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Black & Decker CM5000B Mill & Brew 12 Cup Programmable Coffeemaker with Built-In Grinder

Black & Decker CM5000B Mill & Brew 12 Cup Programmable Coffeemaker with Built-In Grinder
Price: CDN$ 99.99


Great coffee from a so-so machine

I’ve not had the best results with Black & Decker home kitchen appliances in the past and this coffee maker seems to carry on the tradition of being underwhelming.

First off, the one thing it’s supposed to do it does well, make a hot pot of good tasting fresh ground coffee. We’ve found that the temperature is a fair bit hotter than the other coffee makers we have. It also looks good from a distance. The lines are nice and the brushed aluminium accents give it a nice appeal. Using it is easy, even working through how the control panel functions took only a couple of minutes without reading the manual first. There are a couple of icons, brew strength for instance, which we needed to look up but otherwise it’s not a difficult machine to figure out. The cord is a decent length and while it wouldn’t get used often I appreciate the cubby hole which is used to store and keep the cable out of the way the machine isn’t in use.

The carafe is ease enough to insert or remove from the machine but I’m a little worried about how long the top portion of the handle will last when dealing with a lot of full loads. It’s just a simple plastic clamp that really doesn’t look or feel that strong.

The permanent filter and grinding blade assembly pulls out very easily for cleaning or dumping the grounds. It only goes in one way and there’s really nothing that can go wrong when replacing it. The grinder isn’t very loud nor does it sound like it’s under powered.

Sure it’s handy to have the machine grind, brew, and deliver the coffee but there are some not so great items that need mentioning.

♦ While the machine is sold as 12 cups in reality it’s more like 8. The cups they used to get the number 12 are more like large espresso shot cups.
♦ The permanent filter is nice if you have a garburator that can deal with the grounds otherwise dealing with them can be a little difficult, this is where a disposable filter makes life easier.
♦ When grinding beans, if the permanent filter is even slightly wet the grounds get flung up against and then tend to stick on the sides which means that when the water is pouring not all of the grounds are used for the pot of coffee.
♦ The grinder setting is wonky. When we want to make a full pot and add the suggested amount of beans it grinds… grinds.. and grinds some more – far beyond what’s needed. This then ends up making a fair bit of very fine powder which slips past the grinding blade mechanism and ends up in the pot then eventually into the bottom of my cup. To compensate we found that using enough beans and water for 12 pots but setting the machine to 8 results in grounds which are small enough to release the flavour but aren’t powder fine.

Above I said it looks good from a distance, up close it starts to look cheap. When you pick it up there really isn’t any weight to it adding to the cheap feel. The left side plastic wall of the water reservoir is curved inward instead of straight. The lids for both water reservoir and coffee grinder fit ok but again feel too much like cheap plastic. Fit and finish here isn’t great but it is a sub $100 coffee maker with a built in grinder so it’s hard to compare with other sub $100 machines. End result is that this is at best a mid-range kitchen appliance.

Because of how well it does what we expect it to, make a good tasting cup of fresh ground coffee, even though it does suffer the points above, it’s a decent deal for the money and as such its better than just ok but I couldn’t say that I love it.

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