The whole is greater than the sum of its parts - a grinder/brewer that makes a great cup of coffee and keeps it hot and tasty in a thermal carafe.
Positive Product Points
Combines a very capable burr grinder and coffee-maker with thermal carafe into one device. Brews at the proper temperature to make a great cup of coffee. Easy to read reservoir indicator makes it snap to fill. Coffee stays hot for hours in carafe, with no acid aftertaste, oiliness, or bitterness. Programmable to brew at pre-set start time. Filter basket, filter basket holder, and top cover are notched so that they only fit together if properly assembled. Likewise, carafe will only fit under brewer when it is properly closed. These small touches assure that the machine can't be turned on unless it is properly assembled.
Negative Product Points
Very little not to like. The knob used to for setting the time and programming functions should have more definitive detentes when it reaches its limit of movement. It is sometimes difficult to know whether a twist of the knob has registered without fear of turning it past its stopping point. I wonder how well this knob will hold up over time. The flexible rubber ring that fits in the top opening of the filter basket cover is too easy to lose. Good thing a spare is shipped with the machine; hope I can find it when I need it, or that spares will be available for purchase. This machine does not have a built-in water filter, so you must use filtered water or spring water to avoid chlorine taste and inhibit scale build-up. The machine will tell you when it needs to be de-scaled, although I have not owned it long enough for this feature to activate.
Coffee Geek reviews prompted me to take a chance on this machine. I was sorely in need of a good cup of coffee and don't usually buy any product that attempts to combine two devices in one on the theory that they usually won't perform either function well. I was happily surprised to find that rule of thumb does not apply to the Coffee Team Therm.
The burr grinder quickly and quietly fills the filter basket with the right quantity of grounds. The basket then swings smartly under the brew head, and it quickly brews at the optimal temperature for a great cup of coffee. You can also fill the filter basket with pre-ground coffee if you have it; the built-in grinder will not start unless the filter basket is swiveled under it. The thermal carafe holds your coffee at the right temperature for at least an hour without the coffee going off or tasting bitter. if it were pre-heated, it would probably hold the temperature even longer. This machine does everything it is billed to do and it does it quite well.
The Coffee Team Therm is a little taller than the coffeee makers it replaced, but it fits under a standard cabinet. It is about as wide as the machines it replaced. Filling the water reservoir is easy but the sight glass is located on the side of the machine and is not visible from the front; which makes for a lot of turning and pushing of this machine on the counter until it is set up. The owner's manual is fairly decent, though not the best. You will have to read it before you use this machine so that you understand how to program the grinding and brewing functions. Expect the first pot you make to be weak as it must fill the discharge chute on the grinder with ground coffee before it will dispense the right amount for subsequent uses. You will also have to experiment with different coarseness settings and quantities of grounds to find the combination to best suit your taste. I like a strong cup but not Starbucks strength. It took about four brew cycles to find the settings I preferred, and I now get a perfect pot every time. In my case, perfection is achieved at the next to coarsest grinder setting (for dark-roasted beans and using the included filter basket instead of paper filters) and grinding for six cups but only brewing four on the "strong" setting.
This is the first coffee maker with an automatic brew cycle that I have actually used. I can set it to start at any desired time and have a full pot of coffee waiting before I'm even awake. Easy to clean up and de-scale.
The owners manual warns users who store their coffee in the freezer not to place cold beans directly into the grinder hopper as moisture clinging to the beans will cause the grounds to clog the output chute. The chute is removeable in the event it must be cleaned, although that is not expected to be a frequent requirement. The hopper will only hold enough beans to make two pots of coffee to assure that beans will not be allowed to go stale while in the machine.
The carafe pours easily although somewhat slowly, and it does not drip. The carafe can be removed during the brew cycle without spills or drips. I can't say enough good things about the quality of coffee produced by this machine. If the build quality holds up over the long term, this will be one of the best coffee makers I have had or used.
Purchasing from Amazon.com is always a breeze. The machine arrived in a well-packaged box from Capresso sealed inside another box from Amazon. No additional packing materials were needed to protect the machine and it arrived in excellent condition. The machine was secured and coddled in precision-cut foam that protected it fully from the risk of shipping damage.
Three Month Followup
Still works like a charm. It is making a good pot of coffee and I have not had any problems with either the grinder or the brewing mechanism. I have not had any problems, as reported in other reviews, with the basket failing to swing into place after the grinder stops. I would recommend an improvement in future designs on the distribution of hot water through the grounds. I have noticed on several occasions a dry area where the grounds did not get "sprinkled".
One Year Followup
Still going strong after a year. No problems with the grinder and it still makes a great cup of coffee. The little rubber gasket that seals the upper cover to the riser tube is starting to wear out from exposure to heat. I have to make sure it is seated after I clean the machine so that it doesn't fall into the water reservoir. This part is not listed on the Capresso website, so I'm not sure it can be replaced. This continues to be one of the best coffeemakers in this price range that I have ever used.