Pros: Good coffee; gold-tone filter
Cons: If you pour too fast it spills; not entirely durable
Rating: 3 out of 5
First posted 9/12/2000
I have a problem with bitter coffee, and I’ll go well out of my way to avoid it. Half and half, sugar, melted semisweet chocolate, multiple coffee cookbooks – that’s me. I’m way oversensitive to the bitterness that’s all too common in coffee. I can’t even drink three swallows of Starbucks. Godiva’s flavored coffees are too chemical-tasting. I finally settled on Gevalia, but even that had a certain bitterness that needs to be covered up.
There’s a cooking show on the Food Network called “Good Eats,” and recently it had a coffee episode. Alton Brown, the very strange and lots-of-fun host of “Good Eats,” likes to cover the whys and wherefores of things, rather than just his favorite recipes. So he talked about how to get rid of that bitterness in coffee.
One element is that you should use two scoops of coffee grounds per cup of coffee rather than one. This means that even though we normally don’t make a lot of coffee at once, we needed a coffee maker of decent size.
As a side note, he mentioned that having a gold-tone filter for your coffee maker meant that you weren’t throwing away lots of filters and thus you’d be a bit easier on the environment. So we set out to find a coffeemaker with a gold-tone filter and a large capacity.
Enter Macy’s and Bizrate
I never would have thought of going to Macy’s. But I did think of searching Bizrate.com’s database, and that’s how I found that Macy’s had the Krups ProAroma 12-cup coffeemaker (model #452).
It has a 12-cup capacity. It has a switch so that it’ll have a longer brew time if you’re only doing 1-3 cups, and a shorter one if you’re doing 4 or more cups.
If you pour too fast it’ll spill, but that’s easy to avoid by not pouring too fast. The thing where the coffee comes out at the bottom of the filter often misaligns with the hole in the top of the coffee carafe, but that’s all right, because the lid is shaped such that the coffee still flows down into the carafe, just not where it’s supposed to.
This coffeemaker has a charcoal filter you can use with it to filter the water before it goes in, but the filter that actually came with ours was for a different model, so it didn’t fit. Luckily we use a Brita filter to filter our water anyway, so this isn’t a big deal. And it’s easy to order more filters. (I also assume that this was probably an aberration, and that most coffeemakers come with the right filter.)
In all, it has a couple of small things that aren’t quite right, but it makes great coffee. And the small things are all small, so they don’t really annoy us. This is a decent coffeemaker and it works sufficiently well.
Added 2004: When we moved to another state I thought I packed everything pretty darn well, but the one thing that didn’t survive was the Krups coffee maker; the brew chamber actually cracked!
Added 2006: At this point we’ve switched to a (much preferable) cold brew system that truly takes care of the bitterness!