Zojirushi EC-BD15 Fresh Brew Coffee Maker Review

August 21, 2005

Zojirushi Fresh BrewI finally ended up with a decent “backup” to my Starbucks Barista Aroma drip brewer – the Zojirushi EC-BD15 Fresh Brew.

I’ve been a fan of Zojirushi for awhile now — they make the rice maker for cooking sushi rice (or other kind of rice). Given that their other big product lines are some very fine thermal carafes and hot-water dispensers, it’s not a real surprise that they make an excellent thermal carafe coffee maker as well.

Unlike their fuzzy-logic rice makers (which are smarter than many of the computers I’ve ever owned), the Fresh Brew is about as basic as a coffee maker gets — the only piece of programmability on the thing is a timed brew feature, and since that’s more than I’ll ever use, I don’t mind the lack of other electronic bells and whistles that cost more and could fail.

What the Fresh Brew does is make coffee, and make it well. The brew basket assembly is large, with plenty of room for the appropriate amount of grounds, and I measured the water temperature at an on-the-money 196 degrees F.

The thermal carafe is one of the best I’ve ever used; preheating it with a little hot water before I brewed, coffee was still drinkably hot (and even steaming a bit) 8 hours later. I suspect that one of the things that make this work well is the simplicity of it — there is no “pour” button or exposed “drip hole” to leak heat. Instead, you have to screw the lid open slightly in order to pour coffee. The drip hole (where brewed coffee goes in) was dealt with by making it always open, and having a seperate cover that fits snugly over it when brewing is complete. It’s a little different than most thermal carafes I’ve ever seen, but it does seem to function well.

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