“ Brand: Bodum / Type: Coffee Maker - Manual „
I was originally inspired to buy this product by another review on dooyoo, which just goes to show that dooyoo does work as intended! Initially I tried to buy from Amazon but although they apparently had it in stock for pre-order for a reasonable £7 or so, the site wouldn't allow me to add it to my basket for some unknown reason, and next time I checked the price had gone over £10. This seemed too much in my opinion. All was not lost though as a trawl through Google Product Search revealed Sainsburys online had it in stock for just £5.25, good enough for me I thought especially as I could avoid a delivery charge by picking it up from my nearest Sainsbury Local, which I drive past quite regularly.
Picking up the "Filtre Bélgique" was a bit of a chore as it turned out: I had to provide proof of name and address - fortunately I had this on me - even though the email confirmation from Sainsburys online simply stated I would need to have the same card with me that I used to pay online. There then followed a very long wait while the member of staff went to look for my order (just how many online orders do they get!). All told, I had the feeling that I was bothering them with my custom and they would rather have done without it.
Getting home with my purchase - securely packed by the way - I was keen to try it out as soon as possible. The main packaging is a printed cardboard box that is both illustrated with the product and displays the instructions for using it in pictorial form. There are no written instructions inside the box so it is just as well it is quite easy to use. Opening up revealed a glass beaker held in a dark brown plastic holder and the three-part filter itself. The three parts are the main filter body with its integrated metal gauze filter, an inner plastic section with small perforations in the base and a clip-on plastic lid. The correct way to use is to place the filter body on top of the beaker, add the coffee (around two dessert spoons) place the inner section inside then add the water (presumably just off the boil but you can't tell this from just pictures) and put the lid on. Gravity will see that the water goes down through the coffee so no power supply or moving parts involved!
After a precautionary wash in the kitchen sink (of the Filtre Bélgique that is, not me!) I was ready to go following the instructions on the box. Or rather not following them as my first attempt went wrong - I really do prefer to read instructions rather than try to follow pictures, but that could just be me. So at the second attempt I was able to make myself a fresh cup of coffee. I would like to report it was a great success but unfortunately I found the result weak and lacking in depth of flavour, and also slightly cold. An initial difficulty is that there is no level marking on the inside of the filter and it is possible to overfill and make a mess. It is important to get the lid on quickly as this serves to make a seal slowing down the rate of filtration - which could otherwise be too fast - and reduces heat loss by convection.
Refining my technique over the next couple of weeks I found I could get an acceptable cup of coffee only if used around 2½ dessert spoons of ground coffee and preheated the beaker first with boiling water and added hot rather than cold milk. Less coffee and the result was insipid while adding more seemed to block the filter and it could take a very long time to filter through. Even so the results were not great and I almost threw out a bag of coffee beans given to me by a friend who had been to Costa Rica thinking they had lost their flavour.
By the time I had had the filter about three weeks the beaker had become a loose fit in the holder and the inevitable happened: it slipped out while being washed and ended up with a crack on the edge. All was not lost however since the plastic filter also fitted in my usual coffee mug. The only downside was that not being glass I couldn't see when the filter process had completed. Neither could I tell if I had overfilled it and this led to some mess at times.
By now other family members had impressed on me that a one-cup coffee maker is a bit antisocial and I was persuaded to buy an eight-cup Cafetière from Marks and Spencer for a very reasonable £7.50. Using this I immediately found my coffee has much better flavour and depth - including those beans from Costa Rica - stays hotter and does not require as much coffee to be used. I am also in charge of the brewing time rather than leaving it to the slightly uncertain effects of gravity. On the other hand it is more of a fuss to use for just one person and a bit more difficult to clean generally. It is telling though that since getting the Cafetière I have not used the Filtre Bélgique again.
Really I could only recommend this if you like your coffee very mild as even using a full strength roast produces a light coffee flavour. A benefit is that you get no no bitterness or after-taste though.
Most days I make my coffee in a full sized Morphy Richards coffee machine which has served me well for several years now. Probably after saying that, it will conk out tomorrow! There are occasions though when there isn't enough time to enjoy a couple of leisurely cups of coffee and yet I still need a jolt of caffeine to kick start my day or maybe I fancy an extra cup of coffee later in the day and this Bodum coffee maker is ideal for such situations.
Although Bodum have played around slightly with the design over the years, at one stage swapping the plastic for stainless steel and giving the glass 'cup' a lip for pouring, the Bodum Filtre Belgique in its present incarnation is a simple yet stylish combination of glass and matt black plastic. It's comprised of a plastic double filter topped off with a lid all of which sits on top of a glass mug set inside a plastic mug holder. The double filter has one filter with a fine mesh base and a second plastic filter sits inside that. This ensures the coffee is allowed to filter through slowly enough to get every drop of flavour out of the coffee grounds.
This is an easy way to produce a decent cup of real coffee and it takes only a fraction more time than it would to make a cup of instant but it tastes so much better. If you prefer real coffee, the Filter Belgique system is a much cheaper alternative to using coffee bags or pre-packed filters such as Rombouts. This saves on electricity, too, because you only boil enough water to fill the cup and there aren't any electrical or electronic parts of go wrong.
Making a great cup of delicious fresh coffee is simple with this little set. Firstly the larger filter is set on top of the glass cup and the coffee grounds are spooned in (usually about a good dessertspoonful is sufficient to produce a flavoursome drink). The inner filter is then placed on top and water just off the boil is poured into the inner filter and the lid fitted onto the top. It's quite important to add the lid during the filtering process because it creates a slight vacuum which allows the water to percolate through the coffee more slowly and to extract all the flavour. If you wanted a weaker strength, leaving the lid off would allow the water to filter through more quickly and thus produce a less strong drink. Once the water has filtered through, the coffee is ready. Just add milk and sugar, if required, and enjoy a very satisfying cuppa.
Although this is a great gadget, ideal for using at work or if you simply want a single cup of coffee, to my mind there are almost as many cons as there are pros. The main problem is cleaning. Although the inner filter and cup parts are easy to clean, the main filter where the coffee grounds are held is not quite as simple to clean. Most of the grounds, of course, can be tipped out but there will inevitably be a residue of damp and sticky grounds to remove. I've found that turning the filter upside down under running water, helps to get rid of these but the whole process of cleaning is time consuming and possibly difficult to do if using at work. Although the entire contents could be sluiced down the sink, it's not the best idea to do this as coffee grounds are notorious for accumulating in the U bend and blocking sinks! For this reason, I no longer use my Bodum at work but only at home where it's easier to dispose of the grounds which I put into my compost bin.
Even with the double filter, the filtering process is much faster than with a normal coffee machine which means that possibly not just the coffee is being filtered through but other 'nasties' as well. I've frequently noticed that the filtered coffee has an oily sheen on the surface, especially if it's been allowed to stand for any length of time. Although I don't for a minute think this is harmful, it's not very attractive to look at. However, I take my coffee with milk and once milk has been stirred in, this sheen disappears.
The other problem I have with this device is the glass mug. It's made from heat resistant glass which is also dishwasher safe and sits inside the plastic holder but for me, drinking from a glass mug somehow spoils the experience of drinking a good cup of coffee, apart from which the glass retains the heat making it uncomfortable to drink from immediately. The mug also has a fairly small capacity, 0.3 litres, which really isn't enough to provide a coffee addict with a decent caffeine fix! My solution to this is to place the filter over a decent sized coffee mug and add slightly more coffee into the filter.
Since I bought my Bodum Filtre Belgique several years ago, the price seems to have sky-rocketed and these now cost in the region of £12 which personally I think is rather a lot of money for something which is essentially just a glass mug with a plastic filter system and lid. However, having said that, it will more than pay for itself over time, certainly with regard to saving on electricity or on buying pre-manufactured filters. As long as you treat the glass mug with care because although strong, it isn't totally unbreakable, this coffee filter system will stay looking good as well as give you years of excellent service. It's not quite a 5 star item because of the cost and other little niggles but it's certainly well worth 4 stars.
This is a modern version of a coffee-maker that was certainly widely used in Belgium when we lived there many years ago. By varying the amount of coffee you use any strength can be produced. I use a Colombian blend which suits this style of coffee-making. It doesn't produce the unpleasant 'notes' you get in coffee from a cafetiere, because the water is only in contact with the coffee as it drips through. One reviewer feels it didn't produce hot enough coffee. Firstly, coffee should NOT be brewed at boiling point, but just under. Secondly, the glass beaker can always be pre-warmed. Thirdly, in Northern Europe, white coffee is usually made with coffee-cream, ie evaporated milk (Carnation is one brand), which both makes a richer taste, and because it is concentrated doesn't cool the coffee. My only niggle is getting the grounds out to wash the top half can be messy. In terms of quality, it doesn't have quite the feel of a stainless steel version I own, but the glass and plastic are both good quality. Overall, a great buy and probably the easiest way to make good coffee.
To be honest I'm not really all that impressed by this coffee maker. While it does what it's supposed to do, make basically a single cup of coffee, the coffee is way too cool for me. I like a hot mug of coffee and this machine does not do that well at all. It makes the coffee in a reasonable amount of time and does not make much noise but it's just too cold. I don't particulary like the way it looks either. About the only the real advantage as far as I can see is that you won't have to pay much for this machine. But then frankly I would not bother getting another one anyways. I suppose if your someone that just wants a fast cup and doesn't care if it's a hot cup you may like this coffee maker but thats not what I am looking for in my morning mug.
I`m a person that needs my coffee, so when my old solo cup set decided it was time to take a rather long nap, I was quickly on the look for a new set, ending up with this model from Bodum. The Bodum K1791-01 Filtre Belgique is an insanely cheap coffee maker, right now it costs as little as 13.05 at amazon, which is a very good buy, so go for it! This is simply a very good coffee making equipment, it functions quickly and efficient, makes no noise and the coffee, depending upon what beans you are using, always end up tasting very good, not at all bitter and sharp... What is so great about the mug in this product, is not only that it`s very solid and safe appearing, it`s also dish washer safe, meaning that cleaning is no hazzle at all! If you enjoy your coffee, the portion of this mug will go by fast, but if you`re of a moderate coffee drinker, than you can easily share this mug with another person... This is a very cheap product indeed, and if you want a really professional coffee maker, than you should look into the more expensive coffee makers, where most of them also make up to 1.5 liters of coffee at a time if wanted... Anyways, this Bodum Solo Cup set is great for when you just want one cup of really good coffee and you want it fast!
The Bodum Solo Cup set makes good coffee!
Bodum Solo Cup Set With Filter Belgique in Black K1791-01
I bought one of these a while ago to use in the office, it is an easy way to get some great tasting coffee in a quick and convenient manner. Instead of having just a quick cup of instant coffee this doesn't take that much more effort and tastes all that much better. Just add ground coffee, pour in the boiling water to the dispenser, then sit back and watch as your mug fills with hot lovely coffee.
Like most Bodum cafetiere's this mug is made from Borosilicate glass making it more heat resistant and sturdy. The hard plastic shell that the glass container sits in makes this very easy to hold without burning your hands. Even without using the filter this is quite a nice sized and nice mug to use.
You can if you are careful to make sure everything fits well use this filter with another mug, if you prefer. However, I like this mug and I have only ever used another one when someone else is currently using mine. It just means that if you use this at home, it can be shared between more than one person.
This is relatively easy to clean and as an added bonus it is dishwasher safe, for those that are lucky enough to have a dishwasher to use.
If I had any complaint about this product it would be that sometimes the coffee is a bit too cool for my tastes. However, this can be easily rectified by pouring boiling water into the mug and leaving it to sit for a moment before throwing it out and using it as normal. Basically, heating the cup to keep and make the coffee warmer.
This is typically retailing for around £15 but at the moment you can buy this from Amazon for £14.50. I have gotten quite a lot of use from mine and I think that it is pretty good value for money.
Personally, I think that this deserves a four out of five stars. I have been and I am very happy with mine, I do think that this has a shelf life and although mine still works I might invest in a new one soon. It doesn't make as good a cup a coffee as some of the more elaborate coffee makers but it beats having a cup of instant coffee on a fifteen minute tea break.