High price, but probably still the best in class, and cost effective over the life of the machine.
Positive Product Points
Extremely easy to use, makes good coffee quickly.
Negative Product Points
High price, takes a lot of counter spece, aesthetics are a matter of taste. Carafe is difficult to clean.
This is an update on a review I wrote in (I think) 2009. My earlier Technivorn Moccamaster broke and I have had difficulty finding out where to get it repaired, although I have been assured that repair service is available -- I just don't know where. In any event, after crunching the numbers on repair or replace, I decided to replace, and the new model corrects two flaws in the earlier model.
I would like to reiterate that I spent the money in order to make drip coffee somewhat improperly. I would compare the quality of the coffee with that of a French Press or manual dripper -- but these methods require attention. The Moccamaster and other electric devices can be set up before bedtime, and either have a timer, or an on-off switch that will brew the coffee at wake-up time. When the older Moccamaster died after years of loyal service 2-3 times a day, I went to my basement and did a retrospective of some of the machines that I had saved in case I ever have a garage sale. A couple of them went into the garbage -- my conscience wouldn't let me sell them to an unsuspecting neighbor. I used my French Press, which predictably made first rate coffee, but without the convenience factor, and a GE electric percolator circa 1974, which had the convenience, but I really didn't care for the coffee, and which I found a bit more difficult to use. When I compared costs, repair vs. replace, I considered the fact that I wanted a new carafe (which I think if $75) and the seller provides two pounds of coffee and some other supplies. The decision to replace was based in large part on my estimate of the incremental cost. At the same time, Technivorm has made two changes which significant;ly improve the usability of the machine.
The Moccamaster now ships with a flow through top in addition to the older screw top. The flow-though has been available separately for some time and fits under the brew basket while minimizing heat loss -- strongly recommended. What's new is a redesign of the filter holder with an automatic lock. This has a rectangular base and will not fit older models with a round base -- but is a major improvement. While the older model, with a manual lock claimed to be able to stop the coffee flow, it never did, and I routinely had to clean up drips on the countertop. It could also be neglected, which would lead to overflow. The new design appears to be much more reliable, and much neater. Even here there are a couple of caveats -- the old design had a half-closed setting which was recommended for making small quantities of coffee, and this option is not available with the automatic design. Since Technivorm defines a cup as 5 ounces, I rarely made less than 6 of their "cups" but this is individual preference.
Because the automatic drip locks works, where as the manual one didn't, I consider this a significant improvement in the design. Because of my previous experience buying low cost coffee makers, compared with years of reliable service from the Moccamaster, I consider it cost effective in the long run, but a French Press provides equal quality coffee if you're prepared to invest the time, while an electric percolator offers almost comparable convenience albeit with a diminution in the quality of the coffee (Note -- as I said, my electric percolator dates from 1974. Reading reviews, I am not sure the newer models have the same durability and can't offer a recommendation.)
Regarding the issue of repairs, I've seen questions about this in other places, and I raised the question on the forum pages of this site. I e-mailed Technivorm and got an answer that repairs are available, and the usual price is either $59 or $99 depending what is required -- but I still have no idea where to send the machine.
Brewmaster -- delivered in 48 hours with coffee and supplies included. Well packaged. The company also sells refurbished machines for $199, and I probably would have ordered one of those if I hadn't placed the order before I noticed their availability.
Three Month Followup
Three months and I'm still quite satisfied with the performance of the new machine, with extra points for the fact that it's essentially free of the dripping problem that plagued me with the earlier model. While the manual control was supposed to allow the coffee to bloom, I have to admit that I don't perceive any difference.
One Year Followup
After a year I am, if anything, more pleased with the new Technivorm Moccamaster, largely because it has less tendency to drop on the counter top than the old one did. While this is probably unrelated, I was annoyed at the difficulty cleaning the carafe, but recently I tried Dip-It and was delighted at how effective it was. I even tried it on the carafe from the old Technivorm, which I had saved, and the carafe cleaned up nicely with just one application, so all my complaints about difficulty cleaning the carafe are nullified.
But -- while this may sort of violate the rule about reviewing products I don;t actually own -- I bought my daughter a Bonavita (keeping costs down) and visit there often enough so that I'm satisfied with my opinion. She and her family make coffee the same way I do, with all our faults (blade grinder, paper filter, American roast) -- and I find that I'm equally satisfied with the less expensive Bonavita. When this Moccamaster breaks down I would have to think seriously about replacing it with the same model.
So far though, I haven't found any new problems related to the Moccamaster and it has been used 3 times a day (most days) for a year. Since I can't comment on the durability of the Bonavita, I still consider the Moccamaster the best in class based on my experience with the earlier model.