It’s all Starbucks’ fault!! It started one morning about five years ago while on vacation in Scottsdale. An early morning, pre-dawn visit to the local Starbucks led to a chat with the area/district manager, whose offer to brew up several pots of coffee and to teach me just what it was I was, and was not, tasting was gladly accepted.
So, like many on this board, I set out to get off the annual “replace the coffee maker” treadmill. I went through a multi-year process of replacing various drip makers – progressing from my Costco Cuisinart to a Krups to a Capresso; each one progressively more expensive than the past. But I wanted to get my money’s worth. I scoped out this and other boards and found that, although the KitchenAid seemed to give the most bang for the buck, it was still $200 – a wee bit too much just for a coffee maker for this boy. But I was fortunate enough to be able to snag one on a post-Christmas sale that, once a coupon mailed to she-who-must-be-obeyed was applied, brought the cost down to $130. This permitted me to purchase the Capresso burr grinder I wanted and still keep the cost of this little “hobby” under the aforementioned magic $200.
Ok, to the unit...while much of the previous criticisms are valid, I can honestly say I only have a few, all of which I have come to terms with:
(1) the lack of a drip stop mechanism to permit mid-pot pouring is the most glaring. I do have to wait for the entire pot to complete the brew cycle and only than can I pour. I have learned first shake the brew basket to get all the dribbles off the bottom first (come on men, you know what I’m talkin’ about!) and either take the brew basket away together with the pot or, these days, I place the mornings’ business section (it’s so depressing) under it to catch the last few drops.
(2) the lack of a thermal carafe is a non-issue for me. I have yet to experience one that is worth a damn as far as I’m concerned. They are all metal and do not hold the heat long enough. So, I merely pour our first cups of the morning and then pour the rest into a pre-heated glass lined carafe, which keeps the remaining half-pot toasty hot all day.
Whatever the rest (blah, blah, blah), it makes the best cup of coffee I've EVER had out of a home machine. Even my genius friends who spent "like thousands, dude" on their automatic, hard piped mocchiato frappucino latte espresso cappucinno male-compensation-devices with the dual exhaust and four-on-the-floor are now kicking themselves. I know some that spend $30+/lb. on Illy beans (I kid you not -- it IS Lon Gisland you know!) and have no idea what they're doing. I, on the other hand, being the humble soul that I am, go to my local coffee guru, Georgio, who roasts a very, very nice $8/lb. Colombian that even HE cannot believe I am able to brew to such near-perfection in this KitchenAide (he's a Bunn sort of guy).
So, that 's my story. Not-so-sad but true. And remember: grind, grind, grind ... every day, fresh. Don't let me catch any of you using that night-before timer thingy, it's for the taste impaired. I'll know if you do (just think Karnack the magnificent) and I will find you!