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Hello from a confused newbie

Donsell

New member
Jan 22, 2022
2
0
Lincoln, Ne USA
Hey all. I'm new here.

I decided that I was tired of the bad coffee I was getting from my KitchenAid drip machine. I've spent the last couple of weeks working to improve this by descaling, buying better coffee and using better water. I measure the coffee, grind it myself in a cheap blade grinder, and make only one 16oz batch at a time so it doesn't sit on the warming tray. It's better, but there is still a lot of room for improvement.

So I've been trying to figure out what I should do. I don't know if should invest in a better grinder and see how much that helps the KitchenAid and then move to something like a Gaggia Classic Pro if I want something better, or should I consider a super-automatics? The ease of pressing a button intrigues me, but I don't want to drop $1000 and be dissatisfied with the results.

Or should I try the other end and get a grinder and a pour over or Aeropress?

So if you were in my place and could afford to spend $1000-$1200 on something but wanted to be frugal and smart, what path would you take?

I like strong, rich coffee. I don't drink many milk drinks, but would probably if I could make them easily from home.

Great to meet you all and appreciate the advice!
 

Musicphan

Well-known member
May 11, 2014
1,596
34
Kansas City
Well - the first thing you need to determine is if you want to drink drip or espresso-based drinks. If you're looking at espresso the upper end of your price range will get you a decent setup. When you go espresso you will have to continue to buy fresh coffee. Once the coffee is a month or so old espresso extraction can be lacking. You're looking at $500 or so for a grinder / $1500 on a machine (granted multiple options but that's generalized pricing).

On the other - you can do drip coffee pretty great with minimal cost and investment. A good grinder will set you back $125-$300 (look at Baratza) and a good brewers will cost you between $25 for a Clever Brewer, up to $3-400 for a Technovirm. If you go the brewer route - take a look at this list of brewers:

 
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Donsell

New member
Jan 22, 2022
2
0
Lincoln, Ne USA
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
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Well - the first thing you need to determine is if you want to drink drip or espresso-based drinks. If you're looking at espresso the upper end of your price range will get you a decent setup. When you go espresso you will have to continue to buy fresh coffee. Once the coffee is a month or so old espresso extraction can be lacking. You're looking at $500 or so for a grinder / $1500 on a machine (granted multiple options but that's generalized pricing).

On the other - you can do drip coffee pretty great with minimal cost and investment. A good grinder will set you back $125-$300 (look at Baratza) and a good brewers will cost you between $25 for a Clever Brewer, up to $3-400 for a Technovirm. If you go the brewer route - take a look at this list of brewers:

Thank you Musicphan. I'm still figuring out what my next step should be. I think it should be to get a better grinder and I'd get one that would let me pull my own espresso in the future. But if I do that and decided to get a superautomatic in the future it would come with a grinder.
 

Musicphan

Well-known member
May 11, 2014
1,596
34
Kansas City
Thank you Musicphan. I'm still figuring out what my next step should be. I think it should be to get a better grinder and I'd get one that would let me pull my own espresso in the future. But if I do that and decided to get a superautomatic in the future it would come with a grinder.
Keep in mind espresso grinders are different than drip grinders... they are designed to grind very small particles and aren't the best for grinding drip.
 

JeffD

Member
Jan 27, 2022
37
10
Upstate New York
I think the very first thing to do, before investing big money, is to double check the ratio of water to coffee you are making in your drip machine. I discovered (laugh at me, because I am) that I was way off for many years. Turns out I like 16/1 and have to remember that a coffee cup is 6 oz. (??).

Once I got the ratio right my drip coffee machine made really superior coffee, and I was more content and easy to live with. (While I saved for the high end paraphernalia.)
 

addertooth

Member
May 30, 2022
33
2
Arizona
One less expensive method for you to play with will be Pour-Over coffee.
You can get a basic Bodum pour over for about 30 bucks or less, and get a
regulated temperature (long narrow spout) kettle for around 70 bucks.

Many people tend to prefer (translate as rave over) pour-over coffee.
I think you will find that the Cuisinart burr grinders are a big step up over
blade coffee choppers by a wide margin. You may eventually outgrow it,
but for now it will be a big step up from what you are using. They are about
60 bucks at Walmart and other sources.

I am considering a Espresso machine at this time, but Space is the final frontier.
My kitchen is suffering from "too many doo-dads syndrome".
 

CupaGil

New member
May 21, 2022
9
1
Southeast USA
Thank you Musicphan. I'm still figuring out what my next step should be. I think it should be to get a better grinder and I'd get one that would let me pull my own espresso in the future. But if I do that and decided to get a superautomatic in the future it would come with a grinder.
The Least expensive good automatic espresso machines with built-in grinder start around $1000 and go up from there..
I have an automatic mid-range price and love the convenience and coffee. Now hooked on milk drinks.
 

JeffD

Member
Jan 27, 2022
37
10
Upstate New York
I would spend way under $500 total and get a good burr grinder, a kitchen scale, and a V-60 pour over. Paper filters and beans. You can get a goose neck kettle, but Hario makes a very inexpensive pouring cup called the "Air" that is under $30, and pretty ugly, but works really well.

Save the rest of the money. Spending more than $500 will not get you better coffee. It might add to the convenience factor, or the maybe the fancy and cool factor, but for under $500 total you can have great coffee. As they used to say "better coffee a millionaire's money can't buy".
 
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