After a bit of market research,I recently treated myself to a coffee machine via mail order. This one was made by Cuisinart, they describe it as a ‘grind and brew’; the machine was able, it said, to use beans and pre-ground coffee. There was a glass serving jug and the machine itself had a neat design. 🙂

Because the ‘grinder’ was designed to form part of the water piping system to the coffee filter, it was necessary to dry out the ‘grinder’ after making coffee whether the ‘grinder’ was used or nor. :-/

You only needed the filter for coffee produced from pre-ground packs of coffee, but as said, all the gizmos associated with making coffee got wet, irrespective of what type of coffee was made.

Beans, good quality beans, did not work well at all, the end product, coffee, had a distasteful flavour. You might consider this strange. I thought it odd, and so, set about trying out different approaches to creating a decent brew, like, using less or more coffee beans,less or more water, and filtering more slowly to extract flavour.

The crunch came when I brewed a number of cups from the good beans, when I had visitors. The coffee tasted really peculiar, no-one finished their cups and everyone politely refused top ups. :??:

I have a coffee bean grinder which is more than twenty six years old. Using it, I did the experiment and ground some beans, The resulting grind was then transferred to the machine for filtering. Guess what! My coffee tasted like it should have, and why, because this grind and brew machine was okay only functioning as a basic filter coffee machine, an expensive one at that.

When I queried the abilities of the new machine, I was told the ‘grinder’ chopped, 88| it did not grind. This was a surprising revelation! Why then is it marketed as a ‘grind and brew’? It chops and brews. Had I realised this, I would not have bought the machine. Chopping and brewing…. now I know why the machine produced an unpleasant coffee drink when coffee beans were used; it seems to me, the marketing of the machine relies on ignorance. It is just an expensive coffee filter machine with a chopper in it.

If anyone wishes to grind their own beans when they make a filter coffee brew then use a real bean grinder made for the job, a burr grinder, manual or electric; or, take a jug and use a filter for your ground beans, or, use a cafetiere, or buy a basic coffee filter machine. These are much more economic options for obtaining an enjoyable cup coffee than the machine I tried out.



0 thoughts on “FILTERING COFFEE

  1. I bought a coffee machine for Christmas. It cost around £10 – does a great job and at that price I was extremely pleased. Sometimes the old adage, “You get what you pay for,” is completely wrong. Sometimes cheap is indeed cheerful. Sorry to hear you got stung with this model 😦 It is annoying when that happens.

  2. How infuriating. I hate it when I do lots of research and order something that seems just the job, then it turns out to be sub-standard! Will you complain?

  3. We use a small oven top percolator with bought ground beans, brews two espressos each and tastes lovely…:) Yours was a reasonable price though even if it only chopped…LOL…really can’t see the point of chopped beans..;) Have a lovely rest of the day…GBHs…XXX

  4. Hello Banana,

    Thanks for calling in.

    Your general point, I would wholeheartedly agree with.

    I did buy a little economic machine in the New Year. However, there was a plastic part, an essential one that was rather fragile, and I was not willing to take the risk of using the machine. It was returned. On the strength of that I looked for something more robust and the one described in my post appeared to be an interesting alternative…the rest is history.

  5. The machine is on its way back to the retailer. I have had conversations with them about the machine and made suggestions to them. The title description is not the retailer’s, however, the product will reflect on their buyers and ‘sales floor’ judgement, and ultimately on the reputation of the business. And likewise, any other retailer with a good track record for that matter, that stocks this machine.

  6. Hi Bushka,

    All-in-one is fine if it is properly designed to do the job.

    My brew this morning with alternative facilities, was great. I just made a bit too much of it. Lots of other fluid is now called for. No more coffee today!


  7. No, I think my proposed purchase was over-priced for a filter machine. If the grinder had truly ground beans and not chopped them I would never have written the post.

    I can’t see the point of good coffee beans – or any- being chopped either.

    We have a similar pot to yours; I used to use it a lot. I tend not to do too much espresso these days.


  8. Grinding coffee beans is usually done with what is called a burr grinder. (I’ve just learnt this). I guess you could look it up to see what the workings look like. My very old coffee grinder, apparently, is one of those. It has five settings for a variety of fineness. Newer ones may have more options. There are manual coffee grinders, lovely looking things, where you turn a handle when you have put your beans into the little hopper. They look a bit like a manual meat mincer. I have never closely examined one of these.

    A chopper, is like the ones used in kitchens for herbs, they have a couple of blades. They don’t create fine powdery textures.

    If you buy a grinder, specify you want a coffee grinder.


  9. That is a smashing coffee emoticon!

    The dedicated all-in-ones are called bean-to-cup machines. They are quite pricey and vary in their range of pricing, sometimes according to size, and their engineering.

  10. Sorry to hear you have retail issues. I hate taking faulty things back because I invariably get in a slagging match with any sales people who give me any lip regarding returns policies and the law.
    We use an old wooden coffee grinder I bought for ƒ10 in a kringloopwinkel (second handshop) in Apeldoorn in 1999, in mint condition. Our coffee maker is a basic Tesco’s own make £11.95 with a reuseable filter. We also have an small tin percolator and a single cup espresso pot.
    We use Douwe Egberts coffee mainly but Taylors of Harrogate and some Fairtrade stuff we got from Lidl was also quite good. We also have a Senseo machine and we bring pods back from Holland, my favourite is mokka but we also have mild & dark roast. We buy bulk bags of 50 from Jumbo, Dirk van den Broek or Albert Hein.

  11. Hi Lilian1.

    As far as the manufacturer is concerned, the machine probably did operate as they planned. It was not an option for someone who enjoys a decent flavoured cup of coffee. Choppers can and do affect aroma and flavour, I have since discovered. There is very much less likelihood of that happening with a burr grinder.

  12. Mine was a mail order item. There has not really been any issue with the retailer, other than I do wish they had been more knowledgeable at the outset. Even so, you need to be knowledgeable to know what questions to ask, Mick. I am now more knowledgeable, after the event.

    Hubby showed me a wonderful old tubular brass burr grinder today, he keeps with his workshop gizmos. It has been put into working order by him though, not used since. I got a demo on how it works. We also have espresso hob pots. I’m a firm believer that an espresso roast should be used for them. As for brands of beans, a couple of my favourites are available here, others are not. I haven’t tried Lidl’s beans yet. It’s probably just as well, because if I had, I may have blamed them for the weird taste of my coffee, brought about, I now understand, from chopping the beans!

  13. Learning is certainly the focus here. Having discovered that a burr grinder is what is required to protect aroma and taste with coffee beans, Hubby showed me a beautiful brass tubular shaped object he keeps with his gizmos, a burr grinder. I now know visually how a burr grinder operates, manual or electric. They operate totally differently to chopping blades.

    Pepper grinders are burr, and so are salt grinders too. They work on a disc grinding principle and when ground to the grind level set, the grounds fall into a receptacle, or if it’s salt/pepper, onto your food. Stone ground foods are ground on a similar principle.

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