Better coffee for less money, and looks much better on your counter than a machine
Positive Product Points
Great coffee when correctly made Not as much of a hassle as you'd think Really attractive Inexpensive
Negative Product Points
Filters are a little pricey Takes a little more fuss than autodrip
Once you get the routine down, it is not a big deal to use this manual drip system. The only part that's a little tricky is figuring out what grind you need. Once you know that, you can pretty much make a pot before you are completely awake in the morning.
My routine: 1) Put a quart of water on to boil 2) Grind five light or four heavy scoops of coffee 3) Rinse the Chemex, the filter, and my thermos with hot water from the tap 4) Set up the Chemex, the filter, and the coffee 5) Go get the newspaper 6) Come back in - the water's boiling. Pull it off of the stove and let it set for a minute while I peruse the headlines. 7) Pour a little water on the coffee and let it set for just a bit - 10 to 20 seconds. 8) Fill the Chemex a couple more times with the rest of the water. It should take three to four minutes. About long enough to finish the front page of the paper. (If it takes less than three minutes, set your grind finer. If more than four, set your grind coarser. The grind will vary with the amount of coffee you're brewing.)
I don't find clean-up to be difficult at all. The grounds are in the filter. I wash the Chemex daily with a bottle brush. I never take the wood off - I just dry it right after washing it.
I've had it over a year now and used it daily. The wood still looks fine.
I've never had any problems with Sweetmarias. I am impressed with them, and recommend them.