Coffee Series, Part 3: Trade offs


First I was an instant coffee guy. Then I got into brewing whole pots, which led to my wasting a lot of coffee. Then, my friend Charlie started working at Keurig, and so I got exposed to that machine and how wonderful it was, and one year I got it as a Christmas gift.


We still use the Keurig a lot, but truth is that we've been going through about 10 K-Cups per Day! I was starting to notice that this wasn't a good deal. Not to speak of the Starbucks card which I'd been reloading from time to time. So you can see, I've worked myself up (or down) the evolutionary tree.


Anyway, when I got interested in Espresso, I visited Williams-Sonoma several times to look at the different machines. The brand I had heard the most about was Capresso.


Without even getting into the outrageous price, I was eyeing the Capresso Impressa F9, F8 and so on. All fully automatic, meaning you put whole beans and water in one end and espresso comes out the other end. Wonderful. However, being Keurig fans, we had gotten used to being able to choose from cup to cup whether it was going to be caf, decaf, flavored or what not.


A key obstacle with these fully automatics for me was that you more or less had to commit to one kind of bean. It's true that in addition to the canister of beans there's a chute that bypasses all that and lets you send in ground coffee of any kind. But that kind of defeats the whole idea and didn't satisfy me. Plus, there was the outrageous price.


So I discovered the Capresso Ultima. One way to think of this is that it's just like the fully automatic F9, but without the coffee grinding mechanism. Now that I've used the Ultima a bit it's also clear that it's a much simpler device both mechanically and electronically. And by the way it's way way cheaper.


So in the end what swayed me:


  1. Less money

  2. Smaller

  3. Able to change coffee type on the fly


Posted on April 25, 2006 and filed under Life.