Kitchen Selection Criteria

I was confronted by a bewildering array of models when searching for a coffee maker in the store today.  What finally pushed me to buy the one I brought home was that I found the user’s manual stuffed inside the display model.  I gave it a once-over to see what kind of cleaning ritual it would require.  This is a pet peeve of mine, in that so many things seem to require hand washing.  This one listed the carafe, lid, and brew basket as being top-rack dishwasher safe, which was what put it on top (despite a slew of units with more features and “cooler” form factors).  I don’t know whether the other units were dishwasher safe or not, as they don’t seem to list that feature anywhere on the packaging. 

This sort of thing has driven me to junk more than one kitchen appliance.  The best example of this would be the Mr. Coffee model TM50P Iced Tea Maker.  I was frustrated beyond belief by the cleanup involved with it.  The brew basket required hand washing and it was molded with a set of raised “fins” radiating from the center to the outside, leaving hundreds of little depressions that were impossible to get clean.  When I started looking for a replacement, I spent a lot of time researching units.  Unfortunately, I didn’t find any that were dishwasher safe, but I did find the Hamilton Beach 40911, which is much easier to clean (no obnoxious spider-web of fins to get tea gunk out of).  One of these days I’m going to take the Mr. Coffee to the range and give it the 12-ga therapy it so richly deserves…

Anyhow, I wish more manufacturers would be up-front and put it right on the box if the unit is dishwasher safe.  That’s a major selling point for me.

Update: As I mentioned in the comments, the new unit was having problems getting the water to siphon through the heater.  I thought I had it fixed, but after one pot it decided it didn’t want to flow anymore.  I finally ended up taking it back and getting a refund.  I did some research on this model on and came to the conclusion that I should have researched before going to the store.  The reviews were almost uniformly bad on this unit.


  1. Jay says:

    I like that Mr. Coffee you bought!  We never actually replaced the dead GE.  Instead we’ve been using my $9 office coffeemaker that I was never using at the office anymore (though sometimes I miss having that option)for I think a year and a half.

    Sooner or later I did want a new one, as the one we use is showing its age (mainly in the form of not keeping the pot hot enough).  I never thought of looking explicitly at dishwasher safeness.  I was leaning toward either as cheap and simple as possible, shades of the current unit, or fancier so it has a time and the coffee can meet me in the kitchen as soon as I get up in the morning.

  2. Well… so far, so bad.  I haven’t successfully made any coffee with it. 

    The first time this morning was my fault in that I accidentally put two filters in.  I was used to the cone filters, which are folded and stacked in such a way to make it impossible to get two.  These “basket” style filters come stacked on top of each other and they’re so thin it’s easy to get two.

    However, I tried again a little while ago and made absolutely certain that I had only one filter.  I put four cups of water (as measure on the carafe and on the side of the unit) and four scoops of coffee (which is the same ritual I would use for the Krups), and got about 1.5 cups of a black liquid that was somewhere between coffee and motor oil in consistency.

    I’m not sure what, if anything, I’m doing wrong.  I’m starting to wonder if the unit is defective or something.

    I’m going to try cleaning it and starting over.

  3. Erik says:

    I “have heard” denture cleaner tablets and water will dissolve the coffee stain buildup without needing scrubbing.

    I have no experience with this.

    Good luck,


  4. Phelps says:

    Don’t make me question your mascalinity.  It doesn’t matter how hard it is to clean, because you shouldn’t ever clean it.  That’s like buying a gun based on how easy it is to add a trigger lock to it.  It should be rinsed, and wiped out with a paper towel a few times a month just like your coffee mug.

  5. Very funny…

    Actually, I have to admit that I rarely cleaned the Krups unit.  I would rinse out the coffee pot and the brew cup (or whatever you call it) when the coffee started to taste bad.  But that was mainly a function of the fact that it wasn’t dishwasher safe.  If it isn’t dishwasher safe, I’m not likely to clean it.

    But I don’t see anything unmasculine about using the machine. 

    Oh… and I think I figured out what was wrong with the new coffee maker.  There was some sort of little plastic “lip” on the water intake that was partially blocking it.  It appeared to be a little bit of leftover plastic from the molding process, and after I removed it, it started working better.  With that plastic blocking the intake, it was getting just enough water to emit steam, but not water, so it was basically steaming the coffee grounds, and what came out was thick, black, and vile.

    I’m still half-tempted to take it back, as it’s slower than the Krups was, but at least it’s functional now.  Still, that sort of thing indicates sloppy assembly.