Consistent, very convenient, easy to use, reliable, pretty impressive for a coffee maker that simply brews drip coffee, no need to buy paper filters because it has a filter basket built in and it puts out a great cup of coffee!
It can grind whole beans so you can eliminate your separate bean grinder, which also eliminates a big mess and an extra step/cost, or you can use pre-ground coffee.
It can be programmed to go off at a certain time and will "remember" that time like an alarm clock.
It has a built in digital clock, which I find helpful in the morning when it's still dark out.
Negative Product Points
I have experienced a "burning smell" during the grinding/brewing process. More detail listed below in the commentary section.
You have to clean out the grinds daily in the built in grinder/filter basket as opposed to just taking out the disposable paper filter and throwing it away (or recycling it in the garden.) For that reason, it's not as convenient to recycle the grounds without a mess. So you will have grounds in your sink and down your drain even if you throw the bulk away in the garden/trash. It still needs to be rinsed/cleaned out. Not ideal if you have a delicate system or don't want to deal with the mess.
Also, I find this a bit confusing, but to "turn off" the grinding feature and just use pre-ground beans, you have to push the "mill" button (and that light comes "on" to turn the mill feature "off"), which seems to be the opposite thing to do in that situation. So that's a bit odd.
I think it only comes in black. I don't mind, but some might.
I was thrilled to own this coffee maker. This was the first coffee maker I actually spent more that about $20 for and I never once regretted it. An old roommate bought the first one and after I moved, I had to get one of my own. I think it was between $70-$80 incl. tax. I have seen them on sale for as low as $60. I decided to buy it because after working in coffee houses/fine dining restaurants and bakeries where I was a Barista I got used to the taste of fresh ground coffee, but was still barely scraping by and could not afford to even dream about buying an authentic espresso maker. I loved how convenient my Melitta was.
After about a year and a half or so of daily, sometimes twice daily use, (I love my coffee), I did experience a "burning smell" a few times while it was grinding the beans and brewing. I had read about this once or twice before on Target's customer review section. I don't remember it affecting the actual taste of the coffee, but it smelled pretty bad and it sort of lingered for a while. There was even some white-ish smoke coming out from the grinder/filter basket while it was grinding the coffee, but just a little. I ended up moving to a new place shortly after that and incidentally it was packed away for quite a while. When I got it back out (a month or so later?) and tried it again, I never experienced the "burning smell" ever again... I think it was just tired of living in the San Fernando Valley, and I don't really blame it. Haha!
I was a bit surprised to read the other reviews on this site about the Melitta. Unlike most of the reviews, I have never had anything break or wear out or have to be replaced on this machine and I had no real problems cleaning the filter basket. If you clean it out while it's still wet and don't let the grounds sit there and dry out you won't have any problems with cleaning. After about 4+ years of daily use, the filter basket is not stained up or torn. You just tap the hard plastic side of the basket against the meaty part of your palm into the trash or whatever to remove the bulk of the grounds, and then rinse the rest. The residue comes off nicely by using your thumb. **However, I tend to baby my stuff, more than normal, so that might be a big part of it.**
I loved this coffee maker so much I would tell everyone I knew to buy it. If mine actually broke down after the "burning smell incident", I would just buy a new one because I liked it that much. I even got my parents one (my Dad is a big penny pincher, but loves a great cup of coffee...?). They would never buy it on their own, especially when they go down the coffee isle and see the Mr. Coffee right next to it for $19.99. I mean, how different could it be for 70 bucks, right? Wrong. I feel that there is a huge difference in the fresh ground taste. So, I bought them one for Christmas a few years ago. The first thing my Dad said was "I wish you didn't spend your hard earned money on that." Because they already had a coffee maker, so why would they need a new one? (He didn't know how much it was, he just assumed it was expensive because it looked and sounded very fancy and "Italian", which has gotta be money, right?, and after all it wasn't a brand he recognized like "Mr. Coffee.") I'm not really knocking Mr. Coffee, so I don't want to offend anyone. Well, yea, I guess I kind of am. Sorry. Getting back to the gift, my Mom, however, was thrilled because it was an excuse to get rid of the other “junker coffee maker” my Dad was clinging on to. Well loved, but all sad and stained up with calcium deposits everywhere. It used to be white, but now it's sort of...well, coffee colored. But very weak coffee colored...go figure. So, I made them put up the Melitta right away. I programmed it (which is very easy to do) and we were brewing up a fresh pot of Kona Coffee in no time. That was the first part of the present. A bag of 100% Whole Bean Kona Coffee. (I almost paid as much for the coffee as I did for the coffee maker!) They were kind of puzzled because they didn't have a grinder. At least they didn't think so. My Dad was totally hooked and uses it daily, sometimes twice daily, (we love our coffee), and since then I've told him the price, to which he has said, "priceless!" A big step for my "Penny Pinching" Dad and extra points earned for me in the never-ending game of "Sibling Rivalry." Heehee
I have to admit though, that it has just been sitting there, staring at me, feeling used only for it's lighted, digital clock since I bought my first authentic “Jura” espresso machine just before this last Christmas, and once the center of all focus and attention in my kitchen, I even thought about putting it away in the cupboard for a while to make more room for my new fancy contraption (GASP!). But tried and true, it has moved around with me for the past several years (even making the trek by boat across the pacific) and has always been a trusty, reliable, dependable friend, one that has been with me through the broke times and the bad, one that I will never get rid of. Coming from the entertainment industry in Los Angeles...that's a big compliment!
OK, now go buy one.
Well, I bought it from Target, which is like a department store. I didn't have a sales person who was "selling it" to me as they don't really do that there, I just checked it out myself. I bought the one for my parents from Target too. They don't always have them I've noticed and I had to actually wait 2 Christmases to have the chance to buy one. But it was on sale and cheaper than the one I bought myself a few years earlier, so that was good. Check their website, I'm pretty sure they are always on there. I'm a happy Target shopper. I'd rather go there than shop at Wal-Mart or Kmart any day. Unfortunately, they don't have a Target on Kauai, so I buy online. They are fast to ship things too, which is great! Especially for here. Things take a while, but I received stuff from them pretty much within the week of ordering online, which for here is unheard of.