The Moka Brew makes coffee that tastes better than the coffee from any drip machine from which I have had coffee.
Years ago, I had a Salton machine that similarly brewed coffee under steam pressure -- though it looked quite different. The Salton machine was difficult to use but made excellent coffee. I was unable to find another similar machine when the Salton disintegrated about 15 years ago. When I saw a review for the Krups Moka Brew, it was the first electric coffeemaker I had seen since the Salton that brewed coffee under steam pressure . I realized that it would likely brew coffee that tasted similar to the coffee from the Salton, and the reviews seemed to confirm it. For that reason, I immediately bought one.
Negative Product Points
The Moka Brew is a bit more difficult to fill with water than most drip machines because the water reservoir is at the bottom and the vertical side rails get in the way of the carafe when pouring it water. It is also a bit more trouble to clean. It is however MUCH easier to use than than was my old Salton (which had a rigid tube extending down from the bottom of filter basket, so you had to hold it upright with one hand while filling it with coffee using the other hand), and it is much easier to use than an espresso machine.
The Moka Brew is also relatively expensive compared with available drip machines, no doubt because it is the only machine of its type whereas there are hundreds of competing drip machines.
I have not had the difficulties in consistency that others have described. I produce excellent coffee consistently from the first pot. I have used 3 coffee scoops (regular coffee scoops about twice the size of espresso coffee scoops) per pot, ground the coffee to between drip and espresso grinds and tamped lightly. I wash the filter basket and the pot lid immediately after brewing before the oils get sticky, which makes cleanup easier.
I understand some have had problems finding replacement filters for the machine. They are available from www.melitta.com at $1.09 US per 100 filters as of September 2004. There is a $5.00 shipping charge for orders up to $15. Thus, if you order 13 packages at a time, they come to 1.5 cents per filter and you will have enough for 4 years at one pot per day.
I bought the Moka Brew on EBay and the seller delivered promptly.
Three Month Followup
One Year Followup
The Moka Brew still makes great coffee, but the machine seems to have developed an annoying problem. If the pot is the least bit off center when clamped down for brewing, water escapes from the seal between the rubber grommet attached to the clamp and the metal lid on the pot, leading to water all over the counter.
The filters are not a problem to obtain. They are still available online from Melitta at $1.09 per 100 as of Sept. 2005 and I have found BrewRite filters at larger Albertson's for about $1.60/300. (BrewRite makes about 90% of the filters sold in the US, including OEM brands, so you are probably getting BrewRite filters when you buy filters from Melitta or Krups.) I get best results using 2 filters at a time.
Interestingly, I have tried a number of different coffees from both Peets and Starbucks in my Moka Brew and in my Rancilio Silvia espresso machine. I notice much more difference in flavor between differerent coffees in the espresso machine than in the Moka Brew. The flavors seem vary much more in the Moka Brew due to differences in grind than from differences in coffee blend used.