Starting off with the build quality and design, the Moccamaster is about as classic looking as you can get in a modern-day batch brewer. I made sure to pick this so bad that it’s kinda good pistachio green color to fully round out those retro vibes. However, if this look is a bit too much for you, Moccamaster does have a surprisingly large assortment of colors to choose from.
Although looks are always subjective, I really like the look of this brewer. It’s not trying to be anything it’s not, and it embraces the company’s long hand-build heritage.
In terms of build QUALITY, I was a little torn however. During unboxing, I was UNPLEASANTLY surprised by just how cheap and plasticky certain components felt.
Personally, I’m not someone who has an issue with plastic being used, there are plenty safe high temperature plastics out there, but it’s more the feel of the plastics that left me a bit disappointed. Plastic components were thin, lightweight, and flimsy feeling, in the brewing cone, as well as the arm it sits on in particular.
The rest of the build, however, is good! Moccamaster is very proud of the fact that these machines have been hand-made in the Netherlands since 1968, and they should be! Hot water only travels through a glass and metal water-path, and the machine while lightweight, feels solid and well put together.
First time setup and assembly was dead simple. Put on the shower arm, cone, and lids, and you’re good to go.
When it comes to brewing coffee, there’s no faffing about with settings or programming. It uses standard #4 conical filters that you can find absolutely everywhere. You add in your coffee, pour in the appropriate water for your brew ratio, hit go, and a few minutes later you have a big pot of coffee ready to go.
There is a stopper that allows you to pull the carafe mid-brew without spilling, and it does a very good job of immediately stopping the flow when you do. Although, I’d obviously recommend letting the batch finish completely, so you don’t have unevenly extracted cups.
The user experience of the Moccamaster is decidedly simple. Yes, other machines have the ability to change temperature, program pre-infusions and pouring recipes, but that’s not really the ethos behind this machine. It wants to be a dependable tool to make good coffee, for many people, without you thinking about it more than you have to. And I sort-of like that.
The settings I picture using this machine in are those with friends and family around, and I can’t be bothered sitting in the corner making 10 individual pour overs, or teaching people how to fiddle with a complicated machine just to get a pot brewing.
Now, you may have noticed that there IS one other switch on the machine right beside the power button. This is a toggle that slows that flow rate of the water, and decreases the hot plate temperature, for partial pots. This is a useful adjustment that can improve the quality of smaller batches if you plan to serve only a few people some mornings.
And this brings us to the coffee quality.
The first disclaimer that immediately needs to be made is that the coffee from the Moccamaster will only be as good as the coffee you put in, and if you grind your own coffee, the grinder you choose to use. This machine isn’t going to make drastically better coffee when fed with low quality inputs.
I’ll always have some great coffee linked HERE, which also happens to be the coffee I was brewing on this particular weekend, and for the grinder, I was using the Fellow Ode Gen 2. This combination of the Moccamaster and Fellow Ode was a great minimal setup that could absolutely pump of batch after batch with ease all weekend long, and quietly, which was nice for those slow mornings.
My gauge of a good drip brewer is how close it can come to the taste of a single cup manual pour over made with the same coffee and grinder. And this is where I was most surprised by the Moccamaster. The water distribution is, not exactly ideal, the brewer is conical, not flat which I usually prefer… but regardless of these things, the coffee it produced was DARN good, and surprisingly similar to a single pour over I would make with the same coffee.
I think that the slight flow limiting effect of the cone compensates largely for the sub-par water distribution, which leads to a quasi-immersion brew depending on the grind size used. In reality, I don’t actually know the exact reasoning, I don’t know if I need to, but I do know what I was tasting and that I was impressed by it.
I was also able to make smaller 2-3 cup batches with equal success using the low flow mode, which isn’t something I can say for all drip systems I’ve used in the past which often produced watery underwhelming results with lower doses.
In case you can’t tell, I really liked the Moccamaster over the relatively short but thorough testing period I put it through. Reviewing coffee equipment can admittedly get a bit repetitive, and the Moccamaster was a pleasant surprise that I didn’t see coming. I was not only impressed by the coffee it produced, but also just fell in love with this thing for its simplicity, retro charm, and the memories that I now associate with using it. If you’re looking for a great way to serve a larger group, this is definitely an option I recommend checking out.