Top positive review
66 people found this helpful
Great Coffee Machine!
on April 22, 2017
>>> SUMMARY <<<
I am sometimes a picky, critical person. I research products carefully before I purchase. I love this coffee machine/pot, and would certainly recommend it to my friends or family. It reliably and easily makes good coffee, and it does it for a decent price. I will probably buy this pot or a very similar pot to replace it some day. Coming from me, that’s a pretty strong endorsement.
I have thoroughly reviewed many aspects of the machine below.
>>> MACHINE DESCRIPTION <<<
This Mr. Coffee is a reasonably good looking coffee machine, combining stainless steel with black and clear plastic. The machine (with carafe in its nesting place) is about 14.5” high X 9.5” wide X 11” deep. The space required to use it [without moving it] is larger though, because of the carafe, reservoir, and filter/grounds basket. The carafe handle sticks out about 2” beyond the base (making the full depth from back of machine to front of carafe handle about 13”); to remove the water reservoir and the coffee basket, one needs about 8” of extra space — I have an 18” wide space on my counter between the paper tower dispenser and the wall, and it is just barely enough room to remove/replace the water reservoir and coffee basket without having to move the machine. Because the coffee basket is so high on the machine, our toaster fits snugly between the coffee machine and wall, so there’s no wasted space!
The water reservoir is removable and holds enough water for 10 “cups” of coffee. Most people recognize that the concept of cups has been ridiculously misrepresented by the coffee machine companies. For this particular machine, 10 cups (max fill on the reservoir) is about 46oz (of brewed coffee). The reservoir itself is about 50oz, the carafe can hold about 48, but due to losses during brewing, (steam, soaking into the grounds/filter, etc) a full pot is about 46oz.
>>> USING THE MACHINE <<<
I appreciate that the water reservoir is removable. I find it much easier to fill than previous coffee machines that have the reservoir built in to the machine (this is especially useful for machines that will be placed under other cabinetry).
It is very easy to fill the reservoir, add the coffee filter and coffee, and set up the clock and delay timer. I’ve been using Melitta Super Premium coffee filters (8-12 cup) and they’ve been working great.
>>> PERFORMANCE DATA <<<
One of the important aspects of a coffee machine is the performance data. I attempted to quantify several aspects of the machine/use.
> Brew Temperature
A full pot of coffee measures about 177F just after completing the brewing process, and drops about 5.4F/hr. This means after seven hours the coffee in the carafe is still at 139F, still an acceptable temperature for my coffee (I realize this is not necessarily good enough for everyone, but it’s perfectly fine for me!). And because there is no hot plate (just a well insulated thermal carafe), the coffee tastes just as good seven hours later (no burned coffee!).
> Brew Time
The first drop falls at about 30s, the last drop falls at about 7m. If you’re extremely impatient or addicted, the first 10oz is done in about 100s and the brew pause feature allows you to pour off your fix without spilling much more than a drop.
> Pour Time
The thermal carafe design is great for keeping coffee warm without requiring additional energy input and without burning your coffee, but there is a trade-off: a restriction on the pour spout. It’s not the end of the world, but it reduces flow rate, meaning you must be patient when pouring. The pot empties at about 1.25oz/s, so the whole pot will be empty in about a minute. But for those of you who are eager to get your first 10oz of the day, waiting 12 seconds to get from the carafe to your cup can feel like an eternity. Take a deep breath; relax. It’s OK.
> Costs Overview
Trying to account for every piece of the puzzle, I came in at just under $1/pot. Pretty good! So coffee from this machine will cost about $0.021/oz; compare this to a 20oz Starbucks coffee ($2.35, or $0.117/oz). If you use this machine to replace only one cup of Starbucks coffee per week, it will pay for itself after one year ($0.99/pot/week * 52 weeks + $71/machine = $122 = $2.35/ Starbucks 20oz * 52 weeks). If you use it to replace one cup of Starbucks per weekday, it will pay for itself in about 11 weeks and you’ll save $284 in the first year. If you and a friend are each using a full pot (46oz) to replace two every-weekday Starbucks coffees, you’ll save over $500 in the first year.
> Cost Details
My cost analysis (to come up with $0.99/pot) included coffee filters, coffee grounds, electricity, water, and the water filter discs, based on whatever I paid for these things (or to order replacements). By far the biggest expense was coffee ($0.93; I purchased 126 1.5-2oz bags of coffee — perfect for a full pot — from coffeeforless.com for $115, which included shipping). The coffee filters, filter discs, and electricity needed to brew a full pot (0.14kWh) are each about $0.02. I used tap water, which, on a per pot basis, is essentially free ($0.0016/pot)
I roughly characterized the sounds made by the machine using my cell phone. The percolating noises were about the same as a quiet conversation. The [4 kHz] beep to signal the end of the brew cycle is about 10-15 dB above the percolation noises. Not too loud, but if you’re trying to maintain a perfectly serene household, it may bother you.
>>> THINGS OTHER PEOPLE SAY <<<
1. Some other reviewers suggested that they needed to use two filters or more coffee to get the right brew, but that hasn’t been an issue for me. I’ve been using two filters anyway, because I prefer my coffee quite strong, but I’ve tried it with one filter and it produced a good cup of coffee.
2. Some other reviewers have told tales of spilled coffee or clogged machines — this hasn’t been an issue for me (well, not often anyway; see below). Before I prep the coffee to brew, I shake the carafe and/or open, empty, and rinse the carafe to be sure it is empty.
3. Some other reviewers have mentioned a harsh and thick plastic smell that it took a long time to subdue. I agree that there was a plastic smell, and I took care to brew full pots of water, vinegar, water, coffee, water through the machine (in my garage) before bringing it into my house and using it for the first pot. But I think that might have been overkill. Some people will probably not notice any plastic flavor on their first pot, and some people will probably complain of plastic flavor incessantly; for me it has only produced delicious coffee.
>>> FEATURE WISH-LIST <<<
1. I wish I could turn off the beeps at brew completion and two hours after brew completion. They’re not very loud, but I find them unnecessary and would rather do without them.
2. A pot fullness indicator. I understand the desire to keep the stainless carafe well sealed — introducing a window into the side of the carafe would greatly compromise carafe mechanical integrity, ability to retain heat, and aesthetic. But perhaps this feature could be implemented in another way to at least provide some indication of what’s in the pot without having to pick it up, shake it, take off the top and look inside, etc. (maybe a force sensor underneath that compares the weight of the carafe vs that of an empty carafe, and uses the difference to calculate the amount of fluid in the carafe and display that on a digital meter on the side of the machine?).
3. An automatic shut-off with a full pot! I read about a few mishaps others had, and lied to myself that I would never have the problem of leaving something in the pot and accidentally overfilling it. But one day I forgot to check the pot to make sure it was empty before starting a brew. And it overflowed. And it was 100% my fault. But it sure would be nice if the pot could somehow sense that the pot was nearing over-flow, and automatically stop/pause the brew. Perhaps a good feature to combine with the pot fullness indicator discussed above?