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I am a real lover of hot drinks, tea coffee, hot chocolate all of them I could happily drink all day. What with these cold winter months drawing in i was finding I was drinking these a lot more often. Also I don't know if anyone agrees but I find it even harder to get out of a nice toasty bed when its still dark outside. Waking up I would feel like a zombie so I decided to purchase a coffee maker, in the hope that this would help with these dreary winter mornings. Pricing ===== With Christmas quickly creeping up, I couldn't really afford to splash out a lot of cash on one of these machines. I found this Morphy Richards model on sale for £30.00, most of these are still retailing at £35.00 so wont quite break the bank. In The Box? ======== In the box you will receive the following: 1 Coffee Maker 1 Carafe (this is the coffee pot for those who are unsure of the term) 1 Filter 1 Instruction manual Appearance ======== This coffee maker is very stylish to look at, its black in colour with stainless steel on the front. The carafe is clear with a black handle with markings on the side to indicate 4,6,8 and 10 cups worth of coffee. This makes it very easy to grasp how much you have left before needing to refill. This machine can hold 1.4 litres of water. This coffee machine has a very smart looking LCD screen on the front which makes this machine look a lot more expensive than what I paid for it. The brand name is printed in silver on the bottom of the coffee maker. What this can do ========== As I mentioned earlier I brought this to try and liven me up on these cold winter mornings, I was very impressed with the timer function on this. This coffee maker allows you to program a timer, so your coffee is ready and waiting when you get up. An ideal function for me. According to the instruction manual this can make 12 cups in 10 minutes, I haven't yet tested this out but i can confirm that the coffee making process is a very swift one. I can normally make my coffee in around 4 minutes. The carafe is heat resistant so retains heat making your coffee stay hot for as long as possible. It also contains a thermostatic plate which allows you to reheat the coffee. This coffee maker comes with a permanent filter, which is very cost effective as you do not have to keep purchasing and replacing this. One last thing, this does have an automatic power off function, very energy efficient i find. It turns off after around 2 hours. Negatives ====== I have found a couple of negatives with this product. Firstly I've found that the coffee made is just warm, never boiling hot. I have managed to get it slightly hotter with the thermostatic plate, but the coffee that's produced is always ready to drink once poured. Also iv noticed that when opening this machine quite a lot water residue is remnant on the underside of the lid, which then slides down making my worktop quite wet. Lastly the cup sizes are not completely accurate, i find that 2 of their cups is equal to one of mine so i can only get 4-5 cups from this coffee maker. These are not major issues for me at all but for the purpose of this review i must mention them for other consumers. For this i am marking it down 1 star Summary ====== Overall i was very pleased with the product. It efficiently does everything i would want from a coffee maker. It was quite cheap and i did not have to pay out for any extras, i.e. the filters. I can make my coffee exactly how i like it and the process is very quick. It looks very stylish and best of all i can wake up to a nice cup of coffee made for me every morning. What more could i want.
They say 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' but despite my ancient filter coffee maker still being just about functional, after the best part of eight years, it was not performing quite the way it should. As I had a healthy balance in my Amazon account (thank you DooYoo!), I decided the time was right for a replacement. My old machine was a Morphy Richards and as it had served me faithfully throughout the years only requiring the odd de-scale every so often, I saw no reason to change manufacturer and I set about looking for a similar model. I eventually plumped for a machine from the Compliments range which had a very similar design but which came with a few extra bells and whistles. This particular model is currently retailing for £33.99 on Amazon and is a similar price from other suppliers, including Argos. It comes with the usual 12 month guarantee but with an option to extend the warranty for an additional 12 months when you register it with Morphy Richards within 28 days of purchase. I should add this extended guarantee only covers the electrics and body of the machine and comes with quite a list of exclusions. Appearance: This is a simple filter coffee machine and is a fairly compact size which fits easily and neatly onto the worktop without taking up too much space. It stands approximately 32cm high, has a depth of 22cm and width of 19cm. The colour of the main body of the machine is described as graphite which is black to all intents and purposes with a central brushed aluminium panel containing the LED display and control buttons. Despite the majority of the body being made of plastic, it looks stylish enough to have on display on your worktop. The top of the machine flips up to reveal the removable double coffee filter and water reservoir and on top of the flip top lid is a coffee strength control knob. The clear glass jug has a plastic handle and flip top lid also in graphite and a water level indicator, given in cups rather than millilitres. It's as well to note that the cups referred to are coffee cups rather than the mug that most of us drink from these days and this needs to be taken into account when filling the machine. (I've always used the rule of thumb that two coffee cups equals one coffee mug.) The glass jug sits snugly into the machine resting on the hot plate. Filling: The water reservoir is situated at the back of the machine and has a water level indicator, again shown in cups. Personally, I tend to measure the water I need using the jug and simply pour it into the reservoir, making the integrated water level indicator more of less redundant. The location of the water reservoir at the back of the machine right up against the flip top lid does make filing slightly awkward when using the glass jug but I don't regard this as a major negative as it only means there's a small amount of water left in the jug after filling. Operating the machine: It should be noted that the manufacturers recommend running the machine with plain water initially to clean it out and also it helps to get rid of that new plastic smell and taste. This is a very basic machine so operation is also very simple, even down to the setting of the automatic brewing function. The control panel consists of two indicator lights (red for manual and green for automatic), a digital timer read-out and four buttons. Manual operation is merely a case of filling the reservoir with water, adding the required amount of coffee into the permanent filter, placing the jug onto the hot plate, first making sure that the jug lid is properly closed, and switching on. It's important to ensure that the jug lid is closed because there is a little raised knob in the centre of the lid which activates a corresponding valve on the machine allowing the coffee to drip through into the jug. If the jug isn't seated correctly in order to activate the valve, the machine is liable to flood. To operate the timer for automatic coffee making requires setting the 24 hour clock, firstly to the correct time and entering the programme and then setting the timer to the time you require the machine to begin making the coffee. Once this has been done, the green auto light is illuminated. Brewing: The coffee brews quickly and quietly with this machine, although once all the water has gone through it does make a few hisses and gurgles. The strength of coffee can be controlled by twisting the knob on the top of the machine. This strength selector sounds more hi-tech than it actually is. All the knob does is allow the water to flow more quickly or slowly through the machine thus slightly altering the length of time the coffee grounds are steeping in the water. In all honesty, I can't say I've noticed any difference in the strength of the final brew and have always just added extra scoops of coffee when I've wanted a stronger brew. Safety measures: One big improvement on my earlier model of this coffee machine is that previously if you forgot to switch the machine off, you ended up wasting electricity and with burnt coffee dried onto the glass jug. This newer model now has a built in safety feature whereby the machine switches itself off after two hours. Care and Maintenance: The most important thing to ensure longevity of your machine is to descale on a regular basis, especially if you live in a hard water area. I live in a hard water area and descaled my previous machine two or three times a year which I'm convinced has helped it survive as long as it did. Cleaning the rest of the machine is just a case of wiping down with a soft cloth and a weak solution of washing up liquid. Obviously, it's inadvisable to use anything abrasive as this will result in scratches to the plastic and the glass. Summary: This may not be a top of th range, all-singing-all-dancing machine that makes every kind of coffee you care to name but if you prefer your coffee to be a straight Americano, to use Starbucks-speak, rather than some frothed up apology for a cup of coffee, this is a great little machine. Its design is simple and stylish enough to fit into any kitchen colour scheme and it's small enough to be unobtrusive when not in use. Besides which it makes a darn good cup of coffee quickly and efficiently.