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A big shout out to companies that have been kind to CoffeeGeek!!
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MarkPrince
Moderator


Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 5,624
Location: Vancouver, BC
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: KvdW Speedster
Grinder: Versalab M3 Grinder
Vac Pot: A bit too many
Drip: Bonavita
Roaster: Hario Glass Retro Roaster
Posted Fri Sep 30, 2005, 4:48pm
Subject: A big shout out to companies that have been kind to CoffeeGeek!!
 

For a while now I've been trying to figure out how we could do a kinda "sponsor attack" or similar thing you may see on blogs like Engadget and others - a blog post where they put the shout out to the current list of sponsors for supporting the site, kind of putting it in the forefront of the readers' eyes.

Well, we don't have a blog here, but we do have a forum. And I have two specific types of shout outs.

First, a huge thanks and big CoffeeGeek hugs to all the sponsors who are currently advertising on the site. There's many of them, from GeekLink purchasers to mutli-banner ad buyers - and I encourage you to go check out the list in our Resources section:

"Current CoffeeGeek Advertisers"

Next, not a week or two goes by when some vendor, machine maker, allied company, roaster, or what have you doesn't send something our way, or chip in to help with something that we have unique problems (and solutions) to... and it's been my terrible bad for not always acknowledging these folks in the past. But I aim to change that with one of these posts every few weeks.

Here's a list of some companies who have helped out CoffeeGeek in some form or another - and by doing so, help us bring you better content both on the website, and in the podcast.

Podhead
We're testing a couple of "single serve coffee" machines because of the massive amount of requests that the podcast (primarily) has flooded us with. The big problem? The proprietary pods that ship with it are absolute shite. I made a call to Gianni over at Podhead last week to complain about it, and to see if I could get a sampler package from him at a good price (of his manufactured pods that I hoped were much better than the Big Four supplied pods).... but Gianni was having none of that.

Instead, to help the site out, and to reduce our expenditure costs, he shipped out packages of ten (10) of every Sensation pod styles he has. Including the expensive JBM and Kona versions. Not only that, but he sent them two day express!

I want to give a big thanks to him, and if you're in the market for pods, I hope you consider him and his generosity to the website.

Bodum
A few weeks ago, I made a post in our own Buy and Sell Forum looking for the elusive Bodum press pot timers - the type that cliped right onto the press pot metal shafts. The problem was, Bodum stopped selling these a few years ago. I had purchased four new 3 cup Chambord Press Pots so we could do a better session of "tastings" on our podcasts that made things more even and equal. The problem was, timing four pots is a bit of a pain, especially since I only have two or three timers handy, and knowing which timer is for which pot can get messy.

Well this week, I got a surprise from Jeff Malkasian at Bodum. He managed to scrounge up three timers in a box somewhere at the warehouse, and sent them off to me. This will go a long way to helping regulate and even out the playing field in our on air tastings, and I really appreciate the effort Jeff and Bodum went through to find these and ship them my way.

Ecco Cafe
Andrew Barnett heard me rave about the Presidential Award Winner (2004) Fazenda Esperanca Brasil coffee he roasts and sells (and sent us some for an on air tasting); because we used up all the sample in the podcast, Andrew sent me some more, this time just for my personal enjoyment.

They don't sell coffee on the website, but I highly recommend you give this coffee a try - easily one of the best I've had this year.

KitchenAid
Huge shout outs to KitchenAid and Lou Ann Schaefer at the company for their help and generosity in not only getting us all the Pro Line products for evaluation, but sending us a second Pro Line espresso machine and a second Pro Line auto drip machine, simply because they've done some minor upgrades to both in the last few months, and want CoffeeGeek to evaluate the latest models. The Espresso machine's First Look and DR is about 75% done already, and the drip is about half way through. They are sending the newests incarnations, once again picking up all costs.

The products are great, but the company is even better - read our forums yourself, and find out how great their warranty and replacement policy is.

I know I'm forgetting a few - I'm writing this in a cafe, and I am sure I've left a few out - but I did want to get it out there that there are MANY vendors, machine makers, roasters, cafes, etc. etc. who do a lot of CoffeeGeek behind the scenes to make this site as good as we hope it can be.

If you have any comments about these companies, please share!

Mark

 
CoffeeGeek Senior Editor
www.twitter.com/coffeegeek www.flickr.com/coffeegeek, www.instagram.com/coffeegeek (you get the picture)
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flacoman
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Jul 2005
Posts: 88
Location: Ft Lauderdale FL
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Stovetop
Grinder: Kitchen Aid
Vac Pot: Bodum
Drip: Cuisinart
Roaster: Stir Crazy/Supentown
Posted Fri Sep 30, 2005, 5:02pm
Subject: Re: A big shout out to companies that have been kind to coffeegeek!
 

Big note to KitchenAid .... Mark's exposure works!
I'd have never considered their grinder had I not seen the first look on this very website...
Kudos to KA for giving me the revised upper bin with just a quick email to them...
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jakethecoffeelover
Senior Member
jakethecoffeelover
Joined: 3 Mar 2005
Posts: 1,036
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Expertise: Pro Barista

Espresso: Gaggia Espresso
Grinder: Mazzer Super Jolly...
Vac Pot: Perhaps in the future...
Drip: Insulated Bodum Kenya FP
Roaster: Hearthware iRoast
Posted Fri Sep 30, 2005, 9:51pm
Subject: Re: A big shout out to companies that have been kind to CoffeeGeek!!
 

Mark, you own this site... put this in every forum section and on the home page! Thank you to all the people who are indirectly supporting my addiction! If it wasn't for you, JonR10, NYC_Crema, twomaritinis, Cajun_brew, bolojm, cannonfodder, reschsmooth, cpl593h, RapidCoffee, and all the other players would have nowhere to blow our loads of espresso porn! Thank you Mark and sponsors!

 
I got a blog! http://www.coffeaarabica.blogspot.com
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MarkPrince
Moderator


Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 5,624
Location: Vancouver, BC
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: KvdW Speedster
Grinder: Versalab M3 Grinder
Vac Pot: A bit too many
Drip: Bonavita
Roaster: Hario Glass Retro Roaster
Posted Mon Oct 3, 2005, 12:59pm
Subject: Re: A big shout out to companies that have been kind to CoffeeGeek!!
 

As a followup, especially to the pods we got frm www.podhead.com - Gianni over there sent me about 150 pods (holy crap). We've been plowing through them while testing the single cup brewer we're evaluating (I have help from two coffee newbies on this project). There's some real surprises there, as well as some disapointments.

First, the proprietary Sara Lee pods you typically get with these single cup brewers, be it Philips, Melitta, even Bunn... well, in a word. Horrible. Having had approximately 15 of them now, I can say without doubt that it is like drinking something tained with motor oil. The aftertaste is so horrible and difficult to get rid of, I literally had to gargle and drink shots of vodka to get rid of it.

Moving on to the Podhead pods. Some surprisingly great, some good / acceptable, and some just plain bad.

- Surprises: the Kenya AA actually has some remainders of a geniune Kenya AA taste profile - bright citrus acidity, with an aftertaste like blackberries (very faint). Best of the bunch so far for me. Got better as the cup cooled down too. Also, the Narrangansett blend (with some robusta) was a big surprise. Not a great coffee, but pretty good.

The good:
- the JBM was suprisingly well rounded, a poster child for a decent cup of coffee. No special flavours jumped out, other than a well rounded, smooth cup.
- Colombian Organic and Colombian Medellin Supremo were the "boldest, strongest" cups in the roundout - extraction rate seemed best for these two, leaving me with a deep but fairly well balanced 4oz cup of coffee.
- Brasil Santos was a close second on a full, slightly rich cup. pleasing morning coffee with hints of tabacco.
- Costa Rica Peaberry Dark was okay, but I'd like to see it as a medium, because I tasted the scantest typical "costa rican" flavours that I think the old grind + dark roast killed off.
- Guat Antigua had a very typical guat profile - bright acidity, works great with milk.

The not so good
- Mexican Altura Coatapec - wince inducing coffee. Tried three of them, all leaving me with a bad taste. Thought it was a 100% robusta, it was so bad
- Kona - a letdown. Very flat, dead coffee. Kona is normally do delicate, that I'm sure the process of old grinds + the less than ideal extraction you get from these machines just makes it die.
- All the flavoured coffees. Wince inducing again. Pretty sure these are robusta
- Double Caf, Half Caf, Parisien blends - again, wince inducing. Tastes kind of reminded me of the Senseo pods.

At a price of 0.70 - 0.53 per pod (depending on order) for most of the pods (the JBM and Kona are much more expensive) these are not cheap cups of 4oz coffees. They're on par with what you'd pay going out for a cup. And compared to the 0.28 - 0.16 per cup cost for the Sara Lee provided pods, much more expensive.

But in some of these, you do get what you pay for. If you want a 7-11 type of coffee, then have your 8oz for as low as 32 pennies. But if you want a cup that's as good, or probably better than half the cafes out there, paying up to $1.40 for an 8oz is what you'd expect. These machines are all about convenience, and often quality and cost take a back seat. At least with the Podhead coffees (some of them) quality doesn't take that big a hit, but your wallet does.

That said, I'd probably consider this machine as something for a small office, or for a relative who I think needs better coffee than the jar of instant they have in the cupboard, and supply them with aftermarket pods. I think these machines have a place in "quality coffee" if the razorblades (read: pods) are the best that they can be. The Big Four supplied pods are not that. They are horrible. But if a company like Intelly or similar ever got in the biz of creating pods for these proprietary systems, and we saw some competitive pricing that got pod prices down to say $0.35 per pod, it definitely has a place in the CG universe ;) At $0.70 a pod now, it's an expensive price to get a decent cuppa. But let's do some math:

Traditional setup, medium / upper price tier
$1,200 Espresso machine
$350 grinder
1lb coffee every 1.5 weeks ($12) x 52 weeks (35 purchases) = $420
Total cost: $1,970

Traditional setup, lower / mid priced
$600 espresso machine
$200 grinder
1lb coffee every 1.5 weeks ($12) x 52 weeks (35 purchases) = $420
Total cost: $1,220

Auto Drip setup:
$170 drip machine (capresso mt500)
$200 grinder (KA Proline)
1lb coffee every week ($12) x 52 weeks = $624
Total cost $994

Philips Senseo Setup
$60 machine (on sale)
4 pods a day x 7 a week x 52 weeks (buying bulk, 150 at a time) = 1456 pods = just shy of 10 orders of 150
Coffee Costs: $800
Total cost: $860.

After one year of ownership, the Philips is still the lowest cost with a fair amount of coffee brewed (112oz a week).

After two years, the auto drip would beat it. After 2.5 years, the lower / mid espresso setup would be cheaper. But it would take up to four years or more for the high end espresso setup to beat the price.

Anyway, interesting numbers to digest. I think I'll also post this as a "review" of sorts in the review forum.

Mark

 
CoffeeGeek Senior Editor
www.twitter.com/coffeegeek www.flickr.com/coffeegeek, www.instagram.com/coffeegeek (you get the picture)
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