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I'm an occasional avid coffee drinker. That is, I don't drink much (at most 1 cup a day, sometimes a few days with 0 cups) but when I do I want it to be (really) good.

I just want a good cup of regular coffee, and possibly a latte every now and then. I don't care too much for an espresso.

Up until now I've used the freeze dried stuff and sometimes one of those glass wait-and-then-press things. Both of them with mediocre results that leaves me wanting (most likely because I'm in a hurry and don't do it properly).

So, I want to get better coffee, without breaking the bank and without needing to count seconds or measure precise amounts of anything (both are things I suck at early in the morning). To me the capsule coffee makers seem like the perfect solution. But which one should I get?

There are so many of them. Went to a Nespresso store today and they let me taste a coffee from Nespresso Vertuo Next which in all honestly was good (better than what I usually drink) although I kind of expected even better, and when I read reviews about it they were.. mixed (things like the first cup being cold). So I'm back to square one and not knowing what I need.

Maybe you guys have some tips? I'm hoping to stay within or under 230 USD.

Update 1. Was asked to define a (to me) good cup of coffee. This is hard and I doubt I know the correct terms for what you are asking me to describe.. But I'll give it a stab. I like a well rounded cup, that's not too bitter (I usually stay away from the really dark roast) but I also want a distinct strong coffee taste (not watered down). In my opinion, a good cup of coffee does not need milk or sugar (although I do add milk sometimes, and I do enjoy a latte every now and then). I also want a good crema on the cup. Oh, and it needs to be hot. I hate cold coffee, I want it above 90 degrees celcius.

On a vacation to Teneriffa a few years ago I realized that every single little mom and pop shop had this machine (or very similar) and were all extremely good at making a good cup of joe. I have since then not tasted as good coffee as I had during that week again. Just thinking about it makes me want to go back just for the damn coffee. enter image description here

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  • Welcome! Could you please add a few details on how you define “really good”? As it’s written, it’s opinion-based (your “good” may be quite different from my “good”) and knowing what characteristics you prefer will give you better answers. Apart from that, nice post!
    – Stephie
    Sep 5 '20 at 6:52
  • @Stephie Thank you! I don't know if I answered your question, maybe I managed to give some insight, at least I hope so.
    – JensB
    Sep 5 '20 at 18:58
  • If you're interested in buying an espresso machine, have a look at this video by James Hoffmann: youtube.com/watch?v=7HIGdYy5of4 while not a complete guide, it might give you a little insight in how much a decent espresso machine costs. His other videos are also worth watching if you like to try different kinds of brewing methods. Sep 27 '20 at 15:58
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This may be heresy: An espresso machine plus a grinder is overkill for a one cup a day person. Try Nespresso Vertuo. Their coffee is excellent and comes in a wide selection of tastes. In my opinion, much better than anything from Kuerig. I own two Vertuo machines, one for office, one for home. I'm not in any way connected to Nespresso except as a satisfied customer.

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  • I don't think an espresso machine plus grinder is overkill at all! I drink maybe 3-4 espressos a week, sometimes I do a french press, sometimes a filter coffee. I am absolutely happy that I bough an espresso machine, even if I don't use it continuously. Sep 27 '20 at 15:55

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