Review of Bodum “Bistro Double Wall Coffee Maker”

On the hunt for something totally non-coffee related, I came across a sale of these Bodum coffee makers marked down from $165 to $33… and so … reluctantly… I decided I had to buy it (as no one convinced me not to in time). Either way, it is important to state early on that I would never pay $165 for this coffee maker, but as I didn’t, this review can continue.

Bodum "Bistro Double Wall Coffee Maker"
Matching the price the full price tag, this coffee maker was well packed. With anything glass like this I was worried right up until I saw it emerge from the packaging in one unbroken piece. Though within the first few seconds I found my first minor flaw in the design. The top section of glass that holds the filter has a plastic sleeve that prevents it from damaging the glass on the inside of the bottom double walled glass flask (mid-right pic). However, the bottom of this filter glass is not protected, and it is likely that with enough *cough* motivation it would break. To resolve this I moved the soft plastic protective sleeve down slightly so that it overlapped the lip of the glass enough to create a small buffer.

Other than that however, as there are no moving parts, and no complexity, on the whole, the coffee maker speaks for itself. Placing the filter section on top of the flask, coffee grinds in the filter, hot water on the coffee grinds, you unsurprisingly get coffee in the bottom. As I still have a lot of testing to do regarding the perfect balance (grind coarseness/quantity of coffee/to agitate or not), I started out with a fresh grind of 45g of coffee beans which turned out to be just bout the right amount for the 900ml double walled glass flask.

The metal Bodum filter performed as well as expected. All but the very finest of grinds was successfully separated from the coffee, and it was quite easy to clean afterwards. While I did not agitate the coffee, I am not overly concerned about the fragility of the filter should I choose to (which is nice).

As for the double walled flask being a good insulator for the coffee, I would say that a good 10-20% of its design is for show, but so long as you do not compare it to a proper Thermos type container, you will be more than satisfied. It did keep the coffee warm (and this was without preheating it with hot water), and the plastic lid effectively sealed off the coffee from loosing too much heat from the top. However, the external glass of the flask was warm to the touch which suggested that there was a decent amount of heat making it out of the coffee. To test it, I left a 5cm layer of hot coffee in the bottom and sealed it off with the lid, but within 2.5hrs it was stone cold.

Summary
With the right coffee, freshly ground, and a bit of care taken pouring over the hot water, I think this coffee machine has all the potential to make an awesome cup of coffee. The design is clean and modern, and perfect for when you have a few people coming over for coffee. While you would not want to make a days worth of coffee and expect it to stay hot in this double walled glass flask, it will do a good enough job staying warm for up to an hour (more than enough to serve a useful purpose.

So for $33 am I happy with my purchase? Damm straight I am! But if I had paid retail price I would have expected the glass flask to perform much better regarding heat retention.

Bought at: Victoria’s Basement
Cost: $33
Overall: Buy

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