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on July 24, 2012
As a person who considers himself a bit of a coffee connoisseur, I would like to shed some light on criticisms I found to be consistent amongst the less glowing reviews. I think some people who purchased this machine are a bit unfamiliar with the advantages versus traditional (glass carafe) brewers. They are mistaking some of the positives for negatives. I hope this helps current and potential buyers, as for the price (or even for more money) you'd be hard-pressed to find anything better. Allow me to explain...

STAINLESS STEEL CARAFE: A double insulated carafe (as found on the Melitta) serves to keep the coffee warm without a warming plate following the brewing cycle. Though the coffee does lose heat over time, you will not lose any taste. Glass carafes require a warming plate that keeps coffee at a consistent temperature by essentially cooking it. In other words, your coffee will taste horrible not long after the brewing cycle has finished. Imagine keeping your coffee on a low-flame stove burner all morning!

COFFEE TEMPERATURE: There is an accepted optimal brewing temperature for coffee of between 195-205°F. The Melitta is designed with this in mind. Other coffee makers are not. If you brew coffee at too high a temperature, you cook and over-extract the grinds. This results in a bitter taste.

FILTER BASKET: This is a cone-shaped basket instead of the more common flat-bottomed basket. The cone shape allows the water to contact the grounds for longer and create a fuller brew. Also, it is highly advisable to use unbleached paper filters versus reusable mesh ones. The paper filters absorb much of the acidity resulting in a smoother tasting coffee. Having used the permanent gold-tone filters in the past, I can say from experience they simply don't work as well.

UPDATE (JUNE 24, 2016): Unfortunately I had to throw the unit out some time ago, so I felt it necessary to update my review. The rusty metal plate issues noted in many reviews became a real problem for me as well with time. This is clearly a design flaw based on the number of occurrences in this review thread. Additionally, the inside of the carafe became discolored and smelly to the point of being unusable. It actually imparted an "off" taste to the coffee. Finally, the leaky carafe design was an irritation, if not a major issue, from day one. Although the unit ultimately made GREAT tasting coffee, especially when compared to the more expensive alternatives, I can no longer recommend it without reservations.
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on December 4, 2011
YES YES YES! Finally a working coffee pot that wasn't designed/built by total morons!

A coffee maker should do the following:
1. Make coffee into a pot (not on the counter)
2. Make hot coffee (listen up mr coffee!)
3. Actually pour coffee out of the carafe! (again something mt coffee hasn't figured out)
4. Actually brew the entire filters worth of grinds and not just part of the grinds
5. Not cost an Arm and a leg.... It's a simple appliance

After going through 6 different coffee makers from 4 different mfg's I finally found one that meets my extremely picky 5 requirements (sarcasm) this maker is the ONLY one that does!
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on February 23, 2012
I bought this for the same reasons you're probably already looking at thermal carafes, so I won't get into why that feature is so great.

Things I like about this coffee maker:
It makes hot, delicious coffee (despite other reviews here, my coffeemaker brews HOT coffee)
The thermal carafe keeps the coffee hot for about 1 hour, warm for up to 3 hours
The machine looks elegant and fits in with my kitchen decor (with the exception of the strange red band of plastic around the top of the carafe)
No overflowing coffee on the counter.
The carafe doesn't drip when pouring.

Things that make me scratch my head about this coffee maker:
The separate water tank and coffee filter sections. It makes the opening of the machine awkward because you have to deal with two hinged openings. You can't open just the coffee section without opening the water lid anyway, so I don't understand why they designed it this way.
The lack of water level viewing windows on both sides of the maker. There is only a viewing window on the right, and since we have our machine set up with the right side against a wall, I have to pull it out or peer into the top to try to see how much water I've added.
It is difficult to fully empty the carafe, both when filling the water tank or when trying to get the last drops of coffee out of the carafe.
The handle on the top of the filter holder. It gets in the way when trying to dump out the grounds. Luckily it pops right off, but I don't see why the designers put it there in the first place.
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on August 12, 2012
My mother wanted a new coffee maker, so after looking at reviews, designs, and different capabilities of dozens of machines on the marker, I determined that this device would be in her best interest and taste. It does everything listed above, plus it makes Iced Coffee*** which she thoroughly enjoys. The blue LED is very bright, I do not mind, neither does she, it is fine. Other Cons, The reservoir does not contain a water filter like her previous coffee maker, but that does not really matter. The "chord storage" in the back does not seem to work and the chord is only about 24'' inches long.

Other than that, it works more than fine. I will post pictures , perhaps they may be helpful to other perspective buyers of this device.
review image review image review image review image review image review image review image review image review image
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on November 10, 2011
I bought this from Abe"s of maine. I usually don't write reviews but I did a lot of research and have waited a long time to buy another coffee maker since my Philips Thermal was getting a bit old.
I have tried a number of thermal units in the past and could not find one that produced hot coffee from the start, never mind after awhile from the carafe. The Philips was good, not perfect, where after my second cup I had to hit the microwave. So I came across the Melitta older version and wanted to buy it but could not find one at an reasonable price so I called Melitta. They said it was discontinued but they have a new model 46894. Now the picture is wrong here, it shows a glass carafe, the same on Abe's website but the model number was correct so I ordered it and got the thermal carafe.

So far I really like it. I ran water thru it and it is 5 degrees hotter than my Philips and it has a hot plate which gets good and hot during the brew time and then goes off when it stops brewing. It has 3 Brew settings which must be different temperatures which makes the water pass thru at different speeds. I have tried all 3 and I can't see there is a big difference, but I think you need to be exact in measuring and using the same coffee and amount of water. I have 3 coffees open in decanters which I switch everyday for variety.

Easy to fill without spilling water, easy to clean and the carafe is a one handed operation to pour..

So all I can say is go for it!.. Can't beat the price and quality for a good cup of coffee.
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on June 10, 2012
My husband and I feel lucky if a coffeemaker lasts a year before starting to leak and needing to be replaced. We have only had this Melitta for about a month so don't know what to expect with longevity. I wake up several hours earlier than my husband and we set our coffee maker to start brewing at 4:00 a.m. to be ready for me to enjoy a cup of coffee as soon as I roll out of bed. We prefer our coffee to be bold and HOT. We use the robust setting and this coffeemaker makes an excellant cup coffee! Noticeably different than any other we've had in the past and I assume the water temperature is hotter during brew time. The main reason I chose to buy this particular coffeemaker was for the thermal carafe, and let me tell you, it hasn't disappointed. When my husband gets up at 7:00, or even later, the coffee is still just as hot as we like, and he no longer complains that it tastes burned after sitting on a warmer for several hours. Last week we were gone from home for more than 4 hours and when we got back the coffee was still hot enough that it didn't need to be nuked. In our opinion, that's reason enough to buy this one. On the downside and the only reason my rating isn't 5 stars, we wish it were a 12 cup maker rather than 10 cup, but in Melitta's defense, I don't believe any other brand makes a 12 cup with thermal carafe, either. One last comment is that we had a thermal carafe coffeemaker (different brand) quite a few years ago and the carafe leaked after I submersed it in water to wash it. I believe that must have broken a seal and won't make that mistake again.
I appreciate the reviews from others, always doing my research before making a purchase, so I hope this has been helpful to someone else. Thank you, Amazon, for your great service and quick delivery time, yet again.
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on December 4, 2011
This Melitta model should be considered the benchmark for thermal coffee makers. It delivers a robust pot of coffee that I really look forward to each morning.

The design is well thought out. The electronic controls are on top (some models have them on the bottom of the maker where they are subject to flooding if the pot overflows and certainly subject to collecting fine bits of coffee). The opening for the water reservoir is large so it is easy to fill. Hot water is distributed widely and seemingly evenly across the top of the filter cone. This coupled with a design that heats the water to the appropriate high temperature leads to excellent flavor extraction. I'm finding that I need to use less coffee to make a robust pot than I did with my previous coffee maker. The carafe is well designed. It fits comfortably in the hand, does not drip and pouring a cup of coffee is a one hand operation. Coffee remains hot for several hours in the carafe.

After a poor experience with an ill-designed coffee maker (not Melitta), it is a pleasure to be using this Melitta maker.
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on December 17, 2011
I got my first Melitta coffeemaker in December 2011. It stopped working 11 months later. HOWEVER the company replaced it. --Now, a little over 2 years later, the coffee maker stopped working again. I really DO like the coffee maker for the reasons below, but I'm a little reluctant to buy another. In the meantime I'm using an old Braun Carafe coffee maker we have had for twenty years which continues to work well. Sigh. --Oh one little nitpick with the Melitta --the water fill window only starts showing at the 5 or 6 cup level. Anyway, I feel like I have to downgrade my review because of longevity. BUT --even though I think I do, maybe I don't clean the machine often enough, and maybe you will and yours will never break. Good Luck.
----------------------
ORIGINAL REVIEW
Like many it seemed I devoted every spare moment for 2 weeks trying to find the BEST replacement coffee maker, and everything was either hundreds of dollars or got mixed reviiews so it was hard to take the plunge. We have had this Melitta for a week and I love it! I find the coffee is tasty. I love the design of the thermal carafe, it does not drip. It has pause and serve and can be programmed to auto start. AND it is quiet. NO beep! It does not beep, a feature I always found annoying. Plus it brews very quietly as well. It is very easy to pour in the water. I am one happy camper!
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on January 19, 2013
The unit makes good coffee and performs well. It's quiet in operation, and the thermal carafe keeps coffee very warm or hot for many hours. I consulted many other reviews before making my purchase, and so I felt confident that I knew what I was getting and that I'd be reasonably happy with it. I suppose I am, but it does have issues.

Other reviews called out the bright backlight of the clock. It's extremely bright, but that doesn't bother me as I don't leave appliances plugged in when they're not in use. Someone also pointed out that the hot plate will rust severely if you're not careful. It's easy enough to keep it dry, so that's wasn't an issue either. What is an issue, though is the water reservoir.

The water reservoir appears to be completely made of plastic, however the two rear corners of the unit have two screws or metal fasteners that are hidden beneath what appear to be small black plastic caps. Unlike the screws in the filter carrier these screws are not galvanized--probably because they're under caps and supposedly sealed. But they aren't. And these screws rust. A lot. And the rust seeps over the top lip of the reservoir and into the reservoir itself. Rusty coffee ahead. This is inexcusable, especially when you consider that the actual visible screws are galvanized and don't rust. To save a few fractions of a cent the manufacturer opted to use cheaper screws, and consequently I now have extra iron in my diet.

I debated between two and three stars for the review and finally opted for two simply because this problem was so easily avoidable. I shouldn't need to seal off these screws with added silicon just to have coffee without rust. The manufacturer should never have allowed this to happen.
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on October 22, 2012
At first, this was the perfect coffee maker. It brewed coffee fast and hot. Where it started to go downhill... For starters the hot plate started to rust, the coffee doesn't stay hot for very long to top it all off, the customer service sucks. As I found out the device is manufactured by Hamilton Beach.

From: Consumer Relations <consumerrelations@melitta.com>
Date: Mon, Sep 24, 2012 at 9:25 AM
Subject: RE: Mellita Coffee Maker
To: ########## <#############>

Dear ##########:
Thank you for contacting Melitta.
I have forwarded your inquiry to our manufacturing partner, Hamilton Beach.
A representative will be contacting you regarding this issue.
We apologize for any inconvenience.

Regards,

Yvette Harris
Supervisor, Consumer Relations
Melitta USA, Inc.
13925 58th Street North, Clearwater, FL 33760 USA

Tel: +00 1 (727) 524-4866 Fax: +00 1 (727) 524-4680
yharris@melitta.com [...]
Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail

Now today almost one month I received this email. Since then I have two other follow up emails and have not received one response yet.

I will be replacing this device soon and never buying a Hamiton Beach product again.
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