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The first descriptor that comes to mind with regard to my 4-cup Continental Electric CE23589 coffee maker is the word cute. It is a cute little mini-machine, perfect for a single coffee drinker—and my second descriptor would be convenient. I was going to round out the c-words with “cheap,” but that would imply the wrong connotation; this machine is amazingly inexpensive without appearing or functioning like a cheap item.
The cost of my nifty little coffee maker was literally the price of just two of the coffee-shop specialty drinks which I kept buying when I didn’t have a coffee machine of my own. I hadn’t wanted to buy appliances yet because I’m in student housing without a kitchen, but now I’m wishing I’d made this purchase much earlier! I can’t even bring myself to calculate how much extra money I spent at the coffee shop in the interests of “not buying appliances”…
Continental Electric CE23589 coffee maker product features:
As I said, I live in student housing, no kitchen facilities, so the Continental Electric CE23589 coffee maker is set up by the bathroom sink I share with roommates. It still takes up less room than their assorted hair dryers and accessories, so I don’t feel badly. And it’s perfectly easy to use there. The filter basket swings out to the side so I can easily remove the metal mesh coffee filter (no need for the additional stack of paper disposable filters), I give it a quick wipe with a paper towel so I don’t get too many grounds in the sink, and then run it under the faucet for a quick rinse. The little carafe fills easily in the sink, and the water tank is easily accessible just by lifting the top to pour. It’s also easy to see the water level because the tank itself is a smoky translucent plastic that acts like a window to check the fullness.
The pieces that snap together (the carafe lid on the carafe, the water tank lid, the filter basket snapping back in place after swinging it open to fill) all fit together tightly, which I was worried about given the plastic construction of the Continental Electric CE23589 coffee maker. The carafe can be a little messy in pouring, but I learned the trick of flipping up the lid with my thumb while I pour, and it pours perfectly smoothly.
I think the brewing temperature is not as hot as I’ve had from bigger machines (certainly not as hot as the coffee-shop cup) but it’s not enough of a drawback to put me off my coffee. I might feel differently if I used liquid creamer that would cool it down further, but (given the lack of refrigeration) I’ve been using powdered creamers, so all I really care about is that the coffee is hot enough to dissolve the creamer. That much it does just fine.
A couple things I do have to be careful of with the Continental Electric CE23589 coffee maker… One is the fact that it doesn’t have any automatic shut-off for the heating element, so I have to take care to turn it off so it doesn’t become a fire-hazard. The other thing is to remove the carafe carefully if I pour before it’s done brewing. It does have the valve that blocks the dispenser so you can remove the decanter to pour, but I found out the hard way that the swing-out filter basket can accidentally catch on the carafe and swivel outward, which makes a mess if it’s in the middle of brewing.
All in all, this is a perfectly functional little unit, at an unbelievably low price.