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Discussions > Coffee > Machines > Help me decide...  
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tr7111
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Nov 2012
Posts: 3
Location: US
Posted Mon Nov 19, 2012, 10:34am
Subject: Help me decide on a home brewing method
 

I really want to start making quality coffee at home rather than waste money at starbucks every day.

I'm not interested in espresso and only want an easy, quick way to make my morning coffee with breakfast.

I own a Keurig machine but the coffee tastes so awful from it that I'm about to throw it away.

I also own a french press I haven't used in a long time and a regular blade grinder.

Should I get a drip machine? If so, which one?

If I should use the french press, which grinder should I get? Keep in mind I'm not making espresso and only need it for coffee.
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Burner0000
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,090
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
Grinder: Macap MX/VFA N1464/Kyocera...
Drip: Manual Drip, French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Mon Nov 19, 2012, 1:23pm
Subject: Re: Help me decide on a home brewing method
 

No way.  I brew espresso, drip, pourover and french press.  This french press makes a fine cup of coffee!  Invest in a burr grinder for a mor consistant grind.  I used a blade with my french press and got ok coffee. Once I tried a burr grinder there was a HUGE diffrence.  If you want quicker just grind finer to reduce the steep time.

Drip machines clog and breakdown.  Your press will outlast them.
As for the grinder it all depends on your budget.
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johnnyb3
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Mar 2010
Posts: 189
Location: Anaheim, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Maestro Plus refurb
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos
Drip: Chemex
Posted Mon Nov 19, 2012, 2:18pm
Subject: Re: Help me decide on a home brewing method
 

+1 -- French press is great. Hang onto that and spend your dosh on a grinder. I always recommend the best refurbished Baratza within your budget.

When you get the inevitable itch to expand your arsenal, next would be to branch out to a pourover, either Hario V60 or Chemex, I'd think. Those are relatively inexpensive and produce a good and very different cup of coffee from the press.
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cafedj
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Oct 2003
Posts: 655
Location: NC
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bialetti, Aeropress
Grinder: Rocky doserless
Vac Pot: Bodum
Drip: Behmor Brazen
Roaster: Counter Culture
Posted Mon Nov 19, 2012, 2:37pm
Subject: Re: Help me decide on a home brewing method
 

"Drip machines clog and breakdown."

You may have had a bad experience, but I've owned a number of drip machines over 40 years and haven't had one clog or breakdown.  There are some quality drip machines that should be very reliable.  If you can afford it I would recommend the Behmor Brazen.  If the $70 difference is a big deal for you then the Bonavita is quite popular, but you sacrifice a lot of flexibility in controlling the brew temp that the Brazen offers.

If you're fine with brewing manually then most folks feel the best flavor options are press or vacuum pot.

Regarding grinders, the Baratza line is very popular now.  Do some Google research on them.  My experience is cheap grinders do break down, and end up being more expensive in the long run than better quality grinders.  In addition the quality of grinder can make a large difference in the quality of the brew.   But for press, vacuum and drip only you really don't need to buy the highest end grinder.
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tr7111
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Nov 2012
Posts: 3
Location: US
Posted Mon Nov 19, 2012, 3:31pm
Subject: Re: Help me decide on a home brewing method
 

cafedj Said:

"Drip machines clog and breakdown."

You may have had a bad experience, but I've owned a number of drip machines over 40 years and haven't had one clog or breakdown.  There are some quality drip machines that should be very reliable.  If you can afford it I would recommend the Behmor Brazen.  If the $70 difference is a big deal for you then the Bonavita is quite popular, but you sacrifice a lot of flexibility in controlling the brew temp that the Brazen offers.

If you're fine with brewing manually then most folks feel the best flavor options are press or vacuum pot.

Regarding grinders, the Baratza line is very popular now.  Do some Google research on them.  My experience is cheap grinders do break down, and end up being more expensive in the long run than better quality grinders.  In addition the quality of grinder can make a large difference in the quality of the brew.   But for press, vacuum and drip only you really don't need to buy the highest end grinder.

Posted November 19, 2012 link

I'm not really a coffee connoisseur but I can tell the difference between starbucks coffee and this dreg that comes out of my keurig machine.

Can I get by with a drip machine and still have a good cup of coffee every morning? I like as simple a routine as possible in the morning especially until I've had my coffee.

ALso, can I get away with similarly quality coffee to starbucks without a press?
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cafedj
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Oct 2003
Posts: 655
Location: NC
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bialetti, Aeropress
Grinder: Rocky doserless
Vac Pot: Bodum
Drip: Behmor Brazen
Roaster: Counter Culture
Posted Mon Nov 19, 2012, 3:50pm
Subject: Re: Help me decide on a home brewing method
 

tr7111 Said:

I'm not really a coffee connoisseur but I can tell the difference between starbucks coffee and this dreg that comes out of my keurig machine.

Can I get by with a drip machine and still have a good cup of coffee every morning? I like as simple a routine as possible in the morning especially until I've had my coffee.

ALso, can I get away with similarly quality coffee to starbucks without a press?

Posted November 19, 2012 link

The simple answer to your questions is yes.  With good, freshly roasted beans and good equipment you can definitely have a simple routine and a better quality brew than Starbucks.  It's always a little tricky discussing taste over the internet, but if you're willing to experiment a bit and ask questions, you should end up very happy with your home brewed results.
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wabbitt
Senior Member
wabbitt
Joined: 1 Jan 2010
Posts: 139
Location: california
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: stovetop pots,aeropress
Grinder: skerton, SoloGrind
Drip: melitta cone, chemex
Posted Mon Nov 19, 2012, 7:23pm
Subject: Re: Help me decide on a home brewing method
 

tr7111 Said:

I really want to start making quality coffee at home rather than waste money at starbucks every day.

I'm not interested in espresso and only want an easy, quick way to make my morning coffee with breakfast.

I own a Keurig machine but the coffee tastes so awful from it that I'm about to throw it away.

I also own a french press I haven't used in a long time and a regular blade grinder.

Should I get a drip machine? If so, which one?

If I should use the french press, which grinder should I get? Keep in mind I'm not making espresso and only need it for coffee.

Posted November 19, 2012 link

I guess nobody has asked the questions of how much coffee you want to make in the morning, how much does convenience weigh in your brew method, and what kind of coffee drinks will you be making.

If improving quality is your goal, a quality burr grinder and fresh beans will be your biggest step up.  If you're only brewing a cup of coffee for yourself, the quality automatic drip machines are 8 to 12 cup.  That's four to six mugs.  Even if you brew a half-carafe, that's twice as much coffee as I want on a weekday.

For myself, I try to run out the door with a 15 oz travel mug.  I just need 10 minutes for a manual pourover,  a plastic melitta cone and that includes cleanup.  I also only need 10 minutes to use the aeropress but for some reason (using the same beans) the lighter roasts give me acid indigestion.  If I have 10-15 minutes, I will do a 6 (taz) cup stovetop moka pot but cleanup will have to wait until I do the  dinner dishes.

I have a k-cup brewer & reusable pod.  I find I still need 10 minutes and I still haven't gotten a satisfying cup yet.  But at least I can do other things while the almost-coffee is brewing.

I use my french presses for tea because cleanup is not easy if you're trying to avoid getting coffee grounds in the plumbing.
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tr7111
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Nov 2012
Posts: 3
Location: US
Posted Mon Nov 19, 2012, 7:55pm
Subject: Re: Help me decide on a home brewing method
 

wabbitt Said:

I guess nobody has asked the questions of how much coffee you want to make in the morning, how much does convenience weigh in your brew method, and what kind of coffee drinks will you be making.

If improving quality is your goal, a quality burr grinder and fresh beans will be your biggest step up.  If you're only brewing a cup of coffee for yourself, the quality automatic drip machines are 8 to 12 cup.  That's four to six mugs.  Even if you brew a half-carafe, that's twice as much coffee as I want on a weekday.

For myself, I try to run out the door with a 15 oz travel mug.  I just need 10 minutes for a manual pourover,  a plastic melitta cone and that includes cleanup.  I also only need 10 minutes to use the aeropress but for some reason (using the same beans) the lighter roasts give me acid indigestion.  If I have 10-15 minutes, I will do a 6 (taz) cup stovetop moka pot but cleanup will have to wait until I do the  dinner dishes.

I have a k-cup brewer & reusable pod.  I find I still need 10 minutes and I still haven't gotten a satisfying cup yet.  But at least I can do other things while the almost-coffee is brewing.

I use my french presses for tea because cleanup is not easy if you're trying to avoid getting coffee grounds in the plumbing.

Posted November 19, 2012 link

That's a good point. It's actually just going to be for me in the morning. I usually have a large coffee every morning but none the rest of the day.

I don't know what a manual pourover is.
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sumatraman
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Feb 2011
Posts: 51
Location: usa
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: No machine - Moka pot
Grinder: Breville
Vac Pot: Yama 5, Sunbeam 20A
Drip: Revere s. steel, phin, &...
Roaster: Rptisserie w/drum, aux air...
Posted Mon Nov 19, 2012, 8:37pm
Subject: Re: Help me decide on a home brewing method
 

Manual pourover is when you heat your water - like right on your stove.
Ground coffee goes into, usually, a cone paper filter - which is already put in a cone shaped device.
(Chemex, plastic cone, etc.)
Then you manually pour the water in over the grounds at a certain rate and the coffee drips into a cup or carafe.

Concerning auto drips:
A simple and really good machine is the Melitta BCM 4 cup.
They don't make them anymore but you can get them on ebay.
It just amazes me as to what it can do.

You don't have to stand over it like a chemex etc doing manual pour over.

No frills - just put your ground coffee in, water, and there's one button - on/off.
Assuming the machine is aok function wise - it'll actually brew at hot enough temps for a really good cup.
Many times a great cup.
(take that $300 Technivorm!)

Get some quality beans and give one a try!
Even if you use your blade grinder it, you should be ok cause you use paper filters.
But a burr grinder would be optimal.
Quality beans, ground right, and proper water temps. That's really the basics.
The paper filter will help tho - if you're using the blade.
Many times one can be had for $30 give or take.

Example on ebay -
Click Here (www.ebay.com)
ps, if power goes out, it can be used as a pourover because the cone part and carafe go together as opposed to most machines where cone is attached
to the machine itself.
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diggi
Senior Member
diggi
Joined: 28 Nov 2011
Posts: 383
Location: Halifax, NS
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Spaz vivaldi S1 V2
Grinder: B Vario, OE LIDO
Drip: Chemex, Espro Press,...
Roaster: Poppery I
Posted Tue Nov 20, 2012, 12:51am
Subject: Re: Help me decide on a home brewing method
 

tr7111 Said:

I don't know what a manual pourover is.

Posted November 19, 2012 link

Go to brewmethods. Search through the various methods.  They are all similar, but have various levels of involvement.  Some like V60, others chemex, others....  The site has videos and should give you a sense of level of involvement.  Pick one that you think would work for you.  I agree, if you are just making one for yourself in the morning, that you are likely not looking for autodrip, unless you need that convenience factor.
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