Thursday, January 20, 2011

Daily Coffee Tip::Mr. Coffee

I could write an entire series of coffee tips on the best coffee brewing method to give you a great, flavorful cup, but the truth is, most of us already have a coffee brewer of some type. More than likely the coffee brewer that is at your house cost you at least $30-40, some of you a whole lot more. Unless you're totally obsessed with coffee extraction and the gadgetry that produces it, you're probably not eager to upgrade (or downgrade) your equipment until there is a true need, i.e. breakage. With that in mind, I think it is more relevant to help you get the best cup of coffee out of the equipment you already have.

Today, lets talk about the Mr. Coffee. Now Mr. Coffee is obviously a brand of coffee maker but it is an easy way to describe the style; you've all seen it--plastic body, flip top lid, basket in the front, water hole in the back, glass pot and burner. Most folks either own one of these brewers or they did at one time whether made by Mr. Coffee or one of the other myriad coffee maker brands. This brewer does a fine job of brewing coffee--sure there are better methods out there but for a $30 piece of equipment that will last for years under steady use, it really can't be beat.

The problem with this brewer arises after the coffee is brewed; the burner. Just say the name: burner; that is exactly what it does--it burns coffee. I hate the idea of coffee sitting in a glass pot on a burner. Coffee is delicate, even after it is brewed, and it needs to be babied a bit to keep it fresh and delicious. When I brew coffee in the glass pot brewer I try to brew in small batches. First of all, those little brewers perform better at about a half a pot or less; they don't really have the capacity to consistently brew twelve cups of coffee as the manual would have you believe. I would much rather brew a second small pot of coffee than have half a pot sit on the eye, burning and getting stale waiting to ruin my cup. If brewing several smaller batches doesn't suit your routine, however, another great solution for keeping your coffee fresh, hot and delicious is probably sitting in your ice-cold car right now. Just about every coffee drinker in the country has at least one or two thermal travel mugs these days; I have a whole cabinet devoted to them. If you have the double-walled stainless steel type you're in great shape because this type of thermal container is designed to keep coffee hot for hours without subjecting it to any heat source. Pour your cup of coffee and then transfer the rest of the pot to your travel mug and close the lid; when you're ready to refill your cup your coffee will taste fresh and delicious, not burnt and stale.


  1. OK, Stephen, the hubs and I have been arguing about this point for a while now - he wants to get a new "Mr. Coffee" with the burner, and I'd love to have a thermal carafe. I'll have to show this to him... what do you think about the thermal carafes? Is that the only alternative to the burner?

  2. Leigh
    I prefer the carafe brewers because I hate burners, and they really do a great job. DO stay away from the ones with built in grinders, they always cost about $50 more and they ALWAYS break.

    My favorite home use brewer is made by Cuisinart--it is the 12 cup programmable thermal carafe brewer; last I checked it ran something like $120. Its a heck of a brewer, good temp, the carafe keeps the coffee like eight hours and it looks really nice on the counter. It uses a cone basket which makes a bit better coffee and the programming is nice as well.

  3. I use a 4-cup brewer and turn it off after I've taken my first cup. It stays warm enough until I'm ready for the second (and last) cup, so it doesn't burn. And the carafe stays clean.

  4. Elaine
    YOU have the right idea. I'm always an advocate of brewing small batches more often, especially when you're using a glass carafe brewer. Don't get me wrong; internally the glass carafe brewer is identical to the thermal brewer. The culprit is that heating eye, so if you're turning that off, you're doing it right!

  5. If you use a manual coffee machine make sure you don’t pack the coffee too tightly into the group handleCoffee Equipment

  6. I love having a my cup of coffee every morning! I'm learning more about the raw tastes of dark coffee brewed from different locations. I'm going to get a coffee machine so I can easily make coffee in my own house. What do you recommend when getting a coffee maker?
    Celine |

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