Using my broken coffeemaker in new ways

So my old Krups drip coffee maker has nearly stopped working. I’m contemplating new equipment, but am currently broke and don’t want to spend anything; I certainly don’t just want to go to the store and get some awful Mr. Coffee hunk of junk. It’ll have to have water the proper temperature and a cone filter for it to work for me.

This morning, I made enough coffee to fill a to-go mug and a thermos, about 7 “cups”. I heated 28 oz. of water in the microwave, poured it in the carafe, sat the carafe on the counter, then heated another 14 oz. until it was just at boiling.

While the 14 oz. was heating up, I ground 5 tablespoons of coffee (that’s the recommended amount for my old Braun whirly-blade grinder.) I put the grounds in a coffee filter. After the water started to bubble, I took it out, checked to make sure it was close to 190 degrees F, slowly poured it over the grounds, stirred the grounds gently, and gently closed the coffee pot. Four minutes later, I put the carafe on the coffee pot.

Now, I’ve used a similar method to make cold coffee before–grind 5T of beans, put it in a pint Mason jar, close the lid, then pour the liquid in the coffee filter 12 hours later, and to my heathen taste buds, this was very close to cold coffee that I’ve made in the past. I might have to use more coffee beans next time.

And a moment to rant about measurements here in America: yeah, a “tablespoon” is a terrible measurement. Almost none of us here have scales. Recipes don’t call for them. According to Alton Brown, you can thank our Colonial ancestors for that. And a coffee pot “cup” is different than a measuring cup; the carafe is measured in 6 oz., a measuring cup is 8 oz., and many coffee cups are 10 oz. Crazy, man.

Anyone have any recommendations for new equipment? Any manual pour equipment out there that just takes a standard #4 filter? I’m not picky about coffee, as long as it comes out not terribly acidic and doesn’t otherwise taste foul.


At my office, I have a sort of cheap french press. It generally makes about 2 cups or so, and it does the job. But maybe you want something bigger?

At home, we have a big industrial sized coffee maker (bunn). It all depends on the coffee you use, I’ve discovered.

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So I am sensing this may be a bit out of your price range for these specific models, but they can be found quite cheap if you look around.

These two pieces of equipment are awesome. Nothing ever boils over, you can easily nail temperatures while doing other things, and the kettle (due to an internal element) is waaay more efficient than say your stove. Plus you can make tea, oatmeal, or a million other things.

I’ve had the same french press since college. Unless you break it they never wear out.


and if you are particular about your temperature, chuck one of these in the spout of the kettle. i actually do this when brewing if i need to add specific temp water to a batch.


Heh, i’m a nerd and have four scales :smiley:


I was all about the French press (and Turkish coffee–fantastic) until I read about cafestol, a potent cholesterol-raising chemical. There are ways to raise my cholesterol that I like a lot better, so the French press had to go. Now a French press coffee is something I’ll have only occasionally, kind of like broccoli.

I would suggest an awful Mr. Coffee hunk of junk. Works fine for me.

In related news, I just came from the Krogers where they had piles and piles of Keurig cups on the clearance rack.

Be careful not to superheat your water while half asleep.

+1 for an electric kettle. It doesn’t need to be pricey, but it’s worth finding one with a decent spout tip and one that can be removed from it’s base. (No wire on the pot). These last pretty much forever, and if you pour in exactly how much you need from your cup, boils insanely fast.

A coffee grinder is great, but it is certainly an investment. I prefer the Baratza Virtuoso. As a bonus you can put the entire bag of beans in the bin.

Try looking into a ceramic coffee dripper for pour over. Just put it over your cup/container, put in a cone + grinds, and pour the exact amount you filled in the electric kettle. Simple. Clean up is easy too compared to a french press. I personally use the Hario, since I’m impatient, but there are plenty of other options and even strange hybrids:

You can do that with water straight from the tap?

I’ve intentionally tried superheating water. The only way I’ve done it successfully is in a very clean, very smooth piece of glassware, or very clean and smoothly glazed ceramic with water that’s either freshly distilled, or has been filtered from the tap and left to settle overnight… I’ve never been able to do it straight from the tap myself. Perhaps there’s too much dissolved gas in it where I live.

I’ve been brainwashed into the cult of the aeropress, but it’s not the tool to make the volume of coffee you’re talking about.


Count me as the third vote for an induction electric kettle with temperature options. In fact, I have the same one @japhroaig showed in the photo.

I use it for boiling water to make pasta too, because it’s much faster and more energy efficient. In fact, it’s the appliance I use most in the kitchen, so I’ve found it to be worth the initial cost. Any chance you’ve got a birthday coming up? They’re close to $100, even used.


You’re right, it’s much harder to do with tap water, since the impurities usually let it boil in the microwave. Growing up my parents were a little weird and always bought distilled water. I haven’t really gotten rid of the bad association.

Depending on where (and when) you grew up, it might not have been so weird. There were some bad water districts all over the country until quite recently.

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Hell, if I woke from a coma and went straight to the shower, I could tell you what time of year it is just by the smell of the water. Spring and fall, it smells like dead fish…

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Back in the early nineties (and before) a local mint farmer would dump the leftovers from his mint distillation down his well. It turned all the water green for people that had wells and tasted like bitter, rancid tea.

It was naasty. Then the city drilled a perforated well and dropped the aquifer 50 feet. Water is An interesting subject.

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If I understand the question you’re asking, I think you’re just looking for a Melita style cone.If you’re not in to plastic, you can even get ceramic ones. They come in multiple sizes and make a great cup (or pot) of coffee. Far less muss than an aero press, though I think Aero is a fun an interesting device.

here’s one for 12 bucks

I can’t imagine making coffee any other way now.

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Wait, what, you’re still making coffee with it? Tscho. Yet another misleading headline on Boing Boing. :wink:


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