Every since discovering grind and brew coffee makers, I’ve been hooked on them. It’s pretty darn awesome to be able to add beans and water and watch coffee be made right before your eyes. Or, better yet, to hear it being made in the kitchen while you’re still waking up upstairs.
For the past 5 years or so, we’ve been using this Cuisinart model:
It worked very well, but there were a few things about it that were kind of annoying. The biggest nag was the cleaning. As you can see, this thing has a lot of parts. And all of them need to be cleaned out on a regular basis since the steam from brewing the coffee works its way back up into the grinder area. The clock was also tougher to set than you’d expect on something like this, making it a pain to do every time we had to unplug it for some reason.
On the plus side, it did make great coffee. But eventually we had to put it down because the grinder/drip component would no longer release from the main body, making it impossible to clean.
When it was time to look for a new model, I checked out the latest reviews on Amazon. I figured there must have been a few changes to the grind & brew coffee scene over the past 5 years. Sure enough, the models have changes a bit. Cuisinart has some models with insulated decanters and brushed chrome finishes and they’ve made their design a bit more boxy, so it would play more nicely with counter space.
The Cuisinart reviews for the model we previous had made it clear that others had similar nags about their design: too much crap to clean. (This Cuisinart model costs around $69 on Amazon).
Then I discovered this:
The Krups KM7000 Grind & Brew. Krups’ engineers figured out how to get around the issue that causes so many problems for Cuisinart users. They dispense the freshly ground beans then close off the grinder before dispensing hot & steamy water. The lid pointing out the the left (photo below) flips into place once the beans are in place:
Brilliant. Once that problem was solved, they were able to turn things up another notch by allowing you to store beans for more than one grinding session in the machine.
Turning things up yet another two notches, they allow you to set your grind consistency and drip speed, which allows you to dial in your perfect cup of coffee over time.
They recommend starting on the course grind with a fast drip. I tried it and it made good Peace Coffee taste like something you’d drink at a PTA meeting. However, within the week, I managed to get it fine tuned for what Carly and I like.
But wait! There’s one more notch! It also allows you to easily select how many cups of coffee you want to make. For example, to make 6 cups of coffee (what Carly and I need to fill our mugs) we just add 6 cups of water, set the Krups to 6 cups, so it grinds (and brews) an appropriate amount of coffee beans for the job.
This thing is not cheap, with an MSRP of $165 (currently $129.95 at Amazon), but it does make great coffee. If this keeps you from buying coffee every day at the week at coffee shops rather than just making it at home, I think you have the financial justification you need to shell out for one.