A Vision for Brew

Joe spots repair bill in his cup

Joe spots repair bill in his cup

WSJ: Built-in coffee makers in homes increasingly popular. As someone who drinks between 10-15 cups of coffee a day (I’ve cut back from my college days), I look with envy at these machines when house touring, but from what I’ve heard, they tend to break and, when the owners get the repair estimate of a thousand bucks or so, they don’t bother to fix them and they sit, inoperable and taking up space, ignored. Any readers have experience with them?  With prices ranging from $3,000-$12,000, I’m unlikely to be installing one in my pickup any time soon, but it’s information to pass on to my buyers.

Plus, I’m plain curious.

Appliances and presses are disappearing from countertops in luxury homes, as built-in coffee makers offer a one-stop coffee shop in the kitchen.

Such integrated brew systems are becoming both more common and increasingly automated—able to make a cup of coffee that fits individual tastes.

Dirk Sappok, a product-development manager with industry leader Miele, says the most significant advancements in built-in coffee machine design include easy usage and expanded programming options.

The devices—which average a few thousand dollars in price—include bean grinders with a half-dozen settings, adjustable dispensers that accommodate a range of cup sizes and multiple spouts that allow more than one drink to be prepared at the same time.

Some of the modern units can be attached either to the plumbing or to a water reserve, “allowing them to be installed virtually anywhere: from a butler pantry or wet bar to even the master bedroom,” Mr. Sappok says.



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22 responses to “A Vision for Brew

  1. Anonymous

    Get a Nespresso machine for 300 bucks. Small, no mess and high quality espresso and cappucino.

    • Toonces

      I recommend the Pixie Nespresso machine for 229.00. You can add boiling water to make it an americano. Delicious coffee, the machines don’t break and they are small and elegant. Other Nespresso machines have a milk frother contraption but I just add my cream and sugar (and the hot water) and am happy. Pods are not cheap at about 6$ for ten, but the taste is far superior to the Keurig. Superior to any of the regular coffee makers I’ve tried as well. FYI 4-5 cups said to be good for cancer prevention. 10-15 perhaps even better 🙂

  2. Martha

    Good morning! I think your assessment is pretty accurate. Those built in Meile machines were becoming popular in Europe before we moved back. I don’t know if you know this, but I used to own an espresso bar prior to married and east coast life. All the “automatic” machines produce sub-par results and require more maintance. Three really is an art to coffee, rather akin to wine-making.

    That said, I do like a clean countertop, and would have envy of this type of equipment (et tu, Kitchen Aid!) that could seamlessly rise out of the counter when needed!

  3. Once

    Put espresso through your basic coffee maker. Great coffee, great price.

  4. BigMike

    Breville You-Brew
    275 bucks
    Has a built in Burr-Grinder that crushes the beans instead of old school grinders.
    You can make a full carafe, or one cup at a time.
    You can select size, color, and intensity.
    The per/cup option makes the strongest coffee because it offers the ability to “steep” the water in the grind prior to releasing it into your cup of choice. The steeping time varies based on how rich/strong/caffienated you want your cup.

    It’s by far the strongest coffee I’ve ever had.

    The cons:
    It’s loud.
    And you have to clean it after every use.

    But the energy it provides makes cleaning it seem like a breeze.
    Speaking of wind, you may feel like superman with the wind at his back the first few times you indulge.
    Having just returned from a vacation where our accommodations has a nifty nespresso, I was close to ordering one myself. It was super easy, clean, quieter than my You-Brew, and I thought the caffination was similar….until we got back. Monday morning’s single cup had my flying high again.
    Gone was my desire for a nespresso.
    I will tolerate the cleaning for feeling like this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    By comparison, a triple shot coffee at starbucks does nothing compared to this. Like, nothing.

    • BigMike

      Price update:
      Amazon Prime 249 bucks.

    • EOSredux

      BigMike: I’m old school and have used a Chemex glass carafe on the stove top for the majority of my adult life. But when there’s a houseful, and the Chemex doesn’t make enough, I also bought the Breville. My complaint about is that it uses up beans faster than you can say holy cow. So I opt out of the Breville grinding the beans for me, grind my own in a Braun spice grinder, and select the “preground” option the Breville has. This way I can control how I want the beans ground and how much to use. I realize it totally defeats the purpose of having the YouBrew machine but I do like how it makes coffee nonetheless.

      • BigMike

        I hear ya
        It does plow through beans
        But it also makes me feel like I can fly for a few hours
        And I recently switched to a less expensive, light colored bean, and holy cow, it has more caffeine.

  5. Anonymous

    Go to northern Italy, Spain or Bavaria and find an old coffe house with an old man operating a manual espresso machine. After you stop worrying that your order will be the one that sends the maker to his Maker, you will enjoy the best possible serving of coffee. Now, which NR is big enough to install that in his third wife’s kitchen?


  6. Fox

    Gee, a $12K coffee maker? Like that similarly priced appliance made for the Air Force that could keep making coffee even after the plane crashed, does this keep churning it out after your house burns down? Personally I depend on a $12 job from ShopRite that’s been chugging away for seven years now.

  7. Rivman

    Mr. Coffee $20 Target.

  8. Anonymous

    As a fellow coffeeholic (less so now but 4-5 pots/day in college), I’m very opinionated on this topic and only drinky home brew.

    For drip coffee, best machine I’ve had is here. you can get 2nd carafe for decaf fans, can boil water stove top if power is out and slim profile on counter:


    For manual home espresso (non auto nesspresso garbage) that won’t break the bank, FrancisFrancis machines (recently acquired by Illy) have many models to choose from ranging from $250-$650, come in many colors and takes up very little space.

    • BigMike

      4-5 pots/day!!!
      All I need is 1 to 1 1/2 cups from my Breville.
      And seriously, it’s Jet Fuel.

  9. Al Dente

    I was discussing coffee with my 21-year-old son yesterday. When I was his age, I drank coffee maybe once a week. There were no Starbucks and no high-caffeine energy drinks. Now kids are sucking down caffeine by the gallon, and they seem addicted.

    I would also like to take this opportunity to say Obama sucks.

  10. CatoRenasci

    They’re no longer available in the US, but the Braun KF590 filter coffee maker does the best job of any other drip filter maker. Quick brewing, perfect 192 deg. temperature for the water, reasonable capacity, holds a Brita filter, can use either a gold filter or Melitta #4 filters.

  11. Anonymous

    good place to buy coffee online is Rogers Family coffee in the bay area – family originally from Greenwich

  12. stranger

    The German Stiftung Warungstest discovered some machines release lead and nickel after treatments to clear out scale: http://www.test.de/Espressomaschinen-Selten-Blei-im-Kaffee-4643652-0/

    The theory seems to be the cleaning solvents release the metals from inside the machines.

    According to the report, rinsing one more time than recommended after decalcifying drops the lead and nickel content substantially. And of course, only decalcify when absolutely necessary.

  13. fucking hilarious

    So funny !! It never ceases to amaze.

    We laughed at you fauxers back when Perrier and designer jeans became the ‘rage’.

  14. anony

    I prefer perked coffee in a 15 yr old stainless steel Farberware. It is hot, smells great and has body.

    The NYTimes had an article on boiled coffee and how Greeks that drink seem to live unusually long.
    The Secret May Be in the Coffee

  15. Anonymous

    To me it seems like the stainless steel trend, which is finally starting to fade. I have to pay extra for an appliance that must be buffed and polished or it will show fingerprints and stains. No thank you.