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Cafetino Balance Brewer - Jeroen Vriesendorp's Review
Posted: January 11, 2002, 2:29pm
review rating: 8.8
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Cafetino Balance Brewer
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Arrow The Cafetino Balance Brewer has 5 Reviews
Arrow The Cafetino Balance Brewer has been rated 9.12 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since January 10, 2002.
Arrow Cafetino Balance Brewer reviews have been viewed 33,973 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Rai - 9.33
Jeroen Vriesendorp 8.75
George Wachsmuth 8.57
Jack Denver 7.85
Ed McGovern 6.40

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 9.0
Manufacturer: Coffee4You (Belgium) Quality: 10
Average Price: $200.00 Usability: 9
Price Paid: $150.00 Cost vs. Value 6
Where Bought: From www.coffee4you.com Aesthetics 10
Owned for: 1 year Overall 10
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: Royal & about 20 other vac pots
Bottom Line: Cooler than a Cona - excellent coffee & fun to use.
Positive Product Points

Excellent coffee
Automatic brewing
High quality materials
Very well made
Cool looks

Negative Product Points

A bit pricy

Detailed Commentary

The Cafetino works on the much same principle as its balancing cousins, eg. the Royal series of brewers. It is a vacuum brewer, but instead of having a funnel put on top of a jug, the two vessels are positioned side by side & connected by a siphon tube.
What would normally be the lower bowl is, in this case, an almost spherical stainless steel bowl, suspended on springs. When the metal vessel is filled with water, it will depress the springs & keep the lamp cap open. During brewing, water is transported from the bowl to the glass brewing jar. As it gets gradually emptied, & hence lighter, it will be pushed upwards by the springs, releasing the cap & extinguishing the flame. As the vessel cools, the brewed coffee is siphoned back again.

Since the Cafetino is, except for appearance, in many respects similar to the Royal, it shares many of the same pros & cons. On the upside, it makes an excellent flavourful cup of coffee. Moreover, unlike most other vac pot, it can make the same great coffee, even when used to brew only half a pot.
Another big plus is the manufacturing quality - it's very well made, from highly polished stainless steel, beech & glass. Contrary to some glass vac pots, the Cafetino looks & feels comfortably rugged - it's unlikely to break & if treated with proper care, will definitely last a couple of decades.
One minor issue is that there's a bit more sediment in the cup compared to other vac pots. Using a decent burr grinder & waiting shortly after brewing, to allow the grounds to settle on the bottom of the vessel, will minimize the problem. The resulting cup is not nearly as gritty as one brewed in a cafetiere.

While the excellent quality of the brew is certainly an important asset of this machine, its eyecatching design will certainly be a consideration. Even when not brewing, the Cafetino is an absolutely spiffy looking machine. Most people will choose it over the Royal for its style - it is an interesting & timeless object that will fit any modern, or traditional interior.
The brewing process is definitely one of the main attractions of the Cafetino - all vac pots are tremendous fun to watch while brewing, but the dynamic mechanical action of the Cafetino adds another dimension. It will definitely be the talk of the table, an entertaining show for guests.
OTOH, it's also a good brewer for every day use. The automatic brewing cycle is a major advantage from a users point of view. Like an automatic drip machine, it's perfectly safe to start it up & let it go by itself - even if one should forget about it, walk off to take a shower, whatever - there's no risk of the device failing, or getting damaged. You don't want to try that with a glass vac potů

There's a large number of fairly decent & much lower priced vacuum brewers & most of those will brew a good cup of coffee, but only few come actually close to the Cafetino in performance, features, style & manufacturing quality. There's certainly none that's anywhere near a match - it's just too cool.

Buying Experience

Received for test & comment purposes & couldn't part with it afterwards...

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review rating: 8.8
Posted: January 11, 2002, 2:29pm
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