Coffee Wars: Part I

We love coffee. We crave it. We need it to get the day going. Then we chase away the three o’clock doldrums with a quick shot of joe and power through meetings and mark-ups and anything else that may get in our way.

But what’s the best way to get our caffeine fix? This is a question recently posed by an inquisitive account executive at Merrick Towle Creative, curious to know what machine made the best coffee in the office.

It’s a good question, too, because we have four machines from which to procure our java salvation (down from seven at the last office). Let’s take a look at…

The Contenders
#1. The Saeco Vienna Plus: Super-automatic coffee maker

Put in whole beans and water; get coffee. Strong coffee, but not quite espresso…the kind you might find in Vienna. Hmmm.

#2. The Cuisinart Grind and Brew: Drip coffee maker with built-in burr grinder

From bean to cup in a few minutes, this coffee maker helps to give you a fresh pot of java with limited effort.

#3. The Flavia: Instant pouch coffee machine

This is the fulfillment of the Jetsons promise of instamatic gratification. Pop a pre-filled pouch into the machine, out pours coffee. It’s pretty similar to a Keurig cup system.

#4. The Jura Impressa Z5: Super-automatic espresso machine

Hailing from Switzerland, home of fondue, fine chocolate and pricey watches, this coffee maker lays claim to being the machine of choice for Tony Stark’s lab in the movie “Iron Man”. Nice design, yes. High-tech, yes. Jets or plasma cannons, no. But it can make you a latté with a single press of a button.

The Test

Make coffee. Drink it. Get a bunch of people to rank them on a scale of 1 to 10 in three categories: taste, ease of use and overall experience.


Coffee Wars: Part 2 – The Results

We’ve let this battle of the beans percolate and we have the results.

The Flavia had the worst taste overall but is super convenient (and makes tea), so there.

The Saeco split people by taste. If you like deep, dark, savage coffee, this one is for you, as it’s normally stocked with Starbucks French Roast beans.

The Jura, while technically superior, like Iron Man, it’s also intimidating, so these beans favor the bold.

The Cuisinart is just a good pot of joe – straight drip, for those who don’t like their coffee thick and espresso-like.

In the end, all of these machines are winners! Maybe not the super-satisfying results you expected but, depending on the situation, each machine gives up something worthwhile…caffeine. And there you have it.