on October 20, 2016
Okay, so how good can a cup of coffee be, based on the coffee maker? And, is it good enough to justify spending a HUNDRED more dollars than the usual machine that you can pick up for around twenty bucks? Is this worth the hype???
The answers are: the coffee can be FAR superior with a coffee maker like this, YES it is good enough to spend the extra for your morning Joe, and, absolutely, this is a rare case where marketing lives up to its claims!
I love my coffee. Don't we all? And, for years I searched for just the right beans, and finally found, unexpectedly, a dark roast that is just the perfect measure of everything that makes the perfect cup of coffee -- full and rich and joyful on the tongue, vibrant and wakeful to the palate, and a consistently awesome taste, every time.
However, when binge watching Breaking Bad, one weekend, I was intrigued in one episode where doomed chemist associate Gale Boetticher crafts an OCD version of the greatest coffee maker of all time, extracting every ounce of flavor from the java to deliver a far superior cup of coffee, based on brewing finesse. Could such a similar option exist, in a machine mere mortals could purchase?
Much searching led me to this coffee maker, which, at present, is one of only six brands to be certified by the Specialty Coffee Association of America (the SCAA certification is noted in the product description), and, if you're into coffee brewing magic, give a perusal of the SCAA web site to see just what it takes to earn that standing -- pretty impressive stuff! The reviews here seem a bit mixed, and ordinarily only 60 percent of folks giving five stars might make me think twice, but I cross referenced my research and, when it comes to supreme coffee makers, this one seemed the best bet, to see just what difference the brewing process can make, and it was one of the least expensive, by quite a large margin actually, versus other similar machines, plus it seemed the most straightforward in terms of operation.
I bought the one with the glass carafe, by the way, because it has a heater element to keep the coffee hot, whereas the thermal carafe, of course, relies instead on the carafe itself, and I don't particular like coffee out of a stainless jug anyway.
So, taste test! How much better was it? Well, it was better enough, to me, to take somewhat great beans, and make them taste at least 25% better, in my opinion, than a regular brewer (like a Mr. Coffee or whatever) and that was worth it enough, for me, to have spent this much money. Like I say, it's one of the least expensive "fancy" brew machines, about half as much cost, in fact, as other options, and it seemed to cover the main need, which is, of course, getting the temperature of the water high enough, and consistent enough, to really draw out the coffee's flavor so, while I likely would not spend two hundred dollars to boost my Joe up 25% in goodness, for a machine that is not much over a hundred bucks, that better tasting cup of coffee, for me, is worth it, especially since this brewer looks like it will serve well for many, many years to come.
The build quality is outstanding, and it works exactly as described. The water gets "pre-heated" before dowsing the coffee, and a wider
"shower" distribution system means better water coverage on the grounds. It even gives a little pre-soak of sorts, before the water comes out in earnest, and I was impressed with how quickly it brews, considering the two step process here, of first heating the water, before the water actually meets the coffee.
I especially appreciate that the warmer really keeps the coffee piping hot. It doesn't scald it, by any means, but it keeps it hotter than any standard coffee maker, so, even after brewing, you can enjoy a piping hot cup, right up to the auto shut off point.
The other reason I bought this unit was because I read that it makes smaller batches with just as much flavor. I don't like the "insta-cup" machines, partly because the last thing the world needs is to be polluted with is yet another throw away item that adds up to millions of landfill items dumped per day, for the mere sake of a perceived quick and easy shortcut, and also because I have never found a single serve machine that gets it right, in terms of flavor, and the coffee never tastes good, to me anyway. I don't know what it is about the single serve machines that fails to impress, taste-wise, but it's a somewhat general consensus that the one-cup method of those brewers is more about convenience than flavor and I don't slam nasty coffee just for a caffeine rush, I savor my coffee, and taste is paramount.
In that realm, this is truly the best machine ever, because I can brew my usual two cup day-starter, and it tastes remarkable. With a standard coffee maker, any smaller batch always lacked the fuller taste of an 8 cup brewing, but I hate to waste coffee when, for just me sometimes, I only will drink two cups, at the max. So, I was incredibly pleased that this will brew me a small batch that tastes just as wonderful as making a full pot here.
Clean up is super easy, use is super simple, and it basically is just the same as any brewing machine I've ever used, except that it produces a superior tasting cup of coffee, and, it may sound cliche, but I have never tasted coffee this good, ever. There might be one little coffee hut I found, on a road trip, that might exceed what I can now brew at home, but, in all ways, this is superior to any cup I'd be charged five or ten dollars for, or whatever, and so I now have the best coffee on earth, whenever I want it. Because it makes such a perfect brew, I find myself, in fact, enjoying coffee more often than before, which is great, given the reported health benefits of this amazing bean.
So, this is more than worth it, and I'm extremely happy that I took the chance to try a better coffee maker. While I can't call the difference to be night and day, I can say the taste is definitely superior enough to not ever want to go back to a standard brewer, like, EVER. Once I've had coffee of this caliber, I will always be using this coffee maker, and likely I will next get one for my office, since the coffee at work is now a very pale comparison to the morning brew created with this wonder machine.
This coffee maker delivers on every claim, and, considering it is much more affordable than other machines which state to do the same (but actually don't get as good of reviews, when you really track down all the data out there) I think it is the best of the bunch, when it comes to a "fancy" brewer system.
I highly, highly recommend!
Thanks for reading -- I hope this has been helpful!