Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The coffee tastes like crap, but that should improve with use

I’m evaluating a Black & Decker 12-cup programmable coffeemaker for the Amazon Vine Program. Here’s my review:

blackdeckercoffeemakerI did a side-by-side comparison, right out of the box, with my new Black & Decker 12-cup programmable coffeemaker and my 2-year-old Mr. Coffee 12-cup programmable coffeemaker. The Black & Decker box claims 2 minutes shorter brewing time, but in my test it blew Mr. Coffee into the weeds by 4 minutes 30 seconds.
I loaded each with 12 cups of cold water as measured by the carafes with a filter in each, but no coffee (why waste 24 cups of coffee?), and started them simultaneously. Both beeped well before they were finished - the B&D at 9:40with 10.8 cups in the carafe and Mr. Coffee at 11:29 with less than 9 cups in the carafe. The B&D stopped dripping at 11:30 with 11.5 cups in the carafe. Mr. Coffee quit at 15 minutes with only 10.2 cups in the carafe, leaving me to wonder what happened to the water than didn't come through the machine.
The temperature of the B&D water was 170ºF, and the water in the Mr. Coffee carafe was 164ºF.
Next, I loaded the B&D with 8 cups of cold water and 1 scoop of Starbucks Dark Italian Roast coffee. It beeped at 6 minutes and 4 seconds and quit at 7 minutes 50 seconds with only 6.1 cups in the carafe.
I had followed the instructions and thoroughly washed the carafe and the basket before first use, but the coffee still came out with a hint of a plastic taste. I hope that will go away with continued use.
We're expecting guests who will stay for four days, so I'll give the B&D a good workout. If anything happens worth noting, I'll update this review.
I am mindful that this coffeemaker has more than its share of bad reviews. Like most small kitchen appliances, the Black & Decker 12-cup programmable coffeemaker is made in China. It's been my experience that Chinese quality control sometimes permits the manufacture of substandard units and buying a Chinese-made appliance is something of a crapshoot. It remains to be seen what kind of day they were having at the Chinese Black & Decker plant the day my coffeemaker was born.

It’s my 191st review to be published on Amazon.com which makes me the 6,925th most prolific reviewer.

There are some pretty awful reviews for this coffeemaker but it’s just like the Black & Decker coffeemaker my son Steve and his wife use and theirs works fine and makes good coffee, so I remain guardedly optimistic.

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