In my Facebook feed today, a post emphasized the massive amounts of plastic that go into our landfills from the one-cup Keurig coffee machines. It prompted me to write this post today. You can still make a far more rich and flavorful single cup of coffee without a Keurig machine. Yes, it may cost a bit more to start but I promise, it is a worthwhile one-time investment.
We bought our single-cup Italian machine 9 years ago, categorized as super-automatic. With proper cleaning and maintenance, I see no reason that this machine will ever die. Plus it gives us the opportunity to try different beans while always brewing the freshest coffee available. This is an obsolete model, but it is still available online refurbished at a far lesser price than what we paid in 2006. It is called Saeco Incanto Sirius, but there are many similar models by Saeco. Plus there are also many similar models still out there that will give you the same great benefits.
The quality of the beverage you get is so far superior to what you get from the Keurig setup, it isn’t really close in comparison.
You can choose between many different beverages, many different strengths, from Expresso to ‘Shorts’ to Cafe Americano. The cup warmer makes sure you aren’t pouring coffee into a cold cup. The bean hopper isn’t overly large, so your beans do not become stale. You see, this is a big difference between this type of machine and the Keurig style coffee machines. You have to use their ‘k-cups’ which are of course plastic. More mess for the planet. Plus they contain coffee that was roasted and ground months, even years earlier, so fresh is never an option with k-cup machines.
Coffee is at it’s best within a week, perhaps two, of when the beans are roasted. The best way to assure freshly roasted beans is to roast them yourself. It’s not hard, it’s not expensive and it’s not complicated. There are many sources on-line for the green beans and they have a very long shelf-life. We don’t do caffeine so we buy decaffeinated green coffee beans. Since we prefer a strong European roast, I roast to a dark setting. The roaster we have is perfect for the two of us. We drink coffee mainly on the weekends so to roast a large amount would just be wasteful. The roaster I’ve used for 9 years is the i-Roast. If it is no longer available, I’m sure there are others that are just as good. I roast beans outdoors since the smell isn’t what you’d think. It can be pretty nasty, actually. It’s simple to pop this little beauty out on the patio and plug it in and let it go. It has settings and a timer and makes it simple to roast beans properly.
Once they’re roasted, then I put them in a ventilated bowl or plastic bag and let them breathe for 24 hours before using or sealing.
The choice of beans is very wide. There are also a number of companies that sell green coffee beans of all styles, types and origins. Since we like a rich, dark roast AND decaf, the one we found that delivers for us is Decaf Hawaiian Maui Kaanapali Yellow Caturra. We buy these from Burman Coffee Traders and have found their quality and service to be consistent.
Of course both of the machines require proper cleaning and maintenance but then, so does your car, right?
The green beans require no special storage. They do need to breathe and these inexpensive cloth bags allow that. I keep them in a darkened pantry. The cost of the green coffee beans, generally, is about half of what it costs for roasted beans.
This may sound like a lot of work, but if you REALLY like good coffee, this is the way to go!
You can find refurbished Saeco superautomatic machines of all designs, plus you might find other machines from other manufacturers that will do the trick. But generally, European brands will deliver a far better quality machine, with a longer life and great coffee.