind the night before. If she has time in the morning she grinds fresh.

              1. re: rores28
                p
                poser Oct 21, 2012 08:40 PM

                If you grind the night before, don't waste your money on a new coffee machine.

                1. re: poser
                  cowboyardee Oct 21, 2012 09:00 PM

                  Kind of overstated, IMO. The brewing method/machine can still improve the results from coffee ground earlier than the ideal. It would be tough for me personally to justify spending $300 on a coffee machine if I were then taking shortcuts elsewhere in the process, but $300 to others might not be the same investment as $300 is to me.

                  Admittedly, grinding right before brewing makes a difference, but it's not the only factor in making a good cup of coffee, and not even the single most crucial factor. IME, grinding a few minutes in advance vs 12 hours in advance doesn't make as much of a difference as buying beans that are of good quality and recently roasted - in other words, I'd generally rather have coffee made from beans roasted that week but ground the night before than coffee made from beans roasted months ago but ground minutes before brewing.

            2. r
              rores28 Oct 21, 2012 05:15 PM

              Thanks for all of your replies, I have some good ideas now and am zeroing in on which of these I will be getting as a gift.

              I did want to ask, does anyone know of a coffee maker that doesn't put the heated water directly through some plastic pieces?

              I'm weird about heating up plastic and it doesn't seem like there is a residential coffee or espresso machine that doesn't put heated water through plastic.

              Thanks!

              1 Reply
              1. re: rores28
                j
                jaykayen Oct 21, 2012 05:43 PM

                Chemex is glass, or Hario porcelain dripper.

              2. p
                poser Oct 21, 2012 09:48 AM

                Good coffee is all about the beans freshness and the grinding of them just before brewing, That said there are many different types of coffee makers, both manual and automatic. The most exciting one is the Brazen by Behmor. While very new to the market, I think will end up being the very top of the line for auto brewers.

                http://www.seattlecoffeegear.com/behm...

                1. c
                  chefwong Oct 21, 2012 05:33 AM

                  FWIW, if you don't have good hand strength, the Aeropress may be a bit of a challenge, but it does make a pretty good single cup.

                  For the larger sizes, look at Technivorm or the Breville unit...
                  I bought the Brevile for the office for it's formfactor, built in grinder. Their carafe mode is okay, but their single cup mode have variable steep/brew strengths and makes a pretty mean cup of coffee too.

                  COO for electronics I've stopped caring a longtime ago.
                  Tools, high end AV electronics. cookware, yes.
                  For a coffeemaker, factor in the latter like features and how good it brews - you would be hard pressed to find one that does both and is not made in RPC

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: chefwong
                    r
                    rores28 Oct 21, 2012 09:34 AM

                    How much was the Breville that you bought, and does it make coffee that actually tastes better than standard coffee makers

                  2. cowboyardee Oct 20, 2012 11:01 PM

                    The Aeropress doesn't fit every one of your criteria, but it's not far.

                    Upsides:

                    - Made in USA.

                    - Makes single cups of varying strength and character, to your tastes

                    - Capable of making very good cups of coffee that stand up to any other method

                    - Very affordable ($25-30 or so)

                    - Makes a decent pseudo espresso (or espresso-strength coffee) that can also be useful for Americanos and mochas and such

                    Downsides:

                    - Made of plastic

                    - Best used for only one cup of coffee at a time - cannot make a whole carafe

                    - Has a bit of a learning curve

                    - More work than most higher tech coffee makers - comparable to a manual pour-over cone.

                    For something that can make more coffee, the Technivorm is invariably well-reviewed and is made in Holland IIRC. It fits most of your criteria. Can't make or approximate espresso. But it's way up at the top end of your price range (~$300). Doesn't give you quite as much control as you have with an Aeropress or pour-over cone, but it's easy to use. There may be more affordable Western-made drip brewers of similar quality out there, but I haven't messed around with auto drip brewers enough to tell you.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: cowboyardee
                      r
                      rores28 Oct 21, 2012 09:33 AM

                      Thanks for your reply. I've been looking at the Technivorm and it does get great reviews, have you ever personally tried the coffee made form it?

                      Thanks again

                      1. re: rores28
                        cowboyardee Oct 21, 2012 01:34 PM

                        I don't own one and have never made coffee from it. I have drank coffee made in one - it was a very good, well-balanced cup of coffee, though notably it was also made from very good coffee beans. The operation of it looked fairly simple and easy.

                        I don't know how much control it offers of brew strength. Aside from controlling the ratio of coffee to water, I have heard of people pausing the brewing for a bit after the grounds are wet to increase brew strength, but I haven't messed around with this myself and haven't drank enough cups made from a technivorm to get a good idea of its full capabilities.

                        1. re: cowboyardee
                          grampart Oct 22, 2012 11:59 AM

                          I sprung for the Technivorm about 3 years ago and have never looked back. Roasting and, of course, grinding the beans myself provides enough variables to take into account without having to wonder if your coffee-maker is up to the task. Water temp when it hits the ground coffee is key to extracting the maximum flavor. The Technivorm delivers.

                    2. r
                      rores28 Oct 20, 2012 10:04 PM

                      Thanks for the reply. Also it could be made basically anywhere in Europe etc... mostly I'm looking for not made in China products.

                      1. k
                        kopidrinker Oct 20, 2012 09:09 PM

                        If you don't mind some work, I think a Melitta ten cup pour over is great. For single servings, I like the clever coffee dripper. The latter is made in Taiwan.

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