My previous coffee maker finally broke (a Mr. something or other brand) one morning, and I had to make a mad dash to Wal Mart to get a new coffee maker in order to get my morning fix.
I was willing to spend 100 max for the features I wanted, and ended up grabbing this reasonably priced B&D coffee maker. I've had it for about 6 months now, and it has brewed me a full pot of coffee every day for 6 months. Here are the pro's, and the con's. PROS: *Color/design aesthetic: Looks quality and sleek; and matches my appliances, which are chrome, black, or both.
*Has a unique (as far as my experience goes) basket/drip mechanism where I don't have to worry about my coffee filter being "just so" to avoid overspill. I can't explain it, but I could put my coffee filter in the basket in the most clumsy red-eyed morning way, and there is no overspill because of the drip/mechanism from the basket to the decanter. My previous coffee makers did not have such a design and there was always the worry that even if I was meticulous in my placement of the filter in the basket that the pressure from the heated water would move the filter in such a way to cause/create overspill. No such worries with this machine.
*Can be programmed for morning coffee
* Auto clean works efficiently well
* brews a full pot fast (10 minutes or less)
* When set to strong brew the brew time is about the same as my old coffee makers (15-20 minutes) (noticable difference in strength of brew when set to strong brew, fyi, also a feature not on my previous coffee makers)
*user friendly, no rocket science degree needed for this machine. No user manual needed really, the whole set up of the machine is pretty self-explanatory, few buttons and little logic needed to utilize all the features.
*Is plastic on the bottom. This pro is based on my previous coffee maker (Mr. so-and-so brand) which had some kind of metal on the bottom that rusted and would stain my counter, especially because of the evaporated steam leaks and spillage, and was even worse when we moved to a place that had hard water. Eventually I had to place a towel underneath my coffee maker because brewing just one pot of coffee would create rust stains on my counter that were nearly impossible to get out, not to mention that it would make my kitchen smell like metal just from moisture hitting the metal bottom of the coffee pot that developed a gross crust of rust. This coffee maker, fortunately, doesn't have a metal bottom. Pro in my book.
*Spout on decanter is easy to pour
*lid on decanter is easy to remove for prep and placement in the dishwasher
* basket has convenient handle.
*2 hours before machine shuts off. (important feature, wish it was 3 hours, though, but my previous coffee makers had always been only 1 hour, so...) CONS * As other reviews have mentioned, the clock widow gets steamed during brewing and keeping decanter contents hot; however, its really not some kind of end-of-the-world "gimme a refund" kind of con. You can still see the clock, for the what a coffee-maker clock is worth. It's just a little foggy/condensation/blurred.
*Clock is not back-lit. This is actually pretty annoying. Not just when the coffee maker is brewing or on (though it's annoying then too), but when it's not brewing or on, if you ever had a back-lit clock on your coffee maker before, you'll soon figure out how dependent you are on it, for the time, with this machine which lacks this feature and has the old-school digital greenish background and black digits and no backlight.
*Clock window is at an odd angle. I agree with the previous reviews on this, the digital clock is at a weird angle which probably wouldn't be noticeable at all if it were backlit, but since it is not, then you have to be in a certain place in space-time based on your height, etc. in relation to the coffee maker to see what the digital window says. It's not so ridiculous where if you move just a little the info in the digital window disappears, but it's just less clear and less vivid if you're not in the right place in space/time or whatever. Which can be annoying to a cranky person in the morning who hasn't yet had their cup of joe.
*This decanter seems to stain more quickly than my previous decanters and seems thinner in the glass material. I guess it just serves as a reminder to clean the decanter more often, but still... I would recommend this machine, especially to those who have had troubles with spillover in the past and just want a no-fills coffee maker with the most features for a good price. Also, a side note about the decanter, some people have complained about the pour spout of the decanter being messy, I disagree, somewhat. It's messy if you have bad depth perception, if you're one of those people who tries to cram a square peg in a triangle hole. Use it with ease, it pours beautifully, if you get too excited or impatient, then yea, expect a mess. And Yes, I have experienced a mess when I've been impatient with it.
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