What I'm saying here doesn't just apply to coffee maker reviews. But since I'm here to help you in your search for a good coffee maker I'll focus on them mainly.
People write coffee maker reviews (and other reviews) on Amazon and other such sites for all kinds of reasons. Many reviewers genuinely intend to help others considering the purchase of the product reviewed or one like it. Others may have ulterior motives.
I find it fascinating to read the coffee maker reviews and note the scores. Often there are many 4 and 5 star reviews from enthusiastic owners who are delighted with their coffee maker. But at the same time, there may be several negative reviews giving one or two stars. These are usually from owners who make the product sound as if it's little short of shoddy rubbish.
So how come there can be such divergent views on the same product?
Coffee Maker Reviews – Quite An Equation
In the case of coffee makers, you have special considerations. There are many differing views as to what constitutes a perfect cup of coffee (or tea or hot chocolate, etc.). Then bring into the equation the fact that coffee makers and espressos have to deal with hot water. Water is a surprisingly corrosive substance over the long term (even if filtered). Then there are your coffee granules, tea leaves, chocolate powder, and a variety of other beverage related substances.
The whole process of making your favorite brew can be surprisingly messy. This means cleaning up afterward. Some people don't mind that aspect and take it in their stride. Others expect not to have to bother with it and blame the product for causing the mess. They are more likely to leave a one- or two-star review in the coffee maker reviews.
Economy versus Deluxe
Some coffee makers are economy models and don't do much more than make your coffee. They make it to a standard size, with not much if any variation in strength, and not particularly quickly. There's nothing wrong with that. Some people only want a basic machine, or can only afford something that does the bare essentials.
Look out for any such model, and read the reviews. It's almost certain there'll be at least one review, giving one or two stars, from someone complaining that the machine doesn't do things that only products in a higher price bracket do.
It's also amazing how many reviewers will point out that their coffee maker can't do A, B and C, when the product description just a few paragraphs above states specifically that the product doesn't do those things. Often there will be comments on the review pointing that out.
For example, one of the reviewers of the BUNN MCU coffee maker complained that it was very difficult to clean. In fact, it was so bad that it negated any good points about it. If you click through to the replies you'll see that several people have responded to challenge this. Apparently, the cleaning process is actually quite easy if you just follow a few simple, common sense rules.
Skewing the Results
But there's a problem These unfair one- and two-star reviews are still taken into account when the average rating of the product is calculated.
And what about the time when the review is posted? Some reviewers post five-star reviews while excited about their new coffee maker, not having found any faults in it yet. Other owners can post negative reviews in the immediate aftermath of an unfortunate experience with the product and when, up to that time, they were quite likely very satisfied with it.
No product, no matter how good and how much it gives great value for money, will have all four or five-star reviews. There's always someone who posts a negative, sooner or later.
Look A Little Deeper at Coffee Maker Reviews
But before crossing the product off your list just for that one bad review, look a little deeper at it. Are the criticisms justified? Do these people complain about something that the product description never included anyway? Are there any responses to that post that may cast a different light on the situation? Did they buy the product new or used? Sadly, you seldom see this information in the review.
There will always be cases where some negative reviews are justified. If the product has enough of them then its average rating will be well down to three stars or less. The chances are that, with many such reviews, that score will be a fair one.
But, provided you focus on products that have a good rating then you are probably safe. As a rule, products with scores of 3.8 or higher out of at least 70 or 80 reviews, are good. By all means, read the negative coffee maker reviews. But always cross reference what the reviewer says against the product description and any replies to the post.