Coffee makers

By aaron.axvig, Thu, 01/05/2023 - 11:10

At home

My first coffee maker was a two-mug Gevalia.  It used one small filter one each side, to brew directly into the included mugs.  If you forgot to set the toggle on the top to "1" when you only wanted to make one mug, then water would pour out side two and make a mess.

Gevalia two-mug coffee maker

I'm pretty sure Grandma Jean gave this to our family.  I had it in my dorm room in college, and had it through my time in Medora in 2018.

As some point of living in my West Fargo house I acquired a green regular (drip brew, 10-12 cup size) coffee maker.  Probably this one:

Green coffee maker

The glass pot on that broke for some reason, so that was the end.

A black Mr. Coffee took its place.  Very close to this, but I'm pretty sure it is not grey on the bottom.

Mr. Coffee machine

I still have that one, but it only gets brought out when I need to make coffee for several people.  At some point I had a metal filter for this, which is fine but annoying to clean.

In 2018 I got an Aeropress before going sailing.  This was my first time making above-average coffee myself.  Eventually (while on the sailboat) I got a hand grinder so I could grind my own beans too.  It wasn't until just a couple months ago I saw in a YouTube video that I could just hook my drill onto the grinder shaft to run it.  Pretty good idea which would have saved me a ton of time.  Making coffee for guests on the sailboat was incredibly tedious with the hand grinder and single-serve-producing Aeropress.


I still have the Aeropress but don't use it much any more.  BTW cleanup with the metal filter is significantly worse than with paper filters, so I do not recommend the metal filter for this.

As a wedding present from the in-laws, I got a Breville "the Bambino Plus".

the Bambino Plus

This makes very good coffee.  I don't think I even knew coffee could be this good until I went to buy my Honda CR-V and the seller offered me a cup of coffee.  It was so smooth, rich, not bitter, etc.  Actually I don't know if I have even reached that level with the Bambino.  I don't know exactly what machine she had.  I believe the brand started with a G, so quite likely Gaggia.  I think it had a copper-look housing, and with a sort of house shaped profile from the front (with peak of roof flattened).  Maybe it wasn't Gaggia--I seem to remember that the logo was written out in cursive and rising towards the right, which I don't see in any Gaggia logoing.

Anyways, I mostly make Americanos and they are quite good.  Milk-based drinks are fun to mix it up every once in a while.  London Fog drinks are a solid choice too.

I also got a Breville "the Smart Grinder Pro" as a wedding gift and that is a really nice machine.

At work

The law office that I worked at had a Keurig, which was a pretty new and fancy thing to have at the time.

At Microsoft they had three full-auto grinding/brewing machines.  I think these would just make regular coffee, no added milk or whatever.  In fact I'm sure that is the case, since there was occasionally drama about someone leaving an opened/half-used tiny milk carton in the fridge, and whether it should or could be used by other people.  Nonsensical.  The machines had Seattle's Best coffee in them.  During my time at Microsoft is when I first developed a strong daily habit of drinking coffee.

In Medora there was just a Mr. Coffee in the breakroom, with Folgers grounds provided by TRMF.  Katie was known for making the coffee ridiculously strong.

At Cloverdale there was a "syrup-based" Farmer Brothers machine.  Pretty good for syrup coffee.

At NISC there are syrup machines on each building/floor.  Mostly they are just OK.  But in the cafeteria there is a full-auto machine that grinds and does espresso, cappuccino, cafe mocha, etc.  Top notch, until it broke and they couldn't get parts for a few months.  A few months of the OK syrup coffee.  I brought in some K-cups to mix up my days with something a little better.  It was eventually replaced with a machine that eats hotel-style single-serve filter bags of coffee grounds.  It can do all the cappuccino type things too, not quite as tasty as the old machine but still good.