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Stainless-Steel Coffee Makers, Coffee Maker Design
Coffee Maker Design
Given that most have permanent homes on kitchen counters, coffee makers' design is a factor. Counter appeal is a big draw for the Hamilton Beach Ensemble 43254.
Height and footprint are also considerations, because generally coffee makers need to fit under cabinets. Most have a lid that lifts up to provide access to the water reservoir. A common complaint about budget coffee makers -- the Mr. Coffee TFTX85 and Hamilton Beach BrewStation Summit 48464 among them -- is that you have to move the machines out from under a cabinet to fill them. The design of the Mr. Coffee TXTF85 further irritates several users, who say in reviews on Amazon that the lid is difficult to get off and must be aligned perfectly for water to get through. Numerous consumers posting on Amazon and a consumer product review site say the spout on the BrewStation Summit is too far back to center a mug underneath and dispense coffee without spilling. Some also find the water reservoir cumbersome to fill. However, many others dismiss these complaints, having had no problems with the design or with leakage at any point in the process. It takes some people a while to get used to the design of the Hamilton Beach Ensemble, according to reviews on Amazon; for instance, they say the reservoir opening is small and awkward to reach.
Reviewers warn that you have to be careful not to overfill the 4-cup Cuisinart DCC-450 when pouring in water or coffee grounds. However, the advantage of a small coffee maker is it doesn't take up much counter space; one user who posted a review at Chefs Catalog compares this small coffee maker to a quart of milk. Likewise, the single-serving Black & Decker Brew 'n Go is small enough that one user who posted a review on Amazon stores it in a cupboard.
Durability.Some consumers posting coffee maker reviews seem to find that the average lifespan of a budget model is about as long as the typical warranty: one year. One purchaser of the Mr. Coffee JWX27 comments on Amazon that as soon as the warranty period was over, the machine started just boiling water, without dripping it through the grounds. Still, other purchasers say the machine brews good coffee day after day; one happy owner who posted a review at Walmart reports that it took three years for the burner plate to start to wear down.
Many buyers of the Hamilton Beach BrewStation Summit 48464 seem to be satisfied customers who are on their second or third BrewStation machine. One user who posted a review at Walmart asserts that this is the best one yet, thanks to features such as easy-to-read guides that show how much water is in the reservoir and how much coffee is in the tank, although a couple of others gripe that it lasted less than a year. The Hamilton Beach Ensemble 43254 is praised for its lasting quality. One owner reports having had it for more than two years with no problems. While some consumers who have posted reviews on a product testing site have owned Black & Decker Brew 'n Go machines for years, others have had to replace them after a few months, and several suggest that the quality has slipped.
The Cuisinart DCC-450 comes with an impressive three-year warranty, and one satisfied owner who posted a review at Chefs Catalog says this small coffee maker lasted for longer than that with no problems. But another consumer posting at Macy's found that it did nothing but sputter after three months, so the consumer used the warranty money to buy another brand.
Maintenance plays an important role in making a coffee maker last. A user of the Mr. Coffee TFTX85 who posted a review on CNET says after a few months the machine took more than half an hour to make coffee. Consumers tend to see such a slowdown as a sign that it's time for a replacement -- and sometimes it is -- but the machine may simply need to be decalcified. Experts recommend using white vinegar and water or a commercial decalcifier every three months, and more often if you have hard water. Try this before spending money on a new coffee maker. One admiring owner on Amazon says the Mr. Coffee TFTX85 is just starting to fade out after 10 years of use, and several other consumers make good claims for the longevity of this machine.
The Mr. Coffee JWX27 reminds users when it's time for a cleaning, a feature that many consumers posting reviews at Walmart appreciate. This cleaning cycle does not actually clean the machine for you but will run water through several times.
Don't Bother Cheap Coffee Makers
Bodum Chambord Review
Black & Decker CM1650B Review
Mr. Coffee TFTX85 Review
Cuisinart DCC-450 Review
Hamilton Beach BrewStation Summit Review
Mr. Coffee JWX27 Review
Hamilton Beach Ensemble 43254 Review
Black & Decker Brew 'n Go Personal DCM18S Review
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