Once upon a time, in a not-so-far-off land, there were two companies: Bosch and Porsche. Each was known for its production of superior automotive products, so they decided to join forces and create something the likes of which no one had ever seen before. It was……..a coffee maker?! The world, including Whole Latte Love, was surprised by this result, yet intrigued. Could these two companies think outside the Boxster and revolutionize the world of coffee brewing? Well, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch, but most will agree that the Bosch’s Porsche Thermal Coffee Maker brews a great cup of coffee and as expected, blows the doors off of the competition in the style department.
At first glance, you can tell that this machine is something different from the rest. Instead of the standard front-to-back placement of the reservoir and carafe, they are set side-to-side. This does double the width of the machine as compared to others, but dramatically reduces the depth, so it fits on shallow counters with ease. The machine was also designed to save space vertically with a filter holder that swings to the front and a removable reservoir.
In and of itself, the reservoir is worth noting. It is nearly identical to the carafe, creating symmetry when the two units are attached, and adding to the uniqueness of the design. The fact that the reservoir is removable is a great benefit. One of the most annoying things about needing to pour water into a separate reservoir is trying to avoid spilling into other components of the machine and onto your counter. That step is totally eliminated here, and is a much-appreciated time-saver. Instead of pouring, you simply fill the reservoir and place it back on its base from any direction. When the reservoir is returned to its base, a valve on the bottom center of the reservoir is pressed and allows water to flow into the machine. It is clear that convenience and simplicity were at the forefront of Bosch and Porsche’s minds when they designed this coffee maker. The reservoir alone shows this effort, but it is reinforced in the housing and control panel.
One of the main problems that users have with machines that are housed in metal is their proficiency in attracting fingerprints. Bosch’s Porsche coffee maker is housed in brushed aluminum, so it gives it the heft and feel of stainless steel but resists fingerprints and provides a clean look at all times. The control panel buttons sit directly against this housing, so the ability to resist fingerprints is especially helpful there.
The control panel consists of two buttons: an off switch and an on switch that operates at either 5-8 or 2-4 cup capacities. Volume selection is made based upon which end of the button you press. These minimal controls are a blessing for some, but a bother for others. For people who don’t want to take the time to fiddle with settings, it’s great. But for those of us who like a little more control, it can be a little frustrating. It seemed that one of the only things truly missing from this machine was the option to program it to brew at a specified time. However, a full pot of coffee brews in around 7 minutes, so the wait time is not too long for those who would normally set the timer.
If you are one of those people who is slightly put off by the lack of programmability, you should know that the quality of the coffee that this machine produces will more than make up for that shortcoming. Brewing consistently at about 200°, the Bosch Porsche Thermal Coffee Maker brews hotter than the majority of its competition. Not only does this make for a hotter cup of coffee all the way around, it also improves the flavor of the coffee dramatically. Before this item went up on the WholeLatteLove website, a blind taste test was conducted using the same amount of water and coffee in this and another machine. The winner, by a long shot, was the Bosch Porsche. What could be a better endorsement of the machine’s quality and performance?
Further improving the taste of the coffee is the use of a glass lined thermal carafe. Most people associate a burnt taste with coffee that’s been sitting for a while after brewing. However, this is largely the result of the brewed coffee being kept over a direct heat source, like the hot plates that are found on typical drip coffee machines. Thermal carafes remedy this problem, but can create another: the coffee isn’t kept as hot as it could be. One of the best ways to maximize heat retention with any thermal carafe is to run hot water through it prior to brewing. This causes the glass liner to absorb the heat from that water instead of the brewed coffee. Bosch Porsche went one step further with their thermal carafe and included a lid with a "one-way" brewing valve. When the carafe rests on its base, the valve is pressed down, opening the heat seal, and allowing the coffee to enter the carafe. Removing the carafe from its base will allow the valve to spring upward and seal the top of the carafe. You need to remember to leave the carafe off of the base after brewing, but that’s something that’s easy to get in the habit of doing.
It must be said though, that there could be a few small improvements that would make this coffee maker truly phenomenal. We’ve already discussed the lack of a timer, but the gold tone filter and water dispersion head could also be improved. First off, the gold tone filter doesn’t have a handle on it. Instead, it has two small indentations that you should be able to fit your fingers behind to pull up and remove the filter. This seems like a small thing to mention, but if you have larger fingers or are impatient, it may prove to be an annoyance. The other surprise was the dispersion head: a single hole. It’s pretty well known that a showerhead design will yield the best results because it more evenly extracts the coffee, so it would be expected that a machine of this caliber would have that feature included. However, as it was mentioned above, the coffee quality is still fantastic; it could just be that much better with these few minor tweaks.
It’s true that coffee isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of two companies like Bosch and Porsche. However, this machine has proven that they extend the quality and expertise they have in the automotive world to every product they release. Even without the prestige associated with Bosch and Porsche, this thermal coffee maker will prove to be the envy of those not lucky enough to have one.
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