Most of the time I just use the trusty Rancilio Silvia, the easiest machine that I know, I get the beans locally, grind them in an Isomac grinder, and make better espressos than I can get anywhere here. The only issue is adjusting the grinder to beans, but as I mostly use the same blend, even that is a moot point.
Though it is a 30 minute trip one way to get the beans, have to do it once a week, possibly a roaster in the future, Gene Cafe or some such.
arrggh, My Mr Coffee died the other day. Just bought it in February, why, oh why, can't manufacturers build something that will last anymore? I don't mind paying a little extra for quality. Oh well, I grabbed a $15 cheapie and will pitch it when it dies.
I grind in a Zassenhaus manual burr grinder and brew with a Chemex. I will only use beans that are fresh. Luckily, there are two roasters nearby. On a day to day basis, I'm drinking whatever is on tap at the coffee place in the train station. As particular as I can be, I am a glutton and I will drink motor oil from a tin can if necessary.
yummy!! i love fresh-ground! I'm not much of a coffee drinker (I'm a tea gal), but when i do sit and Enjoy a cup i do prefer it freshly ground i like the mr.coffee coffee grinders they work great for grinding spices as well (which is yummy in your coffee if you just ground some cinnamon!)
About 7 years ago I moved into a new house and decided that I need an espresso machine. I ended up with Rancilio Sylvia and initially I thought that I would get away with buying ground coffee from whatever source I was buying it from. I found out very quickly that Sylvia is one fussy lady and that commercial grinders simply do not grind the beans finely enough to match Sylvia's demands. At the end I ended up buying Rancilio Rocky dozerless grinder and I have to admit that they make mighty fine pair.
I use a burr grinder every morning. Some days are French press, but 9 times out of 10, I prepare drip coffee. I also have a percolator that comes in handy at times (such as when Grandma comes to visit).
I'm also a bean snob and buy my beans from a local in Charlotte who's as picky as I am. It's also the only shop here I'll buy a cup of straight coffee from. The other shops in Charlotte either have burnt (Starbucks) or skunky coffee.
Because I've cited her in this thread a number of times, I hope it's okay to mention that my wife's travel piece about her espresso pilgrimage to Italy ran in the Washington Post yesterday. You can read it online here: http://dld.bz/bzKTg
Getting ready for some yard work today and starting off this Saturday with a couple of good cups of coffee. Enjoy a cup on me, my friends!