Help on choosing coffee maker

Mstansbury

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Jan 20, 2019
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Hey guys. I’m not a barista or anything. Just a regular joe who likes his coffee. I’ve googling and searching and it seems I can’t find anything consistent. So here’s a little back story to help with helping me find a coffee maker. I work a 12 hour shift and I live about an hour away from work. So on my days to work I take my 30oz yeti and jam 3 prepacked k kups in it if I don’t have time to use my refillable Kuerig filter thing. However I live alone so it isn’t feasible for me to make a 12 cup pot on my days off. I’ve been wanting to get a nice coffee maker that I could potentially replace my keurig and my drip maker with(when I take my thermos). I’m really interested in the grind and brew systems. A long time ago I was given an espresso style grind and brew with the frother thing on the side. I never used the frother but the coffee was always rich bold and so fresh tasting. Unfortunately that thing died about a year and a half ago. I’ve been looking at the cuisinart 900-BC but I’ve read a lot of mixed reviews on it. Plus it’s kind of hard when I’m by myself and I just want a good cup or two to have to brew a whole pot. I hope to hear something back soon. My kuerigs pump is starting to get loud which is why I’m in the market for a good coffee maker. I’ve considered just getting a good burr grinder but a grind and brew one would make things a lot easier for me and my lifestyle
 

Musicphan

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May 11, 2014
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I'm a big fan of the Bonavita 1900... its a 8 cup (40oz) brewer but it works great for half batches as well. I typically use mine around 20oz and it makes almost two mugs. Last I checked the version wit the thermal craft was around $130-$140. Invest in a grinder as well - the Baratza Encore is an excellent grinder at $130. It may seem expensive but when you consider the cost of the k-cups you can quickly 'break even' moving to a nice drip setup.
 
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Mstansbury

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Would you say the importance of a good cup is based more off of fresh ground beans or more on the coffee maker? Or both equally important? I have had fresh ground that I’ve made with my single serve Keurig that was very good. I chalked it up to the beans being ground less than a day before. If that’s the case I may opt for a cheaper single serve and buy a nice grinder.
 

sidpost

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Jan 21, 2019
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Texas, USA
Zojirushi ZUTTO® Coffee Maker EC-DAC50

This 5 cup machine works exceptionally well for a tradition cup of 'drip' coffee if you use good beans, or even regular pedestrian grade beans.

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Bodum Pour Over

This works exceptionally well with a goose-neck water kettle and good beans. It also avoids the Chemex paper filters used in their pour overs.

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The Gaggia Classic espresso machine is a good entry level espresso machine if you choose to go that route. At ~$350 street, it is about as cheap as you can go and still get a decent espresso machine. Illy preground coffee works really well for my palate.



Grinders ... only consider burr grinders unless you like to tinker and babysit your grinder.
A Baratza Sette 270 will set you back ~$400 but, is really where I would start as an entry point to make it worthwhile to grind my own beans. That plus the cost of beans will buy a ton of ILLY preground coffee. I doubt you drink enough to make a grinder worthwhile 'economically'. Quality small cans like ILLY are where I think you will find good coffee at a reasonable price-point.
 

Musicphan

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May 11, 2014
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Well without fresh coffee beans you will never get the best cup of coffee possible... so I guess beans are the most important but they somewhat go hand-in-hand. Second is using the proper amount of coffee & water. Third is having the equipment that can brew property (I.E. - the right temp). K-cups somewhat fail on all aspects but I get the easy button aspect of a k-cup.
 
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Mstansbury

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Yea I agree. The k cups are okay at best. But being I take a 30 oz cup everyday I think a nice drip brewer that I could program to start would be perfect. I really would like to have a combo grind and brew system to save on counter top room and make my morning much simpler. However I think finding one machine to suit both my needs is going to be impossible. I’m going to do a bit more research on these Brewers
 
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Mstansbury

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Okay I have done some searching and have found the Breville 650BSS to be perfect for my situation as it grinds and brews but also does single serves by using immersion and also full carafes. It’s a bit pricey sadly. And I’ve read mixed reviews but most of them I read I think stem from neglect of proper maintenance. Have you heard of this unit??
 

Musicphan

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May 11, 2014
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I'm not personally a fan of all-in-ones . Especially if you want to explore different brewing styles. For example, I like my Bonavita for drip, but when I just want to make 1 cup I use my V60 or Chemex brewer. Having a seperate grinder gives me that flexibility to use in different applications. Regarding that particular brewre, I have no expereince. It certainly doesn't get great reviews on Amazon which would cause me a bit of concern. A lot of comments about not being hot which is generally a problem with most coffee brewers. If you want to look at others (without a buit in grinder), take a look at the SCA list. THe manf have to pay to be included so keep that in mind.

https://sca.coffee/certified-home-brewer/
 
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Mstansbury

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Well I bit the bullet on the brenville 650bbs. I tend to like darker coffee but I don’t want to have problems with the extra oil causing issues. My question is can I use medium roasted coffee and still get the strong darker flavor? Like by tweaking the grind size and brew setting strength?
 

Musicphan

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May 11, 2014
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Flavor comes from 3 variables - origin of coffee, coffee processing and roast level. Each origin has its own flavor - for bolder coffees try Brazil or Sumatra. I suggest trying different single origin coffees to start with to see what your taste buds like. Second effect on flavor is what we call processing - basically once the beans have been picked how do we get them into dried seed format (what you consider coffee). The two major processing types is natural or washed - natural processed coffees tend to have sweetness/fruity notes, washed are typically cleaner/brighter coffees. Lastly, how dark is the coffee roasted. When the coffees are roasted real light they tend to be tea like body and higher in acidity. Light roast coffees tend to show off the characteristics of the origin the best. As you continue to roast darker the roasted coffee you tend to get more balanced (in general) and lose unique coffee notes. When you get 'dark' in your roast you tend to taste 'burnt' flavors vs origins of the coffee. Essentially you are cooking the sugars in the bean... the darker you cook the sugar the less sweet it taste and will bring on more bitter notes.

You do however need to brew at 'proper strength' to get the best out of any coffee. Most people tend to like a ratio of 16:1 or 17:1 - meaning 16/17 grams of water to 1 gram of coffee. Or roughly 2 tablespoons per 5-6 ounce cup of coffee. I'm not sure how that all-in-one determines volume of coffee it dispenses. Most likely its not intelligent and simply on a timer mode.

Hope that helps...
 

davidgreams

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Jan 27, 2019
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Wow thank you so much for the information!! This definitely gives me something to think about. I might reconsider just buying a nice grinder then!! It would be cheaper and maybe produce better quality grind. This was really helpful, thanks so much!
 
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Mstansbury

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After using this coffee maker it is producing a really good cup. It’s not Cold as some reviewers said. It’s much hotter than my Keurig produced. It does grind off of a time I think. However it has a calibration feature. It will grind ur beans for 10 seconds then you weigh the coffee and input the amount in grams that you’ve ground. I’m using koffee kult medium roast and cleanup is not really a hassle. Also the coffee it is producing is quite strong. I’m still figuring it out though. Strength settings range from 1-8 and my last batch I made on a 3 was still just a touch too strong. Does upping the grind courseness help with that? I’d think using less coffee is worse than using a slightly bigger ground to help with over extraction
 

Latenightc

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Sep 11, 2017
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Ever think of making coffee at work? I use a French press and a guy I work with uses an areo press at work. We work overnight 12 hour shifts. I just grind up my beans just before I leave and bring them in my lunch box. We have a hot plate to heat water with.
 
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Mstansbury

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Yes there is actually a man I work with that does the same thing with a French press. I would have went along that route but I was looking for less work while at home. I start the machine and while it’s doing it’s thing I can get dressed and prepped to leave for work. So far time wise it’s a bit slower start to finish than using 3 refillable Keurig filters except I don’t have to constantly return to the machine and empty then refill it like the Keurig, this alone allows let’s me get ready for work without having to run back to the machine which IMO is better than having to stand at the Keurig for 4 or 5 minutes. Plus the coffee is MUCH better. But overall I am super satisfied with this machine so far.
 

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