Product Type: TU coffee machines
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Make yourself a proper cup of coffee!
TU Plastic 3-cup Cafetiere
Member Name: GodfatherOfSoul
TU Plastic 3-cup Cafetiere
Date: 24/02/12, updated on 25/07/13 (112 review reads)
Advantages: Really easy to use. Keeps the ground coffee in the cafetiere, not your mug!
Disadvantages: Washing it up afterwards can take some time.
I've been drinking Kenco instant coffee religiously for the last few years and up until recently have had no cause to grumble or even consider changing what is a fairly trivial ritual in my day. After all, what could be simpler than making a cup of instant coffee? It certainly beats having to stand around whilst waiting for a cup of tea to brew. However, either my tastebuds have acquired an immunity to my regular dose of bitterness and caffeine or Kenco have pulled a crafty one and decided to make weaker instant coffee. I have since being using more and more coffee in each cup and as a result have been driven to buying a new jar more regularly (I don't mean to imply anything Kenco but it's funny how that one has worked out isn't it!). As a result I decided to take the plunge and try freshly ground coffee in the hope that I wouldn't have to heap 3 spoonfuls into my cup just to be able to taste the damn stuff! Pardon my bitterness (pun intended).
I saw this cafetiere on Amazon and though that with change from a tenner I couldn't go far wrong. I then bought a pack of freshly ground cafetiere coffee from Sainsbury's and was ready to begin my new coffee tasting adventure (It says a lot about me that this actually provided me with more excitement than it perhaps should have!). Following the instructions on the packet carefully I removed the filter/plunger from the cafetiere, added a desert spoon of freshly ground coffee to the cafatiere and then filled it up with recently boiled water (hot, not boiling!). Waiting 2-3 minutes I then gave it a good stir and replaced the plunger and...well erm plunged. I had already being enjoying the smell of the coffee whilst it was infusing and was immediately reminded of that coffee shop smell. Pouring the coffee into my favourite mug I then retreated to the comfort of my sofa and so began my transition from instant to not-so-instant coffee.
I can't say I was disappointed. I immediately noticed the enhanced flavour, bitterness and smell. The thought of returning to the brown water that Kenco instant produces makes me shiver with trepidation. The main drawback of this improvement in flavour is the time it takes to make. After all, if one of the words in 'instant coffee' is excactly what it promises to be - it's the word instant. On top form I could make a cup of coffee in around 15 seconds - if the kettle was already boiled. It now takes me the same to even open the packet of freshly ground coffee (which I keep sealed tightly to last). The whole process or preparation, infusion and pouring can extent to around 5 minutes - and then there's the not so small matter of washing the cafetiere out! However, bar my occassional impatience, I don't regret jettisoning instant coffee for a minute (even if I could have made 4 cups of coffee in that minute).
This cafetiere certainly does its job well. The filter is very effective at not allowing the large bits of ground coffee to seap through. You do get the unavoidable smaller bits in your final coffee but these collect at the bottom of your mug and providing you are on your toes for that final sip you will be sure to leave that bit. You could banish these minute bits of coffee for good if you couple the mesh filter with a sheet of filter paper. I have not tried this though and you may find that the plunger takes some depressing if you do choose to do this. Without this the plunger depresses firmly but easily. Firmly enough so you feel confident that only drinakable coffee is making its way into your coffee but easily enough so you don't have to take a running jump onto the plunger just to get it to move. The filter does such an effective job because it has two fine mesh layers which fit the beaker exactly and a surrounding metal coil which retains the shape of the filter so it doesn't leave any gaps around the sides of the beaker. As further insurance against any floating bits making the journey into your mug there is also a plastic grate on the lid of the cafetiere which acts like the filter on your kettle. The gaps between these do seem a little large to prevent anything getting past them but it is possible I've misunderstood the purpose of this. That said, only the smallest particles of ground coffee ever make it into my mug.
The top of the plunger also has a round ball to help you grip it when in use which also makes it easy to remove the plunger after use. The plastic handle is molded pleasantly and is thus easy to grip and pour the coffee out of the cafetiere and the spout of the beaker provides a gentle flow which never threatens to turn the kitchen side into a disaster zone.
So there is no doubting that this cafetiere does a very good job at making your morning coffee providing you have a supply of decent ground coffee to go with it. Much of the added time it takes over instant coffee is in the infusing of the coffee itself and you can busy yourself whichever way you please whilst this is in process. There is very little actual fathing about that is added to the coffee making process and in my view, depressing the plunger and pouring your coffee actually adds some excitement and interest to an otherwise mundane task. The biggest downside for most people will undoubtedly be the washing up of the cafetiere. You will have to rinse away the coffee slurry from the bottom of the beaker and then rinse the filter thoroughly to remove all traces of ground coffee. This can be fiddly and requires you to manipulate the shape of the filter to get all the bits out of the mesh. But don't let this put you off. You will have a very good cup of coffee as a result and don't have to put as much effort in as you might think to get it.
Summary: Not as faffy and timely as you may expect. Ditch that instant coffee for something worth drinking!
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