The Wilfa Performance Coffee Maker has been available in Europe and the UK for well over a year now, and will have a 110V version available in the USA and Canada this fall for $249USD, thanks to Lardera Coffee, who […]
The Wilfa Performance Coffee Maker has been available in Europe and the UK for well over a year now, and will have a 110V version available in the USA and Canada this fall for $249USD, thanks to Lardera Coffee, who are the exclusive importer partner of Wilfa in this hemisphere. Lardera is an interesting company looking to make a very big splash in a very specialist segment of the specialty consumer coffee market. I asked Michael Cramer, founder and CEO of Lardera about this.
“We aim to be a source of quality coffee and unique equipment.” Cramer said. “(For example,) we developed a high-wattage kettle that heats water quicker than any other gooseneck kettle, and will soon follow with the Performance coffee maker you’re currently reviewing, which maintains water temperature that is ideal for brewing coffee from the first to last drop. More unique products will be following soon.”
Asked about why Wilfa in particular, Cramer said, “We had considered many coffee-brewing appliances, and found Wilfa’s to offer an optimal combination of attractive design, value pricing, and most importantly, ability to produce a phenomenal cup of coffee.” Cramer also expressed to me that their company was very happy with the big improvements Wilfa made in the Performance, versus previous Wilfa auto drip machines.
You might recognize the Wilfa name already. This is because Williams Sonoma (WS) several years back brought in Wilfa’s previous auto drip coffee maker – the Wilfa Precision, designed by famous barista and roaster Tim Wendelboe – to much fanfare. You may also be aware of how much of a failure that Wilfa Precision was (at least in North America, but European models had issues too) with a very high break down rate. So much so that WS dropped the product in less than a year, and blew remaining stock out on Amazon for up to 80% off.
We covered the history of the Wilfa Precision machine in the US in a blog post recently, so it won’t be rehashed here. We will provide a comparison between the old Precision and this new Performance model later on in the First Look.
What I do want to cover right off the bat is how I feel about the Wilfa Performance after using it non stop for four weeks. To be blunt, it’s made me excited again about using an auto drip coffee maker! Normally when I’m testing coffee makers, I find I have to force myself into a mode of the normal customer for these devices, and use them the way the typical coffee lover might use one day in and day out. That’s not a mode the coffee geek in me is particularly comfortable with, so using and testing auto drip coffee makers is often more a chore, than a pleasure.
After four weeks of using the Wilfa Performance, I can honestly say using this device is a pleasure I look forward to every day. Indeed, when drinking coffee “on my own time” away from testing and evaluation periods, I have found myself gravitating as much to the Wilfa Performance as I have towards espresso machines. If you know me and my tastes in coffee, that’s saying something.
I hope later on in this first look that I convey why this sense and desire exists, but for now, let’s get into the rest of this review.