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Thread: New to coffee - find me a machine!

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    Oh Crumbs.... Biscuit's Avatar
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    New to coffee - find me a machine!

    Hi All,

    I never used to be a fan of coffee, not one bit. I used to think it tasted like earth and wouldn't go near it. Caffine used to make me feel jittery and wierd so i would avoid it like the plague.

    Then i started drinking mochas...

    Then i started putting more coffee in them

    Then i started drinking normal coffee from coffee shops

    Then (at my parents) i started experimenting by blending coffee types

    ... so its safe to say im pretty hooked

    So now i need a coffee machine of some sort for my flat, i know there is some pretty serious coffee fans here on Hexus so im hoping you can give me some solid recomendations. Unfortunately i don't have gas stoves so i cant just use a pecolator. I do quite like espresso though.

    Ideally i would like a machine than can make both espresso style and filter coffee in one, although perhaps this is a bit adventurous?
    Another useful feature would be to have freshly made coffee prepared for me when i get up in the morning. It doesnt have to have a massive capacity, if that makes sense, it will only ever be used to make up to say 3 cups in one go.
    Budget is say £100 with wiggle room.

    I have my grumpy mule coffee waiting for a machine to use it on
    Last edited by Biscuit; 30-01-2013 at 05:26 PM.

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    Senior Member kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: New to coffee

    Can't help much with recommendations (I'm a french press fan), but you can just add hot water to an espresso to make a 'filter' coffee equivalent.

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    Oh Crumbs.... Biscuit's Avatar
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    Re: New to coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    Can't help much with recommendations (I'm a french press fan), but you can just add hot water to an espresso to make a 'filter' coffee equivalent.
    Im a strong believer that there is a difference in taste between an 'Americano' and Filter Coffee

    Not hugely fussed about french press myself but i might get one in the interim before i find a machine i like as its pretty straight forward.

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    Seriously casual gamer KeyboardDemon's Avatar
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    Re: New to coffee

    That earthy taste you are talking about is usually the result of badly made coffee, even instant coffee can be made badly, believe it or not, it's down to water temperature, so while I can't offer you any advice on hardware I can post this little tip and bump your thread at the same time.

    Here's my tip, coffee beans get scorched, which spoils the taste of the coffee, at around 98 degree, which is why all the coffee chains tend to heat water to around 97 degrees, even instant coffee granules will scorch, so when making coffee at home add a little milk to the cup before adding the freshly boiled water to prevent spoiling the taste of your coffee.

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    Re: New to coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by KeyboardDemon View Post
    That earthy taste you are talking about is usually the result of badly made coffee, even instant coffee can be made badly, believe it or not, it's down to water temperature, so while I can't offer you any advice on hardware I can post this little tip and bump your thread at the same time.

    Here's my tip, coffee beans get scorched, which spoils the taste of the coffee, at around 98 degree, which is why all the coffee chains tend to heat water to around 97 degrees, even instant coffee granules will scorch, so when making coffee at home add a little milk to the cup before adding the freshly boiled water to prevent spoiling the taste of your coffee.
    Im not a fan of instant at all but thanks for the tip. My parents explained this to me vaguely but that makes it a bit clearer

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    Senior Member kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: New to coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by Biscuit View Post
    Im a strong believer that there is a difference in taste between an 'Americano' and Filter Coffee
    True, but I can't see why you'd ever go for the filter coffee option!

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    Re: New to coffee

    As i had it explained to me, apparently the filter will take out some of the toxins and that kind of thing. It does tend to make the coffee a bit smoother and less intense from what i have tried.

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    Re: New to coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by Biscuit View Post
    Im a strong believer that there is a difference in taste between an 'Americano' and Filter Coffee
    Absolutely. To me an Americano tastes like a watered down expresso. It really annoys me when I ask for a filter coffee and get what is obvously an Americano.

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    True, but I can't see why you'd ever go for the filter coffee option!
    It's all down to personal preference. Personally I don't get why anyone would want a watered down espresso over a filter coffee but each to their own.

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    Re: New to coffee

    For £100 you're not going to get anything that'll make good espresso so I'd probably look away from the electric machines and get an Aeropress to make an espresso style drink. If you wanted an Americano then you could add more hot water afterwards.

    For filter style coffee I'd suggest a Chemex.

    With what's left from your £100 you could hopefully buy yourself a hand grinder as you'll get much, much better results with freshly ground coffee than pre ground.

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  12. #10
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    Re: New to coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by burble View Post
    For £100 you're not going to get anything that'll make good espresso so I'd probably look away from the electric machines and get an Aeropress to make an espresso style drink. If you wanted an Americano then you could add more hot water afterwards.

    For filter style coffee I'd suggest a Chemex.

    With what's left from your £100 you could hopefully buy yourself a hand grinder as you'll get much, much better results with freshly ground coffee than pre ground.
    That all looks very manual, are all the £50-120 machines really that bad?

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    Senior Member burble's Avatar
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    Re: New to coffee

    For espresso the £50-£120 machines will all be rubbish. The Gaggia Classic is supposed to be a decent machine (I disagree) but they're around the £200 mark. For home espresso the bare minimum I'd suggest is the Rancilio Silvia (they're pretty good - I have done) but you're looking at around £400 for one.

    That budget would get you a decent brewed coffee machine but not espresso. That said, I think the Chemex makes a fantastic cup of coffee, better than pretty much all the machines I've tried.

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    Re: New to coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by burble View Post
    For espresso the £50-£120 machines will all be rubbish. The Gaggia Classic is supposed to be a decent machine (I disagree) but they're around the £200 mark. For home espresso the bare minimum I'd suggest is the Rancilio Silvia (they're pretty good - I have done) but you're looking at around £400 for one.

    That budget would get you a decent brewed coffee machine but not espresso. That said, I think the Chemex makes a fantastic cup of coffee, better than pretty much all the machines I've tried.
    Ok cheers for the advice. Looks like im aiming for a decent filter machine for the budget and then i'll pick up one of those Aeropress things separately.

    They look particularly useful for me as i travel about a lot so i could take it with me and have a decent Coffee in the hotel room or whilst on site.

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    Re: New to coffee

    The Aeropress is fantastic for use when travelling, I used to take one (plus a Porlex grinder) with me when I was working abroad (until BA lost my suitcase). Now I usually have Kalita Kantan filters with me

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    Re: New to coffee

    So anyone have any recommendations for automatic filter machines?

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    Re: New to coffee

    It's a little bit above your budget, but just before Christmas the wife and I invested in one of these (Cuisinart grind & brew, for anyone who doesn't want to click the link) and haven't looked back. This thing makes by far the best coffee I've ever tasted, and I'm convinced it's all down to the fact that the coffee is ground fresh every time.

    It allows variable amounts to be ground, so you can make anywhere from 2 to 12 cups at a time, and you can turn off the grinder and use pre-ground coffee if you have some to finish off or fancy a change. Also has 3 strength settings, that *do* make a difference. We're currently on Lavazza Quality Rossa Beans (1kg is ~ £10 @ sainsburys). Oh, and it has a timer, so you can wake up to freshly brewed coffee in the morning (or rather, wake up to the sound of grinding coffee, which is quite loud!). Plus it has a good quality thermal jug, so your coffee stays warm for hours.

    Seriously, go and buy one You won't regret it.

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  21. #16
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    Re: New to coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    It's a little bit above your budget, but just before Christmas the wife and I invested in one of these (Cuisinart grind & brew, for anyone who doesn't want to click the link) and haven't looked back. This thing makes by far the best coffee I've ever tasted, and I'm convinced it's all down to the fact that the coffee is ground fresh every time.

    It allows variable amounts to be ground, so you can make anywhere from 2 to 12 cups at a time, and you can turn off the grinder and use pre-ground coffee if you have some to finish off or fancy a change. Also has 3 strength settings, that *do* make a difference. We're currently on Lavazza Quality Rossa Beans (1kg is ~ £10 @ sainsburys). Oh, and it has a timer, so you can wake up to freshly brewed coffee in the morning (or rather, wake up to the sound of grinding coffee, which is quite loud!). Plus it has a good quality thermal jug, so your coffee stays warm for hours.

    Seriously, go and buy one You won't regret it.
    Sounds very good indeed and i will definitely look into it, £50 quid above budget is a lot, especially when i am still hoping to get the Aeropress aswell... but il think about that one

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