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I’m admittedly a coffee snob when it comes to brewing from freshly ground beans; there’s just nothing to beat the aroma of grinding beans and the flavor of the coffee brewed immediately after grinding. The half-pound built-in bean hopper and automatic grinder are arguably my favorite features of the Breville BDC600XL coffee maker(while this review is for my BDC600XL YouBrew, the same would be correct for the Breville BDC550XL YouBrew).
I used to go to the trouble–because I believed the result worth the work–of separately measuring and grinding beans for every pot I was about to brew, so I love the fact that my Breville BDC600XL does that work for me. I get all the benefit of the freshly-ground blend, with none of the extra work–or the extra clean-up!
The YouBrew also features an integrated burr grinder that holds up to .5 lbs. of beans. It comes with a 12-cup thermal carafe, so your coffee stays at the perfect temperature for drinking after it’s brewed, and the brewing platform has a 7.5″ clearance — the right size for most of your travel mugs.
The sleek design features a large LCD display that’s intuitive and easy to read with both symbols and text, making it perfect for those early mornings before you get your glasses on. If you’re brewing up a full carafe but don’t want to wait for the full pot to brew, the YouBrew’s brew pause feature lets you snag a cup to drink while you wait for the rest of the pot to fill. And of course, you can program your YouBrew to fix your coffee automatically so you’ll have a single cup, a travel mug or a full carafe of perfectly brewed java ready to go when you are.
The YouBrew coffee brewer has an easy-open swing-out filter compartment and comes with a gold coffee filter, but is compatible with paper coffee filters if you prefer them. In addition, the spec sheets note that the YouBrew is made with BPA-free materials.
For the environmentally conscientious and health conscious members of my household, I can assure them that the Breville BDC600XL coffee maker is made entirely without BPA in its component materials, and the gold-tone reusable coffee filter eliminates the waste of paper filters. For myself, I’m pleased with the Breville BDC600XL coffee maker’s minimal messes and easy clean-up. The carafe and reusable filter are dishwasher safe, and when I’m brewing just for myself I can skip the carafe and brew directly into my favorite coffee cup on a morning when I’m staying home, or my travel mug when I’m heading to work.
The “BrewIQ” system of adjustable controls on the Breville BDC600XL coffee maker include seven different settings for strength (measurement of ground coffee used) as well as five settings for steeping time. I confess it took me a little time to get familiar with the control panel, especially given the sub-steps comprising each of those separate settings, but it’s truly not prohibitively complicated, even for a non-techie like me.
On the colder mornings when I’m using the Breville BDC600XL coffee maker, I prefer to pre-warm the carafe with hot water; I’ve found otherwise that the carafe dissipates the coffee’s heat rather too quickly.
I do have to note that the sheer size of the Breville BDC600XL coffee maker might present difficulties in a smaller kitchen, and given my own short stature, I keep a small stepstool handy to give me enough height to pour water into the top-filling reservoir. I’d go to more trouble than that, though, for the fresh-grind this machine offers every morning. I’m also happy to be able to brew one cup at a time, either when I’m the only one in the house, or on the mornings when our houseful has demolished the carafe-full and I just want an additional cup for myself.
The single-cup brewing takes longer than you might expect, but it’s not a longer wait than I’d expect if I were brewing a whole new pot, and I’m happy not to waste coffee grounds and energy in brewing more than I need. The Breville BDC600XL coffee maker has been keeping me happy, and I’m enjoying sampling the various whole bean blends it gives me the opportunity to try.