Coffee bean grinder

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Topic Author
rjbraun
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Coffee bean grinder

Post by rjbraun »

Inadvertently bought coffee beans instead of ground coffee. This has now happens twice. :oops:

We kept the receipts and figured that we could bring the unopened packages back to the store for grinding. But, the beans are from two different grocers so it's kind of a nuisance, especially during Covid.

I noticed that a basic bean grinder isn't so expensive and figured that it might be easier to just buy a grinder. Even if we only use it for these two bag of beans, for under $20 it seems worth it. And, who knows, maybe we will become converts and start buying beans.

Of course, in my quick online research I see that burr grinders are viewed as far superior to blade grinders. But I'm trying to not get carried away here. While we enjoy a good cup of coffee, we've managed fine all these years with pre-ground coffee. Also, we have little free counter or cabinet storage space, so any appliance needs to be small. Last but not least, I want something that is easy-to-use and doesn't leave ground coffee all over the place.

This Mr. Coffee grinder seems to be easier to clean than the Krups model, which is slightly cheaper. Also, I think the Mr. Coffee has more grind settings than the Krups.

https://www.amazon.com/Mr-Coffee-Electr ... 168&sr=8-6

https://www.amazon.com/KRUPS-Electric-C ... 168&sr=8-4

Frankly, I don't even know the difference between the blade and the burr grind, other than the latter is supposed to be so much better. And so much more money, which I don't feel like spending. Some online review source, though, seemed to give high marks for this relatively inexpensive Krups burr grinder. Is it worth the extra $30 or so?

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Krups-8-oz- ... qUR2w1a3k0

Should we get one of these? Or should we just put the beans aside for now until it's safe to shop again. Or maybe we wait to give the beans to someone who likes to grind beans daily for their coffee. :confused

Edit: looks like the Krups burr grinder isn't available, anyway :x

Well, here's another burr grinder for under $50:

https://www.amazon.com/SHARDOR-Electric ... 67&sr=8-16
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WoodSpinner
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Re: Coffee bean grinder

Post by WoodSpinner »

OP,

How do you prepare your coffee?

WoodSpinner
JohnFiscal
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Re: Coffee bean grinder

Post by JohnFiscal »

We've used several types of "cheap" grinders, including some like you show at Amazon, as well as some hand-operated burr grinders.

The blade grinders "pulverize" the product (as I read it described once), whereas the burr grinder actually grinds the product the way that old-time mils ground wheat into flour. The result from burr grinders is a more consistent product (ground coffee, ground wheat, etc). But the ground coffee from either type of grinder is probably not suitable for a drip or percolator; it'll be suitable for some sort of press or the paper cone drip.

We now have a "budget" $400 coffee bean grinder and it works really great. Oddly enough, we use this with a $29 Aeropress coffee maker (which is great).

But having used the blade type I will say that they produce adequate finely ground coffee for use in a press, etc.

But for drip, you'll need very coarse ground. I don't know if the blade type will do that.

idea: While you're at Amazon, get a cheap Aeropress kit and try it with your powdery-ground coffee. It's great!
Topic Author
rjbraun
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Re: Coffee bean grinder

Post by rjbraun »

WoodSpinner wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:24 pm OP,

How do you prepare your coffee?

WoodSpinner
I guess it would be described as electric drip coffee? We use an electric coffee maker with #4 paper filter.

Eta: It's a Braun coffee maker, if that makes a difference. A real workhorse of a coffee maker that has lasted forever, btw!
Topic Author
rjbraun
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Re: Coffee bean grinder

Post by rjbraun »

JohnFiscal wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:26 pm<snip>
idea: While you're at Amazon, get a cheap Aeropress kit and try it with your powdery-ground coffee. It's great!
Thanks, but trying hard to not get carried away with things and end up with a lot of kitchen / coffee paraphernalia. :wink:
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jabberwockOG
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Re: Coffee bean grinder

Post by jabberwockOG »

- burr grinder - decent ones cost apprx $100 and up.

https://www.amazon.com/Capresso-560-01- ... 6WJW1&th=1
Last edited by jabberwockOG on Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
redstar
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Re: Coffee bean grinder

Post by redstar »

As a coffee nerd, I would recommend a burr grinder if you would be willing to spring for it. Just because those (if they are good) will grind the coffee to a consistent particle size, helping to get exactly the right amount of oils out of the beans into your coffee. I use Seattle Coffee Gear, /r/coffee, and Specialty Coffee Association for gear reviews.

If you can find it, the Capresso Infinity should be available on sale from some stores in the $75-$90 price range. This is the cheapest burr grinder I have seen recommended on /r/coffee, at least the cheapest one that is electric.

If you want to stay burr but go even cheaper, you could look at hand grinders. It takes 2-3 minutes of hand grinding for 1 cup of coffee, usually. The models I recommend are the Hario Mini Slim or Porlex Mini. I own these for traveling or camping. Although I wouldn't recommend the Porlex for traveling, as the TSA always has to inspect it.

If you are willing to spend a bit more, get a Baratza Encore. These are maybe $100-$130, and are consistently the most recommended entry level burr grinder. I bought mine refurbished on the manufacturer site, and I believe they add more refurbished inventory on Thursday mornings.

You can go really deep and really expensive on coffee. But honestly the most important things you can change for a better cup are:
1) Buy freshly roasted beans (roasted <2 weeks ago). If the bag doesn't have a roast date, then they don't care enough and you should find another brand.
2) Grind right before you brew. The rule of thumb is that green (unroasted) coffee lasts 15 months, roasted coffee lasts 15 days, and ground coffee lasts 15 minutes (due to more surface area exposed to air).
Last edited by redstar on Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
atikovi
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Re: Coffee bean grinder

Post by atikovi »

Just take a handful with you to Starbucks and ask the girl if she will make a cup of coffee with those for you. Discreetly flash a dollar bill in front of her when you do.
MJS
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Re: Coffee bean grinder

Post by MJS »

Get a cheap blade grinder. If the experience and quality is worth upgrading, you'll know. If not, a blade grinder is also good for grinding herbs & spices, making small batches of rice or oatmeal flour, or converting granulated sugar to icing sugar. But save your money unless you really want to upgrade your grinder, your coffee beans, your bean storage system, and your coffee making device.
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Bogle7
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Baratza

Post by Bogle7 »

redstar wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:53 pm get a Baratza Encore. These are maybe $100-$130, and are consistently the most recommended entry level burr grinder.
+1
We had one for years until we moved into the espresso phase.
Cycle
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Re: Coffee bean grinder

Post by Cycle »

every couple of years a conical burr grinder shows up in the aldi Finds aisle. I've been using mine for years now for french press or pour over. It was $20.
Never look back unless you are planning to go that way
DSInvestor
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Re: Coffee bean grinder

Post by DSInvestor »

Here's a video on coffee grinders from America's Test Kitchen:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7LAzSKgeoQ

Many of the grinders mentioned in this thread are discussed in the video.
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redstar
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Re: Coffee bean grinder

Post by redstar »

DSInvestor wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:24 pm Here's a video on coffee grinders from America's Test Kitchen:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7LAzSKgeoQ

Many of the grinders mentioned in this thread are discussed in the video.
Thanks for this link! I will recommend this video whenever someone asks me about coffee grinders from now on.

If you don't want to watch it, here's a summary. They tested a bunch of grinders for usability and grind particle size. They found the burr grinders had better particle sizes. When they did blind taste tests with both coffee drinkers and coffee experts, however, they found that there were flavor differences, but the testers were split on which they liked the best. Coffee experts probably like burr grinders because they are hands off (literally, while grinding) and have precise settings to tweak, while blade grinders often have one button and need to be shaken during the process to get beans into the blades.

Overall, they make three recommendations:
1. Favorite Burr Grinder - Baratza Encore
2. Best Buy - Capresso Infinity
3. Favorite Blade Grinder - Krups Coffee and Spice Grinder
Wings5
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Re: Coffee bean grinder

Post by Wings5 »

+1 for the burr grinder right out of the gate. You may save like $8 by getting the blade grinder, then then you'll have a sunk cost and not want to spend $50 worth on two grinders.
inbox788
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Re: Coffee bean grinder

Post by inbox788 »

MJS wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:12 pm Get a cheap blade grinder. If the experience and quality is worth upgrading, you'll know. If not, a blade grinder is also good for grinding herbs & spices, making small batches of rice or oatmeal flour, or converting granulated sugar to icing sugar. But save your money unless you really want to upgrade your grinder, your coffee beans, your bean storage system, and your coffee making device.
+1

I have a Krupp grinder that's rarely used. Looks just like the one you linked and I've had it for decades. It's a backup for spices if I ever need that, but you have to be willing to have coffee flavored spices or spiced flavored coffee if you mix what you grind. It's probably one of the smallest units around and stores away easily, which is what you want if you're not using it often.

My daily driver is a Breville espresso with built in grinder that's been going strong for over a year. Do not ask about what espresso machine to buy, or folks will try to talk you into buying the ideal grinder first.

https://www.seattlecoffeegear.com/grind ... o-grinders
pseudoiterative
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Re: Coffee bean grinder

Post by pseudoiterative »

redstar wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:53 pm If you want to stay burr but go even cheaper, you could look at hand grinders. It takes 2-3 minutes of hand grinding for 1 cup of coffee, usually. The models I recommend are the Hario Mini Slim or Porlex Mini.
I had a similar journey to OP: inadvertently bought coffee beans instead of ground coffee. First I tried buying some cheap hand grinder but it had a poor design: the handle would repeatedly come off during grinding. Got a refund for that and bought a Porlex Mini hand grinder instead - it's a nice little machine. I make coffee in a plunger and hand grind 1 porlex mini full of beans faster than it takes the kettle to boil 1L of water. The manual grinding became part of the coffee ritual.
Jim85
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Re: Coffee bean grinder

Post by Jim85 »

I have a Krups blade grinder almost identical to the 17.99 one that is linked. It's been 35 years and still going strong but don't use it as much as I used to. Never had an issue using the grounds in a electric drip coffee maker. Some people think I'm a coffee snob but based on the other recommendations here I'm not even close!
CycloRista
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Re: Coffee bean grinder

Post by CycloRista »

DSInvestor wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:24 pm Here's a video on coffee grinders from America's Test Kitchen:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7LAzSKgeoQ

Many of the grinders mentioned in this thread are discussed in the video.
Awesome video.

I had a Krups blade grinder long ago that worked reasonably well for single cups of pour-over coffee. It was a bit small and sort of a pain to grind enough coffee to make pots at a time.

Moved up to the Capresso to make pots of drip coffee and fire espresso shots in a low-end Gaggia cappuccino machine.

A fried of mine bought a higher-end Baratza (~$400) to use with the same model Gaggia. It worked well other than he broke one of the plastic bits within a few weeks.

When I upgraded to an Expobar espresso/cappuccino machine, it became apparent that the Capresso could not grind consistently or fine enough. I liked the Baratza's but decided to go for a larger and more expensive all analog/manual adjustment Mazzer (~$600) grinder which has been a workhorse for the last ~6 years.

Mazzer has a very spiffy high end digital grinder (in the $5k range as I recall) which adjusts the grind to the micron level! ...Not most if any of us here need that level of granularity :D
mw1739
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Re: Coffee bean grinder

Post by mw1739 »

I've had the same Krups blade grinder linked above for 4 years. The grind is somewhat inconsistent but it works well enough for me, but I'm not a coffee snob.
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WoodSpinner
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Re: Coffee bean grinder

Post by WoodSpinner »

MJS wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:12 pm Get a cheap blade grinder. If the experience and quality is worth upgrading, you'll know. If not, a blade grinder is also good for grinding herbs & spices, making small batches of rice or oatmeal flour, or converting granulated sugar to icing sugar. But save your money unless you really want to upgrade your grinder, your coffee beans, your bean storage system, and your coffee making device.
+1
David Althaus
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Re: Coffee bean grinder

Post by David Althaus »

You might consider an OXO. All their stuff is well thought out and mine works great. Cleaning once per month is simple and gets rid of accumulated gunk. Bought on Amazon and as I recall the price was around $80.

All the best
jjbychko
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Re: Coffee bean grinder

Post by jjbychko »

I was gifted a Baratza Encore burr grinder. I had previously used my magic bullet. I like the burr grinder. Its more consistent, quieter and has continuous adjustment for the grind, although the magic bullet works. I use mine for drip coffee every morning. Its like a hobby and love the smell of fresh ground.
redstar
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Re: Coffee bean grinder

Post by redstar »

Jim85 wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 5:44 am Some people think I'm a coffee snob but based on the other recommendations here I'm not even close!
Yeah, coffee can take you down a dark path... If you aren't looking for a hobby, maybe just buy the cheap blade grinder and never look at the burr grinders again. Once you get "into" coffee, you will spend a lot of money (grinders, espresso machine, roaster, etc).
fallingeggs
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Re: Coffee bean grinder

Post by fallingeggs »

While I'm a slight coffee nerd (it's my second day with my new Baratza Sette grinder, at $550, and I couldn't be happier!) a blade grinder is probably enough for those that just want to make a regular drip coffee and that have been find with pre-ground before. It will be such a big leap in quality, that you probably won't even notice the additional benefits of a burr grinder.

You really want a burr grinder when you want to very the strength (ie, extraction levels) of the coffee with any real level of control and/or you get into pour overs, french presses, aeropresses, etc. By this point, you're weighting the coffee and water down to the gram and timing the whole process. It's well beyond the "I just need a coffee in the morning" and into the hobby / art territory. It's enjoyable, but not required.
UnLearnYourself
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Re: Coffee bean grinder

Post by UnLearnYourself »

Breville Smart Grinder...has a hopper with a gasket that I think maintains freshness just fine. Super consistent grind = consistent cup (IF you brew with consistent water temps!)

Bonavita Coffee Brewer...super consistent temp and brew every time. It has a setting that replicates the pour over by having a brief 'bloom's phase before releasing the rest of the water.

This combo gives me the best cup of coffee I can find without the hassle of more hands on approaches.
tm3
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Re: Coffee bean grinder

Post by tm3 »

Baratza grinders are often rated highly in comparison tests, and they can be user-rebuilt to some extent when parts wear out. I've got one that is over 20 years old and is still kicking.

However, like many other things the construction quality has declined in recent years. The 2nd Baratza that I bought failed just after the 1 year warranty had expired. The replacement motor that I bought did not work. After a lot of shipping back and forth and emailing I ended up with a reconditioned replacement that has done well. Baratza customer service is good.

So, if I were you I would buy a blade grinder. Might be all you ever need/want. If you move on to a Baratza, you'll need the blade grinder as a backup for when the Baratza fails.
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rjbraun
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Re: Coffee bean grinder

Post by rjbraun »

redstar wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:31 am
Jim85 wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 5:44 am Some people think I'm a coffee snob but based on the other recommendations here I'm not even close!
Yeah, coffee can take you down a dark path... If you aren't looking for a hobby, maybe just buy the cheap blade grinder and never look at the burr grinders again. Once you get "into" coffee, you will spend a lot of money (grinders, espresso machine, roaster, etc).
This.

I appreciate all the helpful input and have definitely learned some stuff in the process. That said, I knew going into this that whatever decision short of going all out would likely come up short, at least to coffee connoisseurs.

Still, there's no way that we will be replenishing freshly roasted beans every two weeks, so if that and a bunch of other stuff isn't going to happen, I agree that going the blade grinder route makes sense.

At this point, I'm just trying to salvage the roughly $30 we have spent in whole beans. And I agree with the posters who suggest that this could be a first-step into a more serious pursuit in the future of a good cup of coffee. In the meantime, as another poster said, we may find the blade ground coffee such a step up from pre-ground that we may already be satisfied. Ha!

I don't rule out that we later become more serious about our coffee and start acquiring various stuff. I'm just not up for it now. Besides, it's really H who is more into coffee, and he is okay with pre-ground (albeit somewhat picky within this category) for now so I would just as soon leave well enough alone. :happy

Now ... just need to decide between the Mr Coffee and Krups blade grinder. I'm leaning towards Mr Coffee given the three-grind options and the reported easier cleaning. Slightly larger size is a drawback, though.

Any experience or thoughts on either model?

https://www.amazon.com/Mr-Coffee-Electr ... 898&sr=8-1

https://www.amazon.com/KRUPS-Electric-C ... 168&sr=8-4
HawkeyePierce
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Re: Coffee bean grinder

Post by HawkeyePierce »

Even the entry level Baratza grinders will last forever, plus their service is excellent. I've had the same one for a decade now and it's still going strong.
DSInvestor
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Re: Coffee bean grinder

Post by DSInvestor »

rjbraun wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 11:21 am Any experience or thoughts on either model?

https://www.amazon.com/Mr-Coffee-Electr ... 898&sr=8-1

https://www.amazon.com/KRUPS-Electric-C ... 168&sr=8-4
I have not used the Mr Coffee grinder but have used the Krups one. I like it and it's small. The America's test kitchen video in the post above has it as the best blade grinder in their tests. Smaller and less expensive and IMO, probably the best bet to salvage the $30 that you've spent on whole beans. You may enjoy it and find that you'll continue to buy whole beans going forward. Enjoy!
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cleansparks
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Re: Coffee bean grinder

Post by cleansparks »

Second the OXO grinder. I have one that I use daily and really like it. https://www.oxo.com/conical-burr-coffee-grinder.html
David Althaus wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 8:30 am You might consider an OXO. All their stuff is well thought out and mine works great. Cleaning once per month is simple and gets rid of accumulated gunk. Bought on Amazon and as I recall the price was around $80.

All the best
inbox788
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Re: Coffee bean grinder

Post by inbox788 »

CycloRista wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 5:47 amMazzer has a very spiffy high end digital grinder (in the $5k range as I recall) which adjusts the grind to the micron level! ...Not most if any of us here need that level of granularity :D
Wow, how often do you change the HEPA filters?
Pigeon
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Re: Coffee bean grinder

Post by Pigeon »

MJS wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:12 pm Get a cheap blade grinder. If the experience and quality is worth upgrading, you'll know. If not, a blade grinder is also good for grinding herbs & spices, making small batches of rice or oatmeal flour, or converting granulated sugar to icing sugar. But save your money unless you really want to upgrade your grinder, your coffee beans, your bean storage system, and your coffee making device.
This. I used a relatively inexpensive blade grinder for years, when I wanted to grind whole beans. I recently got a nice conical burr grinder. Honestly, I don't see a huge amount of difference in the taste.
megabad
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Re: Coffee bean grinder

Post by megabad »

I have an old version of the Krups grinder you posted and it works fine. If you aren’t going to make grinding a daily affair, I wouldn’t spend more than that ($15 or so). If you move to whole bean permanently and grind everyday, than I would heed the advice in prior posts about the more expensive grinders. I use the Krups when I run my late day rush cups of cheap coffee. If I am making a fancy brew on the weekend I will use a better burr grinder.
Topic Author
rjbraun
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Re: Coffee bean grinder

Post by rjbraun »

Just placed an order for the Krups blade grinder. Looking forward to the aroma of freshly ground beans and a fresh pot of coffee.

The America's Test Kitchen's video reviewing various burr and blade grinders was super informative, but I am definitely not ready to go all-in on coffee brewing now. I think the $14 Krups grinder is the perfect entree for us, at this point.

Thanks again for all the helpful input!
CycloRista
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Re: Coffee bean grinder

Post by CycloRista »

inbox788 wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:15 pm
CycloRista wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 5:47 amMazzer has a very spiffy high end digital grinder (in the $5k range as I recall) which adjusts the grind to the micron level! ...Not most if any of us here need that level of granularity :D
Wow, how often do you change the HEPA filters?
I'm more of a big picture sort with a good smattering of frugality/practicality in the genes :wink:

Replace the furnace filter ever month or two. Based on recommendation from my long-time HVAC guy, only use the standard issue furnace filters that are compatible with my aging basement beast.

Also, I did not plumb my espresso/cappuccino machine (even though it has that capability... more importantly the ones in the >$1k and up range have all brass seals so they can be left on for hours on end with no problem and tend to operate for many trouble free years).

I fill my machine with water every couple of days from a filtered water pitcher.
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