Friday, October 15, 2010

Back to the Coffee Saga

I'm not all that pleased with my new ufesa coffeemaker.  To put it simply, it feels cheap, very light weight materials and it took awhile for the plastic taste to leave.  The coffee also isn't as hot as my previous coffeemakers produced, and not as strong.  Last night I slept at my cousin's after going with her to a wedding in Haifa.  She has a small Farberwear electric percolator which they use with a transformer.  The coffee was good. 

Now I'm debating what to buy next.  I read the reviews plus more about making coffee, and I wonder if I should also run an American one on a transformer, get a better drip/filter one either at duty free next trip or American one on a transformer or should I go back to the old non-electric percolators.

The reviews of the Farberwear electric are mixed.  Some people love it, while others complain that the perc'ing ends too soon making the coffee weaker than desired.  I do love a very strong cup of coffee in the morning.  I didn't mind that my cousin's wasn't super strong, since I was about to travel.

The coffee saga continues...

Advice kindly requested, thanks.


Ed Greenberg said...

Percolating is an old fashioned way to make coffee. French Press makes the strongest coffee, but it's a pain in the neck to do and clean up. Drip is good. Look for a drip coffeemaker that uses a cone-shaped filter. I have a really nice single-serving drip coffeemaker from Starbucks. It uses #2 Melitta filters. It makes a single 16 fl oz (473 ml) serving. I use 1/4 cup (60 cc) of beans, and grind them medium. I get coffee that many people say is too strong (but what do they know? :)

If you're willing to boil water in a kettle first, a Melitta cone is a really good way to make coffee without electricity (unless you have an electric range :) Melitta is a European company, so hopefully, they export to Israel. If not, somebody can get you one at any American supermarket. See and also,164.html, then click Non-Electric.

Grind midway between fine and coarse for a drip maker. Grind coarse for the french press.

From your post, I get the idea that the quality of appliances sold in Israel does not meet your expectations. Perhaps you can find European brands like Braun. or Regarding US appliances and transformers, there is an interesting faq for people making Aliah at that discusses this. My take is that a coffeemaker's heat element will require a large transformer. The difference between 50 and 60 cycles is not really significant, since it doesn't have a motor. You might do better with a UK product, since they use 230V @ 50Hz. You'd need an adapter, but not a transformer. There is a large selection of coffeemakers at


Ed Greenberg
Austin, Texas

Jennifer in MamaLand said...

Actually, I clicked here to put in my plug for a Bodum (French press), but it appears that Ed has beaten me to the recommendations - at length!

I do want to disagree, slightly. He wrote "French Press makes the strongest coffee, but it's a pain in the neck to do and clean up."

Well, it's no more a pain in the neck than tea. For tea, you wait a few minutes and remove the bag. With the Bodum, you wait a few minutes, then press the plunger down. Unless your neck is quite sensitive, no pain. :-)

Cleanup is no more than I'd imagine with a regular coffee maker. No filter to handily lift out the grounds, but that's nothing I can't do with my hand or a spatula. And I can't imagine the glass pot is any harder to clean than the carafe of a regular coffee maker. A quick scrub with a brush gets the plunger quite clean.

Inexpensive to buy, good coffee (you control the strength), and no more filters to buy, ever!

Ed Greenberg said...

Hi Jennifer,

Please don't think I'm arguing with you, since this should be lighthearted and of help to the blogger.

My concern about french presses is cleaning up the grounds. If you are willing to wash them down the sink, it's not really a problem, but many folks have septic systems or other reasons why grounds cannot go down the drain. In that case, trying to get (all) the grounds into the trash is a task that has escaped me.

Nonetheless, I love the output.

Good shabbos

Batya said...

Ed, Jennifer, thanks. My daughter likes the French Press, and David recommended just pouring boiling water over a filter-filled with coffee.
I can get more expensive European coffeemakers here in Israel. I didn't realize that ufesa wasn't the weight I was used to. At least it doesn't take long. My old one drove me nuts. It took ages.
Call me "old-fashioned," but I do like perc'ed coffee.