Listen, Oppo. I don’t know why, but today, I’m feeling pretty down. I might be tired, I might be coming down off the long stretch of stress about the roof and windows and the fact that those things take money away from things I want to do, like paying off the cars, and stuff. Anyway, point is, I’m down, and I don’t get down much, and I don’t deal with it very well. So I’m going to review an essential piece of office equipment I use every damn day.

As many of your fine people know, coffee is wonderful. It’s a lovely drink. I love coffee, and not in the way my office worker loves coffee. His ideal requirements for coffee are thus:

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1) it has caffeine.
2) it’s free.

Yes, we have free coffee at the office. I gag a little when even referring to it as coffee. You see, I feel like coffee should be as much an experience as, say, making the perfect Old Fashioned. There’s an art there. Subtlety, skill, and in the end you are rewarded with a delicious drink you can enjoy. Not just a hot caffeine delivery system because you decide it’s ok to only sleep 5 hours a night because you want some “me” time away from your family.

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Anyway, I digress. At home, I have a lovely setup. I have an effective Handground burr grinder, pictured below unless Kinja:

And I will typically employ the time tested and yuppy honored technique of the pour over coffee machine, specifically a Chemex thusly:

Though not quite that yuppy. I have a regular stainless tea kettle, though I do filter my water. Point is, I drink one, maybe two cups of coffee on the weekend, so I’m going to make it good coffee, dammit.

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Well, I suffered at work with the sludge, and I crap you not many times the first pot would be soap coffee because the ass that gets in before me washes the carafe out with aloe vera hand soap, not dish soap, and doesn’t ever fully rinse it. Blech!

Well, I already had a water filter in my office (Zero water filter pitchers are THE BEST) so I brought in a cheap Bodum (knock-off Chemex) to make pour over coffee. It worked well, with the exception that I had to either buy pre-ground coffee (Don’t do this) or ground my own in the morning, and transport it in. The grind-transport worked for a bit, I got made fun of, but I was drinking good coffee so I didn’t care, but it wasn’t quiet. I was always worried about waking up the kids with the grinding. I know ostensibly that it wasn’t that loud, and it would be ok, but I worry sometimes.

Anyway I stumbled upon a new device, which is the point, and I will now cover. Actually, there’s a class of devices now, but the first one of the new all-in-one coffee makers was the Cafflano Klassic. This is a device that has a burr grinder, a mesh filter, and a cup, all screwed together in one unit the size of a water bottle, as so:

With this handy little device, I can grind coffee right before I make it, which is the best way to make coffee. Note, I did not pay “full retail” for this thing, I’m not crazy, but there was a sale, and it was under $50, so I went for it. Reviews are so so some places, great others. I get what they all complain about. The grind is not really consistent, and mesh filters never keep everything out, so you get some grit in the bottom of your cup. You get around that but just not drinking that last little bit.

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The advantages outweigh the issues here, though. I get fresh ground beans, hot filtered water, and I get to enjoy my 1-2 cups of coffee, instead of choking down another cup of the company provided coffee substitute. I mean, it makes a damn fine cup of joe. Not as good as my home setup, but it’s pretty close. Plus, the whole thing packs up together, so it’s perfect for those week long or longer trips I have to take. I mean, if there’s one place that can make worse coffee than here at the office, it’s a hotel.

As for the system, it does have some issues that are primarily related with packing a full coffee brewing system into a single compact package. The grinder is not well supported, so you get some wobble, hence the inconsistent grind. The grinder is also a little hard to hold on to whilst grinding, so your hand and arms might get a bit tired. If I were to do it again, and I probably will, I’d likely go for the newer version of this from Chulux. It’s not as compact, and the handle doesn’t just flip out, it needs to be installed and taken off to pack, but the grinder handle is perpendicular to the surface, like my Handground, and that is so much better!

Ok, I feel a little better. If you like coffee as an experience, I can recommend you try these out if it’s something that fits your needs. If you liked reading this post, or just feel bad for me, post up Corvettes, because I like Corvettes.