No more plastic in my coffee, please.
September 16, 2008 7:42 PM   Subscribe

I am looking for an electric coffee maker that is not made of plastic. I have found several that are "stainless steel" in the sense that they are plastic wrapped in steel, or the carafe is steel, but what I want is a machine that does not heat the water in plastic. The only thing I have found is a vacuum coffee maker made entirely of glass, but that's not really what I want. I'm also not interested in a French press or a Chemex. Please help!
posted by exacta_perfecta to Food & Drink (20 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I have this Bosch/PorscheDesign. But I don't see it available readily, maybe no longer being imported(?) Bought it a couple years ago, took a hit in the wallet, but makes a great cup a joe, and damn stylishly. There is some type of phenol plastic on bits (handles), but not anywhere water/grounds touch.

Probably lots of other options out there. Good luck.
posted by artdrectr at 8:13 PM on September 16, 2008

Sorry. On second thought, there is some of that plastic on the spout of the carafe.
posted by artdrectr at 8:17 PM on September 16, 2008

Something from Bialetti should do the trick: perhaps one of their stainless steel models? I have a Mukka Express and am delighted with it but it's a one-cupper so it might not work for you. They're all quite cool-looking and the most important upshot is that Bialetti coffee makers produce super, super coffee.
posted by lazywhinerkid at 8:21 PM on September 16, 2008

The Bunn commercial makers I've had apart have had stainless reservoirs. This unit comes with a plastic funnel however they are interchangeable with the stainless funnels if you also care about that. This one is less "truck stop" looking.

I see they also make/brand home machines as well. This unit claims a stainless tank (and trunk).
posted by Mitheral at 8:22 PM on September 16, 2008

If I wanted to buy a really nice drip coffee machine, I would get a Technivorm. Looks like the vitals are stainless - the holder for the filter cone appears plastic, but that piece should have little or no contact with the coffee.
posted by exogenous at 8:33 PM on September 16, 2008

It's not a drip filter, but the stovetop versions of these are all metal. They make good coffee too.
posted by kjs4 at 8:43 PM on September 16, 2008

I have this from Bialetti, but I know they also make electric models. I have no experience with the electric ones, but I'm perfectly satisfied with the coffee the stovetop version makes.
posted by mixed greens at 8:44 PM on September 16, 2008

Or what lazywhinerkid said.
posted by kjs4 at 8:44 PM on September 16, 2008

What about an electric peculator? The only plastic part is the bubble at the top and even that might be glass. I have the Cuisinart. It does have a plastic handle & base, but it doesn't come into contact with the coffee at all.
posted by Wink Ricketts at 8:49 PM on September 16, 2008

Seconding the electric percolator. About 10 years back, I had the same "ick" factor of drinking coffee brewed in plastic and switched. I use the french press frequently, but the percolator is great for keeping the coffee warm for more than 15 minutes.
posted by sfkiddo at 8:57 PM on September 16, 2008

I'm not sure if it uses plastic in the tank or not, but this Bunn is very well made, and is made in the USA, not China. Since it's basically the same thing they have in coffeehouses and restaurants, but scaled down slightly, the coffee tastes great.
posted by fvox13 at 9:05 PM on September 16, 2008

Oops... a little too quick on the button.... it does have a metal tank!
posted by fvox13 at 9:06 PM on September 16, 2008

Percolators are supposed to make not-so-great tasting coffee. I've heard this from many sources. I had a Bialetti type "faux-espresso" brewer, it makes coffee that tastes more like turkish coffee, so if you want regular taste, it will likely disappoint. I know you said you don't want vacuum pot or chemex, but did you consider that vacuum pots make the best tasting coffee? They even have incredibly expensive coffee bar in manhattan that only uses vac-pots, because of taste alone. I can confirm that vac-pot coffee tastes better than anything. Many drip machines don't brew at the right temperature, so even if you find one without plastic anywhere, you still need to make sure it does heat up to 200F. With chemex, you control the temperature. A drip machine that both gets temperature right and has no plastic anywhere is probably going to cost like a small satellite. (By the way, table top vac pots look insanely wicked, like something to use for evil chemistry experiments.)
posted by rainy at 9:52 PM on September 16, 2008

thirding the electric percolators. They are all metal, inexpensive ($30-50) and make a nice, full-bodied coffee. It does have a slightly cooked, caramelized flavour, but to me that is part of the charm. It also makes a fairly odd gurgling sound. The Perc is a bit old-school and not currently in fashion (see rainy's dissing of perc coffee without having tried it), but it's the only setup i know that fits your requirements. Just make sure you get a coarse grind or you will have a mouth full of grit.
posted by kamelhoecker at 5:50 AM on September 17, 2008

Thanks eveyone for the help!

I currently use a Faberware percolator. After just two months of use, the internal heating mechanism went haywire (I'm assuming) and the coffee is bitter and scalding hot. I'm sure other percolators are better, but i'm done with them for now. I also have a French press, and while I like the coffee it makes, I have an infant who doesn't seem to care that it takes time to brew the perfect cup of coffee, so those are out.

It really needs to an automatic drop coffee maker, and one designed for 8 to 12 cups. The suggested Bunn is looking pretty good. And I might be able to give the vacuum maker a shot. I've read quite a few reviews of table top vacuum makers, though, that claim they break after months of use. Since they are a little pricey, I'm not sure I want to take the chance.
posted by exacta_perfecta at 6:29 AM on September 17, 2008

We use this percolator. I think they're terribly underrated (percolators). The coffee stays hotter and the flavor is more complex, and you don't get the auto-drip burny taste so fast.

Sorry about the Walmart link; it was the first hit.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 6:32 AM on September 17, 2008

get an espresso machine - they all have metal heating elements / boilers. and actually make soemthgin that tastes good. (drop coffee is horrible pigs' swill).
posted by mary8nne at 6:35 AM on September 17, 2008

What about a Moka pot? Less expensive than a true espresso machine, but dirt cheap and all metal.
posted by electroboy at 6:50 AM on September 17, 2008

FYI on the Bunn that you chose as a favorite choice above, I own a similar coffee-maker and while there is absolutely nothing wrong with it, but I hated it. The way that you have to brew the coffee is tedious because it is intended fro making continuous coffee. I suggest you read the amazon reviews carefully about the method of making the coffee before buying.
posted by Carialle at 10:45 AM on September 17, 2008

I have a Bunn. I love it. It has its drawbacks if you're not familiar with it, as Carialle points out. It keeps the water hot continuously so when you make a pot of coffee and close the lid, it will begin to make the coffee immediately, no boiling first. The grind is important because of how fast the water goes through the grounds - this thing makes a pot of coffee in about 3 minutes.

Anyway, I've had three of em over the course of about 20 years and I can't see ever owning another type.

It's also great for having around the kitchen when you need really hot water.
posted by disclaimer at 1:34 PM on September 17, 2008

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