Whether you prefer an automatic drip coffee maker or the meditation of a perfect...
The Black & Decker TCM830 coffee maker is absolutely the perfect appliance for the frequent hostess, thanks to its clever carafe design and ten-cup capacity. The carafe itself is a classy looking thermally insulated decanter which stands alone without the need of a warming plate, and keeps coffee as hot as if it were heating (or scorching, as often happens) on a burner. Small holes at the carafe’s top are opened when it fits into the coffee machine itself, allowing the coffee to trickle into the decanter as it brews, and when the carafe is removed from the machine, the holes close up, keeping the insulated decanter entirely sealed and able to maintain its temperature.
Black & Decker TCM830 coffee maker product features:
It makes an ideal serving piece for the hostess; brew the coffee directly into the decanter, then bring the carafe itself straight to the table, where its stylish look will fit in with even the fanciest of settings. Guests can pour for themselves—or a hostess can pour—and the carafe can stay at the table for easy refills. In fact, it’s preferable to keep the container at the table or counter rather than fitted into the machine after brewing, given that the placement in the machine keeps the top holes open and lets the coffee cool over-quickly.
This machine has a unique, curvy look like nothing I’d ever seen before, with a sleek hourglass shape, stainless steel carafe and brewing basket. Along with its great looks, the Black & Decker TCM830 coffee maker is simple to use. The water reservoir pulls out for easy filling at the sink, the filter basket lifts out for a quick clean and refill, and the touch control buttons allow for pre-programming of brew time, as well as automatic shut-off.
When it comes to cleaning, the same features of the carafe which enable it to maintain coffee temperature so effectively make it rather difficult to clean up. The small holes in the lid, through which the coffee decants when the machine is brewing, can be difficult to rinse properly. Soap gets in there and forms a film, and I feel as though I could blow soap-bubbles through the holes even after I’ve rinsed exhaustively.
I’d end up rinsing endlessly, not wanting to leave soap residue in there (both for the sake of the taste, and the unpleasant effects of ingesting soap) so I finally switched my clean-up methods and began cleaning with a vinegar-and-lemon mixture rather than soap water. It rinses a little more easily, hasn’t seemed to affect the taste of the coffee, and ensures we’re not drinking soap with our coffee. The inside of the Black & Decker TCM830 carafe is also a cleaning challenge, being fairly deep and narrow (with the insulation, the hollow space inside is considerably smaller than the container as a whole). I fished out one of the bottle brushes I used to use on baby bottles, and that does the trick just fine.
One thing I’d want to be aware of if I were purchasing the Black & Decker TCM830 coffee maker for a kitchen with limited space is how large it is. Especially how tall it is. It doesn’t fit beneath our cabinets (probably wouldn’t fit beneath most people’s cabinets), so I’ve positioned it in our kitchen island, where I don’t have to worry about clearance, and it’s pleasantly accessible to anyone passing through the kitchen for a refill. Or, when I have guests, I can bring it to them—considerably preferable to my previous habit of carrying individual cups of coffee from the kitchen to the table after dinner.