Coffee makers

lucykOctober 30, 2005

Not being a coffee drinker myself, I thought I would turn to the "pros" on this forum. My 20 year old daughter would like Santa to bring her a coffee maker, not cappucino (sp?), that grinds the coffee and then makes it. It should have a large pot. She wants to make specialty coffee from coffee beans. She saw a Cuisinart that she liked, but I said I would ask the experts. Any advice?

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akastj_northern_ca

I suggest you check the Appliances Forum as that's where coffee makers are normally discussed. Once there, use the Forum Search facility, located at the bottom of the main Forum page, for the term coffee...

TJ

Here is a link that might be useful: THS Gardenweb / Forum List

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 8:10AM
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lucyk

I did do a search on that forum and did not come up with anything. That's why I was trying this one. Can anyone give me any advice?

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 9:34AM
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kbuzbee

I have friends who use the Capresso. They like it very much (and they roast their own coffee!). We use some pretty old fashioned methods here (but they make darned good coffee!!)

Ken

Here is a link that might be useful: Capresso

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 2:44PM
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HanArt

I've never used an all-in-one and can't figure out how in the world you clean the grinder part. I'm sure there's a way ... there has to be.

I prefer a separate grinder. I don't make espresso, so a simple grinder like Krups or Braun for about $20 works fine.

I would also recommend a coffee maker with a thermal carafe. Nothing worse than coffee that sits and 'cooks' on a hot plate. We have a Krups Aroma Control and love it!

Here is a link that might be useful: Krups Aroma Control

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 9:46PM
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Melic

One of the biggest problems with all coffeemakers is the temperature of the coffee - both brewing, and IMO more importantly, keeping the coffee hot afterwards.

There are two ways to go - a carafe on a burner, which I think 'cooks' the coffee and gives it a stale taste after 20 minutes or so, or a thermal carafe, which doesn't 'cook' the coffee, but if the coffee wasn't hot enough going into the carafe, then you've got lukewarm coffee right off the bat.

I even asked about this problem at various coffeemaker purveyors, and was told to get a commercial set-up because they brew hotter. However, that just wasn't an option - too expensive, and way too big.

So I read a review, I think at CoffeeGeek, that recommended the Capresso MT500 (I don't even know if it's still made because the review is 3 years old) because it both brews hot enough to ensure proper extraction, and hold the coffee at a hot enough temperature.

I bit. I bought. And it's all it was cracked up to be - best (non-espresso) coffeemaker I've ever had (and I've always had good ones).

    Bookmark   November 1, 2005 at 9:51AM
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glassquilt

Pre-heat the thermal carafe.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2005 at 8:34AM
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jeffnette

I just purchased the cuisenart that the OP talks about and We just love it! It is really not hard to clean and the coffe tastes so fresh!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2005 at 10:49AM
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mrsmarv

Friends of ours have the "Grind and Brew" by Cuisinart. The 2 drawbacks they have mentioned is that when grinding the beans, it sounds like a jet plane taking off in the kitchen...not conducive to waking up gently. The other thing they don't like is after cleaning (and drying) the grinder, moisture is always present in the grinding area, which doesn't seem like a good thing. They "had to have" this coffee maker and now wish it would break ;o)
I recommend a separate burr grinder and coffee maker. Just MHO. BTW, I have a Dualit...no bells and whistles, just a fine cup of coffee.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2005 at 1:50PM
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sharburk

I had one that would first grind the beans and then brew the coffee. Got it as a gift and had it for maybe two weeks before giving it away. If I remember correctly, it was a Cuisinart. I gave it away as it was so big and bulky and cleaning it was impossible. If you needed to make a second pot of coffee it was difficult. Right now I don't even remember why, but it was.

I much prefer a small separate grinder and I grind my beans every morning. I must admit, they all make some noise.

My pot now is a Cuisinart and it's fine. Supposedly the cone filter pots make a better cup of coffee. I find the cone filter will make a stronger cup with the same amount of beans as the flat filter pots. (My husband and I are pretty fussy with our coffee.)

    Bookmark   November 7, 2005 at 3:44PM
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nwesterner

mrsmarv,

Is your burr grinder small and easy to handle and clean? If so, what brand:)

    Bookmark   November 8, 2005 at 4:26PM
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jxbrown

I have a Capresso burr grinder. It is quite simple to use and clean.

Here is a link that might be useful: Capresso Infinity Burr Grinder

    Bookmark   November 8, 2005 at 5:55PM
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nwesterner

jxbrown,

Thanks for the link. With the burr grinder, do you have to take it apart and clean after each use? I am so spoiled with a good blade grinder that is easy to clean and use. Is there a great difference in the grind using the burr? I mainly do French Press with drip when I have company.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2005 at 7:41PM
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jxbrown

They recommend cleaning it out once a week. It's quite simple and doesn't take more than a minute. There's a little shoot from the grinding chamber into a plastic cup that holds the ground coffee. The shoot and the grooves on the grinding plate need to be brushed off now and then. The grinding plate just lifts out and plops back in.

The ground coffee is much more consistent in texture than the blade grinder and the coffee does taste quite good. The more consistent grind means that less fine stuff escapes into the French press or gold filter. In the summer I sometimes make coffee with the cold method and my grinder will jam if I try to grind an entire half pound of coffee at once.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2005 at 11:53PM
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kbuzbee

NWesterner - the big difference (aside from grind uniformity mentioned) is the speed of impact with the bean. Coffee flavor oils are very volatile and the small amount of heat generated in a blade grinder is all it takes to destroy them. A burr grinder will be much kinder to your coffee preserving the flavor for you to enjoy. I use a hand crank burr grinder to slow the process down even more (it's quieter too for a calmer morning!)

The second point here is freshness of the coffee. Most coffee you buy in a store is 2 weeks to 2 years old. Coffee's flavor peaks 24 hours after roasting AND noticably deteriorates after 10 days-2 weeks. You will do yourself a HUGE favor to find a local roaster OR order from one of the few mailorder houses that specialize in freshness.

Ken

    Bookmark   November 9, 2005 at 2:24PM
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jxbrown

I buy green beans and roast them in a little roaster that resembles an air type popcorn popper. They smell so good roasting that it makes me dizzy. The coffee is spectacular and the roasting process couldn't be any easier. My coffee roaster cost $60 and it only roasts a few ounces at a time, but since I'm the only coffee drinker in the house, it's fine for me.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2005 at 3:32PM
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kbuzbee

That's a great way to make sure your coffee is it's freshest!! The smells are killer, aren't they?? Carmel, maple & vanilla!!! Hmmmm.... A few ounces is prefect for most people.

Bonus, you get to create your own blends. The green coffee will last up to a year without significant deterioration. Have you tried Indian Monsooned Malibar??? Roasted light it's a great cup or slightly darker it's a kicker espresso!

For anyone interested, home roasting is VERY easy. There are a couple great books.

Ken

Ken

Here is a link that might be useful: Book link

    Bookmark   November 9, 2005 at 4:05PM
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nwesterner

Ken and jxbrown,

Thank you both so much. I also am the only one here who drinks coffee daily. Problem with being in the boonies is that the availability of fresh anything is questionable, unless you drive mucho distances (with big gas bucks now:)) or pay shipping.

There are a few local--meaning an hour or more away--roasters, but I haven't been too thrilled with their coffees or else they don't sell small amounts. I had in the past thought about roasting, but heard that it could possibly be smelly and I also wondered how you knew you were getting quality green beans or where to get them without a lot of added expense--shipping or gas.

jxbrown,

What roaster do you have and how do you know how long to roast? I like dark, strong black coffee and drink espresso drinks infrequently cause I don't like to mix my coffee, just like it as is! Also, I can't drink any sweetened type coffee drinks and have to limit milk, so usually stick to my french press.

Any other help on 'reasonably' priced and yet good functioning burr grinders or roasters will be appreciated. Also, where to buy good quality green coffee beans, how to know that they are such, and what types to buy also muchly appreciated.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2005 at 6:27PM
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jxbrown

I have a Fresh Roast roaster. It only roasts a few ounces at a time, but each batch only takes 8-10 minutes start to finish. You figure out how long to roast by color, smell, and sound. The beans pop like popcorn and when that's done you are at a regular roast, if you roast another 1-3 minutes you get increasingly dark roasts. I don't like coffee that's too darkly roasted. Green beans are actually easy to find on the internet and inexpensive.

Some people make their own roasters from popcorn poppers.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sweet Maria's

    Bookmark   November 9, 2005 at 7:11PM
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kbuzbee

jxbrown, I agree 100%. Smell, sound and color are all important. I guess I rely more on sound. Sweet Maria's is a great site. I got our Cona Pot there many years ago.

NWesterner, give it a try. In 2-4 tries you'll be doing much better than 98% of what you can buy and as you figure out exactly what you like, you can create that. Commercial roasted coffee is a fairly new thing, really. Used to be most homes raosted their own (or had a neighbor who did. In Italy (my personal coffee mecca) there were roasters who would roast a couple pounds at a time out on the street. Roast it, sell it and move on the the next neighborhood. What a great mental image that creates. I could have done that!

Ken

    Bookmark   November 10, 2005 at 10:10AM
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cupofkindness

I have a Cafe Aroma by Krups and not only is the coffee delicious, but the way the hot coffee dispenses into the carafe keeps all the coffee in the carafe. In other words, this coffee makers is as clean as the day I bought it. Plus, The pause feature is excellent. After six months, my coffee maker looks brand new. It was $25 at Tuesday Morning.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2005 at 10:19AM
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