Santos is a great value product that makes awesome coffee, and looks great in the process.
Positive Product Points
Makes the best coffee Looks great Never fails to impress guests Easy to clean
Negative Product Points
Handle is a bit awkward Very easy to break Sometimes difficult to remove the top funnel after brewing, though it becomes easy with practice
Without a doubt a vacuum brewer produces the nicest coffee. I find that it brings out unique flavors in most coffees that I don't get by other brewing techniques. I honestly can't recommend vac pots highly enough, both from an aesthetic and flavour point of view.
A common complaint regarding the Santos is the filter disc. I personally find that it works fine. Additionally, it is very robust. I have encountered problems with the filter disc clogging and preventing the coffee from being sucked into the bottom pot. This was a consequence of using a whirly-blade grinder. This grinding method creates a very wide particle size distribution, meaning you get very coarse and very fine coffee particles at the same time. The fine particles are the ones that clog everything up. It gets worse the more grounds that you use. I think that a burr grinder is a necessity for the Santos owner. You will never, ever have a filter problem then, presuming the grind is set correctly.
A vac pot is worth having simply for impressing dinner guests. I find it never fails to get everybody standing around it as it brews. The term "science experiment" is often mentioned. It really looks great, and I never tire of watching it in action.
Washing the Santos is relatively simple. It's a bit of an effort, but worth it for the good coffee it produces. The biggest hazard is accidental breakage. I've already broken one top funnel during washing. The glass is quite thin, and one bump on a tap will most likely cause a break. My advice is don't use or wash your vac pot when you are tired. It's much easier to knock the funnel over or hit it into something when you're tired and not concentrating. It's how I broke mine.
The only real negative of the Santos is its awkward plastic handle. It is not a natural grip for pouring. Removing the top funnel easily also requires a bit of practice.
Overall, the Santos is excellent value. Good price, great coffee, aesthetically pleasing.
Purchased from Coffee for Connoisseurs (www.coffeeco.com.au) in Australia. Delivered intact, can't ask for more than that!