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Presto Coffee Maker - Peter Kalanzis's Review
Posted: August 1, 2007, 9:17pm
review rating: 6.9
feedback: (8) comments | read | write
Presto Scandinavian Coffee Maker
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More About This Product
Arrow The Presto Coffee Maker has 35 Reviews
Arrow The Presto Coffee Maker has been rated 7.38 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since January 31, 2005.
Arrow Presto Coffee Maker reviews have been viewed 164,358 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Jeff C 8.80
Stephen Chapman 8.75
Diane Hartson 8.33
Terry Frewin 8.00
Bob D 8.00

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 7.0
Manufacturer: Presto Quality: 5
Average Price: $75.00 Usability: 8
Price Paid: $30.00 Cost vs. Value 9
Where Bought: ebay Aesthetics 5
Owned for: 1 month Overall 8
Writer's Expertise: I like coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: Krups Aroma Control Chemex
Bottom Line: Great coffee!!! If you drink drip, take a chance at $35 or less; or buy it new with a gold or platinum credit card to extend warranty!!!
Positive Product Points

Proper brewing temps,  Must differ with previous reviewers: heavy GLASS carafe,  Variable warming control for accurate temps, less scorching, and energy savings

Negative Product Points

Bad reputation for durability. (We will see.)  If the carafe is mis-aligned with the brewer by 1/8 inch things will get messy so care is required.  Lacks shower-head for better water distribution.  Not the highest quality plastic.  The brewing funnel does not have a definite stop. (Even swinging the Black and Decker closed felt more solid.) Needs 19 inches of clearance for reservoir door to open.

Detailed Commentary

ORIENTATION
OK I am not a saint; ....I am cheap.  I waited until I bought my second used Presto Scandinavian before publishing this review.  I wanted to avoid the competition in the marketplace.  I might put away a third one, but hopefully I'll have moved on to a Technivorm by the time these break. It's time to let you know.

OVERVIEW
With three heating elements this thing brews at the right temperature.  The coffee is great (for drip). The form factor is elegant, not screaming for attention.  On the other hand, the Krups reeks of quality, this machine looks like "value" product.  Fair enough.

TASTE
Flavor is the name of this game, and so far, I prefer this to any common electric maker, (I have not seen a Technivorm.).  The brew tastes richer; more of the flavors come out.  The Chemex has an edge in terms of cleanliness in the cup and perhaps a rounder profile, but coffee from the Chemex cools way to fast, and I must pre-wet my filters in a plate for better taste.  Electric drip simply is a matter of convenience.  The Presto Scandinavian offers richer flavor; you may have to upgrade your beans because the truth will come out with this machine.  

The warmer features a "smart" control; it's always on for two  hours, but varies the current to keep a constant temperature.  It does a better job than any warmer I've ever seen! I can actually tolerate the coffee 30 minutes after brewing, but I'd rather have a glass-lined thermal carafe, and no warmer.

THE CARAFE
I like glass carafes, nothing is as clean as clean glass.  I want glass-lined thermal carafes! (Is Technivorm listening?) Given the fact that the Presto was selling new at Sears for $25, I don't think I was due a glass-lined thermal carafe. This borosilicate carafe is much thicker than my ancient borosilicate tea kettle, a $12 Whistler with a Chemex glass top.  (BTW, If you go that route set the Chemex top on a cloth or cutting board, putting the hot glass top onto a glass oven top will shatter it eventually). No reason why this carafe will not last.  Smooth, predictable, thumb-activated lid raising lever for when you have to pour really fast.  Shows thought!

LOOKS AND OPERATION
The general form of this unit is agreeable to me.  It looks a bit different, but it does not scream, "Look at me!" Taller than most drip units;  unless you are going to mod the reservoir lid, you need 19 inches of clearance. The quality of plastic used is inferior to the Krups Aroma control which listed at about three times the list price of the Presto. For cleaning the reservior, you need a bottle brush.

You must align the carafe with the brew head or you will have lots of coffee on your counter. Just centering the spout and pushing it home works for both of my machines.  I do not believe in the rudeness of the stop and serve feature, (the first mug of coffee is usually the richest).  If they left this vile feature out, the coffee-on-the-counter problem would not exist.

You could figure it out without the instructions, but Presto had them on-line. (Every manufacturer should.) The Presto is significantly easier to program and read than my Krups Aroma Control; it's easy to set the clock and program a brewing time for those, like my beloved wife, who must have coffee within 30 seconds of their arrival in the kitchen.

After a month, I have no complaints about reliability and I will follow up this review.  There is one body panel that could fit better, but I bought these machines lightly used.

If you need to move this machine, use some care.  My Krups has a tank-like feeling about it; moving the Presto with a half-filled carafe in place I felt the frame flex.  I have one Scandinavian at home and decided to buy another to bring to the office.  No doubt the Krups is built to last, but the Presto delivers in the cup today.  I was loathe to write this review because the more folks know about this inexpensive (and possibly cheap) gem, the less likely that I can have another one to use when mine break.  Because this community has been so generous, I will try to be too.

The Swiss gold filters arrive next week.  :-)  ($10 at ebay shipped right now)

Buying Experience

About 90 % of my e-bay sellers have been impeccable.  Both of those who sold the Scandinavians to me were.

Three Month Followup

I still like my two that work!  No coffee spills due to spout misalignment by users.  If you have one of these machines, get a good surge protector for it, now!   Good advice for any espresso machine too.  One of mine burnt out; tiny mechanical relays are very sensitive to surge.  I bet this was responsible for many of these machines dying.   Especailly if your machines are on the same circuit as a beefy grinder or fridge, a decent protector is a must. (UL 1449 as minimum standard)

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review rating: 6.9
Posted: August 1, 2007, 9:17pm
feedback: (8) comments | read | write
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