Has my Braun coffee maker really lasted more than many marriages have? Yes.
Recommend this product?
Actually, my Braun coffee maker has accompanied me through 4 different residences, numerous lifestyle changes, and all of the ups and downs that life has to offer.
So, to put it simply, the main brewing unit of the Braun sure is durable. I would credit the durability to the simplicity of the unit and construction. This is not a Escher or Rube Goldberg-Type machine, this is about as straightforward of a unit as you can get.
Before we get to the coffee itself, I would add however that the accessory pieces are nowhere near as durable. I have been through 3 pots, (and had a very hard time finding replacement pots), and 2 pot lids. You need to be really careful with these pieces as they do have a tendency to break. Even so, when you consider three pots in 4 years that might not be that bad a ratio after all.
What about the coffee making?
Well one it is simple. Put the amount of water in the back that corresponds to the coffee you want. Turn it on. Make sure the pot is in place, and voila!
Coffee is generated fast. The structure of the machine allows for a good amount of steam to escape, which fills the entire kitchen with that wonderful freshly-brewed coffee smell. That is a nice added bonus.
Another nice thing about this is the fact that coffee won't come out if the pot is not in place. I've been up and down the machine and I don't know how it senses this (ah the mystery) but somehow it does and clumsy people like me everywhere sure are appreciative.
The heating mechanism keeps the coffee warm but not too hot. It also is quite safe and after a few years I started becoming more comfortable about leaving it on for long periods of time (I'm paranoid about burning the place down, what can I say...).
Another nice thing that I've noticed is that whether you make a full pot of coffee or only 4 cups the quality is very much the same. That is a rarity among coffee makers, most of which seem to brew the strongest brew first and dilute it with the last 3-4 cups in the pot.
Now, about the coffee. I'm not thrilled with it. It doesn't compare with commercial brewed coffee that you get anywhere. I use nice gourmet beans in the coffee and measure it exactly to specifications but whatever I try the coffee winds up coming out incredibly strong, and at times almost sludgy.
Actually, before I bought the Braun I generally drank my coffee black. Once I got it I started drinking it white and with sugar. I would attribute this to the Braun itself because I just couldn't handle the straight coffee that it put out.
Like I said, my Braun has been with me forever it seems, through good and bad. I suspect that it will be with me for the next decade unless I win the lottery and am all of the sudden capable of purchasing a world-class coffee maker.
I would say this unit is a great value for the money, very reliable, and makes decent, drinkable coffee but nothing that is incredibly impressive. That to me gets it a middle-of-the-road 3 star rating.
Hope this helps!