Most helpful positive review
40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
Some Tips From an Owner
on September 14, 2005
UPDATE: Several months ago, my Waring up and died. Kaput. One day it worked, the next day it wouldn't power up AT ALL. I think it's RIP date was less than 2 years after purchase. So buyer beware.
After years of trying to find a great drip machine, I finally gave up. I'm now using the most primitive brewing method possible: a Chemex drip system. No electricty needed. No moving parts to break. No scale build up. None of the headaches of a traditional coffee maker. And it makes the best coffee in the world!
My original review appears below the line. Consider it for historical purposes only.
I've had this coffee maker for several weeks now, so if you're considering it for your home or office, please read on for some important tips I learned first-hand that you may want to consider prior to your purchase.
First, the drawbacks (they are all surmountable, as I will explain later)...
(1) This sucker is quite large. And as mentioned in the other reviews, the typical kitchen cabinet clearance means you will not be able to use the top burner unless you pull the unit out or keep it somewhere that is clear of overhead obstructions.
(2) You must keep the reservoir filled with water to brew coffee. Depending upon how often you use the machine, this means water will sit in the coffeemaker and may become "stale" between uses.
(3) The machine takes 13 minutes to warm up before it can brew. That means if you want the coffee maker to be ready at all times, you need to leave it on. That means it's drawing electricity throughout the day, 24/7.
(4) You can brew no fewer than 4 cups of coffee at a time, or it will not displace water from the reservoir properly.
Now to the strengths...
This machine brews a good, hot cup of coffee. Go to any coffee shop or restarant and see what they use. It's usually a Bunn or other large-size commercial maker that brews quickly and uses an incoming water line and drip filter basket. That's basically what the Waring is (without the water line) and it's MUCH better built than the home-use Bunns.
I did a lot of research before buying this coffeemaker. One of the best resources I found was a coffee issue of Wine Spectator that had all of the ins and outs of coffee, including recommendations for coffee makers. According to WS, you need at least 1200 watts of power to get good extraction from the grinds. The Waring puts out 1475, so you've got plenty of power. The machine also brews quite fast - an entire pot in approximately 4 minutes. Here again, this is another advantage of this machine. To brew a good cup, you want the hot water to come into contact with the grind long enough to extract flavor, but not too long, or it will also extract the bitter components of the coffee. Because of its fast brew time and high power output, the Waring is well up to the task. The brew is hot, with good flavor extraction and no bitterness or burned aftertaste.
Still interested? Then first, order the coffeemaker from Costco online. I picked mine up for $100. I then went to the Waring web site and downloaded a $30 rebate form (you'll need to check if the rebate offer is still active). The end result? I got a $269 coffeemaker for $69!
Next, purchase a gold filter basket. I found one for about $10 at my local Wegman's. You'll need one that fits an 8-10 cup basket. You can also order Swiss Gold coffee filters from Sweet Maria's that will fit the Waring, but they'll set you back about twice that.
Third, if you're worried about stale water, turn it on and run 3 full pots through it. The machine displaces a portion of water equal to what you pour in, so you can flush the entire coffeemaker this way. Remember, it takes less than 5 minutes to brew a whole pot, so flushing the system will not take that long. (That said, the water issue is the sole reason I withheld the 5th star.)
Fourth, DON'T LET THE COFFEE POT SIT ON THE WARMING BURNERS! As soon as your pot has brewed, transfer the coffee to a preheated thermal carafe. You can pick these up at a Ross or Marshall's for about $6-$8. If you leave the coffee on the heated burner, it will burn the coffee! This is especially true as you get down to that last cup in the pot. Get in the habit of using a carafe. Believe me, this is one of the best things you can do to ensure your last cup is as good as the first. In my opinion, this makes the point about the upper burner moot - you shouldn't use it anyway.
If you don't want to leave the machine on 24/7 but don't want to wait 13 minutes to brew every morning, I've got a simple solution for you: buy an appliance timer. Just set it to turn the machine on when you wake up and off when you leave the house. Problem solved.
Lastly, if you usually brew less than 4 cups and/or do not want a big machine, save yourself the expense and buy a French press. They're a bit of a pain to clean, but they do make the best tasting coffee (in my opinion). If on the other hand, you want a workhorse machine for a great price (read Costco section) that brews up a pot of coffee for guests / parties in no time flat, I recommend the Waring Pro.