Near vac pot quality coffee with drip maker convenience. It's a winner!
Positive Product Points
Stainless steel and black finish combine in a sleek, stylish design. The MT500 brews hotter than most drip coffeemakers, and the gold filter allows the coffee oils to seep through for increased cup character. The machine uses a thermal carafe and does not have a hot plate. That eliminates the concern of cooking the coffee after brewing is complete. The MT500 includes a charcoal filter which removes impurities from the water reservoir.
Negative Product Points
The water reservoir is a bit shallow. Filling it without spilling can be a challenge, especially during those uncoordinated early morning moments. The 10 cup capacity Capresso claims is a bit misleading. A full pot is 45 fl oz.
Tired of dealing with my Bodum Santos vac pot every morning, I went in search of a drip coffee maker. My hope was to approximate that great vac pot quality coffee I was accustomed to, but without the hassles of cleaning (and breaking) the Santos. I was intrigued by Mark Prince's review of the Capresso MT500, and took the plunge. The major selling point was Capresso's claim that this machine would heat water to 200 degrees F during the brewing cycle. The proper range for coffee brewing is 195 - 205F, and most drip machines cannot perform to that level. I experimented with the grind for my first few pots. After a couple early mishaps where the basket overflowed because I ground a bit too fine, I dialed in to a proper consistency. I have not any similar problems since. I have been delighted with the coffee this machine turns out. I don't feel I've lost much of the nuances or complexity I was used to from my Santos. It produces a very clean cup. The thermal carafe maintains drinkable temperatures for several hours. The MT500 has a separate button for making a half pot (3-5 cups) of coffee. The coffee quality remains excellent in that setting.
I purchased online from Aabree, who was offering free shipping at the time. Communication was excellent, and I received the machine in good order.
Three Month Followup
I've owned this machine for 9 months now, and am still quite happy with it. I recently purchased a thermocouple for use in roasting, and decided to take a more scientific approach to the questions of brewing temperature and carafe heat retention.
My MT500 takes 6 minutes to brew a full pot of coffee. I conducted two brewing tests. In both cases, the machine reached brewing temperatures above 180F by the third minute and achieved a peak temperature of 198 degrees F in the final minute.
CARAFE TEMPERATURE READINGS
NOTE: I preheated the carafe with 170F water before brewing.