Top critical review
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Disappointingly gimmicky additions detract from function
on July 27, 2009
I purchased the Mr. Coffee JWX27 to replace an old, old programmable Mr. Coffee coffeemaker. I picked the JWX27 because it has stainless steel trim, the appearance of which I like, but it doesn't have a thermal carafe that a lot of the stainless brewers have and I don't want, and it is reasonably priced. My old brewer wasn't anything fancy to look at, but it started up in the morning on its own and it made good coffee. This new model has several "improvements" that actually take away from the simple, useful appliance the old one was.
First, the water filter. This is a piece of filtering material in a frame that lays on top of the brew basket. You have to pivot the water head away from over the brew basket and pick up the filter gadget to get to the basket to put your coffee in it. I plan to throw this junky thing away. It's a messy, annoying contraption that is just getting on the way of setting up the coffeemaker and I have some serious doubts about its effectiveness since it looks like it's made of paper. Additionally, if you're trying to brew a second pot quickly after the first, it's hot!
Speaking of the brew basket, rather than sitting in a separate assembly that pivots in and out over the carafe, to get to the basket on the JWX27, you have to flip open lid of the brewing machine. Once you get the water filter out of the way, there are some little loops to pull the basket out by, but it's not as neat as past designs that had a handle on the side to lift out the basket for dumping used filters/coffee grounds.
On the positive side, the clock and start timer are easy to set and are easy to understand how to brew immediately or brew at a programmed time. I have no need for the timer that can tell me how long the brewed coffee has been sitting, but it doesn't make itself annoying in any way, so no problem with it. The heating element turns itself off after two hours, which is peace of mind for when you are sitting at your desk at work wondering "did I turn off the coffeepot?" and worrying that you'll burn the house down.
The "pause 'n serve" function is still there for when you can't wait for a pot to finish up before getting that first cup of coffee into your cup but if I could figure out how to remove or disable the irritating beeper that goes off when the brew cycle is done, I'd totally do it. I live in a small house and when my coffee is ready at 5:00 AM, the rest of my family doesn't need to be woken up by Mr. Coffee obnoxiously announcing himself!
The JWX27 has a feature to switch between "regular" and "strong" brewing, and set on "strong", the resulting coffee (when I brew my usual 4 cups rather than a full pot) I get a nice strong "wake you up in the morning" brew.
In conclusion, my overall impression is that the Mr. Coffee JWX27 has a host of features that actually take away from the utility and ease of use that the basic no-frills Mr. Coffee design has but in spite of the unnecessary (from my perspective) annoyances, it makes a decent pot of coffee for a reasonable price.