In the age of aesthetically pleasing morning routines, a cheap electric coffee maker can feel a bit dated—something to use in the office rather than a gadget that brings joy to your kitchen. And while I prefer fancy coffee gadgets that require a manual, multi-step ritual, there’s one thing that drives me to a standard Mr. Coffee machine every morning: its dead-simple “brew now”. The button that immediately starts the process of getting caffeine in my body.
Single-button operation means I don’t have to navigate the complexities of brewing temps or ratios when I’m still half asleep. I just press it, it lights up, and the machine rumbles to life, heating the water and pushing it down a tube of coffee grounds I’ve added to it. All I have to decide is how much coffee I’ll need throughout the day.
Truly, waiting is the hardest part.
Photo by Michelle Clark/The Verge
While its controls are just as simple as those of the Keurig, the Mister Coffee requires you to do little more than pop in a pod and press that button. At a minimum, you’ll have to remove a paper filter, scoop in some coffee, and at some point fill up the tank before the brew can be brewed. (Though this can be done the night before.) Mister Coffee’s simplicity lets you complicate the process with hand-ground coffee, reusable filters, and more, but it doesn’t. require That ritual that comes with more Instagram-friendly Moka pots, Aeropresses and Chemexs.
While there are plenty of other coffee makers with more exclusive features that are triggered by even pressing a button, it’s hard to imagine a better version of this button than my Mr. It’s big enough that you don’t need to be precise early in the morning. It also sounds incredible, though it’s mostly thanks to the loud “click” when the machine starts to heat up. But because it turns on as soon as you press the button, my brain interprets the click of electronics as the click of a button (like how the new AirPods play sound whenever you squeeze the stem).
Add Filter. Add coffee. Add water. Press button.
Photo by Michelle Clark/The Verge
Considering how cool the button is, it might come as a surprise that it is No The expensive coffee maker we are talking about. The My Mr. Coffee, the five-cup model, is one of the brand’s least expensive offerings. (Note: A Mr. Coffee “cup” is not the same thing as the American volumetric standard of measurement – it means five ounces, which means my machine can brew about two mugs of coffee). My Best Buy order history tells me I bought it last year for about $25, shortly after I started ledge And realized that my mornings were getting too busy to complete my Chemex ritual. Somehow, this coffee pot has since become $4 cheaper.
While there are other coffee machines in which the buttons appear similar, a funny thing starts to happen when you move on to the more expensive models: You run the risk of the buttons going really bad. I’ve seen coffee makers where the brew button is small and part of a crowded panel. Some, frighteningly, even have touch-sensitive buttons.
I wouldn’t judge anyone for choosing a fancier model to embellish their countertop, but it doesn’t for me. I like that I can operate the machine that’s responsible for getting me caffeine while I’m at 2 percent brain capacity. Maybe the “brew now” button will survive many more years of sleepless jabs—just like the snooze button that I may or may not hit a few times before making my way to Mr.