Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Cloer 5238NA 12-Cup Bitterness Eliminating Coffee Maker, Stainless Steel/White
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VINE VOICEon November 28, 2011
Color: Black|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Update 9/27/12 Strange all of the negative reviews. Other then the original carafe which they did replace I have been using this every day for close to a year and have not had a single problem. Buying great coffee in the first place is important...
-----------------------------

Update: They have a new all glass carafe that has no spill.

I'm a bit of a nut when it comes to coffee but flavor is most important to me. For over ten years I have been roasting my own. I also use a burr grinder - the second most important step in coffee flavor. The third step of course is brewing which requires the water temperature to be about 200 degrees F when it hits the coffee grounds.

I have a vac pot which guarantees the temperature is correct due to the fact it has to get that hot for the water to get to the top. But it takes time and requires cleanup. I have a French Press which is also great for flavor but requires clean up and to some can be a bit muddy. For weekday use when time is limited first thing in the morning I have had a Technivorm which is the only brewer certified by the national coffee association for its temperature. But for brewing coffee it fails for how expensive it is. It is built more like a backyard still. I prefer a cup of coffee so I've never owned an espresso machine. I've been searching for a new brewer for quite some time until I came across the Cloer.

My first interest in the Cloer was its maintaining correct temperature which is very important. I don't have a thermometer that would accurately measure the temp but the flavor is as good as the other brewing options that I have.

I have always filtered the water. The Cloer accepts a water filter model MAXTRA by Mavea.
It has a builtin timer so that you know when to replace the filter.
There are two sets of markers in the water reservoir to determine the correct level using a filter or not.

The basket swings out after pressing the button on top and is removable for cleaning. It will stop the flow so that you can remove the carafe during brewing.
You can brew up to 12 cups.
There is an automatic setting to turn on at a specific time but I will never use it as I prefer fresh ground coffee (immediate).
The brewer will shut off after two hours. The digital readout counts out how much time has passed after the brewing has stopped.
You can easily adjust the warming plate temperature by simply pressing the up and down buttons. There are indicators on the display. This is a nice feature as the plate on most brewers gets too hot.

This is a great little brewer with some nice features that isn't over priced, easy to use and brews at the correct temperature!
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on November 26, 2011
Color: Black|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I compared the new Cloer 12-cup coffee maker to my go-to machine, a Bunn ThermoFresh, using my favorite beans, freshly ground in a Breville conical burr grinder; filtered water and paper filters in each machine. Cloer's machine produced a cup of coffee with more body and more complex and lasting flavor, which I believe is due to better extraction from the bean during brewing. Cloer uses a 'pulse' brewing system due to the way its two-tank hot water system works: cold water is taken from a reservoir about a half-cup at a time and heated to 200 F. before it is released through the grounds. This results in a more stable water temperature throughout the brewing cycle in comparison to machines that heat the water all at once and then begin cooling down until their heater cycles on again. The Cloer machine has water measurements marked on the inside of the tank and on the stainless steel strip on the control panel, with cups of coffee marked on the glass carafe as well. I find this handy for making a partial pot of beverage. Unlike the Bunn, which has a stainless steel thermal carafe, the Cloer machine includes a warming plate (temperature adjustable by set levels)to keep the coffee uniformly hot for the life of the brew.

The Bunn machine also has a two-tank system but its system serves a different purpose: a full pot of water is heated and then continuously showered through the grounds. Meanwhile, a separate tank of cold water is waiting to be drawn into the system in case a second pot needs to be brewed. The Bunn system is fussy in comparison to Cloer: to get a new pot of coffee out of the Bunn, I always have to put a new pot of cold water into the first tank. For me, this leaves day-old filtered and once-heated water sitting in the system, waiting for me to make a pot of coffee that will never be truly 'fresh.' It is not that Bunn's engineers are 'lame'; their machine is designed for holding hot water all the time and for being on day and night. Their first pot of coffee can be made without waiting for water to come up to temperature, which can be an advantage getting ready for work at home or in keeping the coffee flowing at the office.

As with so many things today, coffee machines are made in China to engineering specifications from elsewhere. Cloer is engineered in Germany. The materials used in making the machine are 'upmarket' where plastics are concerned, having a pleasant 'soft touch.' Parts seem hefty and solid and tolerances on the coffee maker for fit are good. As with all button displays/controls, it helps to read the users manual to set the machine up. The process is not tricky, just different. Where things need to come apart for cleaning they do and they give the assurance that they will fit securely back together as well.

NEW DATA: THE ORIGINAL CARAFE HAS BEEN REPLACED! This new carafe features a simple glass pot with a 'typical' plastic top that doesn't have any place for water vapor or coffee liquid to seep into before it leaks all over your tablecloth. Materials are still up-market but now the design works! Many of us found that the original carafe developed a small but annoying leak around the rim or spout. This did not make the machine unusable but minor mopping was required. I passed this problem on to Salton, the machine's importer, and they 'kicked the problem up the line' and I now have a new and completely functional carafe, provided free of charge. I am advised that future shipments will include the improved pot.
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on November 21, 2011
Color: Black|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have been looking for a good coffee maker for a long time. This is my 5th machine, well the search is over. The coffee smells good brewing and tastes even better. I was getting a bitter aftertaste from my coffee I tried all different brands, did cleanings, nothing helped.

This company has won all types of awards all over the world for its'superior quality. I can see why. It looks very modern on the counter but more importantly it makes great coffee.

When you get it home all you have to do is wash the carafe and the filter holder. Plug in and set the time, run a water only cycle then you are ready to brew. After all my searching I wasn't holding my breath that this would be fantastic but as it turns out it is. You can use an optional water filter in it to remove impurities in you water if you choose. It is not included. I have a PUR faucet filter so mine is getting double filtered.

The secret to this great coffee is in the two heating chambers that make the water a perfect 200 degrees as it flows through 18 shower type holes. This is the perfect temperature for great coffee. I never knew what the problem was just that all the models I tried had the same problem bitter aftertaste.

It uses the #4 cone filters or you can use a gold or metal cone #4 filter (not included).

I had heard that the pour spout spills every time. I have not had this happen even using my left hand and I am right handed. I did notice you have to tip it more before it starts to pour but after the second time you are used to it. I really can not find any cons on this machine. It does all it says it will do and looks good doing it. I highly recommend this model to anyone who enjoys a great cup of coffee.
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on December 23, 2012
I read all the reviews on this machine and was very excited to order it. When I received it my wife and I both liked the way it looked and liked the fact that it was easy to set up and use. My first complaint is that it is unstable. The machine rocks from front to back on it's four little feet. I was willing to live with that but, when we did a test run with just water the highest temperature we could get out of the sprayer head was 177. (I have a brand new digital thermometer) That is about the same as a Bunn that we were replacing which by the way never made a good cup of coffee. We tried two pots of coffee and the temp never got above 177. The coffee was bitter and weak which makes sense because 177 degrees is not hot enough to make a good cup of coffee (we roast our own beans so the coffee couldn't be fresher). Very disappointed. We had such high hopes. Back to the drawing board for Cloer unless we had a defective unit. Since there wasn't a toll free number to call the company and the fact that the number is in Canada I really couldn't talk to anyone about the temperature problem. Bottom line: I wouldn't waste your time or money on this product.
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on November 26, 2011
Color: Black|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I was skeptical about the promise of a coffeemaker that brews a less bitter cup of coffee. In my experience all my coffeemakers produce acidic bitter coffee. In fact, my husband and I gave up coffee for quite awhile because of the bitterness. This time I was wrong. The Cloer coffeemaker does make less better coffee. The aroma is wonderful and the flavor is full bodied.

I particularly like:

The timer. It lets me know when the heating element will shut off. That lets me judge whether I need to make another pot.

The carafe feels good in my hand. I have had no trouble with spills.

The filter is easy to install. I particularly like the ability to see how much time I have before having to buy another filter. Use the clean button to determine the state of the filter.

The brewing system is exceptional. I was surprised that heating the water in increments made such a difference.

Some things I wish were different:

While I like the carafe, I wish it wasn't glass. I have a terrible tendency to break glass pots. However, this coffeemaker makes tastier coffee that my Melita with a carafe type pot.

I wish I didn't have to keep heating the coffee for two hours to keep it serve-able. I do think the coffee tastes better over time if it's not being continually heated. However, with the Cloer, I can choose one of four temperature settings and keep it on the lowest one, so that's a plus.

I highly recommend this coffeemaker, if you love coffee.
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on September 11, 2014
My New CLOER arrived day before yesterday, and so far I love it! Makes Good Coffee, looks nice easy to operate, good stuff! One word of caution--operation temp is HOT...you bought this for HOT Coffee, so everything is going to be HOT, steam, warmer plate, carafe, it's all HOT. I appreciate the temp control on the warmer plate, and I did need to turn that down so as not to burn the coffee between second and third cup. It's only been a few days, so can't speak to longevity, but Overall--Love this coffee maker. This is a replacement for a Mr. Coffee FTX model ( 20, 23, 45, etc.) I loved the look, the clock, the stale meter...everything except how it just quit working after about a year...3 of them. My husband pulled it apart and discovered a ball bearing type mechanism to control water flow through the heating tube (rather like a hamster water bottle). All I can imagine is that this ball gets stuck and that's what quits working (read lot's of other complaints about same issue, so not my water after all). But the machine is so proprietary that in order to get to the ball to unstick it, you've had to break the rest of the machine...Broken coffee pot makes for unhappy Mama...no more! I'm loving my new CLOER...very sleek, love the back lit coffee pot, love the smell of HOT coffee, love the cone shaped drip basket, love that it programs (and the programming actually works), love that it's not the same ol' same ol' you see on every shelf of every box store..VERY HAPPY INDEED.
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on February 14, 2012
Update:
Got a replacement item after the first week, and LOVE IT! Delicious coffee (get a #4 conical screen filter), very hot, no mess, and "normal" brew time (12 mins). It's a tad bit slow on the brew time, but it helps to keep the water at the correct temp. If you drink this coffee too soon after the brew finishes, you will scorch your tongue a bit, but that's just a hazard that comes with coffee at the proper temp. I'm leaving my original review below in case other buyers have similar problems in the future. If you do, get a replacement because it's not working properly.

Original:
I usually don't write product reviews, but, based on the price of the product and my experience, I decided it was the right thing to do.

I was really excited about purchasing this coffee maker. My wife and I have always had "little cheapies", except for the gift her grandmother purchased us that was a coffee/espresso/cappuccino station (which we didn't really use). She initially wanted me to just go for the standard Bunn "home" machine, but I spent about 2 hours looking through all of the brands on Amazon, watching & reading reviews (positive and negative), and going a little bit over what I wanted to spend ($100 or less) to get "something a little better." This was a shared Valentine's gift for each other, and since we've been needing a new one...why not spend a little more for a quality product?

Day one impressions: I'm a little disappointed. The coffee is hot, and tastes delicious, but there are two major problems. I'm not sure which is the bigger problem. First, it takes FOREVER to get the pot. I brewed up a pot this morning, and it took just under 30 minutes to finish. It would have taken longer, from the time I got out of bed, to get my first cup, but I had preloaded it last night and set the timer to "wake me up with a fresh brewed pot" (it didn't, by the way, and I don't know why). Yes, I know you can take out the carafe and get a cup before the brew cycle finishes, but it's always too strong when you do that. Second, this thing is messy! The steam overflow from under the brew basket is ridiculous. There was at least 2-4 oz. of water on my counter top by the time the cycle finished. And I wiped it up twice while it was brewing. There were droplets of water running down the stainless steel control panel area.

Possible fix: I think the recessed drip mechanism is part of the problem. There's an overhang lip around the bottom of the brew basket/filter area that catches the steam, and it collects there and drips down. In the product picture, this rim us under the brand name, and runs around that bottom edge. As the steam rolls out, it collects and cools on that lip, forming droplets that fall off when they accumulate. Taking that edge out would probably go a long way to reducing the mess. Also, the holes at the top on the front of the machine vent steam, but they seem to be a little small, and droplets form there as well. I'm no engineer, but I think those two areas need to be adjusted to move the steam away from under the brew basket and put the steam out of the top. That being said, it will make the steam overhead worse, but at least that goes into the air, and not on my counter.

Short version: The coffee tastes excellent. However, I don't want to get out of bed earlier to get my morning cup. I don't want to have to clean up a huge mess every morning before I go to work. I really don't want to have to admit to my wife that I should have just listened to her in the first place and bought the one she told me to. I'm willing to give it a few more days, but I will certainly be thinking about whether or not I want to keep it - which is not where I wanted to be when I bought it. I know I read the other reviews that pointed out it made a mess, but I thought people were exaggerating or looking for something to complain about. I apologize to those people. It does make a mess, no doubt about that. I was thinking it would maybe be a little mess, but, boy I was wrong.

I also reserve the right to edit this review to add comments about another failure in the "timed" cycle tomorrow after I give it another shot. Right now, I'll assume it was user error, and I will make sure before adding that to my review. Even if it was user error, a 30 minute brew cycle means that I'll have to leave my grounds in the machine overnight every day just to get a cup before it's time to jump in the shower. All in all, I'm fairly disappointed by my purchase, and it will only get worse when I have to admit that she was right all along.
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on February 6, 2012
This truly does make better coffee. My husband and I were both impressed by vast improvement in the taste of our coffee while using the same kind of grounds as before with our old coffee-maker. That alone makes it worth getting. But we have found two things that would greatly improve the coffemaker. The first thing is, as mentioned by other reviewers, that when you pour out your coffee, you have to be very careful not to spill a little. Our coffeemaker is next to the sink so we just pour over the sink but it is a nuisance. But our biggest problem is that the machine shuts off after 2 hours. We acknowledge that there would be degradation of the flavor of the coffee over time but most coffeemakers don't shut down for 4 hours and on lazy Saturday mornings, it would be nice to have coffee for longer than 2 hours.
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on January 31, 2013
My trusty Krups coffeemaker (which I've used since 1994, believe it or not) finally gave up the ghost in July. I love my morning coffee, so it was almost as traumatic as the death of a good friend. The Krups delivered consistently excellent coffee day after day for nearly two decades. I'd actually come to feel that getting a good cup of coffee at home every morning was my birthright.

Little did I know that I'd be living in coffee purgatory for six months before finding a good replacement.

After reading all the "meh" reviews of newer-model Krups coffee makers, I decided not to stick with the brand. Instead, I launched into an extensive search for the best coffee maker out there under $300.

I already knew I didn't want a Technivorm, because--well--the thing looks like a mad scientist's nightmare. Whatever I chose had to have clean modern lines and look spiffy on my kitchen counter, be easy to use (I tend to walk into walls before I have my morning coffee), have a pretty fast brewing cycle and, above all, make good coffee.

Not an easy thing to find, I soon learned.

To get by until I could find the ultimate coffee maker, I bought a $17.88 Mr. Coffee machine as a placeholder. Big mistake. The stuff it made wasn't even coffee. It was dark brown water. Some might even call it swill. It went in the trash (too horrible even to give Goodwill).

So I tried the "pourover" method. I heated water to 200 degrees in a Hario Buono kettle and poured it in a slow, thin stream into a mug through a Melitta No. 4 cone with unbleached filter, making sure to allow time for the coffee to "bloom." That produced a good cup of coffee sometimes, but not all the time. Plus the procedure took around 20 minutes--too long and too much fuss, especially for just one cup of coffee.

Next I bought a Zojirushi Zutto. Cute little thing, but too small and too plasticky-looking for me. Returned it.

Then I bought a Bonavita because of its excellent reputation. As soon as I got it out of the box and put it on my kitchen counter, I knew it wouldn't do. Too dark and old-fashioned looking. Returned it.

By this time I had read about the relatively new Bodum Bistro Pour Over Electric Coffee Maker, which had earned some very good reviews by gourmet coffee types. So I bought it, even though it was pricey. I liked the way it looked and probably would have kept it except it stopped working after making only about 20 pots of coffee.

I have very hard water and the Bodum apparently became clogged with lime deposits. But when I ran descaling solution and two pots of clean water through it, then vinegar solution and two more pots of clean water, and it still didn't work, I became extremely frustrated. Then I read in the owner's manual that you're supposed to take it apart and wash all of its various loose parts (not just the filter basket, permanent filter and carafe, but the water reservoir, shower head, etc.) EVERY TIME YOU USE IT. No thanks. That's way too much work and I don't want a coffee maker that delicate and finicky. Unfortunately, I bought it direct from Bodum (not through Amazon) and it's non-returnable, so I'm stuck with it. Maybe I can make a lamp out of it or something.

At this point, I started to think, "Maybe I should get something that's not electronic so it can't break down." So I bought an Aeropress. Took a while to figure it out and it made good coffee (you still have to heat water for it) but, again, I really don't want to have to work that hard every morning. I'll keep it and use it as a travel coffee maker, though.

I'd gone back to the pourover method--and a state of abject depression--when I noticed the Cloer on Amazon. I'm a fan of German design, so despite qualms about its "drippy carafe" problem mentioned in some reviews, I ordered it. I mean, what did I have to lose? This was Attempt No.7 at replacing the old Krups. Something had to work soon, if only because of the law of averages.

I received the Cloer last night, cleaned it per the manufacturer's instructions and made my first pot of coffee it in this morning. Yes! The coffee was exceptionally good and the carafe didn't drip when I poured it.

It's easy to use and clean. It makes coffee pretty fast with minimal effort on my part. It's programmable the night before. It takes Brita filters, which I hope will help offset my hard water problem. It looks fantastic in my kitchen (the mirrored sides reflect the coffee maker's surroundings, which makes it seem smaller and less clunky).

What's more, when you're brewing coffee, some very cool, bluish-white LED lights come on to illuminate the carafe. It's almost a NASA-like effect. Call me a geek, but this was a delightful, unexpected bonus.

So, I've finally moved out of coffee purgatory and back into coffee heaven. It was a long ride. And, although I don't yet know how long the Cloer will hold up, I'm considering buying a second one to have waiting in the wings when the first one dies.

I like it that much.
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on February 1, 2012
**UPDATE March 4, 2012**

I didn't end up returning this, because by the time I was ready to it had stopped doing the problem noted earlier. And...it makes such a GREAT cup of coffee I decided to keep it. It now only leaks maybe a drop here and there, and not very often so perhaps it was part of a "breaking in" process - who knows. I changed my rating accordingly, because I can't say this enough - this makes a GREAT CUP OF COFFEE!

I also purchased one of the filters that goes with it, and that does improve it even more. As to what coffee I use, I use Fair Trade organic beans (my own custom blend) that I grind myself, but I have even used cheapo coffee and it even makes that taste better, which was pretty unbelievable.

The carafe is a little tricky, the design tends to trap a little bit of coffee under the lip, unless you do an extreme tipping process, but I don't mind that particularly because....

IT MAKES SUCH GREAT COFFEE!

My Krups 452 had stopped working, which is why I had purchased the Cloer originally, and meanwhile I was able to get it repaired at a shop in Seattle, (cost about 40 bucks with shipping). But, when it came, I didn't want to NOT use the Cloer! Because...you guessed it. It makes a BETTER cup than my Krups, and that's saying something because I'm very picky about my coffee.

Maybe this is all more info than anyone needs, but I thought it might help so there you go.

**UPDATE February 4, 2012**

Well, that didn't last long - less than a week before TROUBLE! It started leaking when you remove the carafe during the latter part of the brew cycle. So, back to Amazon it goes...

******

I purchased the white one for 129.95.

First, a pet peeve is deciphering the dimensions of Amazon products, so here's what they mean for this coffee maker. The product dimensions listed are: 11.4 x 9.4 x 15.4 inches. First is supposed to be width, but it's more like 10 1/4. Second is depth, which is closer to 8.5 inches roughly. Third is the height, which is more like 14 inches.

The MINUS Side -

It's noisy.

It puts out a LOT of steam, no way would I leave that under my cabinet. I suggest leaving it pulled forward until it's done steaming then put it back in place.

The rubber feet mean you can't slide it, so you have to pick it up every time you move it. I solved this by buying some of those stick on felt pads to put over the rubber feet and that works great.

The Carafe doesn't dry out after you rinse it out and put it back on the plate when you're done. I'm not sure why it holds moisture like that, never seen a carafe do that before. The Carafe also traps a bit of coffee somehow under the rim when trying to pour the last of it out, and you can't really get it out without turning the pot upside down

I ran two water cycles through it before use, even though the manual only called for one because the reservoir area still strongly smelled of that nasty plastiquey odor. It was less after two, and after one coffee run the smell was mostly gone for the most part.

The PLUS side -

On the major plus side is - boy does this thing put out a SMOOTH and HOT cup of coffee. !!!! So good, it makes you have to think whether the minuses even outweigh how good it is!

Also, the blue lighting is kind of fun, the controls are simple and easy to use, the filter assembly is easy to use.

I would wish that for 130 bucks it wasn't so noisy and didn't steam so much but as I said, it makes such a good cup of coffee I'm thinking I might be able to overlook the other design flaws. We'll see what I think after I use it for a bit.
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