Best coffee brewing solution for under $200?

Discussion in 'Community' started by jsw, Jul 5, 2004.

  1. jsw
    Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #1
    My brother's old coffee maker just died. It was ancient, and he and my sister-in-law are looking to get a new one.

    I'm assuming that at least one or two people on this thread brew coffee occasionally ;), so you all seem like a good group to ask for advice.

    They're looking to spend US$100 - $200 on a coffee maker that looks nice enough that they won't be embarrassed by keeping it on their counter (their last one was - I swear - a Mr Coffee that used to belong to my parents and which, I think, dated back to the Carter administration; they kept it put away when not in use). And that $100 - $200 must include a grinder, either separate or as part of the coffee maker. They'd also like a carafe/thermos, again, either separate or part of the coffee maker. They want at least a 10 cup capacity.

    I have this Cuisinart, which seems to be exactly what they want. I've had it for maybe 8 months, and love it. It's a bit of a pain to clean the built-in grinder, but I like it.

    However, I didn't shop all that much before I bought it, so I was wondering if anyone had any better ideas. It doesn't even have to be an automatic drip... but since my sister-in-law is involved in the decision, and since she's hated that Mr Coffee for years (why they didn't get a different one earlier is beyond me), the only "real" qualification (beyond a basic ability to brew coffee) is that it all needs to look good.

    Suggestions?
     
  2. &RU
    macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2004
    #2
    Oh man, I wanted the coffee maker you have, but decided to go with a separate grinder in the end. I went with separate a Delonghi grinder and coffee maker. The coffee maker is nice to look at but difficult to use - the hopper for the coffee grinds is very hard to open.

    Half the time I just use my Bialetti stove top 'mocha' coffee maker. It is shiny, easy to use, and the coffee is good and stiff.
     
  3. macrumors 603

    wordmunger

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #3
    I don't like the idea of an integrated grinder. Then if either the grinder or the coffee machine breaks, you're out the whole $200. I just bought the new grinder from Starbucks, the Barista Burr Grinder, which I love, but that would run about $120, leaving only $80 for the coffee pot. Of course, this Cuisinart is only $30.99, so they could probably easily buy a thermal carafe with the leftover money. Again, I'd recommend buying the carafe separately because a lot of the ones bundled with coffeemakers are inadequate.

    As an aside, I've read that the "mr-coffee" style coffee makers actually brew better coffee than the cooler-looking Krups-style cone shaped filter brewers. Something about all the coffee running through the bottom of the cone tasting bitter. I don't drink brewed coffee anymore, so I don't really have an opinion on that, though.
     
  4. jsw
    thread starter Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #4
    Yeah, agreed, but my wife's the one who bought it. At least, if the grinder goes, the coffee maker will work just fine. It's made to work with pre-ground coffee as well. And, surprisingly, the carafe keeps coffee warm seemingy forever. I'm a lot happier with the whole thing than I thought I would be.

    But I agree that separates are nice. The only two advantages to the all-in-one are: (1) no coffee grounds everywhere when you transfer from the grinder to the maker; and (2) waking up to fresh-ground coffee.

    ?? What do you grind? Or do you mean you don't use an automatic drip?

    Edit: and I covet that grinder, BTW. Nice to hear that it works as advertised!
     
  5. macrumors 68040

    MattG

    Joined:
    May 27, 2003
    Location:
    Fletcher, NC
    #5
    I love my Melitta...it makes the best coffee I've had from a home-brew coffee maker. Built in grinder & clock/timer.

    Linkage
     
  6. jsw
    thread starter Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #6
    Excellent suggestion - I think the left-over $40-$140 might be enough for them to buy a carafe. ;)
     
  7. macrumors 603

    wordmunger

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #7
    I have an espresso machine (the Starbucks Barista Athena), which generally I just use to make Americanos, though I occasionally drink a latte or a straight espresso. I like the smoother taste of an Americano compared to brewed coffee.
     
  8. macrumors P6

    wdlove

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    #8
    My wife and I both enjoy our morning Starbucks coffee. Fresh ground each morning. After our last brewer died, my wife purchased a Hot Press from Starbucks. It's quick and easy. It makes 20 ounces, so it's plenty for both of us. :)

    http://www.starbucks.com/retail/coffeePresses.asp
     
  9. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2003
  10. jsw
    thread starter Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #10
    Ah. Makes sense now!
     
  11. jsw
    thread starter Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #11
    Thanks for the tip - although 20 oz would just be a teaser for me, it might well be enough for my brother and his wife!
     
  12. jsw
    thread starter Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #12
    Excellent tips on coffee purchasing. Thanks!
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    poopyhead

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    Location:
    in the toe-jam of greatness (Fort Worth)
    #13
  14. macrumors 68020

    G4scott

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2002
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #14
    Hmm, well I have the $13 4-cup Mr. Coffee from walmart in my dorm room... I think I used it a total of 5 times last year... I'm not sure if I could spend $200 on a coffee maker... I'm cheap, and can take my coffee black, if need be.
     
  15. jsw
    thread starter Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #15
    I'd seen those - so they really are as good as they claim to be? What's the advantage over a French press - no need for anything external to boil the water? How about cleaning - no worse than a press?

    Maybe I'll just give my coffee maker to my brother and get one of these other cool solutions.... ;)
     
  16. macrumors 6502a

    poopyhead

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    Location:
    in the toe-jam of greatness (Fort Worth)
    #16
    the advantages over a french press are
    1. it is easier
    2. it is easier to clean
    3. better control over temperature and thus less bitterness
    4. it tastes better (at least to me)
    5. it looks much cooler and is fun to watch

    it comes with a set of cleaning brushes for the base to help reach into the hard to reach places
    but most of the time I just rinse it out and it is good to go
     
  17. jsw
    thread starter Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #17
    That's a good point. Coffee making is so boring - it'd be nice to actually make it fun to watch - maybe even my daughter would get into it....
     
  18. macrumors 68030

    Les Kern

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Location:
    Alabama
    #18
    Move close to a Starbucks, where $200 will get you about 75 Latte Grande's. Otherwise don't look too hard. As a hard-core coffee enthusiaist, most ANY drip model works fine, as it's the coffee you use, not the hot water it makes. If you send more than $50.00 on a drip model, it's a waste of money. For esspresso/latte machines, there is Krups and LOADS of others that do exactly the same thing. Again, too much money is extravegant to the point of, well, pointlessness.
    Buy good coffee.
     
  19. macrumors 68000

    MacFan25

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2003
    Location:
    USA
    #19
    That's the coffee maker that I use, though at most places it costs about $100, and I believe that's how much it was at the time of my purchase. I think it works really well, and it looks good too with the stainless steel look. The coffee it brews tastes great, but it may just be the good coffee that I usually buy from a local coffee shop. ;)

    Here it is on Amazon if you'd like to read some more reviews.
     
  20. macrumors 65816

    blue&whiteman

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    #20
    black&decker and braun both make great coffee makers both in quality and looks. a good braun 12 cup with a timer function and a good braun grinder will suit even the most picky of people. great looks and great coffee.
     
  21. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2002
    Location:
    Mountain View, California
    #21
    Buy a grinder for $20-$30 and an all-steel percolator for another $30 or so. (Percolators are them devices which you unscrew, fill the bottom part with water and the middle part with ground coffee, screw together, and put on a stove, then wait ten minutes to have two to four servings of tasty espresso in the top part.)
     
  22. macrumors 68040

    MattG

    Joined:
    May 27, 2003
    Location:
    Fletcher, NC
    #22
    Hehehe...look at this one woman's review of that coffee maker :)

    [​IMG]
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    at the end of the hall
    #23
    I bought a Krups grinder on sale at Kohl's for like $15, grinds great and easy to clean.

    I have the Bunn Thermal Carafe model. Fantastic. Brews in less than 4 minutes and keeps the water in a heated tank at the proper brewing temp, plus you can make tea in the basket and have instant hot water out of the tank.

    I do not like the makers with the hot plate for a glass carafe, as it burns the coffee after about 15 minutes, making it taste like ass, as well as the possibility that it may be unhealthy.
     
  24. macrumors 65816

    yamabushi

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    #24
    I agree that leaving your coffee to keep warm on a hot plate is a very bad idea. If you use a drip coffee maker then you shouldn't leave the finished coffee on the hot plate for more than one or two minutes as the flavor will rapidly worsen. If you need to save it for later than use an insulated container such as a Thermos bottle or chill the coffee in a cold fridge.

    I also agree with Santiago that a stovetop percolator is a great bargain. I think most make better tasting coffee than an automatic drip or even a french press.

    However using good quality coffee and filtered water many different methods can produce decent coffee.
     

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