Best coffee maker

Discussion in 'Geek Food' started by bevanbraves, Jan 10, 2015.

  1. Turnip Dude

    Turnip Dude Member

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    A steak sandwich is obviously superior to a burger, but many people consider a burger an acceptable compromise if they're short of time, money or energy. Pod machines have their place, and users of those machines should not be looked down on by coffee snobs simply because they sacrifice flavour for convenience.

    I love good coffee. I went as far as looking into importing sacks of green beans and making a machine to roast beans myself on demand. I spent a month trying to get a decent brew out of an Aeropress. But you know what? after hundreds of dollars of outlay on grinders, espresso machines, special filters for aeropresses, I bought a pod machine. And I've been happy.

    You know why? It's just coffee. Yes, you should indulge yourselves in something that makes you happy. Yes, many people can taste the difference between coffee ground at 9am and coffee ground at 10am. If you have the funds, go for it, you're helping the economy.

    But for most people a burger is good enough. Sure, they would prefer a steak sandwich, obviously it's the superior option, but who wants to get up an hour early during a weekday morning to get the sous vide up to temp and defrost your breakfast steak?

    So all the advice in this thread so far, the question I have to ask OP is how important coffee is to him, and how much cash he wants to invest. To get good coffee with minimal effort is $megabucks. To get good coffee on a budget is a lot of work. To get not bad coffee with no effort and minimal outlay there are pods.
     
  2. broccoli

    broccoli Member

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    To continue your analogy, sometimes a burger will be superior to a steak sandwich. A tough bit of overcooked leather will be worse than a fresh patty made with premium mince. The more expensive and "better" should be superior, but it may not be so, because there are other variables.

    With the coffee, if you "do it wrong" with the espresso machine, it can taste awful, whereas I've found the pods to be consistent. If you practice and know how to squirt it out consistently then it should be better, but if you don't you might be squirting out horrible bitter brews.

    I was interested to see in that video that the coffee from the automatic machines was bitter. It's very hard to squirt out the perfect cup. It's a skill that baristas develop through practise, at home you may or may not get up to skill. I expect that I'm not very good at it, because I don't drink much coffee.
     
  3. ThankDog

    ThankDog (Banned or Deleted)

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    These analogies that people are coming up with simply don't work. They aren't applicable. Here's a better analogy: a steak sandwich cooked five minutes before eating it is superior to a steak sandwich cooked yesterday, left out overnight, and then microwaved and eaten.

    You're talking about STALE coffee and making out like anyone who thinks that grinding fresh is better than stale is a snob. Sorry, but I don't like eating or drinking stale things and I can't fathom why anyone else would. Instant would be better and cheaper. If you're going to go to all the hassle of getting the equipment and buying the beans then why on earth would you do all of that if you're only going to waste it all by consuming stale product.

    It's just weird that people get so defensive about justifying their odd habit of wasting money to consume something that has gone off.
     
  4. broccoli

    broccoli Member

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    It's vacuum sealed. There's no air getting to it, how could it be going stale?
     
  5. Spicymint75

    Spicymint75 Member

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    Enjoy your shitty, stale, bitter, environmentally unfriendly, and 5 x more expensive than whole bean, shitty pod coffee.
     
  6. Turnip Dude

    Turnip Dude Member

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    Thank you, I will. Enjoy your shitty, stale, bitter, unfriendly, angry, defensive personality.
     
  7. drummer

    drummer Member

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    There were a fair few replies here - seems like you are still not sure.

    I am not a coffee snob, I recently got this machine https://www.sunbeam.com.au/e8c0b3c1-6ac4-4c09-b26c-5625f9d78ab9.aspx for about 450-500 (cant remember the exact price) however its great. Super easy to use. The only concern I have with it is the grinder is real messy. Otherwise it is a solid machine. I can usually power on, grind, make coffee and clean up in about 5 mins.

    I went from a pod machine and it is far superior (even if it takes a little bit extra)

    I have used one of the all-in-one machines that grind brew and make the milk and I find that they usually lack in one department. However my only experience is with a friends machine that I have used for about a week or so.
     
  8. 3stars

    3stars Member

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    even the cheapest sunbeam/breville espresso machine will suffice only down side is the single boiler.
     
  9. scared&profane

    scared&profane Member

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    I'll pile on to this.

    I have 3 sunbeam machines, and 3 sunbeam grinders (coincidence, rather than by design). They range from the bottom end to the high/mid-range.

    Realistically, the higher end ones are more convenient - but not by a lot. They also have the potential to make a better coffee, but that depends on me mostly. Honestly, i find i make the best coffee on the mid-range one - primarily because i am most familiar with it.

    As far as singe vs dual boilers - are you planning on making a lot of coffees at a time? If so, dual is for you, if not then its really added expense and more moving parts that can potentially break. My thoughts are - save your pennies for a better tamper, unpressurised baskets and nicer beans.

    Finally, the grinders range from the em440 to em480 ($60-$200) - they grind exactly the same. As long as you get a conical burr grinder, you wont notice the difference until YOU have the skills to make it better (and the palette to appreciate it).

    Tl;dr
    Buy a simple coffee machine, a simple conical burr grinder, a decent tamper, unpressurised baskets and some great bean and enjoy. The hot tip is that second hand will be better value in this case and due to the simplicity of the machine, hard to go wrong (and easy to fix if you do).
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2015
  10. HeXa

    HeXa Member

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    because the supermarket ground coffee is stale before it even gets into the bags and has the air vacuumed out - they can't seal when freshly roasted as the grounds are still out-gassing

    EDIT: forgot to mention that these bags can sit around for weeks/months in warehouses and stores before being sold - if there isn't a roast date on the bag, don't expect freshness
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2015
  11. scared&profane

    scared&profane Member

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    This too x1000.

    Freshly roasted, whole beans ground immediately before you make your coffee will make all the difference, regardless of the style of coffee you make.
     
  12. Arch-Angel

    Arch-Angel Member

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    This has certainly been an entertaining thread :)

    OP: considering you like milk coffees, and have a budget which extends beyond Aeropress and Presso devices, I would highly recommend to you the following machine:

    Breville BES870
    http://www.breville.com.au/bes870demovideo
    I recommend this because I have it and it is a good middle-of-the-range machine.
    Pros:
    * Adjustable (becasue, as we know, eveyone has different tastes!)
    * Built in grinder (conical burr - which is a good thing)
    * Heats up fast
    * Easy to clean/maintain
    *With a little practice you can make cafe quality espresso and espresso based coffees quite easily

    Cons:
    * Upper limit of your budget
    * It does take some practice to get right - it's a manual/semi-auto machine, not a fully automatic one, so until you get a consistent workflow, you won't get a consistent result
    * Does have a moderate sized footprint, so if your kitchen is small then there are smaller machines available which can be put into
    * Really only good for up to 2 milk coffees at a time. Any more than that and it's going to start taking a while, and you might be better off with a dual boiler machine.
     
  13. Squatting_Tiger

    Squatting_Tiger Member

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    Nothing more polarising then pod coffees apparently... :shock:
     
  14. Arch-Angel

    Arch-Angel Member

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    My post was in direct response to OP's post - I have the exact package he was looking at, and my comment was to say that it takes to long to grind using that particular grinder.

    Maybe have a good read of an entire thread before flying off the handle over a single comment in a post?

    Also... you were the first to start with the analogies... and it was also a ridiculous one.
    However, I completely understood your point, but you seem to have completely missed mine. So let me spell it out for you:

    I agree 100% that freshly ground coffee tastes better than coffee that was ground days before.
    BUT, not everyone has the luxury of being able to do so, and not everyone is willing to invest in the equipment or time/patience required.

    Some people aren't as enthusiastic about coffee as you obviously are.
     
  15. broccoli

    broccoli Member

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    Nobody's talking about the difference between ground coffee and grinding beans, ThankDog was referring to pod coffee.

    In any event, why on earth would any coffee vendor leave its product to go stale before packaging it? All the producers know about coffee, they would do their absolute best to get it packaged at its maximum freshness. It is fine to say that grinding immediately before extraction is best, but it's way over the top to call all other coffee stale and completely undrinkable. It's obviously perfectly acceptable to many, otherwise it wouldn't be on the market and it wouldn't sell.

    Everybody is different. What is "required" by a coffee afficionado is not what is acceptable to somebody who isn't that precious about coffee. You need to figure out who you are as to what will be good enough for you.

    I am "fussy" with coffee because I've only recently taken it up. The slightest hint of bitterness or "off" flavour and I won't drink it. I don't tip the pod coffee down the sink. Sometimes, I do something wrong with the extraction on the "proper" machine and it tastes yuck.

    The pod coffee is more expensive and that's one of the reasons I didn't get that first off. BUT if you mess coffees up and have to chuck them out, or if you don't get through a small bag of beans in a short amount of time, you may wipe out that price differential by waste.

    Not everybody is the same, likes the same things, has the same amount of patience, etc etc etc.
     
  16. Anth Seebel

    Anth Seebel Member

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    haha ah goon , havent touched that in a while :Paranoid::p Yeah I did some research and basically looked at good brand 2nd hand machines that had a seperate boiler ( 2 boilers).

    Ive had some trouble with my machine, like having to ventilate it to get air outta the system, takes 2 mins. Also, my pre-brewer sometimes doesnt spit out enough coffee, so I just need to run the steam for a second then all is good. Once you figure your machine you will make better coffees.

    My machine came with a couple bags of Segafredo zanetti horeca, didnt think it would be any good, but it is my fav atm.

    Regarding preground coffee, I agree grinding your own beans is always preferable. However, my bro bought some silver packet brazilano which tasted surprisingly good.
     
  17. Pepito

    Pepito Member

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    For even more simplicity than pod machines consider coffee teabags.

    The Robert Timms ones are surprisingly good.
     
  18. 3stars

    3stars Member

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    man i hope you have asbestos undies :lol:
     
  19. Turnip Dude

    Turnip Dude Member

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    I am so fanatical about coffee that I illegally imported some civets and force-feed them raw beans. So I don't waste any flavour, once I've removed the digested beans from the poop I dry the poop and make biscotti from it. Anyone who does any less than this does not deserve to drink coffee.
     
  20. MyDixiesNormous

    MyDixiesNormous Member

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    Is 1K all you can afford or is it what you want to spend?

    If you love your coffee than think about what you want from a machine, the quality of the coffee and what level of involvement you want in the coffee making process.

    While I take my coffee seriously I have no qualms drinking instant if that is what is available.

    Dont let a high purchase price put you off purchasing quality gear if you can afford it. My brother in law has a pod machine and it produces a very ordinary cup of coffee. The real insult is the time it takes to make a milk based coffee.

    I started off with a sunbeam machine and ran the for 18months before it packed it in . I decided to make a jump and bought something about 2.5 times the purchase price of the sunbeam. Approx 1 year later I bought a good grinder, specifically a Macap M4D. Not including the first year of ownership the grinder and machine have produced just under 8k cups of coffee. In that time I have spent a total of $0.00 on repairs to the machine and grinder. The machine is fed water from a brita jug and i simply use lavazza beans that I buy from costco and vacuum seal the opened bag with the vacuum sealer that I bought from aldi.

    The grinder will need some new burrs soon and they cost $60 from memory. It will probably be another 6 months before they have to be replaced. In the mean time that sit in a cupboard. Besides cleaning the grouphead im yet to descale the machine. Ill get around to that eventually.

    TLDR a pro machine has paid for itself many times over and has required zero dollars in repairs and almost zero maintenance. The pod machine I have used produces a inferior product, takes a shit tone of time to produce a cafe latte and always insists on cleaning cycles.
     

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