Great show. Fab flavor. Odd experience with quality control and Krups Service.
Positive Product Points
My wife and I agree that the coffee from this machine is really, really good. It is pretty easy to use, has a small footprint and looks great on the counter. We can honestly say that it knocked our socks off and exceeded expectations from a flavor and "coffee making show" perspective. It is a very cool system.
Negative Product Points
Pouring water into the chamber is tricky as one cannot tip the caraffe up high enough due to the upsidedown U design. Also, it is way too easy to turn the machine on accidentally -- the switch is in the perfect place to bump into everything on the counter. Oddly, it just plain-out stopped working yesterday after only 2 months of duty and Krups service, so far, has not impressed.
I followed Mark's advice around coffee-to-water ratio in this thing and got frustrated fast. I played with it for a week and found that 1 Tablespoon fine ground (between second and third bumps from espresso on the Antigua) to 1 cup on the 12 cup scale is absolutely perfect for our house. No bitterness, nice strength, great, full flavor. I have been successful using this ratio on less-than-full pots and now typically make 6 cups every morning. I also found out that my meat tamper can do dual duty. I have a $1.50 meat pounder that is designed for making schnitzel (looks like a really big espresso tamper) and it fits just inside the Krups coffee bin. The weight is perfect and I feel so clever! However, I am currently in a state of depression (and caffine withdrawal) as the machine just stopped working two days ago with no warning after 2 months of moderate use. I took it to the service center and hope to hear back next week. The scary thing is that the technician at the Official Authorized Krups Service Center had never seen the Moka Brew and nearly broke the top off before I intervened. He told me that he will have to call HQ as he has no idea what to do with the thing. That makes two of us. Great for building confidence. On the way home from the service center, I bought a Chemex drip to quell the neo-luddite in me. Despite this latest problem, I would recommend this machine.
I bought this from cooking.com for $99, free shipping. They have offered to take the machine back, but I guess that I am old fashioned in the sense that I would rather try to fix the thing than get a new one -- blame my depression-era grandparents for instilling that trait. Cooking.com has exceeded my expectations all around. Communications were great and they delivered when they said they would. Krups service has been another thing altogether. I remember a few years back when our Krups mini-chopper's bin cracked and the service folks had me send the whole machine in with a check for $15 and I got a brand spanking new, latest model as a replacement since they no longer made the replacement part. At that time they really bent over backwards to make me feel llike a valued customer. This time around, I have endured intolerable phone wait-times and cut-and-dry, scripted answers that show that they really are no longer listening to the customer. I will post a follow-up to see if the Serivce Center comes through, and how long it takes them to fix the thing.
Three Month Followup
One Year Followup
This is a 3yr follow up. I am impressed -- once we got past the initial the "out of the box" problem, the machine has performed wonderfully and the coffee has been consistently great. I still do occassionally knock into the power switch which says to me, "design flaw." Filling the chamber is second nature, with a slight wrist twist. The amount of coffee I use is now instinctual and I determined that a corser grind was better suited to consistency. Highly recommended.