Everyday Coffee: Coffeemaker Roundup

This is the first in a series called “Everyday Coffee”, in which I put four highly-rated coffeemakers through everyday, real-world testing.

We have a long-lasting love-hate relationship with coffeemakers.

An antique hand-operated coffee grinder is overflowing with beans. It's sitting next to a cup of rich, fresh-brewed coffee. Morning sunlight reflects off some out-of-focus objects in the background.
You don’t grind coffee like this. Stop showing off.

Your great-grandparents likely used a French press, siphon, or pourover. Probably involving fire. They’re all great brewing methods with their own strengths and weaknesses. They take a bit of effort to do correctly, but they can easily coax out the rich, full-bodied flavor of coffee.

Your grandparents likely used an electric percolator. And it was terrible. It produced hot, dark liquid that contained caffeine. Technically, it was “coffee”. But if you weren’t careful, it would burn and over-extract the coffee, resulting in a bitter pot of awfulness. Most electric percolators have a window of roughly 30 milliseconds between “still brewing” and “LOL RUINED AGAIN”.

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Everyday Coffee: OXO Pourover

The best coffee is the stuff you make by hand. But I don’t always have time to dedicate to crafting that perfect pourover. Mornings en route to work, for example. So when I saw the OXO Pourover Coffee Maker, I had to give it a shot.

Long story short, the art of making a really good cup of coffee involves a few critical factors. The water needs to be between 195 – 205 degrees Fahrenheit. You need the right amount of grounds. You need the right amount of water. You need the proper saturation and turbulence. It gets a little more complicated than that, but too much or too little of any of the above and your joe will come out bitter, bland, or worse.

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Everyday Coffee: Ninja Coffee Bar Review

I am a coffee snob. My French press is my weapon of choice. But when I saw the Ninja Coffee Bar on sale (refurbished) for around $90 at Ollie’s and Woot, curiosity got the best of me. I had to try it out.

The Ninja Coffee Bar is … unconventional. It promises “better than a coffee house experience — at home” and delivers four different strengths: classic, rich, ice, and “special”. I decided to take advantage of the low price and run a comparison against my daily driver — a Cuisinart DGB-550BK — and against a French press.
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Damn Good Coffee

It’s supposed to be 97 today.  I’m swamped with emails from video submissions from blogHarrisburg.  I have a half dozen eBay shipments to make today.  McDonald’s screwed up my breakfast order.  I just found out my PayPal Premier account has ridiculous processing fees.  Gas is supposed to hit $4.30 by July 1.  I’m at work eight hours earlier than my usual shift.  Also it’s Monday.

But this Sumatra bean coffee from St. Thomas Roasters in Linglestown is just amazing.  The beans are shiny and the flavor is rich but not oppressive.

Grinder, French press, and my day just got awesome.