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141 of 146 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Expensive but worth it.
I first started looking into expensive coffee makers when my wife said she wanted something more convenient. We had been using the Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Coffee Grinder, Black, the Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp 1.7-Liter Stainless Steel Cordless Electric Kettle and the Chemex Coffee Maker 8 Cup Classic to make our coffee. I can't say enough good about that combination...
Published on December 11, 2012 by Jeffrey Chandler

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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Had this replace 3 times in one year and 2 months out of warranty it failed again.
This is the worst, most expensive coffee maker I have ever purchased. Three replacements (which Breville was great about) in one year. In two instances the water pump was the problem. The third replacement just died and is out of warranty as of 12/14/14. They offered 20% off any Breville product as a good will gesture. My problem is not with the company, but this...
Published 9 months ago by Diane


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141 of 146 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Expensive but worth it., December 11, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Breville BDC550XL The YouBrew Glass Drip Coffee Maker (Kitchen)
I first started looking into expensive coffee makers when my wife said she wanted something more convenient. We had been using the Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Coffee Grinder, Black, the Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp 1.7-Liter Stainless Steel Cordless Electric Kettle and the Chemex Coffee Maker 8 Cup Classic to make our coffee. I can't say enough good about that combination of products and the quality of coffee it consistently produced, but it had its negatives, too.

We were timing up the usage of 3 different devices, it was a bit of a chemistry experiment to get the coffee/water ratio just right, there's definitely a (slightly difficult) technique when doing a pour-over method, and it required us to be standing there during the entire 15 minute-or-so process. Doesn't sound like a huge deal, but it was admittedly just too much work, especially when rushing around at 6am. We needed something to get the job done right semi-automatically and the Breville YouBrew fit the bill.

::::: SINGLE CUP :::::

The single-cup mode works great. You choose from one of many sizes, choose from 5 flavor settings and 7 strength settings (type of taste versus how much of the taste). I wish the sizes displayed the ounces instead of arbitrary "Regular" or "Extra Large". The booklet tells you how many ounces each of these settings are, but that seems like an unnecessary step.

::::: CARAFE :::::

I thought you could, just like with the single-cup, choose how much coffee you want to brew. You cannot. The carafe mode brews using every bit of water you currently have in the reservoir and uses the appropriate amount of beans for that amount. It's not a huge deal, but I initially thought the water reservoir was more like the bean hopper, holding excess and only using what you want. Not a big deal. You can only choose the strength setting, not the flavor profile as with the single-cup.

::::: FILLING :::::

The hopper only holds about .5 lb of coffee beans, but that's okay; it will ensure that you don't have old beans in the reserve. The hopper's lid has a nice air-tight seal to lock in freshness. The water filling door opens slowly to reveal an odd, unit-width cavity to pour water into. The only problem is, the opening to the actual 60 oz. reservoir is all the way on the right, making it a little difficult for right-handed people to pour into. Any excess water that pours to the left of the opening is caught in the cavity, but it doesn't slope down or anything, which means you need to tilt the entire unit to the right to get the water to fall in.

::::: WATER :::::

I didn't read the fine-print in the manual; you cannot use distilled water with this unit. It uses an optical sensor to detect how much water is in there, so it technically shouldn't be able to see truly distilled water (sensors like that can only see impurities in the water, not the water itself). It's too bad, really. Using "drinking" water means that there are impurities in there, like minerals and sediment, which add taste, albeit slight or even unnoticeable. It may be necessary, however, as 0-TDS (perfectly pure) water is actually corrosive to some materials, which means it would potentially eat the plastics and metals in the coffee maker.

::::: GRINDER :::::

I don't know all of the reasoning, but from what I understand, conical burr grinders produce the best grounds for extraction, and this has a ceramic one built right in. Breville has calculated the right ground size for this brewing method and grinds to that size. Some people are disappointed that you can't adjust the ground size, but I don't see a reason to. I figure they know the process better that me and I bought this for convenience, not modding.

Many people complain about the volume of the grinder. Make no mistake, it's VERY loud, but that's never an issue for me. It's only slightly louder than my Bodum grinder and it seems like a dumb complaint anyway. it lasts for like 15 seconds. Get over it.

::::: FILTER & BASKET :::::

The included metal filter is nice, I suppose, but I don't like it. It allows coffee grounds through to the coffee, which I hate. Luckily, you can use your own paper filters to avoid this problem. I use Melitta Basket Coffee Filters, Natural Brown (8 to 12-Cup), 200-Count Filters (Pack of 8) (recommended). I find that the paper produces a smoother, less bitter tasting coffee than the metal filter and hey, no grounds in my coffee!

The basket completely removes from the unit to dispose of the filter and clean it out. I love that it's completely removable. I'm a bit of a germaphobe (my dad is a microbiologist), so I understand the importance of thoroughly cleaning, rinsing and drying things like that between uses. Stagnant moisture attracts mold and bacteria... yuck. The thing I DON'T love about it is that the basket is actually kind of a pain to clean. The grounds really clump up each time and while they aren't hard to wash out, the filter basket has so many tight spots, small ridges, tiny ribs and slots that it's hard to physically scrub and dry. And you need to do this between every use. Even if you don't care about bacteria, if moisture and old grounds are in there, that will really mess with your next brew cycle.

::::: CARAFE & WARMING PLATE :::::

The glass carafe is just great. It pours very nicely, never spilling a drop. Many times, carafes dribble down the front as you finish pouring and this somehow completely avoids it. It also cleans easily, being mostly glass and having a wide mouth.

The warming plate kicks on immediately and runs for 2 hours after brewing (the display shows a countdown until it shuts off). You can't shut off the screen without shutting the unit and plate off; not a big deal, just saying. The plate is actually too hot for my taste. I guess I appreciate that it keeps it drinkably hot for so long, but it nearly cooks the coffee. One time in particular, we poured all coffee but a few ounces. Several hours later, the warming plate shut off but it was too late. The coffee was completely burned up, gone, just leaving a nasty, burnt film on the bottom of the carafe. Once again, the carafe is easy to clean, but I found that annoying. I often shut the unit off and just reheat the coffee in the microwave hours later, if need be.

I chose the glass version over the thermal version because many people said you need to preheat the thermal carafe as to prevent it from sucking the heat right out of the freshly brewed coffee. This makes sense to me. Thick metal with high heat-coefficients tend to absorb temperatures, either hot or cold. The glass doesn't do that and the warming plate helps prevent it even more. Also, many people say the thermal carafe pours poorly and I didn't want to deal with that. Also, the glass was cheaper. Can't argue.

::::: COFFEE TASTE :::::

I'm a pretty discerning coffee drinker and I've truly been spoiled with Chemex's amazing goodness. I didn't want to sacrifice taste for convenience with something like a Keurig, and this certainly avoids that issue. The YouBrew makes an amazing cup of coffee. Though I haven't compared them in person, I've seen a number of blind taste tests online comparing the YouBrew to other top-of-the-line brewers, like the Technivorm Moccamaster Coffee Brewer With Thermo Carafe - Technivorm 9587, and the YouBrew often comes out on top.

I haven't had a bad cup of coffee yet. It does the following to make sure it's always delicious:

- Keeps beans fresh with air-tight hopper
- Uses the "perfect" amount of beans every time
- Grinds coffee just before brewing
- Uses a quality burr grinder with optimal grind size
- Maintains perfect brewing temperature water all the way through the process
- Evenly distributes water over grounds with slotted channels in filter basket
- Uses BPA-free plastics, stainless steel and glass all the way through the process

The YouBrew automatically grinds the "right" amount of coffee. You can certainly adjust the overall taste, though I'm not sure that affects the amount of beans being used or just changes the steeping time. You can choose your own amount of grounds by telling it you're using your own grounds (it doesn't grind anything and just trusts that you've put the right amount of coffee grounds in the filter). This allows you to put as much or as little coffee in the filter. I, personally, would never do this though. I trust that the experts that made it know more about brewing coffee than I do.

::::: CONVENIENCE :::::

I use the programming function to have it start making us coffee each morning. I simply set it to start each night and head to bed. It's as easy as hitting "PROGRAM" and then "START"; it remembers the time you last programmed it for, so it works all throughout the weekdays for us. The single-cup function is great for my wife when I'm away and she doesn't want to waste an entire pot of coffee. Cleaning, rinsing and drying the filter basket after ever use is honestly a pain, but it's still less "work" than many other options. For the most part, you occasionally fill the hopper, fill the water tank and press start. Very easy and mostly hands-free.

::::: VALUE :::::

My wife had suggested a Keurig for convenience's sake, but I didn't want to sacrifice on quality or price-per-cup. That stuff gets expensive. Even the most-versatile and advanced Keurig 2700 Keurig® Vue® V700 Single serve coffee system, 1, Black/silver is still lacking in many areas and costs just as much as the YouBrew. Using the YouBrew only uses just the right amount of beans and a $0.01 filter, giving us a huge bang-for-the-buck. That very quickly makes up the slight difference between the YouBrew and a high-end Keurig.

::::: OVERALL :::::

The Breville YouBrew is largely hands-free, allows you to adjust the brew strength (and even flavor in single-cup mode), and does each step of the brewing process inside one relatively large machine. Oh, and it makes a mean cup of coffee that rivals the best of the best coffee makers. While it's really expensive, it's actually much more cost-effective in the long run than even the most economical pod-makers. It accomplishes my family's goal of easily, automatically brewing delicious, snobbery-quality coffee. Despite a few caveats, I believe this to be one of the finest coffee makers on the market. I couldn't be any happier with my purchase!
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My Experience with Choosing the Glass over the Thermal, January 18, 2013
This review is from: Breville BDC550XL The YouBrew Glass Drip Coffee Maker (Kitchen)
In looking at finding a new grind and brew coffee maker, I came upon many different brands. After reading many reviews, I knew that I wanted the Breville YouBrew, but was unsure of what model to purchase. I ended up purchasing the YouBrew glass and will lay out how I made this decision over the thermal. This review will compare the decision to chose the glass over the thermal.

Pros of YouBrew Glass:
-No need to preheat carafe
-Ability to see how much coffee is left in the carafe
-Smaller footprint of the carafe
-Better looking then thermal model (Clearly Subjective)
-Cheaper

Cons:
-Can't adjust cup coffee amount in carafe mode-This was a BIG deal for me
-Heater has the potential to change the taste of the coffee over time (so i've read)

Ok so after purchasing the glass model, I was very satisfied with the level of grind, taste, ability to customize, and overall coffee brewing experience. HOWEVER, I was disappointed that I could not adjust the carafe coffee size-as many posters have mentioned. I was really really bothered by this, as I liked the idea of having a full tank of water and not needing to go through all the water in the tank when I want to brew in carafe mode. So, I head down to the local shop to look at the thermal version with the girlfriend and a few things hit us when we get there. First, after seeing it in person, we found the thermal to not be as good looking as the glass. Another factor that hit us after handling the thermal was that the reviews of people complaining of heat being lost are likely very accurate. The metal is cold to the touch as any logical person would expect. When having to chose between preheating a carafe or adding water to the coffee maker, we chose the later.

After using it a couple of days, I noticed that the water issue is not really an issue. The key here is that if you use medium to large coffee mugs as we do in our household, it take about 3 cups to fill a mug. This fact changes many things for our household at least. One thing is that if I am going to make a carafe, it will usually be for myself and my girlfriend. With our mugs that will be at least 6 cups. In the worst case scenario, we would have to brew the whole carafe, which would only be an extra cup each. This is an amount we would likely drink. The ability to have a single cup feature that brews up to 20oz (4 cups) also helps in situations with smaller mugs, in which you can use the carafe to make a 4 or less cup brew.

Anyway, do I wish that the glass version has the carafe size feature. Yes, absolutely. Is that feature worth switching over the the thermal carafe that involves preheating and that we do not prefer the looks of. Not for US. Finally, has the carafe size feature been an issue in daily use for us? Not so far.

I will post an updated review after having more time with the machine. Hope this helps those on the fence.

-JP
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66 of 74 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Coffee The Way You Want It -- But Pricey!, September 27, 2012
By 
This review is from: Breville BDC550XL The YouBrew Glass Drip Coffee Maker (Kitchen)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Breville YouBrew Glass Coffee Machine With Built-In Grinder is a very good coffee maker that enables you to be the master of your domain when it comes to easily and consistently making coffee just the way you like it. But being able to do so won't come cheaply. The retail/list price for this machine is $379.99, with the lowest internet price currently being $249.99.

You'll have to decide if spending that price is worth it to you in order to be in full control of your coffee. To be honest, while I like this benefit, I doubt if I would have spent $249.99 for it. Luckily, I received it for free from the Amazon Vine program.

The benefits of the BCM 550XL are many, including but not limited to:

...its Brew IQ System, which claims to automatically ensure that water is heated to the optimal temperature, then supplies, based on the settings you quickly and easily select, the correct amount for your selected brew size and strength. (More about this claim a little later in this review).

... Has an integrated burr grinder for maximum freshness, flavor & aroma.

...Provides a large, backlit LCD with brewing progress and water level indicator.

...You can choose between brewing up to 12 cups (60oz) of coffee with the glass carafe that is provided (along with its top-fill water tank with full-tank indicator) or brewing a single cup -- ranging from regular to extra large cup (7.5oz) to travel mug size.

...Choose from 7 adjustable strength settings and from 5 adjsustable flavor settings (in Single Cup setting only)

...Has a programmable clock and Auto-Start feature

...Is very easy to clean.

While there are many benefits, be aware that this product has a few factors that might be of concern to you:

...The machine is very large (almost 17" tall) and takes up a substantial amount of room on your counter. Plus, before considering it, you should measure the amount of space you have under your cabinets to make sure it will fit.

...It is quite noisy during the bean grinding process.

...Despite the earlier claim, it didn't make the coffee quite as hot as I would have liked (although this might not be a problem for you unless you like your coffee very hot, as I do)

All in all, if you are a coffee lover and don't mind paying an above average amount of money for a very verstaile coffee maker, then the Breville BCM 550XL is a product you should seriously consider.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rich, Smooth, Delicious Coffee: TOP REVIEWER COMPLAINTS ADDRESSED, September 27, 2014
This review is from: Breville BDC550XL The YouBrew Glass Drip Coffee Maker (Kitchen)
I just purchased the Breville youbrew so I can't speak to longevity or most mechanical issues just yet, but I wanted to come give my initial impressions and perhaps tackle some of the major complains that I have seen raised throughout the reviews here.

First, I'll say that I suppose some people might read this and think I am a coffee snob or connoisseur. I'm really not. I don't KNOW that much about coffee. Perhaps a tad more than the average person but I would never claim to be an expert. Nor would I ever presume to tell someone else how they should enjoy their own cup of coffee. I do have some basic understandings of how coffee is generally brewed based on my own research over the years as I have searched for the best method to brew my own cup of coffee. I absolutely love a good cup of coffee. I must have at least 2 cups of coffee a day or my day does not feel complete. I tend to buy triple espressos at coffee shops. I have been primarily a Keurig user for the past 10 years or so, mainly out of convenience. I find Keurig coffee to be watery and bland so I have had many alternatives over the years. Currently I own a Bialetti moka pot, a Melitta pour over brewer, a Keurig Vue coffee maker, and now the Breville YouBrew. In the past I have owned espresso machines (though good ones are out of my budget so I stopped bothering with that), and a toddy cold brew system. So, you could say I'm a bit coffee obsessed. Just to give you a little background. :)

So far my experience with this coffee maker has been great. It is easy to use, easy to clean, brews a variety of strengths and flavors, and is kind of fun. But the main thing is that it brews a seriously good cup of coffee. It is rich, smooth and delicious. Absolutely some of the best coffee I have ever made at home.

Let me address some of the reviewer complaints I have read and in doing so, I'll go into more detail about my own experience with this coffee maker.
.................................................

Complaint: STRENGTH / FLAVOR TOO STRONG

I have been able to achieve flavors comparable to my Bialetti and even an espresso (without the crema) when set on intense and using Peet's Major Dickason's Blend dark roast bean. But for my daily cup I prefer something a bit more mild and have turned to Whole Foods light roast Early Bird coffee. I brew this on strong (strength #5, just under intense) with the flavor all the way up and it has eliminated that sort of tart taste that I get from a very strong/dark coffee like an espresso. The Peet's I prefer a bit lower on strength, but still high in flavor.

I can see how some might think this coffee maker is too strong. However, I thought the Peet's was a bit watery tasting when set it to brew right in the middle for both strength and flavor. Yet, it still had that strong, almost bitter taste that I think a lot of people associate with "too strong" coffee. To those who think this makes coffee too strong, I urge you to try a lighter roast bean. I used to always prefer a dark roast and thought that was how coffee was supposed to be or that darker roasts were superior quality, the only way to get full flavor, or that they had more caffeine. All of those notions are completely untrue though. The level of roast has nothing to do with strength, caffeine, or superior flavor.

Let's talk about this.

FLAVOR: The difference between light and dark roasts is in terms of character, complexity, and sweetness. Light roasts are more focused on the origin of the bean and the natural flavor that results from where and how it grows. Dark roasts have flavors that are developed through a particular roasting profile that is developed by the roaster during the actual roasting process. Both are flavorful and "strong", but different. When most people talk about "strong" coffee they are actually referring to intensity of flavor and darkness of the roast. This has nothing to do with the strength of the coffee.

STRENGTH: This is based on the amount of grounds use per oz of water. I go into a bit more detail below about the industry standards for this ratio. In my opinion, a lot of people get dark roasts and then adjust the ratio of grounds to water way down to accommodate the intense roasted flavor that comes along with that, thinking that their coffee is strong due to the dark beans, when in fact it is technically weak due to the grounds/water ratio.

CAFFEINE LEVEL: Light roasts and dark roasts have the same amount of caffeine (or nearly the same). Many people think one of two things. Either that dark roasts have more caffeine due to the roasting process bringing it out in some way, or that light roasts have more caffeine due it not being burnt off during the roasting process. In truth, caffeine doesn't change much at all during the roasting process. What will change is the mass/density of the bean. Beans loose water during the roasting process so dark beans have less mass/density than light beans, but both have the same amount of caffeine.

If you are drinking a dark roast because you want that "kick" in the morning, but don't love that robust flavor (and think the youbrew is brewing too strong for you), try switching to a light or medium roast. Especially if you are dialing down your grounds/water ratio because you are actually reducing the caffeine level by doing so. Personally, I prefer a light roast. It is still ultra flavorful and I think significantly more complex. I get a strong cup of coffee, that is not watery at all, without that bitter ending that makes your tastebuds twitch.

I honestly believe this would resolve a lot of the strength complaints.
.................................................

Complaint: USES TOO MANY BEANS / CARAFE MODE ALWAYS GRINDS A FULL BASKET / DOESN'T BREW A FULL POT

I have read most of the reviews for this brewer and a lot of them say "The coffee is great! Best brew ever! Makes amazing coffee! Oh, but it uses too many beans." Well, guess what? This coffee maker brews some of the best coffee you've had in part BECAUSE it uses more beans than you're used to. A combination of factors contribute to a good cup of coffee...a fresh grind, the proper amount of grounds, and proper brew/steeping time as compared to the amount of grounds you are using. All of which is handled by this machine. There is a reason people are saying this machine makes great coffee, and its because its got a formula down pat that works, and part of that formula is the amount of beans it uses.

I don't understand those reviews that say the coffee is great but it uses too many beans. Well, if they thought their other coffee pot was doing the job they you wouldn't have bought the you brew or be looking for a new one. If they thought it was comparable to a run of the mill drip coffee pot, I doubt they'd be raving about the great cup of coffee this makes because it would be nothing new. Clearly, the amount of beans they were used to was not working. So how can they complain that this uses too many beans, while also saying it makes amazing coffee? Do they not realize there is a direct correlation?

Now, if the reviews were saying this uses too many beans and makes lousy coffee, thats another thing. But I haven't seen that, except with the mention of strength, which I addressed above.

Some things to consider:
Folgers recommends 8 tbsp (1/2 cup) of ground coffee for a "regular" or 16 tbsp (1 cup) for a "strong" 60 oz pot. equivalent to the 12 cup carafe on the Breville.
Peet's recommends 2 tbsp of coffee per 6 oz of water or 20 tbsp (1 1/4 cup) for 60 oz. equivalent to the 12 cup carafe on the Breville.
Starbucks also recommends 2 tbsp to 6 oz of water.

As a side note, the great coffee houses out there use way more beans than you probably realize they do, and that is part of why they have great coffee. In fact, Peet's recommends adding an extra 2 tbsp of coffee to an 18 oz pot when brewing at home to recreate the coffee you can purchase in their store. That's an extra 6 tbsp (about 1/3 of a cup) for a 60 oz pot like the Breville will make.

To put this into perspective, the gold basket holds about 2 cups if completely full, right up to the very edge. I can fit the paper filters for this machine in a 2 cup measuring cup perfectly. Obviously, it's not grinding 2 cups of coffee to fill the basket. For a 60 oz pot, with strength selected right in the middle, it is likely grinding 2 tbsp per 6 oz (the industry standard). The basket is full up to about the top of the gold part.

That is the most amount of beans it uses so this is the "full basket" people are talking about. If you increase the strength from there, you get less coffee for the same amount of beans, even when a 12 cup pot is selected. On the most intense strength, the youbrew won't brew you a pot larger than about 8 cups because there is no more room in the basket for the additional grinds needed to make a pot that intense. The tank will also empty, so I presume some water is lost in the brewing process in order to achieve that intensity as well. If you decrease the strength from the mid selection it would use fewer beans. Probably somewhere near the lowest industry suggestion (see Folgers above) of 1 tbsp per 6 oz. That is still 10 tbsp, almost 3/4 cup. So even though it seems like it should decrease the beans by 1/2 the amount, in actuality that is still about 2/3 of the original amount. And since the basket is narrower at the bottom it would appear to be significantly more than half full and probably not much different in appearance than the higher strengths.

So... A 12 cup pot with the strength in the middle and an 8 cup pot with the strength on intense will use the same amount of beans. This accounts for the complains of it using a full basket no matter what you set it on. If you request a 12 cup pot on the highest strength you will only get an 8 cup pot. This accounts for the complaints that it doesn't brew the full amount that was asked. Of course, there are probably some mechanical failures. I don't think every review is wrong. I am just pointing out some possible explanations for these issues.

Another thing to think about is that when using pre-ground coffee, the grinds have all settled and eliminated air pockets. When you scoop a tablespoon out and pour it into the basket, not a lot of air is added back. When new beans are ground in the youbrew and slowly fall into the basket, the grounds are full of air and haven't settled in the same way. It would look like more than what you'd be used to seeing with pre-ground coffee.

I believe all of these reasons could account for many of the complaints that the youbrew always grinds a whole basket no matter what strength is selected, or uses too many beans in general, or doesn't brew a full pot. Considering this is an automatic coffee maker that is trying to do all the work for the user, it makes complete sense that the amount of beans it uses is based on standard industry recommendations. I don't think the comments that it uses too many beans, etc. are particularly fair when in actuality it's just that most people are brewing coffee with amounts far below industry recommendations.

To recap... Industry standard recommends 2 tablespoons per 6 oz of water. There are 60 tbsp of coffee in a 1 lb bag. That is 30 6 oz servings, or 180 oz. total, or 3 full pots of coffee in the Breville. My first weekend with this I brewed 145 oz. and still had 1/4 of a lb of beans left in the 1 lb bag I bought, plus peans in the hopper. If you are using way below 1 tbsp per 6 oz you either prefer your coffee weak (and that is your choice) or your a dialing down a dark roast and using the wrong bean, as discussed above.
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Complaint: DOESN'T BREW HOT ENOUGH

I have put a food thermometer in my brews and it consistently brews at 160 degrees. I use pre-warmed mug or carafe and put the thermometer in during brewing and it is 160 at the end of the brew cycle every time. If I take the temp in a mug about 30 seconds after the brew is finished, its around 150-155 degrees. A carafe left on the hot plate for an hour and a half is about 140 degrees. This is not a full carafe, only about 10 oz left. I think more would hold the heat better. However, it is still steaming.

As a point of reference, My Keurig brews at 170 degrees. Starbucks serves their coffee at 160-165 degrees. I typically request mine extra hot, which I literally hear them call a "170 degree" latte or whatever drink I ordered. Extra, extra hot is 180 degrees. This keeps it hot for a while, which is why I do it. I find 170 and especially 180 too hot to drink quickly but it will still be hot when I get around to drinking it since I don't like drinking scalding hot liquids in the car while I am trying to pay attention to the road. If you're brewing yourself really big cups of coffee, it is not going to stay hot in your mug for a super long time, no matter how hot it initially brews. No coffee maker can do anything to combat heat loss once it's poured from pot to mug. If you want your coffee hot longer, pour smaller cups and leave the rest on the hot plate to maintain temperature or brew smaller cups to begin with and make a fresh cup when you're done.

That said, Breville suggests pre-warming the mug or carafe but the brew cycle is pretty long so it cools off significantly in the time it takes to brew. While it's still warm, I'm not sure it makes that much of a difference. Also, 160 is the bottom of the suggested serving temperature range for coffee, so once you add cold creamer it cools it down even more. While it may be warm enough at first, it won't last long. I am not sure whether my machine is brewing at a lower temperature than it is supposed to, but I should call Breville and ask. I also own the Breville BMF600XL Milk Café Milk Frother which heats my half and half to 160 degrees so the coffee temp has not been a problem for me. Still, I can see why some would complain about this.

Temperature that is "hot enough" is a subjective concept, which is why I am providing a specific temperature here. Only you can decide whether that is hot enough for you. I will say that I typically prefer food to be extremely hot, to a point others can't usually tolerate. My husband has many jokes about this. He says things like "It's not hot enough to melt your face off yet" or "it's hotter than the surface of the sun" or "your lava flow is ready", in order to let me know if my food is hot enough for me or not. I still find a 160 degree coffee to be a good enough temperature.
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Complaint: DIFFICULT TO CLEAN

I haven't gotten to the descaling process yet, so I can't speak to that. I personally find the general clean up after brewing a cup to be fairly simple. After letting it cool, you just open the door, take out the basket, dump the grounds in the garbage, and rinse out the basket. Pretty similar to any drip coffee maker with the exception of a Keurig which only requires you to throw away a plastic cup and is virtually no maintenance. If you need a coffee maker that is that simple to clean, then there is no other coffee pot for you other than single cup brewers like the Keurig or Tassimo (which you also have to descale). Any other coffee maker is about the same to clean up as this one.

There is one additional step... there is a silver disk that you see when you open the door with the basket in it. This needs to be wiped off after each brew. It is a little awkward as its in a strange position, but it takes all of 5 seconds to wipe off if you do it every time before it dries on. I just wash off the basket and air dry it in my dish rack, dampen a towel and clean the disk. Or if I want to make another pot right away, I shake out the basket, dry the bean chute carefully with a towel (I don't worry about the rest of it) and use the same damp towel to wipe off the disk.

That is literally the entire process. It takes no more than 30 seconds. I believe the grinder requires some occasional dusting and cleaning, but this is not a requirement of daily brewing. If you don't want to bother with that, then a grind and brew is not for you.

I will say that I can see a disadvantage to brewing 2 single cups one right after another. The basket is very hot after brewing, so removing it to clean and then brew another single cup could be difficult. Definitely more so than something like a Keurig. We have solved this by just brewing the largest single cup option into the carafe. When using the Keurig we have we've always brewed 10 oz cups, so the 21 oz single cup on the Breville is perfect for this. In fact, it's simpler than the Keurig because I don't have to go back to it after one cup and then brew another. I can set it once and walk away. It takes about 6 1/2 minutes to brew the 21 oz single cup. Not significantly longer than 2 cups in the Keurig. If you want more than that, the carafe mode would work better.

For us, brewing the single cup into the carafe has solved the problem of not being able to choose how much we can brew in carafe mode. We will do this and each drink a 10 oz cup using the Milk Cafe to warm our creamer and we don't want another cup for at least 2 hours anyway. Or we will each drink two 5 oz cups if we don't want to bother with the Milk Cafe and keep it on the hot plate between cups.
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Complaint: TOO LOUD

Based on some of the reviews here I thought this thing was going to be deafening. It is loud. That's the truth, but in my opinion not as bad as some other things. My 2 1/2 year old daughter yells at me that its loud when it grinds, but when I use my blender or vacuum she runs scared into her room from the noise. Same with the smoke detector going off. This doesn't bother her like those do. We can talk over the volume. I can hear it in my bedroom clearly with the door closed, which is about 10 feet away from the kitchen. It is more of a deep sound than high pitched, which I think is a bit easier to tolerate. It only grinds for about 15 seconds on the 1 cup setting and about 45 seconds for a full pot. I have not heard of any burr grinder that is quieter than this so I think if the noise is a real problem for you then a grind and brew is probably not your best option for a coffee maker.

Complaint: TOO EXPENSIVE

Yes, this is an expensive coffee maker as compared to your standard Mr. Coffee type drip maker. And it's more expensive than other grind and brews. As far as I can tell, there isn't another grind and brew out there that lets you do single cup, so I suppose that depends on how important that is to you.

For single cup users who are looking for an alternative to the Keurig then the price should not be a turn off to you. It is the same price as the top of the line Keurig which does not grind your coffee, can only brew up to 4 cups at a time in its carafe, and does not have a warming plate. The Keurig reservoir holds an additional 20 oz and it is slightly lower maintenance as mentioned above. The least expensive Keurig is only $50 cheaper. Sure, $50 seems like a lot, but when you start thinking about the price of K-cups, you make that up fast.

K-cups are about $14 per box, which usually come with 24 cups. Or if you own a Vue like we do, it's $12 for 16 cups. Other coffee varies in price of course, but as a comparison one pound of organic coffee from Whole Foods costs about $10. That's about 60 tablespoons, or 30 cups based on the industry standard. That's saves you about $0.25 per cup. At 1 cup a day you break even after 6 1/2 months. If there are 2 people in your house, make that 3 months. And if you have more than one cup a day you're looking at a month and a half or so before you start saving. My husband and I each drink 2 cups a day and 3-4 on the weekends. If you're like us, and a Keurig user right now, you'll make that money back in no time.

Not to mention the superior cup of coffee you'll be experiencing.

If you frequent coffee houses this will save as well. I find this to come very close to a good coffee house coffee. If you want perfection, I suggest the Breville Milk Cafe for the perfect home cup. Ever since I got that I rarely buy coffee out anymore.
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Complaint: POOR QUALITY

As I said before, I can't attest to the longevity of this machine yet. It feels sturdy and high quality to me. But devices with lots of mechanics and digital features do tend to fail. I will have to wait and see and I will update this review to keep you posted (and I actually do update my reviews). In the meantime, I do have a little tidbit of advice to offer. Bed, Bath and Beyond will take back anything, for any reason, at any time. So if you're worried about throwing money away on this if it breaks a year down the road, buy it there. That's what I did. I also bought a SquareTrade warranty, so I can get it replaced if something malfunctions after the warranty is up. I also used their 20% off coupon and it was $199, including tax. I'm a loyal Amazon customer but I wanted the return policy that BB&B offers because of the negative reviews of this machine.
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In conclusion... I love this coffee maker. It makes great coffee, easily and inexpensively as compared to other single cup brewers and the price is similar to other top quality coffee makers.

This was very long but I hope this review was helpful. I tried to address most of the issues mentioned in the negative reviews. Please feel free to comment or ask questions. I typically will review and respond. I will be sure to update this as necessary.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BEST COFFEE MAKER, July 21, 2013
By 
Mason B. Yeaton (VIRGINIA BEACH, VA, US) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Breville BDC550XL The YouBrew Glass Drip Coffee Maker (Kitchen)
I cannot understand the bad reviews. Maybe I was lucky and got a good one. Without a doubt this is the best coffee maker made and I have tried quite a few of them. You do have to clean the chute and dry it with a paper towel. I also recommend paper filters unless you don't mind a bit of coffee powder in your cup. I use Starbucks French Roast beans and I make it strong and intense. It takes around 8 minutes. What sets this coffee maker apart from the drip machines is that it actually brews the coffee. The bottom valve is closed and the hot water steeps the grounds. This intensifies the brew. After the appropriate time the machine opens the bottom valve and the coffee begins to flow into the carafe with more hot water now going onto the grounds. It does have a hot plate. I read one review that says it doesn't have one but it does. It is designed so a single cup does not sit on the hot plate. To me, the coffee could be hotter because I use half and half. I sometimes give the cup of coffee 30 secs in the microwave. Because of so many bad reviews, I almost declined to buy this coffee maker. So far, I haven't had a hint of any of the problems others have had with it and I can whole heartedly recommend it. I have the glass carafe. I was going to get the thermal carafe until I found out the glass model has a hot plate. By the way- it is a very clever hot plate. It is more of a hot ring- designed to accommodate travel mugs and cups. I think this machine is worthy of the Breville name. If it goes bad, I will amend this review. I do not want to mislead people on something this expensive. Right now, I say go ahead and spend the money; this machine is well worth it.

I said I would update this review if the coffee maker malfunctioned. Well, it has malfunctioned. It worked fine for quite a while; but, all of a sudden it would not make a full carafe of coffee. It will brew about two small cups, then, big bursts of steam occur and no further water will enter the coffee grounds area. It is too late to return it so I am stuck with it. I took a chance on it because of the other outstanding products of Breville.

Update No 2: I decided to try to fix the coffee maker. I had assumed that de-scaling was required when the warning appeared on the LCD screen. A more careful reading of the instruction says to de-scale once per month. I did it and I now have my wonderful coffee maker working again. I have never seen any coffee maker have a scaling problem this fast; but, that little bit of trouble is worth it to have it work properly. Just remember to de-scale once per month even if you do not think it needs it.
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My wife says it is the best cup of coffee she has had., October 25, 2012
By 
This review is from: Breville BDC550XL The YouBrew Glass Drip Coffee Maker (Kitchen)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I was interested in seeing if this pot would make coffee better than our cheap Wal-Mart coffee maker. In short, yes. Now I am not a coffee lover. For me it needs to be mixed in ice cream to be drinkable. But, my wife loves her cup of coffee, so I thought she would be the perfect tester. After setting it up she brewed herself a cup using a generic bean bought at Wal-Mart. Afterwords, she said that it brewed a better cup than you could get at Starbucks. I was definitely impressed.

Getting started took a little bit of time and can be intimidating. Trying to figure out the settings took a few tries. Make sure the first time you try to use it is not at 6 AM as you are trying to rush off to work.

With the choice of flavor settings and strength settings this will brew a cup of coffee to fit everyone's desires. I have read some of the other reviews and while it is true that you can adjust flavor and strength manually in any coffee maker; that will take a lot of trial and error. With the YouBrew just select the strength you want and it will grind the right amount of beans for that strength (more beans are ground for a stronger setting). The flavor profiles control the length of time the water is allowed to steep before dispensing.

While the machine is large; it is not unnecessarily large. Looking it over it did not appear to be overly bulky. Similarly priced models from competitors are this size. If counter space is an issue check the dimensions.

The noise level of the grinder could be an issue especially when you use the timer for an early morning cup of coffee. If the grinder is what wakes you up in the morning, then you may hate this machine. It is something you get use to, but the first few times it was startling.

I can see where the price would be an issue with some people, but if you look at the amount you may be spending buying coffee and the quality is as good, if not better, you will see that you will recoup the price of this machine within a couple of months. Also, the time saving of not waiting in line in the morning for coffee is a bonus.

I have been so impressed with this machine (I am a gadget guy) that I am trying to learn to like coffee. Now if they could make a machine that could brew me a perfect mug of beer...
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Had this replace 3 times in one year and 2 months out of warranty it failed again., March 6, 2014
By 
Diane (Lexington, MO) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Breville BDC550XL The YouBrew Glass Drip Coffee Maker (Kitchen)
This is the worst, most expensive coffee maker I have ever purchased. Three replacements (which Breville was great about) in one year. In two instances the water pump was the problem. The third replacement just died and is out of warranty as of 12/14/14. They offered 20% off any Breville product as a good will gesture. My problem is not with the company, but this particular coffee maker.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Took a chance on an unknown (to me), December 7, 2012
By 
L. Campbell (east bay, NorCal) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Breville BDC550XL The YouBrew Glass Drip Coffee Maker (Kitchen)
Had been with Capresso through three grind and brews and two months before getting the Breville Capressso grinder had quit and I called them and traded up to their latest with the stainless carafe. Boy were we disappointed in it! (rRead their reviews.) Even though it was past the 30 day return period, a good person at Capresso let me return it for a full refund. It's been a couple of months now, and other than user error a couple of times, this machine has been great! The single cup serving with it various sizes, once I understood it (see "user error" above), is a great feature. The fact that the bean hopper is full of Peet's coffee (snob alert!) and the water reservoir full, the Breville will grind just the right amount and use only the necessary water needed to make the selected size, has pretty mulch replaced using the Keurig. And I have a choice between nine different amounts from 7.5 to 21 ounces. Years ago when we got our first Capresso, I felt that was the greatest, but now . . . Final comment: this is not a machine you unpack and start making coffee.. There's a manual in the box for good reason. You might even see if you can find it online at their website, and and familiarize yourself with the technology. Maybe it's just me, but don't buy grandma one unless she works in Silicon Valley!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth every penny - if you enjoy a good brew, this one's for you!, March 14, 2013
By 
J. Smart (Kansas City, MO United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Breville BDC550XL The YouBrew Glass Drip Coffee Maker (Kitchen)
After reading through several reviews and thinking it over for about 2 months, I finally took the plunge and bought the 550XL model. I chose this over the 600XL mainly due to the many issues cited about the temperature of the coffee in the thermal carafe. It was more important to me to have piping hot coffee the glass carafe can produce than maintain a lower temp throughout a longer period of time that the thermal carafe is designed for. I have owned this machine for a few weeks now and have not had any problems mentioned in other reviews. This machine produces the best drip coffee I've ever had. I used to only be able to drink drip coffee with lots of creamer and sugar to overcome the weak and often bitter taste you usually get. Not so with this machine! The brew strength and intensity options are wonderful and allow any guests I might have over to select their brew strength since I tend to like a lighter brew vs. more intense. I was drawn to this model because of the ability to not only brew coffee by the cup (which many coffee makers can do now) but to be able to control the intensity.

I have noticed, as some of the other reviewers pointed out, that this machine uses a lot of beans by comparison of any other model I have owned. However, the taste of this coffee is absolutely superb. Not bitter in the least, especially if you kick up the intensity of the brew level. I guess it never occurred to some of the reviewers complaining about the amount of beans required (who will also admit this produces some of the best tasting drip coffee they've had) that perhaps the bean consumption is part of the that?? I still don't think the bean consumption rate is anything unusual, but it will consume more than you are probably used to. The grinder is relatively quiet vs. past machines I've owned with an integrated grinder. The machine is a little taller than your average model, but still fits nicely under standard cabinets.

To address some of the other concerns stated about the difficulty cleaning the product - really!? It takes me about 2 minutes to rinse out the basket and filter and wipe down the stainless steel disc. I usually do that while my half and half is settling nicely into my fresh cup of coffee. I wash the basket etc about every 3-4 days. If you don't have 2 minutes to commit to the upkeep of this wonderful machine that produces such a great product, than perhaps something of this quality is not for you. I don't think the "upkeep" (if you can even call it that!) is too much on the machine at all, especially when you consider the excellent brew it produces. Once a week I clean out the chute with the brush provided. That is probably overkill but I maintain things regularly so they last a long time. I don't discount there may be some faulty units out there (it's inevitable when anything is mass-producted) however I would guess that most of the reviews stating problems with the machine are more to do with the user's lack of maintenance.

All in all I am extremely happy with this product. The presentation/appearance is pleasing with simple, clean lines and buttons. I like the digital display. It's very easy to use right out of the box, and does everything it promises. It may seem like a significant investment, but for someone like me that used to buy coffee almost every day, it's actually saving me money. It's also worth every penny in my book for the taste and flavor alone. If you enjoy a good brew, this one's for you.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy this, it won't work for even a year!, December 2, 2013
This review is from: Breville BDC550XL The YouBrew Glass Drip Coffee Maker (Kitchen)
We bought this in February this year and loved it for awhile. Now when we pour the water into the tank, nothing happens. It still shows that there is no water so we can't brew anything with it. Luckily I had my old coffee maker in the garage, which was still working. Cuisinart is way better and not as expensive. Never again will I buy a Brewville piece of garbage. We tried to contact customer service and they are trying to blame it on us for using filtered water (which is what the manual says to use). I think it's going in the trash if we can't get anywhere with Brewville. So sad, because it was good for awhile. Do yourself a favor and do not buy this coffee maker.
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Breville BDC550XL The YouBrew Glass Drip Coffee Maker
$379.99 $199.99
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