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What is the best single serve coffee maker?

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 

What is the best single serve coffee maker?  One of the ones that uses the cups/packets.

post #2 of 48
Mister K-girl asked Santa for one this year
So we went to our nearest Starbucks to take a look at their new machine
Wasn't impressed
Still looking

from ...

My kitchen in the middle of the desert

A Hui Hou (until we met), ALOHA!

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from ...

My kitchen in the middle of the desert

A Hui Hou (until we met), ALOHA!

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post #3 of 48

In my opinion the new single serve coffee makers are NOT worth the money at all and I think this is another gimmick to get to your money since you have to use their  far too expensive pre-measured individual coffee-packets.Yes it is very convenient but not worth the cost.You decide-it is your money ?

I use an old fashioned small drip coffee maker( 5 cup) where I can make a single cup of coffee at the time. I did buy the cheapest one and bought a simple timer from Home-Depot to go along with it,and this set-up has not failed me in over 10 years.

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Only the smart ones are doing it while they are still alive.

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Every smoker quits smoking sooner or later!

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post #4 of 48

I do not like any of them, Water is not hot enough for coffee  plus one of those pre filled cartridges cost about 55 to 75 cent each. Very high cost.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #5 of 48

SIL swears by her K... I wasn't impressed.  Thought coffee tasted a little "instanty"??  Guess if you TRULY only wanted ONE cup, with not even half a refill, might be OK!?! 

post #6 of 48

Can't go wrong with this one and if you use good technique it makes excellent coffee!   Gotta love the price, just think of all the 'really good' coffee you can buy with the savings!

 

 

#1 white porcelain filter cone holder

#1 Cone
White Porcelain
Coffee Filter Holder

$4.99
#120291  
Coffee Beans2-7/8" high,
Approx. 3-3/4" wide,
Three 1/8" round drain holes,
Fits over cups 2.25" to 3.5" inside diameter,
Uses #1 or #2 filters (we recommend #2, as they stick up a bit and make it easier to remove the filter when done),
Dishwasher safe

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"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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post #7 of 48

I use a Melitta one-cup filter cone along with Melitta #2 filters.  Both can be gotten at Kroger or some well stocked super market.

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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

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post #8 of 48

I boil water and since I live at 4000 ft. elevation it boils at 204.6 degrees which is in the ideal range for coffee brewing, which is a  range most coffee makers don't hit. Pour it over my freshly ground beans in a wide mouth thermal carafe and let steep for 6 minutes. Then strain it through.

Cotton Bag for Straining Coffee & Soybean Milk

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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #9 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheflayne View Post

I boil water and since I live at 4000 ft. elevation it boils at 204.6 degrees which is in the ideal range for coffee brewing, which is a  range most coffee makers don't hit. Pour it over my freshly ground beans in a wide mouth thermal carafe and let steep for 6 minutes. Then strain it through.

Cotton Bag for Straining Coffee & Soybean Milk

 

 

CL, what's the name of that device and where can it be gotten??

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

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Brot und Wein
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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

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post #10 of 48

If water is boiling , you could put coffee in a china cap with a filter in it and coffee will taste good. Why spend $100s?  The whole thing is the temp of water, and coffee quality. I like Hawiann Blue Mountain

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #11 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by kokopuffs View Post

 

 

CL, what's the name of that device and where can it be gotten??

http://browncookie.com/products/cotton-bag-for-straining-coffee-soybean-milk

 

Actually this is not exactly the one I use, which I got years ago in Costa Rica where it was marketed as a coffee maker complete with a wooden stand and coat hanger device to place the strainer in, but it looks pretty close. I love it, plus it works when the power goes out because I have propane gas in my kitchen. That and a old fashioned hand grinder and I am good to go storm or no storm.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #12 of 48

@ Kokopuffs

i know that as a coffee 'sock' and used them for years as they were found everywhere in the caribbean for peanuts.  at the time the only alternative were expensive electric or the old style moka espresso maker which were too small. paired with rich puerto rican or take me higher jamaican coffee, the coffee 'sock' was great. PITA to clean but i'm sure the new ones use a different material which are easier to clean. the old ones were either muslin or flour sacks or something similar. 

@MichaelGA, i have never seen a porcelain cone filter...ingenious that it has 3 holes! the one hole has always been my biggest complaint about the plastic ones.   koko, that would be my choice if you could find one, especially if you don't have the time to linger in the mornings.... an electric water kettle is essential i think for that method, plus it's just so handy for tea.  michael where did you find it?....a specialty coffee shop or a BB&B type store? i have never seen one in the supermarket.

as an aside, where i am working for the winter, has a big and beautiful espresso machine so i am becoming very spoiled, very quickly. i practically have to avert my eyes when passing through the beverage station!  no fancy 'make mine a double cream mocha latte decaf baby' for me......i'll take a double shot straight thank you....dangerous!

 

joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #13 of 48

Haven't tried one yet but the Aeropress is supposed to be good and uses loose coffee not pods.

 

Other than that I would recommend a small french press.
 

post #14 of 48

I was told that there are now empty cartridges for the one-serve coffe-makesr availavle online. This way you can use youe own coffee and this would now make it less costly.

Every smoker quits smoking sooner or later!

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Every smoker quits smoking sooner or later!

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post #15 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by allanm View Post

Haven't tried one yet but the Aeropress is supposed to be good and uses loose coffee not pods.

 

Other than that I would recommend a small french press.
 

yes the french press reigns supreme in my book... how could i ever have forgotten about them?...so sorry...i loved them for years after i discovered them....we used to use a press almost exclusively, then my husband stared to drink decaf and i wouldn't budge off my dark french or italian roast so i got a small single press for myself, which worked out great for me...not so much for him, so we changed again as compromises do....now i think maybe i will ask st. nick real, real nice (and leave really good cookies) for another press for christmas this year...maybe one for him and one for me...yeah, that's the spirit!

 

joey

koko, have you ever tried a french press? good cup o joe for sure! go to a coffee shop, where they sell merchandise and ask  if they would make you a pot in a frenchpress

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #16 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by durangojo View Post

 

@MichaelGA, i have never seen a porcelain cone filter...ingenious that it has 3 holes! the one hole has always been my biggest complaint about the plastic ones.   koko, that would be my choice if you could find one, especially if you don't have the time to linger in the mornings.... an electric water kettle is essential i think for that method, plus it's just so handy for tea.  michael where did you find it?....a specialty coffee shop or a BB&B type store? i have never seen one in the supermarket.

as an aside, where i am working for the winter, has a big and beautiful espresso machine so i am becoming very spoiled, very quickly. i practically have to avert my eyes when passing through the beverage station!  no fancy 'make mine a double cream mocha latte decaf baby' for me......i'll take a double shot straight thank you....dangerous!

 

joey

 

I'm envious of your situation.   I also worked at a place once that had a real 'true' barrista and i'm ever so sad to have moved on from it.  I came in every day and had a new wonder / adventure in caffeination, it was truely amazing what that lady did with some beans and water.

 

 

 

I bought my filter holder at the local shop.

 

The number of holes is very important as they determine the 'brew' or steeping time, too few and you get bitter overbrewed coffee and too many you get weak watery coffee.

 

You can get them from a number of sources and in many sizes - I have  a few and use them depending on how many people I am serving.  ( I actually have one of each size... i'm that much OCD)

 

http://www.fantes.com/coffee-manualdrip.html    FANTES is a great store with a ton of history... I can't wait till I get back again.  They also do mail order so give it a try.

 

Amazon also sells them and is probably the best route for you.   http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=porcelain+coffee+filter

 

The amazingly cool thing is that they aren't expensive... and they aren't set and forget which is a bonus in my mind.

----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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post #17 of 48

I agree a French Press is very good.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #18 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by allanm View Post

Other than that I would recommend a small french press.
 

 

+2 on the FP. That's about as good as it gets IMO unless you want a Hario but overall their about the same amount of effort. I can't understand the K-cup craze. Expensive and just not very good.

Here's a link to a Company I bought a grinder from earlier this year. They have a lot of good videos demonstrating different gear and IIR they have a Hario/Aeropress video.

 

Dave

 

 

http://www.seattlecoffeegear.com/

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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post #19 of 48

I never did like the French Press thing... maybe i've been doing it all wrong... but it always tasted 'muddy'

----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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post #20 of 48

If your getting a muddy FP then you likely have too many fines in your grind. While it sounds counter intuitive many electric grinders have a very hard time grinding a good FP so you may have to screen your coffee. Save the fines for a  Hario etc if you have one.

 

Dave

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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post #21 of 48

Ya i've only got a cheepy whirly-bird grinder so until I get better I'll have to stick to the filters.   Cool thing is I still have lots of cash for exotic coffees and no one has ever complained, actually quite the opposite with many great comments.  (i'm also on natural water - deep well moderately hard but no trace metals - deep Canadian shield water right from my tap)

:)

----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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post #22 of 48

Ahh the blade grinders are the pits. Nothing but road gravel. Sadly quality grinders are not cheap. Perhaps the best deals is the Cuisinart burr grinder which runs around $50.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-DBM-8-Supreme-Grind-Automatic/dp/B00018RRRK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1354495178&sr=8-1&keywords=cuisinart+grinder

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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post #23 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckFat View Post

Ahh the blade grinders are the pits. Nothing but road gravel. Sadly quality grinders are not cheap. Perhaps the best deals is the Cuisinart burr grinder which runs around $50.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-DBM-8-Supreme-Grind-Automatic/dp/B00018RRRK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1354495178&sr=8-1&keywords=cuisinart+grinder


I have that one, works great!

post #24 of 48

Costco sold those for years for $25. I wish I would have stocked up!

 

Dave

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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post #25 of 48

Grinders:

The Cuisinart burr grinder grinds too unevenly (too much of a mix of small and large grinds) to be good for a brewing method like French Press or vac-pot.  It's better than a cheap propeller grinder, but not by much. 

 

I did a lot of research on this last year and tried quite a few grinders while looking something for our FPs and vac-pot, and the best deals we could find were the Breville Smart (~$200), and the Baratza Preciso (~$230).  Of course, "adequate" depends both on how you brew and how finicky you are.  I don't experience a big difference in the cup between expensive and inexpensive grinders when brewing with an ordinary, paper filter, automatic pour-over.  On the other hand, there's a huge difference when using an FP or (wait for it) vac-pot.  The vac-pot is very revealing while the FP is very sensitive AND revealing.   

 

If you want a grinder which can handle the complete range of grind sizes from espresso to FP, the Baratza Preciso can handle it sort of -- but is barely adequate for espresso, while the Baratza Vario ($500) works pretty well for everything. 

 

On the other hand, when we hit the road we take a $20 propeller grinder with us for our FP, and -- if it's not as good as the Breville, it's a lot better than using a hotel pour-over and fits in the basket my wife has chosen for our traveling circus.  So, there you go.  Horses for courses.  

 

Single Cup, "Pod" Coffee Makers:

The big differences seem to be in the type of coffee they use.  None of the pods are really very fresh.  On the other hand (how many hands are we up to now?), they make a decent cup, are incredibly convenient, and -- it it's your thing -- make it possible to store a wide variety of flavored coffees in a small place.  I'm not sure how much difference there is between single cup coffee makers made by the usual appliance makers -- I suspect very little.

 

FP:

Yes.  They're great, come in many sizes -- including "4 cup" which is really a 1 mug -- come in many "looks," and offer a lot of insight into the coffee itself.  The problems are that all of that insight means you'll suffer if your beans aren't good quality, freshly roasted, and both freshly and well ground.  "Freshly ground" means within two or three minutes of brewing.  It doesn't mean sealed in a bag at the "peak of freshness." 

 

BDL

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post #26 of 48
Thread Starter 

From what I've heard is the expensive grinders break easily, for example some espresso grinders if you change the grind setting while it is not moving, that will fubar the whole machine and void the warrenty.

 

Does that hold true with the models you've mentioned?
 

post #27 of 48

Cool thanks for the information guys.

 

~200+ for a good grinder... ouch

 

I think i'll stick with my 5$ filter holder and keep buying good coffee, already have a few FP's but mainly use them for 'non-coffee' things now.

----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

Reply

----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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post #28 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

Grinders:

The Cuisinart burr grinder grinds too unevenly (too much of a mix of small and large grinds) to be good for a brewing method like French Press or vac-pot.  It's better than a cheap propeller grinder, but not by much. 

 

I did a lot of research on this last year and tried quite a few grinders while looking something for our FPs and vac-pot, and the best deals we could find were the Breville Smart (~$200), and the Baratza Preciso (~$230). 

 

If you want a grinder which can handle the complete range of grind sizes from espresso to FP, the Baratza Preciso can handle it sort of -- but is barely adequate for espresso, while the Baratza Vario ($500) works pretty well for everything. 

 

 

 

My experience with these machines has been a bit different. I've had several of the Cuisinarts and they are much better than the whirly blade grinders. Frankly any burr grinder should be. The added up side is they are so cost effective that there's not a lot of risk buying one. They really don't cost any more (and far less) than many of the whirly blade grinders.

The Breville smart is a complete waste of $$$. I've got a full review of that machine posted here with plenty of photos.  The only good thing about that machine was the large hopper (and getting my $$ back after three dead units in a year). It certainly won't grind FP much better than the cuisinart but it does look slick with the digital display. However $230 is a lot of $$$ for counter top bling.

 Suggesting the Vario for FP is really going backwards. Not only is that machine $450 but if you want to grind FP your going to want to drop another $200 on ceramic burrs. Even after dropping $650 the Vario still won't grind FP as consistently as the preciso. But then that's not what it was made for.

Abe, There's no real problem moving the grind settings on a Preciso when the machine is not running. For most grinders with fine adjustments the burrs need to be moving to make fine adjustments.  These have a row of settings like your grinder and then another row of settings that will let you fine tune in between each coarse adjustment. This helps get a proper grind for espresso as each espresso machine can be very finicky on the exact grind it likes. I've had the Preciso for a year or so and it's a great machine but they run around $300. There's just no need to spend this much on a burr grinder for FP. Go to the Baratza web site and watch for base model refurbs. They often have some pretty good deals. Better yet stick with the Cuisinart. It really is a great little machine and it's easy to clean!

 

Dave

 

http://www.baratza.com/


Edited by DuckFat - 12/3/12 at 9:44am
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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post #29 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by abefroman View Post

From what I've heard is the expensive grinders break easily, for example some espresso grinders if you change the grind setting while it is not moving, that will fubar the whole machine and void the warrenty.

 

Does that hold true with the models you've mentioned?
 


Not true.  Readjusting the grind setting without the grinder grinding may cause both burrs to make contact, thus affecting their cutting edges.  Therefore burr grinders must be adjusted while the unit is grinding.

 

And btw imho the Baratza Preciso is what I own it it's a monster when it comes to a consistent grind for my Melitta setup.  As to my Salvatore Espresso machine (considered the Harley Davidson of home units), I own a Mazzer Super Jolly, a professional/commercial unit; and, what a powdery fine grind it makes.  Both are two-burr grinders and when it comes to the grind setting, the same strategy applies to both.

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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post #30 of 48

For your coffee needs and strategies, please check out COFFEEGEEK.COM.

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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