It works perfectly, though Capresso assumes those who will use it have IQ's higher than a night lite; and its designer looks are actually functional!
Positive Product Points
Though my brew temperature comparison was done with nothing more than a new meat thermometer, it did show the center-of-basket to hit 185 degrees mid-cycle! It's a good carafe, and the whole machine is simplicity itself. The water filter is a nice touch, and the display is indeed dazzling!
Negative Product Points
I have to add my voice to those who wish Capresso could've made the carafe lid more user-friendly: it's easy to over-tighten, and then it's a bit of a struggle to open.
This has to begin with a vital bit of personal information: coffee is a life-support necessity for me. I'm a 23-year survivor of a critical brain injury that sees concentrating on even the most basic tasks a little challenging; hence, I drink at least ten cups (okay, 10oz mugs) every day.
So, everything changed that fateful morning when I saw the percolator had produced at best a weak, birch-colored pot, and the grounds in the basket were scarcely more than warm to touch! I became a girl with a mission, and tried to ignore the creeping sense of hysteria that was growing in echoes back in the furthermost, dusty corners of my mind.
Coincidence can be a sign that the cosmos hasn't ignored you (though that can be both a good, and a bad thing): I hadn't unwrapped a brand-new meat thermometer! Living within sight of timberline here in the Rocky Mountains, I made a baseline measurement using the new thermometer and a rapidly boiling kettle: 200 degrees.
I emptied and refilled the percolator and let it run a cycle: barely 170 degrees!
Two days of continuously working the Bodum press and researching led me to the Capresso MT500, though the retail price was completely out of my means. The refurbs offered on their website were at the extreme limit of my funds, so there were many hours remaining, including most of the reviews here to convince myself to spend so much money.
I committed. And after using the machine for a month, I'm completely delighted (and no little amazed) with the unit! Aside from being boxed well enough to survive parcel delivery here in the mountains (no small feat), after patiently reading every word of the manual, the water filter was installed and the machine run twice, and then came the proof!
Outstanding coffee. One scoop (scoop provided) per 'cup' of water (Capresso takes into account the growing numbers of home roasting enthusiasts as they caution against adding more than 11 scoops to the basket - it prevents the occasional grind of newly roasted beans from expanding out of the basket when brewed); simplicity itself! The maligned carafe lid is absolutely the only imperfection to the entire system - a little thing, in that it's limited in useful ergonomics, and like a pebble in one's shoe, it's difficult to overlook when you're struggling to unscrew it. . .
But this is about the whole; and as such I am completely satisfied. There is no plastic taste from the machine that reaches the senses, not from the steam vent (top, center of the brew basket), and not from the carafe. And the carafe is sturdy - my 22lb tomcat rocketed past my feet at 4:15am day before yesterday, just as I had the carafe in hand, full of cold water! I took a header, the carafe bounced off the stove, and then hit the floor - and while there was cold water on everything, the carafe suffered nothing worse than a small metal-on-metal smudge! Thank heavens it isn't lined with glass!
And I must apologize to the purists, but, I use the start timer Monday - Friday. It works flawlessly. Though the carafe is cold by the time the brew cycle begins, it's of no concern as the pot is consumed long before the contents' temperature drops noticeably.
Buying direct from Capresso off of their website was straightforward. In three days the delivery truck was at the front door. I don't see how it could be better.
Three Month Followup
The MT500 continues to perform flawlessly. The temp was checked with the same thermometer, and there's no change at all. I've run Durgol through it a total of four times. Something called "Fit" fruits and vegetable wash works wonders as a way to keep the carafe lid's one-way valve clean, and maintains the flow-stop plunger seal on the drip basket holder.
The timer is used (heresy, I know - but at 3:50am, I need coffee - I'm not up to making it yet!), and it's completely reliable.
The carafe's pouring lip is beginning to look a little thin at the very edge, but hasn't split, chipped, or failed - and I make at least three pots of coffee every day!
There's been one coffee disaster - a blonde moment when I started a fresh brew without remembering to make sure the carafe really was empty! Yep, coffee everywhere (I have an excuse - I was writing an escape scene for a villain)! A careful clean-up, and a little annoyance I couldn't completely open the base to make absolutely certain there wasn't any seepage that would cause a melt-down regardless, I made a fresh pot and no catastrophy!
Capresso, you made a good drip coffee system with the MT500.
If it ever does finally give up the ghost, I really hope its replacement will perpetuate the same standard of quiet reliability and excellent performance.
One Year Followup
The MT500 was DOA this morning. 3-4 pots a day, regularly descaled, and with a simple mod with a Dremel to clean the sight tube a few years ago - it consistently brewed a wonderful pot of coffee. It had its faults: it could never brew a short pot that was drinkable! The carafe preferred to be preheated (but when the alarm goes off at 04:15 the auto-brew feature was marvelous).
Considering I bought it as a factory refurb I'd say it was a marvelous time together; certainly I received the utmost value for my money.
Now the hunt begins for a replacement! The MT600 PLUS? Time for investigation!