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Discussions > Coffee > Machines > Help me decide...  
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kdrain
Senior Member
kdrain
Joined: 30 Jan 2006
Posts: 64
Location: Alabama
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Mypressi Twist
Grinder: Vario, Virtuoso, Porlex
Vac Pot: Yama / Cory rod
Drip: Technivorm, KMB, Aeropress
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Tue Nov 20, 2012, 6:08am
Subject: Re: Help me decide on a home brewing method
 

Burr grinder (Baratza grinders are very good) and an Aeropress.
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Burner0000
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,082
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 Tue Nov 20, 2012, 6:15am
Subject: Re: Help me decide on a home brewing method
 

I haven't tried it but I have heard great things about the Aeropress. Worth looking into.  If your the only drinker I would still go with a manual brewer.  Invest in a good Baratza grinder.  I haven't found many single auto brewers out there.  I also prefer manual (Press/pourover) because I can take it with me and I don't have to worry about an electrical outlet.
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dyqik
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Oct 2011
Posts: 383
Location: Cambridge, MA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera BZ07 PM
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso...
Vac Pot: Cona D
Drip: Bona-Vita, CCD, Aeropress.
Roaster: Gene Cafe, Modded Poppers
Posted Tue Nov 20, 2012, 11:45am
Subject: Re: Help me decide on a home brewing method
 

For a bit more coffee than the Aeropress produces, consider the Clever Coffee Dripper as well.  You can either use this as a manual pourover filter, or as a steep then filter brewer.  In the latter guise, it'll make about 15oz of coffee as a maximum, compared to the 10oz or so from the Aeropress.  

It's pretty easy to use in the steeping mode - add coffee to filter, add hot water, stir and wait for a few minutes, place on cup.

And +1 to the Baratza grinders.
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faaparasite
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Jun 2003
Posts: 290
Location: Dallas Metroplex
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera BZ99
Grinder: Mazzer Super Jolly
Drip: Technivorm
Posted Tue Nov 20, 2012, 12:03pm
Subject: Re: Help me decide on a home brewing method
 

If you have to use a blade grinder, I think an aeropress is your best bet, although a decent burr grinder such as one of those made by Baratza would make it even better.  The great thing about the aeropress is it's extremely easy to use and cleanup is a snap, so it's well suited to newbies all the way up to those who are more seasoned and for $26 shipped, it's one of the best values out there.

If you are going to do french press, a better grinder is going to do you a world of good.

Whichever way you go, freshly roasted beans are going to improve your coffee the most assuming you're using less than optimally fresh beans.  Here's a pretty good list of roasters.

Click Here (www.home-barista.com)
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kdrain
Senior Member
kdrain
Joined: 30 Jan 2006
Posts: 64
Location: Alabama
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Mypressi Twist
Grinder: Vario, Virtuoso, Porlex
Vac Pot: Yama / Cory rod
Drip: Technivorm, KMB, Aeropress
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Tue Nov 20, 2012, 12:25pm
Subject: Re: Help me decide on a home brewing method
 

dyqik Said:

For a bit more coffee than the Aeropress produces, consider the Clever Coffee Dripper as well....it'll make about 15oz of coffee as a maximum, compared to the 10oz or so from the Aeropress.

Posted November 20, 2012 link

Depending on how strong you like your coffee, you should be able to make more than a 10 oz. americano. Even by the provided instructions (which makes coffee stronger than I prefer), you can make a 20 oz americano with one pressing. I easily make a 14 oz americano in a travel mug most mornings without being anywhere near the Aeropress capacity.
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dyqik
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Oct 2011
Posts: 383
Location: Cambridge, MA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera BZ07 PM
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso...
Vac Pot: Cona D
Drip: Bona-Vita, CCD, Aeropress.
Roaster: Gene Cafe, Modded Poppers
Posted Tue Nov 20, 2012, 1:24pm
Subject: Re: Help me decide on a home brewing method
 

kdrain Said:

Depending on how strong you like your coffee, you should be able to make more than a 10 oz. americano. Even by the provided instructions (which makes coffee stronger than I prefer), you can make a 20 oz americano with one pressing. I easily make a 14 oz americano in a travel mug most mornings without being anywhere near the Aeropress capacity.

Posted November 20, 2012 link

I deliberately excluded bypassed brews/topping up with water, as it's a technique that works with any brewing method.  By the same technique you can get 30oz from a CCD, or >60oz from a large FP (or 12oz Americano from a 2oz double espresso).  I thought that would just confuse the issue.
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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, 4:49pm
Subject: Re: Help me decide on a home brewing method
 

dyqik Said:

I deliberately excluded bypassed brews/topping up with water, as it's a technique that works with any brewing method.  By the same technique you can get 30oz from a CCD, or >60oz from a large FP (or 12oz Americano from a 2oz double espresso).  I thought that would just confuse the issue.

Posted November 20, 2012 link

You're right; It does.

dyqik Said:

....it'll make about 15oz of coffee as a maximum, compared to the 10oz or so from the Aeropress.  

Posted November 20, 2012 link

You can make more than 10oz max from the aeropress by topping with water.  Your statement above makes it seem this is not a common practice, when--dare I say most--top a concentrate to desired strength.  Not saying this to 'stir the pot', just to clarify the issue.
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CraigA
Moderator
CraigA
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 11,245
Location: Rexdale, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: PID/PressureMod 2001...
Grinder: BUNN FPG-2 DBC, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos manual, Yama 5...
Drip: Behmor BraZen, BUNN VPR-APS,...
Roaster: Refurb Behmor 1600, BBQ...
Posted Tue Nov 20, 2012, 6:11pm
Subject: Re: Help me decide on a home brewing method
 

diggi Said:

You can make more than 10oz max from the aeropress by topping with water.  Your statement above makes it seem this is not a common practice, when--dare I say most--top a concentrate to desired strength.  Not saying this to 'stir the pot', just to clarify the issue.

Posted November 20, 2012 link

I can get 3 topped up to 10 oz mugs out of my Aeropress.

 
http://twitter.com/CoffeegeekCraig
http://www.facebook.com/craig.andrews.169

Excellent coffee doesn't just happen!
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Netphilosopher
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jan 2011
Posts: 1,602
Location: USA
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Nov 20, 2012, 8:19pm
Subject: .
 

.
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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, 10:07pm
Subject: Re: Help me decide on a home brewing method
 

Like others have said, a burr grinder is going to be essential. Without a decent grinder, no coffee you make is going to be great. Those whirly blade contraptions don't really grind, they chop up your coffee and in the process generate a lot of heat (think, re-roasting your precious beans) and they don't produce consistent sized coffee morsels (which means small chunks of coffee will clog and stretch out your french press filter and it wont extract evenly, leaving you with a flat gross cup of coffee.) I know someone who refuses to not use the blade grinder on his french press and the filter is a mess and he's constantly having to replace it. I've never replaced the filters on mine and they look new. So the burr grinder pays for itself if you factor in the cost of saved filters (I think like 5 of them are a couple dollars so it'll take a while, but still)

If you think that some day you'll want to venture into espresso, save up and get a grinder with infinite settings and all that jazz. Look to spend at minimum 200 or so. Might seem like a lot, but it'll last you for years and you'll never run into a coffee brewing situation that you can't handle.

That being said, if you're aim is to make the drip oriented methods of coffee you don't exactly need to drop an arm and a leg on a grinder. I have a crappy capresso grinder that I'm ashamed to admit to (I got it for 6 bucks at a thrift store, I think it goes for 50ish new) and it does a pretty decent job with my french presses, drip, vac pot, moka pot. Anything that doesn't really require too fine of a grind.

However, if you can swing whatever the cheapest baratza is (I've seen them refurbed around 100) that's gonna be awesome for you.

Once you've got a serviceable grinder situation, I recommend giving vacuum pots some consideration. I'm sorta high on having just used one for the first time (and the caffeine) but it required very little effort (just some grind tweaking) and I had one of the greatest cups of coffee in my life. A simple stovetop vac rig goes for 40ish new on ebay and decent vintage ones are pretty cheap. Plus they'll make you feel like a mad scientist every time you make a pot.

Good luck!


EDIT: It looks like people got side tracked arguing over aeropress nonsense, so I'll try and answer your question about getting good coffee with not too much fuss.

The aeropress is probably not what you're looking for. Coffee nerds seem to love it (as they should, it's cool) but people around here seem to like to over sell it. It doesn't seem like what you're looking for is an americano, you want a cup like a good quality auto-drip from the coffee store (if I'm reading you correctly.)

Basically what makes a cup of coffee at your local Starbucks or coffee shop good is twofold: They grind the coffee in a quality grinder moments before it's brewed and their brewers get the water hot enough. Cheap drip makers just don't get it hot enough to make a good pot of coffee, and neither does the k-cup thing.

So any method of coffee you use is going to give you a cup of good quality coffee as long as you use hot enough water, and grind immediately (using as freshly roasted beans as possible, of course)

You'll get what you need out of the press. I find it to be somewhat of a hassle though. It's a temperamental method of brewing and if your water is the wrong temperature, you tiredly threw a bit too much coffee in, you forgot to give it a stir, or you missed the plunging time you're gonna end up with a less than stellar cup.

A cheap pour over could be a great solution for you, or for best results you could save up for a high quality auto-drip. The pour over you could find on amazon for almost nothing. Any kind will do, you just need something that'll go over your cup and hold the filter. The beauty of that method is its simplicity. I'm assuming you have a tea kettle, and for optimal results you should have a thermometer (make sure your water is roundabout 200 degrees. 205 is aight, boiling is bad, and anything lower than 190 is a no-go)
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