Forgive my ignorance, but I always thought Black and Decker made only drills and tools, but oh no, it would appear they do a lot more. As well as making implements to deal with the black, grainy, earthy stuff (soil), they also make implements to deal with the black, grainy, caffeinated stuff (coffee). As my Nan would say: 'Well I'm blowed'. And I'm pleased to report that it works very well indeed.
The coffee maker came in a medium sized box, housing the maker itself plus two insulated flasks with lids. This is a coffee maker that makes coffee directly into your drinking vessels, so no big jug to be had. You simply choose whether or not you want to make one or two drinks (by flicking the relevant switch at the back), pour in enough water, add your coffee into the filters that pop out on the right and left and turn it on, easy!
On the right and left hand side of the machine, is a little space to place your mug/flask. Above this space, is a little door that opens up to house the filter, which is conical and made of plastic mesh. It is in here you add your coffee, pop it back into the door, close it up, turn the machine on (once you've added your water, obviously) and your ready for your beverage.
The coffee maker is very easy to clean. The filters that hold the coffee can be easily removed and washed, then replaced back again. That is all the general maintenance this machine needs. As the coffee pours directly into the cups/flasks on the right and left of the machine, you have no additional jug that needs to be cleaned. Sweet!
What I like about this coffee maker, is that you can make two cups or different coffee at the same time. The water heats up and gets sent to whichever side/s you tell it to, it goes through the filter with coffee, then into your cup. So, should you drink decaf, but wish to make a regular full strength for someone else, you don't have to hang around and do it once one jug of coffee is brewed. You do it at the same time. There is an easy water level reader on the front, where a small blue ball indicates how much water is left in the machine.
The only problem is that there is no automatic stopper when your drinking vessel is full. Clearly, this is only a problem if you pour in more water than your mug/flask can hold, but should you fill the coffee maker up with water, and only give a little cup to collect the hot drink in, the cup will overflow.
As I have already mentioned, you get two flasks with the coffee maker. These come with lids and are insulated, so you can make your coffee and take it to work with you, if you so wish. The flasks have a strip of rubber running round the centre, your hands won't get burnt on the way out either.
The machine is black with the odd silver bit here and there, and looks rather smart amongst the rest of your appliances. As there is no beast of a jug involved, the machine is also rather slim, so you can tuck it sideways on your counter should you wish. Size wise, it is just a bit smaller and fatter (in terms of depth) than a regular box of cereal. It's neat and tidy.
For someone with a relatively small requirement for coffee, this is perfect. If you like lots and lots of coffee, one of those machines that brews a whole jug may be more suitable. We bought ours on Amazon for around $20 at the time, which is an absolute bargain! We've also had it for 2 years now, so it's safe to say that it's durable and lasts.
Personally, I love it. I have even made tea using it (letting hot water pour into the mug, and the filters empty), so it's a versatile little appliance, perfect for anyone who likes hot drinks, without the need for a kettle or a coffee cafetiere.
Thanks for reading :)
© MarcoG 2009
A single water reservoir and two independent brewing baskets with permanent filters lets you brew one or two cups of coffee in the variety of each person's choice / decaf in one basket; French Vanilla in the other brewing basket / A convenient switch on the top of the coffeemakers lets you select if you want to brew one or two cups into the two included 16 oz / stainless steel travel mugs / The unit features a power indicator and auto-off and uses cone shaped filters / Short name: Black Decker DDCM200