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If you kick around on the coffee fan sites, you’ve heard about the Technovorm Moccamaster coffee maker. The pricey European import has been rated tops by consumers on nearly all of the major coffee sites, and taken top ratings from Cooks Illustrated, the popular magazine published by the makers of America’s Test Kitchen. The Moccamaster has also achieved something no other coffee maker has ever done – it’s been certified by both the American Specialty Coffee Association and the European Coffee Brewing Centre for consistently brewing coffee at the recommended temperature. The only caveat that anyone has about the Moccamaster is the price tag. It retails for about $240 in the U.S.
Why are people willing to pay $240 for a drip coffee maker when you can get a coffee maker for – well – $10 at your local Target? There’s one very good reason, according to Cook’s Illustrated – taste. In their tests, the Technivorm coffee maker (they tested Model KBT741) was, in their words, a standout. It was the only machine that rated three stars in all three categories – Brewing, Flavor and User Friendliness.
Cook’s did something that other testers – notably Consumer Reports – haven’t done. They tested the brewing temperature for each machine, and found that only the Moccamaster consistently brewed coffee at the recommended temperature of 195-205 F. In their tests, the Moccamaster brought the water to the brewing temperature within seconds and kept it there througout the brewing process. It also consistently finished brewing in six minutes, the optimal brewing time for an 8-10 cup coffee maker. The coffee produced was so good that it actually outdid coffee brewed in a Bodum French press in taste tests. None of the other machines came close.
So what makes the Technivorm so good? In a word – quality parts. Most coffee makers use aluminum heating elements to heat the water and maintain the temperature for brewing. Aluminum is cheap, so the manufacturers keep costs low by skimping on the most expensive part of the works. Technivorm makes their heating elements from copper, which has far better heat conductivity than aluminum. That means that the water gets hot faster and maintains its temperature longer. In addition, the Technivorm operates at 1400 watts of electrical power. Most other coffee makers only operate at 900 watts, so the Moccamaster heats water faster and makes coffee more efficiently than other machines.
Aside from that, the Technivorm is completely handmade and each coffee maker is checked for quality before it leaves the factory. It’s also a very pretty, unique machine, with the water reservoir sitting on top of the heating element to give it a long, lean, retro-modern look. The KBT741 is available in a range of bright colors so that it fits right into your kitchen color scheme.
So is it worth $240? I guess that depends on just how important your coffee is to you. If you’re looking for the top of the line for your home coffee needs, this just might be it.