Buy the Deco, buy the Microburner, and prepare yourself for the best non-espresso coffee ever!
Positive Product Points
- The design of the Deco is excellent, and a *definite* improvement from the Nouveau
- Storage space for the upper chamber & drip divot have been added to the Deco handle/base - NICE!
- Chrome & black design is quite appealing to the eye
- The Deco works like a charm and brews a >>delicious<< cup of coffee
Negative Product Points
- Default filtering system uses paper or cloth, both of which absorb coffee oils and therefore part of the flavor
- Alcohol burner is too slow - the Microburner ($42) should also be purchased for faster brewing
By the time I'd had the Deco out of its box for 30 minutes, my co-coffeenjoyers & I were sipping our first cups of vacuum pot coffee! It was easy to set up, easy to use, and makes unparalleled coffee.
The improved features of the Deco make it even more usable than the Nouveau, even though it costs $20 less than the Nouveau! Having the ability to store the upper chamber in the handle, combined with the divot below the handle that catches any drips, makes for secure, mess-free coffee prep.
Another neat feature is that the lid to the top chamber can be used on your counter/desk as a secure holder for the coffee pot, since it grips the pot with rubber traction nibs. Excellent thought went into Hario's latest design! This also shows in the sleek styling of the Deco, especially when contrasted with the clunkier look of their Super Technica. It's really fun to brew coffee with the Deco at work, too - it's quite the conversation piece. People are always interested in what it is and how it works; they're fascinated & amazed when they watch it.
The price point is quite reasonable - $80 for the 5 cup (20 oz., 4 oz. per "cup") and $70 for the 3 cup (12 oz.). The 3 cup will suffice for one person, but the 5 cup gives you a healthy amount for you alone, or enough to enjoy & share with a friend. Since you can always make a 3 cup batch (or 4 - they're all marked) with the bigger pot, it's worth it to go with the 5 cup model for the $10 difference.
Aesthetic & cost considerations aside, the Deco makes truly outstanding coffee. All the flavor you could hope for swirled together in a tasty, rich brew with a *wonderful* mouthfeel! Everyone who's tried coffee from this vac pot says how good it is and how they've never had coffee that's as tasty as what came from the Deco. I agree completely and use it on a regular basis.
There are a couple of quick caveats that should be stated, so as to obtain the best possible coffee using the Hario Deco. These caveats are the reasons why I rated Quality at an 8 instead of a 10 - they should be a standard part of the package to make this the perfect system, or at very least both should be offered on Hario's site. Fortunately, the Microburner is listed. :)
Caveat 1: A Cory glass filter is a highly recommended addition, since the coffee will touch nothing but glass, meaning you get the best coffee possible. Also, you don't have to buy any further supplies (filters) from Hario - the glass is permanent. Cory glass filters are fairly plentiful on eBay; I picked mine up for $4.99, including S/H.
Caveat 2: The Microburner, also available at Hario (http://hariousa.com/microburner.html) is worth the extra $! This little puppy puts out a 2500 degree flame, which brought chilled, filtered water to boiling in ~8-9 minutes. It'll take easily double that time or better to boil if you use the default alcohol burner that's included with the Deco. If you buy the Microburner, make sure to stop at your local Walgreens to pick up a can of butane, since it comes empty in the package.
If you want to use the included alcohol burner, pick up a can of denatured alcohol (burns smokeless) at a hardware store because it too comes empty.
Hario's website doesn't accurately reflect stock levels of their products and order tracking seems to be manual. The system in place now gives very limited information; if you really want to know what's going on, you have to email them. I originally ordered the Nouveau, then fired off a bunch of emails after waiting & hearing nothing for 2 months. Following a number of email exchanges, I was offered their new Deco and decided to go for it. It ended up being a good decision, but I don't think I would've been given the option to change my order and buy the Deco if I hadn't pushed to find out when I'd receive my Nouveau.
Three Month Followup
Still loving it, still the best tasting coffee I've made! This Hario equipment completely ROCKS, especially when paired with a Cory glass rod instead of the paper or cloth filters. Get the Deco!!! :)