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Here's the situation: We're looking for a good coffee solution at our church. Churches (especially in the midwest) tend to have terrible coffee and we don't want to add to the problem. I'm looking for a machine that has the following characteristics.

  • Good taste
  • 25+ cups
  • Keeps coffee hot for 2-3 hours without burning it
  • At least the ability to auto shut off after an adjustable amount of time, programmable is a plus
  • Affordable (< $200)
  • Preferably urn vs. drip

This machine, the Nostalgia Electrics DSU-600 (http://www.livingdirect.com/Nostalgia-Electrics-60-Cup-Digital-Coffee-Urn-DCU-600/DCU-600,default,pd.html) looked promising but I don't know if it supports auto shutoff or only auto start AND I'm worried that it may no longer be produced by the manufacturer. If someone can suggest a machine that meets these qualifications or set my mind at ease about the DCU-600, it'd be greatly appreciated. (To be fair, I will accept the first qualifying post to remove any subjectivity)

Thanks for your advice!

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To echo mfg's first couple of questions, you should tell us what is actually happening and why the coffee is bad, and maybe what you think is good. –  Megasaur Oct 7 '11 at 21:11
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This question appears to be off-topic because it is about a shopping or product recommendation. –  SAJ14SAJ Mar 15 at 16:09
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1 Answer

Do you already have a decent urn that makes decent coffee? Is the problem just that it doesn't shutoff and burns the coffee?

Short of recommending a $450-800 airpot brew-station solution, and without suggesting you buy/blow $200 on a middling solution, I would recommend you go for the $20 solution; a wall timer.

Personal Opinion: I think any unit you buy for around $1-200 will be sacrificing somewhere; be it in capacity, potency, or whatever there will be money ineffectively spent. A thermal solution is better than a heated one. You would be better off either waiting to spend the money on a lasting, quality solution or hacking a cheap solution and spending the $80 left over on fresh donuts for a few weeks.

That said I have no experience with the manufacturer unit you listed. According to Google, that unit;

is a digital coffee urn, including a temperature readout, automatic timer, and adjustable keep warm and delay timer settings to give you precise control of brewing an - large coffee urn, coffee urn, commercial coffee urn, stainless coffee urn, 60 cup coffee urn, stainless steel, entertaining, catering, nostalgia electrics, 60 cup

...So it should match your criteria. I didn't see any direct reviews of that unit.

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We do have an urn that makes coffee. I would be hard pressed to call it good coffee, though. I see you mentioned the thermal solutions - that is potentially an option too. For the moment we're brewing it in the urn and then putting it into a thermos. sighs –  J Trana Oct 6 '11 at 2:29
    
@JTrana Have you done the yearly fixed cost of coffee itself? If you look not just at the price of the machine, but the incurred costs associated with wasted coffee (i.e. wasted coffee, re-brewed pots), or costs deferred with good coffee (i.e. more donations, participation) it may give some insight into your budget. Also, better machines have a better mechanism for extraction (hotter water means you get a better extraction, resulting in using less coffee bean, and less bitter coffee which means it may deal with "burn" longer), and this may adjust your costs as well. –  mfg Oct 6 '11 at 15:49
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