Simply the very best drip brewer you can buy for the price! Period.
Positive Product Points
Simple, easy to use, makes great coffee, thermal carafe keeps the coffee hot
Negative Product Points
Slow pour, but then again this is probably why the coffee stays hot in the thermos! You can always unscrew the top when you pour.
I bought this machine for my office at the recommendation of a friend who is a world class barista (seriously). I was looking for a good drip machine that would make good coffee. He explained that I really only had two choices to achieve my goal. Only two home size drip brewers are SCAA certified. This Newco and the Dutch Technivorm. The key is reaching the correct 200 degree temperature to release the flavors that are otherwise lost on every other home-type drip brewer. Incidentally, this would explain the heavy industrial type electrical cord on the Newco and why the lights in my office dim momentarily when I click it on.
Comparing both machines on the Internet, I decided on the Newco although the universal opinion is that the Technivorm is a great machine. Here's why I chose the Newco. 1) It cost less than half the price of the Technivorm. That's a good place to begin. 2) I could order it directly from the manufacturer in suburban Saint Louis right on the other side of the state from me. 3) Though some have complained about the looks of the Newco, it looks like any other Mr. Coffee type unit you might pick up at the discount store and that seemed to be appropriate for a professional office setting.
The machine arrived just a couple of days after I ordered by phone. I liked it so much I ordered another for my home. Over the years I have had any number of drip brewers, good, bad and ugly. The first cup of coffee that dripped down from my new Newco put me on notice that this was a coffee maker of a different league. The difference was definitely noticeable. Even my wife, who is not picky when it comes to coffee, noticed the difference, as did my Costa Rican assistant who does know a thing or two about a good cup of coffee.
Before going further, let me address one issue that almost caused me to not order the Newco. Several reviewers have mentioned the issue of filters. One reviewer gave the information to order a specific size of Bunn filters over the Internet, and that is certainly a good solution. Others, though, lamented the fact of not being able to find a gold permanent filter. Well, it is not Swissgold, but the day after I got my Newco I went to Target and found a gold filter for $4.99! It fits and works great. Problem solved. It's made by BreweRite and fits 8-10 cup machines.
Some have pointed out that the Newco is made of plastic and questioned the quality of materials and durability. I suppose stainless steel construction and Italian design would have been better, but it seems like it's constructed just as well as other primarily plastic and inferior drip brewers I have owned. Some of them lasted for years. I don't think any of them actually broke. Usually, I just got tired of them, found one I thought would make better coffee (never did) and gave or threw it away. So, I rated the Newco a 7 in quality of product only because of the plastic. That may be a bit picky, but I would imagine it's going to last as long as any of the others. The only thing that matters is the heating element that you can't see. As long as that keeps going and the on/off switch works I can't foresee any real problems.
No, it's not a particularly sexy machine and looks just like many others on the shelf at Target or Wal-Mart. None of them, however, get your water to 200 degrees or even close enough to make the type of coffee you want if you are reading this review. Does it cost a bit more? Yes. But, you can spend $50-60 or more for some anemic machine that will make a generic tasting coffee no matter what beans you put it. Sure, the other machines on the shelf will wake you up, tell you the time, sing to you, plan your day, call a cab and have all sorts of neat little buttons to push to make you think you are finely tweaking the finished coffee product. Those same machines will drive you nuts when the power goes off and you have to have your 13-year-old help you reprogram all the electronics.
The Newco just makes great coffee. That's all. Put in the water, put the coffee in the basket, push the on button. It beeps. The brew time is fairly quick. Another polite little beep alerts you that your coffee is ready in the thermal carafe where it will remain warm for the next few hours and you never have to worry about it burning after a few minutes of sitting. Note: this simple thermal carafe really does keep the coffee warm. Since it is a thermal carafe, the Newco simply switches off when it finishes doing its thing. Simple. I like simple.
As mentioned, I called Newco directly. You will have to call as I don't think they take individual orders over the Internet. Keep in mind that they primarily make commercial equipment and deal with companies and/or coffee houses. I told the receptionist that I wanted to buy a brewer and she immediately put me through to ordering. I identified myself as an individual, not a company, gave the number of the machine I wanted, credit card information, address and asked for the green coffee rate that I heard about here in this forum. No problem. Took just a minute or two, and in both cases the machine was on my doorstep two days later. Doesn't get any easier.
Three Month Followup
OK, after three months I am so thrilled with this machine that I bought a second for home. Several people have asked about the quality of coffee that comes out of it and have gone on to purchase one for themselves. My professional barista friend, a consult in the industry and certified judge of international barista competition, asked to borrow my Newco to do a comparison test with the Technivorm along with several of his barista friends. They both make excellent coffee. Initially, they thought that the Technivorm might have the edge until they realized that the Newco puts out coffee so hot that it really needs to sit for moment to cool before you can get the fullness of taste. Once they figured that out they gave the slight edge to the Newco. You can't go wrong with either machine, of course, but when you consider that the Newco costs far less, that is certainly something to consider. To this point I have no problems with either machine and nothing but good things to say.