MR. COFFEE RULES – ACCEPT NO SUBSTITUTES

Sometimes, I decide I need something. Something better than what I already own. Like … for argument’s sake … a new coffee machine.

When we were leaving for vacation two weeks ago, we’d driven a few miles before we realized we hadn’t turned off the coffee machine. It’s a very basic Mr. Coffee. Add coffee, water, push start. A few minutes later, coffee is ready. Maybe not THE best coffee on earth, but pretty good, strong, and it’s stays hot until you turn it off. Manually. By pushing the “off” button. Which is what we had forgotten to do.

To be fair, I thought Garry had turned it off and Garry thought I had turned it off. There was no one at home to call except the dogs and they don’t do coffee. Or electrical appliances. We drove back, turned Mr. Coffee off, made a u-turn and were back on our way.

We’ve gone through a variety of fancy coffee makers. Some came with a thermal carafe. One of them ground the beans, then brewed coffee. We’ve had coffee makers famous for producing exceptional coffee. Or making coffee faster, and/or keeping it hotter.

The grind and brew machine — don’t remember the brand, but it was expensive — was such a pain in the butt to clean, we gave it up after a couple of weeks. I notice it is no longer offered for sale. Another great idea down the tubes. We went back to our basic, dependable Mr. Coffee.

A classy Melitta which had the reputation of making a superior brew failed to impress us. It was okay, but nothing to write home about. A few months after we got it, it developed a leak, flooded the kitchen. I am amazed at how much water 12-cups can seem to be when it is sloshing around the floor. Not to worry. I re-installed Mr. Coffee.

A couple of years ago, Mr. Coffee seemed tired, so we purchases a 12-cup Black and Decker coffee machine. It promised to brew coffee faster while keep it hotter. It did both. Except the coffee was awful. It is the only coffee machine I threw in the trash when it was in fine working order. No one wanted it. I popped over the Wally World and bought a basic 12-cup Mr. Coffee.

After the incident in which both of us forgot to turn off Mr. Coffee, I was inspired to try a different solution. I bought — through Amazon — a lovely 12-cup Cuisinart brewer with a thermal carafe. Guaranteed to keep the coffee hot all day without leaving the electricity on. It arrived yesterday. I immediately unpacked it and made a pot of delicious coffee which, as promised, stayed very hot in for more than 6 hours. I was impressed.

I set it up for this morning. When got to the kitchen, I pushed “on,” but my beautiful new coffee maker just sat there. Silent. None of that comforting hissing, dripping, brewing sound. No wonderful scent of coffee. After 30 seconds, it turned itself off. I reread the directions. On the Microsoft theory (when it doubt, reboot), I unplugged it, counted to 20. Plugged it in again. Turned it on. Waited. Nothing.

My son came upstairs. Read the instructions, then did the same thing with the same results. Nothing. “It’s broken,” he assured me.

As it happened, I had a spare (brand new, still in the box) Mr. Coffee in the closet. I had bought it on sale almost a year ago because I could not contemplate a morning without coffee.

As soon as I can pack it up and get it to UPS,  fancy pants Cuisinart goes back it goes to Amazon. I talked to the rep there and she asked me if I wanted a replacement, but I don’t. Given our track record, I’ll stay with Mr. Coffee. It appears to be the only coffee machine we will ever own which makes good coffee with no fuss. No problems, no complications. Easy to clean, cheap to replace.

Our coffee machine is a basic 12-cup Mr. Coffee.  Accept no substitutes. We just have to remember to it off.



Categories: Anecdote, Shopping

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46 replies

  1. I don’t know if I mentioned it but I’m in the Blue Ridge mountain area of NC.., have been for a few days. Couldn’t take it any longer, needed to see a real fall season. My friends live on a mountain in Fairview, just outside of Asheville and it’s absolutely beautiful. I feel healthier than I’ve felt in years. They are also dog lovers and so I have no end of canine attention. Lots of Music, Art, Micro Breweries and Coffee houses. Maybe you got a notice of my death ’cause this gotta be heaven?

    Glad you enjoyed the CD.., I love the music and was afraid (so modern sounding) it wasn’t quite authentic enough, but Cherrie’s approval is good enough for me…

    Like

    • She doesn’t like everyone equally, but she knows all the performers and enjoys the music.

      The Blue Ridge are the perfect place to be because autumn is mostly over up here. A few trees are hanging on to some yellow and orange leaves, but we are moving into the naked tree period. If you feel inspired to wend your way up the coast, we would LOVE to see you and have guest space! And PLENTY of dogs. MORE than enough dogs. LOTS of dogs. And music. And coffee. I think you picked the perfect time to be there. Best weather of the year.

      Like

  2. You can spend a fortune on a coffee machine. Don’t know if those things make better coffee or not? Ours is just a Black & Decker from Canadian Tire. Cost 30 bucks I think.
    And it makes nice coffee. I have been known to chuck a couple of coffee makers that didn’t measure up.
    No impostors allowed.

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  3. Personally, I find the coffee from drip machines to be too weak for my taste. For the last 30 years, I’ve only used a Farberware stainless-steel percolator. The last time I bought one, it came with a free bean-grinder, which I used diligently – for about three weeks. Then it was back to the Maxwell House French Roast (I was so sorry when they discontinued the Pacific Blend), or the Folgers Black Silk. Fortunately, I don’t make a lot of coffee at home these days due to my colitis, so maybe it won’t be the end of the world if Farberware stops making those percolators.

    At work, we have a Keurig – that’s a great idea for an office where each person likes a different coffee. I thought about getting one for home – the cost of the machine was relatively reasonably, but those K cups? Outrageous.

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    • And the Keurig to me is much too weak. I like the percolators too. I had a West Bend for years, but I think it was the complexities of living with so many people on varying schedules … we need the coffee to stay how for a pretty long time and the percolator wasn’t good for that. But it did definitely make stronger coffee. West Bend still makes a percolator, by the way.

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  4. My most favorite coffee maker of all time was the old Daisy brand coffee maker. It was plastic on the outside and brewed just like all the old pots brewed, and was electric.

    I don’t know why I threw it out. I think I was just young and wanted something “newer.” Oh how I wish I had that old Daisy brewer again. Now, since I’m the only one in the house who drinks coffee, I bought the Hamilton Beach 49981A Single Serve Scoop Coffee Maker and I love it. Of course, my back-up Mr. Coffee is in the back of a cabinet “just in case.”

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  5. I’m a tea person, not a coffee person, but I do love the smell of coffee and bacon in the morning, especially if it’s one of those flavored coffees. I’m much addicted to the Keurig — so convenient.

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    • Until I was in my early 30s, I hated coffee. Then I went to Israel and discovered COFFEE. I still like tea though. Keurig is convenient, but I don’t care much for the coffee. Too weak for me. I like coffee that kills or cures! Garry is hooked on vanilla flavored coffee (and vanilla anything, really). I favor hazelnut.

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  6. I am surprised there isn’t a Mr Coffee with an automatic turn off, or a timer to set it for the morning. I switched to a Keurig and tried different varieties until I found the one I liked best. I love the convenience of it!

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  7. I love proper coffee. I’ve owned a Krups espresso with milk frothed which lasted years, maybe ten, then upgraded to another brand I don’t recall which was an unwanted gift from family which I gleefully accepted, and then about 5 years ago we/I really hit ‘coffee Central’ with a fab wedding gift from a very generous family friend. A De Longhi machine with a water tank and bean hopper that grinds the beans and makes first class espresso and froths milk superbly. It wasn’t cheap. But it is the wedding gift that keeps on giving. Far more than my marriage. It has made at least 2-4 cups every day since and never faltered, except for a broken knob (chuckle chuckle) which was replaced. It is as good as or better than many famous coffee chains, of course this depends on beans as much as anything, and saved hundreds of pounds on coffee.
    And of particular note, it TURNS ITSELF OFF after an hour or so.
    Failing that, I have an Aeropress for camping which isn’t bad for ground coffee and costs very little – and doesn’t use electrickery.
    Enjoyed your tale!

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    • There are two kinds of people in this country. Those of us who really need our coffee … and those who don’t like it at all. I was one of the latter until I was 30 and discovered real coffee. I think it was bad coffee I didn’t like. Someone gave us a cheap espresso machine for a wedding present, but it didn’t make particularly good coffee. Nice to meet a fellow enthusiast 🙂

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  8. We grind our beans every morning (dark roast) using a inexpensive grinder we got for a gift many years ago. Then it is French Press from there. After drinking that we are so strung out we can’t take more than two cups a day. But wouldn’t that be a bummer leaving the coffee machine on and realizing it after you had left on a trip.
    Leslie

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    • If I hadn’t been afraid we might actually burn the house down, I’d have left it but I have an uneasy relationship with electricity.

      I thought the new machine would solve all the problems at once — until it wouldn’t work at ALL this morning. Weird, because it worked fine the only time I used it (yesterday). But really was completely dead this morning. Maybe it’s us?

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  9. I have a Cuisinart combo grinder and brewer that I bought about a year ago and I love it. I love buying whole bean coffee and grinding it up and brewing it fresh. Mmm. But it does have a glass carafe and it doesn’t maintain hot coffee for up to six hours. But that’s what microwave ovens are for, right. Take a cup of relatively fresh, but Luke-warm coffee, and heat it right up.

    About once a month I do have to whisk out the powder from the grinding process, but that takes about 10 minutes and isn’t that much of a hassle.

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  10. Cold brewed for me. To make concentrate. No electricity needed (except to heat it up later).

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  11. I like the basic stuff myself. I got this as a wedding present and I love it. It shuts itself off after brewing because there’s nothing to keep hot. I brew the coffee into a thermal cup and it’s hot all day long.
    http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/kitchenaid-reg-personal-brewer-coffee-maker/205256

    Otherwise, I actually have a percolator — electric, 12 cups. Call me weird, but I like percolated coffee. And I’ve also got a little one cup moka pot and an ibrik for making Turkish coffee. If the hubs drank coffee, I’d have bigger things, but it’s just me.

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  12. I use a French Press and just make what I need. I think you guys probably drink coffee too much for that though.

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    • I like the French press coffee, but it just doesn’t make enough coffee. We only drink coffee in the morning, but they are big travel cups … and each one is 16 ounces. And the “cup” they use in coffee machines is just 6 ounces. That’s ridiculously small. Anyway, even a “real” cup is 8 ounces 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • To make a really good cup of coffee three things are important. 1. Temperature 2. Grind and 3. Brewing time. In automatic drip makers three machine do this best. Technivorm moccamaster, Bodum and Bonavita. All three of these machines have copper heating coils and will easily bring the water to the ideal brewing temperature of 195F to 205F. All three imitate the superior “pour over” method of hand poured coffee, like the original Melita. If your coffee is weak you’re not using enough coffee or not grinding it fine enough. The standard is the 6oz cup measure and most coffee makers are calibrated to this measure except a couple that use a 4oz standard. 2 Tablespoons fine ground coffee per 6oz of water is the secret in drip makers. Courser grind for French Press allowing 4 to 5 minutes of steeping time before plunging grounds to the bottom. BTW there are thermal french press makers available. In a drip maker, If you let the coffee remain in the carafe on the heating pad it will get bitter. If the machine you’re using does a good job and doesn’t come with a thermal carafe.., buy a separate one and immediately transfer the coffee to it and shut down your machine. Bed, Bath & Beyond have a decent selection of thermal carafes. For grinding a “burr grinder” is best with the conical burr grinder being the superior of the two. A burr grinder gives more consistent grind size and will not create as much heat as whirly grinders which knock the beans into submission. Brewing time is dependent on the particular machine and its method of soaking the grounds. Hope this helps everyone.

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        • Thanks 🙂 Got it !! Our coffee is fine. The machine wuz broke, is all.

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          • Sorry for my long winded response. I was really addressing the more general responses that stated that drip coffee was weak and press was too something or other. So I wanted to point out that there is a proper way to approach each method and the conditions needed for success.

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            • Percolated coffee to me tastes best, but it’s too much like work to make it. And clean up after it. I’m into simple and easy these days. Lazy is what I am 🙂

              Like

                • We JUST got back from a quick and long-delayed visit to Ron and Cherrie where we listened to the music you sent (THANK YOU!) (Cherrie approves and so do I!) and your demo tape is great. Garry has an audio demo tape too, which is okay, but probably could be better. Hardly matters since he isn’t looking for work.

                  These days, coffee or anything else, we try to keep it very simple. I still don’t have much energy. A burst of it in the morning, then a slow wind down to “where are the pain-killers” as evening comes on. Which seems to be the way people in general are built.

                  Sometime next week — says Dave, the well guy — he will fix our well. Yay Team. Yay. A real SHOWER and being able to do our laundry again (we took it with us when we went visiting) at home. And life trudges on.

                  Like

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