April 6, 2012

The best coffee maker.

It's AeroPress. $26. This is all you need or want. After daily use for maybe 5 years, the plunger got a bit less tight-sealing, and I ordered a new one. The coffee this morning, always good, is distinctly better. So it's definitely worth replacing your AeroPress when the fit slackens, but don't even contemplate wandering off looking for a better device.

ADDED: Here's the coffee we use.

56 comments:

Bob Ellison said...

I concur. My mother, a coffee fiend, introduced the Aeropress to me last year at breakfast by saying, "Would you like me to make you a perfect cup of coffee?" I said yes, and she did, and she was right.

F said...

Link goes to crow story on Utne Reader.

Jay said...

Well, the link certainly isn't to any sort of coffee maker.

Pogo said...

Does the AeroPress use a dead crow as a filter?

The Drill SGT said...

black crows
black coffee
black crooner (Jimi H)

that's the theme

Bru said...

Oh, I can't wait until my kids are grown and I have time to break out the French press again. Until then, I'm all about the ease of my Keurig machine.

Ron said...

mmmm....French Pressed Crow....

"'The crows are calling my name!', thought Caw"

Ron said...


black crows
black coffee
black crooner (Jimi H)


We prefer the term 'photonically challenged'.

vet66 said...

Jura Capresso machine for us. Great pump assembly extracts the goodness from the fresh beans with lots of crema. Whole bean espresso roast fresh ground. Aeropress is a fine device also. If you can find it, Jamaican Blue Mountain is arguably the best coffee on the market. I think Kona is overrated.

rhhardin said...

You can't beat instant in microwaved water.

House brand Kroger decaf with a partial spoonful of undecaf Taster's Choice.

Otherwise you have to drink a lot of decaf to stay awake.

Ann Althouse said...

Link fixed.

Thanks for enjoying the bad link so much that I can't delete the prompt.

Scott M said...

It really depends on your needs. A basic coffee maker for two, no big deal. There are tons of options under $50 or even $30 as AA points out.

If you regularly have a lot of family/friends over, though, you need something with more capacity.

REGARDLESS, every should have a carafe. I can't say strongly enough how much more enjoyable coffee-drinking is, or how much better it makes sitting and talking over coffee, when you don't have to tromp off to the coffee maker for another cup.

Get a carafe.

Patrick said...

The link was bad, so I looked it up on Wikipedia. Looks pretty interesting, for a reasonably priced coffee maker. I never understood the high priced ones, although there's a certain convenience that may be helpful. Plus, some of them are so big, they just take up too much space.

I've got a trusty Mr. Coffee that i picked up 7 years ago at a garage sale for $5.00. I'm sure aficionados would rather die, but it gets the job done.

The Drill SGT said...

We prefer the term 'photonically challenged'.

We prefer the term 'photonically self-absorbent'.

Freder Frederson said...

Oh God, now you are going full Instapundit on us, hawking products through your blog!

dbp said...

Having used all sorts of coffee makers, including French press types: We have settled on a stove top espresso maker.

More important than which maker you use is the quality of your water and beans. The beans need to be freshly roasted. You can do this at home in your oven.

Lost My Cookies said...

OK, I've heard all of the wonderful things about a French Press (which I originally thought had something to with two girls and a syringe full of Kahlua and whipped cream and is ALSO not covered under most health care plans offered by corporations owned by the Catholic Church, the bastards), but I went to a corporate function at a certain, extremely over priced, steak restaurant this Christmas and was underwhelmed to say the least. I'm sure they just made it wrong, but... damn.

On the other hand I have an electric percolator I picked up in a thrift store about 23 years ago that makes coffee that tastes like coffee. Plus, I get eggshells and grounds for my compost.

MadisonMan said...

My recollection -- vague -- was that you drank instant coffee at home. And that's why you went to coffee houses, for the good stuff.

m stone said...

I use the Aeropress exclusively, except for infrequent pour-over quickies.

The trick is to find the proper measure of coffee to water that MUST not be boiling. (There is a difference.) Took me several uses to settle on a measurement.

bandmeeting said...

Bulletproof coffee for me (google it).

I add a bit of cocoa powder and cinnamon.

Frankns said...

Good indeed ... but try the Krups Moka. Hard to find, but stellar:
http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Krups-468-42-Moka-Brew-8-cup-Coffeemaker/4342140/product.html

Lauderdale Vet said...

I love my Cona vacuum brewer, which I only break out when guests are over because it is fun to use. This Aeropress looks intriguing, especially for more frequent use, I think I'll give it a try.

Cona Vacuum Brewer

Also, roasting your own green beans is fun and tasty.

Green Beans

Ron said...

Awesome site for green beans...

http://www.sweetmarias.com/index.php

Unknown said...

I got the Aeropress after seeing it in your camping pictures last year. I love it!

JAL said...

I just saw the post title at the bottom of my screen and first thought (really) was:

Meade.

But now I see Meade is using a $27 coffee maker.

Us? I picked up the last one for $14 at Wal-Mart because the Habitat ReStore didn't have a little one.

Peons. That's what we is.

shiloh said...

"hawking products through your blog!"

Althouse has been doing this for quite some time. Hey, free enterprise. :-P

One wonders if she's related to Ron Popeil.

Apologies to Veg-O-Matic and Pocket Fisherman ...

David Blaska said...

Seems to work on the same principle as the French Press, which I use. Grind coffee (into a fine powder!), throw it into the press, pour boiling water from as high above the gizmo as your arm can reach, put on cap with plunger, let steep for a minute or two, then plunge. Its gold mesh filter never needs replacing. Coffee strong enuff to melt your spoon!

Brian Johnson said...

I had to watch a video to see this in use. Very cool if this is the same model...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2hLmvVwfX0

dbp said...

For years I got my green beans fromCaracolillo Coffee Mill but the last shipment seemed off and so I looked around for another source.

I've gotten my last two shipments from Burman Coffee Traders and have been very satisfied. They turn out to be based in Madison, so they may have a bricks and mortar outlet, so there could be a nice savings by not needing to pay for delivery.

leslyn said...

No, it's the deLonghi espresso maker. Great quality for the price. With Brazilian Estates coffee by Gevalia.

AprilApple said...

I love capitalism.

Whiny leftists - please don't bother enjoying the fruits of ingenuity. Just whine and beg your government for more.

leslyn said...

Did you just escape from the asylum, April? What the hell are you talking about?

Kit said...

I've got an AeroPress. Love it - I've even gifted it.

leslyn said...

@April

Did you just escape from the asylum? What the hell are you talking about?

Sue D'Nhym said...

WANT

John Stodder said...

Looks good, but our Keurig, using Emeril LaGasse's Big Easy Bold blend already achieved perfection for me earlier this year. It's easier to make than instant coffee, with incredibly consistent results. The only reason not to like it would be if consistent perfection shames you.

America's Politico said...

Ann, I want to get it via your site. What is included in the box? Amazon routinely never tells us this basic fact. Even with Kindle I had to follow-up with their cust-serv. Also, the coffee is great, as I have tried at a cafe. But, not sure how to ground it for use with the press.

Michael Haz said...

Mr. Coffee with the gold filter basket. It is set to get to work five minutes before my alarm sounds in the morning. Inexpensive and reliable.

Coffee comes from GFS Outlet, a retail store operated by a commercial food service company. I pay nine bucks for two pounds of excellent quality top-end restaurant coffee, and grind the beans as needed.

Simple, inexpensive and good.

KLDAVIS said...

Althouse, do you use the paper filters that come with the AeroPress? If so, you should really try the Coava Disk filter. The paper filters out a lot of coffee's natural oils. The inventor of the AeroPress is insistent that this produces a healthier cup, but it also reduces flavor considerably.

Frodo said...

Just added it to my wish list. Thanks, Ann! Seems sometimes the best coffee makers are the least expensive. My $300 Breville makes lousy coffee and I retired it yesterday.

Bill said...

Please. The AeroPress is alright, but it has absolutely nothing on the Hario v60 or a Chemex. Pourovers are a much, much better method of getting the most flavor out of coffee. It's slightly more effort, but it's totally worth it.

As a sidenote--Ann, I hope you aren't getting your coffee on Amazon. The Intelligentsia they sell isn't fresh. Since you're in Madison, do yourself a favor and make the trek to Johnson Public House--they sell Intelligentsia and it's very, very fresh.

Harsh Pencil said...

My wife and I are already on our second Aeropress. Best home brewed coffee I've ever had (and better than almost all coffee shops). Need to use a good burr grinder and good coffee.

Having an instant hot water tap makes the Aeropress incredibly easier to use.

Pastafarian said...

I use a french press, because it wrings every last bit of precious acidity from the beans. I go to great lengths to find the most acidic Panamanian and Costa Rican beans.

I like a nice bright snappy cup.

This device looks interesting, but it says it delivers "less acidity."

Do. Not. Want.

Is this true? Does this areo press give you a flat, bland, non-acidic cup of coffee? And do you actually like that?

Ann Althouse said...

"Please. The AeroPress is alright, but it has absolutely nothing on the Hario v60 or a Chemex. Pourovers are a much, much better method of getting the most flavor out of coffee. It's slightly more effort, but it's totally worth it."

What exactly is the distinction here? With an Aeropress you pour the water into the tube where it is directly mixing with the coffee. After 10 seconds, you use a plunger to force it through the filter at the bottom of the tube which gets more flavor out of the coffee. Why would mere gravity as it drips through make a difference? The kind of device you're describing is what we all used back in the 1970s. I don't see what makes it better than AeroPress, though it slightly easier (not more effort). Seriously, I don't get it.

"As a sidenote--Ann, I hope you aren't getting your coffee on Amazon. The Intelligentsia they sell isn't fresh. Since you're in Madison, do yourself a favor and make the trek to Johnson Public House--they sell Intelligentsia and it's very, very fresh."

We buy at Whole Foods. We bought once at JPH, but we didn't think what we got at that time was as good as what they sell at Whole Foods, possibly because we sprang for their "Honey Badger" mix and not "Black Cat," which is what we're used to.

dbp said...

Pastafarian, if you like acidic coffee I recommend trying East African varieties. The Central American beans are really more renowned for their richness rather than brightness. I like a balanced cup, so I mix some lightly roasted Central American coffee with darker roasted East African beans.

Bill said...

Sigh. Without getting too technical--the "70s" thing you're thinking of is a one-cupper, which has a very, very different design than a pourover. 3 holes in the bottom is not the same as the Hario's specially designed conical shape (it also uses special filters). Any really, really good coffee place you go to will offer a pourover--and yes, the flavor is significantly different.

It's a process--grind the beans, infuse the water, then do the actual pourover. Actually, Youtube will be much better at explaining it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6OdG39pfTU

Bill said...

Regardless, before you write it off, try ordering one at a coffee shop here in Madison (Bradbury's is the first that comes to mind). My Aeropress and French press have been gathering dust since I made the jump to a pourover.

Bill said...

Whoops, last comment--should you ever decide to take this up, Black Kat probably wouldn't be the best choice of coffee, since it's an espresso roast. You'd want a great, single-origin bag of beans (Just Coffee and Kickapoo make some great ones). Anyways, try it.

Chickering said...

"More important than which maker you use is the quality of your water and beans. The beans need to be freshly roasted. You can do this at home in your oven."--dbp

No, seriously. Go to sweetmarias.com or YouTube and learn how to start with a hot air popcorn popper or a stainless steel dogfood bowl and a heat gun. You will never get anywhere near as good a roast in your oven, plus you'll set off your smoke detectors. I've been roasting for nearly 10 years and progressed through different hot air poppers and other contraptions to a Fresh Roast, and now use a Behmor 1600. Well worth the expense ($200 refurb, $300 new).

The Aeropress is great, as are vac pots and pourovers. Anything but a low temp coffeemaker!

Widely Seen said...

I have to call innuendo..

Astro said...

Have you seen the Maxwell House commercial where some guy groans that he'd never let a plunger near his coffee?
Well okay then, Maxwell House - you want me to think I'm a coffee snob for using a french press? Fine. I'll be a coffee snob, and I'll never buy any of your damn crappy coffee ever again.

KLDAVIS said...

Pour over, including the V60, doesn't have anything on the AeroPress done right. The AeroPress gives you total control over immersion, timing and extraction. Even a very good pour over is amateur hour compared to a skilled practitioner of the AeroPress using a metal die filter.

Bill said...

"Pour over, including the V60, doesn't have anything on the AeroPress done right. The AeroPress gives you total control over immersion, timing and extraction. Even a very good pour over is amateur hour compared to a skilled practitioner of the AeroPress using a metal die filter."

There isn't a single barista in the world who would agree with you. I use my Aeropress when I travel (the inverted method), but it just doesn't do nearly as good of a jo as a Chemex or V60. The taste and flavor you get out of the beans is incomparable--and I've tried every method, but the pourover is always my go-to. There's a reason the Aeropress says it was made for espresso, but not other kinds of beans.

dac said...

You don't drink "Just Coffee"? No "Revolution Roast? With the raised fist? Delivered by bicycle?

KLDAVIS said...

"There isn't a single barista in the world who would agree with you."

No, none of these baristas participating in the AeroPress World Championships believe it produces a superior cup, you must be right...preposterous.

"The taste and flavor you get out of the beans is incomparable--and I've tried every method, but the pourover is always my go-to."

Pourover is a comically haphazard method compared to the control you can create using the inverted AeroPress. The uniform immersion/saturation you get by default in every batch or AeroPress is the stuff pourover fiends dream of. It can't hope to be achieved no matter how narrow the swan-neck on your pot or how strict your forearm exercise regimen. It's not even close.

Muhammad Amir said...

The uniform immersion/saturation you get by default best super automatic espresso machine in every batch or AeroPress is the stuff pourover fiends dream of.