If you are looking to buy a k-cup coffee maker in the near future then you have to consider the Mr Coffee SC100 k-cup machine that was developed in conjunction with Keurig. It’s cheaper than all the actual Keurig machines and works nearly the same way in all respects.
Is the Mr. Coffee Keurig worth it though?
First of all the Mr. Coffee K-Cup Machine is not the cheapest unit in the market at all although it is much more affordable than most new Keurig branded machines.
You can see this post for reviews of 6 of the cheapest k-cup coffee makers for sale these days.
What is nice about the SC100 is that it’s a dead simple device to use devoid of many of the features found on the expensive Keurigs that most people simply don’t use very often.
With the SC100 there aren’t cup size buttons or settings like you’ll find on Keurigs and there isn’t different buttons for different strengths; it just makes coffee the same way every time.
Seriously, who doesn’t put their Keurig to the “strong” setting every time?
Mr. Coffee makes their unit with the cup sized water reservoir. Every time you want to make a cup you fill your cup with clean water and then pour that water into the back of the machine. So long as you don’t pour in more than 10oz at a time the machine will brew exactly what you add.
Most Keurig branded machines include a larger water reservoir that you can add water to so that you don’t have to fill it up for ever cup brewed.
The smaller machines like the K-Mini also use the per-cup reservoir method and although they are cheaper they are still more expensive than the Mr Coffee machines.
So What Makes Keurig Better Than Mr. Coffee Coffee Makers?
Basically both brands allow you to brew through the same k-cups and they both use the same needle puncturing and water pump technology to brew you cup.
The main differences that make the higher price tag of Keurig machines worth it to me can be summed up with the following three points:
- the cord length,
- the heating element, and
- the durability of the water pump
All Keurig machines give you a longer cord which of course gives you a lot more freedom in placement on your countertop.
For those people who have to pull their machine out from under the upper cabinetry to add water or use the k-cup basket the extra cord length is more than a luxury, it’s a necessity unless your power outlet is placed perfectly on your wall.
A typical cord length for a Keurig is 3-feet whereas Mr. Coffee machines only give you around 2-feet.
The heating element is something that is typically not great on low end entry level single serve coffee makers. The SC100 coffee maker for instance uses only 650 watts to heat water and pump it through the K Cup. This can cause it to take a while to brew a 10 ounce cup of coffee. Some people report it takes over three minutes to get the job done.
In contrast the K-Mini Plus which is only a little bit more expensive but still one of the cheapest Keurig machines heats water using 1470 watts resulting in ready to drink coffee in a little under two minutes.
Of course with both machines the water will get hotter faster if you are brewing smaller cups and take longer if you are brewing larger cups so your mileage may vary.
The Water Pump & General Durability
In most things in life you tend to get what you pay for. Keurig has a premium vibe to it and as such their prices are a bit higher and usually things are simply made a bit better with higher quality parts.
This is obviously not a perfect illustration but in many cases it is accurate – heavier products are frequently better made using more durable materials.
The Mr. Coffee Keurig coffee maker weighs 5 pounds compared to the Keurig K-Mini Plus weighing in at roughly 6.4 pounds. This added weight can be attributed to better casing and internal components like the water pump and heating element.
Lastly I think there are a few additional small considerations that may be important to some shoppers but not others.
If you like to brew larger cups of coffee Keurig machines usually give you the option of brewing larger cups than Mr. Coffee machines.
Keurig machines also give you the strength buttons to refine the way your coffee is brewed.
Paying up for a Keurig will give you the opportunity to choose a machine with a larger water reservoir or even an on-board k-cup storage drawer.
Basically you’ll find that the more expensive Keurig machines give you more accessories and features that you may or may not care for.
One Big Reason to Buy a Mr. Coffee Over a Keurig
As is the case for all Keurig devices one of the biggest reasons to not buy one is the fact than none of them come with a native way to brew your own coffee grounds. To do this you have to buy an extra reusable k-cup and use this.
Most non-Keurig machines give you two options for brewing. You can brew with the puncture needle basket for k-cups or you can swap this basket out for the drip coffee grounds basket.
This is important to me because I roast my own beans and hate filling a tiny reusable k-cup when I can get a better taste and easier experience just spooning grind into the optional grounds basket that comes with Mr. Coffee k-cup coffee makers and most of the other single serve k-cup machines on the market these days.
Also with dual brew machines you even have the option to brew a full pot of regular drip coffee which isn’t possible with all but the most expensive Keurigs… and even they don’t make it easy. You still have to use big k-carafe pods to brew small carafes into a small special Keurig carafe.
If you are interested in also having the option of brewing a full pot of coffee then take a look at this post where we review the best 2-way coffee makers on the market these days.
For me and my house I brew coffee lots of different ways and although I don’t always use Keurig style coffee makers I do still use them regularly. I would much rather brew with a device that gives me a lot of versatility in how I brew and the strength button on a Keurig machine just isn’t what I’m looking for.
I’m not sure if the Mr. Coffee SC100 k-cup brewer is the coffee maker I’d buy but if it came down to a Keurig model vs a Mr. Coffee model I might just go with Mr. Coffee for my home.
I have a few more k-cup brewer comparison articles on the site that you may want to take a look at. You can see my comparison of Keurig to Cuisinart here, Keurig to the Flexbrew system here, and lastly Keurig to the Ninja here.
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Gamble Bay Coffee