COFFEE What Type of Coffee Machine do you have?

dohdoh's picture

What type of coffee machine do you have in your office? Like it? How's the coffee taste? We've got a Bunn Auto Drip one and no matter what we put through it it taste less than desirable.

Jan's picture

I love coffee. That’s why I don’t use a machine to make it.

akma's picture

I use a French press with fresh ground coffee when I can, but I'm not disciplined enough to have perfected a system for optimal coffee brew-age. The amount of coffee I use, brewed for about the time I usually brew it for, produces pretty good coffee, usually.

Florian Hardwig's picture

Hrant would say: Where’s the type? ;°)

tina's picture

quote: "... How do you maintain this spirit ..."
(...) "... provide the best espresso machine in the street ..."


It's funny, I researched a lot some time ago, so I can provide the common recommendations of the espresso forums in D for perfect italian moments (best in combination with a really good coffee mill):

- Oscar Nuova Simonelli (robust and good coffee)
- a little more expensive: Bezzera BZ 99 (more shiny, also good coffee)
- much more expensive: La Cimbali junior (... sigh ...)

Jan's picture

> Hrant would say: Where’s the type? ;°)

That was actually my first thought when read the topic title.

Quincunx's picture

I use a Philips Coffee Gourmet machine, because it actually boils the water before it touches the coffee grind. A lot of coffee machines don't do that, they just make it warm-ish. This is for very good coffee. If I want a quick, but still fairly good coffee, I use a Philips Senseo machine with coffee-pads.
But as long as the machine boils the water, the beans or grind are important as well.

magnus_rakeng's picture

Here's the type! I've got a tamper with a modified Rancilio logo. My initals are MR so it was an obvious (and i guess a very nerdy thing to do). For me there is no type design without a few double shots. My machine is a Rancilio Silvia and the grinder is a Rancilio Rocky.

Stefan H's picture

We have a Gaggia Classic at our office. I'll buy the coffee fresh every week from our local espresso bar nearby, Salinos (yes I've made there logo). They have a wonderful brand by the name of Zicaffé... one of the best i've tried, from sicily of course.

/Barista brutto!

Stephen Coles's picture

I knew Stefan would chime in. He is ritualistic about his espresso. Being raised in Utah I wasn't exposed to much coffee. Stefan introduced me to espresso when I worked in his office a few years ago, and now that our office has an espresso machine I don't ever drink drip coffee. We got this Gaggia and have been happy with it. It's rated at CoffeeGeek as the best espresso maker under $300.

tina's picture

Surprisingly not bad either although it's no "real espresso" (but there is "crema", produced by a special valve):

But the coffee grinder is really essential. And of course the coffee, which I think has to be tested with the machine. There are huge differences how the same coffee tastes when brewed with a different machine. With Bialetti Brikka e.g. 100% Arabica coffee is too subtle. And the coffee shouldn't be too old. At the moment I use an indonesian mixture called "sulawesi kalossi", freshly roasted by the coffee bar in town, mhm ...

Quincunx's picture

I think those Bialetti things do make 'real espresso'?
I have used those every now and then as well, nice coffee.

tina's picture

It's only from a purist's view and it's based on the steam developed while brewing coffee:
"Common" Bialettis produce a beverage called "mokka", with Brikka it's a bit different because of the special valve. Here the steam is accumulating until the vapor pressure has reached 6 bar. Big espresso machines generally reach more (ca. 10) bar, which results in a better "crema".
To complicate things even more: oriental coffee brewed in a little pitcher (boiled up 3 times, with lots of sugar and a little cardamom, no accumulating of steam) is also called mokka.

blank's picture

I keep it as simple as possible and use a Melitta one-cup drip cone. It does nothing special and doesn’t make the best coffee around, but it takes about a second to empty and I can run it through the dishwasher.

FWIW, Keuring machines may be quick and easy office coffee makers, but they produce some of the most pathetic coffee I have ever tasted.

umlautthoni's picture

This is a very interesting subject. At my desk I have a Senseo coffee pod machine. Not bad, not great.

In the studio we have the Keurig k-cup system. Better, but still not great. I have chosen to use the Keurig system because I have found a distributor that sells a 25-serving box of Jet Fuel by Coffee People $10.95. Keeps me from spending $$$$ at the local coffee shop (It's a Grind).

However, I spoke with a kind gentleman at Peet's Coffee. I wanted to intall the Miele espresso machine with warming drawer in my home. I love the beautiful lines and would hate to have yet another appliance sitting on my countertop. He informed me to stay away from the Swiss and German espresso machines. (Breaks my heart as I am of 100% German/Swiss descent) He gave me this list of names for great coffee makers:
La Marzocco
La Pavoni
(all Italian brands)

If you're really a coffee snob, you would do the French press route with extremely cold filtered water, freshly ground beans, heat the water to the precise temp, brew the coffee for the required time period, plunge enjoy. Then there are some that would say the remaining coffee is too bitter because it is still technically brewing and won't be the same as the first cup.

Gary Long's picture

To avoid drinking too much coffee, and to make a bit of a ritual of each cup, I use a manual one-cup drip cone, pouring the boiling water into it very slowly making sure to keep all the grounds constantly submerged. The coffee itself is Nabob Full City Dark Roast. No doubt not the best brew in the world, but I like it and it's better than Tim Hortons any day. Being a one-man office, this system works fine.

Si_Daniels's picture

At home - Robert Norton's old Gaggia and a basic no-name filter machine
At work - Starbucks iCup

russellm's picture
My favourite so far is Yemen Matari.

I roast it, grind it up, pour boiling water on it and filter it.

At my office? They took the machine (which actually grinds the coffee on the spot and makes a decent cup)out 'cuase of renovations, so it's Tim Hortons, since there's no decent coffee shops where my office is.

Ray Larabie's picture

Cheap coffee machine + burr grinder + various fair trade coffees for extra smugness. I avoid buying the same coffee twice because I heard somewhere that life is short.

Can anyone recommend a kick-ass burr grinder? Mine is getting close to retirement.

ebensorkin's picture

I have a special self modified Bialetti Brikka which I nickel electro-plated. Feel free to contact me offline for instructions on how to make the best Bialetti Coffee. I did many experiments... BTW the lettering for brikka logo is pretty bad. There is the type.

dezcom's picture

You are making me crave a cup of your coffee!That sounds delicious from 5000 miles away :-)


blank's picture

You guys make me feel bad for getting my coffee at Trader Joes instead of the awesome, dozens-of-varieties place around the corner.

Si_Daniels's picture

>You guys make me feel bad for getting my coffee at Trader Joes instead of the awesome, dozens-of-varieties place around the corner.

Don't feel bad - there are people out there who just use one font. ;-)

Small Caps's picture

I use a French press... which is acceptable, as long as you drink the coffee right away. The quality of the beans is essential. My coffee guru (who works at the hippest coffee shop in Copenhagen, Denmark) is trying to make me drink only Jamaican Blue Mountain or Papua New Guinea. Ethiopian Mocca is just passable.

Christian Barca's picture

Nespresso, What else?

This reminds me of bill murray in lost in translation during the whiskey ad.
Fischers Fritz fischt frische Fische, frische Fische fischt Fischers Fritz

Jackie Frant's picture

Funny - maybe people involved in good type - must enjoy good coffee....

I use to be a real coffee drinker - but not anymore. My stepson uses a machine and coffee by Gevalia. Anyone here use it to? He swears by it.

I remember steamed coffee, sock coffee, perculator coffee, the coffee that you boil the water in the lower pot, it rises and when you gave the color you want, turn the gas off and let it drip back down coffee, oh let's not forget drip coffee - where would we have been without our Melitas? and then in the early 1980s I discovered the press - and kept using that. If it was good enough for Hemingway - the it is good enough for me!

jasonc's picture

>>My coffee guru (who works at the hippest coffee shop in Copenhagen, Denmark) is trying to make me drink only Jamaican Blue Mountain<<

Your guru is right!
But I could never afford to drink only Blue Mountain, so I have to limit myself to once in a while.

Jason C

pattyfab's picture

I use the Melitta one-cup drip cone too, like James. I work at home and have a tiny kitchen. If I had more counter space I'd get an espresso machine - there's a Krups a friend has that I like. I hate old coffee so whatever I use it has to be made fresh. Don't like the french press because it gets grainy.

For coffee I use a dark roast, Italian or French. I make it super strong and while the water is boiling for the coffee I warm up some milk, so it's almost a latte. I get my beans at Fairway or at Gorilla Coffee in Brooklyn which gives you a free cup of coffee if you buy a pound of beans. I grind them myself using a little Krups grinder.

Sharon Van Lieu's picture

Nantucket Coffee ground fresh. I use bottled water as our tap water doesn't make a good cup.

Quincunx's picture

No one drinking the $160 per pound Kopi Luwak coffee? ;)

Christian Barca's picture

The best coffee I ever had, was in milan at the train station in the morning at 9 when I arrived there. It made my day. It's a pitty I didn't write the name down.

Italian coffee makers rule!
Fischers Fritz fischt frische Fische, frische Fische fischt Fischers Fritz.

tungsteno's picture

for tina and all the Bialetti moka lovers out there:

Omino Bialetti, typographically speaking :)

dezcom's picture

Cuppa, cuppa, cuppa...:-)


Diner's picture

I've got two old reliables . . .

1) Jura-Capresso Z6 Super Automatic (got a nice license deal and decided to treat myself) - Loaded with Starbucks Espresso blend of half regular and half decaf - Tip: Buy Starbucks beans only from Starbucks free standing stores, not in Target Starbucks, the beans are drownding in oils to further preserve shelf life at retail chains.

Machine is mostly used for Cappucinos and Americanos (and Frothed Milk + NesQuick for Hot Cocoa for the Kiddos)

2) Starbucks Barista Thermal Mug Machine - When I'm in the mood for good old fashioned drip, this machine honestly makes better coffee than my Krups and keeps it hot right in the mug it drips in for like half the day. Also, Starbucks House Blend or Breakfast Blend.

It should be noted we have acquired a near collection of coffee machines ranging from 1950s percolators to vacuum pots to Senseo and so fourth . . . I worked at Gloria Jeans during my college years and became a coffee snob once I knew better . . . BTW, there is no finer coffee on a week long fishing trip in Canada than propane fired perk with the grounds sunk at the bottom . . . It's horrible and I love it!

Of course my reply is going on but there is something so very simple and complex about coffee machines that is just appealing to me in a gadgety way. It's just steeping near boiling water over ground beans but like toasters or mouse traps, there are like a billion ways to do it . . . I'm always pleased with new ideas on a very old process . . .

Stuart :D

Jackie Frant's picture


I have always been leery of Starbucks. When I was last living in NYC (up to 1999) there were several lawsuits against Starbucks. I don't know how they fanned out - but...

1. One of the early 1990s years - they sold more Hawaaian Kona Beans then Hawaai produced that year;


2. All those lovely sacks of 100% Columbian - weren't.

Diner's picture

As with any coffee, it always comes down to personal preference of taste which is my judge of coffee I favor . . .

I've spent big bucks on Intelligencia and enjoyed many pots 'o Eight O Clock but at the end of the day, I have no problem patronozing Starbucks since my latte factor has dropped at least 400% from buying $4 crappucinos from poorly trained baristas to about .25¢ per cappucino making it at home of course with their beans . . .


Quincunx's picture

Usually I buy my coffee grind/beans or take away coffee at Simon Lévelt,
a Dutch coffee company which has been roasting and selling coffee for over 200 years. Tea as well. A lot of know-how, honesty and very good quality coffee. But most of it is quite expensive as well.

pattyfab's picture

As with any coffee, it always comes down to personal preference of taste which is my judge of coffee I favor . . .

Too true. I share a beach house with a finicky couple who have polar opposite taste in coffee. She likes hers dark and strong and he likes his to taste like it came from a diner (ick). So we need two machines, two different coffees. Her coffee is understandably more popular although at times it tastes like it can take the paint off your car. Then there's a third guy in the house who inexplicably likes his coffee made in a percolator. This ups the ante to three machines. It's absurd. If we had to license our coffee per machine like fonts we'd be paying thru the nose ;-)

John Hudson's picture

I don't have an espresso machine at home (where I work), yet. But I'm getting tired of training every new barista at the local café how to pull a proper ristretto shot, so it is only a matter of time.

Mornings start with a French press of freshly ground fair-trade Sumatran dark.

In the afternoon I'll either pop out for an espresso or make Turkish coffee. If I have twenty minutes free (ha!) I'll hand-grind the beans for the latter, but otherwise I use the very excellent coffee from Kurukahveci Mehmet Effendi & Sons in Istanbul.

Meanwhile, Ross has gone hardcore and is roasting his own beans.

mili's picture

Tungsteno, thank for the link! I don't think I've seen cartoon figures speak with letter shaped mouths before.

As for coffee, I only drink it in Italian restaurants and cafes (in Italy, if possible). Elsewhere it's tea, please, but not with the tea bag, if possible.

crossgrove's picture

I use the simpler predecessor to this Krups combo machine. Mine is called "Caffe Duomo", implying that you'll have everything you need. Drinks from this machine really remind me of the flavor of the espressos and cappucinos in Rome. Mine has the fatal design flaw of a rocker switch down low, easily turned on by accident. I think appliance makers are learning not to do this anymore.

dezcom's picture

Mine has the "built in obsolescence" very thin glass carafe that you need to replace annually.


typovar's picture

I download my coffee from TypoPhile; it comes dripping down my USB-slot. I'd rather get some Wifi-blend, it's faster and doesn't taste like copper.

Endre Berentzen's picture

Amazing; we have a non-type question as the hottest topic on typophile. It must be the lack of sleep wondering which typeface to use in that new ID job that makes type enthusiasts so consumed with their coffee;-)

dezcom's picture

Coffee is oh so most definitely a type related question! Some of us type freaks depend on it as much as FontLab to design type :-)


Chris Keegan's picture

What do you French Press users do about the "silt" that is left in the coffee? I personally don't like it, have tried pouring it through a filter, which takes way too much time.

I would like to consider roasting beans after finding out from quite a few sources that roasted beans start to lose their flavor after about a week. Check out this site:

Storyville Coffee Co.

No, I don't work for them, just thought their info was interesting...

Diner's picture

Hey Chris,

There are easier methods of roasting your own coffee beans


blank's picture

Coffee stays fresh a lot longer if you get beans in cans that have been pumped full of nitrogen.

John Hudson's picture

Chris: What do you French Press users do about the “silt” that is left in the coffee? I personally don’t like it, have tried pouring it through a filter, which takes way too much time.

For French press coffee, you want a very coarse grind to prevent small bits of coffee grounds getting through the press filter. Blade grinders are ideal for this (in fact, it's the only thing they're good for: they don't grind nearly fine enough for espresso or moka (e.g. Turkish coffee)). I give one short burst on a blade grinder for each spoonful of coffee beans (usually five for a full-size pot): that breaks the coffee up enough to release the flavour, but not enough to produce much 'silt'. There will always be a small amount of powder, no matter how coarse the grind, but that shouldn't bother you.

Mind you, I like Turkish coffee, so finding a small mudslide in the bottom of my cup isn't an issue.

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