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Bodum Santos Vacuum Pot

Updated on January 26, 2010

With the Bodum Santos Vacuum Pot, everything old is new again. Using a vacuum technology patented in the 1830s, and popularized again in the 1950s, Bodum Santos updates this old reliable coffee making process in an attractive new design. This 12-cup coffeemaker heats water in a sturdy plastic carafe that is attached to a boilerplate. Vacuum pressure then draws water up into a chamber filled with grounds. The water then drips down through a filter back into the carafe. The unit, which is very distinctive in appearance, requires quite a bit of counter space. It rests on a large wide base. The carafe, filter and most component parts are transparent heavy duty plastic. It is available in 5 cup or 12 cup sizes. The 12-cup version can be purchased with or without a timer for programmability.

Bodum Santos Vacuum Pot Controls

The look of the Bodum Santos Vacuum Pot is so different that it may take some time to realize how straightforward the controls are. For a start, programming is completely push-button. A simple on/off switch, located on the base of the machine, activates brewing and stays illuminated while the machine is in use. It can be programmed to start brewing up to 24 hours in advance by using a clock/timer, which has an LCD display. The clock/timer rests conveniently at the base of the unit and is easy to read. For safety, the Bodum Santos Vacuum Pot features a 2-hour auto-shutoff. It can also be turned off manually using the on/off switch.

Bodum Santos Vacuum Pot Performance

Due to the unique design, it may take a few minutes to sort out the various parts of the machine and start brewing. You may also have the feeling of anticipation waiting for the water to boil and rise into the upper funnel chamber. Then, once the water has started to boil, watching the turbulent bubbles in a large chamber may make you feel that there are some processes best left unseen. Coffee grounds tend to spread along the walls of the upper funnel during brewing. It may look as if only partial extraction has occurred, but a full extraction has taken place. Clean up may take longer than with a typical drip coffee maker. This is mainly because of the many assorted components, their design, and the presence of parts with embedded coils and circuits.

Bodum Santos Vacuum Pot Post-Brewing

After brewing has been completed, you can insert the reservoir's funnel end onto a special holder that slides out from the base of the machine until you're ready to clean up. At first glance, this seems an iffy proposition, but the funnel rests securely in the slot as designed. The unique design of the machine will definitely draw comments. The Bodum Santos Vacuum Coffee Maker brews 12 cups in approximately 11 minutes. A minimum of 4 cups must be brewed. The coffee maker comes with detailed, easy to follow instructions, as well as an 11-minute VHS instructional video. The brewed coffee quality is excellent, explaining why this brewing method has been in practice for so long. However, the many parts and additional clean up time do detract from the experience.

Continued In Bodum Santos Vacuum Pot, Part II

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