Has all the features a coffee-nut requires to make an excellent cup of coffee.
Positive Product Points
Makes excellent coffee. This coffee maker comes with everything you need from a home unit. The gold-plated reusable filter is conical, a very important feature for coffee lovers. Conical, as opposed to flat-bottomed filters, allow the water to drip through more evenly onto the grinds, thus making a better and more flavourful cup of coffee. Also, much to my surprise, the drip is a showerhead-style, very rare for home brewers. Normally it is a single hole, which does not distribute the water evenly (making a conical filter even more important). A showerhead-style ensures the grounds are evenly soaked, pulling the most flavour possible out of your beans. With most other units, you either get a showerhead plus flat bottomed filter, or single-point and conical filter. With this unit, you get the best of both worlds; conical + showerhead. Coffee is also meant to be made hot, and by hot I mean over 205 degrees. If it is made at 190, (less than the boiling point of water), then the flavour will be flat. Many home brewers don't make the water hot enough, but this one does! Finally, there is an included water filter. An ingenious addition, and a must for serious coffee lovers. How can you make a good cup if your water is impure? A reusable filter (same as in Britta water filters) means impurities are removed before the coffee is brewed. All in all, the coffee it makes is full of flavour, not bitter, not oily, and certainly not bland.
Negative Product Points
The inside top is always covered with condensation (which is normal as it is boiling the water), however when you open it as far as it will go, the water tends to drip off and run down the side of the unit. Not a big problem, but could have easily been overcome with a little foresight. Where you pour the water is not the biggest opening, and it is directly beside where you put the grounds. If you are not careful, it is not difficult to get some water on your grounds. Again, a very small problem and not one you will run into often as most people fill the water compartment first before adding grounds. However, one to keep in the back of your mind because even without the grounds in place, if water spills into the area where the grounds should go, it will be kept in the unit until the carafe is in place. Then of course, it will fall into the carafe and dilute your coffee. Being aware of this problem is sufficient to avoid it. A bit pricey, but well worth it. Makes a better cup of coffee than any home coffee maker I have tried.
Makes a fantastic cup of coffee. Everything is done correctly with this machine. The water temp is definitely hot enough (ie. more than 205 degrees), there is a water filter to remove impurities, the unit features a showerhead type drain which evenly soaks your grinds, and the gold-plated reusable filter which comes with it is conical shaped. Very small complaints about this machine (detailed in the Negative Product Points), but none can keep me from recommending this excellent coffee maker. If you buy fresh beans and grind them yourself, I challenge anyone to find a better-tasting cup of coffee brewed anywhere else. This coffee maker can make coffee as well as Starbuck's can.
I would also recommend this model over the Grind and Brew. Instead, buy a burr type coffee grinder and the Brew Central. The Grind and Brew seems to have a number of issues related to the mess it can make every time it brews coffee. Apparently, the compartment housing the unground beans gets filled with steam every time, meaning the next grinding session will leave a very difficult to clean mess. Also, if there is a problem grinding the beans, the unit will back up and overflow. Therefore, I would recommend you look at a separate burr-type grinder rather than an all-in-one device.
Previously, I owned the Black and Decker HomeBrew Plus. I had no idea how mediocre the coffee was until I got rid of it.