A great machine for the price, if you're willing to do some initial fussing over it. May be the cheapest way to get 200 degree water from an auto drip.
Positive Product Points
Proper brewing temperature produces great coffee. Excellent themal carafe keeps it hot. Relatively easy filling; charcoal water filter. Included mesh filter with option to use paper. Good deals available; a nearly $200 machine for $60.
Negative Product Points
Finicky "safety switch" which stops brewing if carafe moves even slightly away from the body of the machine. Water tank seems sensitive to over-filling, will leak out the back if overfilled. Takes up more space on counter because carafe sits in front.
I just got my ST600 about a week ago, a Fathersí Day gift from my wife (I got to pick it out). I had been considering the MT500 and ST600, having decided against the Techniworm. I admit that I probably would have gone with the MT500 for styling, but for the cost factor and the fact that it has the fill indicator on the right, while the ST600 has it on the left. Our coffee maker sits on the right side of the sink, and it is very easy to fill with the pull-out faucet (yes, I use tap water, and the Capressos both have water filters). Having the indicator on the right side of the machine would have been inconvenient. AND I got this one for $59.99 from J&R Electronics, through Amazon.com. I wonder if theyíre discontinuing this model, as everyone seems to be discounting it. I was prepared for the styling and size, and although I neither love nor hate the styling, it looks fine in our semi-modern kitchen. The size is really OK in our setup. We have cabinets above it, and there is still room for the top to open fully; It takes a bit less than 20Ē clearance. The biggest difference is that the carafe sits in front of the machine, making the depth greater. And the look of this takes some getting used to. As Iíve read here and elsewhere, the most finicky thing about the ST600 is getting the carafe spout to stay engaged during the brewing cycle. First few times I ran water through it, it disengaged and cut off almost immediately. I noticed that the machine itself was not quite stable, and found that two of the rubber feet (diagonal from each other) were a bit higher than the other two. I remedied this by adding a stick-on protector to one of the shorter feet. I also tried pushing the machine all the way back against the wall. I was able to achieve full brew cycles for a few days. This morning, it did stop once and I had to restart. So I need to do a bit more fine-tuning, maybe a thin rubber mat under the machine and carafe. The coffee has good and hot, and so Iím encouraged. It tasted good with a little 1% milk (while I usually prefer Ĺ & Ĺ), so thatís also encouraging. The carafe pours well (and my wife likes the way the stream is crossed when it comes out). I will be experimenting with grinder settings. Iím happy with the initial experience, as I was prepared for the quirks that I had read about, and feel that the cost saving is definitely worth the little extra trouble. Iíll try to report back after a few monthsí experience.
Buying experience through Amazon was great as usual. I had the option of several vendors; J&R was the cheapest at $59.99. The Amazon direct price was $79. Shipping was very quick, since it came from NY or NJ and I'm also on the east coast.
Three Month Followup
This coffee maker has been in daily use for 3 months. It's still making excellent coffee and has not had any issues. I rarely even have a problem with early shutoff due to the spout not being in position. I would continue to recommend this unit to anyone. It's still available on Amazon at a good discount.