coffee for a crowd

We're French press(es) for a small group. I used to keep a couple of electric drip machines for when I entertained but got rid of them in a recent move. What's the best way to serve coffee to a crowd? New electrics? Cold brew and some thermal carafes? Another option? I'm thinking 20-30 people.

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scruz
scruz January 6, 2016

i would rent a couple of coffee brewers/urns and brew several types of coffees. don't forget decaf!

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Greenstuff
Greenstuff January 6, 2016

Thanks, scruz. Decaf is definitely an issue. I don't drink it myself but want happy guests.

Summer of Eggplant
Summer of Eggplant January 6, 2016

I agree -a big urn - perhaps someone you know has one you can borrow. While the quality of coffee may not be what you mention in the other methods it will be good, easy and make a lot. Offer all the accoutrements to put in the coffee and everyone will be accommodated.

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luvcookbooks
luvcookbooks January 7, 2016

My parents had a big coffee maker, I think a percolator, for when they had lots of people over. Maybe renting would be an option so you don't have to get rid of them again... percolators smell so delicious while brewing but the coffee isn't very good. It is easy to make a huge pot of coffee, tho.

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Nancy
Nancy January 7, 2016

A few ideas. If you're going to rent an urn, why not use it for boiling water so people can add it to cold brew concentrates you will have made up, both caff & decaff?
If you're going to buy some new coffee maker as a supplement for the party, make it something you have craved and can envisage using in your after-party life.
If you have someone who can attend the coffee (an older child, hired wait staff) , perhaps have that person make fresh in small pots (French press, drip).
Last, what about caving to a Nespresso or Keurig and having a wild selection of pods...coffee, tea, hot choc?

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Nancy
Nancy January 7, 2016

PS If you've not seen them, have a look a various sites (thekitchn, serious eats) which have features and good tips about making coffee for a crowd.

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sexyLAMBCHOPx
sexyLAMBCHOPx January 7, 2016

Pull out your Bed, Bath & Beyond coupons and buy two coffees urns. Cheaper than renting.

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scruz
scruz January 7, 2016

and don't forget hot water for tea drinkers!

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Greenstuff
Greenstuff January 7, 2016

Thanks for all the thoughtful inputs. One of my first steps in the process had been to look at the kitchn and serious eats advice, and I am considering the kitchn's advice on how to make coffee concentrate to serve hot coffee to a crowd at http://www.thekitchn.com... That method appeals to the scientist in me and could either be fun or it could also be a messy hassle, requiring possibly a new sieve, some filters, and some new thermal carafes...

The other option I'm considering is two inexpensive drip machines. Procter-Silex has very inexpensive ones in red, which would match other highlights in my kitchen, so it'd be minimum investment and a little bit fun, though automatic drips don't meet Nancy's suggestion that I get something I've craved.

Urns just say "bad coffee" to me, and I'd rather pour than have people lined up at a pod machine. Tea is taken care of, as I have a super electric kettle.

So that's where I am at the moment. My first big get-together with lots of coffee makers won't be until February, so more advice will be welcome! And thanks again for the inputs so far.

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