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The Trombone ForumPractice BreakFood and Drink(Moderators: RedHotMama, BFW) Java jive, auto-pilot edition
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Todd Jonz
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« on: May 26, 2011, 01:36PM »


My wife is a hardcore coffee freak.  I call her Juanita Valdez, after the "Juan Valdez" character in the Colombian coffee growers' commercials of the '70s and '80s.   She has more devices and gizmos used solely for making coffee than many well-stocked kitchen supply stores.  In our never-ending quest for the perfect cuppa Joe we've become big fans of Keurig coffee brewers.  Upon searching the F&D archives I was surprised there's been no previous discussion of these beasties here, so I thought I'd open a thread.

We used to alternate between Melitta drip, French press, and espresso from our Francis Francis X1, but since I gave my wife a Keurig Platinum brewer last Christmas we've used it almost exclusively.  The combination of precisely controlled timing, water temperature, quality and quantity of grounds, etc. makes a perfect cup of coffee every single time.  Best of all, each cup comes fresh from the brewer, not lukewarm from a thermos.  If there's a better way to make a consistently delicious cup of coffee, it's news to me.

We've explored the packaged K-cup market, and since they're so darned convenient we keep a few boxes on hand (I'd particularly recommend Tully's Kona.)  But since they're also an ecological nightmare we've tried out several of the refillable K-cups on the market (some of which work a lot better than others.)  At first we were disappointed with the results since we never seemed to get the same full flavor from our own grounds that we got consistently from the packaged K-cups.

Since we measured carefully when filling the K-cups, we deduced that the only uncontrolled variable was the quality of the grind.  The common rotary blade grinder we'd been using produced a very uneven mix of grounds that varied in size from large chunks to fine powder.  A bit of research on a few coffee geek web sites led us to believe we'd get a more uniform product from a conical burr grinder, so my wife's anniversary present this year was a Baratza Virtuoso grinder.  What a difference!  After a bit of experimentation with the grinder's 40 (!) grind size settings, we are now unable to differentiate between the packaged K-cups and freshly ground beans from the same roaster.

When we visited friends last year in California they had a plumbed counter-top brewer that incorporated everything into one big box, eliminating the muss and fuss of the refillable K-cups; pour in a bag of beans every few days, press the button, et voilá -- coffee or espresso on demand.  They weren't completely happy with it, however, although I don't recall why.  It also cost a ton,  even more than our collection of discrete devices, none of which would be described as inexpensive.  But I've known others who owned brewers like this and thought they were the bee's knees.

Any other Keurig fans out there, or fans of other automated brewing systems?


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BGuttman
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« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2011, 02:27PM »

I tend to like my coffee strong, so as a result the K cup only yields about 6 ounces of coffee (and I drink 12 ounce mugs).

We had one of those beasts at the last job I had and we used to buy K cups.  I had a couple of boxes that averaged 50 cents per serving.  That's kinda pricey, although generally less than "machine cuisine".

My wife has a refillable K from when she had her last job.

Incidentally, one of my bosses (from when I worked for the mosquito trap place) came there from Keurig.  He said it was a pretty brutal place to work, although if you did well for them they did reward you well.

I don't own one of the things and have no plans to buy one.
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« Reply #2 on: Aug 02, 2016, 11:28PM »

My wife is a hardcore coffee freak.  I call her Juanita Valdez, after the "Juan Valdez" character in the Colombian coffee growers' commercials of the '70s and '80s.   She has more devices and gizmos used solely for making coffee than many well-stocked kitchen supply stores.  In our never-ending quest for the perfect cuppa Joe we've become big fans of Keurig coffee brewers.  Upon searching the F&D archives I was surprised there's been no previous discussion of these beasties here, so I thought I'd open a thread.

We used to alternate between Melitta drip, French press, and espresso from our Francis Francis X1, but since I gave my wife a Keurig Platinum brewer last Christmas we've used it almost exclusively.  The combination of precisely controlled timing, water temperature, quality and quantity of grounds, etc. makes a perfect cup of coffee every single time.  Best of all, each cup comes fresh from the brewer, not lukewarm from a thermos.  If there's a better way to make a consistently delicious cup of coffee, it's news to me.

We've explored the packaged K-cup market, and since they're so darned convenient we keep a few boxes on hand (I'd particularly recommend Tully's Kona.)  But since they're also an ecological nightmare we've tried out several of the refillable K-cups on the market (some of which work a lot better than others.)  At first we were disappointed with the results since we never seemed to get the same full flavor from our own grounds that we got consistently from the packaged K-cups.

Since we measured carefully when filling the K-cups, we deduced that the only uncontrolled variable was the quality of the grind.  The common rotary blade grinder we'd been using produced a very uneven mix of grounds that varied in size from large chunks to fine powder.  A bit of research on a few coffee geek web sites led us to believe we'd get a more uniform product from a conical burr grinder, so my wife's anniversary present this year was a Baratza Virtuoso grinder.  What a difference!  After a bit of experimentation with the grinder's 40 (!) grind size settings, we are now unable to differentiate between the packaged K-cups and freshly ground beans from the same roaster.

When we visited friends last year in California they had a plumbed counter-top brewer that incorporated everything into one big box, eliminating the muss and fuss of the refillable K-cups; pour in a bag of beans every few days, press the button, et voilá -- coffee or espresso machines on demand.  They weren't completely happy with it, however, although I don't recall why.  It also cost a ton,  even more than our collection of discrete devices, none of which would be described as inexpensive.  But I've known others who owned brewers like this and thought they were the bee's knees.

Any other Keurig fans out there, or fans of other automated brewing systems?




How many cups of coffee your wife takes per day? I almost take 5-6 cups per day. I think that are enough to be a worst coffee freak? Isn't?
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« Reply #3 on: Aug 02, 2016, 11:57PM »

Haha somehow I don't think that being a connoisseur of great coffee and using a Keurig machine are things that go together. Most of the Keurig coffee I have had was more like strong tea in quality. And I always wondered about how much waste it produces!

Best joe I ever had came from Jamaican Blue Mountain beans out of a french press. Second best was Hawaiian Kona beans brewed in the same manner. If you force yourself to get good at using a french press, it's very consistent.

For quick morning joe, the Zojirushi drip coffee machine is awesome. The filter is reusable as well. Thermos carafe eliminates needing the burner plate and keeps coffee hot for hours!

I agree with you about grinding your own beans. It always comes out better once you figure out the correct grind for the method you are using to brew.
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« Reply #4 on: Aug 03, 2016, 08:11AM »

I can't stand the K-cups. Environmentally unfriendly in their most convenient form, a PITA in their most environmentally friendly form, and it just doesn't produce the kind of coffee I like. It'l do in a pinch (it's far better than mix of course) but the K-cups themselves produces a coffee that I can taste the plastic in.

I use a french press most mornings, I grind up some Medaglia D'Oro (my go-to bean) and let it steep for 30 minutes. I'm going to try making some cold brew soon, it's getting into the 100's here now. We've had a pretty decent summer so far but the dog days are approaching.

I had a little espresso machine, but got tired of having to run vinegar through it every few days - water is hard here and gunks up machines quickly.

The aero press makes a pretty good cup of joe.

Any turkish coffee makers out there? Any tips?
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« Reply #5 on: Aug 03, 2016, 08:25AM »

My wife has much more refined tastes than I do. I used to use the refillable pods, but my wife won't even let me dream of drinking anything from one of them.  She likes they geyser(?) system, as pictured here:



I guess its supposed to control the heat and amount too? I'm honestly not sure, but it does brew a really good cup. It isn't nearly as convenient though.

<Edit: Fixed Image>
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« Reply #6 on: Aug 03, 2016, 08:47AM »

We have a Keurig we bought at Costco. This was after my sister-in-law received one as a retirement gift. (My wife tends to desire the things her parents and siblings have purchased.) I'm not sold on it. It's a consistent cup, certainly. There's just something missing. Even when selecting the "strong brew" mode, I can't get the body or heft (mouth feel) that I desire. I don't like the environmental impact either, and recycling the little cups is a PITA, like Exzaclee said.

Before that we had an all-in-one Cuisinart: fill it with water, throw the beans in, change the filter, press the button, and voila! Pretty good coffee. Before that, a Starbucks brand coffee maker. I had to grind my own, which worked out pretty well. The sound and smell of grinding was a great morning ritual. Before that, a variety of Mr. Coffee type brewers.

In college, I had an ancient French press. I would usually only let it sit about 3 or 4 minutes at most. 30 minutes seems a lot!

I also have a travel-style drip cone called a Clever Coffer Dripper: https://www.sweetmarias.com/product/clever-coffee-dripper-large
I like the coffee MUCH better when I brew with this, but... I'm lazy...
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« Reply #7 on: Aug 03, 2016, 08:56AM »

We have a Keurig we bought at Costco. This was after my sister-in-law received one as a retirement gift. (My wife tends to desire the things her parents and siblings have In college, I had an ancient French press. I would usually only let it sit about 3 or 4 minutes at most. 30 minutes seems a lot!


i often fall back asleep while checking emails in the mornings... the 2nd and third pot sits for much less.
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« Reply #8 on: Jun 07, 2017, 08:41PM »

I'm a huge espresso nut - it's been my hobby since I got into college. I spent some random amazon gift card money on a passable grinder and some saved up money on a entry-level machine that had great reviews, and it has since altered my feelings on coffee immensely. I now have a bottomless portafilter for it so that I can watch my extractions to see how they are doing and that there is no major channelling or anything going on, and working on pouring latte art. I've become such a nerd  :/
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