The KitchenAid Custom Pour Over Coffee Brewer is an eye-catching and modern-looking coffee maker that, unfortunately, is the most expensive model we tested. It was the slowest to brew a pot of coffee among the 12 units we reviewed, but it yielded an exceptionally good-tasting brew. Our taste testing panel found the coffee’s flavor, strength and aroma exceptionally good, except for one individual who deemed the taste “poor.”
This coffee maker topped all the other models we tested as far as heat. Its newly brewed coffee measured 184 degrees Fahrenheit. Thirty minutes later, after the carafe had been sitting on the warming plate, the coffee had cooled only 6 degrees. None of this influenced the quality of the coffee. A few degrees may not matter much, but the closer the coffee gets to the ideal temperature, the better.
To test coffee makers, we prepared the instructed amount of a popular and generally accepted coffee brand of grounds with the amount of water called for in the user manual. For each of our contenders, we made note of the quality of the resulting coffee and the speed and ease of the whole process.
The KitchenAid took slightly more than10 minutes to prepare a full pot of coffee (8 cups in this case), which is considerably slower than many competing products. Ten minutes might not be that big of a deal on most mornings, especially since you do not have to babysit the machine. However, it could be annoying on a morning when you are running late and need the tasty coffee you crave. On the bright side, this is a programmable model, so you can set it all up the night before with coffee grounds and water to make a nice pot of coffee bright and early.
If you want a faster machine that makes good coffee, the Braun BrewSense might be a good choice for you.
One welcome design feature for this KitchenAid is its cone-shaped brew basket, which coffee devotees state produces the best coffee flavor: The grounds and the water are compressed into the tip of the cone by gravity, helping to extract the greatest amount of good taste from the coffee grounds. All the controls are on the right front portion of this machine, and it takes a little effort to learn to program it correctly. However, you get a handy window with indicator lights and icons that show you what’s happening with your coffee maker.
When the water is heating, it shows on this display. When the machine is brewing, you can see the icon as well as the coffee going into the pot.
This unusually attractive coffee maker comes in different shades – silver, dark silver, red or black – to complement your décor. It is quite tall, so beware if you have low-hanging overhead kitchen cabinets. It's also narrow, though, so its footprint on the countertop below is minimal.