Sometimes our lifestyles and schedules cannot keep up with our need for specialty-style coffee. Products like the KitchenAid Coffee Maker KCM0802 Pour Over try to solve this problem for us by automating the process.
But can an automatic machine really achieve the same or similar flavor as a brew method like a Pour Over that requires so much precision? Let’s find out.
Skip the Maid, Try KitchenAid
This distinctly American brand got its start with stand mixers in 1919. Before it was KitchenAid, it was The Hobart Manufacturing Company. They moved into the home appliance market in the 1920s, but the brand didn’t claim the top spot among American manufacturers until the end of the 1980s, following Whirlpool Corporation‘s purchase of the company.
Today, KitchenAid often includes an automated version of a specialty coffee brewing method in their coffee maker line up. The Pour Over model we are going to be review today was one of the more recent ventures, and their current offering is a siphon coffee brewer.
KCM0802 Pour Over Coffee Maker Review
Meet the Kitchenaid KCM0802! Dubbed the Pour Over Coffee Maker, don’t let the name confuse you. It doesn’t require a scale and gooseneck kettle as a typical Pour Over would. This machine claims to combine the control and flavor of the pour over technique with the convenience of your average drip brewer.
Currently, it has been discontinued; however, it is still sold “renewed” or certified refurbished. And needless to say, we and plenty of others are intrigued by its claims. So let’s get into it.
- Roast Selector allows you to maximize compatibility with both medium and dark roasts
- Certified by the SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America) until its discontinuance
- Visual display and progress bar let you feel involved in the process
- Pre-Infusion Blooming phase gives a fuller flavor
Room for Improvement:
- Opening for water reservoir is really small, and it is not removable
- You cannot turn off the hot plate, and there is no thermal carafe option without one
- Temperature and saturation can be inconsistent
- Most recent, positive feedback on the Kitchenaid site is from “Incentivized” reviewers
Features to Note
Let’s go ahead and get the basic stuff out of the way. This machine measures 8.7 x 11.3 x 15.1 inches, which is pretty big as far as coffee appliances go. So you’ll definitely need to measure your space before you buy this machine.
Furthermore, this model is a pretty standard weight, coming in at about 7.6 pounds. Made in china
The KCM0802 is a unique brewing tool because it is designed to imitate the method used for Pour Over coffee. Now, for those of you who aren’t up to date on the specialty brewing scene, that is a pretty grand undertaking. Pour Over coffee requires a lot of precision, so to replicate it with an automated machine would be pretty impressive.
Honestly, while it’s not exactly the same, the KitchenAid coffee maker doesn’t do a bad job of it. It has a conical basket and uses paper filters, so you. get a similar type of brew. Also, as a means of simulating the unique pouring technique a barista would use, the machine uses Pulse Brewing.
Additionally, there is a pre-infusion function that wets the grounds before the machine even starts brewing. Overall, it’s not perfect, but it’s not bad either, and works especially well with the medium roast setting.
This machine has a decently durable construction, however it is mostly plastic. There are some metal components nonetheless, which contribute to the overall durability of the machine.
Nonetheless, we would still recommend avoiding the dishwasher with this one.
Display and Controls
One thing we really appreciate about this machine is that it is really intuitive. There are four buttons and an LCD display to show you what you’re changing. The buttons are labelled (from top to bottom) brew, menu, +/-, and set.
“Brew” starts the brew and resets the brew cycle if you want to make multiple carafes. “Menu” allows you to switch what option you are controlling. “+/-” allows you to change the clock, medium/dark brew setting (temperature), pre-programmed brew time, and how many cups to brew. Lastly, “set” lets you confirm those choices.
As we mentioned above, you can partially control the brew temperature by switching between the dark roast and medium roast. This switches the temperature between 195° F and 205° F, lower for dark roasts and higher for medium.
The feature is actually relatively unique, and we appreciate that it’s pretty easy to figure out for people who aren’t super well-versed in the ins and outs of how temperature affects brewing.
However, there have been some complaints that using the lower, dark roast option can be a little too cool for some people’s tastes.
You can find the Kitchenaid Pour Over comes in four different colors: Onyx Black, Medallion Silver, Empire Red, and Contour Silver. With that line up, you should be able to find one to suit your style.
Things to Consider
Obviously, you are going to need a brew tool that has an appropriate brew time for your lifestyle.
The KCM0802 does have a 24-hour programmable feature, so you can set it to brew when you wake up. However, this would require you leaving grounds in the machine overnight, which isn’t ideal. The brewing time is about 12 minutes, which isn’t terrible considering it is supposed to mimic Pour Over coffee.
But if you need something that can be started and finished in less than 5 minutes, you’d be better off checking out a BUNN Coffee maker or something similarly focused on speed brewing.
While this machine doesn’t go the whole nine yards with degree by degree programming and all that jazz, this machine does do a pretty good job of giving you options.
Firstly, there is a cup selection option. You can choose to brew 2, 4, 6 or 8 cups, plus the fill indicator on the front has corresponding numbers to tell you how much you can make.
In addition to controlling how much you brew, you can also somewhat affect the temperature that the machine uses to do it. But switching between the “dark roast” and “medium roast” options, you can change the brew temperature.
Lastly, the KCM0802 is 24 hour programmable. That means you can set a time, say 6:45am, that’s around the time you want to wake up and the brew cycle will run at whatever time you set. Unfortunately, this means leaving your grounds in a non-airtight container all night.
So, this feature could come in handy in a pinch, but we wouldn’t recommend it as your go-to brewing procedure. Other than that, these features are pretty nice to have in the kitchen.
If you’ve read any of our past reviews or buying guides, chances are you’ve seen mention of different carafe types. The two types you are going to come across are glass and thermal carafes.
Both types are intended to ensure that the coffee you drink is hot. Glass carafes are paired with hot plates to accomplish this by adding heat back into the brew. Thermal carafes keep coffee warm by trapping heat in from the brewing process.
The model we are reviewing here has a glass carafe which is honestly the source of a lot of our gripes with it, especially because it has a 24-hour brew programming feature. Hot plates have a tendency to create a burnt flavor. And, unfortunately, you cannot turn this one off.
So you can’t exactly set your brew time for more than 5-10 minutes before you plan on drinking it. While a thermal carafe would have been a nice touch, it’s not the end of the world. Plus, a glass carafe means a lower price.
The KitchenAid KCM0802 Coffee maker can brew between 2 to 8 cups. That is enough to brew enough cups for one or a few people, but not enough if you’re planning on hosting a java party.
Furthermore, the water reservoir holds enough to brew one full carafe, but not more than one. So keep in mind that you’ll get a maximum of 4 brews out of it before needing to refill.
Would you prefer something that can act a little more like training wheels as you work up to manual Pour Over? Or something that won’t become redundant when you make the switch? Try the Breville Precision Brewer.
Now, this brewer is first and foremost a highly-programmable drip brewer. However, it does have a pour over adapter that includes a shower head and base that allow you to pair the machine with a HarioV60, Kalita Wave, or similar pour over tool.
This is a great option if you are already planning on investing in a Pour Over tool but aren’t ready (or simply don’t have the time) to jump into all the technique involved. It’s definitely the more expensive option. However, the machine itself is much more versatile. So if you do make the switch to manual, the Precision Brewer will still be able to earn its keep on your counter.
Additionally, this machine is faster (3 minute brew time) and more durably made than the KCM0802. It also has a thermal carafe, which is a huge plus for us. So if you have the budget for it, this is a great machine to look into as your gateway to Pour Over coffee.
Interested in Going Manual?
Want to skip all of the automated business and go straight to the real thing? Great! Here is what you will need:
You will also need a kitchen scale to make sure you are measuring your coffee and water accurately. And a gooseneck kettle is an absolute must to ensure you have full control over the brew, beginning to end.
Even with all of that kit, you can still get your complete Pour Over set up for less than $150, which is in the same price range as the KitchenAid Pour Over Coffee Maker. However, you would be investing more time and effort into your brewing.
Nonetheless, once you get. the hang of it, your coffee will be of a significantly higher caliber the it would be with an automated machine.
Overall, we were pretty impressed by the KitchenAid Coffee Maker KCM0802. While it is not quite the same as actually getting all the kit to manually make Pour Over coffee, it is a unique machine that makes good coffee. It’s relatively affordable and incredibly easy-to-use. So if you have the space and time for it, this machine is definitely worth a look.
However, do keep in mind that these machines are only sold refurbished at this time. As a result, you may run into a few more issues than what you would have had with a new model.