- The basics: put the water in the water reservoir/receptacle--that metal
thing with the heating coil in it. Place the receptacle lid back on it,
making sure the rubber seal fits well. The "tab" goes toward the back. The
carafe receives the brewed coffee after water runs from the reservoir, up
the side channels as steam, is converted back into very hot water as it gets
further from the heat source, and then is dispersed through the grinds and
- The coffee tastes best when you are making a full pot.
If you are making 1/2 a pot, put a filter on top of the grounds, in addition
to using a filter in the usual way. Like all coffee, made more than a cup at
a time, there is a big difference in the strength of the first stuff that
comes out of the pot, and the last. I always stir the pot of coffee before
pouring out the first cup, so the weaker and stronger mix together.
- Do not attempt to use this pot like a pause and brew. Whilst there is
steam passing through the system the danger of burning yourself if you
attempt to open the top latch for a quickie is huge. Trust me on this, you
will burn yourself and it won't be pretty (and yes, I have the scar to prove
Grind the beans finer than you do for drip. Not at the
finest setting, like you would use for espresso, but almost. A finer grind,
will definitely improve the coffee made in this pot, so if you find that
your coffee is not strong enough for you, and you are using the ratio I
outline below, then try grinding finer before you increase the amount of
coffee you are using. If you taste bitterness, you are grinding too fine and
over extracting the coffee. It may take you a few pots to get it just right.
Homeroasters will be pleased with this pot as really fresh beans do
beautifully without pre-infusing and with no bloom induced overflow mess.
The Krups filters are terrific, but very
expensive. Fortunately, the Melitta filters that
are designed for percolators work well. Do not
punch out the hole designed for the percolator stem. The Melitta
filters are smaller than the KMB originals, If you find that you get grinds
in the pot, use two filters, that overlap in the
middle (almost like the Master card symbol), but give you greater coverage
edge to edge. Wet the filters, before adding the coffee,
so the filter adheres to the bottom of the receptacle. You can also cut
round filters that fit this pot from the ordinary, run of the mill filters
you find everywhere.
Most people agree that coffee tastes better if it is not filtered
through paper as paper removes some of the flavourful oils in the coffee. It
just so happens that the cloth filters designed to be used with Hario and
Yama vacuum brewers are the perfect size for the KMB. Rinse the filter out
after each use. You can use each filter for a long, long time. They come in
packages of five and are available from various on-line sources.
You can do a more thorough cleaning with Cafiza or Oxy-Clean as needed or
desired. Make sure to rinse thoroughly. The filters never get pristine,
coffee dyes them pretty well, but the oils are removed.
You will want to level off the coffee once you place
it in the basket. One option is to use the bottom
of a jar or a cup to do it. You are leveling not tamping, so don't press it down firmly as you would for espresso. If you happen to have a French press,
the "pusher" part of it is often an almost perfect fit with the coffee
receptacle for the KMB. Wrap it in foil or cling film, and you will then
only have to press down once, and you are good to go. Doing it this way
eliminates all the mess that can accompany levelling off the grinds
Start with about 50-60 grams of coffee for a full pot.
In general the ratio is 1.2-1.5 grams of coffee for one ounce of water. The
pot makes 40 ounces, 8 five ounce cups. I seldom use less than 55
grams, usually 60, but that reflects my personal preference rather than
being gospel. Some beans are more or less dense than others and you will
probably find that you use less by weight (but about the same by volume) of
"big" beans—the Pacamara Peaberry comes to mind.
The pot does not have a keep warm plate. Turn the pot
off as soon as the coffee is done and pour any extra coffee you have into a
thermos or insulated pitcher. Rinse the insulated pitcher/thermos with hot
water, and keep it full of hot water until you are ready to pour the hot
coffee into it. This keeps the hot coffee from coming in contact with a cold
surface, which makes a real difference in the quality of the coffee For the
same reason, I also warm my cups by running them under hot water before
filling them with coffee. I bought an insulated pitcher by Arcosteel at a
discount house for under $12. Do not let the coffee sit in the coffee maker
for long without pouring it into something. It gets old really, really fast
if it just sits there. The pot does not turn itself off. The first few weeks
I left it on several times, and ended up having to clean the heating
element, which is not a big deal, just a PITA.
I use filtered water to make coffee. Good tasting tap water
works, but if you have hard water, or just plain nasty water, use something
else. I use a Brita pitcher and change the cartridge every three weeks. The
Brita pitchers, btw, have a different mechanism of action than the faucet
add-ons or the cartridges/systems offered by companies like Pur.
Because we know that cleanliness really is next to godliness...
Scale will develop on the heating element of the pot.
This slows down the coffee making and some amount of lime may leech into
your coffee as you make it. Once a week (or when the scale begins to disgust
you), fill the water receptacle with 1/3 vinegar, 2/3 water. Turn the pot on
and let it boil in the receptacle (without the metal cover) for about ten
minutes. Then place the metal cover over the receptacle, and the empty pot
on as you usually do, and let the vinegar water run through it. Let the
machine cool down, and run a pots worth of plain water through the machine
to remove any vinegar.
A clean grinder, free of nasty old coffee dust makes
better coffee. I clean my grinder every week or when I change coffee beans.
It is a thankless, messy job.
When I used a Maestro Classic the best way I found to do it, without
driving myself nuts, was to use a can of pressurized air, like they sell for
cleaning computers and techie stuff. I unplugged my grinder, knocked out any
coffee residue that I could, and then took the grinder into the backyard and
used the compressed air to really do a good job getting the crap out of the
crevices and the area surrounding the burs.
With my Rocky, I run Minute Rice through the machine regularly and
disassemble the whole machine every couple of months for a thorough cleaning
using the instructions
I use a wide mouth canning funnel to get the coffee from the
grinder, into the receptacle that holds the coffee. Wow, no more coffee
grinds on the counter.
Click on thumbnails to see full size images of the cloth filters used in the
KMB, the funnel used to fill the grounds holder, and the French press "pusher"
used to level the grounds.