Need Advice, help and suggestions on a serious coffeemaker for life


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Apr 18, 2011
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Hi Guys and Gals,

I got the money, and this might be the only time in my life I will spend this much on a very serious coffee maker. I'm willing to possibly spend between 1 to 2k on a serious coffee maker, probably Italian. I am mostly looking for a great cup of morning coffee. I understand that cheaper machines that fully automate the process can be prone to break down because of the high temps and automated functions. I know stainless steel with easy to break down parts for cleaning is a good start to look for. A machine that brews a great cup like in Italy is also key, high temps, superb auto grinding, and hopefully auto timer mode for the morning cup. Also good frothing for creme is a plus. Mostly, I want a great cup every morning, and easy maintenence. I am not an expert on Jura, Gaggia, Delonghi, Saeco, etc. Experts in this forum can hopefully cut to the chase for me. I don't have the time to read endless reviews and articles. I can of course spend less then 1k on a good machine. In fact I am guessing most people would love to find a solid dream machine for less then 1k, one that would last.

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Guys, Guys, Gals...

Come on now, let's get some feedback rolling here so I can cut through to the chase on these auto premo coffee makers.

Take your pick they are all decent machines. Personally I'd buy a traditional machine like a Rancilio Silvia and a Rocky grinder to complement it. You'll find your going to get a much better shot from a traditional machine vs a super automatic when it comes to machines made for home use.
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Take your pick? Just throw money at it randomly?

I came here so I could avoid picking at random. While I didn't expect to pick a machine soley based on advice from here, I thought maybe I could get some good feedback here.
I read some reviews at random, and it seems the pricey machines had more problems then the cheaper machines. Saeco and Jura probably had the best reviews so far. A lot of negative reviews are based on equipment failure, which doesn't really count unless there is a track record of problems on certain models. I'm not even sure from reading a lot of reviews and specs which models reach the really hot temps of 200+. I just remember reading only one Dutch model which did, but it was not fully automated. Some models don't seem to get the frother very hot. Others have to turn the heat all the way up to reach a hot cup of coffee, etc.
Nobody here is going to give you a straight up answer and say go buy this. We're here to answer questions you have about products. The problems you hear about equipment happen in cheap machines just as much as it does in high end commercial machines. I don't even own a super auto home unit anymore. I got rid of mine years ago cause it was a waste of counter space for the quality of product it offered. The brands you listed are all good machines. We can help point you in a direction if you were to pick 2 or 3 machines and ask some questions about them.
I have a Capresso that I like (about a year now). The most attractive aspect about their products besides great tasting coffee is that my mom's had one for 10+ years. Something breaks and they end up sending her a brand new one. I believe she's on her third.
After using a Espro Press I will never use a French Press again. Seriously. The filter system they use still allows the full body of French press coffee, but it removes the sludge so efficiently trhat you could actually drink right from the vessel if it didn't keep the coffee so hot (it's vacuum, double-walled stainless steel). You can actually pump the plunger at the end of the pour to get the last of the coffee out and still drink the last sip from the cup.
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Yeah, yeah

I've got a French Press and Chemex. I mostly only use the Chemex with beans from Mocha's Joes. I found his Columbian beans to be pretty good. I rarely use the French Press. I want a superauto cause I want to be spoiled for a while, plus lazy in the morning too. The Chemex ritual is starting to wear me down. I want a superauto so I program it to have coffee when I wake up, plus the extra features are nice. The Jura-Capresso Impressa C9 is starting to look nice to me, plus durable.
I like the Technivorm Moccamaster KBT741 is one of the few auto-drip coffee makers certified by the Specialty Coffee Association of America as brewing at the optimal temperature (200 degrees Fahrenheit).
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C9 and F9 Jura Capressa

I like the Technivorm Moccamaster KBT741 is one of the few auto-drip coffee makers certified by the Specialty Coffee Association of America as brewing at the optimal temperature (200 degrees Fahrenheit).

I've been reading and sifting. I'm getting the impression that the Jura is the best, and it seems to be a toss up between the C9 or the F9. These have solid reviews with durability and superior performance. However I have not heard of the Technivorm Moccamaster KBT741, so I can check on that one.
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I think that's the Dutch one I read about which heats to high temps. However it seems to use a copper element. Many use aluminum, but the Jura uses a stainless steel heating element, so I have read. I had a copper water distiller, but the test strips kept coming back positive for copper, too much copper in fact. I built a home made Stainless steel water distiller that worked very well, and the water tasted perfectly neutral. I don't drink distilled water per say, but it has many uses, like perhaps to make coffee or clean the coffee maker. Getting off topic now.
"Best Lifetime Coffeemaker?" and that "Coffee-cart before the horse coffee thing?"

Bruce, I'm going to say up front, that I appreciate your question. Selfishly, I'm going to use this opportunity to "soapbox" a bit. As legitimate as asking for "Best Anything" may be, I've always believed that it should be preceeded with a good foundation in the art, science and application of the subject, as well as the inquisitor's background, current setup and future needs; all this prior to addressing the question. I'm afraid this is almost a blog..... not a reply. And for that, I apologize up front.

So Bruce, I was confused with your post; not fully understanding the "written short-hand" you used. For example, you used the terms and phrases, "coffeemaker", "...great CUP of coffee", "automate the process...", "good frothing for creme (maybe you meant crema?), and the metal qualifier "stainless steel", but never spoke to what type of "brewing method" you preferred, or specifically what beverages you wanted from your dream machine. I'm surprised noone else asked you to add more details to your post? Again, I think I just missed something here.

It does appear that you've traveled, possibly to Italy. And one of your baselines for "good coffee beverages" might be the Northern Italian demitasse espresso, served in a variety of shops, and by street vendors. Most people that have been to Europe ask me about "duplicating" that taste. And because our family is Brasilian, on my wife's side, our friends include Italian-Argentineans, who are the first ones to put me to the test when they find out I'm involved in specialty coffee. And the three drinks that I'm most asked about would be the straight espresso, cappuccino, and the Americano. All three can be made with an "Espresso Machine." But there are so many other brewing methods for the enjoyment of coffee. And I'm wondering if your interests also include drip/pour over, and other ways to extract those essentials oils from the grounds?

Regarding that "lifetime machine..." When someone asks for a "coffeemaker for life"...... I have to smile. That's like the inclusion of "for better or worse, for richer or....", well, you get the idea. I'm afraid we Americans are more into shorter and shorter replacement cycles, both with our appliances and, unfortunately for some, our mates! Just like the cars that I've owed over the years, my list of coffee brewing equipment is almost as long! I'll add that my progression in coffee brewing gear started with single boiler machines and blade grinders, went to heat exchanger espresso machines and cheap burr grinders, and ultimately double boiler espresso machines and commercial burr grinders. It was a progression. And I learned more about coffee as I started from incompetency to what I jokingly say now is moderate OK'ism. And that's just espresso brewing, not my side adventures into drip brewing, which included the Capressa MT500. BTW, Technivorm is a drip brewing device, not an espresso brewing machine. I saw that come up in one reply.

Interestingly, I'm seeing responses that look more like you want an espresso brewing device. I think that's because you name a number of super-auto espresso machine manufacturers. Or maybe I'm still not getting it? Could you want a super-auto combination drip/espresso machine? And then, on top of everything else, your comment about $1k to $2k for a "serious coffee maker" is another issue. If serious refers to "well made" and "meeting brewing standards set by organizations like SCAA"..... well, we in the industry can barely do that with setups costing $10,000. And it's not for lack of good equipment, it's because of our striving to achieve a mastery over the choice of green beans, roasting, and brewing of coffee. The accepted solution is to "de-centralize" the grinding and brewing functions... and that's just the starting point. THEN comes decisions on which machines to examine.

And the disdain you hear when "super-automatic" machines are mentioned, again, it's based on the understanding of just how critical the many variables are in brewing coffee. It starts with the choice of beans, how and when they're roasting, how they're stored, and exactly when you grind the beans. Then comes the science of coffee brewing as pertains to the grinder! And even that's an over-simplication.

My point is..... while I appreciate your quest, it would be much easier for me, (I know, that sounds rather self-centered), to better follow this thread, if you talked more specifically about your current grinding and brewing equipment, what finished beverages you enjoy, and what you've been using for coffee? When family and friends start complaining about their daily coffee at home, or they ask about "best machines, coffee, etc.", I first ask them what they know about coffee. If they're interested, I'll share some background information about coffee, the origins of coffee, the farming and harvesting, grading, roasting, and the preparation and brewing processes. It sounds tedious, but without an understanding of the product and what occurs during the processing, it's hard to address "best equipment." I didn't see much of that, and it's possible you do have a deeper background in coffee than appears in your post. (?)

Again, my apologies for using this thread to, somewhat, vent. We all have to set our priorities in life, and for most, just getting to the "nitty gritty" is understandable. But it's much like sitting with one's doctor who needs to explain coronary heart disease, or diabetis, before discussing one's specific treatment options. Sometimes you just can't jump into the solution without spending as much time discussing the very foundation and elements that will make up the solution.

OK now....... let go the "Wrath of Tongues" as they will probably befall me for my diatribe! :?
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