Innovative design, inexpensive appliance, lacks the ability to use a permanent #4 filter.
Positive Product Points
Inexpensive product with some unique features. The company, Presto, offers replacement parts and has a good history of supporting their customers. Presto answered my emails in a timely manner.
Negative Product Points
In Oct 2005 I purchased a Presto Scandinavian Design Coffee Maker, #02830. I like to use a permanent filter when making coffee. I was disappointed to find that the filter basket was too small to fit any of the permanent #4 filters available. For example, the Braun and Krups universal permanent #4 filters are too large to fit within the filter basket. If the basket was slightly wider the filters would fit. In fact, the recommended #4 size filter paper fills the basket completely. A permanent #2 filter will fit, but the full brew capacity is not achieved.
My wife and I brew a pot of coffee at least once a day. I have purchased 3 coffee makers over the past 2 years. I have found that constant use inevitably wears or degrades the performance of the unit and something usually breaks.
I purchased the Presto out of curiosity. I liked the streamlined style and the 3 heating elements peaked my interest. Reviews by other members of Coffeegeek also influenced my decision.
This is an inexpensive coffee maker. It is totally plastic, except for the glass carafe and metal heating plate. This is not a fancy high-end appliance. Do not pay more than $50 for this product.
It has a nice streamline style. I think most people will find this product easy to operate. The timer is simple, but tiny. The heating element is an interesting feature that appears to perform as advertised. I was able to check the temperature (197F) using a kitchen thermometer. Very close to the recommend 200F temperature.
The small coffee basket does not accommodate a permanent filter. You will be forced to use paper to get the full capacity of the brew cycle (10 x 5oz. portions). I think this factor alone is very unappealing and wasteful.
A drip coffee maker with a timer offers convenience. This coffee maker offers style and convenience at a relatively low price. If you must have a permanent #4 filter look at another coffee maker. The coffee brewed by this appliance is good to better than average. The extra heating element does improve the brew process. Ultimately, the grind and quality of coffee will have a greater impact on the flavor than all the other factors.
I purchased this product from Costco.com. Great service and fair price.
Three Month Followup
Still going strong. Dependable product.
One Year Followup
The cafe broke and so we are purchasing a new machine.