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Breville VCF042 Tea Maker Wake Cup

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1 Review

Manufacturer: Breville / Small kitchen electro type: Tea Maker

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      17.03.2012 22:20
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      A brilliant way to make that hot cup of what ever you want

      I like a nice cup of coffee, even as far as to say I may have a bit of an addiction to the little brown molecules of marvel that can dissolve to make a tasty, refreshing brew for me to get my lips around.
      Then there's tea, which I have a bit of a obsession with as well, staring in awe as the boiled water pours onto the tiny little bag filled with dark leaves, watching as the clear water suddenly begins to turn a lovely light auburn colour as it mingles with the leaf filled bag.

      In fact, my obsession with the warmed drinks that are tea and coffee have led me down the road which sells tea/coffee making machine, with me actually buying several different types during my quest to drink the beverage of life. In fact, the only type of tea/coffee making machine I Haven't actually gone out and bought, although I have certainly tried, is the good old fashioned vending machine type tones that you find in places like cafeterias, waiting rooms and staff canteens, although if I had somewhere to put one in my house I may have actually bought one by now.

      So, as I said, in my quest to find a machine that I can just walk up to, grab a cup and make a brew without having to constantly boil a kettle of water I have tried many, from capsule types where you have to slot in a tiny capsule, press a selection of buttons and wait patiently for the brew to be made, to the bog standard coffee jugs which stay warmed up on a hot plate, with the final mouth full from the bottom of the jug always tasting like your chewing on coffee granules them selves.

      And it is during my time that I used a certain, shall we say, 'retro' type tea/coffee maker that I recently discovered lodge in the back of one of my kitchen cupboards. The tea/coffee maker I am talking about, and the one I remember using quite often when I first bought it, is on fact the Breville Wake Cup VCF042, which as the name may suggest, is not just a tea/coffee maker, it is in fact a very fine functioning welcome to your early morning wake from slumber.

      Allow me to explain...

      It looks pretty much like many other tea makers, being a sort of square/rectangular shape and standing at a nice 220mm wide by 190mm deep and 255mm high, weighing in at a mere 2.3kg.
      The top of the front houses the digital clock and the few little controls, with the cup tray section being directly underneath, perched on top of a grill like tray that allows any spillage to drop into the drip tray below.
      The water container itself, which is on the rear of the unit, can hold a very good 700ml of cold water, heating it up in a matter of minutes, before gently 'pouring' it into the waiting cups placed on the drip tray, although 'pouring' isn't exactly the right word here, it's more 'trickling' with a few 'spouts'.
      Then there's the little pull out storage tray on the left side of the unit which can hold small items such as sachets and maybe a spoon or two.
      It's none slip 'base' stops it from slipping around the flat surface you have it on, be it a kitchen work top or a bedside table, regardless, it will stay exactly where you placed it.

      As I mentioned, it is not just a coffee/tea maker, although when I say it makes tea and coffee I actually mean that it heats and stores the water that then goes to make the tea and coffee, so technically, it's a glorifies kettle, with a few little extras added onto it. It is on fact a tea, coffee maker with a built in digital alarm clock and a light which is bright enough to know when the room it is in has darkened.

      The alarm can be used to set it either as just an alarm or to make a nice cup or two of liquid refreshment for when ever you set it to.
      To turn off the alarm, or snooze it, you just push the button on top of the machine, like any normal alarm clock really, with the light switch being next to this one.
      Then there's the LCD display, which is not the most advanced technologically but the way the actual display seems to dim during the night means that there's not a bright light blasting through the room.

      It runs off the mains, so it will need plugging in of course, but in case of power cuts it does have a back up battery, although you have to buy your own battery.



      How do you use it then..?

      This is simple to do and just takes a few minutes to get it going.
      To fill the water reservoir you just lift the black plastic lid at the rear and, using the supplied jug, pour the water into the hole in the top, then close the lid. Now it's a matter of either setting the timer/alarm or just pressing the little 'heater' button and letting the machine heat the water up before pouring it slowly out into the waiting cup or cups
      It can make two cups of tea, or coffee, at one time and with the 700ml water storage, it can go on making a few over and over again.

      The controls are easy to use with there being only a few buttons, such, alarm, set, and two buttons to set the timer forwards or backwards, plus there's the water heater on/off button. If you've ever set a standard digital alarm clock then this one is just as simple as that, if not then it's a matter of pressing and holding either the 'alarm' button or the 'set' button, then pressing the '-' or '+' button until the correct numbers appear on the little LCD screen.
      The settings allow you make a few choices when using it, such as whether to use it just for an alarm, which will wake you up with a start or gentle light up the room. Then there's the option of having the alarm wake you up with a waiting cup of at or coffee freshly brewing in one or two cups.
      Or just use it as a tea/coffee maker and forget about the alarm by just using the 'dispensing' option.
      The choice is your but each setting is easy to use and even easier to understand, plus, as it has a 24 hour timer function, you can set it go into action anytime of the day or night

      Note:
      Apart from the machine itself you should get a lovely little water jug to aid in the filling of the water tank at the back, plus a flask type container which is used for the likes of milk and things, although you do have to supply your own milk of course.


      So what about cleaning it then..?

      This is a matter of rinsing out the drip tray which lifts out of the bottom of the unit, underneath where the cups are situated, the entire tray comes out to be emptied and cleaned, then it slots back into place to catch any future drips.
      The main body just needs a bit of a wipe over with a damp cloth, unless you've had a bit of a mishap and spilt something over it of course, but what ever you do don't immerse it in water.

      My opinion...

      When I used this I really did use it, quite often in fact, as both an alarm clock and as a means of making a nice hot cup of tea or coffee, plus, the hot water is always there for that next cup.

      The alarm is load enough to wake me up but not too load as to scare the people living next door, and with the prospect of a nice hot cup of coffee first thing in the morning with out either myself or the wife having to trundle downstairs was a godsend.
      Then there's the light which comes on when the alarm, or water heating procedure, is activated, which lets you see exactly what you're doing without having to put on the main lights in the room.

      What I really like about this was that as it only pumped out hot water you could make what ever drink you wanted to, well, with in reason, I mean, it's not too good at making Bacardi and Coke, nor can it give you a double G & T. But it can fill up cups that have either a spoon of coffee, a teabag or even a scoop of hot chocolate in them, as it's only adding hot water there's no trouble at all.
      Plus, cleaning is a breeze, but this can be trickier if you live in a Limescale flourishing area, as the little nozzles can get bunged up, although a quick spray with a limescale remover and a jet through with hot water should do the trick.

      To be honest it took me a while to figure out why we'd put this in the cupboard and why we no longer used it. Then I remembered that it, together with several other items, were stored away during a redecoration period and simply forgotten about. But since dragging it out of its little prison I've been using it once more, although more as a beverage maker than an alarm system, but it still doing exactly what it's supposed to do, make me a hot cup of liquid refreshment.

      What else can I say about what it technically a kettle with a bit of added extras?

      Just remember, it's not modern looking and it can't be programmed to do anything apart from wake you up and pour hot water into a cup, as long as you remember to put the cup onto the tray of course. So if it's modern technological equipment you're after then this is not it, but if it's simplicity in making a fresh brew you want then this could be for you.

      As for the price, well, I can't honestly remember what I paid for it as I have had it for a while now, but a quick search online has come up with several prices, ranging around the £50 - £60 region, which isn't too bad at all for what this one does.

      © Blissman70 2012

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