Friday, December 31, 2010
Mr. Coffee FTX41 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker Product Review by Christine MM
Product Name: Mr. Coffee FTX41 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker, Stainless Steel
My Star Rating: 1 star out of 5 = I Hate It
The first Mr. Coffee Coffeemaker we owned was given to me as a gift. I was not a coffee drinker then and only used it when guests visited. After owning it about nine months I resumed drinking coffee in the mornings (and using leftovers for iced coffee) so began using it about three times a week. On month four of my regular use (when the product was aged 13 months) I realized I'd put 12 cups worth of water in but only 8 cups of coffee brewed. The coffee maker was sitting in a puddle of water! There is a little round ring at the back and it was cracked. It's a tiny little thing and seems like it would be a cinch to replace. No extras are provided when we purchase it. These can't be purchased separately in the store. The coffee maker's warrantee had expired so I had no recourse. I had to throw the thing away.
I didn't want another one of this model or brand, but my husband suprised me by buying the same one as a replacement. I have used this one 3-4 times a week for the last 13 months. Today it started leaking with the sitting in the pool of water issue. Again. That little ring is the culprit. Again. The warrantee has passed. I have no recourse with the manufacturer. Again. This is going in the trash. Again.
What's most annoying is that a $70 (MSRP) coffee maker with functioning brewing mechanisms and a perfectly good glass carafe is rendered useless due to one tiny piece of plastic that probably costs less than one cent to produce. Extra rings should be given in multiple quantities with the machine. My grandfather would turn over in his grave if he heard this story. He was a tinkerer and fixer in the time of "making do". He lived in the day of being able to buy replacement parts and keep something like this coffeemaker this useful for ten, twenty or more years. My cynical friends declare this as a perfect example of planned obsolescence.
I'll never buy a Mr. Coffee coffeemaker again, and any gifts received will be returned to the store!
It seems to me that to have an electrical device sitting in a pool of water is a potential fire hazard...I'm surprised the manufacturer's lawyers aren't advising that something be done to fix this problem...
Mr. Coffee should be ashamed of themselves for not being able to get something as simple as a tiny ring of plastic right.
If you still want more basic info here it is. It is a basic coffee maker. It has a regular and strong brewing strength. Based on what coffee beans I'm using I have used both settings as I like my coffee strong. When using the strong setting it takes longer to brew which you may find a pain in the neck, so consider using the programmer setting if you want piping hot coffee when you wake up if you wake up at the same time each day. I found when grinding my own beans I must get the ground size just right or the device overflows: if the beans are ground too fine it causes overflowing (that's my fault, not a fault of the coffeemaker). It has a variable temperature control for the burner that keeps it warm after the initial brewing. On the downside I found I had to turn the temperature down or else within about a half hour the left over coffee would burn. If turned too low the coffee was not hot enough just minutes after brewing. I'm not happy with that issue either, but since my method is to brew a full pot, and drink only one cup hot and use the rest for iced coffee. So I shut the machine off immediately and let it cool then refrigerate the rest for iced coffee for the next few day's use. If I wanted to keep the one pot hot for a couple of hours time, it would either be burned or too cold.
(I am switching to a French Press with zero mechanical parts, no o-rings, and no plastic parts.)
Disclosure: As stated in the review we purchased one of these and one was a gift from a relative. I was not paid to write this review or to blog it. For my blog's full disclosure statement click the link at the top of my blog's sidebar.