I love this little guy! We have been using a Phillips Thermal Carafe maker for quite some time, and it does a surprisingly good job. Recently though, I've been looking for something smaller. The Phillips makes a great full batch of coffee, but my wife and I each only drink a travel mug full each. To make it worse, she drinks regular and I drink decaf due to a mild heart irregularity. So, this means that I either have to brew two full carafe's of both decaf and regular and toss most of it, or brew them in small batches and live with the fact that brewing a small batch in an auto drip coffee really doesn't give it time to brew properly.
So my quest began to find something that could brew 2-3 cups (a travel mug full) in a relatively short amount of time without compromising on the brew. It seemed that my options were limited, either a Black & Decker Brew n Go (or similar device) or a french press... Neither were quite what I had in mind. But what do you know, there is a smaller version of the Bodum Santos! I drove around trying to find one in my excitement, and finally managed to snag one at my favorite local coffee roasters. Granted I paid a bit more than I would have if I had ordered one online with free shipping, but worth it for immediate gratification.
The mini version is pretty much the same as it's big brother, but no programmable timer. That's fine with me, since I have to make two batches. Plus, the timer means I'd have to grind the night before anyway, and who wants to do that... As per the instructions, I ran it through with plain water and watched the show. It's definately neat to watch, although once the water gets up in the top it starts bubbling pretty intensely and I took a step back in fear that it would blow. But it didn't luckily.
I brewed my first pot and marveled as it steeped. Happily, my 15 oz brew turned out excellent, I picked up suble flavors in my favorite roast that are often hard to catch, and in a tiny little brew to boot. I'm pretty satisfied with this purchase, and just think, in a few short years it will pay for itself with the money saved on paper filters...
On the cleaning issue, a lot of people seem to think it's hard to clean. I don't know, I really like the design for cleaning. The big advantage I see is that the whole assembly is clear and lightweight and easily rinsed in the sink. That means no disgusting staining and buildup in the hidden water chamber like you get with mose auto drips. This was very apparent when I took the old coffee maker down and peered into it's water chamber (which had just been cleaned with some coffee maker cleaner a few weeks ago). To clean, all you have to do is take the top part and turn it upside down in the sink, run some water down the tube to rinse out most of the grounds, then pop the filter out and rinse out the top and bottom portions of the maker. Takes about 30 seconds...
All in all, I'm very happy with this little thing.