Looking for a new coffee machine...suggestions?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by thedeejay, Nov 17, 2015.

  1. thedeejay macrumors 65816

    thedeejay

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    Toronto, Canada.
    #1
    So I'm in the market for a new coffee machine. I currently have a Black & Decker coffee machine that requires filters and grounded coffee beans in order to brew coffee. It is towards the end of it's life (lasted 5 years and was only $25) and I'm thinking of getting a new machine. I want a machine that has the ability to brew coffee beans but can also use K-Cups if I wanted and is highly reliable. Is there such a device? Fellow MR community and coffee lovers, advice is appreciated.

    deejay
     
  2. Zenithal macrumors 68040

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    #2
    Cuisineart, KitchenAid and Hamilton Beach make decent combo machines. Keyword being decent. When it comes to kitchen stuff, a Swiss army knife isn't great.
     
  3. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #3
    Why don't you post this in the 'espresso enthusiasts' thread? You'll find a lot of (experienced and knowledgeable) coffee lovers dropping in there and they may have - indeed, most certainly, will have - ideas and thoughts and recommendations to offer.

    Myself, I don't have a coffee machine, so I can't really advise you about this; I use either a pour over ceramic filter, or a French Press, - and occasionally, a Bialetti moka pot for when I wish to make espresso.
     
  4. Zenithal macrumors 68040

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    #4
    To be honest, he/she may have been off put by our lively discussion of frommage. Anyway, coffee makers are incredibly hit or miss. Especially combo units like the one the OP is looking for. I think you should just buy a Keurig machine and a French press. It offers the best flavor extraction. They're incredibly easy to clean. they take the least time.

    Ideally I'd say any french press that uses borosilicate glass and stainless steel innards will be fine. You'll want the mesh edge to also be folded over and stamped flat, and not openly frayed like some brands. The frays trap grounds. Surprisingly, Ikea makes a decent French press. We actually have a one, but we use it for steeping certain loose leaf teas that are a pain to clean out of a teapot. They also have a gorgeous short spout teapot the size of a human head in ivory colored ceramic. Mine was made in Finland. It holds enough for 8 8 fl. oz cups or if you use traditional tea cups, about 11 6 fl. oz cups.

    Also, since it's the holidays and you'll be buying coffeemakers and other doodads, I'd suggest picking this up. They're fantastic save for the paint peel.

    http://www.amazon.com/Thermos-Stainless-16-Ounce-Leak-Proof-Midnight/dp/B002PY7AYS/

    The Zojos don't come close.
     
  5. shinji macrumors 65816

    shinji

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    #5
  6. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #6
    Well, I have a Le Creuset French Press, and it is excellent; I have also had a Bialetti one which was extremely good.

    Anyway, @SwitchFX gives good advice - well worth heeding - on the issue of the mesh edge, and not wanting it to be frayed.
     
  7. Zenithal macrumors 68040

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    #7
    Now you see, when I read your post yesterday about a ceramic French press, I thought that was strange but figured it was a bespoke item. Coincidntally, hours later I noticed Le Creuset in the coffee thread under the French press section. Sadly the link was dead and I didn't bother looking for a working link. And now that I have.... I really wish I hadn't seen your post. I think the one in tan would be a wonderful tea infuser, and quite stylish.

    But yes, as far as the mesh goes, replacement meshes are available depending on the manufacturer or third-party. Ideally if you must physically clean the mesh to rid it from oils, you'll want a sponge that doesn't shred or pill. Something like a plastic brillo pad. For years I'd use 1-2 drops of bleach solution in a quart or two of hot water and leave everything save for the plastic base insides. And then wash it well the next morning. However, I realized I'd use citric acid powder (available at a grocer or spice market) as a descaler in our general coffee machine for years and remembered how fresh it made the pot. And how it removed oils. So that is what I use now. And it works fabulously to remove that nasty coffee scent from old oil residue. Also works great on carafes or general thermoses.

    Now if you purchase from Seattle Coffee Gear, they sell a lovely pack of micro-filters for presses. When I bought my pack, I think it was 380 ct. but it's less now. Regardless, they make cleanup a breeze at the cost of losing a bit of flavor.

    Ideally, any French press will do. I'd recommend buying a really good one for coffee, and a cheaper but still good one for tea infusing. Tell you the truth, the Ikea unit far exceeds the quality and no BS Bodum gave me in the past with their pitiful products.
     
  8. Scepticalscribe, Nov 18, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2015

    Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #8
    Well, the OP was looking for a coffee machine, a topic on which I am unable to offer any assistance.

    However, as for a French Press, well, having had my lovely Le Creuset French Press (the raspberry coloured one) for a few years, - and thoroughly enjoyed the simple pleasure of just using it every time I wish to make a pot of coffee, I think I can offer some guidance on this matter.

    It is robust, easily cleaned, looks superb and makes great coffee. What is there not to like?

    As for the sentence that you wrote which I have bolded, what can I say? Nothing, really, other than the suggestion that I believe that your life will be immeasurably enhanced if you purchase one, (as mine was)…..
     
  9. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #9
    Well, I'll be honest. If money was absolutely no object (and I am quite extraordinarily profligate in such matters), I would probably buy one of the La Marzocca machines, the GS/3 or - perhaps better still, for my circumstances - the Linea Mini.

    However, all of the aficionados on the espresso enthusiasts thread stress how important it is to have an excellent grinder, of at least the quality of the coffee press. Above all, they stress that it must be a burr grinder.
     
  10. thedeejay, Nov 20, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2015

    thedeejay thread starter macrumors 65816

    thedeejay

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    #10
    Thanks for all your replies. I found a KEURIG 2.0 K300 but only takes KCUPS. Is on sale for "Pre-Black Friday" sale for $130. Shinji, so the Keurig reusable cup you posted allows you to put in your own coffee beans? Am I understanding that correctly. Would I still need a filter? Much appreciated
     
  11. Zenithal macrumors 68040

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    #11
    No. You grind your own coffee and pack it in the reusable. Having drunk several Keurig stuff, I'd say it isn't worth the money. Let me explain something in plain English, not to demean you or anyone. Of all the electronic gadgetry, kitchen equipment isn't... highly tested. It is rare you'll find a coffee maker that has a decent backing in terms of positive reviews on any site. The highest I've seen is 70% for 5*s and more for the other in the 2-3 range. The unfortunate truth is that you'll see similar issues with low grade or even prosumer espresso machines. My suggestion would be to spend 2-3 days and do enough research to get the right machine the first time, and not buy the first thing that catches your eye.

    I'm still on the lookout for a really high quality drip machine with gold tone, easy to fill with water, programmable, etc. and has a stainless steel tank and thermal carafe and such. The issue is, it doesn't exist and if it does in some fashion with major differences, it sucks in terms of quality.
     
  12. Plutonius macrumors 603

    Plutonius

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    #12
    Skip the machine and use instant coffee.
     
  13. D.T. macrumors 603

    D.T.

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    #13
    If you're just looking to drink some coffee, if you like Duncan's or SB's, want it quick and convenient, a Keurig will be fine for many people. Honestly, the reusable filter isn't really all that convenient, and if you're going to the trouble to actually grind some fresh beans, you should go with a French Press, Aeropress or even a Chemex. In fact, you could do both: get a sub-$100 Keurig and for $30-40 all of the brewing systems I mentioned will be _so_ much better, and when you've got the time, even if it's on the weekends, pull out the <alt_brewer>. :)

    IMG_8191.JPG

    Rarely used K75 in the background ... most delicious coffee ever via a large Chemex up front :D
     
  14. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #14
    Very good post.

    For years, knowing that I love coffee, friends and others (including some academic colleagues) used to recommend those drip machines you have just mentioned.

    Staying in flats, on one occasion housesitting for a boss, and so on, I actually got to use quite a variety of them in the last 90s and early years of the millennium. Now, the main reason I never bought one is that I never - as @SwitchFX so rightly says - found one that was good enough.

    For one thing, they seems to have been poorly made. But that wasn't their main problem: I never saw a drip machine which managed to produce coffee at much above a lukewarm temperature - the coffee simply wasn't hot enough. And the coffee wasn't good enough. They and horrible coffee.

    A ceramic drip cone, (I use the one from Hario), and paper filters, or a French Press both guarantee excellent results, nice, hot coffee, and are forgiving and relatively foolproof, and allow you to make high quality coffee (if high quality coffee is what you buy).
     
  15. Zenithal macrumors 68040

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    #15
    There are quite a few machines that put out 205-210 degree liquid gold. The unfortunate issue is that they're very cumbersome to use. So they may have all the things I'm looking for, but if they're horrid, they're horrid. Kind of like the Silvia and its quirks that get resolved with each "version."

    Though as far as the best basic machines go, I had to say Mr. Coffee. And by basic I mean a mere on/off switch and an add-on gold tone filter. That's it. There is the issue of the non-stick heating plate deteriorating over time due to the coffee's acidity. Which is a fault with any drip machine. Hence why a thermal carafe model is better as there is no heating plate.

    What I like about stainless steel is there is no taste if water was left sitting in the machine overnight or for a few days unlike plastic tanks. A SS tank is also easier to peer into, where the common black plastic is difficult to look into without the aid of a flashlight (or torch for our English friends).
     
  16. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #16
    Ah, no, @Plutonius - no, not really. Even in jest, this does not stand up to objective examination and subjective tasting There is simply no comparison whatsoever between the quality one can obtain by using instant coffee and the coffee one can make using the real stuff. None.

    Actually, @D.T. - the Chemex makes a stunning cup of coffee.

    For what it s worth, I have been mulling over buying one for a while. My only real reason for holding off is that it requires bait more work (and concentration) than do either the French Press or the Bialetti moka pot, or the Hario dripper. But, it yes, agreed, the coffee is superb when you use a Chemex.
     
  17. Zenithal macrumors 68040

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    #17
    That's the only reason I never got into those. Too much hassle to make a few cups. The Bodum SS 18/8 French Presses are fantastic. Heavy though.
     
  18. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #18
    Well, I used to have a Bialetti French Press (stainless steel and glass); it was excellent, utterly reliable and made terrific coffee. I donated it to a colleague when my time there ended.

    As you know, I have a Le Creuset French Press now; it is idiot proof, looks stunning, keeps the coffee warm for ages, makes great coffee, and is an absolute doddle - as in, is extremely easy - to use. I can't praise it highly enough.
     
  19. D.T. macrumors 603

    D.T.

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    #19
    The process is actually pretty darn simple, and having used/owned a few "press methods", a bit of it is the same:

    - Grind beans
    - Heat water

    Then the slight deviation:

    Drop in pre-folded filtered, a small splash of water, add coffee, and it's 3-4 pours. Once the water is heated (which is required for press or Chemex) it's ~3-4 minutes till it's ready.

    Upside on the backside: toss filter and you're cleaned up (well, a 20 seconds rinse after it's all consumed) :) The big Chemex is *50* ounces, so you can make plenty, and it sits nicely on a glass top burner so it's easy to keep it hot.
     
  20. Zenithal, Nov 20, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2015

    Zenithal macrumors 68040

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    #20
    50 oz at 6 oz/cup or the "American" 8 oz? The Bodum Bepo or whatever it's called looks interesting, but I couldn't help but notice the very thin glass.

    I was wondering what the inside looked liked. Specifically the plunger assembly. Is it difficult to clean? My experience with some of their stoneware is that they can stain easily due to hard/concentrated tannins.
     
  21. shinji macrumors 65816

    shinji

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    #21
    If you buy pre-ground coffee beans, you simply put that in the reusable cup, that's it. It functions as a reusable filter.

    Unless you're actually grinding freshly roasted beans, I don't see the benefit in getting a French Press. It's just not worth cleaning two devices to put Dunkin' Donuts or Maxwell House through one.

    Keurigs are extremely low maintenance and fast. Those are their selling points. The My K-Cup reusable filter is primarily designed to give you the Keurig convenience without having to pay for K-cups. It's not really for the type of coffee drinker who wants to chat about brewing temperature, single origin beans, etc.
     
  22. Plutonius macrumors 603

    Plutonius

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    #22
    I don't drink coffee so I can't comment on the taste :D.

    Are you joining the new WW game ?
     
  23. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #23
    Debating it. How many players are sought? If it is a simple game, they may need to put a cap - of, say twelve, allowed to sign up - for it to be fair, and yet competitive.
     
  24. thedeejay thread starter macrumors 65816

    thedeejay

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    #24
    This is my ideal goal. To just put Maxwell or Tim Horton's pre-grounded coffee beans into a machine before work in the morning and have it as my morning coffee. I don't have much time in the morning so need a quick option to my current setup. It's been great but has past it's time and needs replacement. The way it was earlier was perfectly fine for my needs. Just needed some suggestions / options and many of the members here have provided some great alternatives!
     
  25. Gutwrench macrumors 65816

    Gutwrench

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    #25
    I'm very happy with my Keurig. You can brew your own ground bean using an adapter.
     

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