Profile for waetherman > Reviews

Browse

waetherman's Profile

Customer Reviews: 144
Top Reviewer Ranking: 574
Helpful Votes: 12046




Community Features
Review Discussion Boards
Top Reviewers

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
waetherman RSS Feed
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-15
pixel
De'Longhi EC680 Dedica 15-Bar Pump Espresso Machine
De'Longhi EC680 Dedica 15-Bar Pump Espresso Machine
Price: $299.95
8 used & new from $269.96

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sleek and Powerful, Very Easy to Use, December 12, 2014
I've had this unit for just a few days so I can't speak to thre long-term durability of it, but so far I've found it to be an exceptional "consumer grade" espresso machine.

First, the build quality and appearance are quite nice - the all-stainless look fits well in the modern kitchen, and the very compact footprint makes it perfect for people with little counterspace, or those who just want a very sleek look. The thin dimension does mean that it's a little deeper than other units, especailly with the handle in the unit it projects about 17" from the wall. But still, very compact. That compact shape does have a small downside though - the top cup warmer area can really only fit espresso cups, not larger coffee cups. Not a big deal, but it is always nice to have a warm cup to pour in to.

The functionality of this unit also shines. It's incredibly easy to use, with one-touch brewing of either one shot or two. this is great, especially if you are doing other things while brewing your morning cuppa - turn the unit on, pack the handle with some espresso, nd by the time you're done packing the machine is probably ready to brew (it's very quick!). All you have to do then is press the button and you're done. Espresso brews in about 30 seconds, and becasue it shuts itself off, you can use those 30 seconds to get the milk ready for your cappucino, which is also pretty easy to make. To heat the milk, just press the steam button and wait until it stops blinking, and then turn the steam wand on (a little purge of the pre-steam water is a good idea). .The steam wand is really nice - most home units I've owned haven't really had a steam wand that could move around a lot, or give enough clearance between the unit and the pitcher to get a good angle for frothing. Not so with this unit - the wand is fully articulated, moving side to side and back and forth. The steam is powerful enough to get pot of milk hot or frothed quickly, with no signs of petering out at the end. The other thing I really like about the frother is the fact that the covering can be easily removed and rinsed. Most wands I've used end up with a lot of gunk on them after time because they generally don't get well cleaned each and every time. Since it's so easy to clean, I don't see that happening with this wand.

The unit has some programmable aspects as well; the brew temp can be adjusted between three diferent levels, and the unit can be programmed to work with harder or softer than normal water (which affects the time between descalings, which you get a notifcation about). One thing that is NOT programmable is the length of the shot. This actually surpsied and disappointed me a bit - I find the shots are a little on the long side. whereas I like to pull a double a little short (less watery). That does not seem to be an option with this unit, and I wish it were. The shots are of normal size though, so it's not a huge deal - again, this is a consumer grade machine not a pro machine, so in exchange for convenience you give up some control. You still end up with a very nice espresso.

Unlike other reviewers, I did not have a problemn getting good espresso - it's full and rich, with nice (not exceptional) crema. It's about what I'd expect from any decent home machine with a 15 bar pump, maybe even a little better since this unit automatically pre-wets the grounds which has the effect of releasing more flavor. Espresso quality varies with a lot of factors, inluding grind, coffee type and roast, as well as freshness. If you're not getting very good espresso out of this machine, it's probably the cofffee you're putting in, or if you're using the absolute freshest coffee ground correctly, it's possible the brew temp is high and you need to adjust it down.

Another thing that I am a little disappointed with is the "basket handle" aka the "group" - the one included with the system is a little long and a little light, which ends up feeling a little cheap in the hand. Also, it's designed around a "pressurized" basket which means that while it is more forgiving of vagaries in the grind or the tamp, it doesn't brew as nicely as an unpressurized system and it's more likely to get clogged at some point. Again, it's a convenience/control tradeoff. Luckily I happen to have an unpressurized group that works with the system, so I just use that. I believe there are other third-party groups available to buy if you're not satisfited with the one that's included.

Overall I'd say this is a great home unit for a person who is just looking for a delicious espresso or latte in the morning. It heats up quickly, it brews quickly and quietly, and it offers a number of consumer-friendly features that make it super easy to produce very good coffee. Those who are obsesses with pulling the absolute perfect shot and having a lot of control over every aspect of the process should probably look elsewhere.


Fire TV Stick
Fire TV Stick
Price: $39.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Smarten Up Your TV on the Cheap, December 6, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Fire TV Stick (Electronics)
There is much to love about the Fire Stick - it's small, and brings Amazon streaming to any TV for a very low price. And Amazons selection for streaming are amazing - I love that I can watch a lot of things for free with Amazon Prime, and get Amazon's own shows too, and also that if its not available on Prime I can rent it easily from the same device and service - no jumping back and forth between different apps just to find something. The remote on this device is basic but straightforward and easy to use, though it would be nice if the buttons had better markings or colors, just to make it easier to use. My issues with the stick come down to two; first, the wifi receiver isn't as strong as it could be, and in my case that lead to some connectivity issues. Nothing that couldn't be fixed with some rearranging of the router, but if your wifi isn't strong where you have your TV this could be a problem. Second, the fact that this requires the use of a wall plug is a little frustrating - it would be nice to have it plugged in to one of my TVs USB ports to draw power, but apparently that's not possible. At least that's what the instructions say. Ymmv. Overall it's an excellent product for people looking to "smarten up" their TV at a low price. And for Existing Prime members who have only been able to access video on the computer until now. It's a no-brainer. People who have wifi issues should opt for the speedier and more capable Fire TV unit, which not only has better wifi reception, but also supports more gaming options.


SCOSCHE MagicMount- Magnetic Window Mount for Mobile devices - Car Mounts - Frustration-Free Packaging - Black
SCOSCHE MagicMount- Magnetic Window Mount for Mobile devices - Car Mounts - Frustration-Free Packaging - Black
Price: $24.99
6 used & new from $16.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great For Car, And For Home!, December 6, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This mount is actually incredibly useful. I got it because I often use my iPad (mini) while cooking and wanted something that could hold it upright on the counter and it works great for that - the suction is super tight, and the neck bends at just about any angle. I like that I could use it in the car as well, but I actually think it's so useful in the home, sitting next to my desk, or mounted under a cabinet, that I'm going to buy a second for use in the car. Heck, I might even buy a few of the button-style ones and put them all over the house!

My only concern is the strength of the magnet, which holds the iPad mini in place well enough, but it's not so strong that it can't be tipped off with minor bump. I'm not so worried about my mini, but certainly people with the larger iPads or other devices might want something with a sturdier grip. If I were using his in the car, I expect it might slip off if I hit a good sized pothole. Again, this is for the iPad mini, not a phone. Phones are held very firmly and I'd have no issue using this in the car with a phone. This device does come with one large and one small metal plate to put on the back of a tablet or phone, so you get a twofer if you have both phone and tablet.


Short Buds - 15" Cord Stereo Earbuds (In-Ear) with Fabric-wrapped Cords for clip-on music players
Short Buds - 15" Cord Stereo Earbuds (In-Ear) with Fabric-wrapped Cords for clip-on music players
Offered by Far End Gear
Price: $16.95
3 used & new from $13.31

5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good earbuds at a reasonable price, October 22, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Surprisingly good earbuds at a reasonable price. I mean, we're not talking Shure level here, but they have a good sound, great volume and the construction quality is good. If you're planning on using these with a bluetooth dongle or a small "clip style" mp3 player they should work nicely with the short length.


Animal Planet Wooden Pet Stairs
Animal Planet Wooden Pet Stairs
Price: $49.98
20 used & new from $42.93

5.0 out of 5 stars Good Quality, Good Looking, October 14, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Solid, handsome stairs. Stain ends up looking a little more black than in the picture, but I'm fine with that. I particularly like the locking mechanism that keeps the stairs in the open-and-locked position - our previous stairs didn't have that and I was concerned that at some point they might fold up on their own.


ArtSkills Stencils, 3", Transparent, 60 Pieces (PA-1348)
ArtSkills Stencils, 3", Transparent, 60 Pieces (PA-1348)
Price: $6.22
20 used & new from $4.19

4.0 out of 5 stars Good Selection, But Flimsy, October 14, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I used these stencils for a craft project and taped them in place very carefully. Despite that, it was hard to get a clean line on the letters because the material is very flimsy. It just means having to be a little more careful when painting, I suppose. Otherwise it's a good set that should last through multiple projects. Contains a full alphabet as well as numbers and some random, if not terribly useful, patterns like stars.


Wool Blend Classic Style Ivy Driver Golf Flat Cap (Black, Small/Medium)
Wool Blend Classic Style Ivy Driver Golf Flat Cap (Black, Small/Medium)
Offered by work and play
Price: $14.99
2 used & new from $14.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Good Hat, But Picture Not Accurate, October 14, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is a perfectly decent hat for the price - a nice wool, comfortable fit (for a "medium" size head I ended up with the smaller size and it fits just fine). It's not too retro looking, and I appreciate that. My only complaint with it is that the picture does not include the fact that this comes with a small metal logo at the left temple that says "Pamoa" and has a small turtle on it. The logo does not seem to be easily removable, though I'll probably give it a go with some needle-nose pliers, at the risk of damaging the cap.


Loew Cornell 1021201 Woodsies Alphabet Value Pack, 250 Piece
Loew Cornell 1021201 Woodsies Alphabet Value Pack, 250 Piece
Price: $6.13
15 used & new from $6.13

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for craft projects, October 5, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Great for craft projects. Easy to work with, if a bit on the fragile side. Sure, some of the letters are not in the quantity that some folks would like, but the box is cheap enough that you can always buy more. We used these to create 3 children's height rulers, with the letters spelling out the names. We had plenty of letters and tons left over. So for about $2 per ruler, not a bad deal. Certainly less expensive than buying each individual letter on its own.

It's worth noting that the exact numbers of each letter are printed on the back of the box. It would be nice if Amazon had a picture of that included with that product description so that people could tell in advance if the needed letters were included.


DeLonghi Stainless Steel Burr Coffee Grinder with Grind Selector and Quantity Control
DeLonghi Stainless Steel Burr Coffee Grinder with Grind Selector and Quantity Control
Offered by Brookstone
Price: $69.95
9 used & new from $62.96

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great grinder, not without its foibles, October 5, 2014
I had been buying coffee ground at the store, since my theory is that a better grinder there makes up for a lack of freshness, provided the coffee is never more than a week old. But I finally decided to invest in a decent grinder and I'm glad I did; this grinder elevated the quality of my espresso instantly. Fresh grounds make a big difference in the quality, and his grinder puts out a very consistent grind. It's plenty fine for espresso too, which some of the other, less expensive models, seemed to have a problem with. I like the fact that the grind is pretty adjustable, and that there is a time to grind just as much as you need for your daily dose, if that's how you want to do things. It's not a quiet machine exactly but it's certainly less bothersome than a chopper.

There are a few things I don't like, however. First, there are no numbers on the fineness dial - just hash marks that don't match up with the settings exactly. So if you change your grind from time to time (ie do drip coffee one day, espresso the next) you migh find it hard to get the same setting. Second, the container for the grounds is just plain messy. Taking it out of the machine inevitably gets some grounds on the counter, and removing the lid (which isn't hinged) does so even more. By the time I'm done with my second espresso of the morning, there are grounds everywhere. The only solution I can come up with for this is pouring that grounds in a separate container and storing a couple days worth at a time. That's fine, but defeats the purpose of a home grinder somewhat.

Overall I'm pretty happy when the grinder and it's definitely a keeper, but I'm going to have to make some adjustments to my mourning routine to make sure I have time to clean up a bit, or get some supplemental storage/scooping equipment.


Kwik Thumb Thumb Stud, .4in Long KWIK STUD STAINLESS
Kwik Thumb Thumb Stud, .4in Long KWIK STUD STAINLESS
Offered by Sword Demon
Price: $6.34
9 used & new from $6.34

4.0 out of 5 stars Good for one-handed open, not so good for pocketing, September 24, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is easy to attach and use, but ultimately I felt that it interfered with putting the knife in my pocket more than I was benefitting from a one-handed open. Also, it could be designed to look a little more sleek and not so much like a industrial screw. That's just personal preference though - it definitely works as advertised.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-15