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Swan 1.25L Coffee Maker review

David Ludlow
30 Sep 2015
Swan 1.25L Coffee Maker hero
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
20

The Swan 1.25L Coffee Maker’s is great value and makes decent coffee, but it’s a little flimsy

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Making a filter coffee machine isn’t particularly complicated and if you’re willing to compromise a little on build quality, you can buy one extremely cheaply, as Swan shows with its 1.25L Coffee Maker. Although it costs £40 direct from the manufacturer, shop around online and you can buy it for less than £20. Considering it’s so cheap, it actually looks quite nice in the flesh. It has an all-plastic body, but it looks clean and is available it a wide range of colours (red, purple, pink, white, cream, blue and the black one I have on review). The real compromises come from the build quality.

Build quality

Everything feels a little flimsy on this model and I found that the lid, which you lift up to get access to the filter and to add fresh ground coffee, didn’t close very well. It needs a bit of a twist and a push to really get it seal properly. There are also no measurements on the jug, so you can’t work out how much water you need until you start filling the machine. It’s a minor issue, because once you’ve got the right amount of water into the reservoir (measured in cups, between two and 10), you can tip any extra away.

Swan 1.25L Coffee Maker reservoir

Making coffee

After adding water, it’s a matter of dropping a fresh paper filter into the funnel and putting the right amount of paper in. For some people not having a dishwasher safe filter may be annoying, but I believe that paper is the right choice: you can vary the taste by changing filters and a fresh one for every pot means you don’t get a tainted flavour from an aging filter.

Swan 1.25L Coffee Maker funnel, filter and coffee

To start making coffee, you just have to clip the jug in place under the funnel and using the Coffee Maker’s one button to turn it on and start the cycle. Shortly after turning it on, coffee will start to drip through and fill up the jug. Once done, there’s a no-drip system, so removing the jug seals the funnel and prevents coffee spilling out. The integrated hot plate will keep your coffee hot, although you wouldn’t want to leave it too long, as hot plates keep warming the coffee and will turn it more and more bitter. My one complaint is that the lightweight body makes it a little hard to pull the jug out without toppling the entire machine. I had to be careful stabilising it, as the top of the machine is the natural place to hold onto, but that is extremely hot. 

Coffee quality

Coffee came out at 66C, which is around average for the filter machines that I’ve tested so far. It was rich and dark in colour, although there’s the option to change the filter and the amount of ground coffee to adjust the taste to suit. Tasting the coffee from our test beans, our test drink was smooth with the subtle notes of our roast still there. Overall, there’s really not a lot to complain about at this price.

Swan 1.25L Coffee Maker sample shots

 

Maintenance

As it's so simple, the Swan 1.25L Coffee Maker doesn't need a lot of maintenance. In fact, aside from keeping the jug clean and wiping out the funnel, you’ll only need to descale it every couple of months or so, with Swan recommending that you fill the reservoir with regular vinegar and run a regular cycle, followed by two more water cycles to clean out the vinegar and scale residue.

Conclusion

Considering its price, the quality of coffee from the Swan 1.25L Black Coffee Maker is actually pretty good. That said, it's slightly flimsy build quality lets it down and makes the jug hard to remove. If you’re on a tight budget, this machine certainly does the job, but you can get better build quality and taste by spending a little more, such as with the Melitta Look Timer.

Physical
Dimensions (HxWxD)295x175x220mm
Water capacity1.25L
Machine typeFilter
Tea makerNo
Features
Clock/timerNo
Filter typePaper
Stay warmYes (hot plate)

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