* Prices may differ from that shown
I read the other day that branded plastic cups you get your coffee in at the Starbucks outlets are worth more than the actual coffee beans in it; such is the exploitation of the farmers and the coffee market. The coffee beans are just 2% of the total cost of the £2 cup these days, an amazing statistic. Any rise in the price of those coffee beans on the market doesn't affect the coffee price, not a great place to be for third world farmers to be but heaven for the likes of Starbucks and Café Nero. So the next time you relax in a coffee shop supping a cappuccino flicking through your smart phone messages just remember who is getting poor off your pleasure. Looking at the breakdown below for a cup of coffee in Starbucks I suspect the '26% admin fee', the largest on the bill, is money stashed in tax havens. Starbucks has managed to pay just £8.5 million pounds in tax in 14 years in the United Kingdom. And if you go to those independent coffee shops to escape the corporate brand rip offs then guess what? Most of those are quietly owned by the big coffee house corporations.
===The Price of a Cup of Coffee===
* Milk 6%
* Coffee 2%
* Labour 18%
* Rent 13%
* Admin 26%
* Cup / sugar / lid e.t.c 4%
* V.A.T. 15%
* Profit 14%
So, if you are not a coffee poser then you buy your own to get your daily hit of caffeine, brass and shiny coffee machines the home version of Starbucks cool these days to impress your friends. I'm not a big coffee drinker and try to keep down the caffeine as it gives me muscle twitches in the most irritating of places but I'm a good host and so a decent coffee always available in our house. It would be rude not to. These variations of the coffee machines are not cheap and since George Clooney's irritating commercials the prices have risen and the designs increasingly flash. I'm quite happy to use granules myself with hot water and job done but coffee has started to get that snobby edge and so you have to serve the good stuff from something shiny that at least looks like its from the film Amelie.
Coffee machines are middle-class extravagance and showing off, the way the Soda Stream was in the 1970s, the way yogurt makers and egg boilers are today, very much the 'I have a machine for everything' type attitude in suburbia. But I'm no show off so decided to go with a basic filter coffee maker that also has a timer to wake one up in the morning with a brew, a practical kind of guy. Beautiful women like their hot coffee in the morning, right?
I reckon the Russell Hobbs filter machine is good for at least eight good cups of steaming coffee when full up to its 1.5 liter max. It's fully digital so you can reheat the remaining coffee for at least two hours, and set a timer for work. It's easy to clean and surprisingly durable, considering it has a lot of fragile on show with its stylish glass carafe, yours truly knocking it off the bedroom table a couple of times during wild love making and it didn't want to crack. You can lift the filter out to see how many cups you reckon are left in there and also refill it during the boiling process. If you start bunging more coffee in these things when they don't need it they can get clogged up or the remaining coffee granules can make the next batch too strong. Best to start a fresh folks with this one. Everything is easy to clean and remove so no worries there.
The negatives would be that the timer doesn't always work and takes a wrong turn along the way, and the actual percolation of the coffee (I presume what the gurgling is that wakes you up if it is on timer). It also has a bit of a drip to it when you pour and when it boils. I think that's because you need at least three filter papers in there. As I say I'm not a coffee connoisseur and so maybe I'm doing something wrong there.
On the whole, though, it looks nice and decorative and does the job. Russell Hobbs stuff is pretty reliable and well designed and created to be practical over showing off. The buttons are minimal so your granny can use it and the electrical wiring molded and safe from all that water around. It doesn't tip over easy and nicely balanced with decent weight (4.0kg) to it to maintain integrity. Just be careful when you pour hot coffee from a filter machine because you can have interrupted flow and get scolded by a sudden burst of water. It's compact so you can move it around the house and the design leaving no sharp edges and not hot many hotspots, the flip-lid being the warmest.
As far as buying this I'm afraid it appears to be discontinued on the high street. I bought mine of Amazon a while ago for about £70 and a three year guarantee suggested it was on the way out. You can also buy add-ons for these machines as the parts are removable. But if you see one in a discount store cheap then you will get value, where most discontinued ranges tend to end up these days, bargains to be had. I think they do it on Amazon but I'm pretty sure the guarantee with be out of date as this model no longer on the Russell Hobbs website.
I purchased one of these for my wife at Christmas from Amazon.
We had looked at different ones in the past and had been put of buy the price amongst other things such as the need to buy filters all the time. Anyway I was doing my usual Christmas shopping routine of leaving the one present I have to buy myself until the last minute ( I like to call it Christmas present chicken, will it get here on time ?)And trying to buy something offline without the need to leave my chair. Then I remembered the wife wanted a coffee maker, so I looked a few different ones before seeing the Russell Hobs 12591.
It was very reasonably priced and the filter is a reusable one, it looks very stylish and has drawn allot of comments from friends and family on how good it looks. What my wife loved about it other than the fact that it arrived for Christmas, was the timer feature which she sets the night before and when she gets up for work the coffee is ready and waiting and it also keeps it warm with its hot plate, I would like it to be a bit hotter but this seems to be a feature with others we have tried at friends.
It takes up very little space and is easy to clean; my wife loves it and uses it every morning. I had read a couple of reviews that said it is bad for poring and drips but must say we find it fine maybe as we don't fill it to the maximum.
All in all a really good product that we would recommend to anyone.
Short name: Russell Hobbs 12591