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I’m a black coffee and oatmeal-for-breakfast-and-post-ride-recovery guy most of the time, though I like the Kona medium roast just about as well.
On my recent June trip, I was reminded just how superior the Kona Cloud coffee is to everyday alternatives: I had two reputable brands I took along as small sealed sampler bags. Both those brands ranked right up there with steeped buffalo dung. The Kona coffee has me totally spoiled with its smooth balanced elegance, like a fine wine.
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The Rancilio Rocky Doserless Coffee Grinder grinds the Kona beans to a consistency that makes a very smooth and very rich brew (I brew one cup at a time).
I tend to use a very fine grind (setting “10” on the Rancilio); there is no trace of bitterness due to the exceptional quality of the Kona Cloud coffee beans. Which in fact is the only reason I drink coffee now; I was never impressed with regular coffee, finding it rather weak or bitter or both. Problem solved with the Kona Cloud beans.
My main issue with the Rancilio is that it tends to stall sometimes, the beans apparently not feeding into the grinder blades. It always resolves, but it is a bit annoying.
I know I should be using a french press to brew, but so far I've taken the fast and easy approach of a paper filter for a single cup—always good and the grinds go into the compost bucket easily.
I recently tried the Aerobie Aeropress: it works really well and brews a fine cup, but because the setup and cleanup take an extra minute I just prefer the single cup paper filter approach.
That said, if you have the time, it might well make a superior extraction when one dials in the right temperature and so on. Recommended for those less rushed than me.
Michael J writes:
Every coffee expert I know, like those at Clive Coffee, recommends one electric drip coffee maker in particular, the handmade Technivorm Moccamaster Coffee Brewer with thermal carafe.
On the heels of its superlative reputation, there has been at least one, cheaper, non-handmade copy by Bonavita . For sometime it was the only electric drip coffee maker that Clive and other high-end coffee maker stores sold. Though this might not be the right solution for you, it certainly deserves to be on your radar.
Also, I've found that most burr coffee grinders work fine for non-espresso brewing and I actually have a rather inexpensive Cuisinart burr coffee grinder right now for that purpose. When it comes to expresso on the other hand, I'm a big fan of the Baratza Vario with ceramic burr , which was something like 15X as expensive as the $35 Cuisinart. The Rancilios are great as well, but Baratza is building a much more modern machine that, in my case, takes less time and is more consistent. For example, the Baratza uses programmable, weight-based or time-based presets, and an anti-static collector container instead of a chute.
DIGLLOYD: I think the Rancilio surely has some room for improvement, but I’m sticking with it as “done and paid for” as I get a great cup of coffee with it. I’m also sticking with the simple one filter in ceramic holder over one cup myself—always on the go and even a minute of cleanup isnt my thing at present. But time will tell. The Baratz is available in the UK as Melitta Aroma Brushed Stainless Steel Thermal Filter Coffee Machine according to one reader.