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Bodum Santos Electronic - Chris Schweda's Review
Posted: November 7, 2000, 11:23am
review rating: 6.0
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Bodum Santos Electronic
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More About This Product
Arrow The Bodum Santos Electronic has 61 Reviews
Arrow The Bodum Santos Electronic has been rated 6.97 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 30, 2001.
Arrow Bodum Santos Electronic reviews have been viewed 302,603 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Don Paquette 9.25
George Swanson 9.00
Jim Pellegrini 9.00
Scott Boje 8.83
Lin Phillips 8.77

Previous Review  
Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 8.0
Manufacturer: Bodum Quality: 8
Average Price: $100.00 Usability: 10
Price Paid: $0.00 Cost vs. Value 6
Where Bought: Aesthetics 8
Owned for: 1 month Overall 8
Writer's Expertise: I live coffee Would Buy Again: n/a
Similar Items Owned: Not entered
Bottom Line: A good entry-level vac pot. Foolproof. A little expensive.
Positive Product Points

Vacuum Brewing
Easy cleaning

Negative Product Points

Plastic polycarbonate
Price (US 169/CAN 225)
Electronics in the bottom of the carafe (?!)

Detailed Commentary

Well, after 3 days of working with the Starbucks Utopia here are my initial observations:

The Utopia is a nice product. Im not sure why its so expensive -- its the rebranded Bodum -- but it comes in a nice box with a good instruction manual and a pretty good instructional video.

I sat down, watched the video, and got the idea pretty quickly. Ive never actually owned a vac pot -- but Ive used them at parties and tasted the coffee from them so I have a slight bit of experience for comparison purposes -- but from my initial few experiments with the Utopia, I can tell that it makes pretty damn good coffee, vac pot or no.

My first few batches were the Peets House Blend.

Its fun to brew -- fun to watch everything bubble up, brew, and then get sucked down. Makes a lot of noise, gives off a lot of steam, and is ... well, fun to watch.

My main concern (apart from the price) is that everything is plastic. Im not sure how this affects taste -- and maybe it doesnt -- but now I want to get a glass vac to compare.

The other concern is have is that the electronics for the whole gizmo are in the *base* of the carafe. The video is clear on that all the parts *except* the carafe are dishwasher safe.

But because theres a tangle of wires and other gizmos in the base (its a clear base -- you can see everything) Im even a little leery about washing it by wiping it down. Obviously, the carafe needs to be washed carefully and dried thoroughly. Im not sure why they designed it this way since it comes with a plastic, plug-in base on which everything sits -- but Im assuming they had a reason for this.

My third and final concern is, well, everything is plastic. Its strong plastic, sure, but, ya know, the fact that its plastic sort of earns it a strike or two in the presentation department. Im assuming its plastic because its a bit safer -- Ive heard about glass vac pots cracking and having other problems -- and Im okay with that -- the safety factor -- but plastic is and plastic does and theres no escaping the fact that the Utopia is *all* plastic. Or polycarbonate. Or whatever they call it.

Still Ive made enough batches over the past few days to realize that it *does* make tasty coffee. Its very smooth coffee -- slight bit of coffee oils on the top of cup -- but no grounds. The (plastic) filter in the vac top is a very fine (plastic) mesh, so those of you who like french presses but hate the grounds will be happy to no that you wont see any grounds here.

It also has a two-hour timer feature that will keep the coffee warm in the carafe for up to two hours. This changes the taste slightly, I imagine, and theres some complicated process that the unit does to check to see if the carafe is on the base -- once every two minutes -- and if it finds that the carafe is not there after 4 checks, it will automatically turn the base off.

Cleaning is pretty straightforward. Everything snaps apart and is easily rinsed or dishwashed.

Is it worth 169 bucks plus tax?

I dont know. It depends how fanatical you are about coffee. For me, yeah, itll be worth it: itll make great Sunday morning coffee for us, give us something cool to show off at parties, and will probably start a few conversations.

For these reasons -- and if you really enjoy brewing as well as consuming coffee -- I recommend it.

If youre a bit more pragmatic about your java and are simply looking for a way to churn out the coffee 7 days a week, 365 days a year, then, well, Id recommend you look elsewhere. (Maybe take a look at the Starbucks Barista. I wrote a review of it about a year ago. Its a real workhouse. Its the coffee-drinkers coffeemaker. The Utopia is the coffee-fanatics coffee maker.)

Buying Experience

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review rating: 6.0
Posted: November 7, 2000, 11:23am
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
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