beautiful, fun, produces great coffee, but more expensive to buy than most, and expensive to operate if you use the micro burner
Positive Product Points
Excellent construction and aesthetics, excluding the handle. Probably the best vac pot you can get if you want to use a burner. Can order a microburner which fits in very well with the glass/metal theme. The microburner looks just as good if not better with the Deco than the alcohol lamp.
Negative Product Points
Can't really use this on a stovetop since it doesn't have a flat bottom. The handle, while constructed from a decent grade of plastic, is made from two half pieces screwed together. Even when the screws are tight I can see a large gap which looks ugly to me. Alcohol lamp is underpowered when filled to the 5 cup line. Ordering the microburner costs another $44 bucks.
I wanted to try making coffee with a vacuum pot, and I decided that Hario was the way to go after doing lots and lots of research on the web. My main goal was to make the best coffee possible, and from what i've read on the web the Nouveau makes the best cup. I believe the glass is pretty much the same between the Deco and Nouveau, but the lamp and stand are different. So I went online and ordered myself the Deco 5-cup model. About a week later, a nicely packed box was on my doorstep, and I was eager to play with my new toy.
I have read other reviews about how thick and high quality the glass is. Maybe I was expecting too much, but the glass didn't strike me as all that thick-- this thing is easily breakable. Now glass isn't the best conductor of heat in the world, so maybe its a good thing the Deco isn't too thick....
As far as the brew it produces, I wholeheartedly agree with everyone else: the coffee is excellent. I tried making coffee with both the paper filters and with a cory glass rod I snagged off of e-bay for $5. For 99.9% of the people, the coffee will taste essentially the same using either method, though I can detect a little more body when I use the glass rod. In my opinion, cleanup is much easier with the paper filters, but I like a nice thick cup so I usually end up using the glass filter. My Deco came with 2 sets of instructions, one of which was obviously from Hario in Japan. The translation wasn't great, but it was good enough when paired up with the pictures. A second set of instructions was included, and I personally believe that hariousa added them. Both say essentially the same thing, except that one says once all the water is up north to wait a minute before removing the flame, while the other set of instructions instructs you to wait only 40 seconds before removing the heat. I believe they're both wrong. Every time I followed instructions I would get a sour-tasting, underextracted brew. Everybody's taste is different, but I personally let the coffee stay up north for 2-3 minutes for the best results.
Probably my biggest complaint with the Deco is the alcohol lamp. I simply cannot get the water to stay up north if I use my lamp and a full 5 cups of water. Fortunately I also ordered the microburner, which works much much better. The time to boil chilled water from my brita pitcher using the microburner is 8 minutes, vs about 18 using the alcohol lamp. And believe me, I spent a lot of time varying the wick length, trying to optimize the flame on the alcohol lamp. The problem with the microburner is that you have to charge it with butane, which is not cheap. A $2.50 bottle of butane will recharge the burner roughly 3 times, and each charge is good enough for 2 pots of coffee. That's pretty expensive(think that you're paying an extra $2.50 per 3/4 lb of coffee!) if you're planning on using the vac pot every day. Unless you want to store lots of butane cans in your house, I suggest boiling the water first over the stove in a kettle, then pouring it in the bottom globe, and then turning on the microburner.
Despite all the nitpicking i've done, I really am very happy with my Deco. It looks great and is fun to show to other people. If you don't want to boil your water in a separate vessel, I don't think the Deco make a very economical vacpot, but otherwise go for it!
I ordered from hariousa.com. I did receive an email confirming that my order had been received, but there was no way to check whether it had been shipped, nor was I given a tracking number. However, it did arrive about 5 or 6 days later, so I can't complain too much. Packaging was very good, but I did find a dead bug inside the bottom globe....yech!