At a glance
Two timers for scheduled brewingEleven grind settingsAdjustable brewing strength
Water measure could be more prominentHeight could make it difficult to find a spot forRequires paper filters
The Melitta AromaFresh II Therm Pro will grind, brew and keep your coffee hot – simple as that. It’s a marvel of a machine that makes everyday life easier.
It’s not often that an appliance is all labour saving and no labour creation. Even the most useful bits of tech require an element of set-up or sort-out or preparation.
And then the Melitta Therm Pro arrived for testing.
It’s a genuinely wonderful time-saver that requires very little from you. All you have to do is buy coffee beans, fill the water tank and add a filter, and it makes a pot of lovely coffee that stays hot for ages and is there whenever you need it.
Design and Build
Eight-cup, removable water tank
Stainless-steel, insulated, unbreakable jug
The Melitta Therm Pro is a 4kg appliance, largely made of hard black plastic, with a bean hopper lid and water tank in smoked grey plastic. It’s tall at 46cm high: if you have conventional height wall cabinets above your countertop, you might struggle to fit it underneath.
On the left, you have the jug housing with the bean hopper above; on the right, there’s an eight-cup removable water tank and an LCD display above a series of control buttons.
For people with busy lives, the Therm Pro is marvellous
The bean hopper has a lid you simply lift off to pour in your coffee beans, and the dial on the top allows you to adjust the ceramic grinder’s fineness to one of eleven settings. Below this is a hinged filter with a removable filter insert that you can take out and pop in the dishwasher.
It’s into this removable filter that you pop your paper coffee filter before the bean grinder deposits the ground coffee inside for brewing. The filter also has an integrated drip stop, so if you lift the jug off the stand plate, it won’t drip coffee all over the plate and make a mess.
Below the filter casing is the stand plate for the stainless steel, insulated, unbreakable jug. This jug is a sturdy thing with a lid you lift off by depressing two levers at the side. To pour from it, you press a button by the top of the handle.
Then to the other side. There’s a smoked plastic eight-cup water tank with a pull-off lid that lifts out of the appliance, so you can take it to fill at the tap; the water measure at the front is a touch tricky to see in certain lights, but we are nit-picking a bit there.
Below this is the display. When the appliance is in standby mode, it shows a clock. Press a button and the other icons flash into life: a cup for the current quantity settings at the top left, and a bean for the current strength settings on the right. In the bottom right corner is a menu icon you use to access the integrated decalcification programme, clean the grinder, change the clock time, and alter other settings.
You interact with the display screen via a bank of keys below. The first two are left and right menu buttons. Then there’s an okay button beside a timer button, which you press to set one or both timers for scheduled brewing. Below this, you’ll find plus and minus buttons for the cup quantity settings – you can choose to brew between two and eight cups. Then there are plus and minus buttons for the five coffee strength settings.
Finally, there’s the start/stop brew button. Altogether, it sounds like a lot of buttons – but it’s simple to use and you won’t need to remember sequences as you do with multifunction keys.
Set-up and Performance
Adjustable brew strength
Programmable brew quantity
Eight minutes brew time
Setting up is easy. Turn on the Therm Pro, set the time on the clock, and set the coffee strength to 0 to turn off the grinder. Then rinse out the water tank and fill it to the eight-cup measure. Next, rinse out the stainless-steel jug, pop it on the plate and press start.
It takes around eight minutes to run the hot water through the machine and into the pot. You then empty the jug, refill the water tank, and run through the process again. All in all, the entire process takes sixteen minutes and after that, it’s ready to use.
We used coffee break times to actually drink coffee and reflect on the last batch of work done, rather than just busying ourselves with the process of making the drink
Making coffee is just as simple. Pour your coffee beans into the hopper, close the lid, pop a filter paper into the removable filter, and make sure your water tank holds enough water for your brew.
Programme in the number of cups you wish to brew and the strength, and press start. The brewing process takes roughly eight minutes for two cups, and there is an automatic beep at the end to tell you that your coffee is ready.
For our first test, we brewed a strength one pot of filter coffee for two. The smell, while brewing, was gorgeous: a rich, round coffee scent that drifted through the room. The result was a steaming pot of hot filter coffee that tasted like a soft, delicate infusion and was extremely drinkable.
A strength one filter coffee
Alex Greenwood / Foundry
Our second test was for a strength three brew: this was stronger and perkier, with no bitterness or muffled taste – a very clean brew with just the right amount of punch to it.
We also discovered that the stainless-steel insulated jug keeps the coffee warm for hours. We made a pot at 8.30am and it was still warm three hours later.
And that’s the real boon of this coffee machine. If you make a generous pot, it will sit there, still hot, for whenever you want it across an entire morning or afternoon – and there doesn’t seem to be any decline in taste quality as it stands. This makes having a coffee a matter of simply pouring a cup from the jug, rather than fussing around making single cups from bean to grind to brew and dispense.
For people with busy lives, the Therm Pro is marvellous. The quantity you can brew means you can make everyone around your breakfast table a coffee from fresh beans in a matter of eight minutes – with very little effort. The convenience of it is wonderful.
We found ourselves filling up travel mugs to use on the fly, using coffee break times to actually drink coffee and reflect on the last batch of work done, rather than just busying ourselves with the process of making the drink.
The two timers are brilliant, letting you schedule a brew twice daily. You can programme the machine to start brewing first thing in a morning, so you have fresh hot coffee when you wake up. You can set it to brew for when you come home from work, so you walk into your kitchen and your coffee is already waiting. You do need to remember to change the filter in between – but on the one occasion that we forgot, the coffee was still drinkable.
Price and Availability
In the UK, the Therm Pro is currently £289.99 and you can buy it from Amazon, Melitta, Harrods and Harts of Stur. You could save around £50 by opting for the non-Pro model, which comes with a glass jug instead of the thermal one (see it at Argos) but we think the thermal jug is one of its best features.
It’s by no means a cheap appliance but when you consider that a high-quality grinder like the Moccamaster KM5 Burr Grinder costs around the same, we think it’s a good purchase for people who want to invest in quality coffee.
Should you buy the Melitta AromaFresh II Therm Pro?
If you prefer long coffee to espresso and tend to drink it regularly throughout the day, this is the coffee maker you’ve been waiting for. We think the Melitta AromaFresh II Therm Pro is an excellent machine for people who love filter coffee and want a drink fresh from the bean. Okay, it is a pricey machine but we think the ease and quality of the filter coffee is worth it.
If this isn’t the right machine for you, have a look at our round-up of the best coffee machines we’ve tested. For quick coffee making, see our round-up of the best capsule coffee makers.