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Krups Moka Brew - Meta Phoric's Review
Posted: September 27, 2007, 12:33pm
review rating: 6.4
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Krups Moka Brew Pressure Brewer
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More About This Product
Arrow The Krups Moka Brew has 25 Reviews
Arrow The Krups Moka Brew has been rated 8.53 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 8, 2003.
Arrow Krups Moka Brew reviews have been viewed 121,621 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Jerry Kalpin 9.13
C W 8.30
Lawrence Kelley 7.77
Jay Snell 7.67
Kevin Lawrence 7.28

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 9.2
Manufacturer: Krups (Germany, France) Quality: 9
Average Price: $115.00 Usability: 9
Price Paid: $100.00 Cost vs. Value 9
Where Bought: online Aesthetics 10
Owned for: 6 months Overall 9
Writer's Expertise: I live coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned:
Bottom Line: Steam Rules!
Positive Product Points

Brews delicious coffee in an alternative style (café allongé)
Well-made of durable components
Simple and reliable, with a design history that dates to 1961

Negative Product Points

Not for the 'coffee-in-under-three-minutes' crowd
Power switch easy to bump 'on' accidentally
Must take care in fitting the carafe/lid assembly into the coffeemaker before locking in place

Detailed Commentary

Update (7/09): After two years of use I'm still very pleased with the Krups T8, or to use its rather clumsy North American moniker, the "Moka Brew".   Still made in France (could this be Krups' last Euro-made coffeemaker??), the T8 is a well-built machine, with a stainless steel boiler assembly.

I had seen these years ago in Europe, but had forgotten about their unique 'drip' steam-pressure method of operation.  It's important to recognize that technically, the T8 does NOT force steam through the grounds - rather, the powerful heating element creates steam and heated water that forces 200 degree F plus water under positive pressure through the grounds.  That being said, the T8 is not much different in basic theory than the old electric steam 'espresso' or moka-pot machines I owned years ago, which  I often used with additional water to make café allongé.  Unlike the latter devices, the Krups employs an additional pressure-controlled switch in the boiler to control the temperature of the water and prevent both excessive steam pressure or undesired cooling, thus always delivering water to the filter chamber at the correct temperature.

The coffee the T8 makes is delicious and seems to bring out the best in the many different selections of beans I have run through it.  This is important, as I home roast and often try coffees from various parts of the world.  A reasonably well-made conical burr grinder is a recommended addition when using the Krups, and the combination makes a wonderful cup of strong Costa Rican.  There's no problem with correct brewing temperature of course;  it's inherent in the design, given that it is pressurized steam that actually forces the water up through the frame, where it cools just enough (205 degrees F) before infusing the grounds.  In proper proportions, the coffee produced is quite rich, much more so than the standard drip-type maker using a paper filter, yet it is still a clean cup overall.      

The T8 has been criticized for its complexity and finicky operation, but it isn't really, as thousands of satisfied Germans can attest (I used to see many of these in German homes) .  Certainly, if a kleine alte deutsche Grandma can operate it successfully for many years, so can anyone else.   About the only real complication comes when fitting the carafe/lid assembly into the frame: the carafe must be centered and the top rib of the lid pressed carefully against the projecting frame of the coffeemaker before being locked down. This insures a solid seal and proper drip output into the carafe lid.  The power switch is a simple on/off rocker.  After that, all you have to do is wait.  

Mine has held up well in the last two years.  The current model was designed by Guido Keffel in 1997, but  Krups and its predecessors have actually been turning out various iterations of the T8's basic design since 1961 for the European market. Given the number that still turn up for sale in flawless working condition over there, they are apparently quite durable.  My own preference is to lubricate the pressure seals with food-grade rubber lubricant once every few months (something I have done to extend the life of many other coffeemakers and thermal carafes), but other than normal cleaning I have had no other maintenance issues.  As the boiler coil rests in the bottom of the machine and is fully visible, it's easy to determine when descaling is required.  As to filters, I have used both Krups filters and my own cut from a standard inexpensive cone filter, and have noticed no difference in performance.        
I would point out that the Krups T8 is not a coffeemaker for the Bunn crowd, or those who demand super-fast, prefab coffee in the morning.  It has no timer, clock, or similar electronic complications (often the first thing to break besides the carafe), so there's little point in grinding and prepping the night before.  Instead, the Krups rewards those with a bit more time on their hands.  It is possible to speed up the process by filling the machine with water and turning it on to heat while still completing coffee grinding and preparation of the filter and carafe assembly, but the design doesn't lend itself to hurried coffee-making.   Even if you're a busy exec, the Krups would still make a great weekend coffee machine.  

Slow down, and enjoy!

Buying Experience

Bought online, no issues

Three Month Followup

At two years of ownership (7/09), still working flawlessly

One Year Followup

At TWO years of ownership, still working flawlessly, no problems to report

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review rating: 6.4
Posted: September 27, 2007, 12:33pm
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
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