First Impressions: Black & Decker Home Café System Generation II
We've been testing the Black & Decker Home Café System Generation II single serve coffee maker over the past week and thought before the full review (you can check out our review of generation I here) we'd give our first impressions.
If you can remember way back to 2004, the first generation Black & Decker Home Café System was nothing short of a disaster. We didn't like the plastic tasting coffee and readers continually write in with issues regarding the overall quality of the machine.
The Black & Decker Home Café System generation II isn't a big leap forward. The machine features a single, double, and special pod holder and has been redesigned as far as look and controls but that's about where it ends and begins. So far we've been largely unimpressed with the coffee maker - the machine is mostly made of plastic including the pod holders, and we've yet to brew a cup of coffee comparable to the Mr. Coffee Home Cafe (which is a very good machine), Senseo, or the more expensive Bunn My Cafe.
We do like some of the new features like the new clean button, which makes it easy to descale once a month with a vinegar and water solution. But since we don't have "hard water" we rarely descale and we also always use filtered water.
The coffee in this machine does come out hot though - at 192F it's always a steaming wonder when brewing. The other odd thing - it doesn't come with a single pod in the bundle. We've been testing using Baronet French Toast and Toasted Almond - both of which are excellent pods but come out so so in the Black & Decker Home Café System.
We do like the footprint of the machine. It's much smaller and compact. The pod chamber also closes and opens much easier. Given how little we're impressed with the Black & Decker Home Café System generation II, we are impressed that it does make a better cup of coffee but just not a great cup of coffee. The amount of "plastic" taste in the coffee produced is very noticeable. We'll continue to test the machine over the next few days and should have a full review soon.
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Posted by Jay Brewer at February 21, 2006 7:57 AM