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Thread: Sometimes a snobs gotta slum

  1. #1
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    Sometimes a snobs gotta slum

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Im a long-time coffee semi-snob. I love the great stuff but settle for the very good without complaint because life is too short to go around disappointed (p****d off) all the time.

    I have a Silvia/Rocky duo but have to admit I havent used dear old Silvia in years. I use Rocky every morning to grind beans for the French press. We have our technique down and make a pretty darn good cup. However, I miss my morning Americano but theres no way I can fit making espresso into our morning schedule. Please dont judge - "quick" has never been my morning speed and with a dog to walk, lunches to make, kids to dress, a wife to assist, a face to shave and a snooze alarm to hit many times there just isnt any way to get reacquainted w/Silvia.

    So Im thinking of sucking it up and getting a automatic machine. I dont need or want bells and whistles - we drink Americanos more than lattes and Im fine with that. My question is, if Im going to live in an imperfect world should I get a super-automatic that grinds and tamps etc or settle for a Nespresso that makes what I consider instant non-instant coffee. I cant quite wrap my head around spending a ton of money on something that makes marginally acceptable shots even if I can choose the beans etc. A Nespresso has the advantage of price point (dont tell me about the cost of pods - they wont make a meaningful impact on our monthly budget and we already drop $50/month on whole beans) and the ability to take it on the road. We spend 10-20 days a year in hotels where it is nearly impossible to start the day with anything worth waking up for. We just stayed in a Hyatt where the room service was dreadful and the Starbucks off the lobby was worse and $6/cup!

    Am I missing an option? Using Silvia in the morning is out of the question and even the French press is a little time consuming many days.

    Thank you.
    dMax

  2. #2
    Wine_of_the_Bean
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    Re: Sometimes a snobs gotta slum

    I wonder how good those electric Bodum Santos are. That would be a feasible solution if you dont take milk drinks.

  3. #3
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Sometimes a snobs gotta slum

    Welcome to Coffee Snobs dmax.

    Im not going to help steer you down the path youre contemplating.

    I suppose teaching the dog a new trick is out of the question?

    My machine is on a timer so that its warmed up before Im ready for my morning cuppa.
    You could do the same with Silvia.

    You said you have your french press technique down, well it must be a lot better than mine because I think you could extract a shot from Silvia and be ready to drink your Americano in about the same time as using the press.

    P.S. Nespresso pods dont reach your minimum stated acceptable level of "very good".


  4. #4
    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
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    Re: Sometimes a snobs gotta slum

    I saw the Nespresso ad on tv last night for the first time, I nearly gagged at the thought of it!!!
    Better than instant?

  5. #5
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    Re: Sometimes a snobs gotta slum

    Quote Originally Posted by Thundergod link=1208904015/0#2 date=1208904488
    Welcome to Coffee Snobs dmax.


    You said you have your french press technique down, well it must be a lot better than mine because I think you could extract a shot from Silvia and be ready to drink your Americano in about the same time as using the press.
    A liter of bottled water is waiting in the fridge
    Pour water in kettle - measure 1/2 cup beans in Rocky - let dog out - check to make sure kids are alive
    Kettle whistles - remove from heat
    Turn on Rocky - put grounds in press
    Pour water which has now cooled to 195-200
    bring dog in - serve his food
    Timer rings - Plunge coffee and pour

    A better man might pull a shot in that time-frame but not I. I cant let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

  6. #6
    Wine_of_the_Bean
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    Re: Sometimes a snobs gotta slum

    I actually saw a nespresso cart at my local shopping centre. I can count 10 outlets that sell coffee. Thats out of about 100 or so shops in the centre. 10% sell coffee.

  7. #7
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    Re: Sometimes a snobs gotta slum

    Hows it going mate.

    I feel your pain for the morning ritual, I have to be at work at 530am so I know what you go through. I like the Sunbeam Intuitive (Digital display, and a bigger “basket” in the grinder/brew group so you can fit more coffee in a shot), it as options, an almost decent grinder, and is in a very comfortable price bracket at $675 - $800 depends on where you look. It might not last until your great grandkids start drinking coffee, its a cheap machine, but it makes drinkable coffee, and defiantly helps with the time issue.

    Hope you find something that suites you.

    Des

    P.S. All of this is based on things ive seen and read, not tasted or tried!

  8. #8
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    Re: Sometimes a snobs gotta slum

    for a great coffee in short time, i use my bodum santos vacpot.

    Water in kettle, grind coffee, stove on, heat diffuser on stove.

    Water into bottom chamber of santos, filter and coffee into top.

    onto the stove for about 4 - 5 minutes

    of the stove for 2 minutes

    pour coffee

    rince vacpot

    on my way.


  9. #9
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    Re: Sometimes a snobs gotta slum

    Last couple of mornings weve had to leave extra early for work - no time to warm up the giotto. :(

    Have been making Americanos with the AeroPress and it puts a :) on my dial!

  10. #10
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    Re: Sometimes a snobs gotta slum

    hey dmax. if youd like silvia to go to a good home where shed be used eveyday and well cared for just let me know ;D

  11. #11
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    Re: Sometimes a snobs gotta slum

    Just a thought, how about a Presso.

  12. #12
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    Re: Sometimes a snobs gotta slum

    I find that to get a good shot out a presso needs just as much time and effort as any other coffee machine. :-?

  13. #13
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    Re: Sometimes a snobs gotta slum

    We frequently see many comments on CS about how good plunger coffee is, if made with freshly ground fresh beans, and I agree.
    If you dont want to use Silvia, and happy with the plunger, why buy something else?
    OTOH if Silvia was on a timer, I am not sure if it takes any longer to make an Americano with her than it does to use the plunger.

    Another option may be drip coffee, can be set to do its own thing while you do other things,
    as always worth reading up on them to find a unit that brews properly.

    Curveball here....most of us who have, or have had children in the house would agree that mornings can be a bit hectic.....my solution was to not stay up late, and get up a bit earlier, but in the end its got to be whatever works best for you.

    Generally we avoid superautos because they are mostly, except for Jura, unreliable and make ordinary coffee, and all are expensive to repair.
    Generally we avoid any type of pod system because the coffee is stale.

    But if you try it and the taste is acceptable to you, and the relative lack of mess may be attractive....ultimately your choice, please try before you buy.

    Bullitt



  14. #14
    Senior Member Lizzie's Avatar
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    Re: Sometimes a snobs gotta slum

    Quote Originally Posted by cuppacoffee link=1208904015/0#8 date=1208908681
    Have been making Americanos with the AeroPress and it puts a :) on my dial!
    while staying at my daughters i have been using the Aeropress... as a drip filter!
    boil kettle, grind coffee, put coffee in Aeropress and sit it on the cup, pour on water, stir and leave on the bench. (no plunger)
    feed dogs, tidy room, attend to sick daughter, return to kitchen and remove Aeropress from cup... drink :)
    excellent coffee!

    L

  15. #15
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    Re: Sometimes a snobs gotta slum

    I have been experimenting with a pourover drip cone lately and I have to say that I struggle to see how anything could be as easy to use as that. Well, I guess that Nespresso might be easier, but I cant really imagine that people would want to drink that.

    It goes like this:

    1. Boil kettle
    2. Put filter in holder
    3. Grind appropriate amount into filter (you can eyeball it pretty accurately after you have weighed it once)
    4. Put filter apparatus on top of teapot
    5. Pour boiling water on top
    6. Wait
    7. Throw out filter paper; throw plastic filter holder in dishwasher

    I guess that looks like a lot of steps, but its only a few minutes of work. You can stir it while it is brewing if you like and some people recommend stirring the resultant brew. If you are so busy that its grab and go, you could brew directly into a mug instead of a teapot.

    If you pour the water right out of the kettle, you will get a brew temperature between about 95C and 92C, which is apparently better than a lot of the automatic drip brewers available in the USA, probably a lot better than the cheap auto drip brewers available here and definitely quite impressive for less than $20 worth of equipment.

    To be fair, buying decent coffee is probably the most time consuming aspect of the whole thing. I know that getting coffee posted isnt very popular in Australia, but why not do the maths and see how it compares to buying Nespresso pods. The advantage of getting coffee posted to you is that you arent limited to what is usually a limited local selection - you can taste your way through the best that Australia has to offer!

    Hope that helps,

    Luca

  16. #16
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Sometimes a snobs gotta slum

    Luca,
    The you-pour-it-drip system is what got me hooked on coffee in the first place. You should know that its a step on the slippery slope to the full-blown addiction of espresso.
    Greg

  17. #17
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    Re: Sometimes a snobs gotta slum

    As already mentioned, Aeropress occurs to me here, makes nice coffee, quick & easy, fast cleanup.

    I use a timer with my espresso machine so its all warmed up when I need it which helps. Still a little time consuming though, I agree.

  18. #18
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    Re: Sometimes a snobs gotta slum

    Just a question from someone who is considering buying a Silvia, how long does it take you all to make a drink in the morning if using a timer?

  19. #19
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    Re: Sometimes a snobs gotta slum

    Quote Originally Posted by GregWormald link=1208904015/15#15 date=1209039622
    Luca,
    The you-pour-it-drip system is what got me hooked on coffee in the first place. You should know that its a step on the slippery slope to the full-blown addiction of espresso.
    Greg
    Thanks for the warning, Greg. Maybe Ill back off the drip coffee a bit. The last thing that I want is to end up spending thousands of hours and dollars on espresso.

    ;P

    Cheers,

    Luca

  20. #20
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    Re: Sometimes a snobs gotta slum

    I must have a milk-based espresso drink in the morning if Im to feel fully functional (not an addiction ... just a requirement!), but before breakfast when Im in a hurry and not really awake I save time by pouring the shot straight into microwaved milk instead of steaming the milk properly. For me the saving in time and fiddling about compensates for the lesser (but still good) taste. Any other coffees I make later on are done "properly".

    This doesnt help dMaxs problem, but I thought Id mention it in support of the idea that compromise can sometimes be an appropriate option ... even for a coffeesnob!

  21. #21
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    Re: Sometimes a snobs gotta slum

    Quote Originally Posted by Bullitt link=1208904015/0#12 date=1208990478

    Generally we avoid superautos because they are mostly, except for Jura, unreliable and make ordinary coffee, and all are expensive to repair.

    Bullitt
    Can I take this to mean that Jura is the least objectionable of the objectionable? *Part of my interest is based on my wifes wishes and anyone who thinks that doesnt matter cant possibly be married. *Her French Press technique is superior to mine but she never mastered the Silvia and has no interest in trying. *

  22. #22
    Wine_of_the_Bean
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    Re: Sometimes a snobs gotta slum

    Sounds like my wife and cooking.

    If youre used to drinking americano, you cant go past drip or syphon.

  23. #23
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    Re: Sometimes a snobs gotta slum

    Quote Originally Posted by Wine_of_the_Bean link=1208904015/15#21 date=1209161201
    If youre used to drinking americano, you cant go past drip or syphon.
    Im sorry but I dont know what that means.
    Perhaps I need a cup of coffee ;D


  24. #24
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Sometimes a snobs gotta slum

    True Americano (USA style) is made by boiling coffee for 10 minutes in a thing called a "per-co-la-tor" and insisting that it tastes good.
    It doesnt.
    Greg

  25. #25
    Wine_of_the_Bean
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    Re: Sometimes a snobs gotta slum

    Youve got it all wrong. The brewing process is only 4-5 minutes. It then spends 10+ hours over a warmer in a pot. One the pot gets low, you mix it with another pot running low.

  26. #26
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    Re: Sometimes a snobs gotta slum

    Quote Originally Posted by Wine_of_the_Bean link=1208904015/15#24 date=1209190368
    Youve got it all wrong. *The brewing process is only 4-5 minutes. *It then spends 10+ hours over a warmer in a pot. *Once the pot gets low, you mix it with another pot running low.
    :P

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Americano_(coffee)

  27. #27
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    Re: Sometimes a snobs gotta slum

    Quote Originally Posted by GregWormald link=1208904015/15#23 date=1209184563
    True Americano (USA style) is made by boiling coffee for 10 minutes in a thing called a "per-co-la-tor" and insisting that it tastes good.
    It doesnt.
    Greg
    Perc coffee is a foul drink except noting smells as good. Flame away but you never smelled my Grandmothers wafting from the kitchen.

  28. #28
    psaigh
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    Re: Sometimes a snobs gotta slum

    For an americano style of coffee I really dont see how you can go past the aeropress, and this is considering any price point. Another good alternative though can be found here

    http://www.teeccino.com.au/products.html

    (Item No.90021 Swiss Gold Filter - Its right at the bottom of the page)

    Boil kettle, place filter on top of cup, grind coffee into filter, pour water, allow to drip (have a shower), enjoy!!

    Cleaning just requires you to empty the grinds into the bin, and rinse the gold mesh with the rest of the boiled water.

  29. #29
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    Re: Sometimes a snobs gotta slum

    A follow-up for anyone else considering a superauto:

    Bought, tried and returned a Nespresso. No better than my wifes old $100 Cuisinart drip.

    Went to the other extreme and tried a Jura-Capresso at Williams-Sonoma. For $2,000 it made a shot with less flavor and body than I get from my french press. It wasnt bad but it wasnt terribly good either.

    The good-ol Bodum French Press counter space is safe. $2,100 will buy a nice wine refrigerator plus few cases of wine with some left over.

    Thanks for all the help.

    Dave

  30. #30
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    Re: Sometimes a snobs gotta slum

    Just a question from someone who is considering buying a Silvia, how long does it take you all to make a drink in the morning if using a timer?
    Using a warm Silvia, it just took me 6min.20 sec. from go to whoa to make a flat white, this included a bench clean,boiler refill, and p.f. wiggle.

    About the same time to enjoy the result [smiley=grin.gif]

    Bruce

  31. #31
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    Re: Sometimes a snobs gotta slum

    My vote stands for the AeroPress. Whilst it will never replace my Minore it still makes a great coffee and perfect when youre in a rush or for use at work. Quick and easy to clean and doesnt cost a lot of money. Visit the Cuppacoffee site (on the left) for more info.

  32. #32
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    Re: Sometimes a snobs gotta slum

    Im also going to give the Aeropress a big thumbs up. [smiley=thumbup.gif] Ive had one since they hit Oz originally (18m months?) and use it twice a day at work. The brew is just superb with fresh beans. I cant imagine a work day without it. If I had to travel or go without Silvia for a while the Aeropress would be my choice.

  33. #33
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    Re: Sometimes a snobs gotta slum

    How does the flavor of the Aeropress compare to French Press? Lots of people complain about french press clean-up but my stainless steel Bodum goes right in the dishwasher including the plunger. Its gone through hundreds of times without any damage.

    Thanks

  34. #34
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    Re: Sometimes a snobs gotta slum

    Quote Originally Posted by dmaxdmax link=1208904015/30#32 date=1210948307
    How does the flavor of the Aeropress compare to French Press?
    Press pot is more difficult (or at least more time consuming) to clean up if you are doing successive presses. The Aero is very fast between cups, and is very easy but only makes a single cup at a time. I prefer the Aero to press pot because there are virtually no fines in the cup, so the bitterness factor (from the fines) is eliminated. You dont ave to avoid tat last sip in the cup, which from press pot can be quite nasty. The Aero makes a great travel rig as well, even for backpacking, all IMO, of course..

  35. #35
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    Re: Sometimes a snobs gotta slum

    Agree, no grinds which makes it a better option and since the press time is similar to an espresso machine extraction (in the aeros instance circa 20 seconds give or take) it makes a good tasting espresso.

    One point though, you can go up to 4 cups with the Aeropress.

  36. #36
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    Re: Sometimes a snobs gotta slum

    I just timed myself making a flat white - 1 min 59 sec including reverse flushing the machine. What is quicker than that? (warm machine). Its one of the Spazs best features. Even better my main squeeze Pat makes herself a flat white when I am away - something she never did with Silvia. That helps to justify the bench space.

    All you Presso users - do you need a top notch grinder for it? I am trying to find a way to have great coffee when I am away.

    Chris

  37. #37
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    Re: Sometimes a snobs gotta slum

    Quote Originally Posted by 30in30 link=1208904015/30#34 date=1210983830
    One point though, you can go up to 4 cups with the Aeropress.
    Hmmm,

    Not sure how you do this without making an awful mess. If I try to make more than two cup-measures at a time, the resulting bloom once the hot water hits the grounds, overflows on to the benchtop :( :-[. Doesnt particularly worry me though as like Randy says, you can turn em over pretty quick and doesnt take long to make a few cups in a row..... Whats more important though, the quality of the resulting brew is pretty darn good 8-),

    Mal.

  38. #38
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    Re: Sometimes a snobs gotta slum

    my current morning routine involves my classic on a timer clock.

    it goes on 30minutes before i get up.

    Shower, get dressed, walk to the kitchen, start the kettle boiling, pull 2 espressos, pour into 2 travel mugs, top up with boiling water and a touch of milk, into the car and drink on my 50 minute drive.

    i get to work with plenty of pep :D

  39. #39
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    Re: Sometimes a snobs gotta slum

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    I just wanted to report with a big Thank You! *After testing and tasting the ridiculously expensive machines at Williams-Sonoma I took your collective advice and bought an Aeropress. *Not only is it the best coffee Ive ever made, its far better than most espresso places. *A good barista still rules the day by a long shot but for my palate this is a strong #2. *Its saying a lot that weve found a method we like better than our Bodum Stainless Press.

    Thank goodness I didnt settle for that Nespresso. *Whew.

    Dave



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