Howdy Ya'll-I am fairly new to both this list and to roasting my own. I have spent an unfortunate amount of money on beans etc., but still have a little left. I am interested in getting a vacuum coffee maker, would like your advice on which to choose. I am looking at the Cona, Yama, Hario, or getting an old Silex from Ebay. Any real good or bad? I have checked coffeegeek and SM, still undecided. I need to spend the money fast before my wife buys more paint to do another bedroom. Cheers Jim J Kansas City Do You Yahoo!? Yahoo! - Official partner of 2002 FIFA World Cuphttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast">http://fifaworldcup.yahoo.comhomeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast
Tom has (maybe it's "had" by now) a stainless Silex on his garage sale page - cheap! homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast
Jack, I know that Tom does not like the Bodum Santos Electronic vacuum brewer for reasons he explains on the Sweet Maria's site. That unit is also sold by Starbucks as "Utopia". We have one and are quite happy with it. Our daughter and son-in-law also have one and like it. It seems that there unit-to-unit variations (in the brewing time etc) and that both units in our family keep the coffee "up North" for the correct time. We also have the "manual" Bodum Santos and they both seem to produce excellent coffee. However, the electric unit has some features we never use, such as the built-in timer. Because the electric machine is so easy to use, we use it, on the average, slightly more than once a day. Since we got the electric vacuum brewer, we never used the manual Santos. We, of course, use our espresso maker and from time to time one of our French Presses or the ibrik. However, first think in the morning, the "simple to use" electric vacuum brewer is the machine that gets used. At the 2002 Specialty Coffee Association of America Exhibition and Convention, Bodum was demonstrating a new, smaller "manual" electric vacuum brewer, which, I believe, has no electronics, just on-off switch. I suggest that you look at it when it becomes available. Perhaps Tom will carry that (5 cup) model, as it seems to eliminate the reasons why Tom does not like the current 10-cup automatic electric Bodum. Cheers, Lubos homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast
Jim I just bought a Yama from SM, although it is small 20 oz. It is a nice one. I have had no trouble at all with it. It is easy to use and maintain, and the price is nice . Ron Kyle Roasting in South Carolina rnkyle
On Wednesday, June 26, 2002, at 11:16 PM, jim jordan wrote: <Snip> The important thing about getting an old Silex is the quality of the gasket. Old cracked rubber does not work. There are two neck sizes, wide and narrow, and it is almost impossible to get replacement gaskets for the narrow models. Putting together a working Silex should be seen as a long term hobby/collector project. If you want to make better coffee now, get one of the new ones. Jim Gundlach roasting over pecan wood fires in La Place, Alabama homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast
I'll ditto Lubos comments on the Bodum eVac. It's our first pot of the morning during the work week brewing method of choice. It's convenient for Debi to just grind the beans I measured out the night before in the Maestro, pour them in the top of the eVac (water in the night before also), press start, and take her shower. She then pours her cup and the remainder in glass lined thermal carafe. (brew 30oz pot) I get up shortly after, turn on Miss Silvia, pour my first (and worst cup) of the day from the thermal carafe, drink it (or part of it) while Miss Silvia warming up... Ah, then it's time for great coffee! BTW, $****ks has the clear currently on sale for $89.99, regularly $129... MM;-) Home Variable Variac Rockin' Rosto Roasting in Vancouver, WA USA From: "Irene and Lubos Palounek" <Snip> for <Snip> use, <Snip> use, <Snip> use <Snip> vacuum <Snip> suggest <Snip> that <Snip> homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast
Jim, I'm a proud owner of a couple of systems, and love my Cona for a couple of reasons. First is the excellent coffee it produces every time. We've pondered the thought of running some commercial coffee through it just to see the improvement - but then it would still be commercial. The second reason is that it is a very attractive piece of art sitting on the dinning table or its storage shelf. The only thing in my coffee list that gets more oohs and aahs is the Walnut Zassenhaus grinder which sits next to it. People are spell bound as they watch the brewing process. It has almost replaced any after dinner entertainment. And if you are looking to spend the money - this guy will take a chunk. We have another (remain nameless) vacuum pot that just doesn't produce the quality coffee and is no fun to watch. John - trying to figure out what bean I used for this incredible cup of coffee!
I use a Yama for my every day vac pot. It isn't stylish but it gets the job done and I can use it on the stove. It is a great beginner pot because the cloth filter is a little more forgiving for stalls. The Bodum varieties have already been mentioned (i'm undecided at the moment, but I look forward to the Jr.). The Cona and Hario models are very elegant and functional. I agree with John that guests will be in awe of coffee from it. Unfortunately, I am not sure if they come over to see me or my Hario Technica! Don't start with it, but the Royal Balance and Cafitino Balance brewers are SWEET. They will cost you more then just paint money though.... You can't really appreciate them until you have seen them work in front of you and see the quality of craftsmanship. I'd say go with the Yama or Cona if you can afford it (conveniently located on the SM website!). David Marley
Jack, The Bodum eVac/*$$ Utopia is what got me started home roasting. Vacuum brewing really does make a dramatically better brew, and the eVac is remarkably convenient. Two points, however: 1) I ended up giving mine to my sister because the eVac, like most vacuum pots, works best when full. As a single coffee drinker, the eVac's 40 oz. was too much for me; I only ever wanted to make a half pot. And it really doesn't work well for less then 30 oz. The water goes north before it's hot and comes south too quickly. You can manage this by not putting the top on until the water's gotten hot, but then you might as well have a manual brewer for $35. 2) I have to defer to Mike/Debi's experience of push the button and walk away, but my sister finds the need to give the grounds a stir when about half the water has made it north. If not, sometimes the water fails to permeate the grounds -- she gets pockets of dry, i.e. wasted, coffee, and the brew's correspondingly weak. [Mike, maybe that's why that's your "worst cup of the day"?] I recommend that you "right-size" your pot. Figure out how much you'll be brewing at a time and get a vac pot that makes approx. that amount. If you brew a lot in the morning and less at night, you might even consider getting 2 pots of different sizes. Vac pots really do perform best when full. BTW, I love my 20 oz. Yama. I bought some Cory glass filter rods on eBay, and tried a few until I found one that didn't stall. Cheap, rugged and effective -- a good deal. I tried buying some of the vintage ones from eBay, but always had some trouble or other, usually a non-functional gasket. Good luck! --JB <Snip> homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast
I recently purchased a Hario, and love it but hated the wait. I placed my order early Feb, and was told that the item was out of stock. I made a few calls during this time and was always told the item had to be shipped from Japan and that a glassware convention was delaying the order. I had to wait till early May before I was told the item was being discontinued and was asked if the Deco would be okay as a replacement. I said sure and payed a few extra bucks for the coffee maker. When it arrived, it was broken and it took UPS about two weeks to get it back to the retailer. They sent me another one about a week later and I received it just fine. I really like it and am very pleased with the quality of the glass. I could have purchased a cheap one (under $75.00) sooner, but I wanted something that looked nice and that would last. Hario glassware is very high quality. Hope this helps, Shawn D O T E A S Y - "Join the web hosting revolution!" http://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast">http://www.doteasy.comhomeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast
Sometime around 09:01 6/27/02, John - In Deep Southern Texas typed: <Snip> John, What can one expect to pay for a new or used Cona ( of any of the all glass ones). Are they still produced even? I keep hearing about antique vac pot systems(Silex I think). Thanks. Just trying to work out my own budget. Actually, I am seriously looking into building my own glass vac pot but would need to come in "under budget" to justify it I think ; "really, I'm saving money this way". BTW, welcome aboard Jim. -- -- John Nanci AlChemist at large Life is too short to drink bad coffee.
John, The Cona is still in production, there was a period when I think the Hiros weren't available (or part of their list). Silex has been around since - I - was a child so they are probably the antiques being talked about. LIke a lot of things in life, part of the price is involved in pride of ownership, reputation and quality. I bought my Cona because it has the best reputation for producing the best cup. I swallowed hard (on a small fixed budget) and went for it and have never regreted it for a moment. Building a glass vacuum pot is going to require some understanding of how the vacuum is formed, and how much water it will pull and then maintain. Lots of people have figured it out because there are lots of vacuum pots out there - but its NOT something I'd want to try (and I use to skydive so I'm no coward). You can check out several of the systems at once on Tom & Maria's site at:http://www.sweetmarias.com/prod.brewers.vacuum.shtml The systems run between $60 - $150 but when you are considering them remember reputatiion and quality - then you can settle on pride of ownership for yourself. John - heading south again