Top critical review
3,557 people found this helpful
Excellent product if you know what you're getting into!
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.