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This is because I have been burned by purchases before that are great at first and fall apart 3 months or so ...
on April 24, 2016
I waited several months to write a review. This is because I have been burned by purchases before that are great at first and fall apart 3 months or so later.
At first glance, this coffee maker is great! It brews hot coffee, apposed to a cheaper coffee maker and all parts are washable. Or, so I thought. The fact is that about 20% of the coffee reservoir cannot be accessed because it is blocked off by a rather silly implemented "float" mechanism that is supposed to show you how much is left in the basin. The reality of it is that most people have no need for this. 12 cups makes 4 drinkable cups (and a little more) for myself and wife in the morning with a tiny bit left over. That's two coffee mugs each and I don't need a gauge to remind me to count to 2.
That being said, I rinse out the unit after every use and wash it weekly. It has never alerted me to de-calcify the unit, but I have done that twice since the vinegar solution also does remove some of the coffee off the metal heat transfer plate at the bottom. Last night, the unit started to emmit black flakes that would crumble apart at the touch. I thought it was coffee, and read what others have already mentioned here. I spent 2 hours last night rinsing, using vinegar clean cycle, scrubbing, etc and it didn't make a difference.
This morning, after spending another 30 minutes at it, I removed the two screws at the bottom (they require a long screw driver shaft) to remove the top section of the basin. This allowed the float unit to slide right out. I was disgusted at what I saw. I quickly got excited as I examined the coffee basin and realized that the coffee maker would work without reinserting the float. Unfortunately, even with the float removed, the black flakes continued to come out. I found that I was able to scrape off the flakes with a wet paper towel and did so for about 20 minutes before I came to a conclusion.
This isn't coffee. After the coffee residue was removed, the black flakes continued to come off the same spots and had a shiny, glittery quality to them. It almost looks like teflon when it gets scrapped off a pan. I then tried to wipe the interior of the coffee maker - the part that stays mostly dry (with the exception of water getting splashed on the sides) and what do you know. Very slight flaking and plastic strips coming off the side. I did not use the butter knife to scrape it out. I used it to scoop it from the bottom because my hand wouldn't fit inside.
I HIGHLY do not recommend this coffee maker simply for health reasons. Do a google search and you will that the black flaking problem is not limited to only this particular model but several Cuisinart models. My guess it is either the plastic that is being used or a heat resistant coating that is being used. Either way, even if it is non-toxic, I would never be able to recommend to someone else.
At the moment, I am now looking for a completely serviceable machine made from glass and stainless steel where all parts are removable and washable. Even if it's something meant for commercial use rather than home use.