Zelco Brisk Brew Single Cup Coffeemaker

February 11, 2011

I found one of these Zelco Brisk Brew single cup coffeemakers at a decent price still in the original box with an unwrapped cup and unopened instructions - who needs instructions anyway - it's 240v in the US and 110v in Europe, right? Or is it the other way around... Well, you better know for sure because this coffee maker is not geographically challenged and can change continents with the flip of a switch located on the back. I wonder if this will burn up my auto adapter inverter... stop light coffee anyone? The little Brisk Brew by Zelco comes with two custom condiment containers and a retractable handle spoon. I saw a video review online showing a travel bag too but this was not included with my unit. Since it is not described on the colorful and whimsical coffee bean decorated packaging, I will conclude that the travel bag was added in on a later production run. The sticker on the bottom says copyright 1992, but this unit could be newer than this date. The unit is quite compact and is constructed with good hard plastic similar to what one would expect to feel when handling a well made hair dryer. The tank holds 8 fl oz when filled almost full but leaving a small but safe margin from the water level to the top edge of the tank. It did not do well using a pod but did much better than I expected with grounds and a Melitta #1 cone filter. I chose not to use the nylon filter but it looks sturdy enough. For the coffee I ground 12 grams Spectacled Bear Colombian Supremo beans from Mahogany Roasters on a standard auto drip setting. While brewing I got temperature readings in the low 190's less than a minute in and saw a high of 195 degrees F - incredible numbers for a one cup drip brewer. My in cup temps immediately after brewing showed 181 degrees F. I think retail originally was $45 for these so the money was there at this price point to design and build this unit with quality components in mind. The auto cut off has a nice loud snap so there is some thick metal in that part - maybe the rest too. Bottom line, I would not want to use this every day, but if it came down to this or lobby coffee if I was a road warrior, I would take the time to make my morning brew with this unit, fresh roasted beans, and a hand mill before drinking the "house blend". The cup quality I taste leaves nothing to be desired. The bottom right picture was taken after drinking some of the results - the cup filled with more coffee than the photo shows. Unfortunately this brewer is not available on ROASTe, or anywhere else new for that matter. A Keurig Mini or a manual pour over would be my first choices today if portability was the priority feature influencing my purchasing decision, but neither of these would look as cool or be as useful when you find yourself stuck in the next traffic jam. Image and video hosting by TinyPic



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