Heavy-duty, long-lasting design
Features several customizable settings
Brews great-tasting drip coffee
Custom settings are complicated
Removable parts are not dishwasher-safe
We purchased the Wolf Gourmet Programmable Coffee System so our expert reviewer could put them to the test in her kitchen. Keep reading for our full product review.
From automatic brewing modes to integrated grinders, drip coffee machines have come a long way since their beginning. The variety of extra features now available is incredible, and the bar is continually being raised. The Wolf Gourmet Programmable Coffee System is one drip coffee machine that has set its standards high in offering several customizable settings, designed to make the perfect cup of coffee. To see if it lives up to this challenge, I evaluated its coffee quality, setup and cleanup, design, and price. Keep reading to see what I found.
Design: Sleek design with a heavy-duty structure
In regards to the overall aesthetic, I found that the Wolf Gourmet Programmable Coffee System was sleek, thanks to its stainless steel makeup. At the same time, I also thought this machine looked somewhat industrial in terms of design. The large knobs and buttons on the front panel, in particular, made this coffee maker look like something more akin to a machine that would be found in a diner or restaurant rather than a home kitchen.
What I especially liked about the Wolf Gourmet Programmable Coffee System is its durability. Right away, I got the sense that this machine could withstand a lot of wear and tear. The stainless steel construction certainly contributes to its overall heavy-duty feel (though it only weighs about 13 pounds). In terms of size, it leans on the larger size for a coffee maker, measuring 10.6 by 11.4 by 14.6 inches. However, I liked that this coffee maker is rectangularly shaped. The straight edges made it easy to fit snugly next to my other kitchen appliances.
I also liked the removable water reservoir. This made it easy to fill up the water tank without having to lug the entire machine to the sink to fill it up each time. There is also a handle on the water reservoir, making it easy to lift in and out of the machine.
If you’re looking for a sturdy coffee machine that will last a while and through much wear and tear, the Wolf Gourmet Programmable Coffee System is a good long-term investment.
Setup Process: Takes about 30 minutes
The setup for the Wolf Gourmet Programmable Coffee System isn’t difficult, but it takes about 30 minutes. This entails soaking the carbon filter for 15 minutes, cleaning all of the removable parts of the machine with warm, soapy water, and running the machine through a brew cycle with just water to clean out the machine’s interior components.
After the machine has finished the brewing cycle with water, the water must be discarded, and the machine is then ready to use as normal.
Performance: Quick and great-tasting drip coffee, but gets complicated
The Wolf Gourmet Programmable Coffee System produces great-tasting drip coffee very quickly. I especially appreciated this machine’s speed, as it could brew a full 10-cup batch of coffee in about seven minutes.
To brew a batch of coffee, the user can choose the manual mode or the Accu-Brew setting. The manual brew option allows the user to add their desired amount of coffee grounds and water to the machine. After adding the right amount of coffee and water, simply turn the knob to manual mode and press start. I found this process to be very self-explanatory because the buttons were all clearly labeled on the panel. This machine also comes with an auto-brew function, which allows the user to set up the machine the night before to make a batch of coffee automatically in the morning.
The Accu-Brew setting is meant to help the user achieve their perfect cup of coffee. Using the machine’s integrated scale, the Wolf Gourmet Programmable Coffee System weighs the grounds as the user adds them to the brew basket. The LCD panel will let the user know when the ideal amount of grounds has been reached for the amount of water poured into the reservoir. To customize the strength of the brew, there are five different boldness settings to choose from in this mode.
At first, I found the Accu-Brew feature to be a bit difficult to figure out because the instructions weren’t very clear. After some trial and error, I used this feature to brew a batch of medium-strength coffee. I found that the coffee tasted above-average when it comes to drip coffee, but it wasn’t mind-blowing. I preferred using the manual brew mode to get my preferred water-to-grounds ratio.
This machine also comes with Last Brew Memory and Auto Pause & Serve features. The Last Brew Memory will remember the user’s Accu-Brew settings even if unplugged, which is a nice feature. The Auto Pause & Serve allows the user to take the thermal carafe out of the machine to pour a cup of coffee before the machine has finished its brewing cycle. I didn’t find this to be very useful since the coffee is made so quickly.
Considering its heavy-duty design and the fact that it comes with a 5-year warranty, there is no doubt that this machine will last a long time.
There is also a keep-warm function, which lasts for 60 minutes. The warming time is displayed on the LCD panel. After 60 minutes, the machine goes into standby mode. I found this warming time to be too short and would have wanted this machine to keep my coffee warmer for longer considering the price.
Ease of Cleaning: Regular cleanup necessary
To clean the Wolf Gourmet Programmable Coffee System, it’s important to regularly clean the machine for a long life. To clean properly, the machine must be unplugged and allowed time to cool. Once cool, the exterior surfaces can be wiped down with a non-abrasive stainless steel cleaner and a lint-free cloth. The non-stainless steel surfaces can be wiped with a cloth or sprayed with a cleaner.
The thermal carafe, water reservoir, and filter basket must all be washed by hand in warm soapy water. The carafe should not be fully submerged in water, and abrasive pads should be avoided. I found that the cleanup for this machine was manageable considering there are only a few items to wash by hand and the wiping down of the entire machine was only necessary on occasion.
After 300 cycles, the LCD panel will display the word “clean,” meaning it’s time to clean out the inside of the coffee system. The user guide explains how to carry out the clean function in more detail.
Price: Expensive, but it’s a long-term investment
This coffee maker retails for $649, which is on the higher end for a drip coffee maker. However, considering its heavy-duty design and the fact that it comes with a 5-year warranty, there is no doubt that this machine will last a long time. It’s definitely a long-term investment that will pay itself off over time.
Wolf Gourmet Programmable Coffee System Maker vs. OXO Brew 8-Cup Coffee Maker
OXO Brew 8-Cup Coffee Maker: Similar to the Wolf Gourmet Programmable Coffee System, the OXO Brew 8-Cup Coffee Maker boasts the ability to make precision-brewed coffee with its BetterBrew mode. The OXO can brew up to 8 cups at a time, and it can also make single servings. It’s priced fairly at around $169. What the OXO lacks in comparison to the Wolf Gourmet Programmable Coffee System is convenience. It doesn’t have an LCD panel, nor does it come with a removable water reservoir. It’s a much simpler machine.
Ultimately, it comes down to what features you’re looking for in a drip coffee machine. The coffee produced with both machines is incredibly similar, but the Wolf Gourmet offers slightly more customization and convenience, and you’ll have to pay extra for that.
Buy it if you want a long-lasting machine.
If you’re looking for a sturdy coffee machine that will last a while and through much wear and tear, the Wolf Gourmet Programmable Coffee System is a good long-term investment. In addition to a sturdy design, it comes with a 5-year warranty, a number of customizable and convenient features, and makes great drip coffee.
- Product Name Programmable Coffee System
- Product Brand Wolf Gourmet
- Price $649
- Weight 13.7 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 10.6 x 11.4 x 14.6 in.
- Color Stainless steel
- Water Tank Capacity 80 oz.
- Power 1,500 Watts
- Voltage 120V
- Warranty 5 year limited
- What’s Included Water reservoir lid, water reservoir, thermal carafe, filter basket with handle, six #4 coffee filters, water filter holder, three water filter pods, and use & care guide