First Impressions Mr. Coffee Home Cafe Generation II AT13 Single Serve Coffee Maker
We're currently testing both the Mr. Coffee Home Cafe and the Black & Decker Home Cafe second generation coffee makers. We'll have a full review of both coffee makers next week but we thought we'd give you our first impression on opening, priming, and brewing our first cup of coffee with the new Mr. Coffee Home Cafe AT13 single serve coffee brewer.
Just seeing the box gives you a better first impression of the Mr. Coffee Home Cafe. We were excited to see that throughout opening the coffee maker the Home Cafe feel seemed to permeate throughout the box and included accessories. This version of the Mr. Coffee Home Cafe comes with a set of Folgers coffee pods, Cappuccino coffee pods, and a pod holder from Tupperware for loose pods. The Tupperware pod holder inclusion is a little odd given the Folgers pods are individually wrapped.
We then unwrapped the Mr. Coffee Home Cafe single serve coffee maker and our first impression - much better. Simply - a much better feeling and looking brewer. The buttons right away and the little Home Cafe logo on the side has better presentation and the brewer just feels more solid and designed.
The Mr. Coffee Home Cafe also includes 1 single coffee pod holder, 1 double coffee pod holder, and 1 specialty pod holder. They are very shiny - very chrome - and very different than the first generation Mr. Coffee Pod holders. We were also impressed with the entire pod holder area. There is more pressure brew in the chamber where the pod goes and the pods get clamped in much tighter.
The water reservoir isn't the largest but it does have a nice hand feel to it. The drip tray is also pleasantly well designed - keeping a little bit of that Star Wars Imperial logo look to it. The buttons on the Mr. Coffee Home Cafe have little green lights behind them and the stop button has a little red light behind it. Very nice. The buttons also have a very nice feel to them when pushing them down.
We filled up the reservoir with cold water and prepared to prime. The directions said to put water in the reservoir and get at least a cup that holds 9oz for priming. We got the cup and then pushed both the 7 oz button and specialty drink button at the same time right after plugging in. Nothing.
The light then blinked red at the bottom. Perhaps we didn't get it in time? We then unplugged and plugged it in again - puuuuuummmppp....whump. Hmmmm. Didn't prime again? Weird. More flashing red light.
We then decided to consult the manual and read a little part saying if the light was blinking it might be the seating of the water reservoir. So we re-seated it and tried again. Puuuuuummmppp....whump. Hmmm - still not a full prime.
We then proceeded to unplug it and wait 20 minutes. This time the procedure worked and the machine primed with a full cycle of water. Awesome. Annoying - but awesome. We tested the temp of the water brewing forth and we got a solid and consistent 188-191 degrees F. Not bad.
We decided our first cup of coffee would be the new Baronet's Coffee Pods - Golden French Toast. We skipped trying the Folgers coffee pods until later testing to see if they'd improved and just wanted to see how this coffee faired in this new machine.
The Baronet French Toast coffee pod fits perfectly in the single coffee pod holder. We chose the 7 oz setting and pushed the button. Puuuuuummmppp....brew...steam....spit. It took a good 45-60 seconds for brew time with the classic super steam Home Cafe finish. The coffee smelled good and how did it taste? With a little cream and sugar consensus from the staff - not bad. We thought the overall brew was on par with coffee produced from the earlier edition of the Mr. Coffee Home Cafe and maybe a tad bit better.
Pros so far:
- New better looking design
- Better quality maker overall
- Good hot water temperature
- Better pressure brewing chamber
- Water reservoir easy to fill and hold
- Comes with both single and double pod holder options
- Excellent Drip tray - easy to clean and sturdy
Cons so far:
- Hard to prime
- Accessories like the Tupperware pod holder don't make sense
- No real off button - stop is off but it's a little weird to think it's always on
Full review next week...
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Posted by Jay Brewer at January 25, 2006 8:20 AM
Just got my Mr. Coffee Home Cafe'; so NOT being technically challenged, I read the instructions, tried to do the "prime", NOTHING, just a blinking red light. All attempts got a red blinking light. So I decided to call the number on the instruction sheet. First question from the attendant...do you live in a cold part of the country? I do, in the mountains, and it was about 32 degrees out when the thing was delivered. She said wait a couple of hours for the unit to warm up; then you can prime it. Sure enough, I waited, tapped the two buttons as instructed; it primed; made my first cup; delicious! So far I like the unit a lot; better than some other more expensive pod maker coffee I've had.
I'm surprised you had difficulties priming the machine. Mine primed on the first go.
Perhaps I'm not as "technically-challenged" .
The tupperware pod holder...doesn't really fit the pods very well. BUT, it was a freebie, and such a canister probably isn't a bad idea. My Folger pods were not individually wrapped (bagged).
As for the "Off" switch. It does power-down on it's own after a few minutes of non-use. My guess is they don't want you opening the lid until it's fully depressurized.
I'll reserve further comments about the machine until the rest of your review. I will say this, I've been very happy with it.