User-friendly machine after the stopper was flipped. Makes buying the better coffee worthwhile.
Positive Product Points
Hot coffee for quite a long time after one brew. Simple to use.
Negative Product Points
Carafe is quirky to use/clean, but justified by how well it insulates. Limited counter areas for use, since it's too tall to open under my cabinets.
I used the reviews here to choose this device, so I thought I'd share some tips:
I had one overflow when I first got it - the basket didn't drain. The whitish (when new) rubber stopper on the inside end of the plunger has one side with an indent. This was facing down when new. I pulled it off and flipped it over, so the indent faces up - this makes the plunger stick out further and the stopper open wider when the carafe is in place. No overflows since. It's almost like it was assembled wrong.
I also went under the bottom cover and put tape on the speaker to partially mute the alert beeps. I'd say this decreases the volume by about half. I can still hear it from the other room, but not like it's next to me. The next paragraph is just instructions if you want to do it (warning: this may void the warranty.)
There are eight screws to remove, including two hidden under the front rubber feet, and two that go through the control panel, but screw into the plastic behind. Remove all of these, keeping track of where each goes. There are also two screws that mount the control panel to the main body - they don't secure the cover, so leave them in place. The cover has square cutouts where these two screws sit. The back end of the cover is snapped in, so it won't move, but you can pull the front open a little. Keep the machine roughly upside down to keep the ballast weights (metal plates) from falling out (they're easy to put back). The speaker is a black cylinder about an inch in diameter, with a hole in the middle, like on a computer motherboard. Cover the hole with some kind of tape that won't dry out and fall off. I used some adhesive foam tape. Put it all back together.
Overall, with these modifications, I'm very pleased with the machine.
I got somebody's used-and-returned unit from BB&B off the shelf. Returned it and got one with a smashed bottom end, and plastic bits in the box. Returned it and carefully inspected the next one in the store. The employees were professional about it, but I wouldn't say eager. The 20% off probably wasn't worth three trips to the store, but I wanted to touch it before buying.