Mr. The coffee “brew now” button is an escape from sleepiness

In an age of aesthetically pleasing morning routines, a cheap electric coffee machine can feel a bit dated – something to reluctantly use in the office instead of a gadget that brings joy to your kitchen. And while I love the smart coffee gadgets that require a manual step-by-step ritual, there is one thing that makes me turn to a standard Mr. Coffee machine every morning: its simple “brew now” button that instantly starts the process of getting caffeine into my body.

The single-button operation means I do not have to navigate the complexity of brewing temperatures or conditions while still half-asleep. I just press it, it lights up and the machine chuckles to life, heats up water and pushes it up a pipe on the coffee grounds I added to it. The only decision I have to make is how much coffee I need to get through the day.

In truth, the wait is the hardest part.
Photo by Mitchell Clark / The Verge

While its controls are about as simple as a Keurig’s, Mr. Coffee needs you to do little more than pop a pod in and press that button. At the very least, you will need to take out a paper filter, scoop some coffee in, and refill the tank before pressing brew at some point. (Although this can be done the night before.) Coffee’s simplicity lets you complicate the process with hand-ground coffee, recyclable filters and more if you choose, but it does not require the ritual that comes with more Instagram-friendly Moka pots, Aeropresses and Chemexs.

While there are plenty of other coffee machines with more advanced features that also turn on at the touch of a button, it’s hard to imagine a better version of this button than the one on my Mr. Coffee. It’s big enough that you do not have to be exactly early in the morning. It also sounds incredible, though it’s mostly thanks to the high “click” that the machine makes when it starts to heat up. But because it turns on as soon as you press the button, my brain interprets the click on the electronics as a click on the button (similar to how newer AirPods play a sound every time you press the stem).

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

Given how good the button is, it may come as a surprise that this is does not an expensive coffee machine we are talking about. My Mr. Coffee, the model with five cups, is one of the brand’s cheapest offers. (Note: a Mr. Coffee “cup” is not the same as the American volumetric standard for measurement – that means five ounces, which means my machine can brew about two mugs of coffee). My Best Buy order history tells me I bought it for about $ 25 last year, shortly after I started at The edge and realized that my mornings were getting too hectic to perform my Chemex ritual. Somehow this coffee pot has become $ 4 cheaper since then.

While there are other coffee machines that have buttons that appear to be identical, one fun thing starts to happen when you go up in more expensive models: you run the risk of the buttons actually getting worse. I have seen coffee machines where the brew button is small and part of a crowded panel. Some, horribly enough, even have touch-sensitive buttons.

I would not judge anyone for choosing a more advanced model to adorn their countertop, but that is not something for me. I like that I can operate the machine that is responsible for getting me caffeine while I have 2 percent brain capacity. May the “brew now” button live up to several years of sleepy jabs – like the snooze button, which I may or may not press a few times before turning to Mr. Coffee.