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Old 12-09-2023, 08:38 AM   #1
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Utility budget for coffee?

Coffee has always been an important part of our mornings and it continues to be so aboard. We cook on gas at home, but Escape has an all electric galley. At home we brew coffee with an electric drip maker into a thermal carafe. Similar set up aboard where the drip maker is rated for 900 watts. No problem for our 3000 watt Xantrex inverter, but I am always looking to trim energy usage.

The coffee maker takes 15 minutes to drip through an entire pot from which we pour into insulated mugs. A 900 watt load on our inverter will conservatively consume 1000 watts of battery, so 1000 watts ų 12 VDC x 0.25 hours equals 21 amp hours from our 600 amp hour AGM house bank. Given the priority we place on coffee, that feels like a bargain. Are you guys in the same ballpark?
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Old 12-09-2023, 08:58 AM   #2
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I use a keurig type on the boat. It takes about 5 ah per cycle as measured on my battery monitor. I typically drink 4 cups a day, wife has 2. So I guess weíre around 30 ah per day just for coffee.
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Old 12-09-2023, 09:06 AM   #3
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Electric drip coffee makers are pretty convenient. We simply do not have space, plus our coffee habits might be a bit unique. I am an incredibly early riser and ready for a cup o' Joe at 4am. Cheryll is content to burn daylight well into the midday hours (7am!!!). We each have just a single cup of strong coffee. A few years ago, we went to an Aeropress . Invented by the same guy who invented the Frisbee, the Aeropress is essentially a single-serve French Press device. I built a storage rack for ours that includes the electric tea kettle to heat water. I see they now make a jumbo size that presumably would make enough for two cups of strong coffee.

If you're open to some sort of manual pour-over coffee such as a Melita style coffee maker (example HERE), going with an electric tea kettle (beautiful example HERE, though we went with a smaller 750W unit HERE), will speed-up your water heating process and likely reduce total consumed watts. And frankly, you'll likely make a better cup of coffee.

Another option for pour-over with tea kettle would be a French Press. This one HERE is a vacuum insulated carafe which would keep it hot for a long time and a great option. Many coffee snobs consider French Press method to be the best for full flavored strong coffee.

Attached pic shows our "Coffee Center" on Weebles. Aeropress, filters, and measuring spoon on top rack next to porthole. Tea kettle, sugar, and coffee on lower rack.

Peter

EDIT - we used Kuerig coffee makers, but since the pods are not available in Mexico and they take up a ton of room, quickly nixed from our galley.

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Old 12-09-2023, 09:14 AM   #4
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Love the coffee shelf! I can see that on our boat and that's really where I am going. The drip maker is easy, but bulky. We tend to rise at the same time, so making both cups at once is not a problem for us. We do have a thermal French press that makes great coffee. We also have a small electric water pot that is really fast, but because it pulls 1100 watts. Pretty close as far as energy goes, unless someone gets lazy shutting off the drip carafe heater...
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Old 12-09-2023, 09:23 AM   #5
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15 minutes for a pot sounds too slow for good quality coffee, so you may want to try cleaning the coffee maker and making sure it's all working properly. If you can get it working faster, you should get better coffee and with less power.

Currently we've got a single cup drip machine aboard. Draws something like 430w and will use about 50wh (4ah at 12v) to make a 16 ounce cup of coffee. I consider it pretty efficient and pretty small relative to the rest of the power budget.
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Old 12-09-2023, 09:30 AM   #6
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We had an older Keurig that pulled well over 1500w when brewing; plus in standby in continues to be an energy hog. For energy conservation, it's at the bottom of my list (though it is definitely convenient).

When I was delivering, I carried a Frieling double-walled French Press with me because so few boats had decent coffee aboard. A few years ago I looked for a vacuum-insulated French Press however none were made then - they are now (the Stanley one I linked looks like a winner, especially with nostalgic pebble-green finish).

The small 750W electric tea kettle has been great. It takes a bit longer to heat than our at-home model, but is super compact and doesn't interfere with other energy demands (we have a 3000W Magnum PSW inverter). I suppose it will hold 24-ounces of water to heat in about 4-minutes or so at 1Ah/min for a total of 4-5 Ah total. I'll try to remember to time it tomorrow.

Our boat is so small that space-management is key. Before leaving for Mexico, I spent a few weeks making spice racks, knife rack, coffee center, rack for ziplock bags, etc. Made a big difference in liveability for us.

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Old 12-09-2023, 09:37 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by mvweebles View Post
Our boat is so small that space-management is key. Before leaving for Mexico, I spent a few weeks making spice racks, knife rack, coffee center, rack for ziplock bags, etc. Made a big difference in liveability for us.

We have a similar issue, there isn't unlimited space in the galley and there's nowhere we can secure a coffee maker to leave it out all the time where it's not in the way. So whatever we may upgrade to still needs to have a space in a cabinet when it's not in use. And I'd probably want something with an insulated carafe to avoid wasting power keeping coffee warm and to avoid having any unnecessary glass on board.
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Old 12-09-2023, 09:54 AM   #8
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15 minutes for a pot sounds too slow for good quality coffee...
It's a cheapo Mr. Coffee. The actual percolation of the water takes maybe 5 minutes, but the basket and filter takes another 10 minutes to stop dripping. The difference between the Mr. Coffee basket and the Technivorm basket at home is how the filter paper "seals" against the basket. It's definitely sub-optimal.

Perhaps this is me rationalizing an improvement in our onboard coffee routine?
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Old 12-09-2023, 09:57 AM   #9
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It's a cheapo Mr. Coffee. The actual percolation of the water takes maybe 5 minutes, but the basket and filter takes another 10 minutes to stop dripping. The difference between the Mr. Coffee basket and the Technivorm basket at home is how the filter paper "seals" against the basket. It's definitely sub-optimal.

Perhaps this is me rationalizing an improvement in our onboard coffee routine?

In that case it shouldn't be drawing full power after the 5 minute mark, just cycling for a few seconds at a time to keep everything hot (unless you turn it off while the dripping finishes). So power use is likely lower than you calculated. But I agree, this sounds like a good excuse for an upgrade...
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Old 12-09-2023, 10:03 AM   #10
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Very good point. I have a Kill-a-watt and will measure the draw throughout the next brew cycle. For better or worse, that is several months away here in Ohio.
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Old 12-09-2023, 10:05 AM   #11
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Yeah, I love my coffee. The keurig is a compromise. Itís super easy. I used to use one of these: https://www.temu.com/ul/kuiper/un9.h...xoC4QIQAvD_BwE
But I got tired of dealing with the grounds. Excellent flavor though. No amp hours on my gas cooktop.
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Old 12-09-2023, 10:11 AM   #12
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I looked hard at adding gas for cooking. We have a small gas grill that uses green fuel cans. A small one burner hob could make a lot of coffee from one of those green cans. In the end, it just wasn't worth the effort with everything else depending on electricity on a boat not built for gas.
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Old 12-09-2023, 10:18 AM   #13
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My electric drip coffee maker is slow and it causes static on my radio but makes good coffee so I use it on a regular basis whenever power is available.

If no power is available I use an old perculator on the gas stove.

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Old 12-09-2023, 10:19 AM   #14
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I looked hard at adding gas for cooking. We have a small gas grill that uses green fuel cans. A small one burner hob could make a lot of coffee from one of those green cans. In the end, it just wasn't worth the effort with everything else depending on electricity on a boat not built for gas.
I get it. Thereís a lot of all electric boats out there. Iíve always been a gas person, love the speed of a gas cooktop. For a while I went with an old percolator on the cooktop, but the coffee was just awful. I had to use flavored creamer just to get it down. The Moka pot was a big upgrade in flavor, but a drag with the grounds.
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Old 12-09-2023, 10:26 AM   #15
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I looked hard at adding gas for cooking. We have a small gas grill that uses green fuel cans. A small one burner hob could make a lot of coffee from one of those green cans. In the end, it just wasn't worth the effort with everything else depending on electricity on a boat not built for gas.
We've had Weebles for over 25 years. One of my first upgrades was to replace the stove so it's now 25 years old (princess gas). Excess heat of gas is a PITA and small burners on Marine/RV ranges are slow to heat, especially compared to induction. Plan is to replace with a 2-hobb induction stove top and replace the oven with a combo microwave/convection oven for the rare instances we bake. Oven may require running generator of course when anchored (batteries/solar would support stove top. alternator would keep up with oven when underway). But speed of induction and greatly reduced excess heat is well worth the tradeoff.

In my opinion, induction is the wonder method for cooking.

Peter.
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Old 12-09-2023, 10:34 AM   #16
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We've had Weebles for over 25 years. One of my first upgrades was to replace the stove so it's now 25 years old (princess gas). Excess heat of gas is a PITA and small burners on Marine/RV ranges are slow to heat, especially compared to induction. Plan is to replace with a 2-hobb induction stove top and replace the oven with a combo microwave/convection oven for the rare instances we bake. Oven may require running generator of course when anchored (batteries/solar would support stove top. alternator would keep up with oven when underway). But speed of induction and greatly reduced excess heat is well worth the tradeoff.

In my opinion, induction is the wonder method for cooking.

Peter.
On top of all of that, even if you need some generator runtime for cooking, you now need one less fuel type. So excluding gas for the dinghy, fuel is fuel regardless of what it gets used for, there's no more separate propulsion vs cooking fuel. And you can free up the space previously used by the propane locker.
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Old 12-09-2023, 10:40 AM   #17
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Our little 4-cup Mr. Coffee uses 6 ah per cycle, we use it 4 times a day for a budget of 24 ah. Depending on cloud cover and solar output we may use the propane stove and a Melitta drip maker but convenience usually wins.
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Old 12-09-2023, 11:19 AM   #18
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Our little 4-cup Mr. Coffee uses 6 ah per cycle, we use it 4 times a day for a budget of 24 ah.
Now THAT's a coffee budget! Very nice.


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In my opinion, induction is the wonder method for cooking.
Me too. Our old electric cooktop is slow and hot and cracked. Replacing it with an induction unit is quickly rising on the projects list. Have you tried the perforated steel mesh "toaster?" I am hoping it will replace a traditional toaster as that thing takes up way too much room.
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Old 12-09-2023, 12:02 PM   #19
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Small manual espresso machine. Takes 8 AH to pull the shots and steam the milk for two large lattes.

On toasters, it's too bad LG quit making the combo microwave/toaster. I have one in the sailboat and managed to find another on Craigslist for the trawler. Also in that picture is one of several different types of stovetop espresso machines I own. The best of those is the Il Sorrentino "Atomic Coffee Maker" (not pictured).

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Old 12-09-2023, 01:29 PM   #20
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Whoa, love that combo microwave toaster. Very nice.
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