PROS / You get a filtration disk to remove chlorine from water, avoiding bad tastes and smells.
CONS / The coffee tastes a bit weak.
VERDICT / The Mr. Coffee FTX presents more adjustable features than most Mr. Coffee machines so you have more choices as far as warming plate temperature and coffee strength, but the coffee flavor is rather drab.
Mr. Coffee has been a staple in American households since the 1970s and has an extensive market of loyal customers. The affordable Mr. Coffee FTX is a versatile drip coffee maker that presents several types of settings and fixtures so you can adjust a number of features that affect your coffee. However, our taste-testing panel was unimpressed with the flavor and they all considered the coffee to be weak.
This 12-cup coffee maker requires a paper filter in its brew basket and a glass carafe that is shaped like an inverted cone. The neck is considerably narrower at the top than the rest of the carafe, but it is still large enough that you can get your hand inside to clean the bottom and interior sides of the pot without any trouble. The mouth of the carafe is nicely designed to avoid messy drips as you pour.
Programming this takes a bit more effort than the typical Mr. Coffee, which, unlike most coffee maker brands, is generally the essence of simplicity. This particular model features a clock so you can program the machine 24 hours in advance to make that morning cup of joe. You also can set the brewing strength to regular or strong and set the machine to delay brewing or brew coffee now. You can use a turn dial to adjust the temperature of the warming plate once your coffee is brewed.
This Mr. Coffee comes with a pause function so you can quickly get a cup without making a mess while the pot is brewing. It also features a water filtration disk so you can remove as much as 97 percent of chlorine from the water used to make coffee. Its freshness timer lets you can see how long the carafe has been sitting on the warming plate, and you get a welcome safety feature: an automatic shut-off capability in case you have a hectic morning and forget about that coffee pot on your kitchen counter.
The coffee we tested was made according to the manufacturer's instructions using a name brand of coffee at medium grind, a typical paper filter and tap water. The coffee emerged at a relatively low temperature (163 degrees F) compared to the other coffee makers we tested, and it dropped 3 degrees after sitting on the warming plate for 15 minutes. Nonetheless, it was still hot enough to be refreshing and offered a great aroma.
However, our taste testing panel was less than impressed with the flavor. Virtually all of them gave low rankings to the coffee's taste, and some described it as "watery." A side note: You can boost the coffee strength by adding more grounds to the brew basket as long as you are careful not to fill it so full that it overflows once hot water is being dispensed inside.
This medium-sized kitchen appliance offers more features than the typical Mr. Coffee model, and you can adjust different functions as you please, although it takes a few minutes to program the machine initially. Mr. Coffee is known for making good coffee, but unfortunately, when we followed the manufacturer's instructions, our taste testing panel deemed the coffee flavor to be less than satisfactory.