The most entertaining coffee brewing device on the market!
Positive Product Points
This vac pot is absolutely a show stopper. I own other vac pots and while the Cafetino brew is no better (or worse) than that produced by some of the others, its automatic operation makes it a real conversation piece for tableside entertaining. It has never failed to solicit great interest from guests and has become a standard part of my after dinner ritual for company.
Negative Product Points
The length of brew time is not controllable by the user, unlike most other vac pots and is quite brief. I have overcome this by using a finer grind and by pre-wetting the grounds with hot water.
The filter is made from perforated metal. While it is not prone to clogging (unlike older vac pots with questionable seals, this vac pot pulls a very strong vacuum) the holes (when used with the aforementioned fine grind) allow a little residue into the brew...not as much as a French press, but not the sparkling clear brew you get from a paper or cloth filter.
The Cafetino is a unique and visually stunning product. Not only does it brew great coffee, it does it with style and flair. The Cafetino is a modern adaption of the 19th century "balance syphon"... a special type of horizontal vac pot that uses the weight of the water, as it moves via a tube from the heating vessel to the brewing vessel, to cause the heating vessel to rise. When the vessel rises, it allows a spring loaded flap on the alcohol lamp beneath it to snap closed and snuff out the flame. A real "Rube Goldberg" arrangement and one that is loads of fun to watch. Once the flame is snuffed, the water returns from the brew vessel to the heating vessel by vacuum, whereupon it is served using the spigot at the bottom (after you loosen the transfer tube to let air into the top). Instead of the usual vac pot trip "north" and "south" the coffee travels "east" and "west".
The Cafetino's beauty and fascinating method of operation put it in a different category from ordinary vac pots and make it uniquely suited to tableside entertaining. This is the Cafetino's niche...bring it out after an elegant dinner or brunch at home or in your restaurant and I guaranty that your guests will be amazed and amused by this special brewing device. A genuine "conversation piece" in the literal sense - it is guaranteed to solicit favorable comment from even the most jaded world travelers.
I can't really comment here because I won the Cafetino in a contest. However, my dealings with Patrick in making the arrangements to receive the pot went beyond the merely professional. In these days of dealing with anonymous "customer service representatives", there is a real person behind this product..one that you can call on personally if you have any problem.