Top positive review
147 people found this helpful
A great single serve brewer for a great price
on January 4, 2013
Purchased mine directly from KitchenAid.
I have been on the hunt for a single server brewer that doesn't use those awful Keurig pods. I want to use my own, home roasted coffee and I'm picky about water temperature, spray head design, etc. I'm a coffee professional working in the Specialty Coffee industry. I live a breathe coffee every day. I prefer manual brew methods, but at 7am I want a good cup without the fuss. This brewer has impressed me in that role for sure.
This brewer has really fit the bill. The water gets up to the required 200 degrees, the shower head design disperses the water evenly across the bed of coffee, and it brews quickly through a nicely designed brew basket and gold tone filter.
The gold tone filter works quite well. I would avoid paper. Aside from the waste, paper filters soak up a lot of the volatile oils in the coffee that provide so much of the flavor - especially in the body of the coffee. The metal filter allows those oils to extract into the coffee giving a more flavorful cup with better body. If you use paper, go with the Filtropa brand. The white ones.
The water reservoir is handy. It has a nice handle that lifts up on the top for easy carrying. The carafe/travel mug keep the coffee hot. I use it as a carafe instead of a travel mug. I just know I'll lose it if I take it to the car and I like to keep the coffee hot while I drink a cup waiting for my wife to come get her cup in the morning. It pours very nicely into a regular mug.
You can also put your own regular mug under it, but I prefer the carafe/travel mug so that the coffee stays hot inbetween pours.
This is just the right portion size. I can make one 12oz cup for myself, or 2 12 oz cups for me and my wife (with a little left over for a partial refill - makes 18oz total at full capacity). This was very well thought out!
It is tall, but it will fit under your cabinets (well, most cabinets). You may have to slide it out a bit to remove the water reservoir, but what's the big deal? Every coffee maker I have ever owned required that in order to pour in my water.
The drip tray is fantastic. Most brewers don't have them, and that's a shame. KA took a cue from the espresso market and included one on this unit. It's handy and gives it an upscale feel that is appreciated.
Some may consider the lack of a timer a negative. Not me. Once you grind your coffee, you start losing noticeable flavor in less than 1 minute. Grinding your coffee and leaving it in the non-air tight brew basket for 8 hours should be a crime! Is it that hard to scoop and grind in the morning?
Leaving the timer off is, I'm sure, a big part of why this machine is so affordable. KitchenAid has always been great at including the features you need, and not the ones you don't so that they can build high quality gear at a reasonable price point.
And, yeah, the blue light on the front is mesmerizing. What can I say?