The price was 1/2 of the Starbucks Grande but MUCH more durable. To sum up, I have achieved Coffee Nirvana.
Positive Product Points
Fast, functional operation Asthetically pleasing-looks COOL on my counter Easy to use Makes EXCELLENT java
Negative Product Points
Red float level indicator sticks sometimes Noisy, but what drip maker isn't?
I have owned this unit for a week now and feel it’s the best drip maker I’ve ever used. Tired of metallic or plastic aftertastes for the last 2 years from my Cuisinart Grind and Brew Thermal unit, broken glass carafe from various Krupps units and spoiled by the quality of the neighborhood coffee cafe, I decided it was time to buy a quality, yet affordable thermal carafe unit.
Thanks to the Coffeegeek.com website and other various consumer reviews, I narrowed my choice down to these thermal carafe brewers: Starbucks Grande, Mr. Coffee and Zojirushi unit. I was able to review the functions of the Starbucks and Mr. Coffee units at local retailers. The cheapness of the plastic parts on the Starbucks, esp. on the cup for the grounds and the low wattage (below 1000W) water heating element on he Mr. Coffee lead me to the Zojirushi. I could not find the Zojirushi unit locally, but decide it was the unit I wanted after a massive web consumer research (taking many hours!)
I agree with most of the pervious positive reviews before mine...the bottom line is it makes a GREAT cup of java and the thermal carafe keeps the coffee steaming hot for several hours. After reading various internet coffee sites and the great “Joy of Coffee” book by Corby Kummer (great resource) my taste buds were inspired to step up and be pleased. The brewing process for 10 cups is fast (approx. 8-10 minutes, as recommended by coffee geeks), the taste is consistently good and vacuum carafe works very well, esp. if it is rinsed with hot water before the brewing. The hinged “rain” arm that sprinkles the water over the grounds swings away for easy access to load and remove the grounds.
Many reviewers complained about the grounds holder was not tall enough for #4 paper filters, but I have no problem with fitting the filter in tightly and the lid closes easily over it . Also, the complaints about brewed coffee spilling all over are easily correctly by aligning the carafe and dispenser tips, as suggested in the instructions. Had no problem with that at all.
The ultimate test was to compare a cup of Starbucks “Gold Coast” bold brew, purchased at a local Starbucks against the same coffee brewed from the ECBD15. I have to say the Zojirushi passed with flying colors, making a cup almost identical in bold taste & freshness to the mass-produced Starbucks cup, at a temperature that is piping hot, yet drinkable (unlike the Starbucks that sears your tongue on the first sip EVERY time). Zojirushi has an excellent reputation of making other small appliances over many years, and their first drip thermal unit is well designed, functional and easy to use.
Great-newegg.com had the lowest price I could find plus free shipping, and it arrived within 72 hours of my late night internet order.