I have enjoyed reading consumer reports for many years, and respected their recommendations for products. As fuel for conversation; The December issue recommends the Nepresso Essenza Flowstop C100 espresso maker ($230) as a CR Best Buy. Also, Black & Decker Smartbrew DCM2500 for $35 was their highest rated best buy coffee maker.
As I recall the Nepresso C100 is a pod only machine. Not much good for a home roaster. Don't know anything about the Black & Decker. pecan jim On Nov 5, 2007, at 9:33 PM, Robert Kaye wrote: <Snip>
I respected Consumer Reports much more until I saw them review products like Bicycles which I know a significant amount about. The report seemed so naive and stupid it was silly. I think they do a much better job at major consumer products like televisions and dishwasher reviews than specialty items. With specialty items it seems like they just can't handle the complexity of the topic. The day they review an RK drum versus a heat gun dog bowl set up is the day I subscribe. Jared On Nov 5, 2007 9:33 PM, Robert Kaye wrote: <Snip>
If they ever did that review they would spend all of their time squeaking about the safety hazards. Jared wrote: <Snip>
--Apple-Mail-21--876394680 Content-Type: text/plain; charset -ASCII; format=flowed; delsp=yes Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Yeah, I saw that. Good thing I wasn't drinking anything at the time or I would've done a spit take. I did notice that under "foaming milk for cappuccino" they listed a Starbucks Barista for $400--dunno whether it was their low-end superauto or the successor to the Vapore (in which case it's not bad as long as there's a nonpressurized PF). I wonder if they tested machines in the same price class as the Barista, such as some of the Gaggias (e.g., Carezza) or Solis SL-70-- I'd bet they didn't (or got spooked by the Gaggias' aluminum boiler. I can almost guarantee they didn't test the Rancilio Silvia (and probably never heard of it, either). Someone ought to write them and tell them that it is impossible to get good espresso out of a capsule unless you can grab the capsule off the assembly line as soon as it's been filled (assuming the coffee it contains was freshly roasted and ground immediately before filling-- yeah, right), Of course, since they probably have a Starbuck's in the CU building lobby, they probably have never tasted good espresso. On Nov 5, 2007, at 9:33 PM, Robert Kaye wrote: <Snip> Sandy www.sandyandina.com www.sass-music.com --Apple-Mail-21--876394680 Content-Type: text/html; charset -ASCII Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Yeah, I saw that. Good thing I = wasn't drinking anything at the time or I would've done a spit take. = I did notice that under "foaming milk for cappuccino" they listed = a Starbucks Barista for $400--dunno whether it was their low-end = superauto or the successor to the Vapore (in which case it's not bad as = long as there's a nonpressurized PF). I wonder if they tested = machines in the same price class as the Barista, such as some of the = Gaggias (e.g., Carezza) or Solis SL-70--I'd bet they didn't (or got = spooked by the Gaggias' aluminum boiler. I can almost guarantee they = didn't test the Rancilio Silvia (and probably never heard of it, = either).
--Apple-Mail-22--876334420 Content-Type: text/plain; charset -ASCII; format=flowed; delsp=yes Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Yeah, they don't know squat about fountain pens either. On Nov 5, 2007, at 9:43 PM, Jared wrote: <Snip> Sandy www.sandyandina.com www.sass-music.com --Apple-Mail-22--876334420 Content-Type: text/html; charset -ASCII Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Yeah, they don't know squat = about fountain pens either. On Nov 5, 2007, at 9:43 PM, = Jared wrote:
Its all relative - to most folks "good coffee" is the beans from the supermarket "fresh roasted" bins. I am a woodworker - a Home Depot Buck Brothers general purpose plane will work, and do what most folks ask of it - but a Lie Nielsen, hand made plane that costs about 300 times as much will do the same job, just much better, and handle the figured woods and other difficult grain that a Buck Bro would choke all over. Same with an espresso machine - or a coffee maker or whatever. CR does not report on the high end stuff - just what the unwashed masses consume...if you are a high end consumer of anything, you will know what the best is... But if I want to find a good mower - I will go to CR, I don't need a full on industrial model mower, but I did get a great review on the Toro I purchased. Sean Too many hobbies - and I miss them all. 94 and counting... On Nov 6, 2007 8:24 AM, Sandy Andina wrote: <Snip>
On Mon, Nov 05, 2007 at 09:33:30PM -0600, Robert Kaye wrote: <Snip> CR is great at reviewing mass-market products from the viewpoint of the mass-market consumer -- that is, according to the priorities, usage patterns, knowledge, and operational skill of the mass-market consumer. So I mostly trust them to tell me about cars, home appliances, vacuum cleaners, and clock radios. (I used to trust them implicitly about cars, until they suckered me in to buying a 2000 VW Passat. That thing cost and arm and a leg to maintain, I tell you. It never broke down on me completely, but little stuff broke all the time, and was always expensive to fix. Snappy road handling, though, for a family sedan. I've never forgiven CR for giving that car their stamp of approval.) But when it comes to anything even slightly off the beaten path, fuggedaboutit. Coffee is an example of something that is actually solidly *on* the beaten path, as so many people own a coffee maker, and many people own mass market espresso machines these days. But we enthusiasts are rather off of that beaten path -- our coffee path goes in a completely different direction. Being a technology professional, I have the same reaction when I see them review computers and laptops. UGH! Being a "prosumer" chef and baker, I often have the same reaction to their reviews of cookware and cooking appliances. So, trust CR for anything you don't know jack about yourself and don't have any trustworthy friends that know anything about it either. Speaking of which -- put yourself in the role of a trustworthy friend. What espresso machine would *you* recommend to the complete newbie who doesn't know what good espresso tastes like and probably cares more about convenience and price? This person will *not* be convinced to buy a decent grinder and will *not* put any effort into learning how to tamp properly, temperature surf, etc. Might not even be convinced to grind freshly. Don't think you're going to convert them -- I think all of us have some experience with how tricky that is. That's the person CR is issuing advice to. In that light, are their recommendations really all that bad? -- Randall