Coffee maker?


My very good friend W just sent me an email that said

Any recommendations for a coffee maker? I only drink it 3x a week or so (always just 1 cup), so I don’t need any massive device. Something cheap that can be cleaned easily that I can make decent coffee in.   I feel as though you will get carried away and write a 7 page report on this.

I may get carried away on this, because it’s my nature to get carried away, but
  1. I don’t drink coffee, neither does my husband.
  2. I have a Tassimo, which guests seem to love (for some crazy reason the company sent me one for free), but I think is super toxic (don’t put steaming water through plastic – bad things happen).
  3. I did a lot of research on coffee, because I helped a relative try to improve her health.
The best thing for you is to cold brew organic coffee (put grounds in cold water overnight and brew strongly and then add hot water to that strained liquid in the morning – google for exact instuctions, as I’ve never done it).  It will be have around 60% less acidity and you will reduce your toxin level tremendously by going organic (coffee is one of the most pesticide-heavy consumable crops there is – I say “consumable” because cotton is so much worse!).
If you don’t want to brew it yourself, the coffee brand I bought for my relative because I found it to be very high quality was Kickstand coffee, and you might be able to find a coupon online.  It’s organic, it’s cold-pressed, and it comes in a glass bottle.
Ok, you didn’t ask about any of that, you asked about a coffee maker, so I will say this:
I can’t recommend a brand, but go for anything glass (no plastic, no single-use), and if you use a filter, use a stainless steel filter with no plastic, or VERY carefully selected unbleached paper filters.  Most tea bags and coffee filters are highly toxic because of the plastics they use to reinforce the fibers to make them tear-resistant, and because of the plastics and other materials used to seal the sides (if applicable).  Just google “toxic teabag” and “toxic coffee filter” for more info.
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12 Responses to Coffee maker?

  1. Amy Jane says:

    While it’s not cold press, I use one of these to make a small amount of coffee on the rare occasion I make some at home. No plastic!
    http://www.amazon.com/Bialetti-Express-3-Cup-Stovetop-Espresso/dp/B0000CF3Q6/ref=pd_sim_k_7

    Not sure if it completely has the Alison seal of approval, but it’s been a nice solution at my house.

  2. Alison Syntk says:

    I love the picture! Thanks!

  3. Woody says:

    OK so this is probably the dumbest thing I’ve ever written BUT this is an espresso maker, not a coffee maker? What’s the diff between coffee and espresso? I’m obviously a philistine, git er done, etc etc

  4. Alison Syntk says:

    Amy, I hope you come back to answer! In fact, this is a great blog question – what exactly IS the difference between espresso and coffee? Is espresso just stronger? Is the bean roasted differently? Is it a different bean? Is it brewed differently? Also, Amy, is your coffee maker made of aluminum? That’s what is says in the description you linked to. I don’t know if that’s safe. Thoughts?

  5. Amy Jane says:

    Great questions! The difference between coffee and espresso is all in the grind and brewing process. Espresso is brewed quick, forcing really hot water through tightly packed, very finely ground beans. Drip coffee is brewed a lot slower, releasing a lot more of the acid (and caffeine) into the resulting drink.

    So the little moka percolators are called”espresso” makers, but especially a cheapy one like mine has a much lower pressure and it’s difficult/impossible to actually extract a true espresso shot complete with crema. Still, it’s very hot water being rapidly forced through packed grounds, rather than dripping through loose grounds. At my house, I use a coarser grind and don’t pack the coffee cavity very tight. Still, the result is a pretty strong cuppa–just the way I like it! But I suspect it is lower acid/lower caffeine than drip coffee.

    I figure that aluminum is better than plastic, and I don’t get too worked up over it. If you want to spend a bit more, you can also find them made of stainless (which is probably a lot better).

  6. Amy Jane says:

    I forgot to mention! For true espresso the bean is roasted differently, too, but I just use whatever yummy smelling Free Trade French Roast is on sale at my local Co-op. (I am not a coffee purist, though I am snobby about drinking what I like.)

  7. Alison Syntk says:

    Wow, Amy! Thanks so much! This is really helpful information! I love crowd-sourcing advice! I also love exclamation points! And fermented cod liver oil! I should stop now!

  8. Alison Syntk says:

    The husband and the kid still take Carlson Lemon (and I think Woody – above – does, too — I keep track of cod liver oil consumption!), but I switched to Green Pasture Blue Ice ( http://www.greenpasture.org/public/Products/CodLiverOil/ ). If you’re going to do it, cinnamon is the best flavor. I also take their high vitamin butter oil with it, but I don’t like it mixed. You don’t really need a flavor on the butter oil. And, just for the sake of being complete, I also take a Vitamin D3, a Magnesium and a Vitamin K when I take it as well. And, I get more Vitamin K from eating a lot of watercress and miso (and natto, when I’m out at a restaurant that has it – I won’t keep that stuff in the house!).

  9. Hmm it seems like your site ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what
    I submitted and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.
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    • Alison Syntk says:

      Hey spammer! Not like you’ll ever read this, but the best advice to all beginning blog writers is to just write, write, and then write some more. Publish constantly. You’ll get better as you go. Don’t try for perfection (you’ll never get anything done); try for “pretty good” and constantly improving.

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