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Need a new brewer, drip vs espresso?

This is a discussion on Need a new brewer, drip vs espresso? within the Coffee and Espresso Machines forums, part of the Coffee Addicts category; Greeting everyone. For the last few years my wife and I have been in the military and living in Germany. Out of convenience we have ...

  1. #1
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    Need a new brewer, drip vs espresso?

    Greeting everyone. For the last few years my wife and I have been in the military and living in Germany. Out of convenience we have been using a pod coffee maching, namely, the European version of the Senseo. The coffee is sub-par, but these machines are extremely popular over here and the pod selection can be overwhelming in some stores, so the machine was well suited for our lifestyle.

    Anyway..... The machine has been uncooperative lately, although still usable, but we are headed back to the states soon, and the unit is a 220v, so rather than fix it, we decided to get something new. We have a Zojirushi Zucco that we use when a fresh cup of coffee sounds appealing. However, I grind my own beans for the drip and it can be time consuming since I am using a Hario Skerton hand grinder, too time consuming for daily use. I used to roast my own beans, but I live in an apartment here and I doubt the neighbors would appreciate me roasting beans on the porch.
    So to replace the senseo and get decent coffee I need to purchase a new auto-grinder which is why I am considering just spending a bit more money and getting an auto-espresso. But i have a few questions.....

    Can an automatic espresso replace a drip for the morning cup?
    Espresso uses less beans per cup, correct? (this would help convince the wife it is cost efficient).
    Are there pros/cons of having an auto espresso over a drip?

    I am trying to research drip vs espresso online, but I think I am confusing myself more. My wife said she just wants a darn good cup of something in the morning, so she's no help.

    I don't want to keep using pods when we come back to the states, i prefer freshness over convenience as long as it is feasible.


    Thank you in advance for your help.

    P.S. I also have a Moka pot, a Chemex, and a french press, but find myself not using them, mornings here tend to be hectic with getting the kids off to school and everyone out to work.
    Last edited by jaystekan; 01-26-2013 at 07:39 AM.

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  3. #2
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    Please explain with a bit more detail what you consider "auto grinder and auto espresso"...

    Lots can be done with espresso and it can easily replace drip, etc. Espresso is quick (once equipment is warm, you have a good solid routine), efficient and fresh. FWIW commercially I phased out drip because it's simply inferior to espresso. Once you get people hooked on espresso and all the concoctions you can create with it most never look back.

    Amount of coffee used really depends on your equipment and taste preference. I normally use 16 grams per double shot from a semi-auto machine. I can use that 16 gram double shot to make 1 12-16 oz. Americano for my wife or could also use 16 grams of coffee to create TWO 8 oz. cups of drip. Super-autos (dose, grind, tamp, extract automatically) typically use 8-12 grams per extraction so less coffee would be used for that setup.

    For your lifestyle a super-auto may fit right in.
    I'm a legend among my own kind... you my friend are just a legend in your own mind. Later!

  4. #3
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    My apologies, when i meand auto-grinder, I meant a grinder that is simply push and it grinds, I am currently using a Skelton hand grinder, I guess an electric grinder would have been a better way to say it. I was simply trying to decide whether buying a Baratza grinder, a new coffee maker(I have been looking at a Moccamaster), or simply spending a bit more and going with a semi-auto espresso maching, I was eyeing the Delonghi Magnifica. I am leaning toward the convenience and ease of the espresso maker rather than upgrading my drip setup.

  5. #4
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    I'd say a decent Baratza grinder and Moccamaster would offer excellent drip coffee provided you feed the combo with good/fresh coffee & water. FWIW I have nothing but high praise for the Baratza Vario. Of course it's not cheap, but the grind performance is equal to grinders costing 2-3 times more and this is based on MY experience, not just something I've read.

    A semi-auto is where YOU grind, dose, tamp, extract ON/OFF manually.

    An automatic is the same except it will have some sort of mechanism to control the extraction, either by volume or time. You push a button and it extracts and stops on its own. Most can be programmed.

    A super automatic is what you're talking about in which you add water/coffee, turn it ON and push a button. The machine takes care of the rest. Simple, consistent, minimal fuss. Quality will certainly be lacking compared to a good semi-auto/grinder though.
    I'm a legend among my own kind... you my friend are just a legend in your own mind. Later!

  6. #5
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    I would suggest two things based on what you say your current lifestyle and coffee demands are.

    1- a Baratza Encore grinder. It's inexpensive but does a great job on the grind. It is versatile enough to handle anything from French Press to a decent espresso grind. You can upgrade to the fancier Baratza models if you have the budget.

    2- The MoccaMaster is a good option, but I think they are very overpriced. I can't stomach spending that much money on an automatic drip machine personally. I suggest either the BonaVita 8 cup machine with the thermal carafe. It competes very well with the MoccaMaster but for only about $150. Or, the new KitchenAid personal coffee maker. Honestly, I think the KA is the ticket for you. It can do from 6oz to 18oz. Brews at 200 degrees, comes with a nice gold tone filter. You can also use paper. Brews in about 2 minutes and you can't beat the price. Under $100 last I checked. In my opinion, it's the best alternative to the Keurig coffee makers that I have found. I have never liked the pod machines because of the cost, stale coffee, taste, etc. I have both the BonaVita and the KA and like them both when I'm too busy to manual brew.

 

 

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