"Awesome machine, possibly overly complex manual"
I am not a seasoned coffeemaker user - this is my first grinder, and my first fancy machine. I started reading the instruction manual at about noon on Sunday, and by 10 o'clock that night finally felt competent enough to attempt to use it.
I'm not kidding - the manual is incredibly explicit and even a little strident. For a coffee maker this expensive, it makes sense that you would want to use and clean it with care. On the other hand, a key point in the instructions for setting the timer was missing, and that was disappointing. Ending up with six cups of coffee at 10:30 p.m. wasn't the end of the world (and you better believe we refrigerated it for iced coffee the next day), but that one little error seems uncharacteristic.
I agree with the other reviewers: the design of the carafe is terrible. Certainly don't use it to fill the water tank - you'll be very frustrated and will wind up wasting a lot of water. Filtered water, too. And then the wasted coffee is tragic, especially when the coffee that emerges from this machine is truly amazing.
My final comment is that you're advised to run warm water into the carafe prior to brewing your coffee. My problem with this is that because I program my machine to start while I'm still asleep, I can't do that. Is it truly necessary? Why not just make a carafe that keeps the coffee warmer, if that's the issue? For the money you pay for this (beautiful) machine, getting that carafe right doesn't seem like rocket science.
All that said, I am confident that this well-made coffeemaker, if I use and maintain it as instructed, will last me forever. I look forward to many years of delicious coffee.
NOTE: After hitting "submit," Breville tells you that your comment has been submitted for "moderation." Hmmm. Glad I saved the original here. It will be interesting to see what, if anything, they change. By the way, I gave this review five stars. I'm impressed.