If no one will buy you another rifle this Christmas,


Maybe you can persuade Santa to upgrade your coffee maker with this one recommended by Cooks Illustrated. Seems that every other coffee maker they tested has a cheap heating element, which keeps costs down. The manufacturers skimp on that essential element, so to speak, then dress up the exterior with fancy gimmicks to catch your eye and make you forget that you’re drinking warm water with brown crayon drippings. This baby, hand-made in the Netherlands, costs $240 (!) but produces, according to CI, far and away the best coffee available.

You can get one from Roastmasters.com, if that bonus check was substantial this year. I plan on continuing to use my French Press which costs about $30 bucks and makes coffee that is “comparable” according to CI. But it’s tempting to have a machine that, plugged in a timer, could have great coffee ready when I awoke.


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23 responses to “If no one will buy you another rifle this Christmas,

  1. Mazama

    “The manufacturers skimp on that essential element, so to speak, then dress up the exterior with fancy gimmicks ”

    Saw a posting somewhere by an electrical engineer who made a similar claim about expensive toasters. He said they all use the same resistor (?) made by a Chinese factory that doesn’t know what it’s doing. The component can’t produce evenly toasted bread and has a high failure rate. But the $100+ (and ++) toasters look fantastic and have nifty LED readouts. This information inspired me to retain the mid-80s (kooks mid-60s) Canadian made toaster I already have,

  2. DB

    French Press here also…..only way to go.

  3. Anonymous

    I like the basic Melitta: just a glass carafe and a plastic filter-holder. (All supermarkets carry the filters.) It doesn’t get any more low-tech than that, and everything goes into the dishwasher.

    Just pour heated water into it, and out comes a delicious coffee brew that has won many taste tests I’ve read about over the 30+ years I’ve used this coffee maker.

  4. I have a 5 year old Technivorm, similar to the one in the picture, but without the timer. They really do make superb coffee. I have a Melitta I like a lot too, but it doesn’t keep the coffee hot.

    If you’re looking for a stocking stuffer for the coffee fanatic on your gift list, surf on over here:


    I’m partial to the estate grown Kenyan, but they’re all great.

  5. Purist

    Chemex baby, Chemex. Fresh hot coffee goes perfectly with CF’s fresh hot blog. What better way to start the day?


  6. fred

    thanks, but i’ll stick with my folgers instant.

  7. kidding really?

    yeah – I am one of the the more skeptical people who post on FWIW but… this post rocks. I am buying one of these.

  8. Anonymous

    We’ve already established that the Kenyan isn’t as smooth as they market it to be.

    My vote is for Nespresso. Chris, If my dreams ever come true (pathlogical hope), I’ll fund ya one.

  9. Helsa Poppin

    $240 isn’t that expensive for an appliance that you use every day to deliver the addictive substance you need to get you through the day. Not only does it produce a high quality output, but you get the satisfaction of using a well-designed, solid piece of equipment.

    I’ve considered dropping that much on an appliance I’d probably only use once a week – the Zojirushi induction rice cooker. So far, though, like you, I can’t complain about the performance of my $30 Aroma rice cooker, so I’ll hold off until that gives out.

  10. networthdeclining

    I miss my old Mr. Coffee. It made great coffee, performed for over 20 years, and surpassed all the yuppie machines we have had since.

  11. Old School Grump

    The better the coffee = the more I want to smoke. The best coffee = desire for Lucky Strikes, Camels, or pretty much anything without a filter. Must stick with mediocre coffee, or else. Hope for eventual (20 years) diagnosis of terminal disease that’s not my fault, so I can enjoy cigarettes, pain killers, and the BVI beverage called Painkillers, for a gentle slide out.

  12. Greenwich Gal

    I think I am going to buy one of those for Mr. Greenwich Gal for Christmas. He is pretty tough to buy for and he loves his coffee! Thanks for the tip, CF. It is Illy coffee by the way, should anyone be interested.

  13. Anonymous, Terroir doesn’t market the Kenyan as a particularly smooth coffee:

    Ndiara Estate, Kirinyaga, Kenya

    Ndiara is another powerful coffee from Kirinyaga, easily an equal, in my opinion, to Mamuto and very different. If ever there was a coffee that should be called jammy, this is it! It presents massive body with a berry fruit-basket of flavors. If you have not tried it you should. Ndiara is an eight acre farm in the Kirinyaga district on the southern slope of Mt. Kenya at 5,500 feet. It is named after a pre-historic site nearby. Mr. Daniel Waruri Muriuki started it in 1979 when he acquired the land and planted 6,000 Bourbon SL-28 and SL-34 coffee trees; he later added an additional 500 trees. This is a must-try coffee for any Kenya coffee lover!

    Using a good bottled water helps too. I get Poland Spring delivered in 5 gallon bottles and have the dispenser in the kitchen, right next to the Technivorm.

    Greenwich Gal, get him some coffee from Terroir to go with the brewer. If you buy one of the Technivorms he sells on the website, he’ll include three bags of coffee with the brewer.

  14. Greenwich Gal

    Dear Old School,
    I feel I must perform an intervention!
    Do NOT go gently into that dark night!
    Fight the good fight. I can hook you up with a nice local trainer, detox with a super cleanse 3 day kelp fast, a little glycolic peel and botox for the skin damage, (cigarettes so bad for the complexion,) a good cut and blowdry at Fekkai and you’ll look great and feel like a new man… maybe help the grump factor, too?

  15. Horsejock

    Rue at Hopscotch for men not Fekkai. French press for me. Chris get a Brit style electric hot water kettle and a little digi timer plug. You wake up to the best coffee at 1/10th the price.

  16. Old School Grump

    Thanks for attempted assistance, Greenwich Gal, but I couldn’t keep those appointments, now that I live west of the Mississippi! Fortunately for me, however, I live in a state where having all your own teeth puts you ahead of the curve in the Looks Department.

  17. DebtVulture

    We have one of these at the office. Starbucks is right on the corner and I can’t remember the last time I went there. This machine is excellent.

  18. Greenwich Gal

    Thank you, Richard! What coffee do you suggest will work for the two of us? Mr. Greenwich Gal likes, um, shall I say a “piece” of coffee. Coffee so thick and strong it’ll start your car. I like it smooth and full bodied – we have found equal footing with the Italian Illy brand.
    Meanwhile to dear Grumpy – I am so glad you have found a place where you are completely hot! Probably rich, too. Nothing like Greenwich to make you feel middle class even if you are one of the top earners in the country.

    • christopherfountain

      GG, my father, a member of Squadron A when it was still horse-mounted (right up to the annihilation of the Polish cavalry in 1939) ) said coffee wasn’t ready until it could float a horse shoe. I never acquired that taste but it sounds as though your husband might have enjoyed a nice cuppa with my dad.

  19. DebtVulture

    Yeah….we hedge funders have all the best gizmos. Heck, there is even a toilet here that will…well, you get the point. The coffee maker is good, and when paired up with Willoughby’s french roast coffee, it is hard to beat.

    • christopherfountain

      You don’t mean a terlet that flushes do you, DebtVulture? Gollieee, don’t let Cos Cobber or his kin know about it or y’all gonna be flooded with curiosity seekers. ‘Specially if it’s heated.

  20. DebtVulture

    Did I mention the lights in our building? There are no switches…you just clap and they go on and off. Now where can I get me sometin like that? Damn, we are important folk I guess.

    p.s.: The world can use a LOT LESS hedge funds, IMHO.