Pretty good coffee produced, doesnt scorch with the thermal carafe, could be hotter (although we like really hot coffee)
Positive Product Points
Nice looking maching on our counter. Friendly percolating sound when brewing. Pretty good coffee. Thermal carafe keeps coffee warm and fresh for hours without scorching.
Negative Product Points
Could be hotter. Not the best cup of coffee I ever tasted.
THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE REGULAR COFFEE DRINKER who is looking for a new machine. I found this website helpful in my research so I thought I would submit one. I bought this coffee maker for my wife for Christmas this year and have owned it for almost a month now, making coffee everyday.
We are pretty heavy coffee drinkers. We usually drink Starbucks or Tim Horton's (a local donut shop brand in the Western New York region that is pretty tasty medium body joe). We traded up makers after having an old "Gevalia" (Melitta I think) drip maker for many years that was working fine. The problem with that maker is that, as our coffee volume increased, we noticed ever more frequently that the coffee wasnt really all that hot and that the hot plate scorched the coffee after about an hour or so. After reading this website, I measured the immediate post brewing temp and found it to be only 144 degrees. We also tried a copper insert on the plate to temper the heat to prevent scorching but that didnt work either. So after years of ongoing inertia and many cups of bad coffee, we bought a new maker after doing some research, mostly on coffee geek.
I bought this maker for 2 reasons. A couple of reviews I read stated that "this was the best cup of coffee" that these people ever had. One person even went so far as to buy 2 more makers. Im not totally impressed. The overall taste is pretty similar to what we were drinking on the last maker right out of the gate. So maybe my expectations were really high after reading those reviews. The coffee is pretty good, dont get me wrong, just far from the best I have ever had. Very medium. The second reason was that a few reviews stated that this was "the hottest brewing maker" out there. Some people quoted temps in the 190's and I think I read something as high as 203. Our new maker came in at 184. A full 40 degrees hotter than our old one. But it still didnt seem hot enough. When you get a Starbucks or a coffee shop cup of coffee, it is absolutely scalding for the first 10 minutes. This is how my wife likes her coffee. 184 degrees is not that hot I guess because I can drink it right away without fear of vaporizing my taste buds for the week. So it is definitely not the hottest.
We did choose a thermal carafe model to avoid the scorching issue, and this does work wellfor that purpose. Again could be hotter, but still fresh and warm after many hours later and not scorched. The carafe review on this model indicated that the lid has gotten stuck for some. I did find this to be true. The slightest tweek past tight and that thing was on there unbelievably tight. Keeping that in mind we just snug it up gently to close it and this has not been a problem at all. So the thermal carafe in my opinion is definitely the way to go. We do preheat it with hot water as has been suggested to increase the storage temp and this works well too.
I did buy a gold filter. This also fits in perfectly. # 4 size. People have stated that this makes the best coffee. I again will respectfully disagree. You do get a bit of dark coffee sludge in you cup with this type of filter and this is prevented by using a paper filter. We usually use an unbleached #4 cone filter and this works fine for us. It is just slightly too big for the basket as reviewers have stated, but the cone closes without a problem and does not affect performance. I was unimpressed with the gold filter.
Looks nice on the counter. Some people have commented that is has a "retro look" or is goofy looking. We actually really like it. We think it looks pretty modern and compliments our counter nicely. Has crisp red LED display which is different from earlier coffee maker models that have this.
Some people have commmented that it is "noisy". It is definitely louder than our old one, but makes a friendly little percolating sound when brewing and I find it quite nice to wake up and hear that sound as Im starting my day when the day is still quiet. It's not waking up my kids or anything and I am rather enjoying this part of the maker.
Now after reading so many reviews, we are on a more serious coffee mission for the "best cup of coffee we have ever had". I think we are going to try a Chemex. They're relatively inexpensive $30-45, have gotten good reviews by people for taste and function, and will definitely produce coffee at the 212 degree mark or higher, which is what we like, since you have to boil your own water. We will just pour it into a thermal carafe for storage and give it a shot.
Overall the Zojirushi is working well though and we are pleased with it.
Newegg.com. Got a lot of good reviews on coffee geek. Great experience. Shipping was really fast during the holiday season. 4 days I think. Would definitely use new egg again.
Three Month Followup
Works well, coffee is still pretty good. Machine is easy to use.
One Year Followup
Still makes pretty good coffee, nice machine, still works well with no problems. Internal aspect of caraffe has become very stained and difficult to clean even with a brush, however, doesnt seem to affect the coffee. I did just recently purchase a Chemex which is great. Read my review on that one.