“ Brand: Essentials / Type: Automatic „
~Freshly filtered coffee at a bargain price!~
This simply made coffee machine from Currys was something that I purchased just before christmas as a replacement for a broken cafetiere. I must admit that at the time of purchase I was slightly swayed by the free £10 voucher promotion that Currys were running and this influenced my purchase far more than the range of features I would get with this product. I did look at other products in store but soon decided to go for the cheapest option, as this machine was a truly good buy at the time. In the end I bought the this basic yet functional coffee maker and received the promotional £10 free spend voucher for a very small outlay which I was very happy with.
~Design/ layout of the coffee maker~
Having purchased my shiny new coffee machine I proceeded to unbox it and found it was well packed in to a strong yet light box that protected it well whilst it was being transported home. The box did outline some of the features of the product which was of help to me, although as mentioned the bargain price of the product and combined voucher offer were the main reasons I bought this model. Once unpacked the pieces that make up the coffee machine look basic and minimal with very little design flare to them. To be honest I really wasn't too bothered with the minimal finish of the product, as the look of the whole thing once assembled is quite neat and simple, being an item that can be placed on to a dark kitchen surface/ work top and blend easily in to the background which suited my requirements.
Of course if a fancier looking product is more to your liking then this really won't suit your needs as it really is very plain to look at indeed. The materials used to make up this product provide the basics of a usable coffee machine without the fuss and flounce of more flashy looking machines that cost considerably more to buy. The simple black plastic housing for the base unit, comprises the base, a filter section and a water holder which holds the fresh water that is magically turned in to steaming hot coffee after a few minutes of spluttering and bubbling through the built in filter. I feel that the machine is compact to look at with a mostly black plastic base to the main unit and water holder that is smart and easy to clean. With all these parts neatly connected to the part of the machine that you fill with coffee, everything you need for a fresh hot coffee is close at hand, with the only separate part of the machine being the glass jug that fills with coffee at the end of the process.
~Using the coffee maker~
When using this machine it is very easy to site it close to a plug socket and simply plug it in ready for use. I have this placed on a work surface next to the kettle and it manages to hide itself quite nicely, as it is very plain in terms of its overall look and is also fairly compact for this type of product. The back of the machine houses the part that you fill with water and having just had a quick look at it I can say that it has a see through measure along one side which shows a potential 10 cups of coffee when filled with fresh water. In reality I have found that if using standard type coffee mugs, you will be able to get 4 to 5 servings rather than the promised 10. Of course using smaller cups will mean you will get more servings. Overall I have found that a whole jug of freshly made coffee is generally enough to serve to 4 to 5 people.
The coffee maker does have a keep warm function to it that means once all the fresh water has bubbled its way through the system, the base unit can be left on to keep the glass serving jug (which is now full of coffee) nice and warm. This means that you can pour yourself a cup of coffee and leave the rest to drink for a little later without it getting cold. I feel this is a useful feature which I have used often, although I don't tend to leave the machine on for too long and would say the longest it has remained on after the coffee has run through would be no more than half an hour or so. Once you switch the machine off the base unit will stay warm for a further 10 minutes or so which will keep the coffee heated for a little longer, though it will begin to cool fairly quickly after that.
~Set up / Filling the filter compartment~
When I first set this machine up for use I found it difficult to work out how to open the part of the coffee maker where the fresh coffee and filter need to go, as it isn't all that clear in the first instance what you need to do in order to gain access. The plastic material used for this part of the machine is very light and easy to move around once you work out how to open it up, which I found could be done by pressing gently on the well hidden clip placed at one side. A simple push on this whilst holding the clip in a downwards movement is enough to get it to open and once you have mastered that the whole thing swings out to one side ready for filling with a fresh new filter and some coffee. You can also choose to use this machine without a paper filter if wanted, as there is a built in filter mesh that can be easily washed out if wanted.
Once you have fitted a new paper filter (if using one) and added coffee to suit your taste, you simply swing back the plastic holder and click it in to place, fill the rear water holder with as much or as little water as you require, site the glass pouring jug in place under the filter area and then switch on the power. After a couple of minutes once the heat levels have built up, a steady stream of steaming hot coffee will begin to make its way through the machine and in to the glass jug underneath. When using the machine care should be taken so as to place the glass jug and lid in the correct position under the filter housing, as there is a valve type mechanism under the filter section that will only open to allow hot coffee out if it connects with the lid of the coffee jug.
~Caring for the coffee maker~
Caring for and cleaning this machine is easy enough as it is made mostly of simple black plastic which can be easily washed and cleaned and then wiped down with a dry cloth. The base unit is an all in one unit so if you want to wash out the water holder you do need to move the whole unit towards the sink, so care should be taken so as not to get the power chord and plug wet. I find a quick rinse with clean fresh water is generally enough to ensure the water holder remains in usable condition and I would recommend that you never leave excess water in this section when not using the coffee maker ( as you can then be certain that each time you use the machine you will always have completely fresh clean water to make your coffee drink with).
The other parts of the coffee maker such as the filter housing and jug can be removed from the main unit for cleaning and I find that they can be simply washed in warm soapy water and rinsed by hand. I never leave an old used filter in the machine after use as I feel it can lead to the machine retaining a musty old used coffee type aroma that is not all that nice. As it is very easy to remove this part of the machine after use I tend to do so as soon as I can so that the filter holder always remains fresh, clean and ready to use. The pouring jug is made of thin clear glass and should be handled with care when cleaning so as to avoid any damage. There is a built in plastic handle that works well when pouring coffee and a lid that can be removed for cleaning if wanted and I find the set up works well enough.
~Rating and price~
In terms of value for money this machine is a true budget buy as I paid just £6.99 for it, although having checked recent prices it now seems to be on sale for £9.99. This coffee maker is a very basic product in terms of its looks and features, yet I feel it works well enough and is easy to take care of too. It is worth remembering that the end product (coffee drink) will of course differ slightly in terms of fullness and flavour depending on what type of ground coffee you use with the machine. I have used this coffee maker with a variety of ground coffees ranging from some of the cheaper brands you can buy, right through to more exotic and expensive coffee blends and have found that overall results do seem rather good. I have found that even the uber cheap stores own branded ground coffee blends can produce pleasing results when used in this machine. As such I feel that I have been happy with the functionality of the product and the price paid, so I would like to give this little coffee machine a 4 star product rating.
~Main features of the coffee maker~
System type ~ Drip Filter coffee maker
Capacity ~ (number of cups) 10 cups
Aroma selector ~ Not on this model
Anti-drop system ~ Not on this model
Digital display ~ Not on this model
Water level indicator ~ Yes (see through plastic section)
LEDs ~ Not on this model
Type of filter ~ Permanent, paper filter optional
Extra programs ~ Built in warming function
The Currys Essentials C12FCB11 Coffee Machine is a simple and no-nonsense option for any coffee lover / Featuring a keep warm function which means your coffee is kept at the perfect temperature and with a clear water level indicator you will be able to adj / Short name: Essentials C12FCB11