411 of 422 people found the following review helpful
on January 28, 2011
I have to say that some of the reviews of this product make me despair of the whole review process. They seem to fall into "no coffee maker should cost this much," or "it's not made of platinum." In either case, my advice is this: don't buy it! For those interested in a review of the thing itself, so you can decide if it's worth the (high) price here it is.
My wife and I like coffee. It's one of the day's regular pleasures and we drink coffee every day. So we think our regular use justifies some extravagance. We buy good coffee. For years we used a small plastic Krupps grinder and a Krupps then Cusineart coffee maker. And it was fine. But then I took a flier on a burr grinder--way more expensive than the Krupps grinder (c. $100 vs $25 or so). And it was a revelation!! So then, with some Christmas money in hand we did research and were persuaded by a Cooks' Illustrated review and bought the Technivorm. Wow! My idea of coffee is entirely changed. I get all that stuff about "notes of chocolate," and all that. It is just terrific coffee. What excellent wine is to table wine (and we drink a lot of table wine; so this is not about snobbism).
The whole Technivorm schtick is simple: a good pump, and keep the coffee at c. 200F until it comes out the nozzle over the coffee. Who would think it would make such a difference? But it does. The machine itself is perfectly durable, but it's not fancy and is largely plastic, not metal. Whatever. The thermos keeps the coffee hot (if, as the instructions suggest, you rinse it first with hot water) for at least 5 hours. After that you should make a new pot anyway. It is fast, and it is quiet. It makes 10.5 cups, which is a little less than we'd like when company comes (12 is good).
The question is, and it's a real question--is this indulgence the way you want to spend your money?
And of course, its durability is unproven--we've only had it for a month. But it makes wonderful coffee. If that's really important to you, and you've got the money, then this machine won't disappoint you.
A couple of years later: The TV is still going strong, still making wonderful coffee. It has slowed a bit despite occasional white-vinegar treatments. Most notable: the carafe has colored on the inside and has a sort of brown glaze on the bottom. It seems not to affect the taste, but looks a bit grotty. Otherwise, still well worth the money!
369 of 389 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2009
I love coffee. For the past year, I've been immersed in the technical and chemical artistry (and it truly is) of home roasting my own coffee and perfecting the brewing process to take advantage of total control and total freshness. Up to now, I've made my single cups using a thermostatically controlled water kettle and a cone drip device which allows me to control the "steep" time of the water at the proper temperature. But what to do when guests come over?
The overwhelming consensus is that the TechniVorm (TV) is the Rolls Royce of batch coffee makers. I got one as a gift and I agree.
We all know that cheap coffee makers cannot supply brewing temperature water at the desired 203F. My Mr. Coffee, for example, was 169F at the brewhead. More on this in a minute.
The coffee maker comes assembled and requires only that the brewhead wand, filter basket and covers be installed. The water chamber is clear plastic with cup level markings on the side. I have not measured the "cup" volumes yet but I suspect they are consistent with a 6 oz. cup size. The coffee measure with the TV is said to make two cups per scoop, which is fairly accurate as a starting point. The filter basket, basket cover and water chamber cover are black plastic. The brewhead wand is stainless steel.
The TV is simple enough to use. Placing the filter basket on a plastic support is a no-brainer except that it helps to notice that the handle should go in front facing you, not to either side. This is because the basket is wedge shaped at the bottom to accommodate the #4 cone filters used, and the brewhead wand is designed to distribute water along the length of the bottom wedge. There are nine holes in the brewhead which distribute water effectively onto the coffee.
Taking a closer look at the TV, it is obvious that one of the reasons it achieves the proper high brewing temperature is that the siphon from the heating chamber passes through an outer plastic tube which effectively insulates the heated water from the cold unheated water in the water chamber. This is the main design flaw with cheaper coffee makers. The TV also has two heating coils rather than one to help maintain a high enough water temperature.
Additional control is provided with a three-position switch on the side of the filter basket. The positions are full flow (although the hole is quite small), partial flow and closed. My brewing so far has been to leave the switch open, as I'm brewing 10-cup batches and use a rather fine grind which extends the drip time. I have not yet made 2-cup batches, but I will plan to close the switch completely to enable a 4-minute steep time before releasing the coffee into the carafe. Note that the grind is a major variable here since fine grind will slow the water considerably over a coarser grind. I use a burr grinder which can be controlled easily. If you use a blade grinder, plan on a very fine grind and longer brew times.
Since I use home roasted coffee, my coffee is extremely fresh after a customary 4-day rest period. Very fresh coffee will give off CO2 which causes some foaming on the surface. This could be a problem if you are brewing 10-cup batches with a full filter and you restrict the flow with the second position on the filter basket switch, so beware. Commercial coffee, especially pre-ground, will not usually foam as it has already begun to stale. I would recommend brewing with the filter basket cover removed until you get a feel for how the water flows through your coffee. Overflow is certainly possible but not likely with the switch fully open, and my 10-cup batches with very fresh coffee came only to 1/2" of the top of the filter basket. If you get an overflow, then, you either have ground the coffee too finely and/or you are using filters that are too restrictive. I use Filtropia and Melitta, preferring the former.
The power is controlled by a single switch. The light on the switch stays on following brewing, but the coils shut off automatically at the end of a brewing cycle and the brew light goes out. There is no timer, which is often a complaint if you're too lazy to grind and brew when you wake up. I always grind fresh and brew with fresh water and it takes only 60 seconds to fill the chamber, grind a couple of scoops of coffee and press the button. I prefer this to having a chamber full of stale water overnight.
The stainless steel carafe is a vacuum carafe and is perhaps the weakest link. I cannot imagine using a glass carafe with this machine, as coffee temperature is the whole purpose of the design, and an uninsulated glass carafe is good only to keep the coffee from spilling on the counter! This carafe keeps coffee hot for hours. Pouring is the only issue I might have here. The pour lip has no dimple and if you pour with the screw-in lid, it can spread a bit along the lip and cause some spilling. On the other hand, if you loosen the lid, turn it to the proper 1/4 positions and pour slowly, the coffee comes out leaving a nice ring of fresh-coffee bubbles inside the rim of the cup. This may well have been intended, as everything else on this device is well engineered. Just don't get in a real hurry to pour with the lid on. You can, of course remove the lid to pour.
Overall, the best of the best with the vacuum carafe.
253 of 275 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 2010
In my quest for the perfect cup of coffee I have at last achieved success!! The Technivorm Moccamaster should be called Moccamaster-of-the-Universe. It is awesome. Easy to set up, easy to use. A child of average intelligence could use it. P-E-R-F-E-C-T coffee every time. The coffee is hot. The cofee stays hot for hours in the carafe. The coffee tastes as good as it piossibly can (see below). It is coffeemaker perfection, the holy grail, the difference between heaven and hell (owners of Delonghi-go towards the light!). It is what you want.
I have read all the reviews here and elsewhere. Let me save you the trouble. Here is the low-down:
Stupid comment 1) No "features."
-This thing is no-frills-you fill it with water and coffee and you turn it on. It makes coffee. You drink it. The end. What else do you want it to do?
Stupid comment 2) Coffee is "average" What's the hype all about?
-This is common sense, but for those of you who are lacking in that dept I will explain. This machine is awesome, but it is not MAGICAL. If you put crappy coffee in, crappy coffee will come out. It will not make it worse, but it cannot make it better. get it?
Stupid comment 3)"Flimsiness"
-What? I don't know what people are talking about when they say the base the carafe sits on comes off...did ya follow the simple directions? I did and mine stays together...I'm just sayin'... The parts of this machine that are supposed to come off do with ease (so no breaking it trying to remove lids, filters, etc) and the parts that aren't supposed to come off don't.
Stupid complaint 4) No Automatic timer.
-Whaa Whaa. How fresh is coffee that has been sitting out all night? Not very. It takes 5 minutes to brew the coffee. If you don't have five minutes to brew coffee you don't have enough time to drink it either. Some folks (like my husband) used to use a timer to make coffee several hours before they wake up so it's "hot enough" when they wake up. This is how you burn coffee and is the very best way to make it taste truly awful. If you like burnt nasty swill don't buy this machine. The technivorm makes coffee that is boiling hot. If you need it hotter than that you need help.
Stupid complaint 5) Unsexy.
-Ok, Technivorm went with superior function over superior style. Paris Hilton probably looks good in the kitchen, but lets face it-is probably pretty useless in there. I've never met a sexy dishwasher; have you?. Do you really care what it looks like? Has anyone ever said "why, what a beautiful coffeemaker you have there!" I doubt it. And anyway-it looks better in person than in the picture (unlike mail-order-brides and certain celebrity heiresses;P)
Bottom line: how much is 50+50+50+50+50+50? 300 right? Stop being a cheapskate!Save yourself the trouble of making 6 $50 purchases and just pony up the cash up front-it's worth it and better for the earth than throwing out 6 coffeemakers.
34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on January 17, 2011
We've come a long way from the percolator coffee pot sitting on the range gurgling away producing a bitter but invigorating brew that I remember from my childhood. Afterwards there was the Silex, the Chemex, the French Press and finally the contemporary electric coffee maker. Having lived through this evolution, I finally have found the perfect machine, the Technivorm Moccamaster and the perfect cup of morning coffee.
If one keeps their eye on the prize, that wonderful cup of Joe in the AM, this machine with its quality construction, engineering and simplicity is the ONLY coffee maker to consider.
I read so many unfavorable reviews pointing out flimsy construction, over-flowing, dangerous polycarbonates, lack of automation, outrageous price, luke-warm coffee, etc., that I initially became hesitant. But after another spill of water onto the counter instead of into the Cuisinart, getting the kitchen magnifying glass to check the miniscule readout and ultimately average coffee, I decided to take the plunge. Each morning after the first sip, I thank myself for doing so.
The Technivorm Moccamaster is sturdy and hefty. There is no reason, for example, for the cover over the nozzle to be built like a tank unless you tend to brutalize your kitchen appliances each day. I've used the Moccamaster for about two months now without a single overflow...just make sure you use common care and open the valve of the coffee basket. No leeching polycarbonates are used in the "plastic" parts.
We grind our coffee and pour in the water the night before without any loss of quality. I come down in the morning, pour hot water from the faucet to pre-heat the carafe, dump it after 30 seconds, place the carafe into position and press a button. By the time I take the coffee mugs off the shelf and place them onto the table, get the milk for my wife out of the fridge, etc., the coffee is ready. The heating unit is so huge in this machine that 10 cups of coffee are made in six minutes. Also, the coffee remains hot in the carafe as long as you pre-heat it, as all thermal carafes require.
If one wants total automation and mediocre coffee, buy one of the many poorly human-engineered makers that flood the market. But if that first taste of coffee in the morning sets the tone for the rest of the day, this is the only coffee maker to own.
56 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2014
First off I'd like to say our Techinvorm has performed great. We were very happy with the purchase until this week
At the bottom of water container there is a small compartment in which a floats sits.
This compartment never dries out as such a green slime starts to grow on the side of the compartment like it would in an aquarium.
We've used Vinegar and Dezcal to try and clean the machine. While the Dezcal may kill the bacteria it does not remove the buildup on the sides of the container. After each cleaning the green slime comes back faster and faster.
After seeing this disgusting build up accumulate over the last 1 year we decided to try to clean the compartment. The metal cover over the float would not come off so we tried to remove the water container. The water container does not come off either. In the process we broke the glass tube that brings the boiling water up to the top.
This should no big deal. With all our other appliance (Black and Decker Kitchen Aid, Frigidaire, Phillips) all we've had to do is call the service center and have the parts shipped out.
This is not the case with Technivorm USA. They refuse to sell the parts. Worse since the repair is not a warranty issue Techiworm USA does not have any repair facilities, NONE ZIP ZERO.
Our $300 is junk. We were told we would have to buy a new $300 machine. That is the last thing we would do.
We've called every dealer we can find. Everyone of them has said the same thing. Sorry nothing we can do.
133 of 158 people found the following review helpful
on May 23, 2010
We've had our Techniform for just over 2 years. While the coffee it makes is unmatched, it simply has had too many build problems to justify its premium price. Over a year ago, it began to develop a small leak in the piping inside, so if you put water in the reservoir, it will slowly leak out unless you brew right away. It was out of warranty, so we could get no assistance. Second, the coffee maker began blowing a fuse on one side of our kitchen, so we had to move it to another end with a dedicated breaker. Third, the thermos has just started to wear out, so coffee now only stays hot about 45 min compared to over 2 hours when we first bought it. Finally, the toggle switch to turn off the brewing to the thermos is quite annoying and often gets accidentally pressed down. So, while the Techniform generates awesome and consistent heated water, its shoddy build quality is sadly forcing me to turn elsewhere now.
81 of 97 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 2009
I am a real coffee snob and have gone through at least 10 coffee makers and finally found this one. Was a three month wait to get it and finally got it. Makes great coffee and come out very hot. Brews very quickly. Don't like the carafe that comes with it. Got a Nissan -Thermos to keep it hot. Everyone who tries my coffee always asks what coffee I use. It not only the coffee but the maker also. Get this, it is expensive but well worth it for those who enjoy coffee
36 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2010
I'll keep this brief. There is plenty of information and reviews of this amazing product available for your reading enjoyment. We've have this product for over six years. It has from day one and continuing made the best cup of coffee consistently without any issues even worth mentioning. If you are interested in being able to make great coffee at home for years to come, take the plunge and purchase this very well engineered and manufactured product. No bells and whistles, not pretty, just near perfect functionality. We haven't experienced any of the issues noted by some of the reviewers (clogging, drippiing too fast) so I can't comment there one way or another. If (and that's a big if) this product ever breaks down we won't hesitate a second to buy another.
27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2012
As of this writing, this appears to be the only home brewer that heats water to the proper brew temperature of 198-205°F as recommended by the Specialty Coffee Association of America. Below is a summary of my thoughts after 6 months with the machine, including a summary of what I have learned about brewing coffee properly, and how it relates to the design priorities of this brewer:
LESS IS MORE:
This brewer is not fancy. It doesn't have a computer, there's no built-in grinder, and that's just why I like it. It's got only what matters, and what it's got works well. It won't overflow onto the countertop even if the basket is plugged, it cleans up easily, and makes great tasting coffee. I think of this brewer as the easiest way to get French press quality every morning.
THE KEY TO GOOD COFFEE IS THE BREW TEMPERATURE, AND THE APPROPRIATE PARTICLE SIZE:
Higher brewing temperature (up to about 205°F) results in faster extraction from coffee particles. Larger coffee particles result in slower extraction. If the water temperature is too low for a given brew time and/or particle size, the coffee will be under-extracted, resulting in a bland flavor profile. If the brew time is too great and/or the particle size is too fine for a given temperature, the coffee will be over-extracted, resulting in unnecessary bitterness.
ONLY THE OPTIMAL EXTRACTION TEMPERATURE CAN CREATE THE OPTIMAL COFFEE EXTRACTION:
Think of it like this: Extraction speeds up as temperature increases, BUT the extraction of desirable flavors from the coffee SPEEDS UP FASTER in response to the ideal extraction temperature than the undesirable bitter flavors do. Therefore the OPTIMAL extraction (the highest ratio of desirable flavors to bitter flavors) can ONLY occur at the ideal temperature.
BREW AT THE IDEAL TEMPERATURE AND ADJUST THE PARTICLE SIZE TO MATCH:
At least one reviewer wrote that he/she was getting more bitterness with this machine. That happened to me initially as well. The higher 'ideal' brew temperature will OVER-EXTRACT coffee that is ground as finely as is customary for common home drip brewers (which brew at around 170-185°F). The same would have happend those grounds had been brewed in a french press. Particle size in a PROPER drip brewer with ideal extraction time and temperature (such as this one) must be LARGER. When I changed my grind to be like that of a French press, the coffee started tasting like it came from a French press.
The machine may seem expensive $299, but consider the irony that every other home coffee brewer available falls short of its primary objective of making coffee per the recommendations of the coffee industry's very own experts. I can't help but think this consistent failure is due in part to market forces. Consumers may be led to believe that this machine is expensive because store shelves are 'littered' with multitudes of 'nice' drip brewers that cost right around $100. Naturally, it costs MORE to design and manufacture a drip coffee machine that consistently performs properly and precisely. Now that I've had time to consider this machine's components and performance, it no longer seems expensive or even "extravagant". I don't mean to suggest that everyone needs to spend $300 on this brewer. Certainly the $100 brewers are good enough to "get the job done" for many people, but if you are someone who enjoys the pursuit of excellent Coffee, you may need to re-calibrate your expectations of what it costs to make a machine that actually does what it was designed to do. Think of it as an investment in a good tool. Good tools have always been "expensive" but very rarely do they turn out to be a bad value.
ROUND OR SQUARE:
Should you buy the 'round' MoccaMaster CD Thermo (CDT) or the 'square' KBT-741?
Fundamentally they're exactly the same brewer. While I slightly prefer the aesthetics of the CDT, I also find the function to be slightly better in the following ways:
1. The water tank lid on the CDT is bit easier to grasp than the rectangular lid on the KBT series. You can grab the round lid equally well with either hand, whereas I found the rectangular lid hard to grasp 'the long way'. The CDT lid also seems to 'fall into place', where the KBT lid requires more precise placement.
2. The round shape of the lid also allows the 'spout' to be positioned anywhere anywhere over the basket and the lid rotates freely to accomodate. The square lid of the KBT-741 can not rotate, so it has been designed with a partially open 'slot' to allow some re-positioning. Functionally they achieve the same end, but round version is a simpler, better, cleaner solution to the same problem.
3. The cover for the CDT's brew basket is slightly easier to grasp because it has a taller 'lip' for your thumb and forefinger. This tends to keep your fingers further from the hot spout should you ever need to lift the cover of the brew basket while brewing.
4. The 'shelf' that holds the brew basket on the CDT feels just a little more sturdy. It's not a big difference, but all else being equal it feels like better fit and finish. It's probably because of the natural 'beam strength' of the curved aluminum body of the CDT brewer where it attaches. The very same material of the very same thickness will be less rigid when it has a flat shape, such as on the KBT. Again, I'm splitting hairs.
If I were to make ONE design change to this product line, I MIGHT make the rubber feet about 3mm 'taller', or make the thermal stopper about 3mm shorter. This would allow the thermal carafe to fit back under the brew basket even with the thermal stopper in place. Currently it doesn't quite fit. A Technivorm rep told me that the large stopper was NOT intended to fit under the brew basket, rather it is only intended to be used if you happen to be traveling with your carafe. Instead Technivorm recommends using the mixing tube/cap that comes with the machine on a day to day basis. I was doubtful that it would have equivalent thermal retention properties as the stopper, but I can now attest that it performs equally well. As an added benefit, the mixing tube/cap also makes the carafe 'pour' with perfect predictability (an improvement over pouring with the stopper in place).
Before this realization, I had made a minor tweak to my machine by 'shimming' the feet with 3mm worth of folded paper. I slid the rubber feet out of their little slots, inserted my tiny paper shims, and slid the feet right back into place. Now the machine sits about 3mm taller, and the carafe fits perfectly with the travel stopper in place, though it's largely irrelevant because I never use the stopper now.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2015
Makes great coffee.
However, I want to highlight a particular design flaw on the Technivorm Moccamaster. The cord comes straight out the back of the unit. The cord is also very thick and inflexible. This means you cannot push the back of the unit flush with your countertop wall. The cord always gets in the way, and the unit cannot be squared up against the wall, if that makes sense.
So, it's annoying that the unit cannot be placed in a permanent position on my countertop. It is constantly moving slightly as I push the pot in and out. It's also a "spongy" feeling as I push the coffee pot into the unit, as the cord moves and shifts against the wall and then pushes the unit out once I let go.
I would expect a better build quality from a product that is this high-end. A cord-wrap type system should be provided that allows the cord to exit from the left, right, or "up" out of the back. The cord should be more flexible and allow you to push the unit against the wall without it moving.