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The Black & Decker SmartBrew Coffeemaker, with its relatively simple feature set, does not aspire to be chief Transformer of the current generation of those robots that are coffee makers. But then it isn’t designed to be chief among drip coffee maker electronic gadgetry. The tradeoffs between price and features have developed a loyal following with few complaints about these SmartBrew coffee makers.
Although there have been health concerns about coffee drinking down through ages, research from respected organizations during the past 10 years has uncovered some unexpected benefits of coffee. Nobody quibbles that coffee drinking creates complications for pregnant women and unborn babies. And certainly coffee is guilty of staining teeth, causing bad breath, contributing to the jitters and insomnia. It is also not indicated for those with ulcers or other gastrointestinal complications. But medical literature reports a number of benefits for coffee drinkers. They are less likely to die from heart disease. And for some reason they are not as prone to dental cavities as the general population. Coffee drinking boosts short-term memory recall and reduces the possibility of cirrhosis of the liver and cancers such as breast cancer and prostate cancer. So not only is coffee not bad for you, in moderation it is actually good for you. If you don’t yet have one of the current drip coffee makers, this Black & Decker just might offer the best value.
At 975 watts, the SmartBrew does not have the highest power output. It is one of the basic residential coffee makers that concentrate on brewing 12 cups of coffee through a paper filter into a glass carafe kept warm by a hot plate. If you are looking for such niceties as permanent coffee filters, water filters or brew-strength settings, this is not the ‘droid you are looking for.
Although this is one of the coffee makers without a brew-complete audible beep, it has quite a few other convenience features: cord storage, water-level indicators, programmable clock to delay start of brewing, brew pause to allow you to sneak a cup while brewing, and automatic shut off after two hours.
The warranty for these Black & Decker coffee makers is limited to one year. Customer service is by telephone. We had difficulty reaching anyone in the customer service department. The customer service voice greeting says “Your expected wait time is less than 10 minutes,” a promise that repeats about every five minutes. Even after 30 minutes, it continues to cheerfully promise the 10-minute wait that it predicted during the first five minutes of the call.
If you want more features, there are plenty of other coffee makers that offer more, and cost more. This drip coffee maker lets you see how much water is in the reservoir. It has a programmable clock so you can plan for coffee at your convenience. If you want to sneak a cup during the brew cycle, you can. If you leave the house without turning the machine off, it will turn itself off after two hours. Depending on what you need, the Black & Decker SmartBrew Coffeemaker may just be the perfect product.
The SmartBrew has two water-level indicators.
There is no audible beep when brewing is complete.
The Black & Decker is a good basic modern coffee maker.