Simple Inexpensive Coffee Maker

Coffee makers can be very personal appliances.  One person may want a coffee maker that uses a specific brand of coffee and dispenses one cup at a time, while another may prefer a coffee maker that can brew a pot large enough for a whole party.  But if you’re looking for an inexpensive coffee maker that is easy to use and brews a decent-sized pot, the Mr. Coffee 12-cup switch coffee maker may be what you’re looking for.

This non-programmable coffee maker doesn’t have many bells and whistles.  There is no digital time display, no time-brew or delay-brew feature, and no automatic shut-off.  (If you’d prefer a coffee maker with these features, check out Mr. Coffee’s 12-cup programmable coffee maker instead, which is otherwise very similar to this model.)  However, for some people, the lack of an automatic shut-off is a plus, because the coffee will stay hot for as long as you want it to.  The coffee maker is operated by a simple switch – if the green LED on the switch is lit up, the coffee maker is on; otherwise, it’s off.

The coffee maker can brew up to 12 cups at one time, and it’s very easy to use.  There is a filter basket where you place the filter with coffee in it, and a large water reservoir to pour the water into.  Both the decanter and the reservoir are clearly marked, so you can see how many cups you’ll be making or pouring.

Setting up the coffee maker the first time is easy as well.  Once you unpack everything, it’s pretty much ready to go.  The only thing you have to do is run one cycle with just water through the coffee maker, to get rid of any dirt or dust from storage or transport.  It’s very easy to clean the decanter and the coffee maker itself, with the exception of the water reservoir which is deep and also narrow, so it’s hard to reach the bottom with a sponge or paper towel.

The coffee maker doesn’t take up a lot of counter space.  The only constraint is that you’ll need several inches of clearance above in order to open the lid.  If you store the coffee maker under a cabinet, you could pull it out to load the coffee, and then slide it right back once it’s brewing.

One feature that this model does include is a pause in brewing when the decanter is removed from its base.  If you lift the decanter to pour yourself a cup of coffee before the brewing cycle is complete, the coffee maker will detect that the decanter is gone (after a second or two, usually) and stop brewing until you put it back, so you don’t have to clean up a lot of spilled coffee and you don’t have to wait for it to finish brewing before pouring a cup.

The Mr. Coffee 12-cup non-programmable switch coffee maker can be purchased online from for $27.99, or from for $23.45.  (In a local Walmart, it was listed at just $16.88.)  It comes in either black or white.