Post By thewpguy
Hello! And Stovetop question!
Hello coffee snobs!
My partner's birthday is a month away and I've decided to upgrade his coffee game. He is a bulletproof coffee drinker (not the beans, he blends his espresso with ghee and coconut oil) but doesn't have a particularly dedicated home routine.
To be honest I didn't know much about good coffee coming into this exercise, most of what I've learned has come from hours of research online via these forums and machine reviews, etc.
At present he uses a stove-top espresso maker that probably came from IKEA, and it's in a rather unpleasant state. However when I tried to nonchalantly inquire on his happiness with said system he seemed quite adamant that he was happy with his setup, so at this stage I'm not game enough to change the WAY he prepares his espresso.
On that train of thought, I have learned on this forum that if he insists on using a stovetop espresso maker the most important thing would be for me to spend my money on the best grinder I can afford.
I have a budget of around $400 but it looks like I will be stretching it just a little for this exercise. Based on a combination of my budget, aesthetics, quality and bench-top footprint, I have decided to get him the Compak K3 Push grinder.
I would love some feedback as to if I am on the right path with this one!
As for the stovetop question, it really is -- is it realistic to think I could replace his IKEA stovetop maker with a better one for around $50? That's really all the money I have left - but I don't want to replace rubbish with rubbish; I'd rather wait til Christmas and get him one of the fancy Alessi ones if they make a dramatically better coffee - or maybe he'll be ready for something more serious by then?
I am based in Melbourne and am happy to buy online if it helps me save a little extra cash, but also good to do an in-person pickup around the CBD.
Also; for stovetop, can someone recommend a grind setting?
Thank you so much for all the help you've already given me!
Hi, awake asleep!
Coffee is a journey, and it means many things to many people. From instant to excellence. Many on here have moved past this, and could be classed as obsessive compulsive.
Luckily with most caffiene extruding devices around today, there are many reviews, that often compare /rank similar ones together.
Any move to another brand of coffee 'maker' will be followed by a learning curve while you learn to make it sing.
My general experience (and I have hardly any compared to many here) is some cheap devices can produce great coffee with freshly roasted beans and a competent user. The nicer looking devices (and harder wearing) usually cost more.
Your next device will depend on the style of coffee he likes drinking, and the effort he is prepared to take.
There is no set grind setting. You can generalise, but it depends on freshness and quality of beans, type of grinder, how new it is, etc etc.
Your doing him a great favour by getting the Compak K3. It's an awesome grinder and will serve him well.
I've got no experience with a stovetop so can't comment. But I'm intrigued by the ghee and coconut oil mix with the espresso.
Thanks! Yeah I wanted to get him the best I could for the price and the Compak came up a lot for moderate domestic use. Glad to know I'm punting in the right direction.
Originally Posted by CAELBLUE1
The coconut oil/ghee mix is quite delicious. He has it without sugar. It froths up like a latte. The ghee gives it a beautiful creamy texture and the coconut oil gives it a slight sweetness too.
Well he is definitely an espresso drinker, I don't think he's interested in the Aeropress although I have heard him mention it.
Originally Posted by thegoner
This whole journey for me started because I wanted to get him a syphon because I thought they looked SO COOL. I had no idea it didn't make espresso at the time, or that there were SO MANY WAYS to make coffee! I just thought it was espresso or french press or instant. So of course once I investigated the syphon I realised that the preparation was time consuming and that it wasn't espresso. Then I just kept researching til I came to this conclusion.
But if anyone does have a personal rec on stovetops I'd be much appreciative! At this time I'm not considering the Otto as it was never within my budget to begin with.
I have and use a stove top (mokka) pot on occasion. To be honest, it probably wouldn't make much difference in taste switching to a new pot... But you could buy him one purely for the aesthetics. I use a bialetti who made these things popular (or maybe even invented it). Try to get one still made in Italy.
I also had a k3t, its a good grinder.
With the stove top, its not a case of better, its a case of different. I found in general the same coffee is more smoother than a typical espresso, but both still delicious
Hi awakeasleep. Would have to agree that stove top/Moka pot choice is more about aesthetics than function. I have a range of Moka pots ranging from cheap to expensive, alumunium & stainless. There is not a discernible difference based on price. What I would say though is stay away from the larger pots as they tend to boil the coffee (yuck) before they draw all the water through the grounds. You will get a lot better coffee from 2 x small 3 cup stove tops than one large 6 cup.
Well done for wanting to improve your partners coffee experience I think that's fantastic as a birthday present.
I only use a stovetop myself at the moment, its a 1970's Atomic that I found in mint condition a number of years ago and it has outlasted any cheap espresso machines I have previously owned.
Atomics need a pretty fine grind to get the steam pressure to be of any use. I only achieved that once I got a hand grinder and eventually a fairly decent electric conical burr grinder.
I will get a Silvia or a nice Chromed espresso machine eventually...
To that end if it was my birthday I would be ecstatic with an awesome grinder and an aeropress. He WILL love an aeropress even if he doesn't know it. Easy to take camping, to the inlaws, to work etc and probably a better shot that he can do now.
Plan B would be a Behmor coffee roaster (links at the top of this page), aeropress, hand grinder all within your budget.
He sounds like he's keen on flavour quality / experience and with a Behmor he can drink the freshest coffee on the planet with the roast style of his choosing by his own hand.
Just me 2 cents worth, all the best with your quest...
Thank you so much everyone for all your thoughtful feedback. It's good to know that there isn't much difference between the stovetop pots other than aesthetics. He is very fussy, aesthetically speaking, so I will still go ahead with this, but from a different view!
Interesting idea that he still might love the Aeropress anyway. I don't think I will have the budget for the Aeropress as well as the stovetop, so I might buy the Aeropress for him as a small gift later on down the track, or for Christmas.
There have definitely been moments where I've doubted this decision but you have all reassured me that I am making the right choice. He is such a stressful person to shop for!
Good luck !
Originally Posted by awakeasleep
The excuse to get an aeropress is for travelling. You'll need a hand grinder too, but you should be able to get set up for around $100.
Just another suggestion - an Atomic could be an interesting option too. Right on budget, a serious nudge up from the old Ikea moka pot, but without completely reinventing his brewing style.
As an added bonus, they look as cool as the other side of the pillow, and the steamer adds a new dimension to things (not sure how it will go with ghee and coconut oil though...)
But I am biased, I just got one and I love it.