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Brew N Go Budget Coffee Maker
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MarkPrince
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Posted Sat Mar 27, 2004, 1:00am
Subject: Brew N Go Budget Coffee Maker
 

Brew N Go Budget Coffee Maker

CoffeeGeek's senior editor evaluates a super cheap set of auto drip, single cup coffee brewers from Black and Decker while he's away from the home and the lab - and tries not to get killed in the process!
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MochaMe
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Posted Sun Mar 28, 2004, 12:17am
Subject: Re: Brew N Go Budget Coffee Maker
 

I have had one of these for a couple of years, and it's great in a pinch!  I'll say it does make better coffee than a 4-cup hotel Mr. Coffee.  My reason for posting feedback is that the #1 filters are generally in stock at Linens 'N Things for less than $1.50.  I know these stores are in many major US markets, sorry I can't speak for Canada.

Great to see something mainstream reviewed!  I've seen a similar two-cup brew model by Cuisinart ... wonder how that one measures up.

 
Andrea in WI
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IMAWriter
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Posted Sun Mar 28, 2004, 12:19am
Subject: Re: Brew N Go Budget Coffee Maker
 

Mark...in the review you used the word "exasperating"...the former teacher in me believes you might have meant "exacerbating" as in...to intensify or make worse...other than that...a most useful review for many a traveler minus their French Press!...God, how I hate those hotel room Sunbeam (Hamilton beach, etc) mini drip disasters...
Rob

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
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dana_leighton
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Posted Sun Mar 28, 2004, 12:36am
Subject: Re: Brew N Go Budget Coffee Maker
 

As an aside, I'm amazed at how little these products sold for. Considering the Canadian Tire-bought model was $10, I can't imagine how much the importer paid for this... maybe $5, $6 per unit, and they probably sold it to Canadian Tire for $9 or $9.50. Out of that $5 or $6, the manufacturer probably got $1.50 per unit if they were lucky... and the production costs for the box and shipping the thing from Asia eats up a chunk. Looking at the box, I bet it cost as much, if not more to produce than the machine itself.

According to the manual, the product (and the manual) are made in the People's Republic of China. This is a prime example of a product that could not possibly be made in the USA or Canada (or any other country with reasonable human rights, labor, and environmental protections) and be sold at such a price. A bonus for consumers, unless they want to work in a plant that makes small appliances, in which case, they'll have to move to China or Indonesia or some other offshore manufacturing country.

This is from the web page of the company that produces these coffeemakers:

Durable Electrical Metal Factory, Ltd., the Company's wholly-owned manufacturing operation located in the People's Republic of China, provides Applica Incorporated with a low-cost manufacturing source for its Black & Decker, Windmere and private-label products.

In a 1998 article, the CEO of Windmere said:

"We used to view ourselves as just a distributor that owned a factory in China," Friedson said. "Then we began to realize that the factory in China was our secret weapon." A weapon that helps the company to produce products at a lower cost than the competition, he said.

More information can be found on this alt.coffee thread.

Although they don't make appliances anymore, this is from a Black & Decker letter to shareholders 2 years ago:

Within the next 12 months, therefore, we will close two power tool and accessories facilities and a plumbing products plant in the United States. We will further reduce manufacturing costs by transferring additional power tool production from the United States and England to low-cost facilities in Mexico, China, and a new leased facility in the Czech Republic

Goodbye jobs. Hello cheap drills and coffeemakers.

 
Dana Leighton - Espresso hack and CoffeeGeek moderator
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IMAWriter
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Posted Sun Mar 28, 2004, 12:47am
Subject: Re: Brew N Go Budget Coffee Maker
 

dana_leighton Said:

According to the manual, the product (and the manual) are made in the People's Republic of China. This is a prime example of a product that could not possibly be made in the USA or Canada (or any other country with reasonable human rights, labor, and environmental protections) and be sold at such a price. A bonus for consumers, unless they want to work in a plant that makes small appliances, in which case, they'll have to move to China or Indonesia or some other offshore manufacturing country.

This is from the web page of the company that produces these coffeemakers: "Durable Electrical Metal Factory, Ltd., the Company's wholly-owned manufacturing operation located in the People's Republic of China, provides Applica Incorporated with a low-cost manufacturing source for its Black & Decker, Windmere and private-label products."

More information can be found on this alt.coffee thread.

Although they don't make appliances anymore, this is from a Black & Decker letter to shareholders 2 years ago: "Within the next 12 months, therefore, we will close two power tool and accessories facilities and a plumbing products plant in the United States. We will further reduce manufacturing costs by transferring additional power tool production from the United States and England to low-cost facilities in Mexico, China, and a new leased facility in the Czech Republic"

Goodbye jobs. Hello cheap drills and coffeemakers.

Posted March 28, 2004 link

Craig...as usual, you find the deeper meaning of our meager lives!...here I be, needlessly correcting Mark, while you, ever the humanatarian dig a whole (hole?) far deeper...I'm sure Mark's motives are well placed, but I certainly see, and furthermore agree with your point of view...after all, as a composer in LA, I saw far too many scores recorded in Yugoslavia, Hungary, and yes Vancouver for far less than if using US musicians...this subject is far off Mark's review...apologies to Mr. Prince for the digression...g'night, CA
Rob

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
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www.robertjason.com
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MarkPrince
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MarkPrince
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Posted Sun Mar 28, 2004, 2:50am
Subject: Re: Brew N Go Budget Coffee Maker
 

I'll raise two short points, then come back later for followup discussion.

First, out of all the people I know personally, I was (and still am to a point) the most vehemently "anti China made" consumers around. Between 1995 and about 2001 or so, I increasingly went out of my way to avoid "Made in China" products specifically for the reasons Dana pointed out. Jeanette joined me in this for some time.

But it became something that was increasingly impossible to do. I still oppose the slave wages seen in China, do so with all my heart. But as long as major western Governments continue to kiss corporate butt (it's not them directly wanting to kiss China's butt... they do so, and "ignore" human rights violations because American and other corporations demand it), it's a losing battle. Almost all cheap goods are now made in countries with poor human rights, slave labour, and well, all that crap. And somehow, I feel a bit better paying $18 for a coffee maker made in China than paying $80 or $100 for one made in China, because I know for the more impressive "brand name" $80 maker, the corporation that markets it is reaping obscene profits at the expense of human beings (while they reap much less from the $18 machine). And don't talk to me about paying $75 for a pair of "designer" jeans made in China. I still avoid that kind of crap. Unfortunately, the average consumer doesn't. The worker who made those jeans probably made a buck a day. Calvin Klein takes probably 40 times that much in profit just for slapping their names on the back.

Second, and this is a sad fact - we here within the CoffeeGeek community buy a product made in a country with good labour standards, living wages, etc etc... the venerable "Italian Espresso Machine". Yet take a look at a recent thread - the poll on how soon your product needs servicing. The very fact is this - most "mid priced" consumer electronics, appliances, etc etc made in China are usually bulletproof, especially compared to the shoddy quality control and build quality of a lot of Italian made espresso machines. So what does that say? It sends a message to consumers - why bother spending premium dollars on something "Made in America" (or Italy) when a product half the cost from China lasts longer?

Two things have to change. Manufacturers in countries like Italy (and the workers especially) have to start getting their QC way back up to standard... at least the standard countries like Taiwan and China have.... and conversely, something's gotta give in Big Mother Corps' unceasing desire for greed and profit, when it comes at the expense of human lives and standards of living. (no, I'm not promoting communism... I'm saying make big corporations responsible for the suffering they cause).

Mark

 
CoffeeGeek Senior Editor
www.twitter.com/coffeegeek www.flickr.com/coffeegeek, www.instagram.com/coffeegeek (you get the picture)
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IMAWriter
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IMAWriter
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Location: Brentwood, TN
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Espresso: Bezzera Strega
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Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600, CO/UFO combo
Posted Sun Mar 28, 2004, 8:41am
Subject: Re: Brew N Go Budget Coffee Maker
 

CoffeeKid Said:

Two things have to change. Manufacturers in countries like Italy (and the workers especially) have to start getting their QC way back up to standard... at least the standard countries like Taiwan and China have.... and conversely, something's gotta give in Big Mother Corps' unceasing desire for greed and profit, when it comes at the expense of human lives and standards of living. (no, I'm not promoting communism... I'm saying make big corporations responsible for the suffering they cause).

Mark

Posted March 28, 2004 link

Amen Brother
Rob

 
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JimT
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Posted Sun Mar 28, 2004, 9:44am
Subject: Re: Brew N Go Budget Coffee Maker
 

CoffeeKid Said:

I'll raise two short points, then come back later for followup discussion.

First, out of all the people I know personally, I was (and still am to a point) the most vehemently "anti China made" consumers around. Between 1995 and about 2001 or so, I increasingly went out of my way to avoid "Made in China" products specifically for the reasons Dana pointed out. Jeanette joined me in this for some time.

But it became something that was increasingly impossible to do. I still oppose the slave wages seen in China, do so with all my heart. But as long as major western Governments continue to kiss corporate butt (it's not them directly wanting to kiss China's butt... they do so, and "ignore" human rights violations because American and other corporations demand it), it's a losing battle. Almost all cheap goods are now made in countries with poor human rights, slave labour, and well, all that crap.




Mark

Posted March 28, 2004 link

I try to buy American anytime it is possible. I also hate buying anything made in china, the only problem is that you cannot walk into a major retailer and find anything that is not made in china with slave or prison camp labor.

This is what the big corporations want cheap labor. So this is what our government is giving them.

The only problem is that when half of Americans are jobless or working for slave wages, who will buy there products then. We are in effect the world's market place to dump their cheap products.

Our Government is only responsive to big corporations or special interest groups with big money for campaign donations, it is no longer responsive to the people. Until we in the country stop buying these forced labor goods in most cases, our govenment and corporations will continue to rape our country and send our jobs and money overseas.

Just say no to chinese goods. Our government can't, our corporations can't, but you the consumer can.

If we don't it might be us one day working for whatever the big corps are willing to pay. What are they willing to pay? fifty cents, a dollar a day? what the heck we'll just put you in a labor camp and feed you every once in a while should do.

Wake up people!!!
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MochaMe
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Posted Sun Mar 28, 2004, 10:12am
Subject: Re: Brew N Go Budget Coffee Maker
 

Theoretically, I wholeheartedly agree.  Now try to walk the walk ... where was my computer made?  My phone?  My TV?  Even the bottom of my spillproof thermal mug says "China" on it!  Ok, so your foreign car was assembled in the US ... where do all the parts originate?  Where do the profits go?  Okay, so you have an auto by one of the big-three.  This is hard for me, I'm a Michigan girl ... but North American produced vehicles have a high percentage of imported parts.  Walk the walk?  I'd have to be an inventor!

I am no do-gooder, per se, but I really think we as a society have become so efficient in some ways and so self-serving in others, that we've shopped ourselves out of reality.  

I recently spent months (literally) looking for a pair of walking shoes made in the USA (prompted by a documentary TV stint ... sorry, which one it was escapes me just now).  Never found 'em!  I'm told only New Balance still produces shoes domestically, and I could only find two models in their product line that were.  They were about $25 more per pair, and I'd have paid it!

I live in the midst of the paper industry ... I do the best I can when I can.  I buy the local Georgia Pacific or Kimberly Clark products where I can, even if they cost a few cents more.  P&G is the area's largest employer.  Should I avoid them because they're a big evil corporation, or should I support my community's employment rate?  Okay, so they're my third choice sometimes.

Back to relevance ... can we compile a directory machines produced entirely in the USA or Canada?   Hey, at least my SMP was assembled here!

I still think the Brew 'N Go serves a niche, and thank Mark for reviewing it.  I also think Dana's post woke a few of us up!

Andrea

 
Andrea in WI
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dagger
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Posted Mon Mar 29, 2004, 7:43am
Subject: Re: Brew N Go Budget Coffee Maker
 

Bringing this thread back on subject,

Thanks Mark for the on-the-road review of single serving brewers. A real world experience review - including I'm glad to see you survived the second one!

Since the price is right and the temps seem to be near ideal, is there any other way to modify these to eliminate the grounds overflow? Could the drip hole be drilled out a little bigger to improve flow (along with using Melitta #1 or #2 filters)? Any other ideas?

I would also like to encourage you to gather up a few more single serving machines and do a thorough review of them - I need something at work. The Newco brewers here only heat the water to 187* (yes I brought my digital thermometer into work because I was thinking of bringing a French Press for personal use) and the coffee is Maxwell House sludge. A single serving unit that works well with easy cleanup would do nicely on my desk!

Cheers,
dagger
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