I had a starbucks utopia vacuum coffee machine for just over two years... It broke last week (think we got some water in the bottom of the carafe unit, it looks identical to the bodum santos etc).
Well, of course starbucks doesnt carry this machine anymore and I can't find a bodum vacuum machine anywhere in Vancouver either.
I don't even have a french press at home, as I brought it to the office a long time ago.
I've been doing some serious searching and only found 1 online distributor for the bodum santos in canada @ greenbeanery.ca . Is there anywhere else I can get a vacuum coffee brewer? I can't stand drip and I am too lazy to brew espresso at home...
Colin can probably help you more in finding a closer distributor for the Santos, though I've only heard good things about the service from the GreenBeanery. Further afield in New York, both 1st-Line and WholeLatteLove carry it as well.
Not to steer you away from your vacuum brewer, nor away from a Canadian vendor, but you might want to have a glance at Amazon (com) to see the rather low price that they have on the Krups Moka Brew. Yes, that's right: Krups. From several opinions, it is one of their few products that brews very well.
Stepping even further toward your french press at work, you could even poke an eyeball at the Eva Solo Cafe Solo brewer -- pricey but snazzy, and it brews a good cup to take with you: piping hot in its neoprene jacket.
The krups moka brew sounds VERY intriguing... after reading a couple of reviews, I really would liked to try one... I just might
I think I am still going for the vacuum machine as well, because I'm so used to the taste now.
The eva solo LOOKS great, but I am oh so tired of sludgy coffee... unless it produces something better and less silty then my plain ol' $20 bodum french press I use at the office?
What I have been thinking to do, is brew a good pot of coffee at home, toss it in a thermos container and bring it to the office, so I can avoid all the silty french press I've got my co-workers hooked on... (yes, I brought in the french press, now the drip machine sits unused and dusty in the back corner, and I am the only one complaining about the french press coffee now. Kinda funny). I've been thinking about double straining the french press coffee, but then I am worried about removing the oils that make the coffee taste good.
All that said, I would still love to find an actual store that carries these products in Vancouver or so, instead of ordering online. Always so much trouble and hassle ordering this kinda stuff online. Especially the awesome, long border delays with customs...
I've heard (read) that the filter on the Cafe Solo actually works fairly well ... even though the coffee stays -gasp- in the water, allegedly the filter keeps the silt out of your mouth and the nightmares you might have about overextraction do not show up in the cup for some time. The argument is that the brew water has cooled sufficiently after brewing (not excessively) that further extraction is considerably slowed.
Haven't tried one, myself. They are supposed to be reasonably easy to clean, too. I wondered, what with the narrow neck.
Does your french press at work have a two-stage filter? I.e., a nylon filter in addition to the wire mesh? Admittedly, I still get silt with mine, but that's largely from using a worn, inexpensive grinder that simply cannot grind without creating lots of fines.
If you're looking for other press-related stuff, have a look at Trudeau's Tirra(?) press, which pulls the grounds to the top of the press and holds them away from the water (while also easier to clean).
I've now ordered a krups moka brew, a Trudeau's Tirra press (gotta see how it works out!), a bodum santos 12 cup vacuum brewer and a solis maestro plus Conical Burr Grinder... I hope the solis grinder is gonna be better then my POS starbucks burr grinder.
The starbucks grinder is a royal pain in da butt... the container the grounds fall into slides out of the grinder due to the excessive vibration of the unit, it creates a TON of fine dust and so much static that the grounds go everywhere... makes coffee time turn into clean up time. I hope the solis fixes some of that
Sounds great. Be sure to treat yourself to some first-class coffee to truly enjoy your new equipment.
Please let us know what you think of the Moka Brew!
The Maestro Plus should do a good job for your purposes. I haven't used one to know of its static tendencies. Be careful when opening it up to clean (yes, you should) that you don't snap the plastic tabs on the burr carrier. Shouldn't say so after you've made your choice, but - since you aren't grinding for espresso - the Kitchenaid A9 grinder is a solid alternative option which might avoid of the static nonsense: it is well built and grinds into a glass container.