Whether you’re a self-confessed ‘coffee geek’ or not you may find yourself drinking a cup of coffee to “wake you up properly” before work or to “get you through the day”. Coffee does have benefits beside the positive effect caffeine appears to bring to your day – coffee drinkers are “less likely to have type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, dementia and have fewer cases of certain cancers, heart rhythm problems and strokes” (webmd.com, March 2012).
Many people are prepared pay good money for ‘quality’ coffee either at home or in a coffee house – it is seen as a premium product by some, hence the rather large price tag of certain coffee machines.
However, it is possible to enjoy coffee that tastes as good, if not better, than anything you can get from a large coffee house or an expensive coffee machine for a much lower cost. Coffee culture has its roots in communal activity and it is these communities that are creating a buzz around a sub-culture of do-it-yourself cheap, tasty coffee.
What are the alternatives?
Let’s be clear here that there is no alternative to good coffee. Sacrificing quality for cost can only go so far before you don’t actually enjoy the coffee you’re drinking. What we’re looking for here is value – the ideal meeting point of economy and superiority. Let’s look at some examples of good value alternatives to expensive coffee machines:
The AeroPress – manufactured by a Sports Disc company this is one of the cheapest coffee makers not just because it costs less to buy, it also costs less to run. The AeroPress uses a vaccuum to make espresso which goes some way to explain its almost test tube-like “science project” look. This machine is no so popular it even has its very own “World AeroPress Championships”.
The Handpresso – made by a French company this handheld coffee machine is billed as a truly portable espresso maker. Originally built for Easy-Serve Espresso (E.S.E.) pods, the Handpresso can now use ground coffee as well.
mypressi TWIST – the TWIST is another portable coffee maker and a clear rival to the Handpresso. The TWIST takes either ground coffee or E.S.E. pods and arguably looks more impressive than the Handpresso – this gives it more of a luxury feel which gives it a competitive edge against expensive static coffee machines. All of these portable coffee machines are relatively eco-friendly as they don’t require heating on a stove or more electricity than it takes to boil a kettle.
ZPM Nocturn – this coffee machine is not yet available for purchase but will be shortly. It’s a true example of community-led value-driven coffee production having been funded by Kickstarter which relies on donations from the public in order to get creative projects up and running. The Nocturn builds on existing coffee machine designs but does so more cheaply, enhancing quality whilst reducing the price for the coffee drinker.
Have we missed any? Share your alternative coffee machine in the comments below.