The Mr. Coffee Simple Brew 12-Cup Switch is an inexpensive machine that offers decent all-around performance. However, if you're looking for a budget option to provide your morning caffeination, we feel the BLACK+DECKER 12-cup Programmable offers a slightly better value. If you can't find the BLACK+DECKER then the Simple Brew is an adequate substitute.
Mr. Coffee Simple Brew 12-Cup Switch Review
Pros: Good taste, inexpensive
Cons: Relatively slow
Manufacturer: Mr. Coffee
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Mr. Coffee Simple Brew 12-Cup Switch is a solid and dependable budget coffee maker. The only thing we wish it has was a programmable function.
The Mr. Coffee Simple Brew 12-Cup Switch's overall score in our testing put it towards the middle of the pack. In the sections that follow we discuss how the Simple Brew performed in all of our individual testing metrics.
The Simple Brew earned a respectable 6 out of 10 in our taste testing, which put it slightly above average in a metric where scores ranged from 2 to 10. It made a cup that was decently strong, but lacked a bit of the boldness and nuance of the top scorers. It was also able to avoid the plastic taste that was present in some of the other coffee makers we tested. Overall we'd compare this coffee to what you'd get at a diner: satisfying but nothing to write home about.
The Simple Brew was again average in our user friendliness testing, earning a 6 out of 10 in a metric that saw scores ranging from 4 to 9. It has a very simple, one button interface. Some will like this simplicity, while others will wish they could adjust more settings or at least have some sort of display to confirm that they have in fact initiated the brewing process. The carafe is well designed and pours easily, so no spilling or tipping the carafe upside down to get that last drop out.
The Simple Brew was towards the bottom of our convenience scores, earning a 4 out of 10. This was just above the low score of 3 and well off the high score of 9. Including prep and cleaning it took us 12 minutes to brew 6 cups of coffee with the Simple Brew. This was on the slower end of things, but not painfully so. The biggest knock against the Simple Brew's convenience is its lack of a programmable feature, so you can't schedule it to turn on automatically in the morning. While the Simple Brew is clearly a budget option, this feature has become available on many inexpensive coffee makers, like the BLACK+DECKER 12-cup Programmable.
Ease of Cleaning
The Simple Brew was one of many machines that sat in the middle of the pack in our ease of cleaning testing. It notched a score of 6 out of 10 in a metric where scores ranged from 4 to 9. The paper filters made disposing of spent grounds quick and easy. The glass carafe is fairly easy to hand clean and is dishwasher safe for when you'd like to do a deeper cleaning. The descaling process was fairly straightforward but took 70 minutes to complete, which was a bit on the longer side.
The Mr. Coffee Simple Brew 12-Cup Switch's list price of $25 makes it the most inexpensive model we tested. However, the BLACK+DECKER 12-Cup Programmable makes coffee that tastes just as good and has a programmable function that lets you wake up to freshly brewed coffee, and costs just $5 more. Most of our testers felt this feature was well worth the extra $5,
The Mr. Coffee Simple Brew 12-Cup Switch is a great budget option if you don't care about a programmable function. If you want an inexpensive machine with a programmable function you should check out the BLACK+DECKER 12-Cup Programmable.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata