The Rancilio Rocky was my choice to replace the Solis Maestro for espresso grinding. The Rocky is strongly built, with a heavy quiet motor and heavy bronze grinding burrs.
The Rocky has a built-in doser for consistent volumetric dosing of your portafilter. Unfortunately, this presumes that you are grinding a lot of coffee and then dosing it. When you are grinding for each espresso shot, then this is doesn't give you any advantage. You even have to click the dosing lever 12 times (twice around the six sections of the doser) to eject all the coffee for one double shot.
Rancilio has now added a "doserless" model that drops the ground coffee out of a chute into the container of your choice. I have no desire to change to the doserless model. It might be ok if I was using it for something other than espresso, but it still doesn't seem ideal for single-serving espressos.
I recently bought a new coffee maker -- a Cuisinart Brew Central DCC-1200. The sticker on it claimed that it was "Fully Programmable." BULL! I couldn't find any way to run even a shell script, let alone a compiler. No interface for networking, unless it uses that new "power line networking." Nope, there's not a 1200 MHz processor in there either. Maybe I got a lemon or mis-marked model.
It does make excellent coffee, though. I replaced the "gold tone" #4 filter with a SwissGold® filter for much better filtering results.
This is my favorite drip coffee maker and I highly recommend it for your drip coffee needs. It makes up to 12 cups (that's the industry standard 5 ounce cups, not the US standard 8 oz cup measurement). I normally make "10 cups," which gives me a morning cup, a 16 oz fill in my travel cup, and a 16 oz fill for my office thermos.
While I enjoyed my drip coffee (via the Cuisinart BrewCentral) and my espressos, Americanos, lattes and cappucinos (via my Rancilio Silvia), I was still looking for other ways to brew coffee.
The French press is basically a glass cylinder with a filter mounted on a center shaft. First, you grind a fairly coarse grind of coffee and put it into the Press. Then, you pour near-boiling (about 195°) water over the coffee grinds and stir them carefully. Carefully! A metal spoon can easily break the hot glass decanter, and then you will have a mess.
After about three minutes, slowly press the plunger with the filter down into the glass decanter, filtering the coffee. Pour and enjoy.
This method of brewing can result in quite "muddy" coffee if you press the filter's plunger too quickly and force coffee fines past the filter or through the filter. A nice accessory for a cleaner cup is a nylon filter addition to the metal screen filter.
Copyright © 2002-2005 Terry A. Stockdale