programmerman1's picture

I'm with you - espresso machines are finicky, require training, and have a lot of user-controlled variables. Standard drip coffee machine only really has one user-controlled variable (amount of coffee used), especially if it's a commercial one with a water line. I trust an average uncaffeinated person a lot more to "add coffee, push button" than to "grind coffee, tamp, get temperature and pressure right, push a button, then probably steam some milk too because straight espresso is a bit much.

Ronald Riehn

Oh I can definitely see this. I know some people who would argue this forever.

The best part is, most people don't have a palate sophisticated enough to discern the differences between such minute settings changes and really they're just deluding themselves because -they- didn't make the coffee.

I'm a coffee snob. I know more-or-less how those fancy commercial grade espresso machines work, and I know that once you find a setting that works for you on your machine, you don't change it. If you have the counter space, keep a regular percolator or Keurig machine for the people that don't want to spend 30 minutes arguing the philosophy of long pull versus straight pull.

fluffy's picture

This is why I like my Nespresso. Very repeatable, and generates great espresso (with very good decaf, too).

Of course the person I bought it from was a hyper-anal engineer who was working on hyper-optimizing his coffee experience to the extent that he used a stopwatch to ensure that he pulled the shot for EXACTLY the right amount of time, and added EXACTLY the right amount of creamer, etc. which is just silly. He eventually decided it was easier to go to Starbucks (because he cared more about consistency than quality).

Now if you ever want to see this sort of debate play out to a ridiculous extreme, look for any forum in which people are discussing AeroPress. They even have *competitions* for who can make the (somehow objectively-measured) "best" cup of coffee in the least amount of time. It often involves stopwatches and microgram scales.

classam's picture

My coworkers have water at a fixed temperature thanks to a Tiger water boiler, a scale, a burr-grinder with at least 30 different grind-fineness notches, and an aeropress. Mike's coffee-making instructions are complicated enough that I think they might end up with their own wiki page. Our beans come from local roasters and we pay $20/lb.

I buy 2Kg bags of beans from Costco and run them through our standard coffeemaker. OUR TEAM HAS DIVERSE OPINIONS ABOUT COFFEE.

sammitch's picture

If you've already got beans, a grinder, and hot water at the office just keep an Aeropress in your desk! Quick, easy, single-serving, and easy cleanup!

Consider yourself lucky. My office just has The Machine That Shall Not Be Named, and my coworkers all seem to have been raised by wolves, so I just go to the cafe down the street.

bernd's picture

Judging by the comments, you've recreated here your scenario in the office. Though, I must admit.. Aeropress. Whoop.

My friends had a very fancy and expensive coffee maker for a while which we dubbed the "coffee robot". It did everything, we just had to push the buttons. When making coffee becomes fun, it becomes more addictive.

AckAckAck's picture

The good ol technique is still the best:

Boil water to the boiling point, put coffee (and sugar if you want to) in the glass. Pour hot water. Stir. Drink.

sammitch's picture

Who taught you how to make coffee? Because we need some sort of legal injunction to prevent them from spreading this evil any further. :I

wood.22mark's picture

Cowboy up! Or go fancy with a French press, which is filtered cowboy coffee.

Mikeala's picture

Try working as an engineer in coffee R&D. Though to be honest, we'll drink anything in my team. All the tastings inure you to drinking anything:Even spray dried robusta is liked by some market segments!

I guess the thing is, we actually have years of data to inform on what really matters. Hence fewer around debates around the staff coffee machine. That would be like talking shop during a lunchbreak! ;)

Jam's picture

Oh my goodness, coffee R&D

Max77's picture

I confess, I'm a damn espresso maniac.
I have a lever operated machine at home (No electronics! No electric pumps! 100% analogic!) AND a portable, handheld machine for when I'm travelling in countries in which the natives can't seem to grasp the concept of espresso brewing (I'm looking at YOU, Scotland! I found better espressos even in Japan!).

Nevertheless, I think that the Evil Machine, the Nespresso, brews a reasonable espresso with a minumim effort, minimizes the hassle/result ratio, and is a great choice for office use.

bbullock's picture

I wonder if this comic could be defined as some form of irony, given the espresso machine was expressly (ha!) perfected to make a cup of coffee VERY FAST... so coffee breaks would be shorter...

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