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#1 PowerIce

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 09:53 PM

Does anyone own a grind & brew coffee maker or have recommendations?

I'm looking to get a good quality, but not outrageously expensive grind & brew maker. Preferably under $300.

I appreciate any advice/tips!
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#2 لني

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 09:58 PM

Never used one but im guessing for $300 you can get something decent.

My only concerns would be control of the quality, its not uncommon for intergrated systems of any kind to suffer because one components is not built as well.

Also id be looking at the durabilities issues. If the grinder goes for example is the whole system usless etc.
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#3 Wetcoaster

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 10:34 PM

Does anyone own a grind & brew coffee maker or have recommendations?

I'm looking to get a good quality, but not outrageously expensive grind & brew maker. Preferably under $300.

I appreciate any advice/tips!

A grind and brew is not really my cup of tea coffee as they suffer from the same defects as most other drip makers.

My recommendation would be to get a Technivorm Moccamaster KBT 741 at $299 and buy a separate burr grinder.

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http://www.transcend...CFSTZQgodRmkA6w


The Technivorm is best hands down and here is why - hint it is all about heating the water to the correct brewing temperature, keeping it there and spraying the grounds.
http://www.coffeelov...-carafe-review/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUF3ESN3BUQ

BTW any time you are using a thermal carafe, pre-heat it with boiling water so the coffee going in does not lose temperature.

My personal choice is an Aeropress and a burr grinder (I use a manual grinder) as I have explained in the past. If you want several cups of coffee at a time use a Bodum French Press.

See this thread:
http://forum.canucks...ly-good-coffee/

Edited by Wetcoaster, 18 December 2012 - 10:45 PM.

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#4 Green Building

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 11:30 PM

That depends, do you only want drip coffee? Or 'spro as well?

I hate to break it to you, but if you are an individual who really likes his or her coffee, then for $300 you are going to get what you pay for, not much. Honestly, it isn't going to be great for an all in one machine. If all you want is drip coffee, you might be satisfied with Wet's recommendation. But take it from someone who roasts his own coffee beans, the cheap machines are cheap for a reason. Crappy boiler that scalds your grinds, or one that cools down too fast leaving flavour behind because there is no thermal mass to the machine.

When I started researching which route to go for my home set up, it all came back to one thing. Start with the grinder, and don't skimp. Grind isn't everything with a good coffee, but if it is inconsistent you will not extract all of the flavours and aromas for your esspresso or french press and so on. Basically, you will be off to a poor start and leave yourself nowhere to go. Again, as Wet mentioned, burr grinders are the only way to go. The hand mills do a phenomenal job, and are wicked affordable, but become tedious if you want to make more than one or two cups at a time. Check out Sweet Maria's for some examples of those. I went with a slightly more ridiculous version, a Baratza Vario , and it is AWESOME. My Baratza rocks esspresso grind, unlike many competitors, which is why I like it. And this model weighs it out accurate to the tenth of a gram. It is generally agreed that the ratio of water (in grams, which luckily is the same as millimeters for water) to coffee (also grams) is 17:1. Weighing your beans and measuring your water will provide you with the perfect start. Fineness or courseness of the grind, and the pour and brew method also affect flavour.

If I was you, and depending on how you answer my original question, so assuming you drink drip coffee only, get a burr hand mill, or a more expensive electrical version. I coarsen up the grind a lot for french press or pour over though and many $150 ish grinders will do that, but you lose the fine grind control you need for pulling a great shot. I really need to stress the quality of Baratza products so maybe this one could be for you. Plus, Baratza has customer service that is second to none. My grinder was damaged during shipping and they sent me a new one from the States without me even sending my broken one back yet. The whole preocess took 2 and a half days to rectify. I felt like it was money well spent for sure. I'm going to go grind some beans now that I think about it.

Phew. That was long winded and likely overkill. Hopefully at least %1 was helpful.

Key points: Don't skimp on the burr grinder,
Beware of cheap all in one machines,
Happy caffeination!
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#5 PowerIce

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 01:43 AM

I'm noticing a lot of mixed reviews on the combo makers. I'm not really trying to buy a separate burr grinder, seeing as that's what we currently have. It's a cheap grinder w/ a sunbeam drip coffee maker. So nothing spectacular.

I like the idea of the simplicity the combo makers involve, whereas grinding it each time prior to each brew is a little inconvenient. I'm looking for a grind & brew largely due in part to my mom's request for one. I was going to buy myself a Keurig single serve maker. I'll probably wait a few years for that now.

I'm going to Future Shop tomorrow to check out which is selling more frequent than others & for some advice (which I'll likely take as a grain of salt). But so far I've kind of liked these:

http://www.futuresho...06913bf4069en02

This was a popular model that I heard about quite a bit.

http://www.futuresho...7e072b2b816en02

Same brand as above, $110 cheaper. Not sure why the other one is worth so much more than this one. I also like the 3 year warranty on both Cuisinart coffee makers.

http://www.futuresho...8adfa6a3752en02

Has nice reviews, but is on the pricier end.

I forgot to note I'll be purchasing a coffee maker from Future Shop, as I have a gift card for their store.
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#6 SterlingArcher

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 10:24 AM

i got one of those tassimo machines with tim hortons coffee. works good enough for me. was like 120 bucks from future shop
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#7 J.R.

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 10:36 AM

My personal choice is an Aeropress and a burr grinder (I use a manual grinder) as I have explained in the past. If you want several cups of coffee at a time use a Bodum French Press.

See this thread:
http://forum.canucks...ly-good-coffee/


I second Wet's recommendation for a burr grinder and an Aeropress in conjunction with a french press (for "bulk" coffee making). Invest in a cheap thermometer to ensure proper water temperature as well.

You simply will not get better tasting coffee for less money at home than those solutions.

For a decent, inexpensive burr grinder I recommend the Bodum. You can get better ones but they cost more money (or go manual).
http://www.amazon.ca...r/dp/B0043095WW
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http://www.aeropress.ca/
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http://www.amazon.ca...s/dp/B00009ADDR
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Edited by J.R., 19 December 2012 - 10:37 AM.

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#8 Electro Rock

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 11:49 AM

Plus One for the Aeropress.

I don't even really find it slower to use unless you need more than about 4 cups at a time.

The only coffee I've had that's better than I can make with the Aeropress was from certain European coffee houses with gigabuck machines and bona fide baristas.


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#9 key2thecup

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 12:30 PM

http://www.aeropress.ca/
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Pretty cool, never even knew of such a thing. Im a $20 coffee maker or instant coffee kinda guy...... one day.
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#10 D-Money

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 01:00 PM

I have had Cuisinarts, and they have been fine for me. A lot less than $300 too.

The filter drawer on the first one wore out after about 5 years of heavy use. Everything else was still working fine. However, they must have realized the design issue, because the next one we bought had a stronger, better designed drawer hinge. So who knows how long this one will go for.

My parents also have one that has lasted them over 5 years. Although, they don't use the grinder much.
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#11 J.R.

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 01:11 PM

Pretty cool, never even knew of such a thing. Im a $20 coffee maker or instant coffee kinda guy...... one day.


Aeropress is only ~$30...probably don't have to wait for "one day"...

Edited by J.R., 19 December 2012 - 01:11 PM.

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#12 Wetcoaster

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 01:37 PM

BTW if you do not want to use paper filters( they can be rinsed, dried and re-used) there is a stainless steel filter available for the Aeropress locally:
http://shop.elysianc...m/products/disk

Also the Showcase (As Seen on TV store) at Metrotown near the Food Court had the Aeropress on sale for $14.99 a couple of weeks ago.
http://www.shopatsho.../aeropress.html

You may also want to call around at other branches if they are out of stock.
http://www.shopatsho...ocation.html#bc

If you do not want to grind your own espresso, try Lavazza Gold - the best pre-ground espresso I have tried and it is available at Superstore, Save On Foods. London Drugs etc. Also available as whole beans.

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As I posted in an earlier thread:


If you want great tasting coffee try the AeroPress. A friend of mine who is an espresso aficionado (some would say fanatic) introduced me to this completely new method of making coffee. When I first saw it I told him yup got a couple of those French press makers already.

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However he said this make coffee nothing like French press. Some may have heard of the legendary Clover coffee maker - sort of across between the French press and vacuum pots. Fantastic coffee brewed by the cup in about 30 seconds. The coffee was so good that Starbucks bought the company so that other coffee shops could not use the machine. Problem is at more than $11,000 per unit not something many people would buy as home machine.

As one review that raved about the taste of the Clover machine prepared coffee noted:

The AeroPress
Bummed that you can't bring the Clover home with you? Frustrated by the time it takes to use a French press or a vacuum brewer? You might be interested in the AeroPress, which is starting to draw comparisons to the Clover for the taste of coffee it produces. The AeroPress uses air pressure to pull the immersed coffee grounds through a filter. Like the Clover, the brewing time is short -- about 30 seconds. The Aeropress makes both coffee and espresso


My friend saw this review and said what the heck.

Here is how it was developed and the principles applied:

The AeroPress is the resulting of years of applied research by inventor/engineer Alan Adler. Adler's numerous brewing experiments demonstrated that proper temperature, total immersion and rapid filtering were the keys to obtaining excellent flavour. He then designed and tested dozens of brewing methods before settling on the AEROPRESS design.

After the methodology was settled, further trials were conducted with different prototypes being tested by households to finalise the design. The full AeroPress story is told in great detail here, complete with explanations of the different brewing methods and the advantages of each.

People see some similarities between the AeroPress and a French Press. Both use total immersion and pressure. But the similarities end there.

The filter in the French Press is at the top of the mixture. Because coffee floats, the floating grounds clog the filter and makes pressing and cleaning very difficult. Users are instructed to use only coarse ground coffee. But this reduces the amount of flavor that can be extracted from the coffee and necessitates long steeping times which extract bitterness.

Furthermore, even coarse ground coffee includes many fine particles. These small particles pass through and around the filter resulting in a bitter, gritty brew. The particles in the brew continue to leach out bitterness. Consequently French press users are advised to drink or decant the brew immediately. Also, some particles clog the filter screen making pressing and cleaning very difficult.

AEROPRESS coffee is micro-filtered. It so pure and particle-free that it can be stored for days as a concentrate. The concentrate can be drunk as espresso, mixed with milk for lattes, or diluted to make American coffee. French presses cannot make espresso or lattes.

Finally, cleaning the French press is quite a chore. The AEROPRESS chamber is self-cleaning. A ten-second rinse of the plunger is all that's required.

http://www.gizmag.com/go/5051/

BTW he has an espresso machine at home that he paid over $3500 for so... He tried out the AeroPress because he was tiring of leaving his office constantly to get his coffee fix and did not want to spend another fortune on an in office machine. He has his fresh coffee by the cup in under a minute and does not leave the office.

Oh yeah and did I mention it costs less than $40.00? :shock:
http://www.espressot...opress-c144.htm
http://www.aeropress.ca/

My take after tasting the coffee - very espresso like but no bitterness at all. The espresso from the AeroPress LOOKS nothing like an a espresso pulled from a machine as there is little crema... but the taste... amazing. And in 30 seconds per cup freshly made. :shock:

It will take varying grinds all the way down to espresso - the only caveat is to make sure that if you are using an espresso grind use only one scoop (measuring scoop included). Also the coffee brews best when the water is not boiling but about 175 to 185°F (80 to 85°C). Also the paper filters can be rinsed and re-used several times if you really want to penny pinch

Got to get me one of these. Great in the office or travelling.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9siQ2y_sM9E

Here is an in-depth review and recommended preparation instructions:


Review: Aerobie AeroPress Coffee & Espresso Maker from Single Serve Coffee.com

The staff here at Single Serve Coffee.com have been kicking the tires on the new Aerobie Aeropress for over a month now. Did you notice something about the title of the coffee maker? Yes. The same company that makes the Aerobie flying discs and other fun outdoor products makes the Aeropress. If you've ever thrown an Aerobie you know it really works. The frisbee like rings are much easier to throw than frisbees and go very far. So we had high expectation s for the Aeropress coffee maker from such an ingenious inventive company.

Since this is a little different than other single serve coffee makers we normally review we want to ensure you that it is in fact a single serve coffee maker. Yes - you will need espresso ground coffee from either your grinder or by purchasing some pre-ground coffee from coffee companies like illy but making a cup of Aeropress coffee is very easy and intended to make one cup of perfect coffee or espresso.

Grinding Some Aeropress Coffee

You'll need a decent coffee grinder to get the nice fine grind the Aeropress likes. If you want to compare the grind of a coffee to get it right, pick up a can of illy espresso grind coffee to use as a benchmark. We used various Pete's coffees for our Aeropress testing along with our grinder from Starbucks we had received as a gift.

Once you've ground up your coffee to a nice find grind the Aeropress comes with a measuring spoon to make sure you put the right amount in the chamber.

Making a Cup of Aeropress Coffee

The Aeropress really is an entirely new way to make coffee. Yes, you could compare it to a french press but you would be wrong. Because of an almost giant syringe like coffee gadget you build air pressure by pushing espresso ground coffee through the chamber with a filter paper on the bottom of the Aeropress. Though a french press has this plunger like action the amount of pressure you build up in the Aeropress and extraction is much much higher.

You can push as fast or as slow as you want and creating different strengths of coffee but Aeropress recommends letting the coffee mix in the main chamber for about 20 seconds, and then a slow push of 30 seconds or so to make your coffee. We also recommend keeping the water temperature in the 174-180 degrees F range. The coffee will come out without any bitter aftertaste provided you keep the temperature a little down.

Here's what you do in a nut shell:

* First you put a filter on the bottom of the Aeropress
* You put the Aeropress on top of your favorite coffee mug
* You then put a scoop of coffee in the chamber
* You then pour in the amount of hot water you want in the chamber
* You use the stirrer to mix up the contents
* You put the plunger on the top after waiting 20 seconds for things to mix up
* You then push very slowly feeling the extraction
* Take off the plunger and walk over to the trash and pop out the espresso grounds
* Enjoy a perfect cup of bitter free coffee

We would also like to say if you want to make a Cafe Americano cup - just add a little water at the end in your coffee cup and be sensitive to the crema on the top.

Cleaning up the Aeropress is also very easy. Since everything is plastic you can pop out the espresso cookie, and then quickly wash up the parts and place them in a dish rack or on a towel. We were surprised how easy the plunger cleaned up but the coffee isn't all over the inside like in a french press it's in a tight compact cookie like wad in the bottom.

Our Impressions of Aeropress Prepared Coffee

Delicious. Very non-bitter and always got the flavor of the coffee we were using. We could also depending on the mix time and the amount of time we took pressing the coffee out of the Aeropress get various strengths of coffee. We really enjoyed having almost total control over the type of coffee we produced and it all felt very zen like when you would get in tune with the Aeropress.

We tried various combinations of water temperature, grind, and time to press. In the end we got what we wanted with 176 degrees F water, 30 seconds of mix time, and around 35-40 seconds of press time using a Pete's Coffee or the illy dark espresso pre-ground coffee.

Conclusions

The Aeropress works and is really fun and makes terrific cup of coffee. We really enjoyed using it and will continue to use it. Since the clean up and preparation is very simple, we think if you want to really get into creating your own signature coffee pulls (a little espresso term there for pulling a shot) then you'll want to pick this up. It's fun and best of all very affordable at $30 for the quality of coffee and espresso it delivers.

http://www.singleser...004326.php#more






You might also want to take a look at the replacement Stainless Steel Disk Filter by Coava. The claim is that it gives an even more flavourful cup of coffee as more of the oils make it through that are trapped by the paper filter.
http://www.aeropress...opress-filters/
http://coffeegeek.co...machines/510319

I would also consider the inverted brewing process since the flavour from the bloom also have better chance of getting through.
http://coffeegeek.co...uestions/240065

There are so many posts about tweaking the brewing process and some recommend using a food grade 5 micron polyester felt disc as it also allows the oils through.
http://coffeegeek.co...machines/234693
http://www.brista.ca...press-question/

The AeroPress Cult following????


Edited by Wetcoaster, 19 December 2012 - 01:40 PM.

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#13 ronthecivil

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 04:54 PM

Man you guys must have a lot of cupboard space!
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#14 PowerIce

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 05:13 PM

^coffee is a priority for some, and you could say it's a bit of a hobbie too. I'll always make cupboard space.

I'm really interested in that aeropress maker. Appears to be a lot cheaper than an espresso machine :P Cheap too, simple to use. If I see one at showcase I'll pick it up for sure.

I have had Cuisinarts, and they have been fine for me. A lot less than $300 too.

The filter drawer on the first one wore out after about 5 years of heavy use. Everything else was still working fine. However, they must have realized the design issue, because the next one we bought had a stronger, better designed drawer hinge. So who knows how long this one will go for.

My parents also have one that has lasted them over 5 years. Although, they don't use the grinder much.



If any coffee maker lasts more than 5 years for me, it's well worth my money. :lol: Which model do you currently have? I bought a DeLonghi for $100 & it stopped working after less than a year. Last time I buy their product.
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#15 thehun

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 09:55 AM

Buy German. Matter of fact, when it comes to any appliance always buy German.
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#16 J.R.

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 11:10 AM

Man you guys must have a lot of cupboard space!


Kettle stays on counter by the stove. Grinder is out of the way on counter in a corner. Aeropress takes up next to no room and is in cupboard above coffee cups (along with milk frother for lattes etc :D )

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#17 Wetcoaster

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 11:42 AM

Buy German. Matter of fact, when it comes to any appliance always buy German.

Many "German" brands are in name only and are made elsewhere - usually China.

In drip coffeemakers there are only several consumer models of which I am aware that consistently heat the water to a correct temperature for brewing as they have 1400+ watt heating elements. One is German, one Swiss and the other Dutch. I would go with the Technivorm and always a thermal carafe model and not a hot plate.

Bonavita Automatic Coffee Brewer (German)
http://shop.elysianc...-thermal-carafe

Bodum Bistro Pourover Machine (Swiss)
http://www.bodum.com...ail/11001-01US/

Technivorm Moccamaster KBT 741 (Dutch)
(see above)
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#18 Wetcoaster

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 12:03 PM

Kettle stays on counter by the stove. Grinder is out of the way on counter in a corner. Aeropress takes up next to no room and is in cupboard above coffee cups (along with milk frother for lattes etc :D )

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Have you tried the inverted method of Aeropress brewing? BTW if you are using paper filters, try pouring some hot water through the filter first - it makes a difference for me.


The biggest problem with brew recipes - in my opinion - is grind size. We've found that a small adjustment in grind makes a huge difference in the cup. Particularly with the Aeropress. Grinding just a little too fine and we'd get a slight bitterness and a bit too coarse and we wouldn't get all the delicate aromas. This presents a problem when we want to communicate a brew method to home consumers, since most don't even posses a grinder that can be as finely adjusted or will grind as evenly as the Mahlkönig VTA-6 we use. So please, do experiment with the grind to really nail it!


So, here is the current profile:


16 grams of coffee

Ground somewhere between a filter grind and french press - leaning to the coarser side.

170 ml. water of 92-95º Celcius

Steeping time 2 minutes


We use the Aeropress upside-down (or inverted as some like to call it). Put the rubber part just below the number 4 mark. Put the freshly ground coffee in it, add the water - use a scale for accuracy if you're a supergeek - and stir very well just as you have poured the water. Steep for two minutes and meanwhile rinse the paper filter in the filter holder with lots of hot water. Stir again after the two minutes, put the filter in the filterholder on and screw tight. Now carefully turn the Aeropress over and press into a sturdy cup or pitcher.


The advantage of this method is the total immersion brewing like you have in a French Press. But with the Aeropress you get a much cleaner cup. None of that dusty mouthfeel you sometimes get in a French Press, especially towards the bottom of the cup. We tried a lot to see if we could use a finer grind and shorten the steeping time, but the aromas really never came through as well as with the 2 minute steep time. In theory you should be able to grind finer and shorten the extraction time, but in reality we find it just doesn't work as well as this profile.

http://coffeecollective.blogspot.ca/2010/01/updated-aeropress-brewing-method.html
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