Posted Tue Mar 19, 2013, 4:30am Subject: High-end coffee maker worth it if not grinding beans myself ?
First-time poster but long-time lurker!
My husband and I love espresso but we usually reserve that for the weekends. So weekdays are drip coffee.
We don't get up at the same time so the first one up (me!) can't start grinding beans without waking up the other person.
We're no longer satisfied with Keurig for various reasons (mostly taste). I brought out my old Cuisinart DCC-1200 drip machine and I've been pre-setting it so the coffee is ready when I get up, so about the same convenience level as Keurig.
Our coffee "experience" is nevertheless rather... blah. Of course, buying buying ground coffee from the supermarket may not helping that. Here is what I am hoping to learn:
Without grinding my own beans, would I be totally wasting my money by buying a better drip coffeemaker, e.g., BonaVita or Technivorm, and purchasing quality coffee from a local vendor, but in ground form ?
Skylar Senior Member Joined: 15 Apr 2004 Posts: 48 Location: New Jersey Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: lelit espresso Grinder: lelit grinder Vac Pot: B. D. Electric Drip: chemex Roaster: wok roast and popper, heat...
Posted Tue Mar 19, 2013, 4:51am Subject: Re: High-end coffee maker worth it if not grinding beans myself ?
Fresh roast coffee (within a week of roasting and hopefully even less old than that) and a good burr grinder are the first requirements of superior coffee. Even the best beans from a reliable roaster are staling within fifteen minutes of their exposure to the air. I am truly sorrow to be Donnie Downer (Debbie Downer's older brother) but that is the sad truth. I will bet that a majority of folks on this site tried to "get away" with old beans, food store beans, preground beans or cheap beans but they ultimatly realized that fresh and just ground made the coffee that they liked not coffee that jump started their brain in the A. M.
Re the awake at different times, I hauled my grinder into a bathroom far from the bedroom to grind, so as not to wake the BW. Is their no place that you can bring the equipment?
Skyler, who will be grinder a chemex of Intelly Sulawesi in about 1/2 hour.
Look at a LIDO hand grinder from Orphan Espresso. I had it for a couple of weeks as part of a traveling road show. It is easy to use, a piece of art-work, and creates a grind good enough for an espresso. Espresso all the way to French press pot, all in one hand grinder. It is built to last a life time. Link will carry you there.
nachoslibres Senior Member Joined: 3 Dec 2012 Posts: 22 Location: Tyler, Texas Expertise: I love coffee
Grinder: Baratza Vario-W Drip: Bunn trifecta MB
Posted Tue Mar 19, 2013, 7:01am Subject: Re: High-end coffee maker worth it if not grinding beans myself ?
I have a Baratza Vario-W and it is pretty quiet - at least compared to the cheap burr grinder I used before. I make coffee almost every morning since I get up with our toddlers and let my wife sleep in - and I've never had an issue of the grinder waking up my wife. Our kitchen is right next to our toddlers' room and I'll also grind coffee at night and it doesn't wake them.
MikeSD Senior Member Joined: 10 Jan 2013 Posts: 43 Location: Florida Expertise: I like coffee
Posted Tue Mar 19, 2013, 7:11am Subject: Re: High-end coffee maker worth it if not grinding beans myself ?
I have to agree with the above statements. I wouldn't spend the money on a better drip machine. Instead I would spend it on a decent manual burr grinder. I have one and don't wake up my one-year old or my wife. It can be a bit labor intensive depending on how much coffee you're making, though. Get one with a fairly large arm for better leverage.
redkiosk Senior Member Joined: 13 May 2012 Posts: 162 Location: Chicago Metro Area Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Illy Francis-Francis X1 Grinder: Baratza Preciso w/ Esatto... Vac Pot: Someday, very intriguing Drip: Bunn Trifecta MB Roaster: A sure path to divorce!
Posted Tue Mar 19, 2013, 8:21am Subject: Re: High-end coffee maker worth it if not grinding beans myself ?
Do you know anyone handy with sewing? Have them make a thick padded cover for the grinder. I'm thinking something like those attack dog training suits - really THICK! Something like this over your grinder. That should deaden the sound and let others sleep in peace. At the very least, you could throw a blanket over it while it was grinding. But whatever you do, don't buy pre-ground coffee! Take care!
(Click for larger image)
The pathologically precise are annoying, but right!
emradguy Senior Member Joined: 31 Mar 2011 Posts: 1,792 Location: Houston Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto II Grinder: MacapM4T, Macap M4, OE Lido,... Drip: Espro press; Aeropress Roaster: internet
Posted Tue Mar 19, 2013, 8:27am Subject: Re: High-end coffee maker worth it if not grinding beans myself ?
Do you live in a studio apartment? If not, can't you shut the bedroom door when you go to make the coffee? This should solve your problem, unless you're grinding the beans on the counter with a sledge hammer.
I own a Lido. It is extremely quiet, but if you want something electric, you actually do have options...
1) As mentioned above, many of the good grinders are quieter than the cheapos. Perhaps you can get some recommendations for a quiet grinder (not that you aren't getting that now). This alone ought to take care of your problem. As others have said, quieter grinders can be used close to sleeping people. I've made espresso based milk drinks with my baby sleeping in the bassinet less than 6 feet away. That includes grinding beans, running the shot and frothing milk. 2) build a little housing for the grinder out of rubber, so that it contains the noise, you can leave that in a closet while you're not using it.
Of course, you already seem convinced you can't grind in the morning, so to answer your original question...in my opinion, no, it's not worth trying to make coffee at home if you can't grind the beans fresh for each use. Again, that's MY opinion. However, I suspect if you were using high quality beans and grinding them just before going to bed, you'd have a much more enjoyable experience than you do now.
Oh, and none of the roasters I buy beans from offer them pre-ground.
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