Lindsey Senior Member Joined: 1 Apr 2014 Posts: 9 Location: US Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Wed Apr 2, 2014, 6:19am Subject: Newbie shopping for an auto drip machine
My Krups KM1000 died over the weekend after six years of making 3+ pots per day. It made a decent pot of coffee so we put up with some of its quirks, like intermittent leaking, intermittent overflowing basket, the guaranteed-to-drip carafe, and the fact that the faux stainless steel did not clean up well. I could just buy another KM1000, but I wanted to see if I could do better. After three days of reading reviews and forum threads and shopping, I've come to the conclusion that most of the auto drip coffee makers on the market today, that make decent coffee, have serious reliability concerns. I would spend the money on the Bonavita or a Technivorm, but I would be royally ticked off if I had the kind of issues that a multitude of owners are reporting.
Long story short, I'm wondering if it's completely nuts to consider buying a used coffee maker? I wouldn't spend much on an old coffee maker so I'm less likely to be upset/surprised if it does fail. But if it's a terrible idea, please say so ...
Based on old reviews, I'm considering the following machines:
Krups Premium 253
Braun 12c Aroma Select
Braun Aromaster 4077
Braun Flavor Select
I'm leaning towards machines that were made in Germany too. In my experience and based on what I've read, they tend to be higher quality.
The downside to the Krups Premium 253, as far as I can tell, is that you can't find replacement parts anywhere, whereas the Brauns are so common that you can still find replacement parts.
I'll be satisfied with coffee at least as good as my Krups, a machine that's easy to use and easy to clean and doesn't cost an arm and a leg.
If it does cost more than, say $100, then I'd expect some quality and reliability.
I've reached that point where I can't make a decision with the information I have. I'd greatly appreciate your feedback.
I'm using a Black & Decker coffee maker to hold us over. Please save me from truly awful coffee, I won't last much longer ...
Lindsey Senior Member Joined: 1 Apr 2014 Posts: 9 Location: US Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Wed Apr 2, 2014, 8:16am Subject: Re: Newbie shopping for an auto drip machine
Don't really have a budget, I just don't want to spend money on an expensive machine that is going to be problematic. If I spend over $100 on a machine and I'm replacing parts and sending it in for repairs within the first year, let a lone the first few months, I won't be very happy.
The Bonavita with the glass carafe is appealing. I like the simplicity. I don't want to mess with settings, I want to add water and grounds, press a button and get decent coffee. It's reasonably attractive, looks easy to clean, and the $150 price tag is palatable. The reviews are scary for someone who wants a hassle free experience. I'm also not excited by the stainless steel finish, mostly because it never seems to age gracefully, but form follows function ...
I have no need for a coffee maker with a thermal carafe. I have my own thermal carafe that I strongly prefer and I hate pour through lids. On week day mornings, I usually drink one cup at home, the rest goes with with me to work, in a thermos.
I should add that while I refuse to drink the toxic sludge/coffee at work and the weakly flavored water being produced by the Black & Decker is nauseating, my palate probably isn't quite as refined as yours :) I've always been very happy with the quality of coffee produced by my Krups coffee makers. Hated the Cuisinart and all of the other department store brands that I tried in the year or so between my first Krups and my second Krups.
I'm considering buying used because when it comes to appliances, I have found that the antiques inherited from my parents are grandparents are real work horses, and the new ones, no matter how expensive, suck by comparison. A gross generalization, I know, but I value things that last a long time and are trouble free.
My mind isn't made up, just looking for some opinions and experiences that might help me make a decision.
Posted Wed Apr 2, 2014, 10:02am Subject: Re: Newbie shopping for an auto drip machine
What in the world leads you to believe that recent Krups and Braun coffee makers are manufactured in Germany?
We haven't done the auto-drip thing in quite some time, but based on the coffee forums' consensus, there are a few, "8 cup" machines, representing a wide price spectrum, which do the things necessary (right temperature, rate, even wetting, etc.) to do a good job. If SCAA certification means anything to you -- and it should -- the field is reduced to three. You're looking at the:
Bunn HG, ~$80;
Bonavita 8 Cup Exceptional Brew Coffee Maker with glass or thermal carafe, ~$170; and
Technivorm Moccamaster, ~$300.
I don't have my spreadsheet up, but it seems to me the Bunn is the least expensive.
Good luck, Rich
[Edited: The original post erroneouslly named the Behmor Brazen instead of the Bonavita Exceptional as one of the three SCAA approved, home coffee makers. My bad.]
I did not say recent. The question I posed is whether buying a used machine is a good idea or bad. I would also like feedback on any of the models I listed or suggestions for models that I might not have considered.
All of the models I listed are quite old and were, for many years made in Germany. Since their country of origin is stamped on the bottom, it's pretty easy to establish where they came from.
I'm curious, is there a reason you did not list the Bonavita? They claim to have SCAA certification.
emradguy Senior Member Joined: 31 Mar 2011 Posts: 3,622 Location: Houston Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2 Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,... Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Wed Apr 2, 2014, 12:11pm Subject: Re: Newbie shopping for an auto drip machine
Since (as I said above) I no longer do drip - and in fact, haven't for several years - I intend to leave further reply to your question to others who are well-versed on the current state of affairs in all things drip. I posted before to get you headed in what may be "the right direction: (though, admittedly, not necessarily the right direction for you. And asked your budget, to help those others help you better. I wish you luck in your venture!
. Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
Posted Wed Apr 2, 2014, 1:59pm Subject: Re: Newbie shopping for an auto drip machine
I keep checking the SCAA site for the Brazen brewer certification and it's still not on the list---what's up with that? Thought they applied long ago.
The 3 SCAA certified are Technivorm, Bunn HG and Bonavita. They separately list the Lance Larkin BE 112 Brew Express under a separate heading "Past SCAA Certified Home Brewers are:"---not sure what that means as it was in the the above listed 'certified' before.
Lindsey.... good luck in your decision. I have 4 standard glass-lined carafes I've used over the years but STILL got the Bonavita Thermal model. Since the filter basket sits directly on top of the carafe during brewing (glass model too), I just found it simpler to remove the basket after brewing, dump the grounds, rinse w/hot water then set it on the counter next to the brewer, carafe goes back on the brewer and we serve from there. We downsized so counter space is like expensive real estate. LOL I considered the glass model since I have other thermal carafes and would work in the same amount of space BUT after decanting brew, I would need to rinse the carafe and filter basket, wait for heating plate to cool before putting all back on brewer---while hot coffee in older carafe would sit next to the brewer.
My BV carafe is glass-lined BUT I read on here that they've gone to stainless-lined carafes. I want a Brazen brewer for those times I don't need a full pot----suppose to brew smaller amounts better due to optional settings.
CMIN Senior Member Joined: 14 Jun 2012 Posts: 1,601 Location: South FL Expertise: I like coffee
Espresso: CC1 Grinder: Baratza
Posted Wed Apr 2, 2014, 2:57pm Subject: Re: Newbie shopping for an auto drip machine
Bonavita is excellent and fairly cheap for what you get. Either way, do you have a grinder? Grinder and fresh roasted beans are a must, well not a must, but getting a Bonavita etc and not doing so is a complete waste (don't use preground or store bought beans with use by/best by dates)
Posted Wed Apr 2, 2014, 5:07pm Subject: Re: Newbie shopping for an auto drip machine
Wo, YES CMIN is right! Lindsey, what type of coffee do you use in your brewers? All here are glad to help you if we can.
What I found out but didn't understand at the time.... I used to drink canned pre-ground off the grocery shelf, brewed in my Krups. I wanted nicer coffee, got fresh roasted beans ground for drip (local roaster) and brewed up some YUCKY coffee. I didn't know about proper brew temps OR that my Krups, along with all mass marketed brewers (like you've mentioned using) DO NOT brew hot enough. It brewed canned stuff just fine but fresh roasted & ground NOT.
If you're not brewing fresh roasted beans that you grind yourself, or have ground, don't waste your $$ even on a Bonavita. Only want to help you, not trying to discourage you in the least. What's MOST IMPORTANT is WHAT YOU LIKE in your cup!
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