Whether you prefer an automatic drip coffee maker or the meditation of a perfect...
I found the Black & Decker CM1050W Coffee Maker on a top-twenty list of “basic” coffee makers while I was trying to figure out what’s the best bet for an inexpensive coffee machine that won’t behave like a cheap one. I know, in a general way, that there are some really solid machines out there with low price tags that can do the basic jobs, maybe even have a few of the extra features, and won’t poop out on me after just a couple months.
I know these phantom coffee machines exist—I just didn’t know which ones they were. That top-twenty list pointed me toward some possibilities, and I gravitated toward the Black & Decker because it’s a brand name I’ve always trusted. This machine definitely had the low price tag, and its specs listed the features I’d hoped for, so the real test would be when I got it home.
So I brought the Black & Decker CM1050W Coffee Maker home to do a little “home testing” of the model. I had the brand name I trust, I had the backing of the top-twenty recommendation, and I had a white model to match my other countertop appliances—though I confess I was a little concerned about white with a coffee machine, given how coffee can stain. First impressions: the glossy white machine looks pretty slick on my counter, and has a small footprint, so it doesn’t take up a lot of the counter space. It’s a little on the tall side, so I had to move it from the first spot I put it, because I couldn’t easily pour the water in the top, and it steamed up the bottom of the cabinet when it brewed.
I ran through a few batches just with water, as recommended to make sure there’s no “new-plastic-parts-taste” to the coffee, and tested the temperature while I was at it: 200ºF, perfect temperature for releasing the essential oils that give coffee its flavoring. While the initial runs of water were brewing, I played with the programming. The buttons on the base of the Black & Decker CM1050W Coffee Maker are flat soft-touch (easy to wipe down) and really straightforward. There’s the “on/off” to start brewing if you’re not programming it with a delay. The “hour” and “minute” buttons set the digital clock at the center, and the “Program” button (with the hour and minute) allows you to set the time you want the machine to brew automatically. And the “Auto” button tells the machine to go with the programmed auto-start time. Simple and easy.
My first run through with coffee in the filter, I didn’t make it strong enough for my taste, but that’s a matter of fine-tuning with measurements and personal taste. It’s a good cup of coffee—especially once I got my measurements down. Clean-up afterward is super simple; the filter lifts out and goes in the dishwasher along with the carafe. I did learn that I need to pour without rushing to avoid spills, and also that I shouldn’t take too much time pouring when I use the sneak-a-cup feature, if I don’t want the brewing basket to overflow.
The Black & Decker CM1050W Coffee Maker seems robust enough to last, although I worry about the glass decanter being the weak link. It’s billed as unbreakable, though, so we’ll see if it lives up to its name. Oh, and the coffee-stains on white that I was worried about? I keep a little spray-bottle of cheap white vinegar by the sink to spray down coffee drips and wipe them up. So far the unit still looks like new.