Please meet the newest additions to the Recipezaar Office Kitchen. We’ve needed a new coffeemaker for years. No amount of vinegar could descale the innards of the Krups. Brewing directly into a thermos is essential when the coffee maker is downstairs from the office, and this is the only 12 cup thermal carafe on the market, so we splurged and bought the grinder to match. The set brings me almost as much pleasure as our TiVo.

My observations:

  • I’m surprised the maker sports a basket instead of a cone filter coming from Starbucks – I had been led to believe the cone filter was superior by the same company years ago – but regardless the coffee is amazing. I wonder a bit if just replacing the filter every few months could have had a bigger impact than descaling. The “new coffee” always has a yummy oily sheen to it.

  • The LCD on the maker is backlit blue when the machine is on, and beeps when the coffee is done – much better than the coughing noise the Krups grew to make. The timer then keeps track of how long it has been since the pot brewed – how nice. Because it brews into the thermos and shuts off there isn’t even a need for the auto shut off on the burner, there is none.

  • The old maker fit under the cupboards, just in reach of our extending faucet which made pouring fun. The new maker has to be positioned to far for this, BUT the water vessel lifts out of the back with a handle. Best of all there is a pressure release spout at the bottom of the vessel which is how the water is moved from the bottom of the vessel through the maker. Putting the “bucket” in the back of the maker it sort of sits slowly down on its little pressure release, and is very satisfying to do. Oh you are back in your comfy spot, I think.

  • The pot is adorable. I regularly make it dance because it is so cute and stainless steel with a handle made out of an ergonomic grippy plastic that makes you want to offer someone a “topper”.

  • Cuteness stops there. The pouring mechanism sucks. It is not just slow and splattery, it is improperly designed. A disc covering the whole top opening set to a spring keeps the top closed. When the pot is in the maker a button at the top center depresses and the coffee flows in through a hole; however, when you pour you press a different button which depresses only part of the disc, the part closest to the handle at the opposite end from where you pour. So you the coffee actually must travel up the sides of the disc and then back down. It is grossly inefficient and, well slow and splattery. Troy pushes down the top button as well when he pours, which makes pouring a two-handed operation. This is its only fault.

  • The grinder does a good job, and it is nice that it is an unmanned operation now, but it is far more messy than I expected. I thought trading having to pour grounds directly from the grinder into the filter with pour from the “ground catcher” would completely eliminate all the coffee ground detritus on the counter. I was wrong. The little house for the “ground catcher” seems to drop a lot of grounds after the “catcher” is removed, so there is still a mess. I am not sure fi I just need to master a certain tap to release these before removing the “catcher” or what; I’m still working on that.

  • Oh, and I wish the grinder could hold a full pound of coffee instead of just a third, so I could get rid of the other coffee container.

I am not really a coffee geek: I praise Starbucks over some independent coffee houses. My kitchen is a disaster (dishes with food on them will sit for days “I do dishes on the weekends” is perfectly reasonable to me) so don’t be misled by my anal complaints. The point is I spend a few minutes with these products every day. I know them well, and love them. There are few things you spend so much time with EVERY DAY.