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Coffee Makers

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I am amazed at how crappy the newer coffee makers are. I'm about to get rid of a 2 year old Cuisinart model that just had its bottom rust out. Left a big rust stain on the counter. Shite.

So I go to Amazon and start searching. Most units have a large share of terrible reviews. Apparently the one I'm getting rid of has the habit of catching fire. Others just stop working at a significant rate...and these aren't cheapo models either.

Any suggestions?

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  1. I posted a thread on the wrong category a few days ago. I have a Cuisinart Keurig, almost 2 yr. old, and now it's starting to leak. This is our 3rd Keurig. I LOVE the concept, but I'm so tired of spending money and it turns into crap.

    My DH found this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009...

    The reviews look good, and I like that you can have it all on this one.

    1. I guess it depends on how much coffee you drink &/or prepare for others.

      My husband doesn't drink coffee (never has), & I pretty much only have 1 cup in the morning & that's it. So the deluxe Keurig my husband gifted me with last year has been absolutely PERFECT for our needs.

      Makes terrific coffee, & the K-cup selections available are through the roof in variety. Am thrilled that I can now get my favorite good old "Eight o'Clock" medium-roast coffee in K-cups!!! And if there's some coffee I just must have (doubtful) that isn't available in K-cups, I have the Keurig "make your own" K-cup with any regular ground coffee I want.

      I've also used hot chocolate K-cups, iced tea K-cups, regular & herb tea K-cups for both hubby & I. All produce a more than respectable product.

      Bottom line: LOVE this machine!!

      4 Replies
      1. re: Bacardi1

        I'm a 4 cup a day guy and can't stand the wait for a K-cup to brew. We also need to be able to brew a pot for guests occasionally, so I'm limited to pot-type units.

        1. re: Bacardi1

          I agree with this. We have the Keurig Platinum that I won last year in The Kitchn's holiday giveaway. Kind of funny I was the one who won it as I don't drink coffee at all. But, because of that, the Keurig works out great for us. BF has maybe 2-3 cups a day, throughout the morning (he works at home). I also make the occasional cup of hot cider for myself and guests have used it to get hot water to make tea. This is the one we have: http://www.amazon.com/Keurig-B70-Plat...

          I only really have two complaints about it. One is the cost of the K-cups, but we usually purchase a box of 50 from Amazon for around $30, or we'll pick up a box when we go to Costco every few months. Buying them at the grocery store is crazy expensive. A friend of ours uses the cup where you can put in your own coffee in and brew that way, but we have not tried it yet. My other complaint was when we had house guests, and everyone was drinking coffee, we went through a ton of K-cups, and it would have been better to just brew one large pot. But that only happens a few times a year.

          As for the brewing time, I leave the house about 5-10 minutes before he gets up, so I turn on the machine so it can warm up, and it's ready to brew as soon as he comes downstairs.

          EDIT, sal, I just saw your response when I posted mine. So you can disregard :)

          1. re: juliejulez

            We've been using our Keurig for 3 years and it's been great. Lately we've been using the cups from San Francisco Bay. They are a modified version of the K-Cup and the coffee is very good. It's also appreciably cheaper, about $33 for 80 at Amazon. They use a paper filter rather than a plastic cup so they come sealed in plastic pouches of 8-9 each.

            http://www.amazon.com/San-Francisco-B...

            1. re: juliejulez

              Yes - "Platinum". That's the model I have as well. Couldn't remember the correct name. I don't find the waiting time all that long. By the time I've gotten my mug out & uncovered & fed the bird, it's ready to brew.

              But I can see this not being a useful brewer for the OP - he/she definitely needs a pot brewer.

          2. I've had the Cuisinart Grind-and-Brew for about 5 years, using it daily. It's certainly not fancy but I love that I can put whole beans in it the night before, and that my first daily task is pouring coffee, not making it. It's loud as hell while grinding, but serves as a secondary alarm clock at 5am. And if you don't line up the pot correctly, it'll leak out entirely and you'll wake up to coffee all over counters and floors. That's only happened about 3 times over 5 years, though, and isn't exclusive to Cuisinart. Overall, for the price, I've been happy with it. I bought my dad one, too, and he loved it. Cleaning it is just one step more than a separate grinder.

            1. Zojirushi Zutto is the best coffee maker I have ever had. You can buy one from Amazon. It's my favorite appliance in my entire house. I like coffee a lot, but I'm usually too lazy to make pour over coffee with a Chemex or Hario dripper. The Zojirushi has been a good compromise.

              1. If you do not need programmable timer, then a lot of aficionados go for the Technivorm moccamaster with thermal carafe. At ~$300 new, it's pretty steep. You can get a Bunn BTX-B(D) for about $100 (high altitude version with modification for change in ATM affecting boiling point of water if you need it), or a newer design Bunn ST for about $150 if you don't need the high-altitude temperature setting switch.

                For making just a cup or two at a time, I use a pour over Hario V60.

                You may want to consider the Bonavita BV1800, which is SCAA certified like the Technivorm, but is only ~$150. It's gotten lots of positive comments and reviews, but I have not used one personally, so I can't speak to it directly.

                4 Replies
                1. re: khuzdul

                  I've been using a Technivorm MoccaMaster for the last 3 years or so and it has continuously made the best coffee I've ever had. I do roast and grind my beans at home and after that much effort I wanted to use the best coffee maker. The Technivorm fits the bill in that regard.

                  1. re: grampart

                    I'm another huge Technivorm fan. I purchased mine a few years ago after being disgusted with the run of the mill coffee makers and my lemon of a Cusinart Grind and Brew. At the same time I purchased a Kitchenaide burr grinder. I don't roast my own beans but I grind each morning.

                    This machine is simplistic but so well made that the extra price may be recouped in a long lifespan. The key is no fussy electronics and a copper element that truly heats the water to the proper temp for coffee brewing.

                    1. re: HokieAnnie

                      Add me to the list... I've had mine four years, and it's not fancy looking, just makes the best coffee into a thermal carafe with no burning.

                      I would never use a Keurig or anything else that limited my coffee choices and strength that way for top dollar. I'd rather buy really great coffee and use a Melitta one cup pour over filter or a small french press.

                      I do recall a recent discussion in which another poster reported that he had the same results with brew temp and good coffee as the expensive Technivorm with a $9 Sylvania electric drip pot.

                  2. re: khuzdul

                    I think your choice of a coffee maker depends on how serious you are about brewing a really good cup of coffee. When it's just a cup for myself, I use a French press; when it's for two or more people I use the Technivorm. In either case, I always try to have freshly roasted beans on hand, and I grind them whenever I make a pot of coffee.

                  3. I buy a Mr Coffee and replace it every other year.

                    1. You don't say what features you're looking for. That would help to narrow down the suggestions to something appropriate.

                      For a standard-style auto drip maker, I'd 2nd la2tokyo's suggestion for a Zojiroshi Zutto. (Never used one myself, but Zojiroshi typically gets high marks.)

                      I've owned a TechniVorm KBTS drip maker for the past 7 yrs & it's been perfect for me. I expect it to last AT LEAST 20 yrs (hopefully longer), based on its reputation & robust build quality.

                      I've heard Costco has started carrying TechniVorm brewers at significantly lower cost than the typical online retailers. (But probably not the smaller KBTS model.)

                      I don't like lots of 'gadgets' on my coffee maker, so I can't recommend anything with clocks, timers, lights, calendars, remotes, display screens, alarms, radios or satellite/internet connections built in. By the same token, I won't (generally) recommend anything that hasn't been on the market long enough to justify whatever cost is being placed on it.

                      But that's just me....

                      1. Toddy cold drip. None of the bother and expense, and the best tasting coffee I've ever had. These days there is only one public location where I can drink the coffee, ours is so smooth and delicious.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: Enso

                          What is that?

                          1. re: CindyJ

                            http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                              I must hate coffee with the acids and oils removed, because I found the highly recommended Aeropress coffee to lack any flavor or characteristic of coffee I love. This method sounds as if it does the same. Have you used it, GHG?

                              1. re: mcf

                                I *adore* my Aeropress. But it takes some finesse to get the grind & water temp right for the best, most flavorful brew.

                                1. re: mcf

                                  The Aeropress tends to underextract when you follow the instructions that came with it. Leads to a very nutty-tasting and low-bitterness coffee. Many people like this, but it does remove some of the nuance of a coffee. I think following the instructions for an Aeropress is a pretty decent way to make an enjoyable cup from bad or mediocre beans.

                                  The Toddy (and cold-brewing in general) tends to exaggerate this. Very low in bitterness, very low in acid. When I work night shifts, this is great - you can drink several cups without making your stomach feel awful. But I wouldn't use a great and complex coffee for cold brewing.

                                  Back to the Aeropress - the great thing about it is you don't have to follow the instructions. By changing the grind size, changing the water temperature, changing the brewing time, changing the ratio of coffee to water, or by (sometimes) flipping the maker upside-down while brewing, you can control almost every aspect of the brewing and make coffee very precisely to your preferences. It's basically a poor man's Clover.

                                  Here are a few recipes just for an example:
                                  http://worldaeropresschampionship.wor...

                                2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                  Interesting. I always thought that the temperature of the water during the brewing process was one of the most important factors.

                            2. I can't imagine using anything other than my Aeropress for my morning cup - it makes truly fantastic coffee. It might be best to get a pour-over or French press for yourself, and a decent percolator (counter- or stove top) for when you have company.

                              9 Replies
                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                I have an Aeropress, and used it a few times, but never really got the hang of it. Like other brewing methods, I'm sure there's a learning curve regarding getting the right grind, water temperature and amount of coffee. I found I was using far more coffee than I thought I ought to be using for a cup I liked, so I packed it away. I hate the mess with the French press, but I really do enjoy the coffee.

                                1. re: CindyJ

                                  Exactly what I just said above to mcf - there is a learning curve with the Aeropress. The grind needs to be coarser than you'd expect and the water temp has to be right. I'm so accustomed to mine that I get a full-flavored cup with a beautiful crema on top every time. Of course it helps that my beans are always pretty fresh, and I grind them immediately before brewing.

                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                    Fresh beans "ground to order" are important, regardless of the brewing method. But I just found I was having to use considerably more coffee for a flavorful cup, so I kind of gave up on it.

                                    1. re: CindyJ

                                      I think the amount of coffee you have to use for a good cup really depends on the grind and your stirring & pressing methods. I don't need to use as much as they suggest to get a nice strong brew, but I definitely wasted some coffee early on before I mastered it. I can see how it might not seem worthwhile for some people to stick with it (though I'm very glad I did).

                                    2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                      I love the coffee I make with a pour over filter or my Technivorm. I miss the acid and the oils. No matter how strong I made it, how I adjusted with the Aeropress, it was a frustrating waste of very expensive coffee to me, when I already know how to make a great cup.

                                      1. re: mcf

                                        I found there was a learning curve with the Technivorm, too. One of the things I do is to close off the brew basket until the water in the reservoir is down to the "8" mark. That allows the coffee in the brew basket to "bloom." Then I open it and let it brew through to the carafe. Also, I preheat the carafe with boiling water, empty it and then place it into brewing position.

                                        1. re: CindyJ

                                          I always preheat the carafe, in winter anyway. Now that I've switched back to the Cater Profi carafe that came with it originally, my coffee stays hot hours longer than with the angular replacement I bought when the cap of the CP got damaged. I just got a new cap for it; I hate the angled carafe. I edited to indicate my issue was only with the Aeropress, which I hate.

                                          I used to stop the coffee that way and stir the slurry, but it got to be too much when I had to simultaneously feed and inject/medicate three cats at the same time and keep one of them from bolting the other two's food. My coffee's fine without the slower brew, though I agree your method is ideal.

                                        2. re: mcf

                                          No space on my counter or in my cabinets for a Technivorm, so I'm glad the Aeropress works for me!

                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                            It is a space saver, but so is a Melitta pour over or a small french press. You have a lot of company, I bought it based on reviews, couldn't even get rid of it at a yard sale. I just think that sort of "smoothness" isn't what some of our tastebuds are looking for.

                                  2. I really like my french press with a Brazilian coffee from Fairway which they grind for the press. My problem is that I can't seem to find a store that sells the replacement screens .I live on Long Island and their are scores of stores who sell the French Press but not the screens.I like to avoid buying online does anyone know a store here on Long Island ? Thanks

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: scunge

                                      Have you tried restaurant supply stores in your area? I've been buying almost everything online with better service and prices for two decades or so. I try to avoid hunting around by car or on foot. :-)

                                    2. I have a Bonavita BV1800 with thermal carafe.

                                      I used French press for 8 years and never thought I would switch. The Bonavita is almost as good as French press, but easier to clean.

                                      The Bonavita markets that they do the best job of having the water at the right temperature and having an equal distribution over the coffee grinds. After using this for six months, I think their claims are true.

                                      I've had a lot of coffee makers over the years that get the temperature wrong (esp. when you only make a single cup of coffee) and lead to a terrible cup. The Bonavita does it right every time.

                                      The main disadvantage with it is that it's slightly clumsy. You have to put the filter holder directly above the carafe, then swap it out after brewing to put the lid on. It's very no-frills.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: calumin

                                        Heat and best shower head distribution over grounds are what keep so many of us loyal to our Technivorms. The Bonavita you cite appears to have a very similar design.