an inexpensive, fun, great-tasting coffee maker without presspot sludge.
Positive Product Points
great coffee, cool to use and watch, wire grid for electric stovetop use included, cloth filter.
Negative Product Points
take the funnel off carefully. it‘s a little hot. if the cloth filter string breaks, you‘ll have to wrap the filter around the filter holder or get a new filter ($1.25).
Does having too much water left in the bowl hurt the quality of the coffee? I'm not so sure. Even if this one does leave more water in the bowl than others, it just means the coffee is stronger in the funnel before coming back down. In the end, it‘s the same strength as if more water went north. If you don‘t want to bother with the cloth filter, you can fudge it in an emergency by wrapping a 4-cup "cupcake" paper filter instead. If the string breaks on the cloth filter, just wet the filter before wrapping it around the filter holder and it will work fine as long as it is situated carefully. Extra cloth filters are available at sweetmarias.com very cheaply, and they last a long time. It makes a brighter coffee than presspot, comparable to drip except with more flavor. My auto drip machine has been sent to a cupboard for good.
always excellent service from sweetmarias.com
Three Month Followup
Because I originally rated this product on the old 1-5 scale that were doubled to fit the 1-10 scale here, my new more accurate ratings are 9 for Quality, 7 for Usability (would be a 6 due to the cleanup, but becomes a 7 because I boil water in a tea kettle first to save time rather than doing the whole thing on the stove), 10 for Cost v. Value (because it's still a great buy), 9 for Aesthetics (because it is so much more attractive than other stovetop vac pots), and a 9 Overall for an average rating of 9.00. Soak the filter in OxyClean every so often to keep it clean and white. With a cloth filter and a wire grid, it merely lacks the spirit lamp and the beauty of a Hario to equal its components. The Yama also adds the option to do everything on a stovetop that a Hario and a Cona lack. This is still my favorite coffee maker (I also use a press pot, a Chemex manual drip, and a Melitta one-cup drip), but doesn't get used as much because its full capacity requirement and extra cleanup time.
One Year Followup
This, like other vac pots, does not do a great job when making less than the capacity (20 to 24 ounces). This is the brewer I generally use when I have company over. My auto drip machine (Braun) mentioned in the detailed commentary has long since been thrown away because it did not get hot enough.