Yesterday, Friday 23rd, March 2018, the Orenda Coffee maker which was purchased on the 18th of June 2017 arrived at my flat. I was super excited and unboxed it, set it up and brewed my first cup. As I was unboxing the machine, I found that the parts are authentic to the promise. The water beaker is glass, the brewing chamber is glass, and while it is not possible to see inside the machine, the promise that the beans, water, and coffee only ever come into contact with glass and stainless steel continue to hold promise and offer a point of difference to other machines not the market that are made largely of plastic. The assembly is easy and once assembled, it looks so amazing, modern and cool sitting on my kitchen counter (wish I knew if there was a way to post a photo here).
Sadly, the coffee maker could not be more disappointing. I wish I could post a video here from the brewing process to provide more visuals on the description below. Why is it so disappointing?
The first and foremost reason is the brewing temperature. Prior to ordering, I corresponded with the Orenda team to find out what the brewing temperature was because this is a critical factor in brewing a delicious cup of coffee (you can Google this and you will find a German-made machine from Technivorm). The Orenda support team told me it is controllable by the user to a temperature up to 121 degrees Fahrenheit. That was a blatant lie. Now as I check the FAQs on their website, the brewing temperature is a paltry 99 degrees, which yields a somewhat tepid cup of coffee. Another reason the cup of coffee you end up drinking is so tepid is because the machine circulates the water through the coffee grounds continuously for about 2 - 3 minutes to get the brew strength higher. The brewing basket is glass and is open around the top so heat escapes and is absorbed by the glass. The end result is a very disappointing and tepid cup of coffee.
The second major fail is that when the machine is grinding the beans and the beans are being dispensed into the brewing chamber, because there is a gap around the top of the brewing chamber, there are coffee grounds all over the kitchen counter, and the grounds are sticking to all parts of the machine, likely attracted by some sort of static electricity on the surface of the machine itself. So there is always a lot of clean up required after using the machine. Honestly, if the machine were brewing the perfect cup of coffee, I might overlook this, but since the end product is so sub-par, it is not worth the effort.
The third major fail is the amount of grounds. I cannot find any way to regulate the amount of grounds being dispensed into the brewing chamber. It is not discussed in the user manual, and I cannot find anything on the Orenda website. This is the other major factor in brewing the perfect cup of coffee.
The fourth disappointment is the original marketing of the machine said it did not require filters. This is now only partially true, there is a stainless steel permanent filter embedded in the base of the brewing chamber. And it is easily cleanable. But in the instruction book and FAQs, Orenda now advises to purchase and use paper filters. Without paper filters, the company refers to the coffee as "French Press," which means there is a certain level of superfine grounds remaining in your cup of coffee after you drink it and some of those will find their way into the coffee you are drinking. With the filter, Orenda refers to this as "Pour Over." I ordered the filters from Amazon. I will update the review after I try those.
The fifth disappointment is there is no app. That is one of the biggest selling points. The app lets you control the machine, but there is no indication of when the app will be available and what you can actually control the app. And when the app is available, the machine will work with only the slower and outdated 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi, which I no longer have. My Wi-Fi is faster 5 GHz.
The sixth inconsistency is that the FAQs say you can use any kind of bean in the machine. In the instruction manual that comes with the machine, it says on page 11: "Warning: Do not use espresso coffee beans, only regular coffee beans. To prevent the grinder from jamming, do not use unroasted or oily beans." If you are a coffee connoisseur, then you know that some of the best, most flavourful beans are those that are oily.
Yesterday (Friday 23rd, March 2018), after brewing my first cup of coffee and making all these disappointing discoveries, I emailed Orenda Support (which still has the company's original name: email@example.com which they could not use because of trademark infringement). I am awaiting their response to how these failures can be remedied.
1. Low brewing temperature which cannot be regulated.
2. Amount of ground beans leaves a mess to clean up.
3. Amount of ground beans cannot be regulated.
4. The machine requires the use of paper filters unless you like French Press.
5. No app to operate the machine, and it works with only slow wifi (2.4GHz).
6. Espresso or "oily" beans are not allowed.
I am very unhappy that I was swindled out of $434 (including shipping) for a product that is so far from what was promised. If I could give a no star review, I would.
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend
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