Review: Mr. Coffee Home Cafe AT 13 Generation II
It's been over a year since we tested the original Mr. Coffee Home Cafe. We liked this Home Cafe single serve coffee brewer much better than the Black & Decker Home Cafe. The quality of the Mr. Coffee was a little better and we also felt the coffee it produced was a little better as well.
The new Mr. Coffee Home Cafe Single Serve Coffee Maker - Model AT13 features:
- Utilizes Pre-Packed Folgers® and Millstone® Coffee Pods, to Bring the Coffeehouse Home
- Brews Regular/Flavored Pods and Specialty Pods (Cappuccino Drinks)
- Adjustable Brew Head Prevents Splatters and Allows for a Variety of Mug Sizes
- Ergonomic, Removable and Rotating Water Reservoir for Ease of Use and Cleaning
- Brews up to 14 oz. Fresh Cup of Coffee
- Removable Drip Tray For Easy Cleaning
- Compact Footprint
- Lighted On/Off Switch
- Bonus: 8 Folgers® and Millstone® Coffee Pods Starter Kit & Coffee Pod Storage Container
We've been testing this new machine (check out our first impressions) with various coffee pods from Flava Pods, Baronet Coffee Pods, Cool Beans Pod, and of course even the included Folgers pods. Since the machine features 3 pod holders - a single, a double, and a specialty pod holder the range of coffees you can make is quite broad.
We used many combinations of pods from single pods, double pods (2 - 10 gram pods) in the double pod holder, and even got 3 Senseo pods to fit into the double pod holder (don't try this - the coffee produced and fear of breaking the machine was evident).
At the 7 oz setting using 1 - 10 gram pod from Baronet Coffee or even the Folgers coffee produces an excellent cup of coffee. At 14 ozs - we used 2 - 10 gram pods in the double pod holder and were also impressed with the coffee produced.
Overall the brew strength, temperature of the coffee (188-191 degrees F) was quite excellent. We think the coffee produced is on par with the earlier Mr. Coffee and much improved over it as well.
We did brew up a bunch of the specialty pods from Folgers. These cappuccino pods are supposedly going to taste like cappuccino - they don't. As in our review last year - this machine does not make these specialty pods taste better. There is very little coffee flavor if any at all in them, and they taste more like sugar and milk water than cappuccino. Very disappointing this product isn't better.
Mr. Coffee Home Cafe Features
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.
We were not however impressed with removing pods from the machine. The pod holding area gets very very hot and you have very little to grab onto on the pod holder to change coffee pods. We got very hot but not burned fingers many times after brewing several cups of coffee.
The water produced from the machine is piping hot. The temperature ranged from 188-191 degrees F consistently.
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 didn't like however how nebulous the controls were. You could hit stop to make the brewer stop producing coffee - but where's the off button? The Mr. Coffee Home Cafe goes to standby over time but it felt downright weird not being able just turn the machine off. The Mr. Coffee Home Cafe does however heat up rapidly but this is also done by hitting the brew button of your choice and while it blinks waiting for the machine to product the coffee. After about a week - we felt pretty good about the system but can tell you at first - confusing.
Another feature we liked was the adjustable spout on the front of the machine. You can raise and lower it to fit the coffee mug, travel mug, or specialty coffee mug of your choice. It's very simple to use and can even be adjusted during brewing.
Pros & Cons of the Mr. Coffee Home Cafe AT13 Single Serve Coffee Maker
We did have trouble priming the machine (you can read our first impressions here).
- New better looking design
- Better quality Mr. Coffee Home Cafe overall
- Good hot water temperature
- Better pressure brewing chamber
- Water reservoir easy to fill and hold
- Great beep when coffee is done brewing
- Small footprint
- Comes with both single and double pod holder options
- Excellent Drip tray - easy to clean and sturdy
- Adjustable spout
- Hard to prime
- Pod holders hard to remove right after brewing
- The on/off scheme is hard to tell it's working
- Accessories like the Tupperware pod holder don't make sense given they provide you with pods individually wrapped
- Warm up time is quick but hard to tell it's happening
- No real off button - stop is off but it's a little weird to think it's always on
- Folgers pods included make okay coffee - nothing great here
Overall we have to say it does make a good cup of pod coffee. The coffee is hot and if you use the 7 oz setting with a nice meaty 10 gram coffee pod you'll get a great tasting cup of coffee. The price is also right - at less than $80 dollars at most retailers this gives you another option at the lower end range of single serve coffee makers.
We are going to give the Mr. Coffee Home Cafe AT13 Generation II coffee maker a solid 3.5 out of 5. If the machine wasn't harder to prime and you didn't get such hot little finger tips from removing the pod holder we believe we would have gone a bit higher. Provided this machine has longevity and continues to perform over the next 6 months well - we think Mr. Coffee finally really does have a Home Cafe you may want to look into.
At Mr. Coffee Home Cafe Generation 2 AT13 Single Serve Coffee Maker
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Posted by Jay Brewer at February 2, 2006 8:38 AM