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on December 15, 2011
I bought this hoping to simplify my morning routine, but I ended up returning it. Perhaps I was using it wrong, or maybe I got a lemon, but for me, it failed in executing its primary function. I could not get it produce a cup of coffee as well as my electric kettle and Bodum French Press can.

The way it works is by filling the vessel on the right side of the product with water and putting your French Press with coffee grinds on the left. You press the button in the center and water slowly gets pulled from the bottom of the right vessel, passes through the machine, and drips into the French Press cup. On my first attempt, I filled the French Press with my usual amount of beans, pressed the button, and waited for all the water to pass through. When it did, I removed the press from the machine, waited 4 minutes, then pressed. The coffee was weak. I decided to try again, but this time increase the amount of beans. Still weak. I decided I needed to do some testing.

Because of the machine's compact size and design, I could not get a thermometer probe into the French Press cup while it was working. Instead, I ran the machine until all 16oz of the water passed through, then removed the press cup and took the temperature of the water. I ran this test twice. Both times the water came out at 175-177 degrees F, not the recommended 200 degrees F for French Press coffee. It's possible I'm supposed to leave the French Press cup in the machine while steeping and it will continue heating, but I usually start the timer when all the water is in the cup and at that time it is not at the optimal temperature. I cannot tell if it will ever reach that temperature since I never let it run that long, but even if it did, it would be difficult to tell exactly how long I should let the beans steep before pressing for the best brew. My Kona beans are a bit too expensive to waste for the sake of science.

PROS
Build quality - Despite being plastic, every component of this product feels pretty solid. The French Press top screws and locks into place so it will not come out when pouring. To pour, you depress a lever at the top of the handle to prevent accidental spilling. The tea steeper cup also seems nice. Each piece fits well where it is intended to go.
Size - Using Bodum's measurement of 1 cup equals about 4 oz, this will produce about 4 cups (or approx. 2 8oz cups, if you prefer to view it that way). It is a compact design so it won't take up a lot of counter space.

CONS
Temperature - I was not able to make it reach the optimal 200 degrees F temperature for French Press coffee. After 16 oz of water passes through the machine into the French Press cup, it registered 175-177 degrees F.
Price - This seems like a pretty expensive gadget for what it does, considering you could just buy a regular French Press for less than half Amazon's price. Despite being electric, this device does not do everything for you.
Pieces - There are a lot of pieces to this puzzle: machine, water container, French Press cup, lid for percolating water, lid for French Press, cup for tea leaves, lid for tea.

CONCLUSION
If you already have a French Press and enjoy it, I would stick with your current process.
33 comments54 of 59 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon June 25, 2011
Color: BlackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I took a chance on reviewing this item based on the idea that a compact coffee press and tea maker would be a great addition to my office. Here are my thoughts:

What's in the box:
1. The box contains the unit, plus a tea infuser, a coffee press, and a carafe.

How does it work:
1. The unit works by either making tea or coffee and placing the appropriate parts in the carafe. After boiling the water, you place the desired implement (press for coffee, or the strainer for loose leaf tea (you could also use a bag, of course) into the top of the carafe and you have your desired drink.

Use:
1. I have to say that the coffee that is produced is awesome. It is far hotter and clearly well-brewed then a simple coffee machine is in my experience (for example, a Cuisinart or a Mr. Coffee). The coffee seems more richly brewed and better tasting. Tea is similarly better infused then with an auto tea-kettle and a tea-bag in a cup. The tea is far better tasting as well.
2. The set-up is fairly simple with just a power switch.
3. Clean-up: This item has to be cleaned after each use. This is also not something that can be abused without causing problems with the brewing process as the filter will get fouled up without disciplined cleaning.

Pros:
1. For an office or dorm, this would be a wise purchase as the dual use and small footprint (imagine a small integrated stereo unit) make this a handy unit.
2. For the money, it is fairly well-built. Of course the carafe is glass and subject to breaking. Plus, the parts are plastic and cannot be abused. So this unit has to be handled with care.
3. The combination of the two possible hot drinks is a cool idea and the drinks are better than I would get with a tea-bag or a coffee machine.
4. Design: The unit has a really cool, contemporary design and this does make a nice statement in your kitchen area (or desk area).

Neutral:
1. In using this item, after you brew the water, and place either the diffuser for the tea or the press for the coffee, you have to remove carafe, and place the pourer on the top of the carafe to actually pour the drink. Meh. And, if you want to replace the carafe back into the machine, you have to repeat the process. Meh.

Cons:
1. Dainty. By this I mean that this is not for having a cubicle party as the amount you can brew is about two cups at a time. Plus, you have to clean the unit pretty much each time you use it.
2. Power. This is not a hot-plate, such that you can't really keep your drink hot for a long period of time. Plus, it is missing that killer app, which is there is no auto turn-off. When you remove the carafe, it turns itself off so there is no real way to keep the drink hot on it's own. This isn't a deal breaker, but is one of those things that would have put this over the top of coolness.

Overall:
This is a pretty nice item and overall the good idea here is pretty well executed. For what it is asked to do, I think it covers a lot. I have some issues with the `daintiness' which is probably because I see that I have to be careful with all the plastic and glass, and the low quantity of drink produced. On the other hand, the unit does produce a pretty darn good cup of tea or coffee that seems to make the above issues petty concerns rather then large obstacles.
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Color: BlackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
A nice concept for the office or other area without a stove or microwave to heat up the water, the Bodum Electric Coffee and Tea maker is adequate only.

The Positives. THis is a relatively compact appliance that works without fail (but within some frustrating limits--see below), and that includes both a press for coffee and a filter for tea. In the Amazon.com picture, the tank on the right is filled with water, and one adds either coffee or tea (inside a filter) to the container on the right. When the two (washable) plastic containers are in place, the machine will turn on--heating the water which transfer over to the container with the coffee or tea. Tea is brewed and coffee is pressed down with the familiar French press mechanism so that the water is infused with coffee and the finished product has no grounds.

After brewing tea or coffee, one fits a safety lid (liquid won't pour without depressing a lever), and then pours the beverage into cup or mug. The heat turns off as soon as either container is removed. To keep any remaining coffee/tea warm, one must remove the safety lid, put on the other (flat) lid, place it back on the Bodum, and then turn it back on. These safety features are welcome, but also *too* cautious (as described later). One other thoughtful feature, the tea/coffee container's hot bottom (from restng on the heating element) is somewhat protected by a lip that extends beyond it, thus minimizing contact with the surface upin which you place it.

Coffee and tea taste fresh (after all, you just made it!), is hot (initially), takes a little over 7 minutes to empty a 4-5 cup (full) carafe ONCE it is heated (more on that, too) and brewing is safe. That said.....

Negatives. Yes, this will sound all "Grinchy," but, taken togther, I found myself disappointed, feeling it's not worth the money even at a 30% discount over list price. Many of these negatives stem from what I see (others may disagree) with a over-concern for safety. I'd feel differently if this were a device that children will use, but I doubt they will be the primary users.

Temperature. While the initial gulps will be enjoyably hot, replacing the container on the hot plate does not keep it close to this temperature: It loses its heat in a very short period. IT's not lukewarm or tepid, but it's just not hot.

Tempermental. It appears that if the two containers are not set in the machine "just so," the Bodum will not begin heating (either that or it takes an inordinate amount of time--well over ten minutes) for a full water carafe to start transferring hot water to the other container. It appears to work best when the handle on the receiving carafe and the numbers indicating cups on the hot water carafe are facing outward--but that may just be coincidence. Basically, I have to fool around with these containers to feel confident it will begin heating.

Extension Cord. In a wonderfully paternalistic nod, Bodum informs us that--for safety reasons--they include a short ekectric cord, and that we may need to buy an extention cord (they assume that's safer, I suppose). Safety or less expense for Bodum, I wonder...

Taste. Tea is not a problem, but French Press coffee should have a richer, somewhat oily (from the coffee beans) taste and texture. I think that the size of the receiving carafe mitigates against this. The carafe bottom is so wide that the coffee just settles at the bottom--there's little mixing of water and coffee as you press down (with little or no resistance) with the "plunger." Although this may work better with smaller quantities of water, and even more coffee, the coffee is strong and fresh, but it does not taste very much like French Press coffee.

Bottom line. I can't really recommend this because of the price/value, temperature, and operating deficits noted above. However, if you absolutely need your coffee/tea fix, have no easy access to a microwave or other heat source, and you're not too fussy about recreating conventionally made French Press coffee (and if you do use this to make tea, not just coffee), you may feel it's a worthwhile purchase. While concern with safety is laudable, one wonders if designers could have made an equally safe product that produced a more satisfying taste at a more consistent temperature.
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VINE VOICEon June 13, 2011
Color: BlackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
*UPDATE 11-18-2011

It broke! It just stopped working. Dead. Threw it in the garbage. Hubby & I both looked at it & found nothing wrong. It simply died. What junk! We don't have kids. It simply sat on our counter top & was used by both of us everyday. In the first 3 months or so I was the only one using it a mere 2 times a day to make tea. Hubby accidentally broke his glass peculator so he started using this too. Now we are back to using our Cuisinart electric water heater. We bought it used at a yard sale for $1 & have been using it for years!

June 13, 2011

I decided to try this out because I am a tea drinker & my husband is a coffee drinker. This seemed to be the perfect solution for us. When it arrived & I unpacked it, I was a bit surprised by how small it is. This is both a positive & negative. It's positive (for us at least) because we have a teeny tiny kitchen with virtually no counter space. The long shape & small size means we can tuck it toward the back of the counter & still use it while having most of our counter space. The negative is it makes about 2.5 cups. The water reservoir says it is 5 cups maximum or 20 ounces. What Bodum considers 1 cup is actually 4 ounces NOT 8 ounces (I measured it)!

If I am using the machine for tea, my husband has to wait until I'm done & vice versa. This can be annoying when we both want a hot morning beverage at the same time. I don't like that the water reservoir is plastic. I prefer glass over any other material esp. when it concerns something I ingest. I feel a little better about it because the little pot/glass the brewed liquid sits in is all glass. I LOVE that I can start my tea & walk away & not have to worry about it getting cold if I get caught up in something. I like to brew my tea to death, so I don't worry about over brewing.

My husband said he has to use too much coffee with the machine & it still tastes watery & weak. He thinks it's a waste of coffee. He also doesn't like the 2.5 cup brew maximum. He normally uses a glass peculator on the stove top to brew his coffee. He doesn't use this unit anymore. He tried it a couple of times & feels it is a waste unless he wants one cup of coffee.

So it looks like this unit is better suited for me! I use it almost every morning. I like the idea that when we have company, I can offer french pressed coffee as well as percolated for the coffee fans in my life :o). I love how it hardly uses any counter space at all. I think this is one of those items that needs to suit your lifestyle. I guess if my husband didn't want a gallon of coffee in the morning that was super strong, then it would be the perfect machine for the two of us. Looks like it's "my" tea maker - until company arrives!
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VINE VOICEon May 26, 2011
Color: BlackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Bodum Bistro is, in this reviewer's opinion, overpriced for what you get. Yes, I know that French Press
coffeemakers get much pricier than this, but the Bodum is of mostly thin plastic construction, and is just
not built to stand up to heavy use. If you use metal utensils with it or use abrasive cleansers to clean it,
you do so at your own risk. The attached AC cord is pretty short. Moreover, Bodum's idea of "one cup" is
about 4 1/2 ounces, which makes this unit only a two-cup brewer at my usual cup size. Besides, Bodum advises
against the use of fine-ground coffee, explaining that it will clog the press filter; that didn't happen
when I used a fine grind. You do need to thoroughly clean the Bodum each time you use it, as scale buildup
is said to be a big issue...that's a huge pain if you use the unit two or three times a day.

Lest you think that I have nothing but negative comments about the Bodum, it must be said that it brews a
darned righteous cup of coffee. The French Press system allows for total infusion, unlike the ubiquitous
drip-style coffee makers, and this gives you a very rich and satisfying brew. That's all the more important
considering the soon-to-be-skyrocketing prices of coffee beans. The unit itself is stylish in its peculiarly
Euro fashion, and comes in different colors. (Mine is Basic Black, which always works for me.) The Bodum also
comes with a tea strainer, for those who want to get away from lame teabags...admittedly, I did not actually
try out this feature, but I certainly will in the future. The Bodum is quite easy to use, and the manual is
printed in several languages. I just can't wrap my mind around its nearly $100.00 list price, but, if that
doesn't bother you, and you can live with the aforementioned issues, by all means buy a Bodum. Amazon offers
it at a pretty good discount, and, since it doesn't use paper filters, you'll have everything you need apart
from the coffee itself.
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VINE VOICEon June 11, 2011
Color: BlackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
There are numerous products for making coffee, many fewer for making tea, and only a handful that make both, well. As a morning coffee and afternoon tea drinker, this is a fantastic dual purpose device. The water heater dispenses into the beverage side. For coffee, you add the appropriate amount of grounds, and then use the French Press attachment. I had recently bought a Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Coffee Grinder, Black, which, at the coarse setting, is the right grind for the French Press. For tea, there is a fine-meshed insert that can be removed from the water after steeping for your desired time.
A couple of things you have to be aware of. This is only designed for a making a couple cups at a time. The "1 Cup" marking is more like half a mug. For stirring the coffee grounds, you have to use only plastic implements. However, if you use it like it was designed, this Bodum excels at making both coffee and tea.
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on November 26, 2012
This works for me, but it won't work for everyone. It does have a lot of parts, at least more than a typical drip coffee maker. But if you think about it, it's a 2-in-1 machine so having several parts isn't surprising. It condenses my French press and tea strainer into one machine, and I really like that.

It does a fantastic job of brewing loose leaf tea. Several tea strainers have too large of a mesh. This one has a very very fine mesh and doesn't allow little tea particles thru. It doesn't heat it up so much that it can't brew white or green tea. One thing I will say is that teas with short brew times (i.e. 1 minute) should just be poured right away, after all of the water has been heated.

It also does a great job with coffee. It's basically just a French press with a water tank attached. You put your grinds in the press canister, you put water into the tank, press the button, let it work magic. Is it as easy as a drip maker? No. But it's easy enough for me to prep my grinds or tea the night before, and press the button when I groggily hobble up front in the morning. Four minutes later, I have hot French-press coffee, which is always superior to drip coffee.
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VINE VOICEon May 26, 2011
Color: BlackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Perfect way to make a single cup of coffee. I'm the only coffee drinker in the house. A few hints: use a heaping teaspoon of coffee, place the press in a tallerish cup, add hot water to the top of the screen, and then the plunger. Brew for several minutes and then press. I add a little water to the cup before drinking. The plastic holder is great to place the press if not next to a sink and protects the screens. I've used a Fr. press for years but have found a small one cup press frustrating because the coffee often clogs the pours of the press. This design eliminates this problem because of the large screens. I look forward to taking this on trips.

The tea feature is super easy and really produces a rich and tasty cup of tea.
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on October 10, 2012
I bought this item (TWICE), because you can't beat the color or the style of it. AND Both machines shorted out. Just stopped working. The first bad omen is when the light stops working. Both machines still worked after that, then eventually they just stopped. When the light stopped working you never really knew if the machine was brewing a cup or not, but when it started short circuiting it was really just up to chance if your pot would brew that day or not.

The problem lies in the drip mechanism, after it's down brewing you will see drops of water fall onto the hot plate, and after awhile those seep into the machine and cause it to short circuit. It's really a shame because it's such a cute appliance. But don't waste your money on it.
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on June 23, 2012
I've had this coffee maker for about 3 months now. I saw it got mixed reviews, but it seemed perfect for me. It was very small, quickly makes 1-2 cups of coffee, and looks great.

Pros:
* Makes an awesome cup of coffee. I've been drinking more coffee since purchasing this, and it makes a perfect amount of coffee for myself in the morning (2 full cups).
-- I let mine sit for about 5 minutes after its finished brewing. This is supposed to allow more time for the infusion to occur. If you drink the coffee right away, its more watery and not as rich. Let it sit, and your rewarded with better coffee.
* The coffee is still hot even after letting it sit in the carafe for 15+ minutes.
* It is compact and has a very small footprint. It has a short cord, but since its plugged right into the wall, a longer cord is not needed imo.
* easy to clean and keep clean. I've seen many dirty coffee makers, and this one is always clear and clean despite heavy daily use.
* fill it up, press the button when you want coffee.

Cons
* no timer. Your not able to set this to go off before you wakeup. I wakeup & get this going before I make breakfast. Its quick, so no biggie.
* no auto shut off. At first, I was afraid it would burn out if I left the blue light on, but after a few months Ive become more careless. I decided to see what happens if I leave the unit on even after the last of the water has run through it. The result? Its totally fine. No problems so far over here.
*** only makes 2 cups of coffee ***
-- My schedule and my fiance's schedules are different, so its not usually a problem. I like having 2 cups so we can both have our first while the second 2 cups are brewing.
-- Due to the size, I've considered buying a larger french press. Since I went with this unit, I would have to get a separate water heater (either stove tea kettle or an electric one from bodum). I decided I didnt care that much since she wants a regular timer coffee maker anyways. Ill keep this for myself, and the whole 2 cup limitation wont matter anymore. I LOVE this thing, it makes excellent coffee and I havent been to S*bux in ages.
* my fiance thinks its a little bit too much of a hassle. I can see her point, but once she goes back to a traditional coffee maker, I think she will give this unit more love.
*this is NOT for everyone. I used to drink greek / turkish coffee every morning so Im used to tedious coffee rituals. This is actually easier since I dont have to tend to the stove waiting for it to boil.

conclusion: Here are the Biggest the cons-- 2 cups max, no timer, must clean it after every use. The biggest pros: small footprint, makes excellent coffee for one person, easy to clean. I knew of the size limitation and decided to go with it anyways. If Bodum released a larger version of this, I would immediately upgrade. I would love to have double the capacity with this same setup.

My only regret is that I could have invested in an electric water heater with a timer, and gone with a larger french press. This unit is an all-in-one and serves its purpose well. Its super small and takes up little space. If I eventually upgrade to a different french press setup, Ill bring this to work and enjoy it there.
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