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I'm the sort of person who generally loves my tea! However in the morning I need my fresh coffee hit with a bowl of cereal! Now for a long time, I had a coffee machine and that was wonderful. Kept it warm for me so I could enjoy it leisurely. But then disaster struck, and the carafe (you know that glass bit the coffee actually lands up in) broke while being washed. Just cracked straight through! But fear not - I did at least have a cafeteria! My coffee ritual could continue, albeit in slightly altered form.
But…….. eventually there were some deficiencies that meant this temporary measure (yeah right……. Over a year later) wasn't quite working. Not least I found, that while I like a nice strong cup of coffee, I had to either decant the coffee in one very large *and I mean very large* mug - or it would be so stewed and strong by the time I was ready for that second mug, I just couldn't drink it. It also tended to cool off just that little too much. It also meant we had to make two or more lots up if we had more than one person wanting fresh coffee! A pain if you have friends over or if my partner decided to break a habit of a lifetime and have coffee!
So I was walking through our local town centre, and decided to pop into Argos to see if they had anything. Now I simply didn't and couldn't afford much, and I was just getting exasperated because I had seen plenty of machines, but they were just far too expensive and fine in their own right, but I wanted a nice simple basic machine. No bells, no whistles, just something that made fresh coffee! You would think you can find one with ease wouldn't you!? Yeah, so did I.
Anyway, eventually I spotted this in the Sale items on the shelf of our local Argos. Its normal retail was around £10-00 if memory serves me right, but it was down to £5-99! It was exactly what I wanted - a simple straight forward coffee machine! And while I know Hinari are the lower end of the market for these sort of kitchen household items, I had a toaster from them that only gave up nearly 10 years later! I also had a couple of other pieces from them, and again they did the job without fuss, and still worked even some years after buying them. So I had no hesitation grabbing this off the Sale shelf, £5-99 in my sweaty little mitt ready to pay at the till.
So, I get it home, plug it in and just run some water through the system as recommended to clear out any possible gunk that might have collected in there. I then made a coffee in the machine, and it does exactly what it said on the packaging! The warm plate keeps at a nice even temperature (neither too hot or too cool); the water rate as it heats up and pulses through is nice; even and fairly quick so even if you want a full amount it doesn't take too long. The filter is easy to remove and clean, and so is the overall surface. The lid opens nicely giving you plenty of room to pour the cold water into the chamber to heat up, and the filter compartment also allows easy access. You get a nicely placed light to show the machine is turned on, and the on/off switch is easy to reach.
Now, I give it four stars, because as with just about any Hinari product, the aesthetics aren't that great, and so for some people it just won't be something you would consider in the kitchen. However it isn't overly ugly (well okay.... erm could be better then) ….. and it doesn't look too out of place on our kitchen worktops.
I don't know why, but on Ciao they have it listed as 15 cups capacity, however ours is only listed as 10 cups. So it isn't for someone who might make a lot of cups at one go, but for the average user, this will give you 4 or 5 mugs of coffee easily, and you can stretch this out to 6 mugs if needed.
The details of this machine are: Type - Coffee Maker Capacity - 10 Cup Operation Source - Electric With Cup Warming Surface Without Timer Water Tank Size 1.5 litre. Permanent Filter Glass Jug
I've had this now since June 2006 and its still working as well as it did, and considering the price I certainly have had more than good value from this machine. However, this is just used once a day generally in the morning so I wouldn't like to say how well it might hold up under harsher conditions or use.
Overall, a great machine for you to use if you want something simple and functional and aren't too bothered by the overall look! I was surprised to find out this machine has been out since 1993, so it must have something going for it to still be around today.