A cheap electric coffee maker can feel outdated in this age of visually pleasing morning routines. It’s more useful to use at work than to bring joy to your home. While I love fancy gadgets that require a multi-step, manual process, one thing makes me choose a standard Mr. Coffee machine every day: the simple “brew now” button, which instantly kicks off the process of getting caffeine into the body. I don’t have the hassle of adjusting the brewing temperatures or ratios while I sleep. It lights up when I press it. The machine heats up the water and pushes it up a tube onto my coffee grounds. I only have to decide how much coffee I will need to get through the day.
Waiting is the hardest part. Photo by Mitchell Clark / Verge
Although the controls of the Mr. Coffee are as easy as a Keurig, you will need to do more than just pop in a pod and press that button. You will need to use a paper filter to scoop out the coffee and then fill the tank with water. This can also be done the night before. The simplicity of the Mr. Coffee allows you to complicate the process with handground coffee, reusable filter, and more if desired, but it doesn’t require the more Instagram-friendly Moka pots and Aeropresses.
There are many coffee makers that have more advanced features, but it’s difficult to imagine a better button than the one on my Mr. Coffee. It’s large enough that you don’t need to be precise in the morning. It sounds amazing, but that’s mostly due to the loud click the machine makes when it heats up. It turns on immediately you press the button. My brain interprets this click as the click of a button. This is similar to how the newer AirPods make a sound when you squeeze the stem.
Add filter. Add coffee. Add water. Press the button.Photo by Mitchell Clark/The Verge
It may surprise you that this coffee maker isn’t very expensive, considering how great the button is. The five-cup Mr. Coffee model is one of the most affordable. Note: A Mr. Coffee “cup”, which is not the American volumetric measurement, refers to five ounces. My machine can brew approximately two mugs of coffee. According to my Best Buy order history, I bought it for $25 last year shortly after I started at The Verge. This was just as my mornings became too busy to do my Chemex routine. This coffee pot has become $4 cheaper over the years.
There are many coffee machines with buttons that look identical to yours, but it is possible for the buttons to get worse if you go up to more expensive models. I’ve seen coffee machines where the brew button was small and part of a crowded panel. Some coffee makers even have touch-sensitive buttons, which is quite shocking.
I don’t judge anyone who chooses a more expensive model to grace their countertop. I like the fact that I can use the machine responsible for giving me caffeine even though I’m only at 2 percent brain capacity. I wish the “brew now” button could last for many more years of sleepy jabs, just like the snooze key that I may hit a few times before finally finding Mr. Coffee.