Pros: Removable filter cup, easy to clean, "Pause 'N Serve" feature, durable.
Cons: Sometimes you get 12 cups, sometimes you get 11 cups.
In this house, coffee is an essential and that means I depend on my coffee maker to perform without fail at least once a day. I own several coffee makers one that has a carafe, one that only makes 4 cups and one that I use for special occasions [its big, clunky and loud but perfect for the holidays]. The Mr. Coffee NL12D [from now on referred to as just Mr. Coffee] is what I have in my small and humble home office. It takes up a small amount of space, works like a charm and as of yet has given me on major problems. I snapped this up on sale at Wal-Mart during one of their overstock sales last year for $18.94 and considering the amount of use it gets on a daily basis its been a real champ.
Mr. Coffee has always been a great brand but I have never really had much luck with the glass carafes. I either forget to turn the coffee maker off and the glass gets brittle or I break it in the sink when trying to clean it. This one seems to have a guardian angel watching over it since its still in one piece. In case you are thinking about picking up one of these models it might be a good idea to see if there are replacement carafes available. Some of the Mr. Coffee coffee makers have carafes that can be purchased separately for about $8.00, which is a lot cheaper than having to go out and buy a whole new set up.
Pause N Brew
Mr. Coffee certainly wasnt the first to think up or implement this idea, but so far they have been one of the few that have mastered it. If youve never had the chance to try this feature out on a coffee maker here are the basics. Lets say you are really in need of a cup of coffee lets call it a crisis situation but you dont want to have to pull a covert operation by removing the pot, replacing it with a cup to fill or trying to pour a cup on the fly. With most coffee makers youll have to hear the sizzling of the drips of coffee along with the smell of burnt coffee and usually end up spilling part of the cup you are pouring in the process. With this coffee maker you simply remove the pot, pour your cup and replace it a small membrane covered the pour hole preventing it from leaking.
Now, this is a great concept however I do have a few words of warning. Try to resist sneaking a cup before at least half of the water has brewed or you might find yourself with an extremely strong cup of coffee. The same goes with brewing tea try to wait as long as you possibly can or you might get something that is so strong its on the bitter side. Same goes for brewing hot tea, I almost went through the roof a few days ago when I desperately needed a cup of tea. The cup that I poured was so strong I couldnt drink it [and I drink my tea extremely strong] and it makes the rest of the pot seem a little weak. If only I had functioning brain cells at that moment I could have waiting until the cycle completed and poured the cup back into the pot.
Overall this feature is easy to use and so far I havent had any trouble with it not working correctly. You should try to remove the filter basket at least once a week and clean it according the manufacturers instructions to keep it flowing properly and eliminate the chance of it backing up on you. I remove the basket every few days and run it under hot water with the small release lever pressed [so the flow hole is open] instead of the recommended instructions but use your own judgment.
The 12 cup glass carafe that comes with this coffee maker is easy to use, holds up nicely even if left on for long periods of time [doesnt get brittle and crack], provides an easy pour and has the measuring guide clearly marked on the side. The bad part is that it isnt exactly the easiest little bugger to clean. The flip up lid that regulates how much coffee you pour at a time doesnt stay open so if you want to toss this in the sink to fill it up with cold water for a brew or to rinse it out most of the time it will flip shut and youll end up spraying water everywhere. Once a week I have to take the pot and soak it in a mixture of hot water and Fantastik regular cleaners [cleanser mainly] no longer seem to work on the pot. This means I have to really make sure that all the Fantastik is out of and off of the carafe before using it. Ive had burnt coffee and that is bad enough put I dont think I want to sample coffee with a touch of Fantastik in it.
The handle is made of extremely strong plastic and affixed to the carafe with a thick metal band. The handle is user friendly and allows you to get a firm grip on it to prevent accidental spills. The handle does stick out a little from the side of the coffee maker and I highly suggest that you make sure the handle is to the left or the right of the body of the unit. This will help keep kitchen accidents to a minimum and eliminate the chance of the handle getting bumped or hooked on to something [yes, it has happened]. As I mentioned earlier, you can pick up replacement carafes for this model for about $8.00. If you are going with a different model check the shelves first to see if the manufacturer sells these as an individual unit. You can also check the instruction manual and related reading material that are packed in the box to see if you can order one online or via mail.
You can make anywhere from two to twelve cups of coffee with this machine however Ive never been able to get the full twelve cups into the carafe. You have to take into consideration the amount of water that will be left in the coffee grinds and what type of coffee you are making. When I make hot tea filling the carafe with twelve cups of water the yield is about eleven and a half cups since not much water is retained by the tea bags. There is a printed guide on the inside of the water well so if you are using a pitcher or something other than the carafe to fill it you can see exactly how much water you are pouring in. There is a small oval cut out at the top of the tank that prevents you from pouring in too much water but be careful with this feature. If you move the coffee maker around while it is brewing [especially when it the process has just stared] you could have a nice sized spill on your hands.
This coffee maker is medium sized and takes up a small amount of space. The dimensions are 11 inches high, 9 inches deep and 8 inches wide. Remember to allow a little extra space for the handle this will tack on an additional two inches. The flip top lip where the water is poured requires about four inches but youll need to have at least twelve inches of room in order to get the carafe into the appropriate spot. If you are really stuck for space you can pull the unit out, pour in the water and slide it back into place. There is virtually no steam released from the top of the coffee maker so you wont have to worry about it harming cabinets that it may sit under.
Since I consider it a complete waste to make a half a pot of coffee or tea, I always go for the maximum output of twelve cups of caffeinated brew. The brew time is about six to seven minutes for coffee and about six minutes for tea. If you are wondering how to make tea in this coffee maker its pretty simple. Place a coffee filter into the basket, layer in six tea bags with the paper pouch and tab removed, close the basket and turn on the coffee maker. This is also a great way to make iced tea as well. Follow the above instructions and when the brewing cycle is complete, turn off your coffee maker. Allow it to cool for about an hour and serve over ice. You may need to adjust the number of tea bags you use and any tea that isnt consumed within a 12 15 hour period should be pitched since it does tend to get stronger as the day goes on.
Things To Know
Read the instructions that come with the unit before using it and always check the water fill area to make sure that there arent any packing materials tucked away in there. Fill out the warranty card to protect yourself in case you need to get something repaired. This unit comes with a 90 day warranty against defects however it doesnt protect you if you open the unit, use it inappropriately or dont follow the care and cleaning guidelines.
The on / off switch gives a nice loud snap when flipped from one side to the other and emits a green glow when the unit it powered up. Make sure you dont accidentally bump it or store anything in front of this area or you might end up with a cracked carafe. I make it a ritual to always unplug the coffee maker when I am done with it to avoid such accidents. I cant count the number f times I had to make trips home because I couldnt remember if I turned the unit off or not unplugging it each and every time has saved me some stress and wasted time.
The filter basket opens to the left hand side of the unit so you will want to make sure that you have enough room to completely open the door. The inner portion of the filter basket slides out of the housing to allow you to pitch the grinds and filter without creating a mess. I try to rinse this out after each use to get rid of renegade coffee grinds or when changing to a different flavored coffee. If you are going to be brewing tea in this as well you will want to clean it out on a more frequent basis.
The Bottom Line
So far the Mr. Coffee NL12 Automatic Drip Coffee Maker has been a great investment and has worked without fail for the past year. If you are looking for a simple, no-frills coffee maker [no timer, clock, programmable modes] then this is definitely something that you should check out. Now that I know I can pick up replacement carafes for this unit I feel a little better knowing I wont have to invest in a whole new set up if the glass carafe breaks or gets damaged. If I had to do it all over again and knew how perfectly this unit would work I would definitely pick it up again regardless of price.
As always, thanks for the visit!
^V^ Freak ^V^
© 2006 Freak369
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