What's a better home coffee making option between an Aeropress and a Bialetti Venus Espresso Maker? I'm looking for something that's quick, easy, and doesn't rely on perfectly uniform ground beans (I have just a regular cheap old coffee grinder).
First - disclaimer in the fact that we now use a Nespresso... However, the aeropress is quick, easy and provides good results (to the extent that our local independent barista offers it as a coffee making option in her cafe) I don't think you need to have perfectly ground beans, just good beans!! The aeropress also doesn't take up much space... However, if you're planning on something for more than a quick cup for yourself, then maybe the Bialetti is a better option, as it'll make more coffee in one go?
In my experience, The Aeropress is about as quick as you're going to find for home coffee brewing. But if you don't like to use it, you might try a Clever Coffee Dripper:
This is one of my favorite methods of brewing coffee because it's so easy and you can adjust your time to fit your grind (for the most part). A finer grind will steep less time and a coarser grind will steep more time. The steep time allows you to go about your business while it sits, then you just place it over your cup and go. I've also brewed tea using this method and it works really well, provided the dripper is cleaned of all coffee oils when I'm using it for tea.
First of all, how do you take your coffee? Espresso or just a cup of Joe?
I drink much less coffee these days but when I brew it I just go with a simple French press. In this case an uneven grind is preferred. Easy. Add boiling water give it a stir, let it steep and press your coffee. You can make it as strong as you like. I just remember breakfasts in French bistros when your coffee would come out in the press alongside of your croque or your baguette. Goes well when you are reading L'Equipe in the morning.
peirino - I prefer espresso or americano, but coffee is fine too - I just want an easy and inexpensive way to make relatively good quality coffee at home. I used to use a french press, but heard from several coffee experts/snobs that for a french press in particular, a coarse but uniform grind is of the utmost importance. I didn't want to invest in a burr grinder, hence my search for an alternate method.
I feel the need to add that a uniform grind is preferred, but absolutely NOT essential to decent home-brewed coffee. If you're going for the perfect cup of coffee every single time, using high-quality beans that you want to get the most from, then yes: try to get your coffee ground as uniformly as possible. But for basic everyday coffee, a blade grinder and fresh coffee are going to get you a wonderfully satisfying, good cup. I've worked in the coffee business for over 5 years now and I still use a blade grinder at home, even with my high-quality single origins. I've never been able to afford a burr grinder. Don't listen to the snobs. A cheap blade grinder will make great coffee in the hands of someone who cares about the brew and uses fresh beans.
beyondcelery, that's very reassuring to hear!
Ditto. French press without a burr grinder is my current method at home. Three quick presses, then count to ten, then three more.
I just spent a week with my sister-in-law. She uses identical French presses with a pricey but not over-the-top pricey burr grinder. The first pot of the morning was bitter, no matter what coffee we used and no matter who made it. We decided that the burr grinder tends to clog and then release, the the supposedly exact measure isn't so exact after all.
To clarify, the quick presses, etc. are of my blade grinder.