How disappointing this coffee maker has been! The Melitta 12 cup Fast Brew coffee maker looks great but good looks does a great cup of coffee not make. At least not with this unit. It's nice sleek face, accented with stainless steel and a blue backlit analog clock that sits tucked nicely into the area just beneath the brew cone's front plate makes for an impressive display on my counter top. The black body and stainless steel look fits in nicely with the rest of my kitchen decor and is one of the reasons I chose this maker over another all stainless one I'd been looking at. The clock was simple to set and the features that enable you to set the time to brew the coffee automatically for those early morning risings is simple to set as well. The carafe is large and comes equipped with a tea filter which removes easily from the inside lid of the carafe for those times you don't want to brew tea bags or tea leaves. I don't drink tea very often but have wanted to try some herbal tea leaves for awhile now, this coffee pot was going to be able to make that happen. But, that's were my love affair with it ends. I'm afraid I'll be shelving rather than using this looker.
Pouring water into the reservoir can prove to be a bit tricky as the carafe is impeded by the lid of the coffee maker that covers the reservoir and cone basket when brewing. My first pot of water managed to soak the filter, pour water onto the warming place and then when I closed the lid, the water dribbled down the face of the coffee maker onto the counter. The second attempt was a bit better but not much, the third I think I finally mastered the awkward pouring requirements necessary to ensure very little was spilt.
The fast brew feature is indeed fast! It's also quite noisy as it let's you know it's working hard. Obviously not hard enough though. Despite the brew strength selector from light to dark flavor selection, the flavor of the coffee when done brewing is non-existent. I have never owned a coffee maker that has made such a sad, tasteless and disappointing cup of coffee before. The coffee maker I'm replacing was a 12.00 no name brand and the brew I achieved with it was spectacular in comparison.
The coffee maker is suppose to brew coffee with a hotter infusion of water than the standard makers thus making it capable of pushing the water through the filter more quickly but without making the coffee itself suffer, leaving you with a rich, deep and satisfying cup every time. If the feature worked, I'd absolutely love everything about this maker but I've put through three full pots, increasing the amount of coffee used from my regular 6 heaping scoops per 12 cups to well over 2 scoops per cup and still nothing. I've also checked to ensure there wasn't anything left over from packaging that might be causing this machine to brew with such dismal results. All is as it should be with no plastic, cardboard or other reason for its lackluster performance. It's simply not good at making coffee, at least this particular unit isn't.
The instructions don't tell you what amount is recommended to brew the optimal cup of coffee but at this point I'm no longer interested in trying to find out. I've used almost a half tin of my precious, normally rich brewing coffee grounds which early today I had successfully made and enjoyed with rich, robust flavor in my old coffee maker so I know that my coffee itself isn't at fault. I even made a special trip to the grocery store to pick up #4 cone shaped filters made by Melitta, to ensure the perfect cup of coffee resulted. This machine has managed to turn my normally fine brew into just dark brown hot water and nothing more. Even the robust aroma that usually is evident when my coffee brews, is missing. A cup from the last pot I just made was handed to my husband, he has pretty refined taste buds and can pick up flavors easily. I was to the point of believing that my taste buds were shot. His response was..."mmmm great coffee cream but where's the coffee?"
Had I not already pushed 3 pots of coffee through this machine, it would be going back to the store and I'd be exchanging it for the stainless steel coffee maker I had been considering getting instead. As soon as this review is completed, I'll be contacting the Company to determine if this is just a bad coffee maker overall or just a bad unit.
Melitta makes a reasonable ground coffee but I have to rate their Fast Brew Coffee maker as a dismal failure, at least for now. I'll update this review as soon as I hear from the Company.