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We threw out our drip machine because we’re trying to ditch plastic. Got a Paderno moka pot, and didn’t take long for rust to cover the bottom. Probably because we like to prep the coffee the night before and we hadn’t been drying the water container.

Now I’m considering a percolator. Can you leave water in a stainless steel percolator without it rusting? The moka pot was supposed to be stainless steel.

The main focus is to reduce consumptive exposure to plastics.

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    A few questions: Do you have a preferred brewing method? Did you consider a glass percolator? A pour-over setup with a permanent or cloth filter?
    – Stephie
    Dec 4, 2021 at 5:02
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    Also is budget a constraint here? And what aspects of plastic use concern you in particular? By that I mean, are you more worried about potentially consuming plastic particles, about the environmental damage done by throwing plastic away, or about both equally?
    – R Mac
    Dec 4, 2021 at 7:56
  • Preferred brewing method - not really, just easy and decent coffee. We’re no connoisseurs. Pour over seemed too complex. Would be nice to make at least 4 cups at once. We’d spend decent money for something that would last, but don’t require high-end. Focussed on consuming plastics. Thank you!
    – Emily
    Dec 4, 2021 at 14:02
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    How does discarding your current drip machine help save plastic? Dec 18, 2021 at 15:48
  • You can get an aluminium moka pot, it won't rust. Bialetti is a great brand of such pots. Dec 22, 2021 at 22:59

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A French Press lasts forever. Or until you drop it, whichever comes first. I have a stainless steel thermos French Press which is bullet proof and keeps coffee warm for hours.

Or you could be a minimalist and make Camp Coffee: just pour boiling water onto loose grounds, like making tea. A dollop of cold water will sink (most) of the grounds to the bottom of the pot (or mug). It helps to grow a moustache to strain the odd grounds.

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What nobody has mentioned so far is a simple pour-over setup. Basically like the drip machine, just without the automatic and plastic parts.

Assuming that you have an electric or stovetop kettle (or just a pot!), you can use pretty much the same procedure like for your drip machine, you just pour the hot (do yourself a favor and don’t use boiling) water over the grounds and let it drip into whatever receptacle you like, even directly in a thermos carafe or a travel mug.

As for sustainability, you can get filter holders - in various sizes - in porcelain (Melitta, Hario), glass (e.g. the very stylish Vario, but there’s plastic on the matching carafe), plastic (which you probably don’t want) and metal - the later also without separate filter. Paper filters are compostable, fabric filters washable (but I personally find them too much of a hassle), metal filters are permanent if cared for properly - there is at least one Q/A here on that.

These filter holders can last “forever”, I have one porcelain Melitta one inherited from my grandmother and it’s at least sixty years old, probably older. So the most sustainable way would be to get a used one (yard sale, similar). After a cycle in the dishwasher they are usually as good as new. New ones are also quite inexpensive.

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Most types of stainless steel are not fully rust proof. For a good compromise between high effectiveness rust resistance and cost, look for products made of 316 stainless steel. This type of steel is unlikely to ever rust. 304 is also pretty good.

For brewing devices, a percolator, a moka pot, or a French press could all do you right. All three of these choices are available on all-metal designs including aluminum and stainless steel.

I recommend the French press form simplicity. Simply place grinds and hot water in together, let brew, press, and pour. Doesn't get easier than that.

Moka pots and percolators are nice gadgets that produce lovely coffee brews. They're both more involved to use and more work to clean than a press. Still, they make great coffee.

So yeah. Recommend one of these three devices with 316 or 304 stainless. Pour over gadgets are often available in glass, too, but these will require paper or stainless steel filters.

Alternatively, you might consider trying cold brew in a glass pitcher or jar.

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A south indian filter coffee maker, made out of stainless steel.enter image description here

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    Welcome to Coffee! Can you explain a bit how this works? That'd make the answer even more valuable to future visitors. :)
    – JJJ
    Jan 9 at 14:04
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There is no such thing as forever rustproof metal, but Bunn and some others make brewers with stainless steel reservoirs but there is plastic in the baskets. Any metal will eventually rust when left exposed to water for long periods of time, like overnight. I assume you avoid plastic because of carcinogens, but what metal is treated with to not rust is not a joy either.

You could use a stainless electric pour over kettle. Mine heats the water in under a minute, and then use a stainless mesh cone pour over filter.

The OXO Brain is a fabulous coffee maker that doubles as a hot water carafe. There is plastic but it is not the cancer leaching kind and very minimal.
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