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The deception of "short brew times" and the smell of burnt rubber
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Discussions > Coffee > Machines > The deception of...  
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Perked
Senior Member
Perked
Joined: 24 Sep 2012
Posts: 30
Location: Ohio
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Sun Nov 11, 2012, 8:42am
Subject: The deception of "short brew times" and the smell of burnt rubber
 

Hi!

This is about the lower end models you find in big box stores. On a few models, I see one of the features advertised is "shorter brew times" or "faster brewing".

Now, from what I understand from lurking around here, is that this does NOT mean better coffee. In fact, I prefer a slower brew because I like a stronger coffee and I get more bang for my buck, so to speak.

So, I think this is one of those things that the average consumer is sold as being a benefit (for convenience), but not necessarily a good feature to have if you are seeking a great cup of coffee.

I hate that kind of advertising.

Now, my experiences so far:

I bought a coffee maker recently (low end model). I liked it. It had this water filter that supposed to filter out chlorine. Was never sure it actually did anything until I exchanged it for another one. See, that model just stopped working one day. So, I decided to try a different model out from a different maker.

This one, has that dreaded burnt rubber smell after running hot water through it... and, more importantly (to me lol), is that is makes a horrible cup of coffee. Yes, my beans are at the end of their life, but after smelling the burnt rubber, I can't get the "taste" out of my mind.


Anyone else know what I'm talking about? Some cheaper quality products have this. I've heard some shower heads do this too (hot water makes a smell similar to burnt rubber).

So, I'm going back to get the last model I had. Not only do I want to improve the taste, but I am also concerned about what kidn of toxins I am ingesting.
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Perked
Senior Member
Perked
Joined: 24 Sep 2012
Posts: 30
Location: Ohio
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Tue Nov 13, 2012, 2:39pm
Subject: Re: The deception of "short brew times" and the smell of burnt rubber
 

Ok so judging from another topic I've read here - that this kind of topic wouldn't even be well received because the majority of you would never opt for such low quality to begin with. So, with that, I guess I am not surprised.

But in regards to my fast drip vs slow drip question - any feedback on this?
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johnnyb3
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Mar 2010
Posts: 183
Location: Anaheim, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Maestro Plus refurb
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos
Drip: Chemex
Posted Tue Nov 13, 2012, 4:14pm
Subject: Re: The deception of "short brew times" and the smell of burnt rubber
 

Perked Said:

Ok so judging from another topic I've read here - that this kind of topic wouldn't even be well received because the majority of you would never opt for such low quality to begin with. So, with that, I guess I am not surprised.

But in regards to my fast drip vs slow drip question - any feedback on this?

Posted November 13, 2012 link

Hi and welcome.

I am not the best person to answer in terms of specifics, because I don't own a drip machine, but speaking generally I agree with your statement -- really short brew times are not ideal for good coffee. (Really long is not good either :) I think the auto-drip folks on this site tend to shoot for somewhere in the 5-to-6-minute range for a batch, but honestly I don't know whether that refers to total time from flipping the switch to full carafe or what. You may want to look for topics on the "Technivorm," just because that's a popular drip machine and there will likely be a discussion of brew times in there somewhere.
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RoyceRuiz
Senior Member


Joined: 31 Mar 2012
Posts: 116
Location: San Francisco, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Tue Nov 13, 2012, 5:03pm
Subject: Re: The deception of "short brew times" and the smell of burnt rubber
 

What is your budget for the machine?  Why do you prefer a drip machine? Is it ease of use, what you know, or availability?  There are other, much better affordable methods if price is the only consideration.  If you just want to set a timer on a machine, that could be more difficult but we still might be able to help.
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Insomniac20k
Senior Member


Joined: 22 Sep 2007
Posts: 35
Location: Maryland
Expertise: Pro Barista

Grinder: Capresso thing
Drip: I'm not an animal
Posted Tue Nov 20, 2012, 10:49pm
Subject: Re: The deception of "short brew times" and the smell of burnt rubber
 

I don't know what kind of voodoo they're using to control brew times, however if it's a cheap coffee maker I would be willing to bet neither machine is getting the water hot enough to make good coffee. Take a meat thermometer and brew a pot of water and measure it. It should be between 190-200ish for best results.

But never fear, I'm good at this good coffee on a budget thing and I'm willing to pass my knowledge down to you. And I speak with some authority, considering I've been professionally involved in producing coffee for the better part of a decade.

Now the first thing we need to get you is a grinder. No cup of coffee will be great unless you're using fresh ground, relatively freshly roasted coffee. Not just any grinder though, a burr grinder. The ones with blades don't grind, they chop and that's bad for a couple reasons. They tend to generate a lot of heat which in essence re-roasts your coffee. Good quality coffee ain't cheap, so we want to take care of it. The other reason they are not great is because they don't produce consistent morsels of coffee. You get some big ones, you get some small ones and this causes your coffee to not extract evenly.

You can basically spend as much on a grinder as you have money. An expensive one IS a good investment, considering it'll last you years and years (and cost probably pennies per brew) and it'll be able to brew coffee in any situation you encounter. However, an expensive one isn't that important if all you're looking to do is brew methods that are a little forgiving and don't require too fine of a grind. I have a capresso something or other (I think it's 50ish new) that I got at a thrift store for 6 bucks and it's about the minimum I would recommend. It does a decent (not wonderful) job for french press, drip, vac pot, and moka pot (which are the only methods I have tried it on) If you're absolutely desperate, I would imagine the black and decker 20 dollar target bottom shelf burr mill grinder is better than a whirley blade grinder and will get you started (although you'll want to upgrade pretty quickly if you really catch the coffee bug)

Now that we've got your grinder situation under control, it's time to think about how we're going to brew. Lets throw the cheap auto-drip machines out of the closest window. If drip coffee is what you like, you can stick with that general method but kick it up several notches by investing in a pour over system. You can get these on Amazon for less than 10 bucks:

Click Here (www.amazon.com)

That's 4 and brews right into your mug. How convenient! There's also some that'll brew into a pot.

Now once we have our grinding and our brewing nailed down, it's time to find a good coffee roaster near you. If you're in the mid-atlantic region, I could help you out. I'd recommend going to any non-corporate chain coffee shop and seeing what they use. See what they brew, taste stuff, buy what tastes good to you. You want to make sure there's a roast date on there and you generally want to use it within a month of it being roasted.

Once you do that, you can start adding other brewing types to your arsenal and you'll be ready for the zombie apocalypse, or something. I don't know where I'm going with this.
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