Makes a great cup of coffee! Worth the money! Easier than French Press! Fun to watch!
Positive Product Points
Makes good Coffee with little fuss. Looks nice! Easy to figure out. Makes hot Coffee, quickly, under 100 USD
Negative Product Points
Not super easy to clean. Have to be carefull with Filter. May take a few pots before you get the cup you want out of it.
I read several reviews before I purchased this Coffee Maker and I was not all together sure about it since there was such varried opinions regarding the eSantos. I purchased the full size version with out a timer, mainly because that was all that was available at my local coffee shop, and I didn't want to pay shipping. I have heard that it makes french presse coffee without the fuss. I am not sure that I am willing to make that statement, but I do believe that this coffee maker is worth its plastic on its own accord. First of all the unit is made of plastic. I do not have any problem with this, since I do not have any wish to have to replace a broken part. Many of the reviews I read said that they felt the coffee was too weak, and that they needed to use twice the amount of coffee to get good results. One thing should be understood not just about this coffee maker but about any coffee maker. You should have a set amount of grounds that you use and you should change the grind consistancy to get the desired cup of coffee, this goes for everything from espresso to drip to press. The main thing that I feel must be understood to enjoy this coffee maker as with any other maker. Start out with a good grinder. If your grind is not consistant and you can't control the variable then do not complain about the quality of the coffee. The instructions suggest that you use a 7gram scoop, and one scoop for each cup of coffee you are making. This is what I have been using. It also suggests that you use medium to course coffee. IMO you will simply not get strong enough coffee if you use course ground. But it should be noted that the instructions say that you can use any grind setting, this I think is true. I have put grounds in that were almost powder fine, and it still made a decent cup. I think you need to test the coffee maker out and see how to make the perfect cup for your self. Some people say they stir the grounds when the water goes north. This is not that important, cause when all the watter is in the top chamber it bubbles and disturbs the gounds quite a bit. Several people have complained that the time spent north is not long enough. There are several fixes for this I would suggest you test them out and find what makes you happy. Just understand that kickdown occurs when enough of the water in the bottom boils. It appears that you can lengthen the time the water spends north by either tilting the maker towards the hanle or by not pushing the top of the unit all the way down. Tilting the unit is perfectly fine, it will cause more water to stay on the hotplate. It seems that kickdown occurs via a mechanism that acts as a kind of saftey. When the plate reaches a certain temperature it automatically shuts off. So tillting the maching or not fitting the top all the way down will both cause there to be more watter in the base keeping the hotplate from shutting off and there for extending the time the water spends north. Before messing around with this however I would suggest that if the coffee is not strong enough you grind it a bit finer. I have also read several people say that the water is not hot enough. I can not speak about their machine. But I can say that normal water boils at 212F. Now while the water does begin to go north before all the the water in the base reaches the right temp for extraction the last bit of water is over the right temp. I have checked the temp by putting a thermometer in the top of the unit durring brewing, and while the water does not stay north for as long as it should, is hotter than 200F around 205-7F. I am not sure but is it possible that people who say it is not brewing hot enough and are comparing the santos to a french press are used to over extracted coffee? It should also be noted that steam is hotter than boiling water, if it wasn't it would not have turned to vapor, there is steam bubbling up into the water while it is up north, I just can not see why people would suggest that it is not hot enough. Physics dictate differently! As far as I am concerned this is a very good coffee maker that is easy to use if not that easy to clean, it is easier to clean than a french press. If you want better coffee than what you can get from a drip maker without spending hundreds, and don't want to mess aound with a french press get this coffee maker. In my experience the eSantos worked well with everything from 6 to 12 cups of coffee, several reviews I have read said that you should not make less than 10 or full capacity. But as I have said before you should change the grind setting if you want to change the consistancy of the coffee being produced.
as easy as buying a cup of coffee!
Three Month Followup
Wow, it's been three months already! Well I am very much enjoying the eSantos coffee maker. It has been since I bought it my main coffee maker for the home. I agree that clean up is a pain but cleaning up a stove top perc or a french press is just as much a pain. I stand by every thing I said in my original post. I have not had to replace the filter yet. I clean it regularly with Bunn Coffee maker cleaner, which works very well. And every time I use it I clean it out with soap and water. I have been very careful with the filter you really get the feeling that it is flimsy and it is but mine has not broken yet. I wouuld recommend this coffee maker to any one. Really!