February 21, 2006

First Impressions: Black & Decker Home Café System Generation II

B000Bhihkc.01-A1Vc38T7Yxb528.Lzzzzzzz-1We'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.

Img 2217The 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.

Img 2220Img 2222We 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.

Img 2226We 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.

At Home Cafe and Amazon.com

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Posted by Jay Brewer at February 21, 2006 7:57 AM
Recent Comments

I'm just too afraid to ever try one of their coffee makers again after the explosions I had in the first gen one..

I'm perfectly happy with my Bunn and my Senseo..

Posted by: Jeffrey Spencer at February 22, 2006 11:20 AM

There is something about this machine that makes the coffee taste bad. I tried 3 different flavors of coffee and they all had this "taste" to it that you couldn't seem to get rid of no matter what you did. We won't be using this one.

Posted by: JeanieC at February 21, 2006 6:24 PM

I'm wondering that as well. The plastic in both machines is very different.

Posted by: Jay Brewer at February 21, 2006 12:55 PM

This is the second review I've read of this machine that mentioned a plastic taste in the coffee. I have a Bunn My Cafe and it uses a plastic pod holder. I've never noticed any plastic taste to it...in fact, it makes great coffee. Do you think Black and Decker is using the wrong plastic?

Posted by: jim at February 21, 2006 12:26 PM
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