Ditch the capsules and get this precision drip coffeemaker for 75% off

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/08/24/ditch-the-capsules-and-get-thi.html

$100??? Do you buy $10000 monster cables too?

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I did a little reading and bought a coffee maker designed to avoid having hot water coming into contact with plastic at every stage. Metal tubes internally, glass water tank on the back, glass carafe, metal filter.

It cost $100. But it makes great coffee even from very cheap grounds. Worth every penny. It’s also Pour-over which I guess is supposed to help too.

Automatic drip always seem to break after a year or two. If you want to use drip, just get a Melitta funnel, filters and boil the water in a tea pot and pour it over. Only bummer is it takes about 5 minutes to make.


This coffee maker is the same price on Amazon (with no mention of it being marked down from $400), and it gets marginal reviews. This, all the pot paraphernalia, and other random crap just really cheapens the BoingBoing brand. I just don’t know why they do it. It can’t be pulling in that much money.
On the other hand, I love KK’s Cool Tools, which is tightly related to BB and has much more useful and interesting stuff. Who knows…


Good point on the manual pourover. I love the idea of not mixing boiling and plastic, but it’s so convenient I do it all the time. My Chemex gathers dust.

This is actually a pretty well-designed coffee maker, but some of the design goals were ambitious and complicated, which means more failure modes. I’ve never used one, but I’ve seen them in the flesh, and the metal one is really nice as a physical object.

Here’s a discussion from one of the designers, probably the best-known coffee guy in Norway:

Wtf is this crap?
I spent like $12 on a Mr Coffee 20 years ago and it still works great.


since i started making good pour over coffee i honestly couldn’t be bothered to go back to anything more complicated and space and time consuming. get a nice ceramic pour over with a stainless/gold filter, and a precision temp electric kettle and an adjustable grinder and learn to pour the water right and damn thats some good coffee. hardly use the espresso machine anymore. no need for an aeropress or any bulky machines. travels well, cleanes easy. no consumables other than coffee. nothing to break or wear out.

i love the design and look of fancy coffee machines, but i wouldn’t want to use one daily or repair or maintain one.

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That and a big jar is all you need for cold brew, just sayin’… :grin:

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I love my Mr Coffee, take 30 seconds to dump everything into it. Do one quick chore, and coffee is waiting for you.

I bought the lowest end model recently because any gizmos are just things that can break. I grabbed one of the reusable “Gold Tone” metal filters, so no paper for me. I just feed it coffee and water and wipe it down once a week.

I used a pour over for a long time, they’re cheap and easy to clean. But I kind of have to take 3 minutes out of my day in order to make coffee with it. I do like the pour over when I’m at work because I need an excuse to waste time and the super high end espresso machine machine at work is gross.


The point of the more expensive automatic machines (like this one and the Technivorm) are to try to reproduce what can be accomplished with careful use of a manual pourover.


Most cheap coffee machines don’t get the water temperature anywhere close to the ideal range for coffee brewing. If this one actually does, then it’s a lot cheaper than the other automatic coffeemakers I’ve seen which can do so.

Of course the cheap way to brew coffee with sufficiently-hot water is manual pourover, but that requires manual intervention for several minutes vs. 30 seconds, which is not something everyone wants in their morning routine. Personally, I enjoy setting aside a few minutes in the morning for the ritual of a Chemex brew; the Chemex is at least as beautiful as this machine (it’s in the MOMA after all) and about a third the cost - though I did spend a bunch more on a nice scale and electric temperature-controlled kettle so the total cost was probably above $100.

A good grinder is by far the most expensive part of a good coffee setup (and the most frustrating to keep clean) but the flavor of fresh-ground coffee is worth it to me.

Pffffy, you’re just making coffee wrong if you aren’t using a Victorian balancing coffee maker.


I’ve been through so many coffee makers. Currently we have an off brand cheap thing with one button that I bought for $2 from a junk store. No failure modes except the electronics, which will at some point fail, at which point it gets recycled and I go back to the junk store to buy the next one on the shelf (there are about 40 in there).

To make this work you need to either heat the water in a reservoir above the grounds, or actively pump the water to above the grounds. Most cheap makers do neither. This one has a pump. Another advantage of the pump on this one is that you can adjust the flow rate.

There is kind of a sad story about these. They’re based on 19 century designs, but they were reintroduced in the 1990s by a clever, very nice Belgian craftsman, Patrick Van Den Noortgaete. However, as they became popular his designs were copied by Chinese manufacturers, who then managed to outcompete him and put him out of business. “Royal” was his name for the line, so if you ever wonder why these things are called “Royal” and “Belgian”, it is just a way of preserving their ripoff heritage.

In addition to the traditional design, Patrick also sold one in a contemporary design; I bought one once as a wedding gift for a friend:


I still prefer the press style one made by the guy that invented the Frisbee: Aeropress. Though the best way to make coffee in it is the upside-down method. https://ineedcoffee.com/upside-aeropress-coffee-brewing-tutorial/

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