Zojirushi Fresh Brew dies in less than a year. I have owned two and will not buy another. Do not buy this macine.
Positive Product Points
Easy fill tank, Thermal caraffe keeps coffee hot for hours and does not spill when pouring.
Negative Product Points
Zojiurshi originally made the coffee basket to fit a #3 cone filter and later "updated" the basket to hold a more common #4 filter. In truth, the #4 is a very snug fit and difficult to place.
Jan. 2007: I have owned two of these and they both stopped working, One is less than a year and one in 6 months.
I have been searching for a reasonably priced coffeemaker with a large, thermal carafe. I have tried and returned an eight cup maker from Starbucks which delivered luke warm coffee and most recently the Delonghi 24/7, 10 cup Thermal Coffeemaker which was a total disaster. Delonghi’s poor design prevents the coffee from dripping from the filter basket into the carafe, unless the carafe is positioned under it exactly right. I found it impossible to get this placement right and woke up twice to an overflow of coffee and grounds all over my counter.
The Zojirushi Fresh Brew is wonderful. The coffee starts out steamy hot and the carafe holds the temperature for hours. The wide neck carafe holds 1.5 liters (10 - 6oz cups) of strong coffee. The water reservoir was easy to fill from the carafe without spills and I like the red indicator float ball that makes the water level easy to read. The carafe stays cool to the touch and has a second cover, which ensures that heat does not escape from the top. The clock and programmable timer were easy to set.
The only negative is the filter basket size. Zojiurshi originally made the basket to fit a hard to find #3 paper filter. They have changed the instruction booklet on the newer model to use a more common #4 filter. Unfortunately, I do not think they actually changed the basket design. The #4 filter does fit (barely), but the placement is hard. I find myself cutting an inch off the top of the #4 filter before inserting.
Costco.com had the best price on this unit, even with the $7 delivery charge. They will charge an extra 5% to non-Costco members.
Three Month Followup
9-months: Coffee maker stopped working. It shuts off before the brewing cycle is finished. I have decided to purchase the same machine again because I basically like the way it performs - I will save the old carafe so that I will be able to make two pots.
One Year Followup
I have now owned two of these. The first one lasted less than a year and the last one less than 6 months. The problem was the same on both - the coffee maker kept shutting off before all the water went through. The Zojiurshi is a great maker when it works, but it doesn't work for long. I refuse to buy yet another one of these. I have now purchased the $169 Capresso. I did not want to spend that much, but if it lasts longer than two years it will be cheaper than buying the Zojiurshi over and over again.