Casual Friday: Things I Like, Ep. 1 — Technivorm Moccamaster

Today I’m going to tell you about something I like – a coffee maker.

I bought the Technivorm Moccamaster CD–010/S a few years ago, back in 2009. It’s a strange little device, made of a bunch of detachable plastic pieces. It has no advanced features, pales in feature/benefit comparison to other modern coffee makers, and costs more. It’s of Dutch origin, and built in the Netherlands. An area known for its coffee expertise? Not really.

It’s also somewhat chintzy feeling. Given the price, you’d think that the parts should be more…substantial. They aren’t, at least not on my model (more recent models may be improved in this area). It’s got a retro design that I happen to love, but others have commented looks like it was taken from a Jetson’s test lab – not sure if that’s a good or bad thing. I say good.

The whole thing is astonishingly simple and more expensive than you would think. So, what sort of hipster-wannabe idiot buys this, right?


(Click for full size)

Well, I do. And if you know me, I pretty much dress exclusively in Costco clothes, and I’m typing this in a pair of Under Armour shorts, a ripped (yes, ripped…holes and everything) Life is Good t-shirt, and I have an overweight cat sleeping on my lap, so I’m on the couch all craned to one side typing on my iPad. My legs are sweating because of the cat. I’m am telling you this on a widely-read blog.

So, hipster? Not so much.

The reason anyone would buy this isn’t because of the stuff it does in addition to making coffee. There’s no clock, no automatic mode so you wake up with coffee ready, no grinder, no alarm to chime when the little expensive filter inside gets clogged at the pre-programmed time. No LCD, no swing-out filter basket. It has one button you’ll use (on/off) and another you won’t (to make the warming plate extra nuclear hot instead of just regular insane hot). It even has an old-school warming plate and glass carafe. (Although you can opt for models with a thermal carafe.)

No, you buy this unit if you care about coffee. As in, the taste and quality of coffee. It has one mission in life: to make the best-tasting drip coffee anywhere. And to that end, it succeeds wildly.

Why? I have no idea. My best lab-geek guess is because Technivorm spent all its R&D money on the heating element, because temperature is so important to good coffee. To that end, the coffee is perfectly, piping hot. It comes out at 199 degrees Fahrenheit, hotter than any other drip maker I’ve ever used. The extraction process is slow, too, so this isn’t what you want to use in your startup diner. For good coffee, you get to wait an extra few minutes.

And, let me tell you, the coffee is perfect. The Moccamaster pays for itself by how often you sit down with a warm cup and say to yourself, “Wow, this is some seriously good bean water right here.” Your self-talk may vary (bummer for you), but the coffee out of this thing is astonishing.

It’s like having your first really good coffee bean (say, for example, something from Blue Bottle) and realizing, suddenly, that the Starbucks you’ve been grooving all along is really just over-roasted and burnt.

Yes, the Moccamaster is still a drip coffee maker. The product it produces is different from French press, pour-over or the AeroPress. (I know because I have all of these.) But for times when you can’t afford to get all fussy with weighing coffee beans to the exact gram or you want to make a bunch of coffee for guests quickly, drip coffee is the way to go. The only thing I wish this model had was a better water dispersion unit (something akin to a showerhead), because this one produces a steady drip, which can leave some unsaturated coffee grounds at times.

Bottom line: there is no better way to make drip coffee than by something from Technivorm.

Now pardon me. I have to get this freaking cat off my lap.

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