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ajrunr
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Jan 2014
Posts: 3
Location: San Francisco
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Jan 29, 2014, 11:20pm
Subject: Questions on a Technivorm
 

I got a Technivorm for my birthday. Hooray me! Sort of. Hard to 'complain' about a free, very nice coffee maker, but I'm an engineer and I analyze everything.

My friends bought me a Technivorm Grand with Glass Carafe Link at Williams-Sonoma

I've always eyed a Technivorm, but not this one. Actually, never knew that model existed. There's very few reviews on it. Technivorm's site has limited info on it too. The William-Sonoma site is the best (and where my friends bought it).
The one I've always looked at was the Technivorm Moccamaster KB-741

Main Differences I can tell:
  1. Grand is $70 more expensive ($350 vs $280)
  2. Grand holds 1.8L vs 1.2L
  3. Grand has a flat filter basket, vs. the KB741 having a Cone

Do I return the Grand and get the other?

Questions:
  1. Why is it more expensive? Just the capacity?
  2. Flat vs. cone (age old question)?  This I'm very, very curious on. Very strange that the Technivorm makes their "expensive" model with flat filters, and the other ones with cones. (part of me thinks that this is because the Grand seems to state that it is designed to make a full pot for best results, making me think that the cone gives more options...which makes me not want the Grand?)
  3. Do I go for the Thermal Carafe over the Glass Carafe? This video makes me think Glass is just fine.

My current coffee things:
  1. Aeropress (morning where I make just my coffee and go)
  2. Melitta Drip (Thermal Carafe) Linky for when the wife and I want coffee

#2 makes ok coffee. Not amazing. Good when making 6 cups, but at 10 cups I find it just meh.
I really wanted the Bonita BV1800 Link, when I was going to pay for it myself, but the Technivorm is ideal.

Unfortunately, my analytical nature doesn't allow me to just accept the gift and move on. It figures that if I'm going to own a $300 coffee maker, I'm going to own the best one. :-)

Thanks for the help. My neurotic nature means I've already spent 4 hours researching this online to no avail.

AJ

UPDATE

I returned the Grand (Glass) for the KBT-741. A few reasons:

  1. Brew size (think the larger one would have been a waste on us)
  2. Wanted the Thermal Carafe
  3. Questions about the Grand's design differences

#3 was reaffirmed by the fact that the Grand Glass is on clearance and William-Sonoma ($280 vs. $350) I asked the manager and she said they were getting rid of the model permanently. I figure it is probably more for lack of sales then bad design.

We used the KBT741 this morning and wow, great coffee (as expected).

For those that care to read on, my engineering brain got to wondering about the saturation of the coffee grounds, the spread of the water out of the nozzle (etc). (these are my ramblings/musing and probably don't make a hill of beans difference)
Differences
  1. The grand has a flat basket versus the cone of the smaller size.
  2. The grand uses a spray arm with one hole versus the 9 hole spray arm
  3. The grand has a filter basket top with holes (~2" in diameter) that the spray arm pumps the water on (to spread out the water) versus the 9hole spray arm simply dumping the water in the grounds without touching a plastic top

At home I messed with the Grand's filter basket and spray arm. Noticed the following:
  1. If the flow rate from the spray arm is constant and of good velocity, the filter basket top with holes does a good job of having the water come out of all the holes, thus using the ~2" diameter to fill up the filter
  2. If the flow rate is weak, the filter basket top has the water come out randomly from the holes (ie not all the holes are putting out water). This means that the water is likely dumping out not exactly in the center, and mostly out of a few holes.
  3. With the flat basket, I can't convince myself this is bad or good. Unless I ran the machine multiple times, there's no way of telling how well the grounds on the edges were used.
  4. I think this design, with some tweaking, could be quite good. Tweaking being: 1. enlarging the filter basket top's circle of holes, 2. increasing the size of the spray bar (more on this later)

For the KBT741
  1. The 9 hole spray arm definitely biases the water on one side
  2. For good water/ground mix, you need to stir it at least once, preferably after the first filling of the grounds.
  3. I like that the water dumps out of a metal arm and into the grounds without dumping through a plastic top. Now, this isn't a big deal to me (I'm not a plastic hater), but the plastic on these machines is...cheap. Well made, but thin and cheapish. Avoid them is my preferences from a flavor/heat loss perspective.
  4. I think the spray bar design could easily be improved

How to improve the spray bar:
  1. Instead of it being a rectangular bar on both sides, the output side could be expanded or shaped differently. Circular, wedge/triangular, etc. This certainly creates a manufacturing issue as it is now either a two piece bar (welded or fastened together), or formed differently. Not being a metal expert, I don't know how difficult forming this differently out of stainless steel would be.
  2. A neat idea would be to have it plug into a series of tubes. The tubes would have a 90 degree bend at the end to disperse the water into the basket. On the opposite end, they could simple butt into the spray arm. Fixing the tubes together could be done (solder, etc). And, you could use copper for the tubs as an added bonus (both from a heat & aesthetic point, and from a $$ perspective).
    Again, this option would be more difficult and expensive. But worth exploring.

All in all, it's a good machine and I doubt if will went to all the trouble to change it, it would improve the coffee by an amount worthy of the time/effort/cost. But hey, you never know. (And more than obviously, I have not designed and built a successful coffee machine, so I have no idea what I'm talking about).  :-)

If you've read this far, congrats? and thanks for tolerating my musings.  

AJ
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kinbote
Senior Member


Joined: 22 Oct 2007
Posts: 144
Location: MA
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Vario
Drip: Technivorm, Kone
Posted Thu Jan 30, 2014, 4:28pm
Subject: Re: Questions on a Technivorm
 

ajrunr Said:

Why is it more expensive? Just the capacity?

Posted January 29, 2014 link

More expensive because of capacity. As far as I've heard, there's no special TV technology in the Grand.


ajrunr Said:

Flat vs. cone (age old question)?

Posted January 29, 2014 link

You'll get different views on this question, but a cone shape seems to produce a better cup. But, with respect to the Grand, it's not a deal-killer.


ajrunr Said:

Do I go for the Thermal Carafe over the Glass Carafe?

Posted January 29, 2014 link

Go with the thermal. The glass models typically come with a heating plate. Heating plates are a no-no.
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__________
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Sep 2006
Posts: 919
Location: .
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Machine now fixed ;o)
Grinder: None
Vac Pot: None
Drip: None
Roaster: None
Posted Thu Jan 30, 2014, 4:57pm
Subject: Re: Questions on a Technivorm
 

ajrunr Said:

Do I return the Grand and get the other?

Posted January 29, 2014 link

Suggest the following as a  basis for decision (FYI I have  2 Technivorms, both with 1.25l glass jug) :-

- If you normally make 1.8l of coffee, and it gets drunk fairly quickly, stick with the one you have been given (with the glass jug)

- If you normally make 1.8l of coffee, but let some of it stand for up to 30 minutes, swap it for a thermal jug version.

- If you normally make 1.8l of coffee, but let some of it stew for more than 30 minutes - make less coffee (it's going to be past its best soon after that).

- If you only make 1.25l of coffee at a time, swap it for a smaller domestic sized version - glass or thermal decision as per the above.

Good brewers like Technivorms work best at around their design capacity, as they are designed to meet the optimum brewing time for that capacity. Quote from Technivorm: "It is intented to brew full jugs for a perfect result"
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CoffeeRoastersClub
Senior Member
CoffeeRoastersClub
Joined: 6 Jul 2005
Posts: 4,537
Location: Connecticut
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vintage La Pavoni Lever...
Grinder: Breville Smartgrind,...
Vac Pot: Vintage Silex, Nicro...
Drip: Technivorm Moccamaster...
Roaster: javaPRO-CRC AIR Fluid Bed...
Posted Thu Jan 30, 2014, 5:22pm
Subject: Re: Questions on a Technivorm
 

I have the Tech KBT-741 (stainless thermal carafe).  I believe it is rated the #1 Technivorm, also on SCAA.  Personally I would go with the thermal, no glass.

Len

 
"Coffee leads men to trifle away their time, scald their chops, and spend their money, all for a little base, black, thick, nasty, bitter, stinking nauseous puddle water." ~The Women's Petition Against Coffee, 1674

Bitcoin Merchant www.CoffeeRoastersClub.com     www.javaPRO-CRC.com
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ajrunr
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Jan 2014
Posts: 3
Location: San Francisco
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Jan 30, 2014, 5:36pm
Subject: Re: Questions on a Technivorm
 

Thanks for the feedback everyone.
It seems they changed the spray arm design too. No more 9hole sprayer. It now just has one hole for the water to come out and drip into the lid of the basket (which has some holes). Personally I think that's a bad design for saturating the grounds.
Called Technivorm and spoked too a nice lady. She's says they moved to this because the 9hole sometimes sprayed to wide (outside the filter I guess?).
I commented that I didn't think the design got better, she replied with its a new model so hard to say. Fair point. But definitely no reviews on this guy yet.

She also speculated that the flat basket was because of the increase in area for the extra capacity and that a cone may not have been big enough. That seems logical to me. She wasn't sure and was going to email support in Europe and get a better answer.

I think the move to the smaller spray nozzle along with this being a 'flat' cone design makes me quite skeptical that the saturation will be as good as the other models.

AJ
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CoffeeRoastersClub
Senior Member
CoffeeRoastersClub
Joined: 6 Jul 2005
Posts: 4,537
Location: Connecticut
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vintage La Pavoni Lever...
Grinder: Breville Smartgrind,...
Vac Pot: Vintage Silex, Nicro...
Drip: Technivorm Moccamaster...
Roaster: javaPRO-CRC AIR Fluid Bed...
Posted Thu Jan 30, 2014, 6:17pm
Subject: Re: Questions on a Technivorm
 

ajrunr Said:

Thanks for the feedback everyone.
It seems they changed the spray arm design too. No more 9hole sprayer. It now just has one hole for the water to come out and drip into the lid of the basket (which has some holes). Personally I think that's a bad design for saturating the grounds.
Called Technivorm and spoked too a nice lady. She's says they moved to this because the 9hole sometimes sprayed to wide (outside the filter I guess?).
I commented that I didn't think the design got better, she replied with its a new model so hard to say. Fair point. But definitely no reviews on this guy yet.

She also speculated that the flat basket was because of the increase in area for the extra capacity and that a cone may not have been big enough. That seems logical to me. She wasn't sure and was going to email support in Europe and get a better answer.

I think the move to the smaller spray nozzle along with this being a 'flat' cone design makes me quite skeptical that the saturation will be as good as the other models.

AJ

Posted January 30, 2014 link

The sprayarm is a special design just for the Grand.  The other techs still have the conventional 9 or more hole arm.
Len

 
"Coffee leads men to trifle away their time, scald their chops, and spend their money, all for a little base, black, thick, nasty, bitter, stinking nauseous puddle water." ~The Women's Petition Against Coffee, 1674

Bitcoin Merchant www.CoffeeRoastersClub.com     www.javaPRO-CRC.com
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jimbo57
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Nov 2008
Posts: 5
Location: SW Ohio
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Gaggia New Baby
Grinder: Rocky
Vac Pot: Several
Drip: Pour Over
Roaster: Sono, Hottop, Behmor
Posted Thu Jan 30, 2014, 6:34pm
Subject: Re: Questions on a Technivorm
 

I have the Technivorm Moccamaster KB-741 which I like (can't really say I love it, but for an auto-drip it's good.)  I bought it primarily for my wife, and would buy again, but I normally use a pour over.  

The glass carafe is not a problem, at least for us.  The coffee maker has a switch for the brew and a separate switch for the hot plate.  That second switch never gets turned on.  As soon as the brew cycle is complete I transfer the coffee to a couple or more cups depending on how many people are indulging.  The remainder immediately goes into a pre-heated thermo carafe.

I like that I can easily do a 30 second bloom on the grounds before starting the brew cycle.  The KB-741 also has the 9 hole sprayer which, in my mind, is better for coverage.  If memory serves, the older model KB-741s had a single hole as well.

Jimbo
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ajrunr
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Jan 2014
Posts: 3
Location: San Francisco
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Jan 30, 2014, 6:34pm
Subject: Re: Questions on a Technivorm
 

Curiously, what's special about it? It's a one hole design, just like the old Moccamasters. Those had the same one hole, but went to the 9 hole.

For me, a one hole design in a larger and flat basket seems a bad combination. That seems like it would definitely miss a lot of the coffee on the edges.

Thoughts? (And much thanks for the feedback)
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gbastiani1952
Senior Member
gbastiani1952
Joined: 18 Dec 2008
Posts: 279
Location: North Carolina
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: QM Andreja Premium
Grinder: Cimbali Junior
Drip: Crusinart
Posted Fri Jan 31, 2014, 6:48pm
Subject: Re: Questions on a Technivorm
 

I was looking at getting the KB 741, but if you like you can re package the one you have and send it to me here in North Carolina.......   :) and then you can buy the one you want........lol just picking

 
Gery Bastiani
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