Vast improvement to typical sit-on-the-hotplate office coffee
Positive Product Points
- Very easy to use - Good alternative to our previous abysmal office coffee situation - Reasonably Reliable - good product support - Pretty
Negative Product Points
- Some pods work better than others - Limited selection of coffee - wouldn't trade my home Technivorm for this machine - ever - Different pods require specific use of one of the two provided filters - figure it out through trial and error
I bought this for our project office about a year ago. Previous coffee situation had been a $15 Mr. Coffee clone and stale pre-ground grocery coffee from the grocery store next door. Obviously this was a huge improvement. We've got about 10 people using it several times a day.
The most important thing here is the coffee. We mail order from BetterCoffee.com, and they've been great. The store brand - blandly named Gourmet Cafe - is actually really good. Standouts include a dark roast Costa Rica and a limited edition Ethopia Sidamo.
The machine comes beuatifully packaged and is well supported by Simple Human. The interface, instructions, boxes, all evoke Apple more than anything else.
Set up is easy, and takes a minute or two. Recovery time from one cup to the next is short, maybe 30 seconds, and initial heat up takes a minute or so. All parts that come in contact with the coffee are removable and washable, which is nice.
There are a few really nice touches - the low water shut off is controlled by a little magnetic float, like in the Andrea and Anita. The controls and display are easy to read and exceptionally easy to use.
It would have been nice to have a variable volume control - it ships with only 5oz and 8oz options. I would also like to see a better handling of the differences in pods. The unit comes with two filters; a brown one that holds coffees including Molto and Gourmet Cafe, and a green one that is technically for tea. It turns out that several brands of pods - CafeJo, 52nd Street, Timothy's, El Dorado, etc - all require the green filter. If you try one of these pods in the brown, the cup stalls halfway through and an enormous amount of pressure builds up in the unit, making it difficult to pop open to remove the pod.
In all, this has been a great, easy to use, easy to maintain, vast improvement to office coffee for me.
We ran into a few problems with our first unit, which lasted about 6 months. SimpleHuman took it back without question and sent us a new one immediately. It was a phenomenally easy customer service transaction. They've been helpful and responsive for any question. Great, great company to deal with.
Three Month Followup
16 months and still going strong with 20+ cups/day.
One Year Followup
This is actually a two year follow up - one year since my first review. This is a great little device. Very reliable, very easy to use. Consistently decent coffee. We're still doing monthly orders for the office through BetterCoffee.com, and there have been nothing but rave reviews.