The funky button. It'd be nice if the on/off switch turned off automatically. The carafe... It doesn't pour too well and won't fit under the machine with the cap on.
I read every one of the reviews before posting mine. And I hardly ever do this. But for some reason, I feel the need to sing the praises of this coffee maker.
All that stuff about heating the water above 200 degrees and shower type heads versus spigot type heads. My head is spinning. Maybe that's important, but here's the bottom line... you can taste the difference when you sip the coffee. It's r-e-a-l-l-y better. Not just a little better. But dramatically better. If you care about coffee you will taste the difference between the cup you brewed on another machine and the cup you brew on the Technivorm. It is cleaner and more complex.
I felt like an idiot spending $189 on a coffee maker based on a few reviews. I was thinking... how much better could this possibly be? Well... it was worth it.
Now, if you're the kind of person who programs their VCR and actually understands what the four buttons on your digital watch do, you may hate this thing. It is r-e-a-l-l-y simple. It does nothing but make consistently great coffee. There's no clock on it to do delayed brewing. The on/off switch is manual. The no-drip feature is a goofy little slide switch. The filter basket kind of sits out on a perch. But the design is clean and very functional. And seems built to last. And that's what makes it great. When you take the lid off the clear plastic reservoir to fill it, you can pour fresh water into the reservoir without soaking the counter. And you can see (and clean) the entire reservoir, not just a tube on the side. The goofy filter basket is incredibly easy to remove and clean. You turn on the rocker switch and it brews in 4-5 minutes. You take the carafe out from under the machine and put on the cap. That's it.
As for complaints about the no-drip feature... irrelevant. The only reason to spend this much money on this machine is because you want great coffee. Those kind of people would almost never stop the brewing to remove a strong cup early. If that's what you're going to do regularly, save your money. And the fact that the carafe cover isn't used during brewing? Not a problem. The coffee is hotter than with any other machine. Stick around till the coffee brews and screw on the cover.
The only complaint I have is that the spout on the carafe doesn't work too well. Not a great design. You have to pour carefully so the coffee doesn't spill. But I'm used to it now. I just pour it more slowly.
So here's the deal. If you really want the best cup of coffee you can brew at home (or anywhere), this is the machine for you. That's all it does. It's very straightforward and it's the easiest machine to clean and maintain. Its simplicity will grow on you.
Which brings me to this... I started roasting my own beans about a year ago (it's really simple, the coffee tastes unbelievable, and it's about half as expensive as store-bought). If you really want to see what this machine can do, use freshly ground coffee. When I used store-bought beans the coffee is definitely better with the Technivorm, but when I use fresh-roasted beans, the results are amazing.
Three Month Followup
I still love this machine for all the reasons I noted in the initial review. The most interesting phenomenon is that other people clearly notice the difference. While I rarely discuss the Technivorm with friends who drop by (I tend to be a closet coffee geek), a significantly higher proportion of them actually comment how great my coffee tastes. Not exactly scientific, but empirically suggests that the Technivorm difference is dramatic and apparent. With respect to this "experiment", as a control, not one of them has said I'm better looking since purchasing the Technivorm.
On the negative side... while I am still "OK"/live-with the poorly designed carafe, occasionally I get frustrated by it. You'd be thinking there are only a few things you need to do to design a decent thermal carafe... it ought to keep the coffee warm (no prob there), it ought to fit under the machine with the top on (it doesn't), and most important, it ought to pour well (it doesn't). I just don't get how Technivorm could design such a great machine and couple it with such a poorly designed carafe. Most days I'm OK with it... if it ever really bothers me, I'll buy a different carafe.
btw... based on a recent review, I ordered the spray head from Boyd's. Not sure what I'll do if the coffee is even better...
And furthermore... it's now 02/05... the spray head might make a difference, but I actually left the cover off and watched the water flow... yeah, I have a life... and it seems to kinda pour out in one stream. Coffee's still fab, but I don't know if the spray head makes a difference. I also emailed customer service at Technivorm about the carafe. Asked if there was a better designed screw cap which would allow carafe to fit under the basket witht the top on and... it would actually pour the coffee into the cup (with the cap loosely screwed on) instead of all over the counter. They never wrote back. Probably too busy sponging off the counter. The bottom line here? Still love the Technivorm for so many things, the only one that really counts is that the coffee is great. But that carafe... yeah, it's buggin' me more than it did.