I don’t have a drip coffee maker in my home. I do have a Technivorm drip machine on my desk at work, but at the house I only have manual brew methods at my disposal. And I don’t mean a few. I have dozens; probably 100 or more. Yeah, I know, I have a problem. I have multiple french presses, Hario V60 drip cones, Kalita Waves, a Beehouse drip, a couple other drip cones that I forget the name of as well. I also have two Hario drip stations. I have 4-5 vacuum pots, a turkish pot, moka pots, Aeropresses, half a dozen Chemex’s, a few Clever Coffee Drippers, about 5 different kettles (one of them costs about as much as an iPhone 6) and I don’t even remember what else. I use different methods to make my coffee depending on the day and my mood.
Some days, I will admit, I would rather just pour water and coffee into a drip machine, push the button and walk away. There has been some discussion lately about how reliable and repeatable many of the manual methods are when used in a coffee shop environment. I can tell you that in the Motorhead shop (ie, my kitchen), they do not have a lot of quality control behind them. There are many variables to the process, making me tend to side with the quality drip machine camp as possibly the better approach for a retail environment…maybe for my house too.
There are a couple interesting drip machines that just hit the market, so I took a big risk, asked my wife to go to the mall with me, and checked them out at Williams Sonoma. The risk was not the possibility of spending money on another machine I don’t need; it was accompanying my wife to the mall! She has the layout of every mall in the country mapped out in her head…shopping is her field of expertise. Fortunately, she had mercy on me and didn’t take me on too many side trips.
Back to the machines. Technivorm just came out with a new single cup auto drip machine. That caught my attention because, being the only coffee drinker in the house, I like the single serving approach. I also like my coffee very hot. The only problem with the machine is, well, it’s a Technivorm, which means its expensive…$229…to brew a single, 10 oz cup. Does that make sense, especially when I can brew a single cup with a $29 Aeropress or a $30 Hario?
The other machine is the Wilfa Precision Brewer. It retails for…ready? $329. At least it brews a full pot. And it is absolutely beautiful. It is the kind of machine that my fashion forward wife would approve of on her countertop. Of course, I can brew a full pot in my $36 Chemex.
These machines are not very logical choices when comparing them to other, less expensive pieces of equipment. It kind of reminds me of bikes. Motorcycles come in all sizes and prices. I just took a trip on a very practical, affordable Suzuki Vstrom. That may seen quite normal to you, but I came to the Strom from a long string of ownership of expensive, exotic European bikes: Beemers, Ducs and Triumphs. Going to the Vstrom from those bikes was kind of like going from filet mignon to bologna. Sure, they’re both meat (I think), but they are worlds apart. Or are they really? I put 2,000 miles on the Strom in 6 days, no big feat, but a decent test of the machine. I put 1,000 miles on it before I left. I came home from the trip saying, “Damn fine bike. Does everything I need it to do.” No complaints. I’m actually very happy with it. It may be the most comfortable bike I’ve owned in years.
The Suzuki is like the $30 Aeropress; makes a good cup of joe, only downfall is it looks like it came from a late night Ron Popeil infomertial. The expensive coffee makers don’t really make any more sense than paying $20,000 for a bike when a $5,000 bike will do the same thing.So, does that mean I’m not going to buy a Wilfa for my kitchen? Well, it’s about as likely as it is for me to some day add another Ducati, KTM or Triumph to the garage. Logic is for the logical; cool stuff is for the passionate!