Technivorm Moccamaster Review: The Best Still Beats the Rest

Talk about promising the earth, Technivorm Moccamaster!

Talk about promising the earth, Technivorm Moccamaster!

The Dutch manufacturer boasts that the Moccamaster is “the world’s best coffee maker.” And this is the same old model that has been on shelves since 1968  and is virtually unchanged. Sure, it makes coffee at the touch of a button, but nothing else.

Despite all that, what sounds like sheer bluster is not only the honest truth, but there really is almost nothing out there to touch it. These machines  are handmade in the Netherlands and make truly outstanding coffee, as the quality seals awarded by both the both the European Coffee Brewing Centre (ECBC) and the Specialty Coffee Association testify.

The Reviewer's Choice of Coffee Makers

Technivorm Moccamaster

The Best, Most Ingenious Coffee Maker on the Market Beats the Cheaper Alternatives

Unique design and range of colors

5-year warranty

High-quality workmanship

Inexpensive replacement parts

Coffee that tastes truly delicious

High price

Water tank is not removable

Keep in mind that the specialty coffee scene wouldn’t usually touch drip-coffee machines with a ten-foot pole. You can just hear them thinking, “Uh, quality? Devotion to the art form? Not!” As a rule, many (older) machines in my drip-coffee maker review lack the sophistication and finesse necessary to create the perfect brew. In which case, the only kind of “filter coffee” worth making is the manual pour-over variety.

But the Technivorm Moccamaster flips the script by making coffee that’s practically indistinguishable from java made by hand with a dripper. Plus, it brews up big batches at the touch of a button! It’s enough to make even the sniffiest barista weak at the knees. And don’t forget the design:

My yellow handmade coffee maker has graced my kitchen for a good many years, but you can now also get it in white and just about every other color in the rainbow. The price might also make you see rainbows and stars.

Ever since pour-over coffee became the flavor of the moment, competitor brands have gone on the offensive dumping a slew of cheap Technivorm Moccamaster wannabees on the market. Some of the challengers make a strong case; others are just poor knock-offs.

So how has the reviewer’s choice responded to the onslaught? The Dutch brand doesn’t sweat that stuff at all. Instead, they’ve launched the Moccamaster 53979 KBG Select. This “new” version has the same basic functioning, but finally solves a problem that many of you had with the “old” Moccamaster.

Like my machine, my original Moccamaster review was a bit outdated. That’s why I’m updating it by pulling together everything about the Dutch supremo yesterday and today as well as its enduring reign as the best way to make drip-coffee at the touch of a button .

Technivorm Moccamaster Coffee Maker at a Glance: How Does it Make such Great Coffee?

With all the technical bells and whistles on board the Technivorm Moccamaster copycats, the original’s hardware seems almost quaintly old timey.

At a nuts and bolts level, this is just a coffee maker that heats water and then releases it via an outlet over coffee grounds in a filter. The resulting brew trickles out the filter into a glass or thermal carafe. Which is no different from Melitta, Breville or Krups.

Full view of the Technivorm Moccamaster coffee machine

So where’s all that revolutionary practically pour-over stuff? The dinkum is in the details.

  • Nine-hole water outlet to gently moisten the grounds
  • Carafe positioned alongside and not below the boiling element to ensure soft dispersion
  • Precisely calibrated brewing temperature in relation to time
  • Manufacturer’s 5-year warranty
  • Affordable and readily available replacement parts
  • Funnel in the carafe’s lid ensures an even blend
  • Brews up 40 fliud ounces in just a few minutes
  • Auto-shut-off, hot plate, etc. (long before many other manufacturers!)

And don’t forget the incredibly popular retro design that’s available in the wildest and widest range of colors. Some exclusively European brands have completely cloned the look.

To top things off, the high quality workmanship on the machine is plain to see on everything from the glass carafe to the water tank. I feels like a device you’ll be using for years to come. My “old” Technivorm Moccamaster still performs exactly as it did in my first video review — brewing up coffee to die for.

If German’s not a problem for you, you can check it out below:

The only flaw is that the water tank is made of plastic which gives a lot of people — me included — pause. But I can totally vouch for the fact that the workmanship is top notch and it’s made to last.

What Makes Coffee from the Moccamaster so Special?

Arne is excited about the brew from the Technivorm Moccamaster coffee maker

While the rest of Europe was either loading up their portafilter baskets with dark roasts or scooping ready-ground supermarket beans into a Melitta filter-coffee machine, the Dutch were refining manual pour-over techniques.

Perfectly filtered coffee meets the following requirements:

  • The medium-coarse grounds are fresh from the grinder
  • The water is heated to the ideal brewing temperature of between 198 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit. No more and no less.
  • The water isn’t fired at the filter basket but instead gently sprinkled over it. Otherwise you can forget about getting an even extraction.

There was a time when no coffee maker could check all those preparation boxes necessary to produce the best possible coffee flavor and aroma. Which is not that it wasn’t technically possible. It was — look at how long the Technivorm Moccamaster has been around.

  • The nine-hole showerhead outlet is instrumental to the gentle extraction process and flavor. There’s a world of difference compared to the traditional water-gun effect you get with other (cheap) filter-coffee machines. This water outlet rains down gently onto the surface of the filter basket.
  • Together with the correct dosage, the heating element ensure the optimal water temperature. Thanks to the machine’s design, the water has a shorter route through the machine and is processed more gently.
  • For decades, the manufacturer has emphasized the importance of  putting high-quality, fresh coffee beans into your swanky, new green, black, silver or red machine. Everyone else couldn’t care less  if you use industrially produced garbage from the supermarket.

Despite all the attention to detail, the Moccamaster brews up your pot in no time, as you can see from the tech specs below:

No. of cupsBrewing timeCoffee temperatureTemperature after 30 minutes
2 cups 8.5 fl oz1:20 minutes194°F194°F
4 cups 17 fl oz2:40 minutes201°F199°F
6 cups 25 fl oz3:15 minutes203°F199°F
8 cups 34 fl oz4:00 minutes203°F199°F
10 cups 42 fl oz5:30 minutes203°F199°F

Before dig into how the Technivorm Moccamaster pairs fast throughput times with outstanding coffee, let’s briefly talk dollars and cents:

Technivorm’s high-and-mighty missionary zeal has never come cheap. Of course, you also have to take into the account that the coffee maker is handmade and engineered to withstand years of constant use. And a five-year warranty is also pretty exceptional.

But over $300 as a ballpark for a no-frills, filter-coffee machine without any modern whizbangs is an enticing thought for manufacturers, even if they took their time coming round to the idea. Which is why there are now a number of similar (or knock-off) machines on the market that cost less but aim to deliver the same results.

I’ve done a comparative video review of a couple of the better ones. Unfortunately, they’re only available in Europe and the video is in German. Sorry.

What's New about the Technivorm Moccamaster KBG Select Coffee Maker?

A lot of you joe drinkers have pointed out in the comments and in other places that brewing is a bit rushed when you only make a half a pot or even less instead of the full ten cups.

What’s the deal with that? Well, a smaller amount of grounds in the basket mean there’s less of a barrier blocking the water’s path. So it drains into the carafe too fast. The result is sub-optimal extraction. To make matters worse, the typical guesstimate dosage method just compounds the inaccuracies.

Front view of the Technivorm Moccamaster Select coffee maker

This isn’t just a  Moccamaster problem, its bugbear on many coffee makers. But when you’re forking out over $300, the bar is set a whole lot higher. The people have spoken and the Dutch brand have finally responded with a solution in the form of the Technivorm Moccamaster KBG Select:

The Select model now offers you the option of adjusting the Technivorm Moccamaster to brew 6 cups rather than the usual 10. With this setting, the water is dispersed more slowly and in a controlled manner to compensate for the reduction in resistance from the grounds.

That might sound like small fry to some but for many customers their reason for holding out on purchasing a more expensive coffee maker just vanished into thin air.

But truth be told, I know of at least one competitor machine (sadly available in Europe only) that has a far smarter solution for making your prep more precise. How? With a built-in scale for weighing grounds and settings to ensure that just the right amount of water is added. The question is whether it can match the Technivorm Moccamaster for durability.

Water trickling from the Technivorm Moccamaster outlet into the basket

Which Moccamaster Models Are Available?

There’s a range of Moccamaster models — not all of them deserve your time or money.

If you’re looking for a machine for the office, the Technivorm Moccamaster KBGT with thermal carafe is a good choice. For home use, most people prefer the more stylish and handier glass version.

Bear in mind that, there’s no hot plate on the version with a thermal carafe. As a confirmed hot-plate hater, that’s absolutely fine with me.

The Technivorm Moccamaster Cup One coffee brewer only makes a single 10-ounce cup of coffee at a time. At just under $250, that’s highway robbery.

The Technivorm Moccamaster Cup One coffee maker

FYI, the “old” Moccamaster coffee maker without the Select upgrade is the 741 model. So if you spot it on sale somewhere other than Amazon and other the big retailers, you can confidently bag it.

After all, the basic priciples and engineering are the same. And if you like to brew big batches in one go, you may not need the Select function anyway. In which case, tried-and-trusted 741 could be just the ticket.

A Guide to Getting the Best Coffee from the Moccamaster

Scoop grounds, switch machine on and you’ve practically got coffee in your cup. Standard procedure, right? Well, kinda. If you’re treating yourself to a $300-plus coffee maker, maybe a bit more care with the preparation and ingredients is in order.

Don’t panic, it only feels like work at the beginning. In a couple of days, it’ll be second nature:

  • Use cold water – either filtered or fresh and frothy from the tap. And don’t decant into the reservoir using the carafe. Residual oils from previous brews not only mess with the flavor but can also build up inside the machine. Pouring water from a jug into in the Moccamaster's tank
  • Freshly grind your beans from a coffee roaster (!) to medium coarse. Fresh grounds in the basket of the Technivorm Moccamaster
  • Stick to a dosage of about 7 grams (a quarter of an ounce) of coffee for every 3 fluid ounces of water.
  • Use high-purity paper filters or a permanent one made from a neutral material. Melitta? Well, if you must. The Technivorm Moccamaster filter basket

Before firing up the Technivorm Moccamaster, take out the filter basket and moisten it with water. You’ll wash away any lint and ensure your extraction is nice and even.

Pro tip: If you’re brewing a larger batch, have a spoon at the ready to stir the grounds after the first two spurts of water have been dispersed. It makes a big difference in getting the best of the flavors and aromas.

Before pouring the coffee into your cup, give the brew a quick swirl inside the glass or thermal carafe. That way, you distribute the oils that give  java its body more uniformly. The funnel that extends down from the lid into the pot mostly does this for you. Which is why other manufacturers like Philips, for one, have copycat versions on their top-of-the-range coffee makers.

Which Grinder Plays Best with the Technivorm Moccamaster?

Yes, you guessed it (the heading was a dead giveaway): I think the Technivorm Moccamaster is only half the drip-coffee equation. A grinder is the other half. And the same is true of any cheaper Moccamaster wannabee machine. At the risk of repeating myself, I have to say: No grinder, no point in spending all that money on a coffee maker in the first place.

Grounds worthy of cofficionadio’s heaven — the manual pour-over dripper — have the distinct advantage of being a medium coarseness that just about every grinder I’ve reviewed can get right.

A classic that is both affordable and gets my stamp of approval is the Baratza encore. It’s a solid, well crafted choice for pairing with a drip-coffee maker, as it produces a nice even grind.

Baratza Encore coffee grinder seen from the top

Just in case you were wondering, there is no coffee machine with grinder that emulates the Moccamaster’s workings. At least, I haven’t spotted one yet. If I could whisper in the manufacturers’ ears, I’d tell them that’s the big automatic drip-coffee machine innovation that’re missing.

Descaling and Cleaning the Moccamaster

Same old story here: Every coffee machine, whether it’s cheap or expensive, has be cleaned and descaled regularly. Sorry, not sorry!

Each new layer of scale or coffee residues is one step closer to clogs and blockages. Long before it gets to that, your brewing time and temperature are affected. And those are precisely the make-or-break components in a machine.

Pouring coffee from the Technivorm Moccamaster glass carafe into a cup

Technivorm recommends descaling once every three months or about 100 brews. Since no one actually keeps count or saves the date in their calendar, you’ll need to keep a close eye on your machine.

Once the taste, throughput time, temperature or other key parameters change, it’s high time.

In fact, my experience living in big cities suggests that limescale will cause your machine to start acting up far sooner than manufacturers’ indicate. Don’t panic, descaling and cleaning are really no biggie. In fact, you don’t even need to study the user manual.

To ensure that your machine lasts for years to come, it’s vital that you buy an extra jug to fill the water reservoir. The carafe is only for coffee! While I can’t promise you’ll do less cleaning, it will improve the taste of your joe.

Simply rinse the filter basket and lid under running water. The carafe will need a bit of buffing to get rid of watermarks.

Household products, such as citric acid, work a charm on limescale. As long as you don’t make the solution too strong, there’s no need to overcomplicate the cleaning process:

Just fill the water tank, add a spoonful of citric acid powder and switch on the machine as usual (minus the coffee, of course). You can repeat the process a number of times if necessary. Do a final run with just water. And the job’s done. See, I told you it was easy as pie.

Technivorm Moccamaster Spares and Shopping Tips

Once you’ve forked out just over $300 for a coffee maker you, you won’t want to toss it over minor niggles. And the Dutch do a stellar job ensuring you don’t have to:

  • You can get a replacement glass carafe with a funnel insert to fit under the drip-stop basket for $35 on Amazon
  • Although you’ll probably never need one, the standard #4 Technivorm Moccamaster 13253 brew basket is also available for about $20.
  • A set of branded filter papers comes in the box with your machine — at least mine did. Stocking up on them is relatively affordable compared to other reputable suppliers, such as Hario. Plus, their filter properties are grade A. Of course, a permanent filter or other appropriate solution will do the job as well.
  • Since the plastic water tank is fixed and cannot be removed, you won’t find a replacement. So it’s best to clean it with a non-abrasive sponge or cloth.

Verdict: Is the Technivorm Moccamaster the Best Thing that's Happened to Coffee?

I admit that my review of the Technivorm Moccamaster 741 vs Select is not totally impartial. After all, my yellow coffee machine (can you hear the Beatles?) has been in my kitchen for years and I’m a fan of what good quality it is. I love the colors, design, functionality, it’s special touches and, of course, the mouthwatering coffee.

The Reviewer's Choice of Coffee Makers.

Technivorm Moccamaster

Best Product

On the other hand, we can and must now get down to a nitty-gritty assessment of price and value. There’s no shortage of newer machines that have have adopted the Moccamaster philosophy and produce coffee of a similar quality but will set you back a lot less.

Although the Breville the Precision Brewer costs virtually the same as the Technivorm machine, it’s even better suited to brewing up giant batches.

A brand available exclusively in Europe not only takes translating manual dripper coffee to a machine even further also has loads more tech on board. The problem is it’s not very stable and the workmanship is equally shaky.

The Technivorm Moccamaster with pour-over drippers on a shelf

At the end of the day, none of the other players on the drip-coffee market can hold a candle to the “Master” because it’s virtually indestructible and so ingeniously conceived. So all alternatives look like pale imitations. And considering the long years of day in, day out service you’ll get out of this coffee maker without breakdowns, the price starts to look pretty fair.

What you’re really paying for here is high-quality hand craftsmanship and a product that has been thought through from every angle. Which is exactly why I give it ten out of ten. Even if many of you get cold feet at the thought of paying that for a coffee maker.

Would you spend $300 for your daily dose of drip coffee: Yes? No? Maybe? Let’s talk it through some more in the comments.

Moccamaster FAQ: You Asked, We Answered

The sheer volume of comments this review alone has received was reason enough for us to reprise some of the most common questions and complaints. As always, I’m happy to expand this section as new info comes to light.

It’s apples and oranges. Super-automatic espresso machines only produce variations of super-automatic espresso, while the Moccamaster only makes drip coffee. They’re not just completely different operating mechanisms, but also two totally distinct preparation techniques and flavors. You have to decide which style of coffee you prefer.

To clean your machine’s water tank and pipes, Technivorm sometimes recommends a pricey product called Clean Drop, among others. It’s designed to remove dirt in general but it won’t descale your machine. A money-spinner plain and simple, if you ask me.

A lot of you have complained that after just a few brews, a stubborn patina forms on the carafe. You can prevent this from happening by keeping the hot plate switched off so that fats and oils don’t get baked onto the glass.

An insulating thermal carafe is optimal in an office kitchen. In other respects — easy cleaning and stylish looks — glass gets my thumbs up.

Scores of you have had a  good grumble about this, so was an automatic candidate for this list: The lid on the Moccamaster carafe lid is a bit loose and sometimes it drips when pouring. No two ways about, the designers need to take another look at it — at least on the older version.

It can now! The new “Select” version solves one of the biggest issues with the machine. Just use the switch to set the machine to use half the usual amount of water. And just like that, 25 fluid ounces taste as awesome as the full 40 ounces! Hooray!

30 Comments

    Hello –

    And thank you for your review!

    I have a huge issue with the Moccamasters, in that, as much as they make incredible coffee, the coffee turns discernibly colder after the first cup. I had a 741 with the thermal carafe, which didn’t hold the temperature for very long at all. Thinking that was the problem, I got a second mocca with the glass carafe, thinking it would keep it hotter, and it still has the same problem. It’s a shame I have to use the Microwave to reheat the coffee for both machines. I am hoping the newer models solved this problem…
    Thank you

    Reply

    I was considering purchasing the new One Cup model but now I’m considering the new KBG model and I was going to purchase it from William Sonoma. Are they a reliable distributor? (based on one of the other comments?). Thanks for your help.

    Reply

    I have a KB 741 moccamaster. The filter has an adjustable flow setting of off, halfway, and full. The switch was useless, when off it would always leak out, and it would never stay in the halfway position but would fall back to full. Thinking the switch was faulty, I bought a replacement filter holder. The switch on the new filter has the exact same problems! What is the deal with this switch on the filter?

    Reply

    Thanks for the review. Favorably impressed. I’m a bit disappointed I won’t be able to read your other reviews – confined to English. Initially I was concerned that you would conclude that you needed to purchase a newer Select model. Since I can manually increase the water saturation time with the 741, I didn’t go for the Select. So after more than two decades, I finally took a leap of faith and purchased a Moccamaster KBT 741. I went with the thermal carafe because years ago I had broken several glass carafes. I confess that I don’t regret waiting so long because my Alessi 9090 6 cup Stovetop Espresso Maker made an excellent cup of joe (unfortunately it stopped working). I became frustrated in waiting for Alessi to respond to the issue whether their Alessi 9090 could be repaired, so I went for the Technivorm Moccamaster KBT 741 – it is living up to its reputation.

    Reply
    Arne

    Hi Kibbie,

    thanks for your comment. That’s great to hear :). Greetings Team Coffeeness

    Reply

    I am so glad to have found you! We bought our first moccamaster years ago, thermal carafe. LOVE IT BEST COFFEE EVER. Have a second home, this time bought a moccamaster from Williams Sonoma. Came without the automatic shut off when you remove the carafe, and has a “full open” “half open” and “closed” switch on the basket. The coffee is not nearly as good as our original. Any clues why? We have different grinders, but both are burr and using a bit finer than you suggest. But the taste is different, and it doesn’t seem as hot. Any clues? Is Williams Sonoma selling the knockoff???

    Joyce

    Reply
    Arne

    Hello Joyce,

    thanks for your comment. Indeed the Moccamaster is the best coffee maker there is :). It looks like it is not an original one, since the coffee should taste exactly the same. The grinder does have a big influence ont the taste though. So maybe you try it out with the other grinder, just to be sure. Greetings Team Coffeeness

    Reply

    Which gold filter size works for this machine?

    Reply
    Arne

    Hello James,

    thanks for your comment! All Moccamasters use No. 4 conical filter sizes. Greetings Team Coffeeness

    Reply

    Hi do you know what the boiler is made of?

    Reply
    Arne

    Hey Negar,

    thanks for your comment.
    Unfortunately we are not sure what material was used for the boiler.
    Sorry…

    Best regards,
    Team Coffeeness

    Reply

    Would it be possible to make only 2 cups of coffee with this machine?

    Reply
    Arne

    Hello Danny,
    thank you for your question. Sure – you can fill water for just two cups into the machine and that should be fine.
    All the best – your coffeeness team!

    Reply

    Hey, thanks for the review, it was really helpful. We are currently wondering whether to go with this machine or the Breville Precision Brewer. Do you have any thoughts on how it compares? Or have you tried out the Precision Brewer?

    Reply
    Arne

    Hello James,

    yes we tested the Precision Brewer as well. Very good, but the Moccamaster is still the best. Greetings Team Coffeeness

    Reply

    Thanks for the in depth review! I found the table with power consumption and brew times very helpful!

    Reply
    Arne

    Hello James,

    you are very welcome :). Greetings Team Coffeeness

    Reply

    The coffee filter holder has three settings. There is a setting for full flow one for half flow and one to shut off. When and why would you use the half flow?… Thanks, Ken

    Reply

    What I’ve learned reading other reviews it helps with making smaller coffee – when brewing time shall be around 4 minutes it helps with slowing the process down. Still I am not sure if that’s function is in regular model?

    Reply

    Hello what grind setting do you use with the moccamaster and the baratza Encore Regards Richard

    Reply
    Arne

    Hello Richard,

    thanks for your comment. We usually use fine coffee powder. But that depends on your personal taste anyway. Greetings Team Coffeeness

    Reply

    Fine coffee for a filter?

    Reply

    Can you tell me what kind of grind size I need for my moccamaster?

    Reply
    Arne

    Hello Crystal,

    thanks for your comment. That depends which beans and grinder you use. But usually it is pretty much in the middle of every grinder. So if it has 30 levels, then choose around 15. Try out what tastes best for you ;). Greetings Team Coffeeness

    The best coffee maker I have ever used and I’ve used a lot!Simple to use ,makes perfect coffee every time.

    Reply

    Hey Stephen,

    What setting on the encore do you recommend for 4 cups? And what ratio do you use?

    Reply

    Hello im quite impressed by this coffee machine but before buying it i’ve still a question. The plastic parts are they BPA free?
    Thank you again for your excellent review
    Sabina

    Reply
    Arne

    Hello Sabina,

    thanks for your qestion. Indeed, the Moccamasters plastic parts are BPA free. Best regards Team Coffeeness

    Reply

    Hi, we have used the moccamaster for a few years, love it. Ours is the glass carafe that dribbles onto the counter like a cheap Hamilton carafe though or purchase was not for the carafe (and should have been).

    Reply

    I’ve found that pouring the coffee too quickly produced dribbles also. Try pouring slowly and see if that helps. It’s the same for all my glass Pyrex measuring cups. When I pour quickly, I have a mess.

    Reply

I look forward to your comment

Table of Contents