Bean to cup machine recommendations please

Equipment, technique, or just drinking the stuff

Moderators: CakeBoy, GreenBean, Gouezeri, bruceb

Bean to cup machine recommendations please

Postby Ed » Tue Dec 01, 2015 9:48 pm

As above, I have been asked today to recommend a good domestic bean to cup machine for a friend's kitchen. He wants to make a decent quality consistent brew with the minimum of fuss.

I had absolutely no idea so I now throw myself on the assembled wisdom of the forum. Does anybody have a recommendation?

Thanks in advance.
Ed
 
Posts: 89
Joined: Thu May 10, 2007 7:19 pm
Location: Staffordshire, England

Re: Bean to cup machine recommendations please

Postby bruceb » Wed Dec 02, 2015 6:23 am

Perhaps someone will come along with a good recommendation, I certainly can't make any. My experience with these machines has been negative from the beginning, and the sad fact is that it matters not how expensive the machines are they are basically all the same. Aside from the most inexpensive machines, most are manufactured by one of a small number of companies and are internally the same. The difference in price reflects nothing but the external design.
That said, the reasons these machines cannot be recommended are at least two fold, and have one in the same cause, a terrible build quality. As a consequence, in spite of being relatively expensive they do not work well and secondly, they tend to fail (stop working) in short order. Repairs are also very expensive and often take weeks or months, depending upon your location and the shops available.
The fact is, what a machine like this has to do is technically very demanding. They must grind the beans well, control temperature accurately, distribute and tamp the ground coffee, time the various processes exactly and either be self cleaning or easy enough for a non-technical person to regularly clean. It is not possible to build a machine that will accomplish all those tasks reproducibly for less than the price of a good used car. If you disassemble even the most expensive of these machines you find a primitive, under-dimensioned grinder, plastic tubing, plastic gears, a simple heating block and a "brew head" that does not deserve the name. The results of all this are quite predictable. The electronics are quite complex since they need to control the various tasks the machine must complete, are subject to heat and moisture and are often controlled themselves by very sensitive touch pads that are prone to short lives.
Primarily, because of the poor grind quality, the coffee the machines produce, even when brand new and properly adjusted, is mediocre. But even more disheartening is the tendency of the machines to break down within a relatively short time period and to be very difficult and expensive to repair.
This is not to say that a good bean-to-cup machine cannot be built. There are a number of commercial machines that do quite an admirable, if not perfect job. They are built of metal through and through, have the grinder internals of a commercial coffee grinder and the plumbing of a commercial espresso machine. They cost more than the price of a good used car and must be regularly maintained and adjusted by a professional service man.
For these reasons I cannot recommend a home bean-to-cup machine to anyone. A Technivorm or other temperature controlled coffee maker is a much better solution and will operate for years without problem.
Three Francesconi (CMA) espresso machines - Rossi, San Marco, LaCimbali, Faema and 2 Mazzer Major grinders- CoffeeTech Maggionlino, Hottop, Alpenröst and HW Precision roasters.
I decided I needed a bit of a change so I roasted some Monsooned Malabar. That was a change!
Image
User avatar
bruceb
 
Posts: 5363
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2004 12:49 pm
Location: Northern Hesse, Germany

Re: Bean to cup machine recommendations please

Postby Ed » Sat Jan 02, 2016 8:18 pm

Thanks Bruce. Much as I suspected. However my friend just wants a decent tasting brew and isn't concerned with the process of producing it.

Anybody know anything about the de Longhi Magnifica range? I had a demo today and it looks quite passable (if you like that sort of thing).

This is not for me. It really is for a friend.
Ed
 
Posts: 89
Joined: Thu May 10, 2007 7:19 pm
Location: Staffordshire, England

Re: Bean to cup machine recommendations please

Postby CakeBoy » Sun Jan 03, 2016 3:14 pm

Ed, if memory serves me correctly, most of these machines have largely, if not totally, the same brewing mechanism inside, made of plastic. I think they are much of a muchness once the casing is off. I suspect the De Longhi is mechanically as good as any other. I don't know how if stands up in looks and value for money compared to others. We started off with a Spidem Trevi. It was fine and also had the innards described. Just have your friend be careful not to spill water through any vents, it kills them rather quickly, as does not having a vigorous weekly opening up and cleaning routine :)
www.CakeBoy.co.uk
International muffin blagger

Iberital L'Anna 1 Gp Hand-Fill | Wega Orion 2 Gp | Bezzera 1 Gp | Rancilio Audrey PID | Spidem Trevi
Iberital MC2 Timed | Macap M4 DS & MXA DS | Mazzer SJ | Starbucks Barista Grinder (Dualit E60/Solis 166)
Pinhalense 2x500g Gas Batch/Sample Roaster | Gene Cafe | IMEX CR-100
Aerobie | eSantos | Zassenhaus | Bodum P/Over | Chemex | Hario Woodneck | Timer Filter
User avatar
CakeBoy
 
Posts: 9971
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2005 10:43 pm
Location: Oxfordshire, England

Re: Bean to cup machine recommendations please

Postby bruceb » Sun Jan 03, 2016 10:22 pm

Ed, I tried not to say too much about the quality, or lack thereof, regarding these machines, but rather the fact that they die very quickly and repairs are expensive and most shops are not able to do the work properly because necessary repair parts are very difficult or impossible to get. As Cakey said, they are all very nearly the same and the differences in price only reflect on the name brand and outward design. It's really a no-win, no-win situation. What your friend wants is what most people want, but is, in fact, nearly impossible to make.
Three Francesconi (CMA) espresso machines - Rossi, San Marco, LaCimbali, Faema and 2 Mazzer Major grinders- CoffeeTech Maggionlino, Hottop, Alpenröst and HW Precision roasters.
I decided I needed a bit of a change so I roasted some Monsooned Malabar. That was a change!
Image
User avatar
bruceb
 
Posts: 5363
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2004 12:49 pm
Location: Northern Hesse, Germany

Re: Bean to cup machine recommendations please

Postby Ed » Sun Jan 10, 2016 6:25 pm

Having just read Grib's thread about Nespresso machines in Other Brewing Methods, do you think my friend would do better buying one of those and sourcing his coffee from the Fine Coffee Club or equivalent?

Bruce, you were decidedly more enthusiastic in that thread than you have been in this one.

Another friend of mine has a Nespresso machine and, surprisingly, it makes a decent drink. My argument against them is that you are restricted to the manufacturer's choice of coffee and can't spontaneously obtain a new coffee (e.g. On holiday in Jamaica) and easily brew it through your machine.
Ed
 
Posts: 89
Joined: Thu May 10, 2007 7:19 pm
Location: Staffordshire, England

Re: Bean to cup machine recommendations please

Postby bruceb » Mon Jan 11, 2016 8:27 am

I have had more experience in the last years. :roll:

The real problem with any capsule or pad machines is that the coffee is old and stale when you buy it, no matter what the manufacturer tells you. We know that ground coffee goes stale in hours. Putting it in a little tin can or paper bag won't stop that process. Bean-to-cup machines have it right, but they cannot be produced and made reliable enough for a reasonable price. I think your friend should try the coffee from a pad or pod machine and if he likes it then he should go that way. In the end the only thing that matters is whether he likes the way the coffee tastes.
Three Francesconi (CMA) espresso machines - Rossi, San Marco, LaCimbali, Faema and 2 Mazzer Major grinders- CoffeeTech Maggionlino, Hottop, Alpenröst and HW Precision roasters.
I decided I needed a bit of a change so I roasted some Monsooned Malabar. That was a change!
Image
User avatar
bruceb
 
Posts: 5363
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2004 12:49 pm
Location: Northern Hesse, Germany

Re: Bean to cup machine recommendations please

Postby dr.chris » Tue Jan 12, 2016 12:19 pm

I believe you can get rechargeable/refillable coffee pods. Maybe that is the way to go
Iberital L'anna / Mazzer Mestre/ Iberital tamper
User avatar
dr.chris
 
Posts: 433
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2009 12:56 pm
Location: Manchester

Re: Bean to cup machine recommendations please

Postby bruceb » Wed Jan 13, 2016 11:13 am

dr.chris wrote:I believe you can get rechargeable/refillable coffee pods. Maybe that is the way to go

A friend mentioned that to me yesterday and I reminded him that one still needed a good grinder and you need to grind and fill the pod each time you want to use it or the coffee will be stale anyway.
I think the best way to get a good cup of coffee (aside from going to a good café) is to either use a simple pour-over filter or an Aeropress and grind the beans fresh with a good grinder. A Technivorm machine and grinder are also a good solution. However if a person is not willing to regularly (at least every fortnight) buy good, freshly roasted beans it's pretty much unimportant how they brew the coffee. I proved to myself that pre-ground Lavazza (and even the beans freshly ground) don't taste any better when used with a high-tech commercial espresso machine than using a mocha pot.
Three Francesconi (CMA) espresso machines - Rossi, San Marco, LaCimbali, Faema and 2 Mazzer Major grinders- CoffeeTech Maggionlino, Hottop, Alpenröst and HW Precision roasters.
I decided I needed a bit of a change so I roasted some Monsooned Malabar. That was a change!
Image
User avatar
bruceb
 
Posts: 5363
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2004 12:49 pm
Location: Northern Hesse, Germany

Re: Bean to cup machine recommendations please

Postby Coffee Mate » Fri Apr 15, 2016 1:39 pm

Maybe machine is bought already, but if not... Automatic coffee machines with grinder are the best for people who like coffee but don't like to prepare it. Especially, if they are not gourmets. First, have to know, what kind of coffee (black or white) they like. If black, can pick from machines with mechanic cappuccinatore. If with milk, better will be full automatic. Most popular brends are DeLonghi, Krups, Siemens/Bosh, Nivona and Jura. Jura has new extraction system (P.E.P.©) and good grinder Aroma+.
User avatar
Coffee Mate
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2016 1:09 pm

Re: Bean to cup machine recommendations please

Postby CoffeeTooMuch » Wed Nov 02, 2016 3:37 pm

Check this up...

Mod's Edit: Removed links to single external website. Excessive promotion of own site to the point of exclusion of content in post.
CoffeeTooMuch
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:51 am

Re: Bean to cup machine recommendations please

Postby CakeBoy » Sat Nov 05, 2016 10:30 am

Welcome to TMC, CoffeeTooMuch, it is always good to see new members. It has not gone unnoticed, however, that every one of your five posts so far has contained a link to your own website which has a remarkably similar name to our own. It would be nice to see you take the time to introduce yourself in the members' area and regularly post without links as you initially integrate. I would hate there to be any misunderstanding as to your presence.
www.CakeBoy.co.uk
International muffin blagger

Iberital L'Anna 1 Gp Hand-Fill | Wega Orion 2 Gp | Bezzera 1 Gp | Rancilio Audrey PID | Spidem Trevi
Iberital MC2 Timed | Macap M4 DS & MXA DS | Mazzer SJ | Starbucks Barista Grinder (Dualit E60/Solis 166)
Pinhalense 2x500g Gas Batch/Sample Roaster | Gene Cafe | IMEX CR-100
Aerobie | eSantos | Zassenhaus | Bodum P/Over | Chemex | Hario Woodneck | Timer Filter
User avatar
CakeBoy
 
Posts: 9971
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2005 10:43 pm
Location: Oxfordshire, England


Return to Espresso

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Google [Bot] and 3 guests

cron