Mr. Coffee 12 Cup Coffee Maker Review: One Button and Done!

After working as a professional barista for many years, Arne Preuss founded Coffeeness.

Sometimes you want a coffee maker that just plain works. “One button and done” is what I like to call it. If that’s you, the Mr. Coffee 12 Cup Coffee Maker is all you need.

Sometimes you want a coffee maker that just plain works. “One button and done” is what I like to call it. If that’s you, the Mr. Coffee 12 Cup Coffee Maker is all you need.

Over 22,000 five star reviews is hard to argue with, right? Well, then again, some people could argue with a fence post. But I think you get my point!

Let’s take a closer look at what makes the Mr. Coffee 12 cup coffee maker the best simple coffee maker around.

Best Simple Coffee Maker

A great choice for people who want a no fuss machine.

Easy to use!

Easy to understand!

Made like coffee makers used to be.

Lacks the bells and whistles some users want.

Mr. Coffee 12 Cup Simple Brew Coffee Maker Overview

The Mr. Coffee 12 Cup Coffee Maker is called Simple Brew for a reason. It’s the best no fuss appliance you’ll ever add to your kitchen; just toss your favorite coffee into the paper filter and brew.

It’s no wonder, then, why I awarded it the status of being the “Best Simple Coffee Maker” of 2022.

The housing is made of plastic and comes in either black or white. It comes with a glass carafe, coffee scoop and the filter basket lifts out for easy cleaning.

Mr. Coffee 12 Cup Simple Brew Coffee Maker Power Button.

There’s no mess of controls to learn, just a simple on/off switch. The machine will keep your coffee hot as long as it’s on.

There’s also no automatic shut off on this model, so you have to remember to turn it off when you’re done.

Overall, it’s easy to use and easy to clean. And it’s a reliable coffee maker with a beautiful price point of $30.82 on Amazon.

Mr. Coffee 12 Cup Simple Brew Coffee Maker Features

Mr. Coffee 12 Cup Simple Brew Coffee Maker Features.

There is no complicated layout here; the Simple Brew coffee maker is made for people who love to brew coffee as part of their morning routine. Some people may think it’s a cheap coffee maker, but I think it’s a great little machine simply because of its easy use.

Water Reservoir

First off, the water tank is the kind you would have seen on a coffee maker 20 years ago. It’s not detachable. You simply pour your water into the machine to fill it, just like you’d done on similar machines for years.

With that said, though, the tank holds 96 ounces (2,840 milliliters) and the carafe has the markings you need to quickly figure out how much water to pour into it. Don’t hurt your brain doing the math. That’s just my fancy way of saying 12 cups.

Dual Water Window

Even better, there’s a water window on both sides of the water tank with markings that correlate with those on the carafe. These markings will pretty much guarantee you don’t overfill the machine, and you can be sure your brewed coffee won’t overflow your coffee pot.

Lift and Clean Filter Basket

Mr. Coffee 12 Cup Simple Brew Coffee Maker Filter Basket

The Simple Brew Coffee maker has a filter basket that you can lift out to easily toss spent grounds and clean with just a rinse of warm water and mild soap. This model doesn’t come with a reusable filter, so it needs a paper filter to brew the coffee properly.

That said, you can purchase a gold tone reusable coffee filter separately for pretty cheap. Mr. Coffee makes their own, but it’s twice the price of other gold tone filters on Amazon. At the end of the day, they all do the same thing.

Power On/Off Indicator Lights

The single button on the front of the machine is your gateway to that morning cup of joe. It lights up when the machine is on or brewing and goes out when you turn it off. Easy peasy.

Easy Cord Storage

After you finish brewing and the machine is shut off and cooled, you can tuck the cord away neatly to save some counter space, or not. It’s entirely up to you.

Auto Pause

Another neat feature is the Grab a Cup Auto Pause feature, for those days you can’t wait until the pot is ready. All you need to do is pull out the carafe and the drip process will pause until you replace the carafe on the warmer plate. Then, the brew will continue. 

It’s super handy when you want to top off a cooled cup while you’re waiting for the fresh pot to brew. Just be aware that early on in the brew cycle the coffee might be a little strong because a minimal amount of water has passed through the coffee grinds.

Hot Plate

The hot plate under the carafe will keep warming your coffee as long as the machine is on. While this is something that many people like, I find that using it runs the risk of scorching your coffee and ruining the flavor.

It’s best just to enjoy what you’ve brewed while it’s hot and just make a fresh pot if you want hot coffee.

Warranty

Additionally, Mr. Coffee warrants the Simple Brew coffee maker for one year after the purchase date against manufacturer defects. Not the best warranty I’ve seen, but it’s not bad for a basic coffee maker.

If you have trouble with your machine, they will repair or replace it at a service center near you. That beats having to ship it through the mail!

How to Use the Mr. Coffee 12 Cup Coffee Maker

How to Use the Mr. Coffee 12 Cup Simple Brew Coffee Maker.

It’s surprisingly easy to use this coffee maker. Here’s what you need to do.

  1. First, grab your carafe and fill it up with fresh water to the number of cups you want to brew. Pour the water into the reservoir, then put the carafe back on the warming plate.
  2. Next, measure out the amount of coffee you need for the water you have.
  3. Then, make sure the filter basket is seated and centered inside the brew basket.
  4. Pop a paper 10-12 cup basket filter into the filter basket and add the coffee. Always make sure you have a paper filter in there, or you’ll end up with a hot pot of grounds.
  5. Close the lid, and switch the power button to the ON position. You’re done! All you have to do now is sit back and wait for your coffee to brew.

Oh, and because this coffee maker doesn’t have an automatic shut off, remember to switch the power off when you’re finished. If you’re afraid you’ll forget, just set an alarm on your microwave, oven or phone.

Mr. Coffee 12 Cup Coffee Maker Cleaning and Descaling

Mr. Coffee 12 Cup Simple Brew Coffee Maker Cleaning.

Not only is it easy to operate this coffee maker, but it’s also a snap to clean. Some parts are dishwasher safe, but I always recommend hand washing to prevent damage to the components.

Everyday cleaning is pretty straightforward: wash out the carafe, carafe lid and filter basket with warm water and mild soap and set it aside to air dry.

A good microfiber cloth is all you need for the outside of the machine. Just give it a good wipe down after use to keep it nice and shiny.

In addition to that, descaling is essential for the Simple Brew Coffee maker, especially if you have hard water. Since there’s no water filter, you’re best to descale it ever couple of months.

Mr. Coffee sells a descaling solution for cleaning its coffeemakers, but you can just as easily use undiluted vinegar.

To descale your machine, fill the reservoir with four cups of vinegar. Put a paper filter in the filter basket, brew about three cups of vinegar, turn the machine off and let it sit for 30 minutes.

At the 30 minute mark, turn the machine back on and brew the last cup. Then, refill the reservoir to the 12 cup mark with fresh water only and brew that to rinse out the machine.

It’s not rocket science. Just plain ole water and vinegar. However, if you have an aversion to the smell of vinegar, citric acid descaler works well.

Mr. Coffee 12 Cup Coffee Maker Specifications

 Mr. Coffee 12 Cup Coffee Maker
ManufacturerMr. Coffee
NameMr. Coffee Simple Brew 12 Cup Coffee Maker
Product categoryDrip coffee maker
Housing materialPlastic
Carafe MaterialGlass
Brew capacity96 oz (2,840 ml)
Serving size options4-12 cups
ProgrammableNo
Permanent coffee filterSold separately
Auto pauseYes
Removable filter basketYes
Water filterNo
Removable water reservoirNo
Warmer plateYes
Weight3.6 lbs
Dimensions12.6 x 11.8 x 8.4 in
Current price on Amazon$30.82

Mr. Coffee Simple Brew vs 12 Cup Programmable Coffee Maker

Mr. Coffee 12 Cup Simple Brew Coffee Maker vs 12 Cup Programmable.

For comparison, I want to run the Mr. Coffee 12 Cup Simple Brew up against the 12 cup programmable version.

Both coffee makers have the Auto Pause feature and are warranted for one year. They also both have plastic housings with glass carafes. But that’s where the similarities end. 

The main difference between the two coffee makers is programmability. You can set it to brew later, which is a plus, but I don’t think it’s a deal breaker for the non-programmable Simple Brew.

The programmable model has a water filtration system, a larger brew basket, a reusable filter and a four hour shut off timer. The simple brew lacks all of these features, but honestly, the only one I really wish it had was the auto off, simply for safety reasons.

The programmable version also touts an automatic cleaning cycle and a more “dishwashable” design, but you know how I feel about that. Handwashing is almost always the way to go.

Sometimes you can find the programmable version for slightly cheaper than the simple version, so it’s worth comparing prices … well, unless you believe the programmable version to be too complex, that is.

Verdict: Mr. Coffee 12 Cup Simple Brew Coffee Maker

Best Simple Coffee Maker

Ideal if you want a simple, no frills machine.

Easy to use!

Easy to understand!

Made like coffee makers used to be.

Lacks the bells and whistles some users want.

Compared to some of the other coffee makers out there, the Simple Brew is an affordable coffee maker. It gets the job done. And that’s all that really matters, right?

As far as simple coffee machines go, I like this model. As I mentioned in my Best 22 Coffee Makers of 2022 list, the Simple Brew Coffee Maker is a classic, plain ole coffee pot.

It’s a no fuss machine with uncomplicated styling, yet makes a decent cup of hot coffee. Just remember to turn it off when you’re done.

Mr. Coffee 12 Cup Coffee Maker FAQ

Yup! It’s as easy as pie … well, eating pie, that is! Just pull it out of the box, set it up, throw in your favorite coffee grinds and hit the button. You’ll have your first pot of coffee in no time.

Although there are several programmable models, this particular coffee maker isn’t programmable. It’s a plain jane machine that just makes good coffee. 

You can, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Instant coffee is for brewing directly in your cup by adding hot water. The Mr. Coffee 12 Cup Coffee Maker is specifically designed to work with ground coffee only.

Mr. Coffee recommends nine level tablespoons for a whole pot of coffee. Of course, if you like your coffee more robust, you can always add a little more.

There’s also a handy chart in the instruction manual to help you figure out how much coffee you need if you want to brew less.

Nope, just one single button. You’re brewing or you’re not. How great is that? 

Yes. The glass carafe, lid and filter basket are all top rack dishwasher safe. However, I recommend hand washing your carafe and basket with warm water and mild soap. You don’t want any residues left behind from the dishwasher ruining the taste of your fresh coffee.

This model doesn’t have a reusable coffee filter, so you need paper filters to line the filter basket. The filter basket, however, lifts out for easy cleaning. 

You’ll need a 10-12 cup basket style filter for your coffee machine. Mr. Coffee sells a branded pack of filters, but you can use pretty much any 12 cup paper basket filter. 

First, make sure your machine is set up and ready to go with the carafe in place. Next, fill up the water reservoir. Then, put a coffee filter in the filter basket and add enough grounds for the amount of coffee you want to make. Finally, push the button. That’s it! Come back in a few minutes, and you’ll have a pot of delicious coffee waiting for you. 

With proper care and maintenance, Mr. Coffee 12 Cup Coffee Makers should last for years. If you have issues with your machine, Mr. Coffee offers a one year limited warranty against manufacturer defects.

I hope you’ve found it helpful to read my preliminary review of the Mr. Coffee 12 Cup Coffee Maker. If there’s anything you’d like me to test out during my hands-on review, let me know in the comments section!

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