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5 steps on how to use a French drip coffee pot

As PurelyCoffeeBeans knows, French drip coffee is typically what you will be served when you travel to the southern states. You will find that this thick, rich drip coffee tends to grow on you. It is traditionally served with both milk and sugar, but some like it straight up.

French drip coffee
French Drip Coffee Pot listed on Etsy

Vintage French Porcelier Drip Coffee Pot Drip  from Jacqueline @ FernHillRd

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What I will learn – Table of Contents


What is French Drip Style Coffee?

Although similar to percolator coffee, French drip coffee is in a class all of its own, just ask anyone from Louisiana. Percolated coffee is continually agitated with hot water until you stop the process.

Using these manual drip coffee makers, French style drip coffee is allowed to sit and steep undisturbed until the coffee is nice and strong. The soaking period allows the flavor to fully develop before serving!

The preparation is similar to traditional drip coffee, but with the manual drip method, the coffee is steeped in hot water for much longer resulting in a thicker, much stronger cup of coffee.

How do you use a drip coffee pot? A step-by-step guide!

Although this type of coffee making is a drip type of coffee, the grounds are suspended above the water, undisturbed, allowing the water to percolate through the filter grid to the bottom of the French pot. Here are the steps!

  1. The temperature of the water is important for a nice, strong brew. Begin by heating your filtered water to a boil, in a kettle, then allow the water it set just a moment, bringing it down just a degree or three.
  2. You will need a traditional French drip pot, this particular type of manual drip coffee makers make coffee right on the stovetop, so you won’t need electricity to brew your coffee.
  3. With your grounds in place in the coffee basket fitted with the compression rammer, slowly pour the hot water over the filter basket. Do not rush this step. Slow and steady is your best bet for a rich, flavorful coffee.
  4. Allow your brew to steep for a minimum of 5 minutes, longer is better, and then make certain that the rammer is compressed all the way (this will insure a thick cup of coffee) pour out your first cup and enjoy.
  5. The coffee will pour back through the grounds, but there is no worry that you will find any errant grounds in your cup, as long as the rammer and filter basket are securely in place before you begin to pour.

Video: Brewing Coffee with The Drip-O-Lator

How do you use a French drip coffee pot? First Timers’ Reactions

Many people who first experience this unique type of coffee in a local restaurant never go back to their old methods of making coffee. And they will tell you it is just a coffee you need to taste for yourself to understand why.

It’s difficult to find an authentic French Press Pot these days … but occasionally you can pick up one of these beauties right on eBay, for a price.

Where can I find French drip coffee pots?

Yes, indeedy. They are available on Amazon. However… be careful. Amazon confuses a moka pot with a dripolator or French Drip Pot quite easily. A moka pot is indeed a different beast.

Aluminum French Drip Coffee pot
Aluminum French Drip Coffee pot

8You can buy
Lindy’s 49W Stainless Steel Drip Coffee Maker With Protective Plastic Handles10
on Amazon

Originally written by Chris Zeigler & Betty Zeigler

Where can I find French Drip Coffee Makers?

Recently received a question from Mark, New Orleans LA which runs like this.

Do you sell these french drip coffee makers? If not, do you know where I may find one?

At first I thought it was a little odd. Didn’t he mean French Press or Drip coffee makers? How could a French Press drip coffee?

But as you see from the picture at the top, it really is a drip coffee maker. Typically found in the Southern states, a French drip coffee pot is traditionally a teardrop shaped coffee pot. French Drip Type Makers are sometimes as elegant as the one above!

This type of manual coffee pot can use regular ground coffee, as compared to the French press style which coarse grounds are recommended

OldAristocrat writes:

I first learned about a French Drip Coffee Maker when I lost power in my house and so was forced to make coffee on an old fashioned, gas stove. I found that this old drink that I tolerated for so long, was now my favorite drink in the house! Cooking on an old fashioned stove percolator was so superior to my standard coffee pot, that I instantly went online to begin searching for tips to enjoy better coffee. The journey began.

First I went searching on review sites, then on forums, then on e-commerce sites to look at every kind of coffee product available, and after this very long search I found EVERYONE saying one thing — You MUST get a French Drip Coffee maker to truly enjoy coffee.

I’m not sure why I was surprised, maybe because my parents were always standard, non-French coffee drinkers, but when I first got that French Drip Coffee Maker off of Amazon, I was in seventh heaven. I suddenly wanted coffee in the morning, the afternoon, and at night too! This boring drink that I tried to make taste good with sugar, suddenly didn’t need sugar anymore!

Suddenly I could enjoy it by itself! It was amazing! I would strongly recommend someone to try this great form of coffee. But I also have a warning: Once you go old fashioned, French Drip, you don’t go back. You won’t enjoy the burnt, bland, and offensive coffee that normal Americans have been duped into drinking.

You will want the exquisite, rich, detailed flavor that only a true French Drip can provide. And you will find yourself suddenly looking at coffee time as something enjoyable and centering, like a nice walk through the park with your Lab.

Purchasing a second hand one seems to be a little easier than buying a new one. Ebay has a few for sale right now. But I’m not sure that any of those is as romantically designed as the 19th century models. And there’s this one at Etsy.com, that’s made in France. I looked on Amazon.fr to see if there were any models new for sale. But I haven’t seen anything remotely similar. It seems the French are more practical these days, preferring the convenience of electricity.

A Reader Writes by Lawrence Collins

“When my son absconded with my old French drip coffee pot, I couldn’t find one in New Orleans. So I drove to Cajun Country and found one at the first hardware store I saw, it was only $22!

French drip coffee, BTW, is a Cajun thing, and is made with pure coffee (no chicory) with sugar in the bottom of the pot, and served in a demi-tasse. New Orleans coffee & chicory is also quite strong but is usually brewed the same ways as “yankee coffee.” In France, it’s the opposite: chicory in the country, pure in Paris.”

What’s your experience of French Drip Coffee? I’d love to hear that, too!


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

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Discover 7 top quality reasons for using a siphon coffee maker! You should make coffee with class!

As PurelyCoffeeBeans knows, the vacuum brewed coffee maker, also called siphon coffee maker, was very popular in North America until the 1960’s.

It is so named because water is siphoned up from one container into another and must pass through the coffee grounds on its journey.

Siphon coffee maker taken by Photo by Joey Huang on Unsplash

Photo by Joey Huang on Unsplash

What will I learn about siphon coffee?

What are the three things that make siphon coffee makers special? Heat, light and coffee!

If you ever visit coffee shops in Japan, Taiwan, and other parts of Asia, you’ll see many that still prepare coffee in this fashion. Brewing coffee with a siphon set up is fun and can put on an entertaining show for guests or customers. (Jump to the video to see this being made).

It’s also perfect for light and medium roast coffee or coffees where you want to extract more of the essences of the coffee flavors, such as the most expensive coffee, or the Hawaiian coffee. The bottom vessel is sometimes made of metal though glass is common. It is the one that is heated and the top vessel is nearly always made of glass.

The whole set up looks particularly fragile, but it does make a good cup of coffee. But it’s definitely not suited to those who are clumsy in the kitchen! There are several variations nowadays: balancing siphon coffee makers with two jugs, one on either side of a large metal balance.

There are some modern variations, one especially that I like for its stylish appearance is called the ‘Kahva’.

How is a siphon coffee maker used in Japan?

This is one of the better coffee siphon videos on Youtube because it shows the entire siphon coffee maker and how siphon coffee is actually made. Let me know what you think!

The principles of making siphon coffee aren’t much different: cold water, and ground coffee in; delicious hot coffee out!

To make siphon coffee you first put freshly ground coffee in the top vessel and water in the bottom one. Then water is heated with the application of heat to the bottom vessel.

Siphon coffee pots come with an alcohol or butane burner that is placed under the bottom of the pots and continues to heat the water. Many coffee shops have a gas countertop that can make up to five or six pots at one time.

Turn on the burner and heat the water. Don’t turn the heat up too high, but you should see bubbles in a few minutes as the water nears maximum temperature. Keep the water bubbling until it’s almost gone!

As the water heats, the pressure forces the hot water up through a narrow pipe. Once in the top chamber, it mixes with the coffee grounds. Since heat isn’t directly applied to the coffee grounds or the resulting mixture, the coffee produced in the top chamber is usually very good.

Once the water chamber is empty, you should turn off the burner or heat source at once. As the bottom part of the pot assembly cools, the air contracts and allows the brewed coffee to be drawn back down through the same pipe.

The coffee is filtered on the way down, so that the coffee grounds don’t end up in the drink. I also noticed that the coffee shops don’t pour all the coffee into your cup, to avoid putting some grounds in your drink. The last few teaspoons of coffee are discarded.

What does siphon coffee taste like? Is siphon coffee better?

Having drunk many cups from the local KeyCoffee Chain, I find that coffee made with a siphon coffee maker is much quite smooth, and flavorful. Somehow, the method of brewing the coffee produces a much nicer and richer cup of coffee than you’d expect. You’ll appreciate the nuances of whatever coffee you brew that day: Sumatran coffee beans, awesome rainforest Arabica from Colombia, or even Monsoon Malabar from India!

While this method isn’t suitable for starting off the day, you do need to watch it a little and turn off the heat at the right time, it makes a great talking point for afternoon coffee or a dinner party! The entire process can be relaxing as you watch the coffee brew.

How do siphon coffee makers look? Hint: Functional and attractive!

Siphon coffee assemblies can be quite beautiful. You can choose one made entirely of glass or one that has a bottom pot made of metal. Naturally, you can get one that is very elaborate or stick with simplicity. There are even more modern variations that combine both form and function.

Where do siphon coffee makers come from?

Originally invented in France and Germany in the mid 1800’s, they were very popular throughout North America until the mid 1960’s. As manufacturers began making more drip coffee makers, the siphon models fell by the wayside.

They were still widely used in Europe and in Asia (esp. Japan) where the pace of living is much more relaxed. Americans were just beginning to rush through their days and felt they wanted a method to brew coffee that did not require much attention or time.

What is the best siphon coffee maker to buy?

Siphon coffee makers are becoming popular once again, not only because of the drama of the presentation but for the taste of the coffee they brew. A siphon coffee maker will come with a filter and a new one will usually have a few replacements.

There are cloth filters that can be re-used up to a hundred times if you maintain them properly. They should be cleaned right after they are used with a gentle brush under running water. Soaking it in an oxidized cleanser and boiling water will keep them looking nice.

Some siphon coffee makers use paper filters; some use glass filters. Glass filters are tubes with a slightly rough, bulbous middle that traps the coffee grounds but allows coffee to flow through.

Some say that glass filtered siphon coffee makers are best but they do allow some sediment to enter the coffee. You will also find some siphon coffee makers with nylon mesh filters that are very effective but easily torn if you’re not careful.


At the moment, Amazon only offers a variety of brands of traditional Siphon Coffee Brewers, and the prices aren’t exactly cheap: Bodum and Yama are both worth checking out. Do see out what else they have, you might see even more brands.

Siphon Coffee Suggestions: Handle with care!

One word of warning: if you buy a glass assembly, handle with great care! The large bulbs or vessels can be easily broken if they are knocked, dropped or carelessly banged against other dishes! Also, do make sure that the one you buy can be washed in a dishwasher. Otherwise, you’ll have to wash it carefully by hand!

Get coffee ground for a drip coffee maker if you’re planning to use this kind of machine. You’ll need the grounds to soak a little in the hot water. They’ll give off a better flavor otherwise. If your grind is too fine, you may find it brews a little quickly and there is sediment in your coffee.

If you’ve never tried siphon coffee, for your first cup, go to the local coffee house, and order a cup of siphon coffee. You’ll get to watch the entire process first hand, and ask lots of question.


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

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10 Reasons To Avoid Buying a Nespresso Coffee Maker

I used to drool over a Nespresso, in awe at its delightful form, colorful gleaming paint! That such a machine could produce good coffee just seemed to be miraculous. Fortunately, however, I didn’t buy one. I just kept making my regular coffee the way I always had done.

Nespresso Coffee Maker: it's a beauty!

Photo by Sylvain Thrd on Unsplash

Then one day I woke up from the dream with a start: here is a tiny cup of coffee that costs a fair bit, produces an abundance of garbage, and tastes faintly stale! How could it be?

Once I started to research the products, I realized why. Nespresso is just a cash wolf in sheep’s leather wallet! No, you shouldn’t ever buy any kind of capsule coffee. Why? Let me tell you why!

Nespresso Coffee Makers are TERRIBLE!

First, you should learn to make real coffee. Well, it’s simple:

a) REAL coffee tastes better! It really does: freshly roasted, freshly ground, freshly made! What more do you need?

b) REAL coffee is far cheaper! And you get bigger cups of coffee for less than the price of a single Nespresso cap! Even if you buy an expensive bag of $25 coffee, that’s like 10c a gram of REAL quality coffee… it’s about the same price as Nespresso cap!  And the Nespresso cap is pretty average coffee that was roasted, packed and distributed MONTHS ago!

c) REAL coffee doesn’t pollute the environment with aluminum waste! Billions of caps are thrown away EVERY year. They are typically a blend of both plastic & aluminum meaning that recycling is awkward, uncertain and expensive! Read this article from New York Times which cites a non-recycle rate of about 75%! 

d) REAL coffee doesn’t add to unnecessary carbon emissions from unnecessary packaging, distribution and recycling! Despite Nespresso’s claims of reducing carbon emissions by 22%, their capsules are ALL made in Zurich, Switzerland. So all coffee is shipped there and distributed from there.

e) REAL coffee isn’t stale because it’s usually roasted just a few weeks before. Nespresso is packed in caps in the factory before shipping in overheated container ships, spends months in distribution networks, and even longer waiting for a customer! How fresh can it be, despite the packaging?

f) a typical coffee maker that makes REAL coffee is cheaper than even the cheapest NESPRESSO maker. ‘Nuff said. Most of the cost of a Nespresso capsule is the packaging and distribution, not the coffee. Do the math with me!

g) REAL coffee is grown, roasted and sold by REAL people with REAL jobs in both the coffee growing community and your community. Nespresso profits are all kept further upstream by distributors, manufacturers, license holders and Nespresso shareholders. Buying coffee in your local roaster means work for local coffee experts, money stays in the community more, too.

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Photo by T.H. Chia on Unsplash

h) It’s probably healthier too. After all, who wants coffee steeped in plastic or aluminum. Think that stuff doesn’t get into the coffee you drink? Well, think again! Hot water and plastic is not a good match! Hormone disruptors can emulate female hormones, not good for either women or men! Aluminum … well, scientists are still out on whether it’s linked to Alzheimers or other diseases. But upto 1mg of aluminum leaches into a typical cup.

i) Now many people buy Nespresso because they think it tastes better. Is that you? If you think Nespresso tastes good, you shouldn’t bother with anything other than cheap Instant Coffee. It’s going to be much cheaper than Nespresso anyway, since you can’t tell the difference between instant and Nespresso. Anyway, Nespresso coffee always tastes bad. Once you go REAL, you never go back!

j) You want to impress your friends? Well, then you’re not interested in saving money! I promise you can spend a bucket load of money on the fanciest machines and still make great coffee! Guaranteed. Your friends will be dead impressed too by the gleaming metals, shiny glass surface, and awesome coffee!

Seriously, save yourself cash, your palate, your environment and your health! Just pass by the smiling face of George Clooney in the department store. Go to your local roasters/coffee shop, buy a simple mill… buy a simple coffee maker… learn how to make it! They’ll even be happy to teach you! FREE!

Oh, and by the way! Those plastic and aluminum caps don’t get recycled typically! They get burned or dumped in landfill or shipped to 3rd world countries or worse! So that’s GREAT for carbon emissions & pollution control… seriously! Don’t buy a Nespresso machine.

And if you are considering it: buy three cups of coffee and taste them all together blindfold: instant, nespresso & real coffee. I guarantee that one of these will ALWAYS taste way better! I promise you which one it won’t be… but you already know that now!

There is one reason, and one reason only that you should buy a Nespresso coffee maker: You’re just too damned lazy to make good coffee!

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3 Solid Reasons to buy a gold coffee filter for your coffee habit!

PurelyCoffeeBeans wonders about having a real gold coffee filter instead of that plastic mesh that sags, has a faintly plastic smell, and just looks ugly in your new drip coffee maker?

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A few of us might not use it for what it is intended for but lock it away in a safe deposit box in case of financial emergencies! Truly, though it should be counted as one of the best tips for coffee brewing!

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Photo by Mike Marquez on Unsplash

(Un~!)Fortunately, Gold Coffee Filters @ Amazon25 aren’t really made of gold but are gold-toned, closely woven metal coffee filters that have a lot of advantages when you are making a cup of coffee.

What can I learn about the advantages of using gold coffee filters?

What is a REAL gold coffee filter?

A gold coffee filter is actually stainless steel mesh that has been gold plated. In Switzerland you can get a filter made of 23-carat gold which very few of us can afford those these days!
gold coffee filter profile shot
But the main advantage of a gold coffee filter is not having the taste of a paper filter in your coffee. Many of us have probably never tasted brewed coffee that hasn’t dripped through a paper filter but once you go gold, you’ll never want to brew your coffee with one again.

Are gold coffee filters better?

Paper filters are made from the fibers of trees and usually are bleached to achieve their pristine white color. Some are made with additives such as latex but whether or not your paper filters have ingredients other than wood, you are contributing flavors to your coffee that it was never meant to have.

How long do gold coffee filters last?

For the frugal among us, a gold coffee filter is a money saver. These filters can last for years if you take care of them, compared to $2-3 for a pack of 50 paper filters. That’s about $10 a year for the average coffee drinker; a gold coffee filter will last for several years and cost about the same as one year’s worth of paper filters.

Why use gold coffee filters? Three reasons…

1. Flavors in Your Cup

While paper filters absorb the oil from the coffee grounds, a gold coffee filter allows the oil into the finished brew. The coffee bean isn’t what gives coffee its flavor, the flavor comes from the oils contained in the bean.

When the full flavor of the ground coffee is allowed into the pot you get all the complex flavors that have been grown into the beans. While the fine mesh of the gold coffee filter prevents grounds from falling into the brew it also allows all of the flavor from the coffee to come through.

2. Beneficial for the environment, too!

Gold coffee filters might sound like a lot more trouble than just throwing a paper filter into the trash bin but they’re really not. You’ll have to empty the grounds, of course, but after that a quick rinse under the faucet will clean the filter and you can even put it in a dishwasher. A good cleaning once a week will keep it looking and operating like new.

Environmentalists favor gold coffee filters because they save trees from being turned into paper. Plus, rather than throwing the coffee grounds away they often dry and save them to enrich the soil in their gardens or for their houseplants.

3. Could it be any healthier for you?

If you use paper filters, many of the white paper filters have been bleached and may include other paper-related chemicals. I have used paper filters for most of my coffee drinking life, and I must say that I do prefer the gold filter for the fact that it doesn’t absorb the essential coffee oils & flavors. And for the brown coffee filter papers, people with sensitive palates and lighter roast coffee claim they can taste the paper.

It also doesn’t release harmful dioxins that may reside in white or bleached paper, and won’t impair the coffee’s original flavors. A gold coffee filter truly enhances the flavor of your coffee by allowing all the subtle nuances into the brew. You can get them for any type of coffee maker and once you taste the difference you will probably prefer them over paper filters.

A personal note

When I bought my previous drip coffee pots, I made sure that I also had a standard gold filter included. Unfortunately, my recent replacement machine (bought because I carelessly dropped the glass jug!) only has a plastic filter, and I’ve not been able to find a reasonable replacement yet as drip coffee makers seem to be becoming rarer and lower quality where I live.

Also, if you’re interested in saving money on your coffee habit, already buy bulk coffee beans, then there’s one reason to prefer a gold filter over any paper drip filter any day…

The Morning Nightmare!

Let me explain: It’s 7:15am… you’re up late, and hurrying to get ready. Your coffee? Oh, yes. You run to the kitchen, set up the pot, grind the coffee and reach into the coffee filter bag, where … to your horror…

You find that there are NO paper filters left at all. Your other half used them for that dinner party last night and didn’t tell you! So now, you’re really cranky! As I am when I haven’t had my morning coffee!

What do you do? Use kitchen towel or toilet roll? Actually, I’ve been there. Neither works at all, and you’ll have just a soggy mess! Reach into the garbage disposal? … Let’s not go there.

So…

Simple: buy a good quality gold coffee filter, and you simply have to rinse your gold coffee filter each time and you’re ready to go! Problem averted! Your coffee, morning, and relationship are all saved!


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

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Discover why the AeroPress coffee maker actually makes great coffee!

Why is AeroPress coffee so good?

PurelyCoffeeBeans had never heard of the Aeropress Coffee Maker, until I was scanning the pages of Google looking for other ways to make great coffee.

That’s when I happened across the AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker.

What will I learn about making coffee with the Aeropress Coffee Maker?

What should I consider buying to use the Aeropress?

What do I need to buy?

Resources

…What is this weird looking coffee maker?

Aeropress Coffee Maker
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

It seems that the AeroPress32 is something of a marvel… and well-worth checking out… I was only recently reminded of this after seeing the press offered in a real coffee shop. If you haven’t heard…

The Aeropress is a coffee maker that offers an entirely new way to make espresso coffee without having to buy expensive espresso makers. It’s a simple device that mimics the method for making coffee by combining heat, time and pressure to make the perfect espresso drink.

How does the Aeropress work?

Aeropress coffee maker uses a total immersion technique as well as manual pressure to make coffee for espresso for lattes and cappuccinos. Lower temperatures and the short brew time mean that you won’t get the high acid levels you do with other methods.

It’s very easy to operate the Aeropress coffee maker. You must first put the micro-filter in the bottom cap then twist the cap closed. Put two scoops of the coffee of your choice — any grind — in the chamber and place the chamber atop a sturdy mug.

This video shows exactly how to use an Aeropress coffee maker. It’s a little bit long, at about 7 minutes. But stick around, it’s worth it. The video also mentions this device: the Aerolatte34.

Pour, stir, plunge: 3 steps

Heat water to no more than 175°F, then pour it into the top and stir for about ten seconds. Insert the plunger and gently apply pressure. In a few seconds you’ll have a double espresso shot in your mug. This you can make into American style coffee by adding hot water. Or add hot milk and you have a delicious latte.

If you want a full pot of coffee from the Aeropress coffee maker, simply do two 3-scoop pressings, top with hot water to taste and pour it into a vacuum carafe to keep it at the ideal temperature. The Aeropress can press from 1 to 4 scoops of coffee powder. And each scoop makes a single espresso drink or five ounces of American coffee.

What IS the Aeropress Coffee Maker’s Secret?

After reading the operating instructions you may wonder what the difference is between the Aeropress and a French press; after all, the process sounds much the same.

However, the filter in the French press is at the top; since coffee floats the filter is often clogged, making cleaning difficult. It is recommended to use only coarsely ground coffee in a French press but that reduces the flavor that can be extracted. It also needs a longer steeping time which contributes to bitterness.

The Aeropress is micro-filtered and particle free. Its chamber is self-cleaning and a ten second rinse of the plunger is all that’s required.

The Aeropress Brings REAL Flavor

So why use an Aeropress when you have a perfectly good drip coffee maker? Your drip process passes hot water through a bed of coffee grounds. The water is often too hot and makes the coffee bitter; as it seeps through the grounds it cools and therefore the extraction is weak.

Grounds in the center of the bed are often scorched and over-extracted while grounds on the outside of the filter are under-extracted. It is nearly impossible to get coffee that tastes as it should with a drip coffee maker. There is a lot of flavor lost in the basket of coffee grounds before it even reaches your carafe or pot.

However, the Aeropress coffee maker produces coffee that is micro-filtered to be particle free. You can even store it for days as a concentrate for iced coffee or hot.

Aeropress Coffee Ingenuity by Design

A lot of time and effort has gone into the creation of the Aeropress. Alan Adler, inventor and engineer, studied and experimented with various brewing methods and temperature settings as well as filtering methods.

Adler created dozens of models before perfecting the one that impressed a coffee-lover like him — the Aeropress. In fact, Adler is no stranger to inventing and is the creator of the Aerobie flying ring, winner of the Guinness World record for farthest throw at 1,333 feet! He holds a wide range of patents as the result of his genius.

Should I buy an Aeropress?

So let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of buying an Aeropress Coffee Maker.

-The Aeropress Advantages

The Aeropress is a very affordable espresso maker that produces a fine espresso drink with no grit as you might find in a French press. While you can brew almost any finely ground coffee, you may need to choose darker roasted espressos for best taste.

Once made, the clean is straightforward, as you simply eject the ‘coffee cake’ afterwards, and rinse everything. The resulting coffee is quite strong, espresso like, and some drinkers may find adding water to make an ‘Americano’ style drink suitable for them.

Maintenance is simple, too, as there are no electronics to replace. The filter papers are supplied with the unit, though you can either rinse them or buy new ones. With 300 in the box, that could be a long time away!

With a little practice, you will find that you can make a great espresso, perhaps even achieving enough master to make a crema! And if you get the temperature of the water right, you will get a coffee with a very low acid, good body, and great flavor.

-The Aeropress Challenges

One of the first things you will notice is just how much coffee an Aeropress actually uses. It’s a lot. Now I drink my coffee strong, so adding two scoops or three for me isn’t a problem. But for some coffee drinkers, this may be much more than they are used to.

It does require a manual pressure to extract the coffee properly, but you don’t need to use a lot of force. For some coffee drinkers, this may be difficult for them because of injury or some other difficulty. You do need a firm even pressure, for sure.

Many first time users have trouble controlling the variables in the process: the amount/type of coffee, the grind level, the water temperature, and the unit operation. So it will take you a little time to practice to get the variables right, including a thermometer for testing the water temperature accurately.

Some users also grind either too rough or too fine, both of which result in problems. Too rough a grind, and the water just flows right through the coffee. Too fine, and the coffee absorbs everything leaving barely a couple of spoonfuls on the bottom!

Tips on getting the best out of your Aeropress

I’ve already made quite a few espresso drinks with this machine since purchasing it a few months ago. What follows reflects my initial experience with the device…

The results are indeed very pleasing even with the Cagliari pre-ground Espresso coffee that I tried it out initially with my Aeropress. I’ve tried it with different lighter roasts… some of the results were quite fruity, more so than their French press equivalents.

Use lots of coffee: Don’t be shy!

The second issue I have is with the amount of coffee required to make a full four scoop shot. The size of the puck was huge, and the amount of coffee that came out didn’t seem that much larger than the double shot. Not sure what went wrong. However, I’ll just make double shots until the technique is perfected.

I also found that the included coffee spoon takes approximately 15g of coffee, that’s about 50% more than the typical coffee spoon. We went through a regular 250g (approx. 8oz) pack of coffee in just 8 or 9 cups of double shots.

Certainly, when I go to the local coffee shop, I see the barista really packing the coffee into the portafilter. I think she uses 3 spoons of coffee in each shot, so I would guess that’s about 25g or the same as the Aeropress spoon.

Control the water temps

The Aeropress Coffee Maker really makes a nice flavored espresso, but I can’t control the water temperature properly, it goes into the tube at 90C, and comes out in the cup at 55C!

Now I reckon this is a little cooler than I’d normally drink espresso! Similar espresso shots from regular coffee makers definitely should be hotter than this. So conserving heat is essential during the filtration and pressing.

Keep the equipment warm

Tips to keep the drink hotter include warming the cup and probably the device before adding making the coffee. Perhaps even keeping the Aeropress tube in warm water will cut the amount of heat absorbed by the device from the coffee water.

Cutting the time between shot and serving will help. But I found that, while the espresso was a little cooler, I could top up with hot water. Then it really makes a decent Americano. If you use steamed or frothed milk like for a caffe latte or cappuccino, it will keep the finished drink much warmer!

Summary: Aeropress Coffee Maker

The Aeropress coffee maker is a completely manual coffee making system that is sold at a compelling price. You simply make the coffee by using manual pressure to extract espresso coffee from coffee grounds.

When you purchase the Aerobie system, you will usually receive everything you need to begin using it right away (minus the coffee, of course!). Included are the Aeropress, funnel, scoop, filter papers (x350!) and stirrer. Purchasing additional filters is recommended, but there aren’t any extras that you need to buy at all! Now how often can you see that?!

I would not recommend this as a first time coffee machine because you will need to have some understanding of the different types of coffees, how to grind coffee, and how to make good coffee (like not using boiling water).

If you regularly use a French press and/or other types of coffee makers, you may find this machine much easier to handle. If you can’t judge the temperature, consider buying a decent cooking thermometer. I purchased one and found it really helps to know what the temperature of the water is!

Click check out more about the Aeropress Coffee and Espresso Maker34, and purchase the device. You can also buy more filters, grinders, the Aerolatte34 and other Coffee Equipment.

More reading about different Aeropress techniques

Visit the most amazing Aeropress site I found yet. It is World Aeropress Championships. It has lots of examples of real coffee lovers trying out new coffee making experiments with their Aeropresses!

One page suggests three top variations of the Aeropress coffee maker technique that you might want to try:

  • Alex’s Method
  • Ben’s Method
  • Lukasz’ Method

In short Lukasz’ Method seems to be the least complicated of the three finalists’ Aeropress Coffee Making Techniques. Now you try and see if you can invent a good variation! You can also read more at SlashGear.com. I left this comment, too!

I love my Aeropress. I really should start making coffee with it… but I’m a bit worried about the rubber ring. In Taiwan, the heat is mean to that kind of rubber/silicone. Can I replace it? I had a ton of fun making coffee with it a couple of years ago. Recently, I’ve just been doing drip coffee in a small manual filter.

YouTube Time: the World Aeropress Champion

No post is complete without a YouTube of it! Now watch Lukasz at work:

Check out the Aeropress Coffee Maker @ Amazon


What Aeropress Coffee Maker Tools do you need for great coffee?

Since travelling with my Aeropress on multiple opportunities, I’ve found that it has quickly become my go-to coffee maker. The results far exceed even the best hotels’ coffee. With a little preparation, it really makes hotel coffee a whole lot more bearable. So what do you need?

What are the best Aeropress tools I need?

Often I packed the necessities of travel: the Aeropress Coffee Maker, a few essential tools, and my chosen coffee for the journey: Cagliari Gran Arabica Caffe (featured) or perhaps ily Classico Espress in 1/2 lb can.
The Aeropress Coffee Maker has turned out to be quite a versatile portable coffee maker. To get the most out of it, you will need:

a decent bag to carry the unit,
a clip for closing your coffee bag or a can,
an appropriate sized mug or cup, and
the Aeropress coffee spoon too, because it measures the coffee far better than any hotel teaspoon!

An Insulated Cup

In most hotels you will find a small kettle, a supply of water and some basic cups. Now the reason I mention the mug is that hotels often provide a small-sized teacup that doesn’t quite fit the Aeropress. You’ll likely have an accident if you try to use it! So why not consider one of those insulated cups that are common to keep your drink warm?

What a Gran Coffee!

The Cagliari Gran Arabica Caffe has turned out to be one of the nicest coffees I have bought! It really makes a great espresso in the Aeropress Coffee Maker. But you’ll need to focus on similar espresso types of coffee, which are the most suitable.

So on your next trip pack an Aeropress, some coffee and a decent mug! And your friends will be stuck drinking hotel coffee, they’ll all be piling into your room to have some good coffee!

Oh, and did I mention how much you’ll save on your mediocre coffee? Last time I looked, you could buy a bag of coffee for the price of a cup of hot or chilled coffee! Now, how can you expense that? Just keep the receipt and claim it as ‘essential’!

No point in saying that the Aeropress coffee you make will be much more satisfying than anything you’ll find in the restaurant, at the breakfast bar, or on order from the Room Menu… Trust me! It’s obvious!

Don’t skimp on the coffee for your Aeropress, either!

What coffee should I buy for my Aeropress? Don’t skimp!

Wow! What a difference a decent bag of whole bean coffee can make when you are using the Aeropress coffee maker. I was using a bag of nondescript espresso beans, mostly to find out whether they could be made to drink better. They can’t.

So today, after consuming half the bag, I relented and bought a bag – or 4 –  of Cagliari Coffee (or Caffè Cagliari). It’s a less expensive alternative to buying Lavazza or illy Coffee, but the quality is excellent.  Oddly I can’t find these in some of the best marketplaces in the US… are they available?

Arabica vs. Robusta Whole Bean Coffee

Cagliari especially like to make ground coffee for espresso makers & the moka pot, but they also offer Rossa or Gran Rossa blends which are mostly Arabica. I’m still not convinced of the merits of 100% Arabica coffee for espresso, but Cagliari is making a persuasive case: offering 60% or 70% or 100% arabica.

In the Aeropress

I thought I’d try it in the Aeropress. And wow! The shot of coffee had such a luscious quality and beautiful consistency to it, and the flavor was so refined, without any of the awkward bitterness in the cheaper beans (remember this is ground coffee, too!).

So, my tip for today: even if you only have a simple coffee maker, be damned sure to buy the best coffee you can. You WILL notice the difference.  And it doesn’t always matter if the coffee isn’t whole coffee beans. Sometimes the ground coffee is better, really!

What do you prefer: Ground or whole bean coffee? Why? Let me know in the comments!


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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2 ways to learn how to make espresso macchiato at home – fabulous, fun and you’ll love it!

Do you know how to make espresso macchiato at home? As PurelyCoffeeBeans knows, it is one of those coffees that you will never see at the local convenience store because it is unique and only served at reputable coffee bars and restaurants.

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

Learning to make this kind of coffee would be quite an impressive achievement for the at-home barista to make simply because it relies on the quality of the espresso. There is nowhere to hide if you can’t do it right!

how to make espresso macchiato
Let’s see what an espresso macchiato is !

Photo by Jeremy Yap on Unsplash

What can I learn about how to make espresso macchiato?

In fact, if you heard someone ordering an espresso macchiato from the barista, you might be quite surprised by what the customer actually gets. (Hint: it’s really tiny!)

But you can learn how to make espresso macchiato right in the comfort of your home! No need to go to Italy or your favorite coffee specialist!

Espresso Photography Shots
Step 1: How to make espresso macchiato – Find or make an espresso shot!

Where does espresso macchiato come from?

This beverage originates from the lively culinary & lifestyle traditions of Italy. Italians will only drink espresso in the afternoon. So the espresso macchiato was created for those afternoon coffee drinkers looking for an espresso with a stronger aromatic taste, but mellowed by the addition of a dash of milk!

Cappuccino is normally served in the morning and consist of a combination of espresso and steamed milk, then the surface is topped with foamed milk. Espresso is served in the afternoon which is a very concentrated coffee beverage that some people feel it is too strong. Then the baristas in Italy came up with the idea of espresso macchiato which takes the best of both worlds and brings them together, gently and delicately.

What does ‘macchiato’ mean?

The word ‘macchiato‘ means spotted or marked. It is made by adding a small amount of foamed milk to an espresso. The drink appeals to people who generally do not like such an unnuanced strong espresso, but who otherwise feel cappuccino is too weak and milky tasting for the afternoon.

The combination creates its own unique taste which we enjoy and appreciate. If you are a true coffee lover like me, this is a style of coffee you definitely need to try!

How to make espresso macchiato?

Variation 1: Standard Recipe

The way to make an espresso macchiato is exactly the same as a standard espresso. Once the espresso is actually made, just spoon the foamed milk lightly over the top of the espresso.

Please note that when we say ‘spotted’, we don’t mean drowned! You are not making a Cappuccino or a Latte… so use the foamed milk sparingly.

The reason that Espresso Macchiato is a popular alternative is that the limited amount of milk actually balances the strong coffee flavors. I find that not everyone likes the overly sweet concoctions that the Caffe Latte and its Caffe Macchiato siblings have become.

Similarly, for some the Cappuccino can also be quite milky, if it’s not made with strong enough coffee, a common problem if the coffee is poor quality or the espresso machine isn’t maintained properly.

Espresso-Macchiato

However, the espresso macchiato allows you to experience the naturally strong tones of espresso, while balancing the bitterness with a touch of sweetness from the milk. Wonderful!

Variation 2: Milk First

First, add about 10cc of milk into the bottom of the espresso cup. Then place this under the steamer and create the foam.

Now, place the cup under the espresso outlet. Pull your shot(s) directly into the cup. For non-purists, you can sprinkle very lightly with cocoa powder for a finish. Otherwise drink as is! 😀

What equipment and coffee do you need?

If you want to know how to make espresso macchiato, you need to have these tools on hand.

  • A decent manual or burr coffee grinder so you can grind the coffee fine enough for espresso.
  • An espresso maker of some sort which you have set up and used to make espresso before.
  • A milk steamer so you can make the foam for the top.
  • Good quality espresso coffee beans.
  • Espresso cups for presenting your beverage.

Buy espresso cups or glasses: Insulated

That last item is particularly important in the winter. Espresso of all kinds is a very small drink, so keeping the temperature warm in the winter is a challenge. In other words, it cools fast. I would normally recommend small cups like those pictured in Jeremy Yap’s picture, filled with hot water to keep the cup warm.

4547Look at these highly recommended double hulled glasses on Amazon

4951Check out these insulated espresso cups @Amazon for warmer espresso

But in a Chicago winter freeze, I’d suggest using double hulled glasses or insulated espresso cups to help keep the espresso warm while you steam the milk..

Video Tutorial: How to make espresso macchiato?

You can watch the video to see how it’s done by coffee expert Mike Phillips. Hell teach you how to make espresso macchiato perfectly!

Tips and tricks on how to make espresso macchiato if you don’t have an espresso maker

You can use a stovetop espresso maker or an Aeropress to get a decent espresso as an alternative. Steaming the milk might be done on a regular pan, with a thermometer and an Aerolatte to get a bit of froth.

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Or you could get this Secura electric automatic milk frother (pictured) from Amazon if you still want to practice how to make espresso macchiato. It’s quite an effective tool in the kitchen!


For more information and recipes on to our How To Make Coffee Page

Signature of PurelyCoffeeBeans in calligraphic brush style

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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