Every six months or so, I break the glass carafe that goes with my coffee maker. I’ve done it with a Melitta model and a Capresso. Most recently, the casualty was my Kitchenaid carafe. I was washing it in the late night/early morning, when I should have been in bed, and it slipped.
A trip to the retailer where I bought the coffee maker was futile. The clerks said they hadn’t gotten a shipment from Kitchenaid in ages and gave me a number to call. When I contacted the manufacturer, I was told it is discontinuing the four-cup model. One cannot live in the Pacific Northwest without imbibing, particularly in fall and winter. (Why do you think Starbucks started here?) This was indeed a crisis.
In the process of finding a new coffee maker, I learned a thing or two about the industry. The availability of small coffee makers, hard to find to for some time, is getting worse. All three of my former choices in manufacturers have now abandoned those of us who are not seeking maximum caffeine coverage. My habit is to drink a couple cups at home and supplement them with a tall, skinny double latte at Starbucks later in the day.
The new status quo does have some good news, though. My affinity for breaking carafes may have been remedied. Newer models feature stainless steel ‘pots’ that can be dented at most. They come in two types. There is just plain stainless steel, which gets pretty warm on the outside and does not particularly keep the coffee hot. Alternatively, one can purchase thermal stainless steel, which is cooler to the touch and maintains the coffee’s just brewed temperature.
Other state of the art features include ‘automatic off,’ which turns the coffee maker off so one does not have to worry about having forgotten to do so, and short electrical cords. I don’t like the latter. Said to have been implemented to prevent a tripping hazard, the cords don’t reach far enough. I also am finding not being able to see inside the stainless steel carafe annoying, but will likely get used to it.
I wavered between two choices when making a decision on a replacement. Starbucks currently has its thermal four-cup model, regularly $89.99, on sale for $49.99. It was tempting to go with it. However, compared to the Cuisinart DCC-450, the Starbucks coffee maker is oversize and I have limited counter space. I chose the Cuisinart, priced at $29.99, but believe a buyer might be equally, if not more, satisfied with the Starbucks version because it is thermal.
I’ve been using the Cuisinart for three days now. It is a relief to be able to turn out of bed and brew a couple cups, again. I function much better when I don’t have to get dressed and then go looking for java. If you find yourself in the market for a new coffee maker, I recommend the Cuisinart, which I bought in black, as a good, inexpensive, choice.
Note: The model pictured in the Amazon link is the precursor to the DCC-450, but similar except for the metal carafe. This coffee drinker’s weblog is Mac-a-ro-nies.