NEW Technivorm Clubline KB 741

When you find out a coffee maker is one of the few certified by the SCAA, it doesn’t seem like there’s much more that needs to be said - you already know it’s good. But the Technivorm Clubline KB 741 is such a unique machine, that we’d really be cheating you by giving you that tidbit and not explaining why this machine has received such acclaim.

The main reason for its allure: temperature. Although it’s fairly common knowledge that coffee should be brewed between 194 and 204ºF (per the SCAA), the large majority of coffee makers fall short of this target. Not the Technivorm. Every pot is brewed with pulsing bursts of water delivered to your filter-full of ground coffee at the proper temperature for a perfectly brewed pot. Part of the reason the Technivorm is able to maintain a consistent brewing temperature is because it has separate heating elements for heating water and for heating the hot plate. You may be thinking that a few degrees in temperature doesn’t make that much of a difference and that you’d never notice any change in flavor as a result, but that’s simply not the case. One huge reason the SCAA determined this temperature range as optimal is because coffee brewed between 194 and 204ºF just tastes better. When you’re brewing within this range, you’re getting the absolute best from your coffee without causing a sour flavor (from brewing at too low of a temperature) or a bitter/burnt flavor (from brewing with too high a temperature). But let’s get back on track…

So, the Technivorm performs with extreme precision in the temperature department. This is one of the big keys to great coffee, and obviously, a big factor in choosing a coffee maker. But form and function are also huge aspects in the purchase decision. So lets take a closer look at the Technivorm Clubline.

On the Outside

One look and you know that the Technivorm KB 741 is definitely a coffee machine to remember. Overall, its styling is reminiscent of most 60’s era appliances, down to the font that they used to print "Moccamaster" on the front. The construction of the Technivorm is mostly comprised of polished silver aluminum and black plastic, save a few items like the clear water tank and glass carafe. You would assume that the polished aluminum housing would be a fingerprint magnet, but it manages to stay relatively print-free and wipes clean very easily if a little housekeeping is indeed necessary. This is also a non-scratch housing, so if you’re worried about aesthetic longevity, have no fear - this machine will be able to retain its retro look for years to come.

On the front of the Clubline’s base are two rocker switches that act as the machine’s main controls. To the left is an on/off switch that controls power to the machine and to the right sits the hotplate control switch, which allows you to choose whether the hotplate heats to hot or extra hot temperatures. Each button has a red indicator light that informs you when the machine is on or if the hot plate is in extra hot mode. To the right of the hotplate control switch is another indicator light labeled "SCALE", which illuminates when the machine needs to be descaled. These simple controls are pretty user friendly, although the images used to denote which position of the hotplate is hot (a ¾ circle) or extra hot (a full circle) can be a little confusing the first time you pull the KB 741 out of the box. But if you’re one of those folks that needs features like LCD displays and the ability to program a brewing time, you may find this machine a little elementary for your taste.

Unlike most coffee makers, the Technivorm’s reservoir and brewing area (including the filter holder and carafe) are set side-by-side on the machine’s base. The reservoir, which has a cylinder running top to bottom through its center, sits atop a polished aluminum tower on the left side of the KB 741. Removing the reservoir’s lid reveals a rectangular metal tube that is connected to the center cylinder and runs from there to the right-mounted filter holder. Directly below the filter holder, the KB 741’s 10-cup glass carafe sits comfortably on top of its hotplate. All of this may seem run of the mill, but a deeper examination of each of these components reveals that they are anything but ordinary.

The Sweet Stuff

We’ll begin where the brewing process does: the reservoir. After you pour water into the Technivorm, it begins to drain through the bottom of the reservoir into the aluminum tower, where it is heated. Once the water has reached the proper temperature, it begins to bubble up the cylinder in the center of the reservoir (providing a little entertainment while you wait) and flows through the connected metal tube over to the filter holder where it exits into your coffee grounds. As this water makes its way out, more water gets pulled into the heating stage, and so on and so forth until your pot is brewed.

Before we move on to the intricacies of the filter holder and carafe, we should take a minute to discuss the metal brewing tube that connects to the cylinder in the reservoir. It should be noted that when you first open up your Technivorm Clubline, this piece is disconnected and is somewhat difficult to identify if you’re unfamiliar with the design. The tube itself has a hole at each end - one that fits over a rubbery connector at the top of the cylinder and one that dispenses water over the coffee grounds for brewing. When attached properly, the connector provides a very tight seal between the tube and cylinder and prevents any leakage. Just make sure you’ve attached the tube snugly before brewing.

It’s not often that a filter holder merits its own paragraph in an article like this, but the Technivorm’s is definitely worth some space. The filter holder, which sits on a dedicated platform, is where you control some of the major brewing options. A switch on the front of the filter holder has three positions, each of which controls the flow of coffee from the filter to the carafe. When the switch is in the up position, the dispensing hole at the bottom of the filter holder is fully open. This setting is used for full 10-cup pots of coffee. For smaller pots of coffee, you’d want to put this switch in the center position, which partially blocks the dispensing hole and allows longer saturation of the grounds. The switch’s bottom position completely closes the dispensing hole, acting as a sort of manual drip-stop, so you can pour a cup of coffee before the brew is finished. In the event that you forget to reopen the switch, or simply add too much coffee to the filter, the filter holder also has an overflow mechanism that helps to keep water and grounds off of your counter. When the water/coffee inside the filter holder reaches a certain level, it begins to drain off of the side of the filter holder and down into the carafe. Small design elements like this give the Technivorm KB 741 an additional edge in the coffee machine market.

The carafe is another element that is of note. When you first take a look at it, you’ll notice a large black tube that leads from the carafe lid to (nearly) the bottom of the carafe. This is what Technivorm calls the "Mixinglid" and it delivers freshly brewed coffee directly to the bottom of the carafe, instantaneously mixing it with the previously brewed coffee that was already in the carafe. This helps to provide a more even flavor throughout the pot.

Wrapping Up

It’s pretty easy to see why this machine is so popular among coffee consumers and professionals alike. Technivorm doesn’t simply rely on their reputation, but continues to do things like hand assembling and individually inspecting every machine that goes out their door. This ensures that they keep said reputation as well as the quality design and craftsmanship that got them there in the first place. With its distinct look and functional simplicity, it isn’t going to be the ideal machine for every person, but for those who are basing their decision on the ability to produce amazing coffee, the Technivorm Clubline KB 741 will be a perfect fit.

Buy a Technivorm Clubline KB 741.

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