on 12 May 2011
I was given one of these Breville Wake Cup machines by my daughters as a present after they had carefully read the reviews. Like a number of people I also found a taste problem despite boiling water through the machine a number of times (at least 10). I then tried bicarbonate of soda (as Breville had recommended to other reviewers) a couple of times and still we had a taste problem. This was still there after a further week's use and, if anything, the off taste was getting more noticeable. I have to ask myself why have Breville not identified what is giving the taste problem and done something about it? Not rocket science with the chemical analysis techniques available today at little cost.
Reading the instructions I saw about de-scaling the machine "every three months or so". Although I had only had it for about two weeks I decided to try Sainsbury's appliance de-scaler. Eureka! After a few flush throughs and a couple of days use we now wake to a perfect cuppa with no off tastes.
So having solved the taste problem what do I think of it? Well it is nice, after all the years since we had to ditch our elderly Teasmade, to be able to wake up to a cup of tea in the morning. Once you have mastered the instructions for the alarm (it is not difficult but not intuitive) it is easy to use and works well. It also looks good. What would I like to see changed? Only one thing really and that is the brightness of the display at night. It seems everything you buy these days has a light built into it. What with our radio clock/alarm, the telephone with it's LCD display and now the Wake Cup it is not exactly dark in the bedroom at night!
If it had not been bought as a present would I buy one? Definitely - but it would have helped if I had known about using de-scaler.
This is a modern update on the old Teasmaid units that some of us were lucky enough to have in the early 1980s - it's basically the same, but it has an LCD alarm clock and no radio (mine had a radio, I seem to remember...)
The water tank is only 700ml - enough for two cups of tea; I'd have preferred a slightly larger capacity. It has no way of telling if the cups are overflowing or not, so you need to make sure to use only the amount of water that you need; the cups sit on an overflow tray, so no catastrophes occur should you put too much in, but it's a bit of a shocker to wake up to!
The other gripe I have is that the water comes out very hot - my Chinese partner insists that tea should have hot but not boiling water poured onto it, so she's not too happy. Everyone seems to have different theories regarding the correct way to make tea, but there's no way to alter the serving temperature.
It's a very simple machine. I got rid of a slight plasticky taste by boiling and emptying the resrvoir a few times.
The design is nice - plastic of course, but that's par for the course. There's a little hidden tray for sugar sachets, which is a thoughtful touch. It's a nice light unit which is easy to move around. When you unplug it you have to set the time again, unless you buy some batteries - another slightly annoying point; I do have one clock that has an internal battery that charges off the mains to provide temporary power when it's moved.
on 27 November 2010
This is an interesting modern take on the classic teasmade. It's very compact and boils quietly and quickly - around 2mins for a single cup; 4mins for 2 cups. It's much more efficient than the old-style teasmade, as you can boil exactly the amount of water that you need for your morning cuppa(s), rather than always having to boil a full pot (plus a little more that they always required to keep the element covered). It's also a lot less hassle to set up in the evening - just fill the measuring jug (which hides neatly inside the unit when not in use) and pour into the boiling chamber, and stick your cup(s) in place - there's no teapot to wash each day. Plus you can make two different drinks if one of you prefers tea and the other prefers coffee. Another nice touch is the supplied vacuum flask, which is large enough to hold milk for your tea and even a bowl of cereal for that full breakfast-in-bed experience!
I'm not really convinced that the "dawn simulator" is terribly effective; it's so quick and ends up with still quite a dim glow, so it's hard to see how it could ever help you wake up, gradually or otherwise. The light is certainly not enough to read by, but it's quite pleasant for sitting and drinking your tea by in the morning, as your eyes gradually get accustomed to the light, rather than being instantly dazzled by a brighter one.
Good though it is, there are a couple of flaws with this product, however. Firstly, the alarm always goes off before the water is boiled rather than afterwards (which would seem to make more sense), and there's no way to have the tea made automatically without the alarm. In practice, I got used to this fairly quickly. Secondly, the clock display (and the light on the "dispense" button) is a bit too bright - it would be nice if this could be manually dimmed or turned off. I have to have the unit facing towards the foot of the bed rather than towards me, which rather limits the usefulness of having the clock display in the first place.
All-in-all, I'm pretty pleased with my purchase - this is an efficient and easy-to-use unit, despite a couple of minor flaws.
on 4 December 2010
This is a wonderful machine. I agree with all the comment made by the previous reviewer, although you CAN in fact make a drink at any time, just press the dispense button till it turns red.
HOWEVER - when water is left in the machine overnight, by morning it has taken on a distinctly strange chemical taste which makes the morning cuppa almost undrinkable. We contacted customer services who suggested that it might be residue from the manufacturing process and recommended using a bicarbonate of soda solution in the water for several hours and then rinsing out. I've done this twice, leaving it in all day the second time. It has improved but isn't right yet which is a great pity because in all other respects it is a great machine. But ultimately, the taste of the end product is the important thing and if it means using fresh water in the morning in order to avoid the tast, then it somewhat defeats the object.
The Breville Wake Cup hot water dispenser is a new take on an old idea. The idea of having a hot cup of tea when you wake up in the morning is something that has been around for a long time, and I can remember my parents having a Teasmade back in the 70s.
The idea behind it is very simple, in the evening you fill the device with enough water for either one or 2 cups,add the teabag or coffee to each cup and then set the alarm. In the morning the alarm will sound and then within two minutes for one cup or four minutes for two cups you have a hot cup of drink ready to help you wake up. There is even a flask included to keep your milk cool and fresh.
The device does this very well, and the the water seems to be boiling for the tea. The first couple of times we used it there was a slight after taste to the water, but this has got less over the weeks. Any device which holds water over night is bound to add a very slight taste to water - that is why hot drink purists will always empty a kettle of water and fill it fresh from the tap. The after taste is more than made up for by not having to get out of bed to make your beverage!
A few people here have commented that the device doesn't make the drink until after the alarm has gone off. There are a couple of reasons for this - the first is that the device has a snooze function. Press the button and the alarm will go quiet for five minutes. You can continue this until you have had enough snoozing and are ready to face the day. Obviously if your drink was made before you decided to have those extra five or ten minutes in bed then you would not be able to snooze! The second (and for me most important) point is that I can remember back to my Parents' Teasmade which did make you a drink before sounding the alarm. I can fondly recall quite a few mornings when I was awoken by the sound and sight of clouds of steam billowing from my bedside cabinet and leaping out of bed thinking that the central heating pipes had burst! Not the best start to the day!
The Wake Cup has some very nice features. It is reasonably quiet in use. You can over ride the auto function, and just have an alarm sound, or you can manually start the tea making process. A lot of thought has gone in to the design - there is a removable drip tray and a pop out place to put your used tea bags. There are two spouts so you can have two different drinks (unlike the Teasmade which just had the one tea pot). The lights come on gradually in the morning to assist you waking gently. The lights are not the brightest which is a pity although there is enough light to make your drinks. There is a back up battery so even if you have a power cut the alarm will still sound.
The downsides - the display has an auto dimmer but is still amazingly bright. So much so that I had to tape a Quality Street wrapper over it to make it dim enough to sleep (thank goodness it was Christmas!) There is storage for the water jug inside the machine, but no storage for the flask. I would maybe have preferred flask rather than jug storage.
But overall this is a great product despite the slight drawbacks mentioned, and now takes pride of place beside our bed and gives us a little boost every morning.
on 17 December 2010
In over thirty years this is my fourth bedside tea making machine. The old ones never broke they just got too noisy ( the clock mechanism gets noisier over the years). This new machine is by far the best. It is slightly smaller, so more space on bedside table. I am putting my own stainless steel teapot underneath ( must be placed precisely) to make the tea in, I can get 2.5 mugs worth. My own teapot is a much better pourer than my old teasmade teapot. Of course you can use just mugs but I don't want to fiddle about squeezing tea bags.
The light is really good, nice and dim so you are not dazzled, you can switch it on and off at any time. The clock is a digital type display (blue light,) so I am not expecting it to get noisy. If you want to make tea manually without the alarm you just press a button. There is a built in water measuring jug in the top, but I find it easier to fill my teapot with the right amount of cold water and pour it in, I use the aforementioned watering jug to store my teabags in, about 50, really good use of space. It has a drip tray and a small storage draw underneath.
I have not used it with the alarm yet, often I prefer my own (quiet)mobile phone alarm, and then I can press the button for manually making tea.
I've always liked the idea of having a hot drink maker (teasmaid/teasmade) next to the bed so that I could wake up to a freshly made tea or coffee. Now that I have a "Breville VCF042 Wake Cup Hot Water Dispenser" I have actually had the chance to see how this idea works in reality.
For the most part, the Breville VCF042 is actually quite good. It does reliably deliver hot water into one or two mugs, so if you've put tea or coffee in the mugs you do end up with the drink that you want. It even comes with a nice flask for milk for those who like their tea/coffee white. So, it does do the job it is intended for.
However, there are some minor annoyances:
(1) The alarm and the delivery of drinks are not synchronised. So the alarm goes off, wakes you up, then you have to wait a few minutes before the drinks are made (about 4 minutes for two mugs). Personally, I would like the alarm to go off when the drink is made, or no more than a minute prior to the drink being made. That gives you time to stir from your sleep, sit up, make yourself comfy and reach for the drink. With a machine that takes a few minutes to deliver the drink after the alarm goes off, I'm sitting around waiting, getting annoyed. Given that the machine could work out how much water is going to be delivered and given that the power rating of the machine is known, working out the boiling time should not be difficult (yes, it would be different at the top of Everest, but a pretty good estimate could easily be made).
(2) The drawer for holding your used spoon, old tea-bag(s) etc is way too small and I cannot work out how to remove it for cleaning. As a result you need to keep a saucer next to the machine for this purpose.
(3) The dispensers through which the water is delivered are very close together. That means that if you have two mugs to fill, you have to align them very accurately. In this respect, the picture that you see on Amazon of the Breville VCF042 does not seen to match the reality of the machine that I have.
These may not sound major issues, but they are annoying enough that the Breville has been relegated to our guest room, where it allows our guests to make a drink without trekking to the kitchen. There, we have more space in which we can have the Breville sitting on a tray (with a raised edge in case people don't line their mugs up correctly), which contains a saucer and spoon, plus the flask (supplied with the Breville) for holding milk for those who want it. In that context, it is rare that the alarm feature of the Breville is used, with guests just pressing the dispense button two-four minutes before they want a drink.
So, to summarise - the Breville is a good device, but some minor annoyances mean that it doesn't get used in the way that I had originally intended (i.e. the guests get to use it rather than us). Recommended, but with caveats.
on 30 December 2011
I bought one of these despite seeing some less than favourable reviews concerning a 'plasticky' taste if water was left in overnight. Well I have to say I have not experienced this at all. I followed the instructions and let the machine run through a cycle 2-3 times and since then the taste has been fine.
What's more, the water comes out piping hot while the machine lights up (so you can see the cups clearly even if it's dark) and then beeps twice when the cups are ready. I place a spoon of instant coffee in each cup when I go to bed and keep cold milk in the flask provided.
Also having an integral water jug is brilliant. I think Breville should be commended on thinking of just about everything. You get enough water for two mugs of tea or coffee, an integral jug, light, alarm clock and drawer and a decent size drip tray. Of course if you want a single cup this is just as easy.
I wouldn't be without mine now and if you're looking for the luxury of having a piping hot coffee by your bed side every morning you have two choices; either move back in with your mum or buy one of these!
I can't praise this machine enough.
on 27 December 2010
The Breville Wake Cup does everything its manufacturers claim it will do. It makes me a lovely hot cup of tea first thing every morning without the need to traipse down to the kitchen.
The Wake Cup is much more modern and stylish in appearance than the rival Teasmade and also more modern in the makers' acceptance of the fact that not everyone uses teapots to make their tea, some people prefer other hot drinks to tea - or would simply like the option to have other drinks on occasion and people like various sizes of cup/mug ....all of which can be catered for by the Wake Cup.
The supplied flask for milk is of excellent quality and the water filler has its own designated slot.
My one problem with this item is the clock diplay which illuminated the entire bedroom and made sleeping next to it difficult. I have resolved this problem by creating my own makeshift cover to hide the display at night - the need to do this is the reason for giving four stars to what is otherwise a five star product.
on 1 February 2011
Well, where to start? I recently received this hot water dispenser as a birthday present and straight from day one, i was not disappointed. The machine produces boiling hot water in just a couple of minutes and saves the effort of dragging yourself downstairs at the crack of dawn. The alarm functions take a while to get used to but I found a quick skim through the manual did the job and I set it into motion.
If you have read other reviews, people may have said that there is a chemical, slightly plasticky taste to the water but i have noticed nothing of the kind (despite forgetting to run it through first). The flask and drip tray are great additions as is the fact that you can set the hot water boiling manually. The flask is a great addition and the cup sizes are just right, meaning you always get the right amount of water without using excess electricity to boil what you don't need.
Overall a great invention, well worth the price especially if you bad at getting out of bed in the morning like myself.