The Mr. Coffee ‘brew now’ button is an escape from drowsiness

In an age of aesthetic morning routines, a cheap electric coffee maker might seem a bit old-fashioned – something to be grudgingly used in the office rather than a gadget that brings joy to your kitchen. And while I love fancy coffee gadgets that require a manual, multi-step ritual, there’s one thing that makes me turn to a standard Mr. Coffee machine every morning: its “brew now” button that Instantly starts the process of getting caffeine into my body.

One-button operation means I don’t have to navigate the complexities of temperatures or brew ratios while I’m still half asleep. I just press it, it turns on and the machine gurgles to life, heating the water and pushing it through a tube over the coffee grounds I added to it. The only decision I have to make is how much coffee I will need to get through the day.

Really, the waiting is the hardest part.
Photo by Mitchell Clark/The Verge

While its controls are about as simple as a Keurig, the Mr. Coffee needs you to do a little more than pop in a pod and press that button. At the very least, you’ll need to whip out a paper filter, pour in some coffee, and refill the reservoir before pressing brew at some point. (Although it could be done the night before.) The simplicity of the Mr. Coffee lets you complicate the process with hand-ground coffee, reusable filters and more if you want, but that’s not the case. . require the ritual that comes with more Instagram-friendly Moka pots, Aeropresses, and Chemex.

While there are plenty of other coffee makers with fancier features that also turn on with the push of a single button, it’s hard to imagine a better version of that button than my Mr. Coffee. It’s large enough that you don’t have to be precise early in the morning. It also sounds amazing, although that’s mostly thanks to the loud “click” the machine makes when it starts to heat up. But since it lights up as soon as you press the button, my brain interprets the click of the electronics as the click of the button (much like how the new AirPods make a sound every time you press the stem) .

The Mr. Coffee 'brew now' button is an escape from drowsiness

Add a filter. Add coffee. Add water. Press the button.
Photo by Mitchell Clark/The Verge

Considering the quality of the button, it may be surprising that it is do not an expensive coffee maker we’re talking about. My Mr. Coffee, the five-cup model, is one of the brand’s cheapest offerings. (Note: a “cup” of Mr. Coffee is not the same as the standard US volumetric measurement – it means five ounces, which means my machine can brew about two cups of coffee). My Best Buy order history tells me I bought this for about $25 last year, shortly after I started The edge and realized that my mornings were getting too hectic to complete my Chemex ritual. Somehow this coffee maker has been $4 cheaper since then.

While there are other coffee machines whose knobs look identical, a funny thing starts to happen when you upgrade to more expensive models: you run the risk of the knobs getting worse. I’ve seen coffee makers where the brew button is small and part of a cluttered panel. Some, horribly, even have tactile buttons.

I won’t judge anyone for choosing a fancier model to adorn their counter, but that’s not for me. I like the fact that I can operate the machine responsible for bringing me caffeine when my brain capacity is at 2%. May the “brew now” button live on for many years of sleeping jabs – just like the snooze button that I may or may not hit multiple times before shoving my way to Mr. Coffee.


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