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Yama Vacuum Brewers - Jerry T's Review
Posted: March 21, 2006, 9:32pm
review rating: 8.7
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Yama Vacuum Brewers
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More About This Product
Arrow The Yama Vacuum Brewers has 30 Reviews
Arrow The Yama Vacuum Brewers has been rated 8.67 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 30, 2001.
Arrow Yama Vacuum Brewers reviews have been viewed 186,687 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Dave Borton 9.60
Anthony C 9.00
Donald Varona 9.00
Jerry T 8.71
Jeremy Maclennan 8.42

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 8.0
Product Reviewed: Five Cup
Manufacturer: Yama Quality: 10
Average Price: Varies Usability: 7
Price Paid: $19.00 Cost vs. Value 10
Where Bought: ebay Aesthetics 6
Owned for: 1 year Overall 7
Writer's Expertise: I live coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned:
Bottom Line: For one person or two who habitually drink one cup or like to re-set and brew a fresh round then this is the pot for you.
Positive Product Points

Great for one person. Can fill above 5 cup mark to within 1" of neck band

Negative Product Points

The neck band does not hold the rather wimpy handle tightly so I took it apart and cut a strip of a flexible pastry rolling pad (Any heat resistant plastic, silicone or rubber would work look at old glass ones you find on ebay or in flea markets, they all have a gasket between the band and the neck. Only way to keep the handle steady) to use as a sort of gasket to place betweeen the band and the carafe's neck. Then I could tighten the handle good and tight. You still have to keep the carafe on the burner off center so the handle is a tad off of the burner or it gets really hot and if it were on a full size burner I'm sure that on high or even medium it would melt some.
As it's a small brewer made to make a one serving round there is of course no lid for the carafe but I have what is either a shot glass or a very small votive glass that fits halfway in and keeps all the steam in and no it never gets stuck. I once had it in the carafe while I had the water on high to use for tea and the glass shot out like a little rocket but nothing broke!

Some people don't like the cloth filter thing and I have found that any old ceramic spring or cory filter rod works great BUT you will not have clear coffee and you MUST brew it on LOW only so it doesn't jump up and down too much allowing for grinds to slip through because once a few get through the get stuck opening the way for the smaller ones. Also you have to grind the coffee coarser and for me that means longer brewing for to get the flavor and body I like.

Detailed Commentary

Should you fill this to the 5 cup mark or above,  you should always with any glass upper bowl or any that does not have a vent hole in it's stem,  wait until the water is near boil before seating and twisting upper into lower carafe. The advantage of the metal stems is that they are easily drilled as you will notice in all of them a small vent hole which prevents the "Geyser" effect which is not only dangerous but messy.  
If you fill any carafe to or above the limit this should be done with the carafe off of the burner then placed back on a low-med/low heat so the coffee rises SLOWLY (with upper bowl lid/stand in place).
Despite instructions to the contrary, I have had my Yama a year now and using the wire burner guard beneath the pot on a standard old fashioned GE "Calrod" Coiled electric stove, I put the sucker on HIGH yes, high. You just have to watch it. If I'm making four cups which is really the least you can make and get a good full bodied result (Keep in mind that's four 5oz. cups so...) I love this thing because I get about 25 oz. out of mine and while the water is in the carafe on "High" by the time I rinse my filter, assemble the upper with it, grind the coffee, the water is ready to boil. I take it off the heat, twist in the upper and place back on the burner which I have already lowered to "Medium". As the water rises I lower it to "Low" when the water is all up, I give it a good stir then for my taste and depending on the lightness or mix of roast I'm using (I like a strong cup of a light roasted coffee) time it for 4 to even 5 minutes (If you need that caffeine jolt otherwise 3-4 will do ya) then I remove the whole works to a cutting board near the sink, by placing it on something wooden but room temp. the coffee drops rather fast. After the vacuum starts drawing air into the lower bowl it's done.
Remove upper with a dish cloth or if you have callous hands as I do just run under cool water I take it off with my hand and as there is no cross piece in my kitchen sink's disposal drain, I just sit the upper bowl into the drain (USING A DISH RACK at the bottom of the sink, the kind with the hole in the center) oh and of course tug the chain at the bottom to loosen the filter first then running warm not cold water into the bowl fish out the filter and let the grinds go down the drain. (Fact they're good for the disposal blades if you have one and do no harm nor clog the drain if you don't) I rinse the filter from the inside out with a hard running cold water or sprayer massaging it with my fingers then place the filter with cloth upside down into a small pyrex custard cup fill with filtered water and sprinkle liberally with baking soda. There it stays until I rinse it for assembly for the next pot.

I do all of this and have my coffee in the cup, filter in it's soak, upper bowl washed and in it's stand and the remaining coffee back on the protective wire on WARM with a small shot glass standing in for the carafe lid that the Yama does not come with in less than ten minutes.
Top that with some lousy auto drip or even a fussy press that will never give you crystal clear coffee.

Once a week I actually put the filter assembly with cloth still on right in the dishwasher. I just place it so the spring doesn't drop through the rack blocking the upper arm from turning or I place it in one of the utensil baskets. After it comes out I rinse it really well under the tap (filtered) then back it goes into a baking soda bath.

I have found tons of old unused cloth filters on ebay. I am actually nuts enough to sit and pick ALL of the dried cracked rubber with a tweezer from between the stitches then replace it with unwaxed/unflavored dental floss with I weave into every third or fourth stitch on the cloth filter leaving plenty of length to be able to draw and tie it into a bow so I can remove it and wash it...in a bowl of water, a tiny bit of hand washing dish soap and a little bit of bleach and baking soda. Let em sit for an hour or more and rub em around every now and then and VOILA! New filters.

So don't worry about the low heat and cup marking or finding filters or washing used grounds down the drain. Relax.

Oh and did I mention to all you purists that I grind my beans in an OSTER blender. YUP! I use their patented miniblend jar a one cup capacity jar that the blade assembly screws onto. I put it on grind but and count a real count of 15 seconds. If I want a really strong cup I set the blender on Puree it's highest setting.
I have never seen even a three hundred dollar burr grinder come forth with as even a grind throughout. I defy anyone to show me otherwise. You don't have to pulse it and there is absolutely NO warmth as the blade assembly sits well above the motor of the blender with air circulating between.
Since I'm heating the water so fast I don't have to wait to grind for fear of losing that little bit of flavor to oxygenization. By the time I've got 'em ground the water's ready to go.

Buying Experience

Just watch ebay or do a Google. It's worth it at twice the price I paid.

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review rating: 8.7
Posted: March 21, 2006, 9:32pm
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