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MikeSD
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Jan 2013
Posts: 53
Location: Florida
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: De'Longhi EC155
Grinder: Hario Skerton, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Yama Stovetop 8 Cup
Drip: Hario Pourover
Roaster: Homemade SC/CO
Posted Thu Jan 10, 2013, 3:02pm
Subject: Complete Noob
 

Okay, so I just stumbled into the world of pour over coffee on accident.  I am a teacher and I was looking for a good way to brew a single cup of coffee at a time in my classroom.  (I already had an electric tea kettle.)  I bought a Melitta single cup brewer on a whim.  I figured if it was not that great, no big deal, it was only 5 buck.  Well, anyway I brewed my first cup and just couldn't believe how good it was.  I quickly replace my cheap drip brewer at home with a Melitta 8 cup brewer.  I'm liking it so far, but I have a few questions.

First, (and I'm sure you get this all the time, but I couldn't find that answer) do you need a precession kettle for Melitta?  From what I understand the idea is to draw out the brew time, but with a Melitta the hole in the bottom is fairly small so the brew time is kind of slow anyway.  Should I spend the extra bucks on it or does it even matter?

Also, has anyone used/can vouch for the Bonavita stove top or electric kettle.  I've seen a few sights that rave about them, but the reviews are not great on Amazon.  There are complains of rust and the spout breaking off.  

Anyway, thanks in advance.
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MerleApAmber
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Nov 2012
Posts: 203
Location: Atlanta
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville BES900
Grinder: Baratza Preciso + Esatto
Vac Pot: Yuma
Drip: bah-humbug
Roaster: Hot Top 2K P
Posted Thu Jan 10, 2013, 7:11pm
Subject: Re: Complete Noob
 

Mike,
Good Question and one not in my experience. I'm looking forward to hearing what people experienced with pour through will have to say.
In the meantime, welcome to coffeegeek! If your experience is anything like mine, you'll have a new go-to destination for some time to come now that you've found these wonderful folk. They do seem to know a lot about that which makes great coffee.  Oh, another thing! The folks at seatle coffee gear make up you tube movies (seemingly) at the drop of a hat/pin/needle/napkin/cup/whatever! They may also offer you some good information about the process and the tweaks that help make a better brew for you.  If not else, they are entertaining :)

Best,
-Chris
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Sam21
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Sep 2011
Posts: 409
Location: Northwest, CT
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso, LIDO,...
Vac Pot: Siphon, Aeropress, CCD
Drip: Kalita Wave, Beehouse,...
Roaster: Hottop KN-8828B-2K
Posted Fri Jan 11, 2013, 6:30am
Subject: Re: Complete Noob
 

MikeSD Said:

Okay, so I just stumbled into the world of pour over coffee on accident.  I am a teacher and I was looking for a good way to brew a single cup of coffee at a time in my classroom.  (I already had an electric tea kettle.)  I bought a Melitta single cup brewer on a whim.  I figured if it was not that great, no big deal, it was only 5 buck.  Well, anyway I brewed my first cup and just couldn't believe how good it was.  I quickly replace my cheap drip brewer at home with a Melitta 8 cup brewer.  I'm liking it so far, but I have a few questions.

First, (and I'm sure you get this all the time, but I couldn't find that answer) do you need a precession kettle for Melitta?  From what I understand the idea is to draw out the brew time, but with a Melitta the hole in the bottom is fairly small so the brew time is kind of slow anyway.  Should I spend the extra bucks on it or does it even matter?

Also, has anyone used/can vouch for the Bonavita stove top or electric kettle.  I've seen a few sights that rave about them, but the reviews are not great on Amazon.  There are complains of rust and the spout breaking off.  

Anyway, thanks in advance.

Posted January 10, 2013 link

One can always make do without a precision kettle, but a pouring kettle makes everything a lot easier. Personally, I love having a really nice pouring kettle on hand, as it allows me to control the water to the point of controlling flow rate as a variable. Most of the time, I am not too detail obsessed when it comes to the pouring, but that came with lots of practice and hundreds of cups.

It's really up to you whether or not to purchase a pouring kettle, as you already seem to love the coffee. If you choose to buy one, you can go electric or stovetop. They both have their positives depending on the brand you go for. Bonavita is the most popular electric kettle and is affordable for what it accomplishes. If you purchase it from Terroir coffee they include a flow restrictor at the base of the spout allowing for even more control (this restrictor can be removed whenever you want and put back in the same manner). You also have the option of a more expensive Hario Buono electric kettle, but the Bonavita gains the edge in price. If you are feeling really into the idea of an electric kettle, you can also look into the variable temp kettle from Bonavita. It's more expensive, but adds some pretty cool functionality - target temp programming, built in timer, etc.

On the stovetop side of things you have a lot of options as well. I personally use a Kalita Wave Pot. It's not cheap, but I really love the look of it and the flow control is really amazing. I started with a stovetop Hario Buono, which I enjoyed, but decided to move on to a more expensive kettle - the build quality and flow control validate the price for me. I use a cheap Aroma electric kettle that holds 1.5L and transfer to my pouring kettle. It's what works for me!

So, it comes down to what you want out of it. It sounds like you enjoy the coffee already, so don't get caught up in thinking that you can't make good coffee without a good pouring kettle. That said, you might be surprised to find that with more control and practice, the coffee continues to improve for you! The Melitta, with its one hole, does make flow control less of an issue, but if you ever did move on to a Hario, Beehouse, or other type of dripper, I would definitely recommend a pouring kettle.

More important than a kettle are the beans and grinder. Fresh coffee is important and that doesn't have to mean 5 days off roast and kept in optimal conditions. I find that you can get good coffee out of beans for about 30 days - some will disagree as the coffee does stale quite a bit by this point, but you can still make enjoyable coffee. The grinder is an important step - whether that be a Hario handmill, a Baratza Encore, or a more serious hand grinder (vintage box mill, OE LIDO). Fresh coffee and a capable grinder are a big piece of the puzzle.

All that said, don't let me tell you what you need to do in order to make good coffee, because you are already enjoying it! Just take these as friendly suggestions from another teacher - I have a scale, pouring kettle, Kalita dripper, and LIDO grinder in my office/classroom at work. I only drink a cup or sometimes two a day, but it's sure awesome to have such great coffee available at work!

Enjoy the journey.
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MikeSD
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Jan 2013
Posts: 53
Location: Florida
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: De'Longhi EC155
Grinder: Hario Skerton, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Yama Stovetop 8 Cup
Drip: Hario Pourover
Roaster: Homemade SC/CO
Posted Fri Jan 11, 2013, 8:34am
Subject: Re: Complete Noob
 

Thanks for the responses.  I think I will keep my set up at school as is.  The electric kettle I have there gives a decent pour.  I think I need to start grinding at home the day of and bring it in, though.

I have a birthday coming up so an upgraded grinder is on the list.  (I say list like I'm getting something else.)  I'm going with a handmill as not to wake up my wife and son.

I think I'm going to go with the Bonavita kettle (still not sure whether stove top or electric), but my only concern is the build quality.  I read some unfavorable reviews complaining of rust and the spout breaking.  I'm inclined to think that this is from people mistreating the kettle, but I'd like to hear from people who have owned it for a while. Also, I'd prefer the stove top one in that it is smaller can be tucked away easier, but I've heard it has a round bottom that causes it to rock off the burner while heating the water.

So I guess my questions are: 1) Does anyone have or know someone who has had a Bonavita kettle for 8 months or more, and has it rusted/broken, etc.?  2) Does the stove top version rock while on a glass top stove?
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cerridwyn
Senior Member
cerridwyn
Joined: 6 Jun 2010
Posts: 490
Location: Inland Empire California
Expertise: I live coffee
Posted Fri Jan 11, 2013, 10:32pm
Subject: Re: Complete Noob
 

Never used the Bonavita kettle but my dtr and SiL use their showerhead style coffee pot for when they have guests and love it.

I have a hario no-electric one and I love it. So does my SiL, he loves it to. It really makes a difference in timing. I have a hario v2 that I use for myself too.

Good luck on your quest.

 
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 2,743
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, 2 Macap M4s, OE...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Sat Jan 12, 2013, 7:56am
Subject: Re: Complete Noob
 

I'd suggest bringing your grinder to school and grinding beans while the kettle is heating. You should have time for that.  Btw, which hand grinder are you asking for?

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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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 Sat Jan 12, 2013, 8:57am
Subject: Re: Complete Noob
 

I have had the bonavita electric for about a year now. No issues. If I was in the market for a new one, I'd be getting the bonavita electric with adjustable temperature. Electric comes to temp quickest and the temp adjustment makes this a huge benefit over stove top. As far as grinders go, I use the OE LIDO for FP and aeropress at work. Great hand grinder.
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 2,743
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, 2 Macap M4s, OE...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Sat Jan 12, 2013, 11:27am
Subject: Re: Complete Noob
 

second that on the OE Lido!  I too have an Aeropress at work, and it makes a great cup, but I prefer my Espro single serve press over it.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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MikeSD
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Jan 2013
Posts: 53
Location: Florida
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: De'Longhi EC155
Grinder: Hario Skerton, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Yama Stovetop 8 Cup
Drip: Hario Pourover
Roaster: Homemade SC/CO
Posted Sat Jan 12, 2013, 11:54am
Subject: Re: Complete Noob
 

Thanks for all the replies.  I'm not exactly sure which grinder I'm getting. I'm not looking to spend all that much, honestly. I know, I know you get what you pay for but at this point I really can't spend the money.  I would love to hear suggestions.
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BarryR
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2010
Posts: 263
Location: Wilbraham
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Clever...
Roaster: Hottop KN-8828B2-K
Posted Sat Jan 12, 2013, 2:35pm
Subject: Re: Complete Noob
 

I use the Clever Dripper and now the Handy Brewer and think they're excellent.
I timed how long it takes to microwave 14 oz of water to 203 degrees (3:20 in my strong microwave).

So I just nuke the water and add it to the beans in the dripper/brewer. Time it for four minutes and put it on my mug.

Great way to make an excellent drip cup (the Handy Brewer uses a mesh filter and I like that one best as you get more flavor).
I'd guess results are as good as a standard pour over since the coffee steeps for four minutes.
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