Bad coffee makers
Update: Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. In the end, we purchased the KitchenAid JavaStudio - in the color red! We are loving it so far.
Hamilton Beach BrewStation
Today I decided to brew a pot of coffee, the first since moving into our new place. I unpacked our Hamilton Beach BrewStation and plugged it in. I then went through the typical steps of grinding the coffee beans, putting in a filter, and filling the coffee maker with water. So far, so good - nothing out of the ordinary. I proceeded back to our home office to check email, etc.
I could hear a faint dripping sound, which quickly went from drizzle to all-out pour. Unsure of the noise, I assumed it was my wife using the sink in our bathroom. After a few minutes of reading and replying to email, I decided to check on how the coffee was coming along, since I was eager to try out a new creamer flavor - pumpkin pie. The aroma was particularly strong, considering I could smell it while in another room, so I figured it was nearly done.
I jaunted off to the kitchen only to find that the pouring sound was that of hot liquid brewing directly onto the counter, subsequently onto the kitchen floor. I grabbed the coffee maker, unplugged it and turned it upside-down over the sink, draining the coffee and un-brewed water. I then wiped up the floor. I've had problems with this coffee maker in the past, but never a flood.
Black + Decker DE790B
That was the last straw. I vowed never to purchase another dispenser style coffee maker as long as I live. I was determined to find a good, solid pitcher or carafe based coffee maker, the way God intended for liquid to be poured. No more push-activated soda spigot machines for me, no sir.
So, while we were shopping at our local Target (currently being sued for an inaccessible website) I managed to pick out a sturdy looking Black + Decker DE790B model coffee maker. It had a nice stainless steel carafe, and since B+D makes tools I figured it would make for a nice manly cup-o-joe.
I brought it home, plugged it in and again repeated the ritual of grinding the coffee beans. Once I had it all situated, I hit the on/off button and the machine began that sweet symphony of bubbling and gurgling as it brewed the fresh java. I looked forward to how the insulated pitcher would keep it warm, allowing the coffee pot to automatically shut off after the brew cycle to conserve energy. It would have been nice if that's how it went.
Once the brewing was complete, a swirl of steam found its way out, dancing through the air with an enticingly pleasant smell. This odor though quickly became repugnant, and smelled a bit like s'mores over a campfire when someone throws in the plastic bag when all the marshmallows are gone.
Much to my dismay, I quickly realized that the coffee pot was in fact on fire internally. I immediately unplugged it, yet it spattered on for a few more minutes with various hissing sounds as the fire came to an end. I checked the coffee itself, which seemed to smell normal enough. However, not wanting to risk drinking it, I regretfully poured the concoction down the drain.
I guess what I learned from this whole ordeal is that Hamilton Beach manufactures ill-conceived products and Black + Decker should stick to making power tools. I'm almost ready to shell out for an overpriced Starbucks machine, but would be open to suggestion as to other affordable options. Part of me thinks that it's time to just switch to drinking Earl Gray tea.