The trials and tribulations of a coffee addict

Discussion in 'The VIP Lounge' started by CJ, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Admin War Zone Member

    I'll post a youtube video when it arrives.
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  2. Interesting. I bought myself the Ninja Coffee Bar last year for Christmas. Impulse buy while grocery shopping. I've been pretty pleased.

    Like you, the ideal use (only use) is M-F single (travel size) cup, and weekend full carafe. The Ninja has settings for single cup, travel cup, half carafe and full carafe. When I make a single or travel cup, I swap in a paper filter instead of the basket, since the basket tends to drop too much sediment into the smaller cycles.

    I also like the thermal carafe, as I can take it down to the theater, or my home office, and I don't have to go all the way up to the kitchen for a refill.
  3. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Admin War Zone Member

    Yep, if this works as advertised it is perfect for me. It will all be a question of execution.
  4. Carl V

    Carl V Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    yeah, maybe now. :mad:
    I owned two of their older generation
    products. Lotsa repairs.:(
    Good Luck. I've essentially decaffeinated.
    No real reason. I still make French Press &
    Cold Cold Brew for guests.
  5. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Admin War Zone Member

    Yeah, I think their quality problems are pretty much over and they do stand by their products if they have problems. I had a 2nd generation espresso machine from Breville. Mine was fine but the 1st generation of the same model had some problems. They extended the warranties and replaced a lot of the machines outright with 2nd gen models. They even doubled the warranty on the 2nd gen models even though they had no design flaws like the first gen.
  6. DYohn

    DYohn Well-Known Member Donor

    Top Poster Of Month

    I've owned at least a dozen Breville appliances (including our current juicer and toaster-oven) but never one of their coffee makers. I've always bought Krupp's. In any case, I have never had a quality issue with anything made by Breville.
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  7. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Admin War Zone Member

    It should be showing up today (I told you I paid for expedited shipping :))
  8. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Admin War Zone Member

    The unit came today and I ran it through some paces. It does have one flaw that I can't decide if it is a deal breaker for me. I would have thought that for a unit that is designed to brew anywhere from a single 6 oz or 8 oz cup all the way up to a 60 oz carafe that they would have figured out how to program the unit to meter out that much water. Alas, it brews solely based on how much water is in the reservoir. That's not how I would have designed it. Keurig has figured out how to "dose" water so I don't know why seemingly so few others have.

    I guess I have to decide if I'm willing to pour a single cup's worth of water into the reservoir every weekday for the ability to brew a carafe on weekends and to use my own fresh ground coffee. The latter is probably the bigger deal. No one really makes a single cup machine that uses and appropriate amount of coffee grounds.

    My issue may seem kind of niggling, but I think the price is going to be biggest issue here. This is a $300 machine. I guess I kind of assumed with all of the advanced features they had figured this part out. I'm having a bit of buyers remorse and I'm not 100% sure I'm going to keep it.

    I did shoot some video but I'd need to edit it together before uploading and I'm not sure if I will or not.

    The place I ordered from has a very good satisfaction guarantee and that's why I have ordered multiple expensive coffee related gear from them. If I decide not to keep it I can return it.
  9. Rick C

    Rick C Active Member


    That is an interesting unit. I can understand your disappointment with the lack of water metering. We generally make a couple of large batches a day so it would not be an issue. The Bonivita unit we have has worked well but has no advanced features.

    At times when I want a single cup I use the Keurig. Sure wish I could find a workable solution for the Keurig that would allow me to use my own beans and make decent cup of coffee. Unless I use the standard pods the coffee really sucks. I have been through a couple of the filter pods without success.

    Good luck in your search for coffee nirvana!
  10. GHilinski

    GHilinski Active Member War Zone Member

    So how about a standard coffee press?
  11. Rick C

    Rick C Active Member

    I use the coffee press for my cold brew. I should try it for a two cup batch!
  12. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Admin War Zone Member

    I'm the only coffee drinker in my house so at the end of the day, a single cup maker makes more sense than a drip maker that also will make a single cup if you jump through hoops. I guess this product wasn't as close to what I was looking for as I thought.

    I was talking to my brother about this yesterday. I've typically had bad luck too with using my own grinds in one of those Keurig pods. I'm pretty sure I know why though. The brew ratio dictated by pretty much every specialty coffee association out there would say you need about 20g of coffee for 12 oz of water. This would probably yield a little more than a 10 oz cup as some of the water remains trapped in the grounds. I've broken open a Keurig pod... there is about 9g of coffee in there. HALF as much as there should be. The way they get around this is they grind finer. MUCH finer than drip. Obviously its not espresso fine but its pretty fine. So you get much more extraction in the short brew time.

    But at the end of the day IMO the two weaknesses of the Keurig system are that basically you're always drinking stale coffee and I just don't think they use enough grounds. Heck a double espresso uses 15-18g of coffee. Keurig is using 9g in a 12 oz cup.

    I'm basically being a really picky bastard. I like the convenience and speed of one touch but I want the quality of fresh ground coffee. If I do pour over or french press, I have to wait for water to boil and babysit the process and then clean up. There's a reason Keurig is so popular. The machine is already on and pre-heated when I wake up and I only have to spend 5 active seconds and 90 seconds waiting. With manual techniques I've got 5 minutes of actually standing there making a cup of coffee and I've always found french presses to be a pain in the ass to clean up. I know, wa wa wa.

    Actions speak louder than words so clearly I value not having to do any work whatsoever over quality or I'd just be going back to the clever dripper method.

    Basically there isn't a solution on the market for what I want. I want a machine that grinds the beans and then makes a single cup of coffee at the correct water to grounds ratio and the correct temperature. That doesn't exist. There is a bunch of Kickstarter vaporware that I mentioned in a separate thread but I have yet to see a device that works like I'm describing. Spinn seems to be in the arena but until I can order one from Amazon I'm not contributing to this BS machine that Kickstarter has spawned.
  13. Carl V

    Carl V Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    Ah I see, you want it EXACT, automated, clean & neat.

    For my friends who want a GOOD single Cup of 10oz.
    I just make them a strong Americano or Press. I don't
    Mind the Minor Fuss...but thats me. What does Mike's
    machine do or Doesn't do that prevents your purchase.

    But I am surprised that with Software & Hardware someone
    hasn't made super duper all in one like John C or Mike has.
    one button chooses grounds weight/volume, next button chooses
    water Volume.
  14. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Admin War Zone Member

    For me my issue with Americano's is size. If you want a 10-12 oz coffee, you really need to make two shots espresso and you need a secondary source of hot water. Works great in a coffee bar setting, a lot of effort at home.

    I owned one like Mike's. I had a Saeco super automatic. Those machines don't follow anything near the proper ratio protocol. They don't use enough coffee (9-10g for a double vs. 15-18g) they don't extract properly (usually around 10 seconds vs. 25-30) and the grinder built in isn't a true espresso grinder. Also I think Mike just upped the water volume on his to make a big cup. Forcing 10 oz of water through 9g of quasi-espresso grind makes a weak, yet bitter cup in my experience. With all due respect to Mike, those machines are designed for people who want to make Starbuck's like milk drinks at home. The coffee quality isn't critical when you're going to add caramel syrup and 2x the coffee volume in Milk.

    Agreed. What I really want is a super automatic espresso machine but for regular coffee, not espresso. Instead of grinding into a fancy brew unit that packs the grounds and brews under pressure, just grind into a filter basket and then pour over water. That's honestly what I thought I was getting with this unit but with the grinder external. If this machine had what I'm calling water dosing, where it could make a 12 oz cup with a full reservoir, I'd probably keep it. But if I have to fill the water tank every time I make a cup there are $29 units on Amazon that do that. Why the hell would I pay $300?

    I think I'm going to break out the clever dripper again.

    I should caveat that I talk about the brew ratios a lot. That's not because I'm overly obsessed with correct protocol but because I've actually found that they produce the best cup of coffee. Making strong coffee that is not overly bitter or acidic pretty much REQUIRES you follow these ratios. If you don't use enough coffee grounds but you want it strong, you end up over-extracting and get bitter, acidic coffee.

    Cold brew and the clever dripper have produced the most satisfactory cup for me over the years with french press coming in close. Frankly the Clever is immersion, like a french press but with easier clean-up IMO so they're pretty comparable.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
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  15. Mike B

    Mike B Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    I have my 3 sizes set at 50, 100 and 150 mL. So the "big" cup is 5 oz. I always use the large aroma setting and the coffee is always very good. It takes 15 seconds to fill the tank and once a month it promps me to clean which I do (it does automatically with the tablet) and every 2 months it wants a new filter and I don't have to de-scale with vinegar or anything messy.

    It's been a year and a half and it keeps crankin' out great coffee at the touch of a button. When it dies I'll just get another one.

    I do like to do the cold brew for summer iced coffee. It makes up strong so tastes good even as the ice melts.
  16. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Admin War Zone Member

    I had mine set up relatively similar in that I would do two brew cycles to fill a regular sized coffee mug (by which I mean, something that hold maybe 12 oz if filled to the brim so probably 10 oz for a normal fill). I found the coffee to be average for the most part.
  17. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Well-Known Member Top Poster

    I've been using paper filters inside a plastic filter. It works ok but I've now found compostable kcups that taste good enough for me that I've stopped messing around with DIY.
  18. DYohn

    DYohn Well-Known Member Donor

    Top Poster Of Month

    Clever Dripper remains my go to for a single cup.
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  19. chad

    chad Well-Known Member War Zone Member Top Poster

    I've been eyeing those as well. I have the plastic Melitta at work, V60 and a French press at home. I've found my favorite way is press then through the filter of the v60 but then I have 2 dirtys. The Clever would eliminate that second step.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  20. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Admin War Zone Member

    Yep... Clever is the best of both worlds. That's probably what I'm going back to.

    I view this as a bit of a journey at the end of the day. Not all who wander are lost.
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