Dual coffee/espresso makers

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FedGuy
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Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2010 3:36 pm

Dual coffee/espresso makers

Post by FedGuy »

Can anyone recommend a fairly basic machine that would make both coffee and espresso? I'm trying to accommodate different preferences among my frequent guests. Having said that, none of us are exactly connoisseurs, and we don't have the time or patience to futz with too many settings or the refined palate to require anything high-end. I already have something for those rare occasions when someone wants steamed or frothed milk, so in the interests of minimizing space and avoiding redundancy I'd prefer a machine that doesn't already have a steamer/frother included.

Also, in the interest of avoiding getting locked into a specific ecosystem (and in avoiding getting flack from my environmentalist friends), I'd prefer to avoid K-cup and similar systems.

Does something like that even exist? I've been looking for a while but haven't seen anything like this.

Thanks!
02nz
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Re: Dual coffee/espresso makers

Post by 02nz »

No inexpensive system I know can do what you describe. The Nespresso VertuoLine system has capsules for both espresso and regular coffee. Their Original Line is espresso only but you could just dilute with water. Nespresso has a very good recycling system (prepaid bags or drop off at Williams Sonoma and Sur la Table). The capsules aren’t cheap but the output is good to very good, and you can’t beat it for convenience.
quantAndHold
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Re: Dual coffee/espresso makers

Post by quantAndHold »

There are things like that, but they tend to be expensive, take up a lot of counter space, and are not necessarily as good as two separate machines.

If you already have a way of frothing milk, just get a regular coffee maker and an aeropress. Use the aeropress for espresso.

Actually, come to think of it, you could use the aeropress for regular coffee, too, if you are okay with making 1 cup at a time.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
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CaliJim
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Re: Dual coffee/espresso makers

Post by CaliJim »

we make due with pour over drip, an old style stove top espresso maker, microwave to heat the milk, and bonjour frother
mocha pot: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01M05REJH (like, works well)
frother: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GMDOUHS (finiky on/off switch. sometimes needs percussive maintenance)
-calijim- | | For more info, click this Wiki
Keepcalm
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Re: Dual coffee/espresso makers

Post by Keepcalm »

never mind...next time ill read the entire post haha.
Bob Loblaw
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Re: Dual coffee/espresso makers

Post by Bob Loblaw »

I know you said you already have a separate frother/steamer, but we have a Ninja Coffee Bar system. Works great.
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snackdog
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Re: Dual coffee/espresso makers

Post by snackdog »

Unless you are running a restaurant and taking requests from fussy customers, you are free to choose and provide what you like. You are not expected to invest in a different kitchen gadget to satisfy each individual guest. Get what you need for you and offer the same to them, nothing more. Too many people waste money on nonsense (home, car, gadgets) to satisfy the apparent needs of others.

By the way, an espresso machine IS a coffee maker. It will make espresso and if you dilute an espresso shot with extra water, voila, you have an Americano.
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tyrion
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Re: Dual coffee/espresso makers

Post by tyrion »

I just got a Nespresso Pixie after searching for something to complement my Aeropress.

The Aeropress makes a solid cup of coffee, but I'm a little sporadic with my use so it's hard to keep fresh coffee in the house. And I find it hard to make that second cup, with all of the connecting of pieces and heating of water and .... well, it's not really hard, but it's sometimes more than I'm willing to take on.

The Nespresso makes a pretty good expresso, and while it doesn't make a true cup of coffee you can set one of the 2 buttons to make an Americano which is pretty close to a regular cup of coffee. Pods are not inexpensive, but on the Originaline Nespresso capsules you can buy them from other companies. They are aluminum and they will send you a bag (includes free shipping) to send them in to recycle. Lots of flavors available, so you can offer a variety to guests - including decaf. And it's really easy to use.

Detailed review:
https://www.thecoffeemaven.com/nespresso-pixie-review/
02nz
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Re: Dual coffee/espresso makers

Post by 02nz »

tyrion wrote: Thu Dec 27, 2018 2:58 pm I just got a Nespresso Pixie after searching for something to complement my Aeropress.

The Aeropress makes a solid cup of coffee, but I'm a little sporadic with my use so it's hard to keep fresh coffee in the house. And I find it hard to make that second cup, with all of the connecting of pieces and heating of water and .... well, it's not really hard, but it's sometimes more than I'm willing to take on.

The Nespresso makes a pretty good expresso, and while it doesn't make a true cup of coffee you can set one of the 2 buttons to make an Americano which is pretty close to a regular cup of coffee. Pods are not inexpensive, but on the Originaline Nespresso capsules you can buy them from other companies. They are aluminum and they will send you a bag (includes free shipping) to send them in to recycle. Lots of flavors available, so you can offer a variety to guests - including decaf. And it's really easy to use.

Detailed review:
https://www.thecoffeemaven.com/nespresso-pixie-review/
The Pixie is a nice-looking machine but is typically more expensive than the entry-level Inissia or Essenza Mini, which are usually under $100. Note that even according to Nespresso there's no difference in the coffee that comes out. The Essenza Mini is extremely compact and a real looker, esp. in red or green.
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tyrion
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Re: Dual coffee/espresso makers

Post by tyrion »

02nz wrote: Thu Dec 27, 2018 3:22 pm
tyrion wrote: Thu Dec 27, 2018 2:58 pm I just got a Nespresso Pixie after searching for something to complement my Aeropress.

The Aeropress makes a solid cup of coffee, but I'm a little sporadic with my use so it's hard to keep fresh coffee in the house. And I find it hard to make that second cup, with all of the connecting of pieces and heating of water and .... well, it's not really hard, but it's sometimes more than I'm willing to take on.

The Nespresso makes a pretty good expresso, and while it doesn't make a true cup of coffee you can set one of the 2 buttons to make an Americano which is pretty close to a regular cup of coffee. Pods are not inexpensive, but on the Originaline Nespresso capsules you can buy them from other companies. They are aluminum and they will send you a bag (includes free shipping) to send them in to recycle. Lots of flavors available, so you can offer a variety to guests - including decaf. And it's really easy to use.

Detailed review:
https://www.thecoffeemaven.com/nespresso-pixie-review/
The Pixie is a nice-looking machine but is typically more expensive than the entry-level Inissia or Essenza Mini, which are usually under $100. Note that even according to Nespresso there's no difference in the coffee that comes out. The Essenza Mini is extremely compact and a real looker, esp. in red or green.
Totally agree, but I'm a sucker for appearances and the 'made in Switzerland' on the bottom. But you are correct, the other models would be even cheaper and work just as well. Thanks for pointing that out.
adamthesmythe
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Re: Dual coffee/espresso makers

Post by adamthesmythe »

snackdog wrote: Thu Dec 27, 2018 2:46 pm Unless you are running a restaurant and taking requests from fussy customers, you are free to choose and provide what you like.
I would not spend money to have espresso unless I (or a family member) used it regularly.

For after-dinner, a more or less acceptable espresso can be made in a drip coffee maker by using...espresso blend.
Topic Author
FedGuy
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Re: Dual coffee/espresso makers

Post by FedGuy »

Hi, everyone. OP here. Thank you very much for your thoughts.

A friend of mine also recommended the Aeropress, so I'll ask him to demonstrate next time I'm over at his place. I'll also take a closer look at the other machines you guys recommended.

Bob, I looked at the Ninjas, but there are so many different models that I more or less gave up in frustration. Also, can I assume you load the beans into the top? They seem to be fairly tall machines and, while I've already measured and see that one of them would (barely) fit under my cabinets, if it needs to be loaded from the top that might not work so well in my space.

Thanks again. Happy New Year, everyone!
Nearly A Moose
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Re: Dual coffee/espresso makers

Post by Nearly A Moose »

I'm inferring from your comments you're looking for a pod type system. If so, I'd suggest a Nespresso. Pretty good coffee given the inherent constraints in pods, and you can just brew a shot and add hot water to make an Americano, which is close enough to a traditionally brewed coffee that your guests should be fine. And you buy an inexpensive pourover holder if you want to make a brewed coffee. That said, as someone else said, it's your home, not a hotel, so buy the machine that makes what *you* like to drink. If your guests complain, maybe they shouldn't be guests in the future, or they should offer to bring in lattes as a thank you! If you like drip coffee, strongly consider the Oxo On Barista Brain 9 cup maker(despite the really stupid name). It does a very good job of hitting the proper temperature and brews a nice cup of coffee. It's fast enough you can run it twice if you have a crowd.
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.
rj49
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Re: Dual coffee/espresso makers

Post by rj49 »

I'd go with a Nespresso also. You can get a combo deal that includes an Aeroccino frother, which is easy to use and have attachments for lattes and cappucinos. If you want to save money on capsules, Amazon sells a variety pack under their Solimo brand (Trader Joe's also sells Nespresso-compatible capsules now for a good price).

If guests can't handle an Americano and want regular coffee, a simple space-saving option is a Clever coffee dripper, under $20 on Amazon. You simply put a filter and coffee inside, add hot water, put on a lid and let it steep, and then put it on top of a mug, which causes the plastic device on the bottom to open and let out the coffee. It's much easier and less hassle than an Aeropress or regular pourover coffee, and easy to adjust steep time to make very strong coffee. When finished, just throw out the filter and coffee, no cleaning or mess, as with the Aeropress or a French press and no counter space waste.
goodlifer
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Re: Dual coffee/espresso makers

Post by goodlifer »

I bought a Saeco superautomatic machine a few years ago because it was supposed to make espresso and coffee. It is sitting in the basement because the Americano it makes is gross. There is too much water and no one liked it. It is also very loud and needs a lot more attention than a coffee pot. It has its own cleaning schedule and needs a cleaning kit. I have a decent coffee maker and a Bialetti 6 cup moka pot. By "cup", it means a demitasse cup, so I get maybe 2 coffee mugs worth if I make lattes. There are 12 cup models available. It makes a very rich tasting brew. I either put some in a coffee mug and make a latte or put a shot in an espresso glass straight. People love it.
tigermilk
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Re: Dual coffee/espresso makers

Post by tigermilk »

Get an espresso machine, and if someone wants "coffee" make an Americano manually.
Dottie57
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Re: Dual coffee/espresso makers

Post by Dottie57 »

tigermilk wrote: Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:47 pm Get an espresso machine, and if someone wants "coffee" make an Americano manually.
This. Makes a great cup.
Topic Author
FedGuy
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Re: Dual coffee/espresso makers

Post by FedGuy »

Thanks, everyone. As I said in my initial post, my instinct is to avoid k-cup and similar systems, which would include Nespressos, because I want to avoid getting locked into a specific ecosystem and because of the environmental concerns. But given some of the recent posts, it might be worth visiting the "local" Nespresso store (which is a bit of a hike from me, but doable), talking to the sales people, and tasting some samples. Thanks again.
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