Russell Hobbs Buckingham Filter Coffee Maker Review
I’m not sure exactly why, but I’ve always been really drawn to filter coffee machines – and today I will be bringing you my verdict on a reasonably priced machine in my Russell Hobbs Buckingham Filter Coffee Maker review.
It may well be all the American TV shows I used to watch growing up – there was always a jug of coffee on the side, either in an office or just someone’s kitchen. Back then, we were generally still working on instant coffee, and the idea of a jug of proper coffee just there, ready to go, seemed like the pinnacle of cool and sophistication.
Imagine my delight then, that I now live in a world that has made owning a filter coffee machine an entirely achievable goal. They now can cost a similar amount to a round of drinks, or even much less if you go to trendy bars or have lots of friends.
The only problem now is that there are so many different makes and models available on the market that you can become overwhelmed by the choice. What you need is someone to pour over the details of some of the options for you, so you can get the right one to start living the (slightly pathetic) dream life from my childhood.
Well, I am that someone. In this article I will be looking at the Russell Hobbs Buckingham Filter Coffee Maker – a product at the lower-middle end of the price range, to determine whether it could be a good fit in your kitchen.
Russell Hobbs Buckingham Filter Coffee Maker Specifications
The first thing that jumped out at me when I first saw the Buckingham was that it looked very smart. The stainless steel finish is attractive, and would look at home in most kitchens, and I really like the digital display on the front – it just looks like a proper piece of kit.
Living, as we do, in an age when fewer and fewer people wear watches, the clock display is actually pretty useful, even if it just serves as a way of quantifying exactly how late that lie-in has made you. However, it also serves an excellent function as well – you can program it to come on so that when you awake you can be greeted in the kitchen by freshly brewed coffee.
It’s also incredibly compact as well, measuring just 23 x 32.5 x 20.5 cm. This means it will fit into the most cluttered of worktops without sticking out.
This doesn’t impact on its functionality though – with a 1.25l capacity you will be able to make up to 10 cups of coffee at a time, which is more than enough for domestic use, even on ‘those’ mornings. The jug has cup quantities marked down the side, so you can measure out exactly how many cups you want to make.
There is an inbuilt filter within the machine, which means you don’t have to buy paper filters, and the water is dispensed through the machine using a shower head, which quite literally showers the coffee grains to ensure that it covers all of the coffee. This means that more gets dissolved, and you get all the flavour in your coffee.
There is a stylish blue ‘light ring’ along the bottom of the machine which will tell you how long since the coffee was brewed – solid blue means that it is less than 20 minutes since it has been brewed, whereas flashing blue means between 20-40 minutes. It’s not recommended that you drink coffee after this point as you start to notice a significant drop in quality.
What It’s Like To Use The Russell Hobbs Buckingham
Even if you have never used a filter coffee machine before, I am pretty confident that by the end of this section you will be sufficiently trained to be able to use the Russell Hobbs Buckingham. (Unfortunately that is more to do with how easy this machine is to use, rather than my skill as a writer.)
First, you fill the water tank. To do this, use the jug to measure out how many cups you want to make, with 2 being the minimum (that will make one large mug, so I doubt you will ever want to make less than that). The markings on the jug make this incredibly easy to do, and there are even markings on the side of the machine as well if you are using a different vessel to pour your water.
After this, you simply lift the lid and pour the water directly into the water tank, which is down the side of the filter.
Now, it’s time to add the coffee, which you can either do directly onto the inbuilt filter, or you can add a paper filter on top to increase the effectiveness of the filtering process. I tend to use a paper as well, as it can make a smoother cup and completely eliminate any grains getting into your drink, but the in-built filter does a fine job by itself.
When you are measuring out your coffee, as a rough guide aim for one scoop (using the scoop provided) for one cup that you are making. You’ll want to experiment with different amounts, even adjusting it for different coffees, but if you work on this being a ‘medium’ you will find your ideal cup soon enough.
Once you have your water and coffee loaded, you shut the lid and, this is where it gets really technical, push the ‘On’ button. Your coffee is now being brewed. That’s all you need to know to make coffee.
With regards to the other features, if you are making a small pot (between 2-4) cups, there is a button to press which ensures you still get as much flavour as possible from the smaller amount of coffee.
My favourite feature is the programmable timer. Again, it’s simple to use, particularly if you’ve ever used an oven made after about 1975. Once you’ve loaded the machine with coffee and water, simply press the timer button, use the ‘h’ and ‘min’ buttons to set the time and press ‘Auto’. You’re all set to come downstairs tomorrow morning to the wonderful smell of coffee.
After each use, take out the filter, give it a quick rinse and replace it. It really is that easy – you can even put it in the dishwasher if you’d prefer. Oh, and don’t forget to use the excess grounds in your garden!
Russell Hobbs Buckingham Taste Test
One of the perks of filter coffee machines in general is that they operate with such simple processes, so very little can go wrong and you get very consistent results. This machine is no different in that respect.
Obviously, like every coffee machine, your drink will only be as nice as the coffee you put into it. The best machine in the world won’t save bad coffee.
The Buckingham filter coffee maker, though, will give you exactly the results you expect, every single time. This consistency gives you scope to experiment with different coffee and different strengths – to hark back to my GCSE Science, you know it’s going to be a ‘fair test’ as the machine will do the same job every time.
The heat plate will keep your coffee hot, really hot, for as long as you will need as well. This means that you can make a decent sized pot every time, safe in the knowledge you can come back for a top up in half an hour or so without having an inferior cup.
There is something incredibly reassuring about having complete control over the taste of your cup of coffee, and this machine certainly provides you with that.
As I have alluded to, filter coffee machines are a bit of a passion of mine. Aside from my childhood fascinations, I really love the fact that they make it incredibly easy to make a really good cup of coffee. I really think that there should be one in every coffee-drinker’s home.
With that in mind, how do you decide which ones are worth buying? Well you should be looking for a few factors: ease of use, consistency of performance, functionality.
Well this machine, as discussed above, is incredibly easy to use. That’s true of most filter coffee machines, to be honest, but this certainly ticks that box.
It undoubtedly delivers on the consistency front as well.
It’s the functionality that makes it stand out from many other machines though, namely the timer. I cannot exaggerate how lovely it is to walk downstairs in the morning, slightly bleary-eyed and dozy, to be greeted by the delicious smell of freshly made coffee. It’s such a great start to the day.
For a price a little more than that of a decent kettle, this is a brilliant option for anyone looking to buy a filter coffee machine. If you don’t think that you’ll ever use the timer, there are probably cheaper options that might be just as suitable to your needs. If you think, though, that even every now-and-then you would like the option to wake up to fresh coffee, then this is the machine for you.
The Russell Hobbs Buckingham Filter Coffee Maker needs to be on your shortlist – I don’t think you will be able to find a better option in this price range.