We think the Mr. Coffee® Optimal Brew is an impressive machine, especially for this price point. It wins our Best Buy Award because it ranked well in our blind taste test, is highly programmable, features a thermal carafe, and can be purchased on sale for around $70. While not an SCAA certified brewer, during our testing we found that it brewed within the optional time and temperature specifications. We also liked the convenience of a removable water tank and a built-in water filter. The only small drawback we noticed was the carafe dripped more than others that we tested. Overall, we think this coffee maker is a deal, and it is the clear winner of our Best Buy Award.
As a brand, Mr. Coffee has a reputation for excellence and durability. The BVMC-PSTX91 model is a programmable coffeemaker designed for daily home use. This machine comes with a water filtration system to eliminate chlorine and other impurities from the water before utilizing drip brewing technology through a permanent Gold Tone filter. Brewing at 205°F into an insulated carafe, this machine can make up to 10 cups of coffee in under 7 minutes. This machine offers brew delay and brew pause, as well as a removable 50 oz. water reservoir and slide-out brew basket.
This Mr. Coffee model utilizes automatic drip brewing technology. We measured the brewing temperature at 203°F, well within the optimal temperature range according to the SCAA. The brewing time was also within the ideal range; the machine beeped to indicate a completed brew cycle at 6 minutes and 45 seconds. During our test, we weighed out exactly 37.5g of coffee to meet the suggestions detailed in the user's manual, and we used a paper filter instead of the permanent Gold Tone filter that came with our machine. Immediately after brewing, the temperature of the coffee in the carafe was 179°F, and after an hour, it was 171°F. This thermal carafe actually retained heat better than most of the other machines in our test, including the pricey Moccamaster.
The Mr. Coffee impressed us during our blind taste test. We gave 31 coffee drinkers samples of black coffee to rate on overall taste, flavor, body, acidity, and color. The Mr. Coffee ranked 4th in our results, and was competitive with the SCAA certified machines. It did well in both overall taste and body, and scored its lowest marks for color. This led us to choose the BVMC-PSTX91 for our Best Buy Award. To learn more about how we tested the Mr. Coffee against other coffee makers, please read our How We Test section.
For an inexpensive coffee maker, we thought the look and feel of the Mr. Coffee was comparable to some of the pricier machines we tested, and we were generally pleased with the design and quality of the Mr. Coffee components. The only design flaws we noticed were the loose water tank lid, which felt cheap, and the pour spout on the carafe, which dripped more than other carafes in our test.
We thought that the BVMC-PSTX91 was easy to use and clean. We like that you don't have to use paper filters, eliminating added cost and waste. The permanent Gold Tone filter is easy to clean and convenient to fill. In addition, this coffee maker indicates when the unit needs to be cleaned and has a "Cleaning Cycle" option that helps to manage calcium build-up.Bonus Features
The Mr. Coffee Optimal Brew includes all the bells and whistles of a high-end machine. The removable water reservoir, pull-out brew basket with permanent Gold Tone filter, and built-in water filtration system all help to make this unit easy to use. The brew delay, brew pause, and auto shut-off, all add to the convenience of this machine. It also beeps to indicate the end of a brew cycle and has a freshness timer that lets you know how long the coffee has been sitting. At this price point, for drip-brew technology, we feel that this machine had a lot to offer in terms of functionality.
If you are on a budget and like your coffee hot and ready when you wake up, this programmable machine is a convenient choice for automatic brewing. With the brewing time and temperature that Mr. Coffee offers, it's hard to beat the price.Value
MSRP is $99.99, but you can usually get this machine for around $70. The 1-year limited warranty is not exceptional but rather expected at this price. We thought that this coffee maker was an exceptional value if you are looking for a highly programmable model that brews a good cup of coffee.Conclusion
Overall, we were pleased with the affordability and performance of the Mr. Coffee® Optimal Brew™ 10-Cup Coffee Maker. Ranking 4th in our taste tests, this Mr. Coffee model was our Best Buy Award Winner. We also like that it is programmable and offers convenient features such as an automatic brew stop and a cleaning cycle. We were impressed with the thermal carafe system, and we found that it preserved the coffee temperature better than other thermal carafes in our test. As mentioned, we only noticed some small drawbacks including the loose water tank lid and drippy carafe. With that said, in this price point we like what this machine has to offer.
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