Review of the Moccamaster Coffee Maker
Review of the Moccamaster Coffee Maker
The Moccamaster has a kind of home field advantage in this review. That’s because it’s my absolute favorite coffee maker. I just think everything clicks. It looks great, it’s build quality is excellent and its functionality is well thought out.
You can find all the reviews on the best coffee maker here.
This hand-made, high quality machine did very well in our tests here at Coffeeness.
The 9-holed water spout—which I have come to call “the shower”—sprays water over the coffee and ensures a nice, even brewing process. I could almost say that it’s like using an automatic pour-over filter, which of course is a huge compliment.
The minimalist design is also carried through in the controls and operation. The Moccamaster makes do with only two buttons. Using the machine is intuitive and simple. Small details, such as the automatic drip shutoff, also work well.
The glass carafe is easy to handle, and you can even buy a cheap replacement if needed. With many coffee makers, a replacement carafe often costs as much as buying a whole new machine.
The manufacturer stands by the quality of its products, giving them a 5-year warranty.
You can get the Moccamaster in several colors on Amazon.
Or you can simply buy it from amazon.com for the same price, and pick up some good-quality coffee while you’re at it.
- 5-year warranty.
- Inexpensive replacement parts.
- Very good functionality.
- Outstanding coffee taste.
- High-quality components.
- Quiet when brewing coffee.
- Can make up to 1.2 liters of coffee.
- With lots of colors to choose from, it looks great in any kitchen
- More expensive than many other coffee makers.
Our YouTube Review of the Moccamaster (only available in German).
Table of Contents
What Kinds of Moccamaster Machines Are There?
There’s also a version of the Moccamaster that doesn’t come with a warming plate; instead, it comes with an thermally-insulated carafe. That machine is called the KBG 741 Thermo. If you’re the kind of person who wants to keep your coffee warm for a long period of time, then a thermal carafe is definitely a better option than a warming plate. However, I slightly prefer the classical design. You can buy the coffee maker with the insulated carafe on amazon.com. You can get the Moccamaster in all the colors of the rainbow. I think that’s pretty cool. Personally, I went with the orange one.
You can also get a more plain model. I think all the designs are cool, but I of course understand that they don’t always fit in with every kitchen. I really found it hard to decide which model to go with.
I went back and forth between yellow, aluminum, brushed, and red. But I’m very happy with my decision.
Which color catches your eye?
Power Consumption, Amount of Coffee, and Brewing Times
I recently got my hands on an electricity consumption monitor, and I already had a thermometer and a stopwatch. Here’s what I found.
|Number of Cups||Brewing Time||Coffee Temperature||Temperature After 30 Minutes||Electricity Cost, in Euro Cents||Amount of Ground Coffee Used |
|2 Cups, 0.25 L||1:20 Minutes||194°F (90°C)||194°F (90°C)||1.35 Cents||15 g |
|4 Cups, 0.5 L||2:40 Minutes||201°F (94°C)||199°F (93°C)||1.52 Cents||30 g |
|6 Cups, 0.75 L||3:15 Minutes||203°F (95°C)||199°F (93°C)||2.41 Cents||45 g |
|8 Cups, 1 Liter||4:00 Minutes||203°F (95°C)||199°F (93°C)||3.1 Cents||60 g |
|10 Cups, 1.25 L||5:30 Minuten||203°F (95°C)||199°F (93°C)||3.7 Cents||75 g |
I calculated the cost of electricity based on a cost of 28 cents per kilowatt hour.
There’s an “Auto Off” feature that turns off the machine, including the warming plate, after 40 minutes. If you turn off the main power switch on the left, it also turns off the warming plate. You can use the right switch to turn off just the warming plate, leaving the Moccamaster turned on.
In terms of electricity consumption, when I brewed the maximum amount of coffee and left the warming plate turned on for 30 minutes, I measured an electricity cost of 4.76 euro cents. If you make the maximum amount of coffee and use the warming plate every day, you can expect to pay around 17 euros per year for the electricity that the Moccamaster uses.
When I did the same calculations with somewhat smaller coffee makers, I figured that they would cost around 2 euros less per year in electricity use. But they also make a smaller amount of coffee.
Guide: How the Moccamaster Makes the Best Coffee
The manufacturer includes a chart that lists different amounts of ground coffee to use, based on how much coffee you want. I tried it out a bit and I think their amounts are good. However, they also depend on the kind of beans you use. You should definitely play around with the amounts to discover what gives you the best results.
- It’s best to use cold, filtered water. You shouldn’t use the coffee carafe to pour the water into the machine, though. The carafe almost always retains a bit of coffee and oil residue, which can gunk up the insides of the Moccamaster. You should instead use a machine-washable glass container to pour the water in.
- You should also freshly grind the coffee, and it shouldn’t be older than 3 months.
- You should place a paper filter into the filter holder, and quickly rinse it out with fresh water. That’ll rinse out any dust or lint. Plus, a wet filter can also aid in giving you an even extraction. As you can see, it absorbs the water nicely.
- The “shower” works very well.
- If you’re using a small amount of coffee, you can watch as the machine does its magic. If you use more than about 40 grams (approximately 6 Tablespoons) of ground coffee, it’s best to stand by with a spoon so that you can give the coffee in the filter a quick stir after the shower starts working. That will give you an even better, uniform extraction. As for the warming plate, either simply don’t use it, or use it as sparingly as possible.
- Before serving, give the carafe a bit of a swirl, or stir the coffee a little. That’ll give you more uniform results.
- Enjoy your coffee that’s as good as you’d get with a pour-over filter.
You can use the above table to determine how much coffee you should use. If you need help choosing coffee beans, check out our page of Coffee Bean Reviews.
Which Grinder Should I Use with the Moccamaster?
If you’re investing money in a good coffee maker, you should also have a coffee grinder. I use the Baratza Encore. You can find our complete review of it here.
Using freshly-ground coffee is simply very important. The beans are the way to ensure good aroma. If you use the Moccamaster, you’ll probably want to get an electric coffee grinder.
Combining a coffee maker with a manual grinder would make for an odd combination.
You can find more general information and recommendations about grinders in our Coffee Grinder Reviews.
The Baratza Encore is a good, solid coffee grinder for use with a filter. It grinds uniformly and is well made. When combined with the Moccamaster, they make a great team. If you care about drinking good coffee, you should always factor in the cost of buying a good grinder.
Decalcifying and Cleaning
As is the case with any coffee maker, you’ll need to decalcify the Moccamaster.
If too much calcium builds up in the machine, you’ll start to have problems. The brewing times and temperatures might change. And in the worst case, nothing will work anymore. But that’s also the case with all coffee makers.
The manufacturer recommends decalcifying every 3 months, or after 100 uses. The hardness of the water you use will affect how quickly the machine builds up calcium. The harder the water, the quicker it will build up calcium. If you run your water through a Brita filter, you’ll lower the hardness and also the calcium content.
You can check with your water supplier to determine the hardness of your water.
|Level||Degree of Hardness||Millimoles of Calcium Carbonate per Liter||German Hardness (dH) Degrees||How Often Should I Decalcify?|
|1||Soft||Fewer than 1.5||Fewer than 8.4 °dH||Rarely|
|2||Medium||1.5 to 2.5||8.4 to 14 °dH||Occasionally|
|3||Hard||More than 2.5||More than 14 °dH||Often|
If you use hard water, you should decalcify more often. If you have soft water, it’s most likely not necessary to do it every 3 months. But in order to keep your machine running for a long time (and simply for hygienic reasons), it’s important to use a completely clean container when pouring in the water. In other words, don’t use the coffee maker’s carafe to do that.
To clean out the filter holder and the lids, simply wash them out under running water. You’ll need to put in a bit more elbow grease when cleaning the carafe, so that you can remove calcium spots. If you get calcium accumulating, you can a special solvent for coffee oils, or simply use lemon juice.
Technical Specifications and User’s Manual for the Moccamaster
Here you can see the rounded lever that opens the bottom of the filter holder. When you remove the carafe, the drip-stopper activates, and no more coffee can flow out of the filter.
That’s pretty much standard on modern coffee makers, so it’s not surprising that Moccamaster has it also.
You can also buy a replacement carafe for fairly cheap on amazon.com. By the way, the little “arm” sticking down into the coffee helps keep it uniformly mixes, but I’d still give it a quick swirl anyhow.
I didn’t have any issues with how the filter holder worked. It slides licks right into the machine. It also has a drip-stopper that also works without any problems. Then there’s a lid that goes on top.
The Moccamaster came with a few original Moccamaster paper filters. I liked them, and they’re also not expensive. You can find them here on amazon.com. Another option would be to use a reusable, gold-plated filter. That’s more expensive, but it’s also a permanent solution. You can find a “gold” filter here on amazon.com. You can also find more information about all kinds of coffee filters here on Coffeeness.
As with pour-over filters, I recommend folding paper filters along their seam, which makes them fit better in the holder. Then rinse out the filter with running water, dumping out the rinsing water. That will clean out any dust or lint, while also helping the filter extract the coffee more uniformly.
I recommend simply cleaning out the filter holder and its lid with running water and a soft sponge.
The Water Tank
The Moccamaster comes with a water tank that has volume marks on the side. That actually makes a lot more sense than putting those marks on the side of the carafe, since the amount of water you put in at the start determines how much coffee comes out at the end. All coffee makers work based on the idea that for every brew, they use all the water that you put in the tank or container.
The tank is made of plastic. There’s also a glass tube in the center that carries the water to the inside of the machine. The water tank also has a lid.
Here you can see where it connects to the 9-holed water spout. That connects the tank with the filter holder and lets the hot water rain down on the ground coffee.
You just need a little pressure to attach it.
Assembling the Moccamaster is simple and intuitive, as is everything about using the machine. I also think it’s good that the connecting tube is made of glass.
The Heart of the Moccamaster: The “Shower” Water Spout
The thing that Moccamaster does better than any other coffee machine is here: it pours the water on the coffee in a controlled way, over a wide area. It doesn’t simply spray the water into the middle of the filter. No, instead, the Moccamaster lets it rain! And it rains at exactly the right temperature, at well-spaced intervals. First, two sprinklings of water flow out. That makes the ground coffee wet, which is the so-called “pre-infusion.” You might have heard of it if you’ve used the pour-over filter method.
That’s an important step for the taste of the coffee. It helps the machine extract the coffee evenly. It also helps break up clumps of coffee and prevent the water from flowing too quickly. If you’re using a lot of ground coffee, this step is a good time to use a spoon to give the coffee grounds a quick stir. That helps spread everything more evenly.
The Moccamaster maintains a constant temperature and evenly pours the water to give you coffee that tastes as good as coffee you’d get from a pour-over filter!
Test Results and Buying Advice
I’ve had the opportunity to experience what the Moccamaster can do, and I’m excited.
If you look at Coffeeness’s reviews of other coffee makers, you’ll see that there are indeed some machines that give you a good bang for your buck, but there’s no other machine that’ll give you coffee that tastes this good.
Of course, I’d also use the warming plate as little as possible. The Moccamaster looks great. It’s build quality is excellent. The manufacturer also guarantees it for 5 years from the date of purchase. That alone is a real sign that they trust in the quality of their products.
You can even get a replacement carafe for a reasonable price. With some cheaper coffee makers, a replacement carafe can cost as much as a whole new machine. But the Moccamaster’s only costs about 20 euros.
It also comes in many interesting colors and I’m sure that you can find one that would look good in your kitchen. And sure, 200 euros is a lot of money for a coffee maker. But at the same time, I don’t have a problem spending more on the things that I use every day, if more money gets me better quality. If you divide the cost of a coffee maker by the amount of time you’ll be able to use it, you’ll see that a Moccamaster might turn out to be cheaper than that panini press that’s been collecting cobwebs in your closet for the past 5 years.
The Moccamaster would surely also make a great gift for the whole family. Even if you don’t drink coffee, at least you’ll have something nice to look at.
For all those reasons, I gave the Moccamaster the highest rating possible. I’ll always use it any time I need to make coffee for more than two people, or when I just need to make coffee quickly.
You can check the current amazon.com price for the Moccamaster here. You can also simply buy it from Coffee Circle and pick up a bag of the excellent Limu coffee or a Baratza Encore grinder while you’re at it.
When I set out on this journey, I wondered whether the Moccamaster was the best coffee maker in the world. I’m not sure I have the authority to make that claim, but I can tell you this: the Moccamaster makes the best-tasting coffee that I’ve ever had from a coffee maker. And, as you know, I’ve tested quite a few coffee makers.
Alternatives to the Moccamaster?
Any time you find a great coffee maker, you’ll also find copycats and posers nearby. Melitta has tried with their humbly-named “Melitta Aroma Signature De Luxe Filter Coffee Maker.” Unfortunately, it can’t keep up with the machine it’s trying to copy in terms of quality or design.
It’s less expensive, but it’s not a good alternative.
There’s also a new kid on the block. The Chemex Ottomatic Coffee Maker, which includes the well-known Chemex carafe. It also has a perfect design. I think it looks like a cross between Starship Enterprise and a Tupperware container.
What else? Oh yeah, this plastic starship costs 350 euros. I haven’t tested the Chemex coffee maker yet, but the coffee would have to taste perfect, like it came out of the replicator, in order to distract me from the cold, hard facts.
It’s a nice try, but it’s still a bit embarrassing—and I say that as a Chemex fan. But if you feel like spending 350 euros on it, you can pick it up at the Coffee Circle shop. It’s not available on Amazon.