spence Senior Member Joined: 15 Aug 2002 Posts: 103 Location: TivertonRI Expertise: Intermediate
Posted Thu Aug 29, 2002, 12:49pm Subject: MT500 seems just like the my Kitchen Tools
A few years ago I bought a (now discontinued) Kitchen Tools (made by Black & Decker and also sold in a Starbucks Version) coffee maker, and although it is made of white plastic, appears almost identical to the MT500 in price, function and performance (minus the charcoal filter).
The KT version includes a stainless insulated carafe (replacement cost of $80!) removable tank and I measured the brew temp at 202deg. Not too shabby...
Not bad for a hundred bucks on sale. 3 years old and still brewing fine, although I'll have to get a replacement filter at starbucks. The generic #4's don't fit...
First off...great review!.....can't wait for the detailed one.
Now.....Since they OBVIOUSLY got the temp right on this one, have you had any experience with their other models.....specifically the CoffeeTeam LUXE? On their website, they claim a brew of 200 and hold of 180.
For a proper brew of drip coffee, you should always stir the pot once it's complete. The reason is simple - the richer, more intense stuff is usually drawn off between the first and fourth minute of a 10cup brew, then the weaker, less intense, more bitter stuff is drawn off. Also in the first thirty seconds or so as the the brew commences, the extraction is weak and sour.
The elements that make a cup of coffee, besides 98% water, are solids. These solids are kind of passive in the carafe... they tend to clump and not distribute. It doesn't take much to fully saturate the entire carafe with an equal portion of all the solids, but if you don't stir, even for a brief time, that first cup might be excessively weak, and definitely not indicative of what the pot is capable of giving you in the cup.
dcrehr Senior Member Joined: 14 Feb 2002 Posts: 5 Location: Los Angeles Expertise: Intermediate
Posted Sat Sep 7, 2002, 6:20am Subject: Multi-capacity brewers needed
Mark, your comments on the qualities of the 3-5 cup cycle of this brewer are not surprising. When will the coffee engineers come up with a brewer that makes a small pot of equal quality to large pot? What does it take? Perhaps a switch to alter timing of the water flow plus different shaped filters for different size pots.
From everything I know about coffee brewing and extraction (which is a bit, but certainly not everything), I draw two conclusions on the act of brewing drip:
The temperature must be above 190F
The grounds must be completely saturated as early as possible.
I think a 10, 12 cup brewer will have no problems brewing smaller amounts if the engineers of these products design two things right - first where the water drips down into the filter are - it needs to be dispersed early on - showered over the bed of coffee. I note that the Kitchentools / Starbucks Barista brewer offers this. Unfortunately, I've been told by people who have measured the filter basket temp on that brewer with a bead probe it barely touches 190F in there, at peak (usually it's under 180F for the first minute or two).
Second, some kind of fancy (or maybe not so fancy - just simple mechanical) device needs to be incorportated where the DRIP portion into the carafe is restricted with lower water volumes. In other words, if the flow rate is 10ml per second for a full 12 cup brew, it should be 5ml/second for a 6 cup brew.
Currently, the only real thing these "special setting for 5 cups!" brewers do is slow down the water flow into the basket. No attempt at slowing the water flow into the carafe is made, AFAIK.
Mind you, they do achieve slightly slower flow into the carafe because of weight and gravity - less liquid in the filter=less flow. But it's not much of a difference.
x Senior Member Joined: 29 Sep 2002 Posts: 322 Location: x Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Sun Sep 29, 2002, 3:31pm Subject: MT500
I purchased this machine about a month ago a a local retail store. The construction quality looked good. I ran several pots of water thru it and then loaded it up with coffee. Tje carafe was more than warm from the previous cycles. The coffee was quite tasty but was not very hot at the end of the brewing cycle and only luke warm 1/2 hour later. I tried using it daily for about a week diligently preheating the carafe prior to brewing and the coffee just was not hot! I did not preform the detailed temperature tests I see others preform, a quick read therometer showed 160 in the pot after brewing cycle. Not good enough for me. Did I get a bad unit? I wanted to like this brewer but took it back.
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