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Are single cup coffee makers worth it? What is the true cost?

Think about all the times you have tossed out half a pot of coffee, spent ages cleaning the coffee maker (and that’s if it hasn’t thrown a tantrum as mine did last week!), and thrown water all over your nice new outfit, to boot! So we ask, “Are single cup coffee makers worth it?”

Single cup coffee makers
By User:MarkBuckawickiOwn work, CC0, Link

PurelyCoffeeBeans knows the benefit of having your single cup coffee maker is that single serve coffee makers allow you to brew your favorite beverage one cup at a time. It’s also fuss free, and there’s practically no tidy up after.

This is a wonderful idea for busy professionals on the way out to work in the morning, and especially so if you like the idea of making a great cup of fresh coffee with no mess or cleanup afterwards.

What will I learn? Table of Contents

I. Better End Results

Traditional drip machines with their always on hotplates tend to make the brew a tad bitter (if you leave the maker on) or cold (if you turn it off). You can’t seem to win, … or can you?

Single cup coffee makers offer the convenience of making just the right amount of coffee, espresso, lattes (and whatever other drink your machine can make!) each and every time.

You can easily avoid wasting money and throwing away an unfinished pot when you purchase a single serve machine. Not to mention the time saved cleaning up, time that’s better spent on your family or professional life!

II. Are single cup coffee makers worth it?

Money Spent: Money Saved? Some may say that the single serve, k cup or pod type of coffee is fairly pricey, but in reality you will be saving money because you will only be making one cup at a time.

Single cup coffee makers will brew up a great cup of coffee, tea, espresso or even a latte in a moment’s notice, with little or no clean up involved (except the cup!).

But there are so many varieties of machines, drinks, and price points, it’s hard to know…

III. Which type of single cup coffee maker is the best?

To answer that question, let’s explore the different features that are common on most single cup machines.

One of the most asked questions is:

“What is the difference between Tdiscs, kcups and coffee pods?”

The Tassimo system uses a TDisc, which is slightly wider and flatter than the K-cup from Keurig. The K cup is more like one of those single creamer containers and it has a thin, foil lid, which is punctured by the coffee maker at the time of brewing your coffee.

The Tassimo home brewing system uses T discs, sold through Tassimo. And kcups are exclusive to Keurig, some times referred to as kcups or K-cup which is proprietary to the Keurig brand of single cup coffee makers.

It’s a fact that pods are a more eco-friendly version of a single serving of coffee, designed for the single cup coffee makers.

Pods consist of ground coffee, or tea, sandwiched between the filter paper. Many brands including Bunn, Senso and Krups use coffee pods and most are interchangeable with each other, as long as you check the grams per serving per pod.

a. Interchangeable pods or discs

Check to see if the single serve coffee machine you are considering can use other brands of pods or discs. Know that some pods will not fit some brewers.

Ideally, the machine will include a refillable pod maker for your use, so that you need not be concerned about this.

It’s never a good idea to be locked into one type of pod, so leaving your options open is a real benefit for you.

b. Refillable pods

These are really cool, and very practical! Some single cup coffee makers include a refillable pod maker with the unit. Others offer a coffee pod maker for sale separately.

When you are able to use a refillable pod container you can select exactly which coffee, or even tea, you want to brew every time, and have complete control over the flavor and the strength of your coffee.

c. Alternatives to coffee pods

An alternative to using either T discs or Kcups is the one cup drip coffee makers that are readily available. These simple and very basic machines can use either paper or permanent filters.

They do take a bit longer to brew your cup, and you will not find the features that other single serve machines offer, such as the flexibility to brew an espresso.

The best of all features is found in the Jura coffee maker that has a built-in grinder. This complete coffee center will brew up a single cup of coffee, an espresso, and even froth your milk for you with one button control without using any pods, kcups or Tdiscs, because you are able to add your own fresh beans directly into the hopper.

d. Brewing time

Most machines will brew your single cup of coffee in short order. Some are faster than others, but that is really a negligible difference. All of the one cup coffee makers will serve up a fresh, hot brew much faster than their whole pot cousins, with the exception of the one cup drip coffee makers.

e. Water reservoir size

Having a larger water reservoir will save time if you brew several cups at a time. The better one cup units have removable water containers, which are a really nice benefit. This will save having to fetch a separate pitcher to pour your water from into the coffee maker.

If you only make a couple cups a day, a larger reservoir isn’t really a concern, and you will have the option of choosing a smaller, more compact machine.

And did you know that several of the best single cup coffee brewers will alert you with a gentle beep when the water supply is low? This means you never have to worry about the machine running dry.

f. Filtration and water filters

If you are not using filtered or bottled water for brewing your coffee, consider a coffee maker that has a water filtration system included. The taste of the finished cup of coffee depends upon the water you use to brew it, so always use the best water available.

g. Cup size

The simpler single serve coffee makers will provide a great cup of coffee, but cannot be adjusted to make a larger or smaller portion.

Most of us brew the same size cup every time.?But, it can be a real blessing if your single cup coffee maker is flexible enough to make a larger cup for your travel mug …?Or even smaller portions for when you would like to entertain.

Some of the newer single cup coffee makers that accommodate a travel mug can easily accommodate a smaller mug, too.

h. Environmentally friendly

It is no secret that these k cup or pod machines use more packaging then regular drip coffee makers do. Producing more waste that eventually goes into our overflowing landfills. Many manufactures utilize eco-friendly packaging, but you will loose some shelf life with their products.

It’s always best to choose to use eco-friendly/organic materials whenever possible. The ultimate eco-friendly alternative to using kcup pods or coffee T discs are the refillable options that are available on many standard to more full-featured one cup coffee brewers.

These are also known as a coffee pod maker, some of the manufacturers include one with their machines, and others offer them for sale separately. Keurig calls their refillable pod “My K-cup”.

i. Programmable features

If you like to control the strength of your coffee, look for a coffee maker that allows you to dial in just how strong or how light you prefer your cup of coffee. The better machines offer programmability for several different users, which is nice if your spouse enjoys a stronger brew than you prefer. So, with one push of a button you can enjoy your favorite coffee or tea just exactly the way you like it … and so can the other users in your household.

Along those same thoughts are being able to control the temperature of your coffee. Some like it really hot, and yet other people may prefer a not-so-hot cup of coffee.

For safety reasons, consider a single serve coffee machine with an auto shut off feature.

IV. Do these single cup brewers deliver the promise of a better cup of coffee?

It’s said that you cannot reinvent the wheel … but I must say that the coffee I have tasted from these single cup coffee makers has out shined the traditional automatic drip coffee makers.

#1 – Can you make espresso using a Keurig single cup coffee maker?
by Brad from USA

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By User:MarkBuckawickiOwn work, CC0, Link

Hi, I have a Keurig Single Cup Coffee Maker that I love. I saw an article that you can also make espresso with this machine. Please tell me how? I do have the v70 unit so I can adjust the temp. What temp should it be?

Thank you

—-

At PurelyCoffeeBeans, I’ve answered lots of questions over the years. You’ll find the questions and their answers scattered throughout the site! I’m always open to more questions, if you’re frustrated or curious, or you want to review a coffee, why don’t you drop me a line!

This week we welcome…!

—-

Hi Brad,

The simple answer is that espresso pods are available, and you will find that these Kcups have more coffee packed inside, so that you get that rich, creamy espresso flavor from your Keurig machine. So yes, Keurig single cup coffee maker can do it!

For a “truer” espresso from your Keurig single cup coffee maker, I would recommend getting really good espresso beans from your local roaster, grinding them to an espresso fineness, and using the Keurig My K-Cup Reusable Coffee Filter to brew an espresso shot in your Keurig.

Note, the you will need to have a Keurig model that has an adjustable temperature, as espresso brews at a slightly higher temperature, and greater pressure than drip coffee.

Pack the My Kcup really full, and tamp it down so that there are no cracks or crevices int he grinds, otherwise you will get a runny mess.

It’s not perfect, and certainly not what a coffee aficionado would consider true espresso, but we work with what we have sometimes, and are grateful for good tasting coffee!

For the temperate, just be certain that you have not adjusted the internal temperature down before you brew your espresso.

Your Keurig Platinum was factory set to a brew temperature of 192°, which is the maximum that your Keurig brewer will go.

Additionally, if you have elected to use the energy saving mode, you will need to turn on your Keurig for a minimum of 3 minutes to warm up your Keurig.

Keurig recommends running a small cup cleansing-brew prior to brewing, which will warm your cup for the espresso, and the unit will be warmed up, too.

Let us know how it goes, OK?

Thanks!

Betty & Chris


#2 – Which single cup coffee maker should I buy?
The Keurig or Nespresso? Why?
Seriously asking from Quora

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Dear Seriously Asking

The Keurig or Nespresso single cup coffee makers are both terrible coffee makers, making low quality coffee that is often out of date, over-roasted, and small in volume. I realize that convenience is a factor for many people, but I’d prefer to have a drinkable cup of coffee than the muck these machines turn out. And as a side benefit of NOT buying either machine, your coffee will be a) cheaper b) better tasting c) and environmentally friendly, because you turn great coffee beans into wonderful coffee with simple tools.


More Processing Means More Expense

For a larger cup, you invariably have to use two caps to get 15g of coffee which is not close to the golden ratio for coffee for a standard mug of 350 ml. Buying the cheapest Starbucks coffee by the 350g bag and getting 20g of coffee for your morning cuppa costs 39c (from Walmart) vs. single Keurig cap for 63c. For Keurig you may need two or even three caps to get a similarly strong cup of coffee, so that is running between $1.26 and $1.89 per cup!

The Nespresso is similarly priced for similar brands from $0.60c to over $1 per cap (CAP, not cup). For a $1.5 ~ $2 cup of their non-fresh coffee, you might as well just go to the nearest convenience store or coffee shop. But by buying coffee recently roasted from a specialist, you will find it marginally more expensive than Starbucks or Peets at the supermarket, but I promise you the taste will be much much better for a price that is cheaper than the Keurig or Nespresso.


Single Cups Make Single Small Cups and Big Garbage

Many people claim that there is no waste coffee when you use a single cup machine like these. Well, that’s not exactly true: you end up with a small dose of coffee, that you have to throw away because of the inconvenience of recycling them. You also throw a ton of aluminum and plastic into the trash. Lastly, with reusable filters, the only waste that comes out of simple drip coffee maker/french press/etc is the waste coffee grounds and any extra coffee that isn’t drunk (though you could pop that in the fridge and make ice coffee).

In conclusion, I will never really understand why these machines are so popular unless people are comparing the results to brands like Nescafe, Folgers or Maxwell House coffee. Then of course, if you are drinking Nescafe or Folgers or Maxwell House, then you really have problems to worry about…

So save your money, buy a simpler coffee maker, and invest in decent coffee beans, you will NEVER regret it.

For more information on coffee makers and grinders.

Best Wishes
Kenneth


#3 – Are single cup coffee makers worth it?
Find out the real Single Cup Coffee Maker cost of your daily cuppa

PurelyCoffeeBeans wonders if you have a single serve coffee maker? Do you know how much the single cup coffee maker costs on a daily basis? If you do, you will already know about how much the capsules you need cost? If you don’t, then you should keep reading…

Simply, you will be astonished how much they cost to run, as I was when I started to work out the costs. There’s a bit of math involved, but you can easily do it on a calculator or a phone app.

single cup coffee maker cost New York Times Screenshot

I typically buy one bag or two bags of coffee from Starbucks (or the equivalent); so I’ll use that as an example for this post.

Starbucks House Blend 1-lb bag (or 454g) @ $11.95

image

Now when I make coffee, I tend to use a lot more coffee than average; I’ll use about 15g per cup of water. That means that on average, I will be able to make 30 cups in a bag; granted I make several cups at a time for family or friends. In other words, that single cup coffee maker cost is quite high, costing me $0.40c per cup for 7-8oz serving of black coffee. And it is nicely made, better than you’ll ever get in-store.

You could of course choose to make your coffee with about 10~12g of coffee grounds. Many people do. Other reasons I like to make my own: I can choose whatever coffee I like to put in my coffee maker; and I can grind it how I like for better flavor. Starbucks prices @ Amazon are a little higher it seems. But don’t be seduced by the Starbucks capsules for Keurig.

Nespresso Capsules (30 or 50 count)

So if I want to make 30~45 cups of coffee, I’d be looking to purchase a pack of pods: Nespresso Full and Balanced Roma Capsules, 30 Count. Currently that runs to $29.95 on Amazon. The other choice is to buy a 50 pack of capsules with a price point around $40.99.

For more information, you can check the price of

Per capsule we’d be looking at around $0.82~$1.00 per capsule. Now these yield a drink of around 5oz (or a little more for Lungo) of coffee. In other words, I’d be tempted to make it a double (yes, my choice!). And I’d still not have a pound of coffee! (50×5=250g)

It’s clear that Nespresso have mastered the art of buying, packaging, and selling overpriced coffee in an attractive and convenient package. It’s also clear that Nespresso coffee isn’t cheap.

Save your money & buy great coffee

I’m not taking aim at Nespresso particularly, but all one cup coffee makers pretend that they are ‘cheaper’ because you don’t throw away unused coffee.

At 10g per cup, I could make 45 cups of coffee from Starbucks beans, then I could make another 45 cups on a second bag and throw the whole lot away. I would still have change to buy another bag of coffee after that; and I could then use the remaining $5 to buy a trenta iced coffee, not forgetting a $1 tip for the barista.

At 15g per cup, I could make 30 cups per bag, then I could still buy one more bag to make 30 more cups of strong coffee; and buy a decent iced coffee (with a tip).

Do your own math! Decide if you want to substitute stale/expensive/limited choice/small-sized cup of coffee for a mug of freshly ground coffee/$29/a few minutes of your time/a little rinsing! I know which I’d choose.

If you want to work out the cost per 1/2lb or 1lb of the capsules you buy, the formula is straightforward:

( Weight (in grams ) / grams per capsule ) x price per capsule = price per 1lb

*note I use 450g as functionally equivalent to 1lb. Most capsule weights are given in grams. If you have to weigh the coffee capsule yourself, use the dry coffee (not after it’s used). Nespresso is 5g; other systems may have as much as 7g.

For example: ( 450 / 5g )  = 90 capsules x $0.80 per capsule = $72.00 per pound of coffee equivalent.

Don’t let the flashy one cup coffee maker sales teams dictate your coffee! BTW, when I checked the sample used in the New York Times article, I noted that the single cup coffee maker cost is considerably more expensive even on Amazon. Check out the best prices for Nespresso Capsulles below…

References

$51 Per Pound: The Deceptive Cost of Single-Serve Coffee — The New York Times | The Kitchn.


#4 – Are single cup coffee maker cups worth it – environmentally? PurelyCoffeeBeans says no!

Many companies, from Green Mountain Coffee to Starbucks, are now offering consumers coffee pods but PurelyCoffeeBeans wonders: Are coffee pods environmentally friendly? But PurelyCoffeeBeans is now taking a stand against coffee pods.

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By User:MarkBuckawickiOwn work, CC0, Link

As readers, you’re probably wondering why I’m taking this stand. Let me tell you four simple reasons:

1. Terrible Coffee

I’ve yet to have or really enjoy a decent cup of coffee from any of the machines I’ve tried. The portion of coffee in the Nespresso pods is a meager 7g, which is way below the golden ratio recommended by most coffee professionals.

The coffee is not fresh. It just can’t be. Think about it, check out the expiry date then figure out how long it can be kept for. Ground coffee starts to go stale immediately after grinding, no matter what gas you put in those little pods. If you get a chance, try the Starbucks Verismo pods and then compare them with the real thing brewed by Starbucks. They are NOT the same quality.

2. Hot Water Over Plastic

The health side of plastic in your single cup coffee maker is not well-understood, but think about it. Plastics are creeping into the food chain in many different ways. The coffee oils are still stored in the grounds, why wouldn’t they absorb the chemicals that are made in the capsule? NPR noted that the chemicals mimic the human estrogen and occurs in more than 70% of plastics.

Now run hot water over the plastic, and you will leach even more chemicals as the plastic is heated to the same temperature as the water, and that is despite many cups being labeled BPA-free. So if you want to expose yourself to this, be my guest. But I’ll not be drinking it with you.

3. Cost of Use

Lastly, while many people are prepared to pay for the convenience, you have to do the math to realize how expensive single cup brewers actually are, even when you choose to buy the biggest box for the discount.

7.1g of coffee at 50 cents per cup. That means that 1lb of coffee would be $31.98. Now I don’t know about you but drinking that much mediocre coffee (64 cups) would turn me off coffee for good. What you don’t know is that for $32, you can buy some pretty decent coffee for that price and select from single estate origins, Arabica coffee or Kenyan coffee…

Of course, you won’t get 64 cups out of your 1lb of coffee, because NOBODY uses so little coffee for a cup! You’ll probably use about 14g of coffee, so you’ll only get about 32 cups out of the bag. But what a difference! It will be enjoyable.

4. Save the Planet

When you buy a bag of coffee, you will either get a paper bag or a foil bag. It’s simple in structure, easily recycled, esp. if it’s paper. But if you buy the capsules, you’ll be throwing away 64 mixed plastic/foil capsules with coffee inside; these can’t be recycled because the plastic/foil/coffee can’t be separated by machine.

Can you imagine how much plastic or aluminium will get thrown in the landfill? The statistics are shocking. But with a regular brewer, the coffee grounds can be composted, there is no foil or plastic. And if you use paper filters, these can be burned cheaply, composted or recycled.

So please. Do not buy a single cup brewer: they waste the coffee, your money and the planet. There is simply no reason to be this wasteful of our precious resources. Do not be tempted to believe that coffee pods are environmentally friendly! They’re not!

Further Single Cup Coffee Maker Reading

Your Coffee Pods Dirty Secret


Looking for new equipment, check out the coffee makers, coffee grinders, and bean roasters page.

Signature of PurelyCoffeeBeans in calligraphic brush style

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What are the best espresso beans? 10 tips to buy the best espresso beans!

Choosing the best espresso beans for your morning jolt, as PurelyCoffeeBeans knows, is a matter of personal taste and of knowledge.

Types of Coffee Beans Darkly Roasted
Espresso Roast Photograph by PurelyCoffeeBeans.com

There really isn’t anything especially magical about espresso coffee beans, but when you are drinking your morning espresso, you will notice the difference because of the blending and roasting which differs from other types of coffee beans.

What will I learn about making espresso?

Fresh, Roasting and Storing

Espresso Photography Shots

What are the best coffee beans for making espresso?

Espresso beans are coffee beans that have been dark roasted and designated to make that type of espresso drink.

While light roasts aren’t suitable for espresso, or most medium roasts for that matter, dark roasted coffee beans are quite suitable for making espresso coffee. You can read more about coffee roasts. You can also learn about how to roast coffee.

Which are the best coffee beans for espresso?

The best espresso beans are dark roasted because darker beans offer more sweet notes.  The minute amounts of sugar inside the beans caramelize, making the espresso slightly sweeter and avoiding a bitter aftertaste.

5 tips to buy the best espresso beans!

You won’t really be able to know exactly which are espresso coffee beans until you try them. But there are some basic clues to buy coffee beans that can help:

1. Where you buy them: Avoid buying espresso beans from places where stock turnover is low, or where storage isn’t the best. If you do find espresso coffee beans in your local store be careful that they are not old.

Some beans are sold from bins and it’s essential that they be freshly roasted; air is one of the coffee beans’ worst enemies, robbing them of all the special properties that make espresso so tasty and satisfying.

2. Check the facts on the pack: If you buy espresso beans in a bag be sure to check the roasting date so that you don’t get beans that are old enough to have lost their flavor; also, what hints about the contents do the roasters provide – single estate, multi-regional, traditional blend?

3. Watch the price: Typically, when you buy coffee beans you’ll notice that some blends are roasted dark for a reason – the coffee beans aren’t the best quality, so over-roasting masks the poorer flavor. These coffee beans will typically be cheaper than you’d otherwise pay. So don’t be too cheap if you are looking for the best espresso beans! It’s worth the difference!

4. Look, smell, and taste: Buying the best espresso beans should also be a sensory experience:

  • i. When you look, what do you see? The different colors and depths of colors can stimulate or depress appetite?
  • ii. What about the smell or lack of smell? Can you detect an aroma that pleases you or turns you off completely?
  • iii. What about the taste? Try a coffee bean in your mouth. They are edible, and eating one may help you to determine whether it’s the best espresso beans.

5. Try before you buy: Would that you could… In some stores, you do have the opportunity to try different types of coffee before you buy them home. While commercial coffee brands are pre-packed to certain standards, so you’ll already know what to expect, trying varietals or single-estate coffee beans may help you discover better quality coffees!

What do typical espresso-based drinks look like?

Where can I buy the best espresso beans?

Finding the best espresso can be difficult if you don’t have a local shop that roasts their own beans.  You will rarely find beans of the quality you need for good espresso in your local grocery store.

Those beans are commercially produced and bagged, sometimes reaching the store weeks after they are packaged.  In fact, by the time they are loaded for shipment they’ve already lost most of the qualities that would make a good cup of espresso.

I’ll be including a list of the best espresso bean stores online and offline that I find, in the meantime, why not share which stores you like or don’t like!

Online Sales: Prompt and Freshly Roasted

Thanks to the internet, you also have access to roasted beans from all over the world.  If you order on a Saturday you will more than likely receive your beans in the following few days at the latest.

Most roasters use ground shipment; few of them offer faster delivery by air.  If they are packed properly, however, they will arrive in good condition with all the freshness you want for a good cup of espresso.

Why should you always buy fresh espresso coffee beans?

Thanks to the internet, you also have access to some of the best espresso beans roasted all over the world.  If you order on a Saturday you will more than likely receive your beans on the following Friday at the latest.

Most roasters use ground shipment; very few of them offer faster delivery by air.  If they are packed properly, however, they will arrive in good condition with all the freshness you want for a good cup of espresso.

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How do you roast your own espresso coffee?

You do have the option of roasting your own beans, which isn’t that difficult once you learn the process and perfect your timing and skill.  Roasting machines are fairly inexpensive and if you don’t have access to a nearby shop that roasts their own beans you’ll want to consider this option.

Of course, you’ll find that you will be looking for quality green beans that you can use. Be careful to roast only enough beans to last for a few days to a week; freshly roasted beans will retain the quality needed for espresso for only a short time.

How do you store espresso coffee & beans?

Be sure to store both your unroasted and roasted beans in airtight containers in a cool, dry place—not the refrigerator or the freezer where condensation can ruin the beans.  It is also best to grind only as much as you need for the day, although some people prefer having a few days’ coffee ready for the espresso machine.

I find that even leaving the coffee beans in a sealed bag tends to let the flavor slowly diminish over the days that I don’t store the coffee beans well. This is more so, if you are storing coffee that is already ground. For more storage tips, check this article.

How do you make the best espresso coffee?

Depending on the grind of the coffee beans, you may find that you have a number of choices for your espresso coffee about how you prepare the final cup. The most obvious way, of course, is using a proper espresso machine.


It tends to result in a much better extraction for the espresso, with a fuller flavor, a delightful crema, and a satisfied coffee drinker! Whether you roast your own beans, buy them locally or order from a roaster’s internet site, nothing beats freshly roasted beans when it comes to a good cup of espresso, made with the best coffee beans for espresso.

For a little Sunday morning reading over your coffee, Food Republic’s George Embiricos takes a few minutes to show, describe and link to the definition of Espresso.

https://www.foodrepublic.com/2015/04/10/what-exactly-is-espresso/

How do I tell the best espresso beans?

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You won’t really be able to know exactly how good a batch of espresso coffee beans are until you try them. But there are some basic clues that can help:

1. Where you buy them: Avoid buying espresso beans from places where stock turnover is low, or where storage isn’t the best. If you do find espresso coffee beans in your local store be careful that they are not old. Some beans are sold from bins and it’s essential that they be freshly roasted; air is one of the coffee beans’ worst enemies, robbing them of all the special properties that make espresso so tasty and satisfying.

2. Check the facts on the pack: If you buy espresso beans in a bag be sure to check the roasting date so that you don’t get beans that are old enough to have lost their flavor; also, what hints about the contents do the roasters provide – single estate, multi-regional, traditional blend?

3. Watch the price: Typically, when you buy coffee beans you’ll notice that some blends are roasted dark for a reason – the coffee beans aren’t the best quality, so over-roasting masks the poorer flavor. These coffee beans will typically be cheaper than you’d otherwise pay. So don’t be too cheap!

4. Look, smell, and taste: Buying the best espresso beans should also be a sensory experience:
i. When you look, what do you see? The different colors and depths of colors can stimulate or depress appetite?
ii. What about the smell or lack of smell? Can you detect an aroma that pleases you or turns you off completely?
iii. What about the taste? Try a coffee bean in your mouth. They are edible, and eating one may help you to determine whether it’s good quality espresso beans.

5. Try before you buy: Would that you could… In some stores, you do have the opportunity to try different types of coffee before you buy them home. While commercial coffee brands are pre-packed to certain standards, so you’ll already know what to expect, trying varietals or single-estate coffee beans may help you discover the best quality coffees, like Coffee Review recommends!



What are the different types of coffee beans, find out here!

Signature of PurelyCoffeeBeans in calligraphic brush style

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7 Frustrating Reasons Why My Broken Coffee Maker is NOT Working! Shoot!

Why is your coffee maker not working? Six coffee maker problems you might face: Answered

We answer your coffee maker questions, because coffee makers bring us so much joy and often not a few tears as we try to figure out how to get the best out of those darned suckers! Sometimes you wake up in the morning to the sad news that your broken coffee maker is not working anymore!

broken coffee maker
A broken coffee maker that looks like it just flooded!

Is this a broken coffee maker?

What a dismal way to start the day!

At PurelyCoffeeBeans, I’ve answered lots of questions over the years. You’ll find the questions and their answers scattered throughout the site! I’m always open to more questions, if you’re frustrated or curious, or you want to review a coffee, why don’t you drop me a line!

This week we welcome…!

Your Broken Coffee Maker Questions: Table of Contents

Q1: I have a Tim Hortons Coffee Maker and the coffee is not very hot.

I have a Tim Hortons Coffee Maker and the coffee is not very hot!
Do you think this is a broken coffee maker if it’s not working well?

3335See the Tim Horton’s Coffee Maker by Bunn on Amazon

Thanks,

Lukewarm Coffee in US of A!

Dear Lukewarm in US of A!

I looked extensively for information about the Tim Hortons Coffee Maker, and couldn’t find much on the internet. I’m surmising that this coffee brewer isn’t a popular purchase.

General Feedback

Several reviewers commented on how weak the coffee was and noted that it brewed ‘fast’. They also noted that they had to add much more coffee to get a reasonable strength of brew. There were also issues with the hot plate not working properly. I’d consider returning it for repairs, or asking for a refund.

It is produced by a reputable company, called Bunn. So I reckon neither of these asks should be a big issue for them to fix.

Common Issue

I can only advise this is a serious issue with some coffee makers: the only thing you can do is use a coffee thermometer and test the water as it comes out of the heating unit and drips into the basket. Then test the coffee temperature in the basket before it drips into the pot. Lastly, test the ambient temperature in the pot itself to make sure the temperature is within an acceptable range.

3739
This coffee maker, tested by the SCAA’s certified program, solves the problem of lukewarm coffee.
See it on Amazon.

Typical Temperatures

For brewing the water, you’d expect the water to come out of the hot water tube at around 90C. Don’t expect the water to be 100C, because searing the coffee grinds will only cause the flavor to decay. Once in the drip basket, I’d expect the water to be a little cooler because some of the water will have been there for a few seconds. I’d be looking at around 85C overall.

As it drips into the jug, I’d test the temperature again. I wouldn’t look at temperatures much lower than 80C in the jug, depending on whether the unit has a heating plate.

Find the source of the big temperature drop

It could be that the problem lies in one of these three places. Perhaps the water isn’t being heated to the optimal temperature range before dripping onto the grinds.

Perhaps the coffee isn’t dripping fast enough so the temperature drops too much while in the basket. Perhaps the coffee heating element in the base is broken or insufficient in a colder environment.

Cold cups and cold milk

Lastly, be aware that once you decant the coffee into your cup and add milk or cream, you’ll also easily drop the temperature one more time. I don’t have hard numbers on this myself, but I have found temperatures ranges from 65C ~ 75C by then. So keep your cup warm by swirling hot water in it, and consider warming the milk gently before adding.

Ultimately, the only real way to keep the temperature fairly high is to shorten the time between the water coming out of the hot water tube and going into your mouth! If your Tim Hortons coffee maker isn’t able to do the job, perhaps it’s time to get another one. It’s not a broken coffee maker, it’s just a crap one!


Best Wishes
Kenneth

Q2: Toddy Coffee: How long can brewed coffee be kept for?

How long can brewed Toddy coffee be kept for?

by Concerned Coffee Drinker from NY

4143

I have a jug of coffee I didn’t finish the day before sitting in the fridge. Is it still good to drink?

Thank you

As a fan of the aromas and taste of fresh brewed coffee, I cringe at the idea of storing coffee overnight. This dislike conflicts with my desire for iced coffee all summer long.

Storing Toddy coffee in the refrigerator is an acceptable method for those who like coffee for its taste and not specifically for the fresh brewed coffee qualities. If you find you’re a coffee aficionado, then coffee should be made for consumption within the first few hours of being brewed. After those few hours, coffee should be thrown away.

Still drinkable

If you are like most coffee drinkers, you simply like the taste of coffee and the idea of caffeine. Then you will not mind as much its having been stored and more than a couple of hours old. Coffee will not lose any of its caffeine through storage. What it will lose is its freshness and to some extent its taste.

Coffee from the refrigerator can offer the drinker a quickly re-heated cup of coffee or iced coffee. Brewing techniques as well as coffee brand both contribute to how long brewed coffee will last refrigerated and whether it will still taste acceptable.

A health threat?

There appears to be no real health threat to those who drink unrefrigerated coffee over a time frame of a couple of days. There are no real indicators as to when coffee spoils. How long you store coffee is strictly up to the individual and their preferred tastes and methods of coffee storage. Reheating in a microwave or on the stove is also a matter of individual taste. It is generally suggested however those if expecting company, brew a fresh pot of coffee.

Why does coffee slowly decay in flavor?

Due to the natural processes that occur to enhance coffee, we can enjoy wonderful coffee. However, some of those processes also will destroy the flavors we enjoy. The enemies of flavor are: time, temperature, air & moisture. Each of these will impact the coffee in both beneficial & unpleasant ways. The actual chemical compounds in coffee that create the sensory experience for our noses & mouths are very volatile and easily destroyed by these enemies.

Avoid adding cream or milk

The most important factor is to not add creamer to coffee that may be stored or may sit for later use. The creamer or milk will spoil, even if the weather isn’t particularly warm. In fact, fresh milk in a moderately warm environment should be out of the refrigerator for no more than 10 minutes at a time.

Don’t keep too long, and don’t add milk before storing

To enjoy the best flavors, I’d recommend you brew & enjoy your coffee as close together in time as possible, whether or not it is iced coffee. Even brewing cold brew coffee one can expect a deterioration in the flavor after a period of time.

If you’re planning to store your Toddy brewed coffee or leave it sitting, put in creamer or milk just prior to consumption. Hope that helps.

Samuel

Q3: Why does my coffee machine keep flooding?

Why is my coffee maker not working? Why does it keep flooding?

by Ian McCall Paisley, Scotland

4547Russell Hobbs Satin Take 2 Series #10881

I have the Russell Hobbs Satin Take 2 Series with the double cup! But I would love to know …
… why my coffee machine “Take 2 model #10881” keeps flooding all over the tray and my worktop?

It’s seriously annoying, messy and inconvenient!

Thanks,
Ian

This machine proves to be an attractive design, very practical & convenient for domestic use. But as you noted, it is prone to leaking all over the worktop. I suspect that there are different possible reasons for this.

So let’s see if we can’t diagnose the problem.

Step 1: What color is the liquid on your counter? If it’s clear, then water might be leaking from the water tank at the back or from the dripper before the water hits the coffee. If it’s coffee colored, then it might be leaking from the chamber that holds the coffee grounds or from the dripper unit. It could also be leaking from the cups themselves.

Step 2: When you see the liquid on the counter, what part of the machine seems wet? Is it the coffee chamber or the hot plate? If it’s the coffee chamber, check to see that there isn’t a crack in the unit. If there isn’t, then check to see if the coffee filter you placed in hasn’t allowed coffee & grounds to flow out.

Sometimes the overflow will allow grounds to get into the dripper and block the flow of water. This results in a huge mess usually, if it’s not discovered early enough.

Step 3: If everything up top looks okay, then take a look at the dripping unit. Your device is unusual in that coffee flows into two, not one, jugs. Look carefully and see if the unit has any hidden cracks in the top. Some users have reported that the coffee maker distributes coffee unevenly (due to blockages?) to each cup. This could result in a cup overflow problem.

Step 4: The last possibility is the cups aren’t aligned properly with the coffee flow, leaving coffee to drip (or pour) between the cups, and on to the warm plates. This would also mean that the bottom of your cups will be dirty, and could stain your clothes, bag or car!

General Advice: I would suggest that you run a mug of water through the system to check that the water flow is even. Just don’t add coffee. Then if you notice a problem, make sure that the unit is cleaned. Those finer coffee grounds can get just about anywhere in the machine.

Keeping your coffee maker in top shape will result in better coffee, cleaner machines & more efficient processing.

Oh, and a last tip: If you live in an area with water that has a lot of sediment (‘hard water’), then you may find that the furring from the deposits could be the reason it’s getting blocked.

Since this entire design (not just the model) seems to have been discontinued by Russell Hobs, replacing it might be the best option, especially if the warranty has expired. You will probably have to buy a different brand.

If you have had experience with messy coffee makers, how did you fix the problem? What advice do you have to share? And if you’d like to drop me a line, I’d love to hear from you!

Otherwise check out these top notch coffee makers:

Best Wishes
Kenneth

Q4: How much water for 100 grams of coffee? Let’s Answer Soh’s Question

I need to know how much water for 100 grams of coffee?

by Soh from Singapore

How much water should I use for 100 grams of fine ground coffee powder?

Thank you

Everybody loves their coffee made to perfection as many of us often rely on a cup of coffee to galvanize us into action in the morning. The secret behind a great cup of coffee is the freshness and quality of the coffee itself. But how much water do you need to brew your perfect cup of coffee for a 100 grams of fine ground coffee powder?

What method are you using?

Coffee dripping into a coffee jug v60. Sitting on a measuring scale
Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

The answer really depends on how finely ground the coffee is, and THAT depends on how you are making the coffee. So the answer will vary.

If you are making coffee in a drip pot, then you should easily make 7 cups of coffee at about 14g per cup. Finer ground coffee is the most suitable for making the best quality cup of coffee.

For espresso, you’ll probably get only about 3 or 4 small cups of espresso; but that is not likely the kind of coffee you are drinking. The volume of water used in espresso is much lower because the espresso is usually much stronger and destined for use in making cappuccino.

What kind of water?

Of course, you will need clean water but not particularly pure water. The coffee flavor goes best with some minerals to bind with it and bring out that distinct taste. The method you use to heat the water is up to you to choose from, but remember not to use boiling water if you’re making coffee by hand.

I don’t recommend using mineralized water… but if you live in an area with lots of sediment in your water from calcium deposits and/or your water isn’t particularly clean, running it through a water filter will help to balance and clean it.

How much water for 100 grams?

The finer coffee you grind, the more water will be absorbed by the grounds; expect to ‘lose’ some water due to absorption by the coffee paper, the coffee grounds, as well as some wastage due to water becoming steam. If you don’t have a standard coffee spoon, it’s a good idea to settle on one of these…


Useful Coffee Formula

For 100g of coffee, you should find that 200ml per cup is okay. So you’ll be looking at about 1.5~1.6 liters of water.

To work out how much water to use, here is a simple formula:

( coffee weight in grams / 14.5g  ) * 200 ml of water = how many cups of water.

Hope that helps. I would be interested to know how much coffee other people use. Commercial capsules, drip bags and coffee pouches, like the Nespresso system or Starbucks Origami series, only use 7~10g at most resulting in an unsatisfying cup of watery coffee if you don’t pay attention to how much water is needed.

Factor for the water!

If you are using a manual pour, you can always control the final amount of water for sure. In fact, I’d suggest that you heat at least 33% more water for the following purposes.

  • a little extra for evaporation… hot water evaporates! Who knew?
  • dousing the paper filter to get rid of the coffee filter flavor
  • coffee absorption (which depends on the coffee and can vary significantly from 12% to almost 20%)
  • warming the cups, esp. for colder climes where ambient temperatures can reduce the coffee temps in your cup

Larger Mugs of Coffee

Of course, if you’re like me, you prefer a larger mug of coffee, I’d estimate that you’d get about 4 full mugs out of 100g of coffee, using a slightly lower ratio of 24g per 400ml of water. Don’t forget that coffee grounds absorb water, so you will not get exactly the same amount of coffee out as water in!


Coffee:Water Ratio Websites

You can also use the Coffee to Water Calculator here to help you do the math. You can also use this website for calculation amount of needed water.

Coffee to Water Calculator

I typically use an electronic kitchen scale and cooking thermometer to measure both the coffee, the temps, and the water used. It helps a lot to standardize my coffee brewing! And don’t forget to experiment with the amounts of coffee used. I typically eyeball the coffee in the dripper to determine how much water can still go through.

Tip For Coffee Drippers and Manual Methods

If you’re using another way to make coffee, I suggest you have a little extra water on hand to add while brewing. With espresso makers, stovetop devices, etc. you’re already dealing with fixed inputs, so disregard that advice!

Good luck!

Q5: Are these coffee beans compatible with my coffee maker?

Are these coffee beans compatible with my coffee maker?

5153See more information about this coffee maker @ Amazon.com

I just bought a Saeco Odea Giro Plus fully automatic capuccino/expresso coffee machine and I would like to know if the Kirkland signature dark roast expresso blend coffee beans compatible with my machine?

Thank you

I’m sorry but I didn’t catch your name. Apologies for the delay in posting this answer, it was a little while in the making!

I had a look at the specifications of this machine. Since it doesn’t use any form of cupping system (a la k-cups), you should be able to use any brand or blend of coffee bean with this machine, without issue. That’s not saying you will get a drinkable result, though, every time.

With the kind of coffee you suggest, though, you are off to a reasonable start. If I may, I suggest that you get on my 3-stage training plan.

Step 1: Stick to Quality Brands

First, buy quality coffee. I particularly like Lavazza & Illy coffee for the quality of product, consistency & availability. You can buy them in whole beans easily. That way you will get to know espresso coffee much better. But they may not be the absolute best coffee you can buy. Once you can get the machine making reasonable coffee… it’s time to experiment.

Stage 2: Experiment with different roasts/grinds..

Buy some cheaper espresso coffee (1/4lb size) to practice pulling different shots of espresso. The settings on your machine will allow you to vary several factors (read the manual). Then go to a coffee store that sells really good coffee, and get the best espresso you can afford. Ask the baristas for advice on what to use, go home and experiment a couple of times. You’ll notice a qualitative difference between the expensive & cheap coffees: the flavors, the shot of coffee, the crema… note the differences. Note what you like/don’t like.

Stage 3: Avoid cheap coffee

Then when you learn the equipment, using a coffee like the one you suggest may produce the results you like. Perhaps not. One tip, though, don’t waste money buying unnecessarily cheap coffee. Otherwise you’ll really regret buying an expensive coffee maker, the coffee you get won’t shine.

It would be probably better to buy decent coffee and practice on that, so at least you can take some pleasure in what comes out. I seem to remember buying coffee once from Ikea of all places. They ended up ground to make anti-funky smell pods in the refrigerator. So I learned that the hard way!

Stage 4: Follow your machine’s maintenance guide carefully

Really, if you suspect the beans you’ve tried are clogging up the machine, you may want to double up on the cleaning regimen. Inspect, and monitor the quality of the coffee coming out; check the machine for regular problems.

The oils from the beans will slowly accumulate on the grinding mechanism, particularly. So you should pay much attention to checking these.

Thanks,

Kenneth

Q6: How do you remove coffee stains from a coffee maker hot plate?

How do you remove baked on coffee stains from coffee maker hot plate and
keeping your drip coffee maker spick and span?

by Donn Smith from Michigan

55
All coffee makers get stains on their hot plates! 

How do you remove burned on coffee stains from a hot plate on a coffee maker?

Thank you

PurelyCoffeeBeans reckons you won’t be able to remove those white coffee stains with anything. I think this means that the non-stick coating has already come off, and the underlying metal surface has been exposed. Vigorous scrubbing will only remove the remaining coating FAST! Be careful you don’t burn your coffee pot by leaving it standing on the pot.

Without a non-stick surface, you may find that the coffee pot burns easily, and may seem to ‘stick’ to the electric plate a little. Gently remove the jug from the coffee pot. If at any time you think the glass jug will break, stop! Don’t ever force the jug off… otherwise you may find that you end up pouring a jug of hot coffee and broken glass all over yourself.

If the non-stick surface is still intact, but dirty! Hey, it happens! Gently clean with a plastic scouring pad! If that doesn’t work, try some non-stick pot or oven cleaner (make sure it’s safe for non-stick surfaces). People have reported good results with bicarbonate of soda and vinegar applied with an old toothbrush.

Clean off with a wet cloth, then dry before using it again. You may find commercial solutions at Amazon, too. If the pot is still sticking, and you find it a problem, it might be time for a new machine!

Cleaning Tips for a Drip Coffee Maker

When you’re finished with your drip coffee maker, simply rinse the jug out using the same caution as you would a french press. You should also empty the plastic filter cone, and either rinse out the gold coffee filter or throw away the paper filter and contents. Don’t leave grounds in the basket for days as it will encourage mold to grow and put nasty stains on your coffee machine. It may even affect the flavor of your future brews.

Additional Cleaning

Wiping the unit down will help keep a clean coffee maker – just use a damp cloth. Never do this while the machine is plugged in or turned on, in case you electrocute yourself.

The filtering can be messy, so the drip unit at the top, the basket, the filter unit, and the hot plate will all need cleaning, too. Clean off the grounds and the stains after use, and you will find you brew a better cup more often!

If you spill coffee on the hotplate, don’t scrub the non-stick surface or you will find that the jug starts to stick to the surface, making it harder to remove and perhaps causing more spilling or accidents. The scrubbing action will remove the non-stick surface.

The used grounds can be dried and used for ashtrays to absorb the bad smells, and some friends have recommended using the grounds in their refrigerators for the same reason.

It’s a good idea to run through the entire coffee brewing process every few weeks using vinegar instead of water to get rid of excess deposits. A clean pot keeps the coffee flavor pure and fresh. After the vinegar cycle, run fresh water alone through the system, and you’ll be ready to go!

Maria Cleaveland Offers Her Tips

Maria Cleaveland of Equator Estate Coffees & Teas offers some practical tips on how to clean your coffee maker in this video.

Reddit Users often have useful things to say about cleaning coffee makers! User K8Seren asks: “How do I properly clean these devices so that I don’t damage them or impart any nasty flavors into the brew? Is Dawn dish soap fine? Should I wash with soap after every brew or less often?” Read the answer here…

Newb question – how often/how to clean coffee makers from Coffee

Hope that helps, but it may be time to look at a new machine if the stains are too serious to clean. If the coffee stains are on your clothes, you might want to look this article.

Q7. Why do oily coffee beans screw up my coffee maker?

Oily Beans Screw Up My Coffee Maker

by David
(United States)

We have an automatic espresso/coffee machine that requires dry (non-oily) beans. I cannot see the beans in the bags due to the opaqueness of the containers to see if they are non-oily.

Which of the coffees at Costco have non-oily beans? Oily beans screw up the mechanics of the machine.

Sorry to hear about your problem. Typically, the oils are only expressed in the later stages of darker roasting; so French Roast, and other dark roasts will have tend to have a coating, that appears ‘shiny’.

While medium roasts aren’t typical for espresso beans, they can make a decent espresso if chosen carefully. The definition of ‘medium’ does tend to vary a little towards dark with some roasters, like Starbucks Coffee.

Needless to say, medium roasts also make decent cups of coffee with more hints of the bean, and less of the roast. The darkest roasts tend to be inferior in quality of the coffee, so perhaps that’s why they are roasted so dark.

In short, I’d recommend simply buying beans that are medium roasted to avoid unnecessary oils and/or buy your coffee beans from a retailer where you can actually see the beans before you buy.

One coffee from Costco coffee that you may want to try (it’s not an espresso) is the Jamaican Blend from Magnum Exotics. It’s listed on my page. I’m not sure if they are suitable for an espresso maker, though.

And as a backup plan, learn to make coffee another way so if you do make a purchasing mistake, you can still enjoy the darker roasts!

Hope that helps.
Kenneth


Looking for new equipment, check out the coffee makers, coffee grinders, and bean roasters page.

Signature of PurelyCoffeeBeans in calligraphic brush style

Unsplash

Surefire way to use a French press coffee maker!

As PurelyCoffeeBeans knows, using a French press coffee maker is really simple. It’s an enjoyable experience that will fill your kitchen with the aroma of freshly brewed coffee. And the annual sale of 2.5 million units suggests that Americans also like to buy them!

French Press Coffee Maker pictured with water being added.

Photo by Rachel Brenner on Unsplash

You will also be able to taste that freshness in every cup of French press coffee, because using a French coffee press extracts the genuine flavor out of every bean. Perhaps that’s why it is one of the most popular of all manual coffee makers.

Disclaimer: When you buy through a link on this site, I earn commission
from any qualifying purchases as I’m an Amazon Associate.

Now before I begin: Do you know what a French press is called in the UK? Answer at the bottom!

What will I learn about making coffee in a French press?

How does a French press coffee maker work?

The effect of steeping the coffee grounds in the hot water is effective at drawing out the truest flavor of the coffee bean. Unlike drip coffee makers, a French press extracts the essence of coffee in it’s purest form. A drip maker only gets the grounds wet with hot water for a short amount of time.

As one of the several different kinds of manual coffee makers, the French press coffee maker is relatively easy to use. The coffee maker itself is 100% manual, requiring no outside power source other than to heat the water that you will be pouring into the chamber. Consisting of the water chamber itself, a lid and the filter / plunger this coffee system is very easy to use.

In this Twitter post, you can see how a French Press coffee maker is assembled from Michael Nykamp who adds, “Simple exploded technical illustration of a French Press, designed by YIELD (Yield Design Co).” Nykamp’s illustration is very similar to the original patented design in 1929 by Attilio Calimani, Giulio Moneta. It seems their patent only just expired Dec. 1st!

How do you choose a French Press Coffee maker?

The entire experience of French pressing your coffee should be completely enjoyable. The biggest difference is selecting either a single walled carafe or double walled carafe.  Many people feel the glass carafes with their stylish good looks add to this enjoyment.

So think about if you prefer the traditional good looking glass models or want to opt for one of the stainless steel models which will insulate your coffee better than glass will. It’s true that the glass carafes really will not hold the heat of your coffee for long, so unless you are planning to serve more than 2 or 3 cups at a time, the smaller models will fill your needs very well.

Purchasing a 10 or 12 cup capacity press is only recommended if you select the double walled model, or intend to serve up large amounts from one press.

Glass vs. stainless steel: heat vs. flavor

Stainless steel presses are known for their ability to retain the heat of your coffee without it turning bitter for longer than their glass cousins, but beware of products that are poorly constructed or made from cheap materials.

As with everything, you get what you pay for. A budget stainless steel carafe may leave a metal taste in your brew, for example, so you will want to avoid any product that looks poorly manufactured. Check the reviews carefully for quality manufacture problems.

*Thanks to Cherylnkay of Portland who pointed out the poor organization of my sentence previously because my wording confused her (and many other readers, too!). I’ve rewritten the text to clarify what I mean. I accidentally conflated two different ideas with my poor word choice. So I have split and reorganized the entire paragraph.

If you are going to really experience the French press, the coffee is as it should be, a French press similar to the popular Mueller French Press Double-Wall Stainless (below) is well worth buying.

5860Buy this French Press on Amazon

Finding your first French press

There are many brands on the market right now, so it shouldn’t be difficult to find a French press that is priced to your budget. Here are five tips on choosing a good model:

  • Buy a French press that is well-made. I’ve broken quite a few, and found the cheaper presses (with thinner glass beakers) tend to break very easily, especially if they are knocked in the sink. Quite a frequent occurrence. Also, check for replacement beakers availability. Or buy a metal French press.
  • Some French Presses claim to provide 8 cups (these cups are European sized demi-tasses) in some larger sizes. I rarely find this to be even close to what I consume. I usually pour a 10-12 fl.oz drink each morning, and that’s most of a smaller 4 cup-press pot. Choose an appropriate size for your regular use.
  • Does the glass beaker fit well the metal frame in which rests? When you pour, make sure it doesn’t come loose and spill hot coffee everywhere!
  • Also, when you open the jug, make sure it sits properly on the table. You don’t want it cobbling over. Some users have noted that some jugs aren’t well-balanced because the four feet are misaligned.
  • Does the plunger actually plunge properly? You’ll be using this when there’s hot coffee in the jug, so you won’t want to use too much force… or accidents might happen.

What kind of coffee do you use in a French press?

Your favorite type of coffee! It’s important to note that any coffee you do use in your French press coffee maker should be coarsely ground. Ideally, grind your coffee just before brewing and you will enjoy the best cup you have ever tasted.

Ideally, you’ll want to use fresh beans that have been roasted within the past ten days.  Coffee beans that have been roasted a while ago will fail to deliver a pleasing cup, so check the roasting date.

Never use beans for a French press that have been roasted less than three days ago; the carbon gasses released by the bean after roasting must have a chance to escape, while the beans ‘rest’ before you grind them for a press pot.

One of the real advantages with knowing how to use French press pots is that you can pretty much use any kind of coffee bean, with any kind of roast. It’s a very flexible way to make coffee, so let’s go on.

Don’t forget the water!

The water you use has a significant effect on the taste of your finished coffee, so as will any coffee making process, be certain that the water you use is good tasting, too.

Grinding Away: Larger is Better

Use a good quality burr coffee grinder to get larger, uniform grounds (medium ground).  The larger the coffee grounds, the easier it is to press down the plunger. If you over grind the beans, you will find that the infusion suffers and you will see residue in your final cup.

How do you make French press coffee in basic steps?

Step 1: It’s a very simple and relaxing process. Begin by heating some water up in a teakettle or pan until a near boiling.

Step 2: While the water is heating, place 1 tablespoon measure of coarsely ground coffee per 8 oz of water into the bottom of the chamber of your French press coffee maker.

Step 3: Next, slowly pour in the heated water, resisting the urge to dump in all in at once. Stir the coffee grounds and water just a bit, and then cover the French press pot with the lid to keep the heat in and let it sit undisturbed for at least 5 minutes.

Step 4: After your coffee has brewed, using medium pressure, press the plunger down to the very bottom of the pot to trap all the grounds. You can now pour and enjoy your cup of French pressed coffee.

Never use Boiling Water

Before you grind the beans, start heating your water.  When it just begins to boil, start your grinding.  This way the water will cool off to just the right temperature by the time the coffee beans are ground.  The water should be between 190-205 Fahrenheit.

Your goal is to infuse the coffee into the water, not to parboil the coffee grounds. If the water is boiling, it will simply cook the coffee and destroy the delicate flavors you are trying to capture. In fact, this tip really is quite useful for many forms of coffee, including instant coffee!

Top Tip: Warm the French Press

It is a good idea to take off the lid, plunger and filter from your French press while the water is heating.  Fill it with hot water from the tap to warm up the press or kettle and help keep your coffee hot.  Pour it out before you add your ground coffee.

How do you make the best coffee in French Presses? – Advanced Tips

Now spoon the coffee ground into the bottom of the press and slowly pour the hot water over them.  You can stir it once or twice to encourage the grounds to absorb the hot water and sink to the bottom instead of floating on top.

Set the lid unit

Replace the filter, plunger and lid and let the coffee steep for about three minutes.  The plunger should be in the unused position, i.e. it should be fully extended upwards. Do NOT be tempted at this stage to press the plunger because you must wait for a few minutes for the coffee to brew properly.

Wait, wait… wait.

I usually time it to between 3-5 minutes. The stronger you like your coffee, the longer it should steep. If you don’t have a timer, perhaps it’s the length of the morning weather report!

Press… CAREFULLY

I usually light stir the coffee at this point. Then hold the lid with one hand, slowly press down the plunger.  Be sure that you keep the rod straight and apply gentle but steady pressure.

If you use too much force it’s possible that you’ll be burned by hot coffee shooting out of the press or you crack the class with the force, and coffee/glass spews everywhere.  Once the plunger is depressed all the way, let the coffee settle for a few seconds then pour into your waiting cup or mug.

Of course, there are some ways that you have to know how not how to use French press pots. For example, don’t force the plunger all the way down, either. The bottom of the glass contains coffee grounds that will have swelled in size during the infusion. So you won’t be able to get the plunger down more than 90% of the way. Don’t even try.

That’s it. It’s really quite easy to find out how to use French press pots.

Serve ALL the coffee

You should probably dispense as much of the coffee as you can first time, because the glass doesn’t really keep the coffee that warm, and the coffee may still continue to brew in the grounds in the bottom.

Tip: Use a thermal flask to keep the remaining coffee hot until needed. Never leave coffee sitting in the press or try to keep it warm; a French press is meant to brew coffee that is consumed immediately after brewing.

James Hoffman Teaches “The Ultimate French Press Techniques”

The former World Barista Champion and Barista from Mile Coffee Roasters teaches us how to make it the right way! This video is well worth watching! He goes through his steps in quite a lot of detail. Only 3 minutes 33 seconds!

Can I make Iced Coffee in a French Press?

The French press is a multi-purpose device and can be used to make a variety of other drinks, too. So, think iced-tea in summer. Green tea infuses well, too. It’s a generally good piece of equipment for modern kitchens.

While these days you can get French presses in all sorts of colors and types of materials, I quite like the traditional glass beaker with gold-plated metal frames. It really looks attractive on your counter top!

There are also other ways you can explore if you really love the simplicity of how to use French press pots. Try making iced coffee in it, try adjusting the amounts, add flavors, syrups, too, if you dare. It’s a coffee making method that’s extremely simple, flexible, and convenient!

The concept of the French press was around in the 19th century but no one had the means to make a mesh filter that fitted tightly enough to prevent leakage of the coffee grounds.

Recipe #1: Simple French Press Iced Coffee Method

My favorite way to make coffee is in a french press. Take a large french press and add 1/3 cup medium roast coffee, then fill with water. Stick it in the fridge for at least 8 hours or overnight, and presto! Iced coffee ready for the morning! Pour the finished coffee over ice.

If it’s too strong feel free to dilute with a little cold water. I’m glad to spread the gospel of iced coffee, the best way to enjoy coffee in the summer!

Recipe #2: French Press Coffee Makes an ‘Iced’ Easy Mocha

by Irene Johnston
(Philadelphia, PA)

Since it’s been so hot this summer, iced is the only way I can stand to drink my coffee now! I prefer to use freshly ground beans and a French press for iced coffee. Since the press tends to make stronger coffee than a regular coffee pot it works particularly well for iced coffee.

I rarely measure the beans, but every morning I will typically use about two tablespoons of freshly ground coffee. While I typically use a medium roast, Jamaica Me Crazy is a nice lightly-flavored treat once in a while. I generally make about 8-oz of coffee at a time.

One of the great things about using a press is that the grounds are still useable; I can add more hot water once or twice and still make good strong coffee. Generally I’ll let the grounds sit for about a minute in the hot water, then slowly lower the press (this time can be extended a bit if I’m reusing grounds from earlier in the day). Once the coffee looks nice and dark I just pour it over ice and I’m done.

I generally drink my coffee black; since I live alone and would really only use milk or cream for my coffee I never go through enough to buy it consistently. However, I do occasionally use chocolate flavored soy milk in my coffees. I find the flavor much richer than using diary-based chocolates and it’s an easy and affordable way to turn my normal coffee into a mocha.

How can I clean a French Press? Cleaning is VERY important

A French presses should be thoroughly cleaned after each use so that oils don’t build up on the glass. You can clean a freshly used jug with cold running water and perhaps a wine glass sponge. Clean it gently.

Now, I know that manufacturers say that French Presses are ‘dishwasher safe’. I’m sure they are. But when you turn on the machine, you can’t really control what happens as the French press is pummelled by the spray jets. Will it fall on its side? Who knows? I recommend gently washing and let it drip dry by itself. The less handling the better, says the man who’s broken four of them!

For more on cleaning coffee makers, check out this reader’s question.

Why make coffee in a French Press Coffee Maker?

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Check out this French press on Amazon

One of my favorite ways to brew coffee is with a French press. Why? Well, French Press Makers brew up a wonderful tasting coffee for you. Not only that, it’s a glamorous way to make coffee, made with lovely shiny bronzes and glass. Learn more about French Presses here.

Key Summary Points for the French Press:

  • Makes 2~4 cups easily (or about 1 ~ 2 mugs)
  • Needs coffee ground for French press, medium ground.
  • Glass jugs are beautiful, but can be broken.

I’ve used quite a few over the years, and loved them for their gorgeous looks. I don’t have any now… they’re all broken!

  • Equipment Cost: 4.0 – Once you buy your pot, you really don’t need to buy much else except coffee. Typically prices range from $15 to $35, the cheaper models tend to be made of plastic or cheap glass, while the more expensive models may be double-hulled to keep your beverage warm. Be careful, your French press pot can be easy to break, especially if it is glass or plastic.
  • Convenience: 3.5 – It’s one of the most convenient manual methods of making coffee. Simply add several spoonfuls of an appropriate grind, add hot water, and wait for 3~4 minutes. After a few minutes, slowly press then pour. Wash up is easy too. You can simply rinse off the jug and plunger!
  • Coffee Quality: 3.0 –  I reckon you receive a fuller, natural flavor from the coffee by pressing your coffee in this manner. Watch for the size of coffee grounds you want to use, you need slightly larger grounds. If they’re too fine, you’ll get lots of ‘silt’ in your coffee (like a Turkish or Greek coffee almost). The biggest drawback is that the coffee does not remain hot for long, so look for a double-hulled French press pot to avert the heat loss. Also, the coffee can become bitter if you forget to press the plunger! So watch the time!

In short, if you need decent coffee in simple machine, this is for you, otherwise if you like your coffee lawsuit hot… keep reading! I’ll add more here about using and selecting a French press …


Don’t ask for French press in the UK… they’ll probably tell you to visit a laundromat! It’s called a ‘cafetiere’, from the French word ‘cafetière’. It’s pronounced…


Looking for new equipment, check out the coffee makers, coffee grinders, and bean roasters page.

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How do you grind coffee with a blade coffee grinder?

The blade coffee grinder is only of three types of coffee grinders, but only the blade grinders and the burr coffee grinders are electric. You also have a manual coffee grinder which can evoke a feeling of nostalgia when you see it!

How do you choose a blade coffee bean grinder?

bladegrindercoffeebeansA lot of the flavor of a good cup of coffee depends on how it was ground. In recent years, the simple blade coffee bean grinder has become quite popular as people begin to appreciate the value of a flavorful, fresh cup of coffee made from freshly ground coffee beans!

This is a typical coffee blade grinder sold by Kitchen Aid.

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See the reviews & prices
for the KitchenAid Blade Coffee Grinder
on Amazon74

Rather than pay the exorbitant prices of a specialty coffee shop, many people bought their own blade coffee grinder like the one above. Assuming, though, that a box mill or manual grinder is too much trouble, we’re left with the important question.

Which kind of blade coffee grinder works best?

You have probably seen the first type with a propeller-like blade at the bottom of a container (like mine). These are called coffee blade grinders. The blades spin around very quickly, tearing the beans into little pieces.

These grinders are all well and good for people who want fresh coffee in the morning, but they don’t satisfy afficionados… Why? The heat emitted by the machine can affect the flavor of the beans. The grind also tends to be uneven in inexperienced hands, so you might not get the best flavor from your coffee.

You can get a better grind by filling the grinder cup only half full then grind the beans in short bursts, shaking between bursts to get the larger chunks to the bottom. These grinders are inexpensive and do the job quickly, if crudely.

Good coffee shops will NEVER use this kind of coffee bean grinder. The quality of the grind is uneven, the blades tend to generate heat that might affect coffee beans delicate oils and flavors, and there are no presets on most coffee grinders.

So why choose a blade coffee grinder?

  • They are significantly less expensive than burr electric coffee grinders
  • They have a smaller kitchen footprint, and can be easily stowed
  • A blade coffee grinder can be used for grinding spices in recipes

Some people find that having a blade type coffee grinder doubles as a spice grinder as well. Although the heat produced through this method of grinding your beans sometimes imparts a burnt taste in your finished coffee, it’s far better to grind your own coffee at home than to purchase pre-ground in cans.

So why avoid a blade coffee grinder?

  • They can grind unevenly by mashing the beans
  • They may create additional heat, affecting flavors in the cup
  • They can’t be used for grinding fine espresso coffee

If you’re looking for a higher quality grind, or already have a manual coffee grinder, then I recommend you upgrade to a conical burr coffee grinder. Don’t waste time looking at these grinders, because you will not improve your coffee any further by buying one.

If it’s your first grinder, then it’s a solid choice. It can do double duty, and is very affordable!

What are the best blade type grinders tips?

Coffee Blade GrinderPurelyCoffeeBeans knows, for most coffee drinkers discovering different types of coffee beans, the coffee bean grinder with blades are their first experience with grinding coffee. And it does provide a satisfying improvement over opening and using ground coffee brands!

This article provides some tips on using your first blade coffee grinder77: including ‘doing the shake’, watch your timing, not too long/short, and ‘feel its pulse’! Lastly, I’ll end with some things you should be aware of… SAFETY first.

How do you use a blade coffee grinder?

Typical coffee bean grinders are usually most people’s first choice as a grinder, as it was mine. Unfortunately, the blade doesn’t grind as such; it tears and slashes the beans into smaller pieces until the grind level is achieved.

You’ll notice when you first open the canister that the grind is uneven as the grind produces a finer powder-like granules towards the outside, with unbroken larger pieces left inside.

Grind and Shake

You can compensate for this by slightly shaking the coffee bean grinders as you press the switch. Don’t shake too much, or perhaps the cover will fly loose, creating a coffee cloud! I know it happened to me. By shaking the grinder gently, you will move the grounds around more and ensure a smoother grind overall.

Don’t grind too long

Another tip for using the coffee bean grinders with blades is to make sure that you don’t grind too long. The blades tend to create a little heat from the friction of blades on beans. This could be undesirable as the heat may impair some of the gentler flavors of the beans, and produce a less than optimal taste.

Feel the Pulse

To overcome this, I usually use pulses: I press the button for between 1-2 seconds at the most, then when the motion stops, I pulse again. Between pulses, I will shake the grinder a little to move the bean grounds around.

The longer the finer

If you are making coffee for a French press, then a coarser grind may be about 2-3 seconds. For drip coffee makers, you will need a finer grind, so experiment with changing the total grind time. You may be able to get a really fine grind with a longer time, but you will need to experiment with your grinder.

Hold on Tight

Always hold on to the lid, just in case it comes loose. While these units don’t tend to have this issue, a little carelessness may result in a messy accident. Some blade coffee grinders are pretty basic: in other words, the lids or covers may fly off spilling coffee all over the kitchen! If you have one of those, always hold onto the lid properly while grinding, don’t shake too violently up and down or it will fly off! Trust me!

These techniques work very well with smaller handheld electric grinders, but if the grinder you use is larger or static, or you have hand mobility issues, then these options may not be suitable for you. The larger machines may also have preset grind levels making this pulse, grind and shake ritual impossible.

Why is my coffee grinder not working? Be careful!

Uneven grind: if you are unfamiliar with grinding levels, you will have to experiment with the different coffee grinds for your equipment. So there’s a little learning curve.

Safety First: NEVER use a coffee grinder that can grind beans WITHOUT a cover on… Those blades will happily grind little fingers or anything else that gets put in.

Should you decide one day to upgrade your grinder, just clean the blade grinder and let it grind spices for you! Saves you buying a new machine, and your cooking will improve, too!

What is the best blade coffee grinder for home use?

The coffee blade grinders are a good entry point for making whole bean coffee. Have a look at blade coffee grinders77 at Amazon. Check through their user comments as they can highlight what the grinders can be really like.


Looking for new equipment, check out the coffee makers, coffee grinders, and bean roasters page.

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9 Simple Coffee Makers to Enhance Your Life with Coffee!

As PurelyCoffeeBeans knows, it really is not surprising many people are so confused over which are the simple coffee makers among the dozens on the market.

Simple Coffee Makers

Simple coffee makers and mugs for all, even the Klutz

Most people look at all the different styles, options, and prices, then throw up their hands in confusion. I reckon most people simply close their eyes and point, hoping for the best.

So in this article I’d like to:

    • Outline the simple coffee makers & methods
    • Look at the advantages, challenges & tips for each coffee maker
    • Help readers determine which is best for their own situation

Let’s get on and look at some of the coffee makers I’ve seen, tried & used over the years! In fact, they have all been quite reliable as simple coffee makers go!

What Will I Learn? Table of Contents

Introducing Three Simple Coffee Makers

Five Unusual Simple Coffee Makers

Very Unusual Coffee Mugs

  • I. Mighty Mug – Will you ever spill your coffee again with Mighty Mug?

Let’s get on and look at the coffee makers I’ve used over the years! In fact, they have all been quite reliable as simple coffee makers go!

I. Plastic Drip Cones

8789Featured Image: Bodum Drip Cone & Glass Jug 17oz.

One of my first simple coffee makers was actually the easiest of all, a plastic drip filter or drip cone, rather like the Melitta Filter Cone91 which you see here.  There are other models of coffee filter cones93 available, too.

+ Advantages

The coffee cones are very affordable. For little more than $10, you could purchase a cone, some papers and then make some great coffee by buying a quarter pound of coffee from your local coffee roasters.

The coffee is quick to make and you can make a variety of coffee types from light to espresso, just by making sure that the grind is appropriate.

Overall, this device is a great coffee making entry point for beginners, those on the go, and travelers who like to make their own coffee rather than drink the instant coffee available in the hotel rooms. It’s also extremely light! Better yet, you can buy small single cup cones for travel.

– Room for Improvement

The only real problems are that, balanced on top of a cup or small jug, they are prone to being knocked over and spilling messy coffee, hot water & coffee grounds everywhere. They also drip, so having a sink nearby is a solution, or at least an extra cup to put it on when it’s done; that they are (obviously!) limited in their capacity; and you have to dispose of the paper filter & grounds, causing unnecessary garbage.

Tips On Using Coffee Cones

Just remember two things: use a tablespoon or coffee spoon to measure your coffee, and DON’T use boiling water! Try to keep the water about 85C or 90C, otherwise you risk cooking the grounds, and having a tasteless cup of coffee! And buy the bigger size for use at home or office, not the single cup model or the size 2, so you can treat your friends to some great coffee, too!

II. The French Press

9597Featured Image: Bodum Chambord French Press Coffee Maker

Really the most elegant of all the simple coffee makers I ever owned, nice gleaming glass wrapped in gold plated metal, sitting on the work surface and begging me just to use it one more time! I have always loved French presses99, even though the more modern ones no longer look like as classy.

Perhaps not as convenient to use as a Drip Coffee Maker, they make a great coffee in small amounts; just add hot water, stir, wait, then plunge!

+ Advantages

Like the other simple coffee makers listed here, the french press can really handle any roast of coffee, any blend, too; just make sure that the grind isn’t too fine, otherwise you’ll end up with brown sludge at the bottom of your cup! The metal mesh is more effective if the grounds are slightly larger. Obviously this means you need to spend a little more time waiting for the infusion to work! They can be a little pricey to buy or replace. But buying a good one is highly recommended.

– Room for Improvement

If you live in a cold climate or make your coffee outdoors, you may find the resulting drink gets just a bit too cold before you add the milk. Also, the jugs (esp. if they are glass) are easy to break or crack rendering them useless.

Tips for the French press

Use a larger ground than fine ground. And let the water steep for a little while, too. When pressing the plunger, a gentle even pressure is needed. Don’t use too much force! And serve the coffee immediately to prevent the remainder becoming too strong.

I love the French press, it really is a simple coffee maker to use, quick to make coffee (as quick as a hot water jug or kettle), and very easy to clean. It’s long been my simple coffee maker of the year.

III. The Drip Coffee Maker

101Featured: Bonavita BV1900TS Coffee Maker with Thermal Carafe103

Pretty quickly, I got tired boiling the water, waiting and then manually filling the cone. It could be messy, time consuming and I was always looking for filter papers for the cone (and when you run out, and some substitutes – say, ahem, kitchen roll – just don’t work). Then I broke one or two too many French press jugs, and it was time for a new coffee maker. Enter the drip coffee maker99.

Admittedly more expensive than the cone or French press, it heated the right amount of water to the optimum temperature, then dripped the water through the coffee grounds into the jug. No waiting around, the coffee could be ready just before you left for work, within a few minutes, and you could make extra for the friend, the second cup or for the fridge!

I went through several models of those, and found that the cheapest just didn’t last. Most prone to problems, the glass jug. I broke quite a few; so finding a replacement meant that I had to replace the entire unit. But I eventually bought two Braun coffee makers that lasted years, without a jug breakage! I still use one at home.

+ Advantages

You can set up the machine and leave it while you get dressed in the morning or make breakfast for the kids, as it doesn’t need much watching over. You can even buy models that have their own internal clock to get the coffee ready for you first thing!

You just have to add the milk & sugar! They are affordable, and you can go forgo the paper filters for a gold drip filter cone (it’s not really gold!) which will last ages, fit many models, and save you money, too!

– Room for Improvement

There is always room for improvement with these machines: they do need cleaning regularly; they may not get the water temperature right; and the hot plate may get the coffee too hot, spoiling the delicate flavors of the coffee, if it is left too long. Also, the jugs are unique, so finding a replacement glass carafe can be a challenge, if it is broken or cracked.

Tips for Using Drip Coffee Makers

Most tips are similar for the coffee cones about grinding & preparation. Be careful of the glass jug or carafe, they should not be knocked or dropped (even slightly); and if you wash them by hand, don’t let them jostle against metal cutlery or other heavy crockery.

If your hot plate overheats the coffee after a few minutes, then when the machine stops, just turn it off! I’m fussy, and I find that stewed coffee tastes much worse than warm coffee. Overall, the drip coffee maker is the most convenient of these simple coffee makers, decidedly low tech and reliable.

As you see, I have had a long affair with simple coffee makers, and even now I haven’t persuaded myself that buying an expensive one makes much practical sense.

Which one do you have? What did you find to be the best coffee maker? What problems did you have?

Introducing Three More Simple Coffee Makers

I. HARIO V60 Coffee Maker: An Automatic Manual Coffee Maker?

PurelyCoffeeBeans knows that visiting Starbucks recently is not something I do a lot of; but I was surprised to see a Hario V60 Coffee Maker in the display shelf. It intrigued me because it didn’t just look like another regular electric drip coffee maker. Closer inspection confirmed this.
107109Most coffee shops these days use semi-automatic or automatic coffee makers but for most coffee afficionados, the drip coffee maker allows gentler flavors to emerge, with better extraction and slower filtering of the water through the grounds.

Hario, of course, is well known for its range of manual coffee equipment, particularly its well-made coffee filters & cones. I was surprised to see this ‘automated version’.

HARIO V60 coffee maker: Automatic + Hand Drip

HARIO-V60-coffee-maker-EVCM-5B

While you can definitely get the machine in the States, there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of Youtube Videos for this machine! I’ve included a Japanese version… and he demonstrated clearly how to use the machine.

Slightly slower than a regular machine, the device pumps out water at constant high temperature (not hot enough to scald!) through 21 holes in the dripper unit. As a result, all the coffee powder is properly exposed to the hot water, instead of filtering just through the center.

The only downside I can see to ordering this machine is the manual came in Japanese, and the hot pot looks a tad finicky to clean. If you’re a perfectionist and like the pour over method, this is a very good substitute. In the end, if you decide to pour the water over manually, that’s possible, too!

At Reddit BrewOnABudget talks about how to brew coffee in his Hario V60 system. It’s a a good first step, and the rest of the discussion is pretty informative.

Brewing Multiple Cups – Hario V60 from Coffee

I’d like to try the Hario V60 Coffee King Coffee Maker … I think it’s an interesting machine, great for perfectionists… but the rest of us, perhaps not so much! You can check out the Vario V60 products below to see if it’s a good fit for your lifestyle…

II. Can the Cafflano coffee maker make your coffee even more portable?

Oh! That is embarrassing, like PurelyCoffeeBeans was about to say…

I thought Cafflano was Caffiano! Whoops!

I was in the local Sogo department store here in Taipei. There is a little shop that stocks interesting and unique products from Japan and other parts of East Asia called Hands Tailung. Lo! And behold the Cafflano coffee maker!

It’s the middle of Chinese New Year, and very busy, still I managed to find a great coffee product that is perfect for your picnic or business trip.

At first glance, it looks like a large coffee travel cup, but once you open it, you realize it’s almost a complete system for measuring, grinding, and making the perfect cup of coffee.

Let’s take a look at the image below. The stand features the exploded view: a measuring cup on top, the grinder is in the middle, the filter cone is the light gray insert and the black base is the mug. Simple, elegant.

I’m not exactly sure what the meaning of the ‘drip kettle’ refers to, but the hand mill is an effective little grinder. Once you grind the coffee, the coffee falls into the dripper. Just add hot water, and wait a little. Voila!

The grinding unit has a folding handle that fits inside the case. Neat! You’ll be able to grind upto 30 grams, enough for a decent strong cuppa, if the hotel coffee isn’t upto scratch. More pictures here

What people say about the Cafflano All in One Coffee Maker: in short, the Cafflano is great for portability a true one-stop coffee station from bean to fresh coffee. It is ideal in your tent, hotel or on the go. However, it’s portability is flawed in one way: it leaks, so I recommend that you make the coffee, drink the coffee, then clean it out.

If you’re looking for portable cups, this is not the one! That being said, it beats hands down any other coffee maker you’ll find in a myriad of hotel rooms and restaurants! So if you’re desperate, can’t bear the hotel coffee, or just need a familiar routine while on your business travels, you won’t go wrong with this coffee maker!

If you’re interested in other Cafflano products, like the Cafflano Kompresso and the Cafflano Kompact, check out their website at Cafflano.com. You can find out more reviews, prices and order information at Amazon where it’s on sale…


III. Perfect Pod EZ Cup – Is this the perfect way to make great coffee?

PurelyCoffeeBeans reckons that the Perfect Pod EZ Cup could be the ideal combination for fussy coffee lovers everywhere. Why? Simply because kcups don’t always offer the best or freshest coffee you can buy. Perhaps you can’t even find the brand of coffee that you like…

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I earn commission from any qualifying purchases.

Welcome to PurelyCoffeeBeans! Let me pour you an iced coffee! It’s getting warm outside!

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Looking for my favorite coffee in a Kcup?

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By User:MarkBuckawickiOwn work, CC0, Link

One reader was asking about MJB Coffee K-cups for the Keurig machine, which are simply not available, due to licensing reasons, though there are some K-cups available for some brands of coffee, for example, Folgers Coffee K-cups.

But the product is currently patented so any company wanting to brand their coffee with Keurig’s system must sign a licensing agreement with Green Mountain Coffee.

K-cups come in a variety of brands, but there doesn’t seem to be any MJB branded cups on the market, either in Canada or the US. As far as I am aware, MJB do not make K-cups at this time.

However, the owners of the K-cups systems (Green Mountain Coffee) may well sign agreements at some future date. You should keep an eye on their website for announcements.

Perfect Pod EZ Cup: Convenient, Affordable & Eco-friendly

In my search to help this newsletter reader, I came across the Perfect Pod EZ Cup system, which is a replacement cup for the system. But the trick lies in the fact that you can grind any coffee beans you like (or use pre-ground coffee) in your Keurig coffee maker.

One of the real issues (no matter what manufacturers like Green Mountain Coffee tell you), there is no way that you will get freshly ground coffee in those pods. Often the pods will have been roasted, ground and packed months before they are used.

However, if you are willing to experiment with your Perfect Pod EZ Cup, you will find that you can make your own cups to your own strength, grind, and roasting grade with the coffee you regularly use, instead of the limited selection available from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters or their partners.

There are really good reasons to use this system, not just the lack of decent coffee options on the K-cup system. So let’s look at the advantages of the EZ Pod Coffee Cup.

  • Your Favorite Coffee – obviously you get to drink your favorite coffee, made cup at a time. With the disposible filter papers, it really is the most economical way to enjoy coffee with little waste compared to traditional drip coffee makers.
  • Your Garbage – When you throw away the paper filter, you are not adding single used plastic to your garbage. Really, we should all be trying to reduce our plastic garbage, but a traditional Keurig coffee maker will generate a lot of garbage in a year!
  • Your Finances – The typical Kcups are costly, from $0.60 a cup. While this is definitely cheaper than buying a cup of coffee in Starbucks, that is hiding the real cost if you are trading up from a drip coffee maker. The cost of a pound of coffee in Kcup form is $27 or more.
  • It’s Fresh – when you grind your own coffee, you’ll notice that the nuances of the coffee are more pronounced, and more pleasurable than the tendency of coffee packed long ago.

But there are problems with the Perfect Pod EZ Cup some of which are unique to this system, some of them to the type of device being used.

  • Breakable– Several users of the system found them easily breakable, if you weren’t careful.
  • Watch the grind: Also, you need to be careful about the kind of grind that you put in. If you’re not sure, start with pre-ground coffee before you start to grind your own beans. Don’t expect to get it right at first… but once you know how fine the coffee needs to be you’ll be making coffee like a true barista!

For more about the Keurig K-Cup system, check out BestKitchenReviews, and the links below.

YouTube Review by bestkitchenreviews

There are different kinds of Keurig machine these days, make sure yours matches. If you buy the Perfect Pod EZ Cup, don’t forget to buy the papers, too. You can a wide selection of items through your order direct from Amazon.

IV. The Solo Kaffe Maker – Can it really make coffee?

wpid-p_20141214_193325.jpg

What a cute little fellow! This one is branded the Solo Kaffe! Not sure of pricing or availability (or even reliability) but can’t help thinking you could stow it in your desk easily! Wait, it’s on Amazon… and it’s the Korean version. The one pictured is the Japanese version.

130132Buy this Recolte SOLO KAFFE in red on Amazon

This coffee brewer is specialized brewing coffee for just one person. It’s also quite easy to use. The unit looks stylish and attractive in red. In use, the tank only holds a small amount of water (about 200 ml), so it may not suit larger cups or mugs. You have to add water as you brew.

It’s supplied with the main coffee maker unit, water tank & filter holder, a gold filter, double-walled glass, spoon, and even a recipe guide & manual (in Japanese). A lot of thought has gone into the unit’s design and sale.

V. The Oomph Hand Powered Portable Coffee Maker – Does it have oomph?

Kickstarter has allowed a lot of entrepreneurs to create their own products for their own particular industry, coffee notwithstanding. Here’s the latest effort: the Oomph. The simple device bears some similarity to the Aeropress, there is a plunger inside.

In other respects, it resembles more an insulated cup. Indeed, it is insulated. However, the device is a filter type, intended to make a decent cup of coffee using about 25g of freshly ground coffee and 13fl.oz of water.

No idea if the device makes great coffee or not, but you can check out it yourself below. James Hoffman reviews both the Oomph and the Cafflano:

Last, Mighty Mug: Will you ever spill your coffee again with Mighty Mug?

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Not so much a simple coffee maker, but if you’re ever stuck for a coffee gift, I may have found the ideal solution for that careless person in your life! It’s the magic Mighty Mug (right) and the small cup version of Mighty Mug (left)!

The cup is an interesting invention that should help you avoid spilling coffee all over your keyboard. It uses a rubber type base that provides suction on many different surfaces.

A keyboard disaster is only terrible, if you have paper or a laptop on your desk! This device with its magic bottom manages to stick to the surface long enough so you don’t end up with sticky coffee all over your brand new notebook!

The only real major criticisms are that you can’t put the entire thing in the dishwasher… it ruins the rubber. I’d recommend simply hand rinsing it. Another issue seems to be slow customer response… If you’ve ever tried these, let me know if they really work! Or did you have a disaster anyway?

So… that’s it!

Whichever simple coffee makers you choose, let me know your experience! Love to hear from you!


Looking for new equipment, check out the coffee makers, coffee grinders, and bean roasters page.

Signature of PurelyCoffeeBeans in calligraphic brush style

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Wonder which is the best espresso coffee maker for home use?

PurelyCoffeeBeans knows there are so many different models of espresso coffee maker on the market, from the simple single cup espresso makers to machines as sophisticated as the Elektra Espresso Machine.

Whether you want to make simple shots of espresso for an Americano, dress up your espresso macchiato, or drink it straight… you’re going to need one of these babies.

Espresso Coffee Maker
(c) Kenneth Dickson @ PurelyCoffeeBeans.com – Saeco Espresso Coffee Maker by Phillips

It can appear really confusing to know which particular brand and model will suit your particular home or kitchen.

What will I learn about espresso makers?

What is the best espresso maker? Let’s See a “Good” Espresso Maker!

Essentially, though, a really good espresso coffee maker for home use, and light office applications should be:

  • easy to use;
  • easy to clean;
  • easy to purchase; and
  • easy to maintain.

Crucially, though, any machine you buy should create enough pressure (or ‘bars’) to ensure that the espresso or cappuccino delivers a top quality flavor.

The best espresso machines should minimally have those two basic features, and several more that we will discuss later on, because making espresso at home should be an enjoyable experience … not drudgery.

So, when it comes to selecting home an espresso coffee maker, there’s several things to consider:

  • How often will you be using your espresso coffee and cappuccino machine?
  • Will you keep it on your counter, or do you prefer a built in model?
  • How much of the espresso making task do you prefer to control yourself?

If you are one of the many people today looking to add an espresso coffee maker to enhance your home coffee enjoyment, and perhaps entertain friends, you’ll definitely want to know the differences between the various automatic espresso machines, super automatic espresso machines, semi automatic espresso machines and manual espresso machines.

Just knowing your basic needs that you will want in your espresso maker, you will be able to make the best choice for a home espresso machine. Let’s simply go over some of the basics to help you in your quest for the right espresso maker.

Super Automatic Espresso Makers

Who makes the best super automatic espresso machine?

If you love coffee but aren’t quite sure you have the confidence to make espresso by yourself, then super automatic espresso machines (also called a fully automatic espresso machines) could be the right choice for you.

These machines are fully automated: grinding your coffee beans, adding frothed milk, and put your used grounds in a storage bin where you can empty them out later. The super automatics are also among the most expensive espresso machines out there, but they’re great for folks who don’t have the time or energy to focus on their coffee but who still want that perfect up every day.

Sometimes, you have to spend a little money to get what you want, and this is the case when it comes to super automatic espresso machines. Fortunately, there are many super automatic espresso machines available, across many price points. Check out the reviews by Amazon customers.

Automatic espresso machines

What is the best automatic espresso coffee maker for your home?

139141Automatic espresso machines are sometimes confused with super automatic espresso machines, but the difference between the two machines is:

  • An automatic espresso machine will dispense the liquid, but you still need to grind, tamp and dose your espresso shot.
  • A super automatic will do absolutely everything for you … once you program in your custom settings and set the espresso maker up.

The automatic espresso coffee maker is for someone who really doesn’t want to try being a barista, but wants a home espresso coffee maker that produces espresso shots just like the local coffee house. This automatic espresso machine is from Saeco

Either of these types of automatic espresso machines will completely automate the entire espresso making process for you.

So that you can simply make and enjoy a great cup of espresso or cappuccino at home with the least amount of fuss. These are considered the best espresso machines for both taste and pleasure.

As with all espresso machines, it is important to select good espresso beans to brew in the espresso maker.

After adding your choice beans into the hopper, the super automatic espresso machine will go to work for you … grinding your beans, dosing, tamping the grounds, and then pulling you perfect espresso shot. All at the push of a button.

With one of the automatic espresso machines, you will need a separate  conical burr coffee grinder.

Of course, as with most appliances, you get what you pay for. An automatic or super automatic espresso machine type of espresso coffee maker is a bit more costly than other types of espresso coffee makers for the home.

Semi automatic espresso machines

What does semi automatic espresso machine mean?

You can save money by electing to do some of the espresso making yourself with any of the semi automatic espresso machines. These types of espresso makers typically feature the water being delivered via pump (rather than manual force). A three-way valve dissipates any remaining brew pressure.
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You can have it all with this espresso coffee maker by Breville

Some of the semi automatic espresso machines allow for a programmed amount of water to flow through a flowmeter.

This type of espresso maker will automatically shut down the pump at the just the right time with what is known as a solenoid valve.

These machines won’t do all the tamping, dosing, or even the grinding for you, but you will spend less money for one of these machines.

And many people enjoy having a little more control over the outcome of their espresso drink. The finished shot is a true work of art.

The latest from Breville is a combination espresso machine that does it all! With the push of a button their programmable espresso maker gives you the option of:

  • Fully automatic
  • Semi automatic
  • Custom or manual espresso shot

If you are uncertain how much of the espresso making process you really care to do yourself, this machine has you covered.

Manual espresso machines

What is a manual espresso machine?

As you may have guessed, manual espresso machines are quite basic as compared to their automated counterparts. Manual espresso machines are the least expensive of the 3 basic types of espresso coffee and cappuccino machines, but they require the greatest amount of barista-like skills.147149

The top manual espresso coffee makers will offer a large amount of pressure, but a bar pressure of 8 or more while the water is being forced through the tamped grinds is typically good for a home machine.

And a manual machine will deliver a nice, hot brew. After a couple of tries, you will soon become hooked on perfecting the espresso shot. You will find a great amount of enjoyment with a manual espresso machine.

There is a quiet pleasure at pulling a great tasting espresso shot. From selecting the most aromatic beans, to the finished cup you will find yourself offering to make espressos for all who come to visit.

Stove top espresso makers

Is the stove top espresso coffee maker any good?

151153You will discover these stovetop coffee percolators to be fun and practical espresso makers on the burners of most every home or kitchen in Italy. This manual espresso maker is actually a Moka pot, or a moka maker.

Not a true espresso maker, but you will find that a moka pot brews a wonderful tasting cup of coffee, full of rich flavor without any bitterness.

I prefer the aroma and flavor of this style of coffee brewing over the automatic drip coffee makers. This moka maker produces a cross between a dripped cup of coffee and an espresso shot.

The results of using a moka pot, such as this one, will give you a drink that is slightly thinner than espresso, but richer than a perked cup of coffee.

The advantages are that they do work on the stove top, there are no electrical parts to wear out, they are fully portable, and a moka pot is easy to clean.

So now that you’ve got your espresso coffee maker all set up, it’s time to check out the espresso coffee beans you’ll need, and learn how to make your first espresso drinks.

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Are coffee maker ratings fake? 7 ways to trust and verify the reviews first!

Did you check the coffee maker ratings before you decided to buy that last coffee maker you bought? You know, I’ll let you in on a little secret: I didn’t when I bought my last coffee maker, and for a drip coffee maker, it wasn’t that cheap, either!

Coffee Maker Ratings
Coffee Maker Ratings – Are these fake?

Check those coffee maker ratings

And now I’m regretting it somewhat because the machine I bought really has some issues: it throws water everywhere, and sometimes even hot coffee; the filter isn’t a gold coffee filter, it’s cheap plastic; and there isn’t an auto-off switch so that the coffee continues brewing on the hotplate even after the coffee is finished dripping.

So I now recommend that if you are interested in buying almost any kind of coffee maker, and you want to get the best for your buck, you should consider some obvious factors that influence ratings.

Find out what’s wrong FIRST

It’s a little un-American, but as a Brit, I tend to want to know the bad news first… so that I can decide whether a particular coffee maker is something I can live with. In this article, I’ll offer some tips to those interested in purchasing coffee makers by examining the coffee maker ratings, then we’ll look at some examples of how this works in action!

As I found out, your coffee maker can make the difference between a great cup of java and a mediocre one.  You can buy the best coffee grown but if your coffee maker scorches the grounds, isn’t quite hot enough or lets the water soak the grounds too long, you’re not going to get the most out of your coffee.

Tip #1: Check out Amazon.com

So my first tip: check out the coffee maker ratings & reviews on Amazon for the coffee maker you are looking for. Why Amazon? Simply because they tend to have more reviews than other shopping sites I’ve visited, so it’s easier to sort out which are planted, which are genuine and what the specifics of the model are as compared to what manufacturers promise.  You’ll also get a guide price that you may be able to better elsewhere.

Tip #2: Skip and scan the reviews

Never take the top rated reviews as 100%, but also distrust the bottom rated reviews: they may have axes to grind or be trying to get inside your wallet! I usually scan those reviews quickly, then choose those marked with a 4 or 3 or even 2 star rating. That way I find that the coffee maker ratings tend to be more reliable.

Tip #3: Look for the ‘helpful’ reviews

Amazon does have one feature that I like: “6 of 9 people found the following review helpful” which indicates how many people found a particular review useful to them, and then they clicked. On one machine, I found the top review received nearly 49 supporters!

Tip #4: Too few reviews

Look for a reasonable number of reviews, if you are chasing more reliable coffee maker ratings. Why? Many products only get a scant number of reviews, so it’s difficult to make a proper balanced decision on three reviews only. You’ll only get slanted personal views. For popular coffee maker ratings, I’d be looking for at least a dozen reviews or more. The more the merrier.

Tip #5: Too many *Five* stars!

Along with #4, you’ll often find reviews with a lot of five stars. Ordinarily, you’d expect a number of 5 star-reviews, but if the total number of reviews is very low… you may be right to be suspicious of those reviewers’ motives for giving full marks to a brand new product.

Tip #6: ‘Thin’ reviews

If reviews are getting any comments that are worthless, it’s easy to identify as it usually runs along the lines of “This product is awesome. We love it! It does the job!”… etc. They may be genuine, they may not.

Either way, they offer nothing to you in terms of why the ‘purchaser’ is satisfied. Often it will accompany a four-star or five-star award. The only real value with these kind of reviews is in their aggregate. But vendors can and do mass purchase reviews, rendering any advantage moot.

Tip #7: Be skeptical! ALWAYS!

These days, there are so many ways for vendors to play the review game, including:

  • the verified buyer reviews before the vendor provides a refund
  • the buyer does reviews for gift certificates
  • the vendor buys paid reviews
  • a new vendor with no other products may be suspect
  • a high number of 1 star and 5 star reviews
  • a high number of 5 star reviews with an odd array of other reviews.

You can spot the fake coffee maker ratings & review occasionally by looking for markers: the fake ‘con’, a higher number of stars than the review warrants, etc. But really, there is only true way to know: if the products and reviews are too good to be true!


Looking for new equipment, check out the coffee makers, coffee grinders, and bean roasters page.

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