New to coffee, seeking advice

Onendev

New member
Apr 14, 2009
3
0
I guess you can call me a "coffee newbie" as I've only drank coffee a few times in my life.

I was looking to buy a coffee maker and some coffee to start off, but I have no idea where to begin. I don't know the first thing about coffee or makers. I was hoping to find a relatively inexpensive coffee maker for starters, and preferably as high quality as I can for the money (best bang for the buck). I was just wondering if anyone had any suggestions on an inexpensive, yet decent coffee maker that I could pick up at a store, and also what to look for in a coffee maker. I live in Irvine, California if that helps at all.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 

PinkRose

Super Moderator
Staff member
Feb 28, 2008
5,219
5
Near Philadelphia, PA
Hello "Onendev"

Welcome to the Coffee Forums. As you explore the forum topic areas, you will notice that there is a lot of useful information about coffee here. We have members who have many years of professional coffee experience and also lots of members who are new to the world of coffee....like you!

You wrote that you are looking for an inexpensive coffee maker. Everyone has his or her idea as to what inexpensive is, so it would help to know the price range you are condsidering. For example: Are you looking to spend less than $200? ....Less than $100?.....Less than $50?

Also: Do you plan to buy pre-ground coffee or buy whole coffee beans and grind your own? (You'll need to buy a coffee grinder if you want to grind your own).

Have fun exploring the Coffee Forum. If you have a certain topic that you're interested in researching, you can go to the top of the screen and use the search feature. You'll find lots of information to keep you busy for hours.


Rose
 
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Onendev

New member
Apr 14, 2009
3
0
  • Thread Starter
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Thanks Rose.

After doing a little research, here's a little update (and a few more questions).

My ideal price range is around $50 (being a college student, I simply cannot afford much more than that, however the price would be negotiable if it would really make a difference).

After reading around, it seems that buying a grinder will ensure a richer/better tasting cup of coffee/espresso. I know my budget may not allow for a grinder, so my question is, would it be better to skimp on the machine in order to get a grinder, or to not get a grinder to get a slightly better machine?

The machine would mostly be used for just myself, so I guess I'm trying to decide between a french press coffee maker, and a steam powered espresso machine. I'm not sure if this is possible, but a machine with some kind of start timer would be awesome (I bet it would be amazing to wake up to the fresh smell of coffee).

Ill save what type of bean to get until after I have decided on a machine (seems like buying the machine is the hardest part).

Anyways, if anyone has any recommendations or any pieces of advice I would love to hear them. Thanks again!
 

PinkRose

Super Moderator
Staff member
Feb 28, 2008
5,219
5
Near Philadelphia, PA
Hello again Onendev,

In an earlier message you mentioned that you've only had coffee a few times in your life. Was it espresso at a cafe, or drip coffee at a restaurant, or something that someone made for you at home? It may be a good idea if you take some time to decide what kind of coffee experience you're looking for before you invest in a coffee maker. Based on your budget, I would suggest getting a coffee grinder and a French Press or the AeroPress http://www.amazon.com/AeroPress-Coffee- ... 070&sr=8-2

However, you also mentioned that you'd like a machine with a timer so you can wake up to the smell of coffee. If that's the case, then you may want to look into a standard drip coffee model.

I don't know anyone who has one of the inexpensive expresso machines that are available now-a-days. You'll probably need to do some more research before getting one of those.

Rose
 

shadow745

Active member
Aug 15, 2005
1,588
2
Central North Carolina
Here's my thoughts.... if you want great coffee for low $$$ go buy a good conical burr grinder like the Capresso Infinity or the Solis Maestro and I'll second the suggestion for you to get a press type brewing device. I think a good french press and the AeroPress are similar in price. Be sure to find fresh beans locally if possible. When I say fresh I mean within 2 weeks max of the actual roast date. Yeah it matters. Later!
 

PinkRose

Super Moderator
Staff member
Feb 28, 2008
5,219
5
Near Philadelphia, PA
Jim,

I'm curious.... What size grind do you use for the Aeropress? Do you grind the beans like you would for drip coffee, or a French Press, or do you grind them finer, like for espresso?

Rose
 

jlyon10

Super Moderator
Feb 16, 2007
436
0
Clemmons, NC
I think you are supposed to grind fine like you do for an esspreso but I just usually grind them medium like I do for my drip coffee maker and it still comes out great.
 

coffeeperfectionist

New member
Apr 25, 2009
2
0
A lot of good ideas here on the forum...I with the ones who insist on purchasing the best bean you can afford. You can get mail ordered beans that come ready to brew the most amazing cup of coffee. I prefer a french press....and the simple directions to using a french press to extract the most flavor is to #1, start with good water and a clean press, your water should not be from the tap(unless you are blessed with the well water). #2, Bring it to a boil in a nice clean pan, pot, kettle..just keep it clean, #3 pull it from the heat for 30 seconds(so we don't burn the flavor off the fresh roasted beans). #4 pour it into your frenchpress, stir with a wooden spoon. #5 place the press screen assembly lightly over the floating grinds(don't press it yet!, this keeps as much of the flavors in the coffee as possble) and wait 3 1/2 minutes. #6 press, serve and enjoy your beautiful cup of coffee.
I like to have a good grinder in the house...don't grind the bean until you are ready to drink coffee! I grind my beans while I'm boiling the water. Speaking of grinders...get yourself a either a expensive hand grinder like the Zassenhaus Coffee Mills(this takes a good wrist and a lot of energy, but pays off) or find yourself a nice used commercial coffee grinder. I like the commercial route because you can always buy replacement burr grinders, hoppers, etc. Commercial grinders are like the 283 chevy engine...they are hard to kill. Check ebay frequently...As I type this I see that there is a cute La Pavoni espresso grinder for sale:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 997wt_1167
but dont' be fooled by the starting price...it will probably fetch over the $250 dollar mark. ths La Pavoni is one of the Mercedes of grinders. Beans and grinders..
And according to a friend who is cupping in Portland..this bean roaster is all the rage: http://www.eccocaffe.com/catalog/index. ... 8b4e123336

Again...you get what you pay for. A good grinder and a simple french press and some amazing beans and you will enjoy one of the finer things in life~

Cheers!
 

shadow745

Active member
Aug 15, 2005
1,588
2
Central North Carolina
You think that LaPavoni is one of the Mercedes in the coffee grinder world? I agree.... ugly like most Mercedes. But I wouldn't one of the crappy looking things on my countertop. You actually think it's cute??? Ever seen a really nice looking grinder.

I do agree with a good hand grinder, but unless you're doing espresso a commercial grinder simply is a waste of space and $$$. For press, drip, etc. something like an Infinity, Maestro, etc. is all you'd need. Later!
 
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