The one-cup Moccamaster drip-filter tested

The Moccamaster Cup-one makes a great cup of coffee.
The Moccamaster Cup-one makes a great cup of coffee. Photo: Supplied

The Moccamaster drip-filter brewer is a classic piece of European industrial design and engineering, hand-made in a small factory in the Netherlands.

The retro styling gives it the feel of something you might have picked up in an op-shop, the technology's barely changed since it was first made in 1964, and it consistently comes out on top in tests of automatic drip-filter brewers: it is to coffee what a turntable is to music.

My only reservation was from a sense of proportion: the Moccamaster brews up to 10 cups, and although you can set it up for one or two, that seemed like overkill.

Retro styling: the Moccamaster Cup-one.
Retro styling: the Moccamaster Cup-one. 

Now Technivorm, the company that manufactures Moccamaster, has released a one-cup brewer – called, with Dutch pragmatism, the Cup-one.

Moccamaster Cup-one is a scaled-down version of its big sister: the same solid build (a boxy powder-coated aluminium housing in a range of design-friendly colours); and the same technology (a copper element that heats water quickly; an automatic cutoff switch).

The Cup-one is easy to use: fill the tank and put coffee and a filter paper in the cone, and flick the switch; come back four minutes later and it has finished brewing and turned itself off.

One of Moccamaster's big claims is that it delivers water at what the Specialty Coffee Association of America recommends as the optimum brew temperature – between 92C and 96C.

Why does that matter? If the water is too cool, the coffee is likely to be under-extracted and sour, while if it's too hot, the coffee can taste over-extracted and bitter.

In testing, the water temperature in the Cup-one's filter basket measured between 92C and 95C for a brew time of three-and-a-half minutes. In comparison, with a pour-over I managed water temperature between 86C and 89C.

The Cup-one made bright, vibrant brews with an Ethiopian Chele'lektu. The temperature stability and consistent pouring time means that if you put good coffee in, you'll get a good cup out.

It's also easy to clean: empty the used filter and grounds into the compost, and rinse the cone. The local distributor, Nordcoffee, also recommends descaling with a vinegar and water solution every few months.

When you combine the ease of use with the temperature stability, the Cup-one (RRP $289) is worth adding to any filter coffee fan's gadget wish-list.

nordcoffee.com.au