Outstanding coffee is possible from this coffee maker, but make sure you use excellent beans or you may be disappointed
Positive Product Points
- Outstanding coffee--does anything else matter? - Small footprint and simple retro appearance - Easy to wipe down and keep clean - Have had for a year with no problems whatsoever
Negative Product Points
- A little messier to empty used grounds than a funnel filter, but well worth the little bit of extra trouble - Thermal carafe would be nice, but not sure it could be done with this design - Some people report that it's difficult to fill the resovoir with the carafe and there is some truth to this. However, by tipping the carafe slightly and pouring from the side of the carafe makes this a non-issue. -Auto shut off would be nice, but we transfer the coffee to a preheated stainless vacuum carafe and turn it off immediately so that's not an issue for us, either.
We love the coffee from this coffee maker. It makes a brew that is richer and more flavorful than most Americans are accustomed to, so it may take some time to adjust to the enhanced flavor. But, if you know outstanding coffee when you drink it, you will adjust very quickly. Unfortunately, once you've acquired a taste for the coffee from this coffee maker it's difficult to tolerate ordinary coffee.
It did take a few pots to get the grind and quantity of coffee right. Somewhere between espresso and autodrip seems to work well. Leveling out the ground beans and lightly tamping them with the bottom of a spoon works for me. Since this brewer extracts so much flavor from the beans it is imperative to use excellent coffee. I ran out of whole beans once, and used some Folgers French Roast that my wife had around and it was the worst pot of coffee I've ever had. One sip and it went down the drain.
Since the Moka Brew is so good at extracting flavor I got started roasting my own beans and now would never go back to buying roasted beans. Being able to control the process from beginning to end and always being able to have fresh roasted beans results in consistently outstanding coffee. Again, it took some experimentation to find the right beans and the right roast for our taste, but the results are worth it. A Full City roast seems best and definitely avoiding a Vienna or darker roast (oil visible on beans) suits our taste with this brewer. We previously preferred a darker French Roast when we used an ordinary coffee maker, but now realize that's what it took to get any kind of flavor out of an inferior coffee maker. If you've never home roasted, it's much easier than you might think. www.sweetmarias.com is an excellent place to start if you're interested in getting even more out of your Moka Brew. Bottom line is that the Moka Brew brings out the best or the worst in your coffee beans, much more so than most coffee makers.
Filters are readily available at http://fantes.com/coffee_filters.htm#paper which is where I order several boxes at a time to minimize the shipping charge. Yeah, the filters cost more than most, but compared to a cup of java at Starbucks it's trivial.
Bought it new from an ebay dealer with no problems.