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December 4th, 2004

My Coffee Maker Dilemma

I have expressed my enjoyment of coffee at the Ping before. But in the time since that Ping, I’ve learned something else about coffee makers myself: I have really horrible luck with coffee makers.

The first coffee maker I had, and the one I had when I wrote that Ping, was a rather attractive model from Philips that I got back in 2000. It did the job well and worked just fine, really, until I broke the carafe. One morning I had just taken the carafe out of the dishwasher and placed it on the maker’s hot plate. I then turned around and heard it crash to the floor – the sleeve from my robe caught on the handle and dragged it straight down. Fun!

So that coffee maker was replaced with a Mr. Coffee. It didn’t make the best-tasting coffee in the world, but it worked fine. Until one day, while in the dishwasher, the plastic top of the carafe fell to the bottom and melted. Thus, the carafe was instantly defective. Now I could have just bought a new carafe but given my distaste for this model’s coffee, I decided to get a new one.

So that coffee maker was replaced with a Melitta two-cup coffee maker. No glass carafe to break. No handles to pull on. Two travel mugs, no more. But I found a pretty big design flaw in the way it dripped coffee to those mugs (which I ended up fixing with a twist tie,) and then it did something unique this week. I poured water in, had the grounds set up, and went to take a shower. I came back to find about half an ounce of coffee in the thing and heard the pump struggling – hard – to get water up to the grounds.

And then as an added bonus, it spilled the rest of the water all over the counter. That was awesome!

The sad thing is that this merry-go-round of coffee makers has happened over the period of a year or less. But today, today I must replace the coffee maker again. Anyone with suggestions is welcome to post ’em, and even wise ass comments would earn a glance.

Posted in Everyday Life

Paul February 3, 2009, 12:45 pm

And yes, the Cuisinart is now officially broken.

A few weeks back I ordered a new filter basket to fix the mild problem I had back in 2006 (I’m a little slow with that stuff.) The biggest issue was that coffee would continue to drip out of the basket when the carafe itself was removed, which meant a big giant mess.

Surprisingly, a new basket did *not* fix that. So $10 down the drain.

As a bonus though, the on/off switch has decided to work only sometimes. It’s a rocker switch. I’ll press it on, hear the “on” click and then… another click, signifying it’s turned itself off. But then other times it works perfectly so it’s probably something small.

Now I’m confronted with the same issue I had four years ago. This time I’m wondering if I should just bite the bullet and get a Technivorm or another ridiculously expensive coffee maker so long as the thing won’t fall apart in four years. (To be fair, though, the Cuisinart only cost $20. That’s a hell of an ROI.)

So any advice is appreciated. Oh, and I do have a French press; it’s ultimately too fussy for me to do at 6am.

Paul February 4, 2009, 2:29 am

I appreciate the input Dave, but I’ll have to pass on that because I’m stingy:

Paul March 7, 2009, 12:46 pm

As another follow up, today the Cuisinart did the “I’m going to belch a bunch of black liquid and coffee onto the countertop” thing. The on/off switch has been on its best behavior lately but if the two coincide anytime soon, there’s going to be some unpleasantness.

Bah, I say. Bah.

Paul June 14, 2010, 10:17 pm

Noting here for posterity that I’ve now had Consumer Reports’ top-rated Michael Graves design coffee maker for well over a year with no major problems. Still works, still makes good coffee, nothing broken.

Silly long URL:

It’s not the prettiest coffee maker ever, but that’s okay.

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