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Review of December 2012 updated on 9/8/15 - no longer recommended
on December 13, 2012
Update 9/8/15: Consumer Reports magazine no longer recommends this coffeemaker because it no longer heats water reliably to the temperature required (195° to 205° F for five to six minutes) to nominally extract flavor from coffee grounds:
"Because the new models of the Mr. Coffee BVMC-SJX33GT no longer measure up, it is dropping in our Ratings from a recommended model to lower in the pack."
Update 1/24/15 - after 2 years of daily use:
LCD clock display has not failed due to condensation on its face. Impressive!
Filter clogging with colossal spillage over rim of basket - never happened.
No hint of plastic smell/taste after the first few brews: There was some when first used, but no more after that.
Never had a mildew smell.
Only big change is that the warming plate at base is corroding / turning brown. But I have a Cuisinart that does that, too.
Conclusion: unit is working the same as when new. Totally satisfied. If it dies tomorrow, I'd buy another without delay - unless of course I saw better reviews for a different unit. Thanks all for your helpful comments!
Original review December 2012:
After using this Mr. Coffee BVMC-SJX33GT coffeemaker for a week, I thought I would attempt to address some of the complaints that other reviewers had on this coffeemaker. Some of the complaints are valid, others, well, it seems like they're describing a different unit altogether, or at the very least a defective one or a different production run than mine. Here we go:
1. Coffee overflowing out of the basket and into the reservoir and out to the countertop: I did not experience this. This could theoretically happen if one were to accidentally use 2 paper filters, which could reduce the rate of coffee going through the basket, which would then create an overflow situation. This scenario would not be limited to this coffeemaker, then. Overflow could also happen if one were to accidentally allow grounds to go into or remain in the plastic basket, which could clog it. Again, not particular to this coffeemaker. Could also happen if the carafe were incorrectly placed in the coffeemaker: not likely at all (see below).
2. Length of brew time too long: No reviewers stated how many minutes per batch, or how many cups and minutes per batch. This unit seemed to take a reasonable amount of time - the same amount of time that my Cuisinart maker takes.
3. Brewed coffee not hot enough: Using a good candy thermometer, I measured the temperature of a brewed pot of coffee (while in its glass carafe) immediately after brewing: 175 degrees. Scalding hot. Temperature dropped to 155 degrees within 5 minutes. Suggestion: to keep your coffee hot, move coffee to a hot-charged, insulated carafe immediately after brewing.
4. Plastic smell while brewing, plastic taste of brewed coffee: I definitely got the strong plastic smell with the first couple of water-only "prep" no-coffee brew cycles, and a bit less with the first few coffee cycles. This smell is no longer present after 6 days of use. Plastic taste: I did notice a slight plastic aftertaste with the first few coffee batches, but no longer. I suppose I may have gotten used to it, or it is no longer happening, or a combination of both. I think that it is the latter case.
5. Coffee leaks from basket onto the warming plate while using "pause and serve" feature (sneaking a cup of coffee during brewing cycle): I saw two or three drops of coffee go onto the warming plate: not too bad. Quick swipe with a damp paper towel keeps the plate clean. Not a defect.
6. Warming plate not hot enough, no temperature setting for plate: I do not use the warming plate - my coffee goes directly from the pot to an insulated carafe right after brewing. Applied post-brewed heat is the enemy of brewed coffee. The longer you keep your brewed coffee on *any* warming plate - regardless of temperature - the worse it will taste.
7. Correct carafe placement onto warming plate is difficult and likely to cause basket overflow: Despite my best, repeated efforts, I could not *incorrectly* place the pot onto the plate. The pot placed itself into its home 100 percent of the time. The only way I could get it to *not* place itself correctly was to barely balance it on the front edge of the maker, which was difficult in itself.
8. LCD Clock display not illuminated: True. A definite shortcoming of this unit, especially considering this is a programmable unit. A missed necessity.
9. Condensation on clock and buttons on front operating panel: True. Could have long-term reliability consequences.
10. Water spout not positioned properly over grounds: Impossible! The closure of the unit's lid forces (rotates) the spout into the correct position - that is of course unless one does not close the lid.
11. Filter paper collapse and fold-over onto grounds in basket, causing clog and overspill: It could happen, since I have experienced this with other drip makers. Not particular to this unit, then.
12. 2 hours post-brew auto-shutoff - too soon?: Nope. Coffee cooking for 2 hours on a warming plate would taste horrible. Want hot coffee two hours later? Move it from the pot to an insulated carafe directly after completion of brewing cycle. I would actually prefer that there were no warming unit on this machine.
13. Power cord length too short: It measures exactly 24 inches from the back middle of the unit to the male power plug. Dealbreaker? Not for many, I'm guessing.
14. Water filter placement onto top of brewing basket is difficult: Agreed. Must be done carefully. I chose to not use the filter at all, since I use purified water already. Plus, by not using the water filter, it's one more step I don't need to perform. Hot water seems to distribute nicely onto grounds without it - all of the grounds in the basket are soaking wet after the brewing cycle is complete.
15. Amount of coffee brewed is much less than amount of water used: After multiple 8-cup water brews, I consistently yielded 7.75 cups per batch. That's about 3 percent water loss to evaporation. Insignificant. Any more loss than that, then there must be some other cause at play. I could not cajole my unit to lose any more water than was lost to evaporation.
16. Condensation of water in reservoir after brewing creates musty or mildew smell: It could happen in theory. I leave the lid open after brewing for a while to avoid this possibility. Again, this scenario would not be limited to this unit.
17. Reliability after several months: Unknown. Only had it a week.
18. Amount of coffee needed to produce a given coffee strength: My unit yields similar strength as on my Cuisinart maker given the same amount of grounds/water/grind fine-ness.
Summary: It seems that some of the complaints are totally unrealistic (IMHO), but others are totally valid. I hope this helps!