In this system, coffee and hot water mingle for the optimum time, providing the best-tasting coffee possible. The process takes around 4 minutes for up to 5 cups of coffee. The jug and the funnel are both made of sturdy polycarbonate, and the funnel is dishwasher-safe. (Clean the jug by hand, as it's not submersible.) Neither the bottom of the jug nor the top of the power base gets hot during brewing, because the heating element is in the middle of the jug's base.
There are a couple of things to remember when using the electric Santos. Always use fresh coffee, ground medium, for best results (stay away from using coffee from a can or powdered coffee), and use one level scoop of ground coffee per cup. So, for a full 5-cup pot, you'll use 5 scoops. After testing, if the coffee is too strong, begin tapering off the number of scoops. Also, remember that there will always be a small amount of water left in the coffee pot during the brewing process. This is a normal safety feature.
When cleaning the Santos, don't scrub the nylon filter clean--it should be rinsed under warm water. The coffee grounds from the upper section can be scooped out into the garbage can or compost using a common kitchen spatula. Then, simply wash the top section with dish soap and warm water. Also rinse the coffee pot with warm water as soon as you are finished drinking coffee. After rinsing, leave the lid open and let the coffee pot air dry. Every so often, clean the pot with a basic de-liming agent.
The original 12-cup Santos won a prestigious gold Industrial Design Excellence Award (IDEA) in the consumer products division. Award-winners are selected by the Industrial Designers Society of America. There were 1,260 entries from around the world in the contest, and only 44 gold awards were given. --A.J. Rathbun