Mr. Coffee has enjoyed an immense amount of success in the coffee maker business. It’s been a household name for generations. So the question becomes whether or not they ride a wave of popularity based on their reputation or they still make great coffee machines.
Our review of the Mr. Coffee 10 Cup Coffee Maker with Optimal Brew Thermal System shows that they aren’t ready to give up the fight for automatic drip brewing supremacy just yet. It shows off some eyebrow raising features that are sure to annoy their competitors.
Let’s take a closer look at the features. There are some links to resources and manuals at the end of this review.
Features of the Mr. Coffee Optimal Brew Thermal System
This Mr. Coffee machine pulls 1300 watts to heat water in order to brew at a temperature up to 205°. It’s manufactured with a 2 prong plug that’s designed for a 120 volt electric current.
It accepts GOLDTONE permanent filters (not included) and a charcoal water filtration system that will remove up to 97 percent of the chlorine from your tap water.
Let’s go over the basic features.
Type of Coffee Maker: Automatic Drip.
This coffee maker uses its 1300 watt steel plate to efficiently heat the water. The temperature hitting the brew basket consistently measured over 208° Fahrenheit.
This brews a very hot cup of coffee. You can expect freshly brewed coffee in the carafe to be served at about 200° F.
Type of Coffee Used: ground beans
You can use your favorite grind here.
Type of Filter Used: Paper or Permanent GOLDTONE Filter
A permanent filter is not included but the filter basket will accept a standard GOLDTONE filter.
As with any GOLDTONE filter, you can wind up with coffee grounds in your cup if the beans are ground too fine. A medium grind is recommended here.
A standard 8-12 cup #4 paper filter will fit in the filter basket.
Nice Paper Coffee Filters
You can always use a #4 coffee filter inside a permanent filter if the coffee beans you’re using prove to be too fine.
These filters can also be used when using the Pour Over method, so they won’t go to waste if you only need a couple of them for your current grind.
Pictured: Mael Paper Coffee Filters.
Click image to view on Amazon.
There is also a charcoal water filtration system included in this coffee maker that will filter the tap water of chlorine. This feature rests on top of the coffee filter basket. Each charcoal filter is good for about thirty uses.
The reservoir is detachable for easy filling and to empty unused water for plants, however, it does drop in from the top of the machine so you’ll need to check the clearance if you’re keeping this under a cabinet. It holds up to 50 ounces. Standard coffee measurements indicate that 5 ounces equals one cup of coffee.
Carafe: Stainless Steel Thermal
There’s a button on the lid of the decanter to release the coffee. The tapered design is not only suited for modern kitchens, the small opening prevents rapid heat loss.
Number of Cups Can Brew at Once: 2 -10 cups at 5 ounces each.
The reservoir and filters seem to hold more water than many automatic drip coffee makers. You would be hard pressed to squeeze out 50 full ounces of coffee.
Warming Plate: No
There’s no need for a warming plate with the thermal decanter.
This coffee maker has a Pause ‘n Serve feature that allows you to pour yourself a cup of coffee mid-way through the brewing process. For best results, wait until the process has brewed at least half-way through. Leaving the carafe out from the dispenser longer than 30 seconds may cause the water filter to overflow.
Automatic Shut-off: Yes
The coffee maker will automatically shut off after two hours. Optionally, you can also turn off the machine manually. There is a Fresh Brew timer that indicates how long the coffee has been in the carafe.
This Mr. Coffee maker will brew as few as 2 cups of coffee. That’s 10 ounces which isn’t even the largest size on a Keurig machine. Granted, it isn’t as convenient as dropping in a pod and hitting a button, but you get the benefit of being able to use your own grind and multiple servings without having to wait for the water to reheat.
Brew Strength Options: One
Including water filtration just prior to the brewing point makes it difficult to create more than one coffee strength. Stronger coffee usually means a either hotter water or a longer saturation time. The water temperature is already pretty hot and the filter system isn’t great for allowing the coffee to soak and bloom for a longer period.
Color: Chrome and Black
The thermal decanter that’s balanced between the programming/coffee side and the reservoir side gives this coffee maker has a sleek and modern look. It certainly won’t be mistaken for grandma’s top-heavy machine with the glass carafe. An all chrome version is also available.
It has a standard digital display with a regular clock. This display can be dimmed to reduce energy usage.
From this display, you can also check the Fresh Brew™ timer, program a delayed brew up to 24 hours in advance and also program a cleaning cycle.
The audible beep that indicates when the brew cycle has completed can be turned off.
The machine will need to be reprogrammed after every brew cycle.
Power Failure Recovery No
- There’s a cord storage compartment to keep your counter free of clutter.
- The plug is polarized.
- Comes with a one year limited warranty.
How Easy is the Mr. Coffee Optimal Brew Thermal System to Clean?
This coffee maker has a dedicated cleaning function. It takes about 45 minutes to run through the entire process. The thermal carafe is not dishwasher safe.
How Much Counter Space Does it Use?
The dimensions are: 14.25 inches tall x 9 inches wide x 11 inches deep.
The cord is 29 inches long. The machine has a storage compartment for the cord.
What the Comments Say
Praises From Reviewers
This is a top of the line machine from Mr. Coffee. The brew cycle is quiet and the design is efficient.
If you’re comfortable using automatic drip coffee makers, you’ll feel right at home getting familiar with this machine.
They love the convenience. It may not be as fast as a pod coffee maker but it brews very quickly and yields are higher coffee temperature than most pod brewing machines.
Drawbacks to Consider
There are several ways that this coffee maker can wind up causing a mess. The coffee maker must be set up in order. The coffee and filter must be set up prior to setting up the carafe.
You will lose close to half a cup of liquid between the reservoir and the carafe due to evaporation. This is a little more than average. It isn’t a deal breaker but you’ll need to experiment to determine the right amount of water for your set up.
The temperature is less than optimal – measured 177° Fahrenheit by our account. The saving grace here is the thermal carafe will hold that temperature longer. You can also raise the temperature a bit by pouring hot water into the carafe before starting the brewing cycle (and removing it before you actually brew coffee). This will slightly raise the ambient temperature.
This Mr. Coffee machine works like a charm. It has all of the functions and features that you want to see in a coffee maker. We love the thermal carafe and the removable filter basket.
The advance brew programming is great. Even though we’d like to see a feature where we didn’t have to repeat the program, it’s actually safer to use this way.
We recommend the Mr. Coffee 10 Cup Optimal Brew Thermal Coffee Maker for busy households.
Alternatives to the Mr. Coffee Optimal Brew Thermal System
If you’re still on the fence about purchasing an automatic drip coffee maker, here are three similar machines to consider:
Cuisinart 3400 is a 10 cup automatic drip coffee maker with a thermal carafe.
Read our review of the Cuisinart 3400 coffee maker.
The Bonavita Connoisseur 8-Cup One-Touch Coffee Maker is a recipient of the Specialty Coffee Association Golden Cup Award.
This is not only and award winning 8 cup coffee maker, it’s also quite affordable. It has a stainless steel thermal carafe and a detachable 44 ounce reservoir.
Read our review of the Bonavita Connoisseur 8-Cup One-Touch coffee maker.
The Cuisinart DCC-1150BK is an automatic drip type of coffee maker that has seen many upgrades and improvements over the years. It also features a stainless steel thermal dispenser and is programmable.
Read our review of the Cuisinart DCC-1150BK coffee maker.
Resources for the Mr. Coffee Optimal Brew Thermal System
You can download the manual here
How to Clean the Mr. Coffee Thermal Brew System
Change the water filter every 30 days or after 30 uses (Mr. Coffee assumes you’re going to use the machine once a day).
The Mr. Coffee Thermal Brew System has a clean light indicator. This usually goes on if it senses a build up of minerals in the system. It will also go on after it has completed 90 brew cycles. That means you should plan on running the Clean function about once every three months.
Make sure that both the reservoir and the decanter are empty.
You can use either the permanent filter or a paper filter in the brew filter basket for this purpose.
You should remove the water filter.
- Fill the reservoir with 6 cups of white vinegar.
- Place the carafe underneath as usual.
- Activate the Cleaning function by pressing the CLEAN button.
- The Clean button will flash and the Brew button will remain on.
- Check the LCD screen. A counter should appear. It will read at 45 minutes and count down until the process is complete.
Selecting and Measuring Ground Coffee
For best results, use a level tablespoon for ground coffee measurement.
Make sure you use medium grind coffee for a perfect brew.
Coffee Brewing Measurements Guide
Here’s a table that Mr. Coffee set up as a general guideline for their 10 Cup coffee maker.
You can vary this to suit your own taste. If you watched the review video, you’ll notice the reviewer added an additional 1.5 tablespoons of coffee for her six cups demonstration.
As is the standard, five ounces equals one cup of brewed coffee. Use the measuring guides for the water level. In other words, 10 Cups on this chart yields 50 ounces of coffee, not 80 ounces.
1 level tablespoon (tbsp) = 5 gr./0.17 oz.
|Amount of Water||Amount of Coffee|
|10 Cups||7.5 Tbsp.|
|8 Cups||6.5 Tbsp.|
|6 Cups||4.5 Tbsp.|
|4 Cups||3 Tbsp.|