All Stainless Steel Coffee Maker
Making coffee without plastic
Recently, one of my visitors asked me a question about automatic drip coffee maker with no plastic parts - or at least no plastic parts coming into contact with hot water and the coffee. It turns out that such a coffee maker is nearly impossible to find.
There are many "stainless steel coffee makers" around, but most of them have a plastic filter basket as well as other plastic components. Even the Hamilton Beach All-Metal coffee maker is no-where near all-metal as the name would make you believe with many internal parts being actually made from plastic.
Why is it so difficult to find an all stainless steel drip coffee maker? Well, one of the reasons why nearly all coffee makers have a plastic filter basket is that plastic is simply the most convenient material for that because it does not absorb much heat. The main problem with a metal filter basket is that it takes a lot of heat away from the hot water while it is filtering through the ground coffee. That reduces the brewing temperature which then leads to sub-par coffee. Brewing good coffee requires high brewing temperature and so a stainless steel filter basket would have to be preheated first before you could brew decent coffee.
When I was trying to find an automatic drip coffee maker that makes coffee without the water coming into contact with plastic, the only recommendation that I came across was the Bunn VPR. Even though this stainless steel coffee maker comes with a plastic filter basket, you can actually purchase a stainless steel filter basket separately. This really is a commercial coffee maker and as such it is not cheap - you can probably get it at around $250 plus around $50 for the stainless steel basket.
Having said that, it makes excellent coffee, it is very well built and some users report owning it for over 20 years without problems. The customer reviews cannot be better.
Other Metal Electric Coffee Makers
Are there other automatic coffee makers without plastic internal components? Well, the answer is yes provided that you don't insist on drinking drip coffee.
The first obvious option is a stainless steel electric percolator. Now, percolator coffee is not to everyone's liking. While many coffee-gurus look down upon it as being "over-extracted", a lot of ordinary folk actually love the taste of percolated coffee. It is only your taste buds that can decide if a percolator is a good choice for you. Electric percolator with best customer reviews seems to be the Presto stainless steel percolator.
Another option that people often do not consider is an electric moka pot. Moka pots are usually called "stovetop espresso makers", but it does not make much sense when we talk about the electric version where no stovetop is required. As far as I know there is only one electric moka pot made from stainless steel: La Pavoni Caffe Mattina. There are also several models that use aluminum, the most popular being the Bialetti Moka Easy.
Other Ways To Make Coffee Without Plastic
If you do not mind making your coffee manually, there are some excellent methods to make coffee without any contact with plastic. To start with there is the Chemex coffee maker, which is in my view the cleanest way to brew coffee. It is a manual drip coffee maker made entirely from glass. It uses a very special paper filter that lets a lot of coffee oils go through. The resulting coffee is rich, crisp and clear - most people absolutely love it.
There are also other manual drip coffee makers that you can use. For example, there is Frieling Cilio porcelain filter holder.
Next in line is a French press - but you have to be careful about which one to choose as some of the plungers have some plastic in it. One model to consider is the Frieling French press. It is an all stainless steel coffee press with outstanding reviews.
Yet another option is a stovetop espresso maker. The traditional material for these is aluminum, but there are many stainless steel models around as well - check my page about stainless steel stovetop espresso makers if you want to find out more.
Finally, if you want to be a bit more adventurous, you can explore the vacuum coffee makers. These beautiful devices may be a little more labour intensive, but they make excellent coffee. They are also called siphon coffee makers or simply vacpots.
As you can see there are many different ways to make coffee without any contact with plastic components. If you know about any other suitable coffee makers or if you have any comments about this page, please let me know. You comments will appear below once I approve them.
Further ReadingStainless Steel French Press
Stainless Steel Moka Pot