Coffee makers...

What type of coffee maker do you perfer?

  • French Press

    Votes: 12 27.9%
  • Vaccumm

    Votes: 1 2.3%
  • Filter Drip

    Votes: 13 30.2%
  • Other

    Votes: 17 39.5%

  • Total voters
    43

waloshin

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Oct 9, 2008
3,182
69
Have you ever used a vacuum or french press coffee maker?

If so why are they better or worse than a drip coffee maker?
 
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RRutter

macrumors 6502
Jan 1, 2008
380
0
Austin, TX
I drink Coffee about once every 2 weeks, when I'm having a very slow morning. I've always been intrigued with a French Press, but voted Filter Drip because that's how my coffee machine operates, and it tastes phenom. What are the advantages of the French Press?
 

elistan

macrumors 6502a
Jun 30, 2007
997
443
Denver/Boulder, CO
Mornings at home - drip.
Easy to stumble into the kitchen in the morning and turn it on, then stumble into the shower to start getting ready.

Afternoons at work - Keurig K-cup.
Convenient, single serving, and no cleanup.

Camping - french press.
No electricity required.
 

robanga

macrumors 68000
Aug 25, 2007
1,657
1
Oregon
Drip coffee maker for big pots

Kuerig for the convenience - I find myself using the K about 80% of the time now.
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
50,864
34,371
The Far Horizon
Depending on my mood, how much coffee I want, how strong I want it, and how much time I have to make it, my morning coffee varies between making it with a French press (very convenient, especially if I want more than a cup), the drip method, or, sometimes, an espresso pot.
 

Shrink

macrumors G3
Feb 26, 2011
8,931
1,606
New England, USA
I fall in the "other" category. I only drink espresso, so mine is a pump espresso machine.

Probably should note that I am on the lunatic fringe when it comes to coffee...I roast my own beans! :eek: :D
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
50,864
34,371
The Far Horizon
I fall in the "other" category. I only drink espresso, so mine is a pump espresso machine.

Probably should note that I am on the lunatic fringe when it comes to coffee...I roast my own beans! :eek: :D
A pump espresso machine? Which one? I am impressed.

When I want to drink espresso at home, my ancient, battered, trusty, much used and also, it must be said, much loved (it was a gift from my godmother ages ago - two decades ago - from a trip to Italy) Bialetti espresso pot is pressed into action. Actually, come to think of it, my somewhat battered French press was also a treasured gift from a close friend. I have many beautiful coffee pots (and an exquisite porcelain espresso pot) which I never seem to use, preferring these battered much used antiques instead......

Strange, in some ways. I suppose it is that these are gifts I use (as I really like my coffee) given with love by people I loved.......
 

zhenya

macrumors 604
Jan 6, 2005
6,669
3,269
Both vacuum and french press coffee makers can produce very good cups of coffee that is different than what you typically get from a drip maker. Since neither typically use a paper filter, they will tend to have more sediment in the cup which produces a heavier 'body' to the brew. Whether or not you like this is up to the individual.

Having owned nearly every kind of brewing contraption in existence over the years, my personal favorite is French Press, followed by Chemex, followed by a good drip maker with a gold filter rather than paper. The press allows very fine control over the brewing process as you control water temp, grind, and extraction time, allowing for full control over the process. I happen to really like the extra body that press coffee gives as well.

I have owned several vacuum makers, but never fallen in love. I think they put on a great show, but find them finicky to use and I've never loved the cup that I get from them. The idea is sound in that the water temperature should be perfect when brewing this way, but again, in practice I've never loved them.

The Chemex is a very simple design that produces a very clean cup while also giving you excellent control over the brewing cycle. A cheap pour-over cone and filter can give you 98% of this for pennies on the dollar.
 

Shrink

macrumors G3
Feb 26, 2011
8,931
1,606
New England, USA
A pump espresso machine? Which one? I am impressed.

When I want to drink espresso at home, my ancient, battered, trusty, much used and also, it must be said, much loved (it was a gift from my godmother ages ago - two decades ago - from a trip to Italy) Bialetti espresso pot is pressed into action. Actually, come to think of it, my somewhat battered French press was also a treasured gift from a close friend. I have many beautiful coffee pots (and an exquisite porcelain espresso pot) which I never seem to use, preferring these battered much used antiques instead......

Strange, in some ways. I suppose it is that these are gifts I use (as I really like my coffee) given with love by people I loved.......
First, even if you consider "upgrading" to a more modern machine, please let me suggest you still use, for nostalgia sake, your much traveled espresso pot. It may not make the greatest espresso, but the emotional attachment is worth a lot.

Now, as to my machine...it is a Gaggia Baby Class. I'm very pleased with it. Two suggestions: first, if the budget is tight, spend your money on the best beans you can afford (I highly recommend illy beans dark roast, , whole or pre-ground). In descending order of importance in making espresso:
the beans
the grinder
the proper tamp pressure
the machine

Second; you don't have to start with a more expensive machine. A very good entry level machine is the De Longhi Retro, also a pump machine. I've had several De Longhi's...not the greatest, but always rated very highly in it's price range...full price about $200, but you can get it for about $100 (try Amazon). The De Longhi meets all the basic requirements for making espresso, most importantly it generates 15 bars of pressure. I used an entry level machine for years before I took a small step up to the Gaggia. The Gaggia is far from a top level machine, but all I could afford.

I hasten to add that everything said above is just my (reasonably informed) opinion. Others of good will and reason might well challenge my opinions...pay attention to what they suggest, too.:D
 

TomCat

macrumors member
Jul 12, 2000
32
1
It's not the coffee, its the shot of Bailey's Caramel I put in it. That makes any coffee about 10,000% better.
 

lewis82

macrumors 68000
Aug 26, 2009
1,708
11
Totalitarian Republic of Northlandia


When you guys are talking about drip coffee, I hope you're refering to this... ;) No need for any machines when you can just boil water and pour it.

For the record I do not drink coffee regularly, but when I do, I use a drip filter like this. Takes a lot less space and gives excellent results compared to the crap that comes out of coffee makers.
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,741
146
Keurig for the work days and Chemex for the weekends. Often at work I get distracted and my coffee gets cold so wasting great beans and a crafty brew on that seems silly.
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
50,864
34,371
The Far Horizon
First, even if you consider "upgrading" to a more modern machine, please let me suggest you still use, for nostalgia sake, your much traveled espresso pot. It may not make the greatest espresso, but the emotional attachment is worth a lot.

Now, as to my machine...it is a Gaggia Baby Class. I'm very pleased with it. Two suggestions: first, if the budget is tight, spend your money on the best beans you can afford (I highly recommend illy beans dark roast, , whole or pre-ground). In descending order of importance in making espresso:
the beans
the grinder
the proper tamp pressure
the machine

Second; you don't have to start with a more expensive machine. A very good entry level machine is the De Longhi Retro, also a pump machine. I've had several De Longhi's...not the greatest, but always rated very highly in it's price range...full price about $200, but you can get it for about $100 (try Amazon). The De Longhi meets all the basic requirements for making espresso, most importantly it generates 15 bars of pressure. I used an entry level machine for years before I took a small step up to the Gaggia. The Gaggia is far from a top level machine, but all I could afford.

I hasten to add that everything said above is just my (reasonably informed) opinion. Others of good will and reason might well challenge my opinions...pay attention to what they suggest, too.:D
Thanks for this detailed and thoughtful reply.

Of course, I shall continue to use my battered and much loved coffee making pots and espresso pots - the emotional/psychological satisfaction I get from using them (thoughtful and treasured gifts from people I love, who knew of my love of coffee) is considerable.

Any thoughts on which beans - or which combination of beans - to use? And, indeed, more relevantly, any advice to offer on the question of a grinder (which is a purchase I have in mind)? I'd also be interested to hear what you have to say about tamp pressure.

I've just returned from two months in the Caucasus where I was observing an election, and had the experience of my personal staff - and the owner (and subsequently, staff) of the small hotel where I stayed for a few weeks watching, slack-jawed with mesmerised amazement, while I made LavAzza coffee (bought in the capital), in a French press (also bought in the capital), for my breakfast, and for our own drinking during morning meetings.

Actually, their reaction brought back memories of my own stunned and awed amazement as a teenager on my first visit to France. Anyway, I taught my personal staff how to make this coffee, and also, taught the hotel owner (and also his staff) how to make this coffee....
 

twietee

macrumors 603
Jan 24, 2012
5,298
1,557
(...)if the budget is tight, spend your money on the best beans you can afford (I highly recommend illy beans dark roast, , whole or pre-ground). ...
....there can never be enough exquisite coffee-threads around here.


Because we discussed it before: as i stepped into the supermarked after the last suggestions regarding 100% arabica, surprisingly no Illy beans available :)eek: - my foundations were shaken, did I just show off?!) so I got Segafredo 100% Arabica as Lavazza didn't provide those. Well, I have to say that it's very likely the first and also the last time I bought Segafredo. Anyone in need of ≈1000g coffee beans?

+1 for the Bialetti - it's a welcomed ritual I don't want to miss during my precious and numerous coffee breaks!
 

Shrink

macrumors G3
Feb 26, 2011
8,931
1,606
New England, USA
Thanks for this detailed and thoughtful reply.

Of course, I shall continue to use my battered and much loved coffee making pots and espresso pots - the emotional/psychological satisfaction I get from using them (thoughtful and treasured gifts from people I love, who knew of my love of coffee) is considerable.

Any thoughts on which beans - or which combination of beans - to use? And, indeed, more relevantly, any advice to offer on the question of a grinder (which is a purchase I have in mind)? I'd also be interested to hear what you have to say about tamp pressure.

I've just returned from two months in the Caucasus where I was observing an election, and had the experience of my personal staff - and the owner (and subsequently, staff) of the small hotel where I stayed for a few weeks watching, slack-jawed with mesmerised amazement, while I made LavAzza coffee (bought in the capital), in a French press (also bought in the capital), for my breakfast, and for our own drinking during morning meetings.

Actually, their reaction brought back memories of my own stunned and awed amazement as a teenager on my first visit to France. Anyway, I taught my personal staff how to make this coffee, and also, taught the hotel owner (and also his staff) how to make this coffee....
Since I roast my own coffee, I no longer buy pre-roasted beans. (Notice how I casually slipped that "roast my own coffee" thing in there :p). When I was buying pre-roasted, I was very partial to illy dark roast whole bean, or any illy coffee. It's 100% Arabica, no Robusta, as some Lavazza has. Some people like a small percentage of Robusta in their espresso blends because it pumps up the crema...I highly recommend illy brand.

As for a grinder:

Under no circumstances, on penalty of death, but one of those chopper things. Never, ever.

Go for a BURR grinder, preferably a conical burr grinder.

Get one with at least 25-30 settings...it allows some fine changes that make a lot of difference. Also allows for very coarse (french press) to very fine (espresso) grind. I have a Rancilio Rocky Grinder which has 55 settings. I'm very pleased with it.

As for tamping...that depends on you espresso machine. My Gaggia is best with a very gentle tamp, while other machines recommend 30-50 pounds tamp pressure. It all depends on your machine.

Finally,IMO, the gold standard of all coffee information websites: http://www.sweetmarias.com
It has a Library and is a gold mine of information.
 

snipper

macrumors regular
Feb 9, 2004
202
23
I agree with Shrink's list, I'd add filtered water to it though.

I used to have a coffee pad machine. When it broke down, earlier this year, I bought an espresso machine that has a grinder build in. I wanted one since I tasted a fresh grinded espresso 10 years ago, but they were around $2000 back then... It's a Siemens EQ5, my neighbor had a similar model, and meanwhile it was 'only' around $500 (I live in the Netherlands so I have no idea whether they sell it in the US). I'm not a coffee expert but the taste is so much better. Freshly grinded coffee has so much more taste.

Impressed about this (and how easy it was), I then wondered how much further I could take it.. Why not roast them yourself? I joked to a friend. I found out on youTube that it was quite easy and inexpensive, so I tried it.

If you roast them yourself it's even another step up the ladder. Again, I'm not a connoisseur or anything, but I know what tastes good :)

You can buy green beans online, they're not expensive. Professional roasters are, but a $25 popcorn machine also does the trick.

-
Another difference you can taste is: if you use filtered water. I mean filtered with an 'active' filter that removes most of the chalk. Pre-heating your cup can't hurt either.
-
Then I tried soya milk instead of 'cow milk'. I think this is softens the taste while keeping it more coffee-like.
-
The last 'upgrade' I did was, when I started using fresh soya milk, instead of soya milk that is pasteurized to make my cappuccino's. I know, I know, real coffee fanatics drink it pure…


PS
never heard of vacuum coffee.. had to look it up. Very creative I must say.
 
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