Date: Saturday, October 14, 2000 14:02
Subject: RE: KitchenAid Ultra 12-Cup Coffee Maker

Hi Denise...

I just wanted to share with you a few more "tidbits" concerning the coffee maker that might be useful to your coffee engineers.

I'm certain that in most cases when a product malfunctions, especially two identical ones, then the user (customer) must take at least some responsibility. With regards to the overflowing filter assembly, we have been using the same "batch" of coffee that we purchased last October. I don't get into town very often and I also have to buy coffee for work, so I tend to buy large quantities once or twice a year. The brand I buy is Boyer's "Denver Blend" coffee beans, from Sam's Club. I grind the beans there using the "automatic drip" setting. Just in case your not familiar with the coffee grinders at Sam's Club, they're anything but consistent (but they usually err on the "course" side). I would assume, considering the overflowing KitchenAid Ultra, that their coffee grinder probably ground the beans too fine. (They don't look too finely ground to me, but then again, I'm not an expert on "ground" coffee beans)

In an attempt to alleviate the overflowing, for the past several months I've been mixing (50-50) pre-ground automatic drip coffee with the above Sam's Club "Denver Blend". This definitely seemed to help, but once or twice a month it still overflowed the filter assembly. I assure you, I make the coffee every night exactly the same way, measuring 12 scoops with your supplied measuring scoop (actually, I've been slowly decreasing it to around 10 scoops in the hopes that it would eliminate the overflowing), and filling the reservoir with the carafe filled to the "Max" marking. With respect to the "Strength" setting knob, I always leave it in the center position. I varied its position a few times when we first got the coffee maker, but I wasn't able to discern any noticeable difference between the weak and strong setting.

Personally, I prefer finer ground coffee -- it seems to have a fuller flavor, and when I grind the beans at home I normally grind them at a "finer" setting than for "automatic drip". Bottom line -- none of our coffee makers (Farberware, Cuisinart, or Mr. Coffee) have ever overflowed with either coffee beans that I grind or this current batch from Sam's Club. In addition, the coffee maker at work (Bunn) has never had a problem with this batch of Sam's Club ground coffee beans either. I think a coffee maker, any brand, should be able to handle a fairly wide range of "grind" preferences (i.e., course, medium, & fine) and the user shouldn't have to mix" brands (& grind-sizes) of coffee to prevent overflowing. If you like, I could send you a sample of the coffee we're using if it would help. But like I said above, none of our previous coffee makers have overflowed with this brand of coffee, and we've been using it for nearly two years.

As for your carafe, I'm not going to "volunteer" any responsibility for its "dribbling" while pouring. My sister and family were over for dinner last night and we had a contest to see who could pour from a full carafe without "dribbling". In only three attempts out of twenty was someone able to pour without dripping, and those successes were only achieved by pouring EXTREMELY slowly, using two hands (it was painful to watch!). I don't mean to single out KitchenAid for the dribbling carafe. The Cuisinart we purchased last fall dribbled, and our neighbor's recently purchased Krupps also dribbles when pouring from a full carafe. Gee... maybe there's an "anti-coffee" terrorist distributing faulty carafe spout plans to all the coffee
maker manufacturers, ya' think?

As you can see from the previous paragraph, I did not return the carafe with the coffee maker. Somehow, when I was in the process of carrying the KitchenAid Ultra out to throw it off the front porch, I had the common sense to leave the carafe behind. When I was packaging up the "pieces", I was unable to fit the carafe into the same box. We still have two carafes, both of which dribble, and I can mail them back to you if needed. That's a total of three carafes we've tried from KitchenAid, and I would doubt that all three of them were defective. That's why in my previous email I said I'd be glad to wait until you've manufactured a redesigned carafe, if necessary.

I hope some of this (lengthy) info will be helpful. Thank you again for your continued support!