I really appreciate the replies. And yes, I love the movie Nacho Libre - started using the screen name shortly after the movie came out and just haven't ever changed.
I'm not a big impulse buyer anymore and so I have been researching the Trifecta for several months. Now that I'm getting close to pulling the trigger I've read many different reviews and forum posts and have found very few people who have issues with the Trifecta. I even read two different reviews where they tried to make bad coffee and had a hard time doing it.
Thank you very much on the advice on the 12 oz. cups. I usually drink my coffee in 6 - 8 oz. range so I'm thinking I probably won't ever brew 12 oz unless I was sharing with someone else. I'm also glad to hear about the customer service - that makes a big difference to me.
when i got mine, someone gave me a pound of starbucks decaf sumatra beans. I noticed that the 'best by' date was already expired, sometime in early October. So the coffee beans were pretty old. But the trifecta has made even that coffee taste very good and not just passable. So far, I've not been disappointed in anything I've tried. I have even been using tea bags for tea and they're coming out better than I could have imagined. It's not cheap; but it does a great job and worth the cost.
Im afraid you have to put me on the side of people with problems. Often my Trifecta leaves 2-4 ounces of water in the reservoir. My workaround is to take the strainer out of the reservoir after I've filled it with water. So far that has always worked. I've cleaned and cleaned the strainer, all the check valves and the top screen. After cleaning, it will generally work for a few days, but not always, and certainly after a few days it reverts back to leaving water in the reservoir. So far the only foolproof method is to remove the strainer, but I fear I'll suck some gunk into the inner working of the Trifecta and louse it up completely. When I call customer service for help they send me new check valves and top screen, but that has not really solved the problem. Too bad, because it makes really good coffee.
I would start with calling Amanda at Bunn and ask for a new COMPLETE reservoir. The only time that what you describe happened to me, was when I did not seat the reservoir correctly in it's holder. Do you fill your reservoir at the sink or leave it on the machine and fill it with the beaker? I really can't see why the strainer would have anything to do with this problem unless it was being clogged by something in your water. What's your water like? Maybe the reservoir is not seated properly to start with and then when you remove the strainer after filling it, the movement of pulling the strainer out, drops the reservoir down into the correct position. You said that you replaced the check valve on the reservoir. Are you sure that it was pushed all the way in? Is there anything in the hole on the machine that has the pin which activates the check valve in the reservoir? Maybe something is not letting the reservoir drop all the way down. Boy, I'm stumped on this one.
The pathologically precise are annoying, but right!
Thanks for your suggestions, Jim. Iíve been down the paths you recommend, but without success.
I leave the reservoir in place, except when cleaning, and Iím careful to make sure itís properly seated.
I use bottled Alhambra water or water thatís been through my well-maintained, in-house filtration system.
After an incomplete drawdown of water, if I add more water on top of the leftover water, the Trifecta will always draw down at least most of the water the next time. This tells me that thereís nothing thatís seriously clogging the intake.
My theory is that the Trifecta doesnít want to work too hard pulling in the water. When it feels too much resistance it stops drawing water and moves on to the brew cycle. Supporting this theory is its ability to pull more water in when I pour more on top of the leftover water from the previous brew. More water in the reservoir creates more pressure on the intake and an easier draw. Further supporting this theory is that it works when I remove the strainer from the reservoir. The strainer is quite fine and it creates a good deal of drag that I think the Trifecta does not want to fight against.
I havenít requested a completely new reservoir though Iíve cleaned and replaced the check valve many times. Itís such a simple part, the reservoir. Why do you think it could need replacing?
Iíve spoken to Amanda at least 3 times and the instructions are always the same: Clean the check valves and the top screen, which I have done more times than I can count. She also sends me new check valves which havenít helped either. Itís perplexing and disappointing. I figure Iíll keep using it without the strainer until it swallows a fly and then Iíll get a more reliable device. Too bad though. It makes really good coffee and the single serving size suits my life well. I just think Version One needs more refinement, but Iím afraid sales arenít high enough for Bunn to sink any more money into it. I hope Iím wrong.
From what you have described, you're right, a new reservoir wouldn't help, but it could definitely eliminate it as the problem. I'm now thinking that there could be a problem with the pump that draws the water down into the tank OR the vacuum line/hose that connects the pump to the machine's reservoir valve (what the reservoir is positioned on). Maybe a slight kink in the hose is restricting vacuum enough, so with with the strainer on it doesn't work properly, but with it off or the addition of more water causing additional pressure, opens it enough to do draw in the correct amount. Maybe what the hose is connected to (on either end), has plastic "flash", is mis-formed or whatever making the opening smaller that it should be. Either way, it sounds like an internal problem.
If I remember correctly, isn't there a 2-year warranty on the Trifecta MB? Call Amanda, get a RMA, box it up and have it checked over and fixed. You paid way too much money to have to dink around with it like you are doing now. Depending how adventurous and handy you are, I guess you could also crack open the case and take a peek inside. If you do, take a couple of pictures, I'm curious what it looks like in there.
The pathologically precise are annoying, but right!
Thanks for the nudge. I spoke to Amanda and she's going to send me a replacement reservoir and strainer. I'm inclined to think it's not the reservoir, but it could be that the strainer is too fine or damaged in some way as to overly restrict water flow. As you say, if nothing else this will eliminate the reservoir as the culprit. If this doesn't solve the problem, Amanda agreed it should get checkout out by their engineer.
Well, after reading all I could about the Technivorm, Bonavita, Brazen and a few others, I decided to get a Trifecta. I've been using a Hario and as good as it is the Trifecta seems to be a step up in flavor extraction and repeatability. Besides, I'm in central Illinois so I have to show support for a Springfield product!
I very much appreciate the time everyone has put into this thread; it has really helped with my decision.
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