There is inevitably going to be a step down in grind quality when moving from a burr grinder to a blademodel. That being said, the Mr. Coffee 12 Cup Electric is one of the best blade grinders that has come through our testing lab. It tends to do a slightly better job at minimizing the randomness of blade-ground coffee, keeps things a bit tidier, and is a bit less cacophonous than most of the other blade models we've tested. It certainly can't come close to the quality of a burr model, but it sells for much less than any of those burr models, making it a compelling option for those that don't mind dealing with some grind inconsistencies in order to gain access to the whole bean shelf at the grocery store on the cheap.
Mr. Coffee 12 Cup Electric Review
Pros: Relatively clean and easy to use, quieter than most blade models
Cons: Produces inconsistent grinds
Manufacturer: Mr. Coffee
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|Pros||Relatively clean and easy to use, quieter than most blade models||Great grind consistency, intuitive interface, relatively clean and quiet||Good grind consistency, burly components||Quiet operation, good grind consistency, great for pourover||Above average grind consistency, clean operation|
|Cons||Produces inconsistent grinds||Not ideal for French press, expensive||Expensive||Can produce enough static to hang onto grinds, not great at the extreme ends of the grind spectrum (coarse and fine)||Slightly pricier than some comparable models|
|Bottom Line||One of the better blade models on the market, but definitely don’t expect it to produce consistent grinds||Top-notch performance in every category except for French press||A consumer-level model that is built more like a durable, commercial-level machine||Good grind consistency from a relatively quiet machine||Unlikely to win any popularity awards, but just as unlikely to displease|
|Rating Categories||Mr. Coffee 12 Cup...||Breville Smart Pro||Baratza Virtuoso+||Krups GX420851||Baratza Encore|
|Grind Consistency (35%)|
|User Friendliness (25%)|
|Specs||Mr. Coffee 12 Cup...||Breville Smart Pro||Baratza Virtuoso+||Krups GX420851||Baratza Encore|
|Grinding Mechanism||blade||conical burr||conical burr||conical burr||conical burr|
|Burr/Blade Material||stainless steel||stainless steel||high-carbon steel||stainless steel||stainless steel|
|Dimensions||5" x 5" x 9"||12.5" x 8.5" x 16.3"||6.69" x 6.69" x 12.6"||10.2" x 6.5" X 18.5"||4.7" x 6.3" x 13.8"|
|Weight||1.7 lbs||6.4 lbs||7.05 lbs||6.2 lbs||6.83 lbs|
|Cup Material||plastic, metal||plastic||plastic||plastic||plastic|
|Warranty||One Year Limited||One Year Limited||One Year Limited||Two Year Limited||One Year Limited|
Our Analysis and Test Results
If you're okay with the inconsistent grinds that are going to come out of any blade grinder, we think the Mr. Coffee 12 Cup Electric is a great choice. It outdid many of its blade-equipped siblings in our testing lab.
By far the most enticing aspect of the 12 Cup Electric is its price --even in the world of inexpensive blade grinders it is quite cheap. In fact, it's not hard to find a bag of artisanal coffee beans that cost more than the 12 Cup Electric.
Beyond the low price, our favorite thing about this grinder is that it generally outperforms other blade grinders on the market. Its grind consistency is still beholden to the intrinsic randomness of a blade spinning through a chamber full of coffee beans, but in our tests it was able to produce considerably more consistent extraction times than the other blade models. It still has that fork stuck in the garbage disposal sound of all blade grinders, but manages to keep the pitch a bit lower, making the sound slightly less startling. It also produces less static than most other blade models, meaning far fewer grinds stick to the grind cup and make a mess when you try to tap them loose.
We don't mean to sound pedantic here, but our biggest complaint about the 12 Cup Electric is the fact that it's a blade grinder. Yes, blade grinders are very inexpensive and quite compact when compared to burr models, but their grind quality is lightyears behind. Because the blade grinds the beans randomly you're almost inevitably going to end up with some fine coffee dust, as well as some large, barely ground chunks. That means the extraction you get from your coffee is likely going to be different each day you use the grinder. Sure, the 12 Cup Electric does better than most in this regard, but it is still quite inconsistent.
Like most blade options out there, the 12 Cup Electric is inexpensive. If you're aware of and are okay with the inherent disadvantages of a blade grinder, we think this model represents a fairly good value.
If you don't mind the inconsistent grind offered by all blade grinders, and are just looking for a relatively inexpensive way to access the whole bean shelf of the coffee aisle, we think the Mr. Coffee 12 Cup Electric is one of the best options out there.
— Max Mutter and Michelle Powell