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Mr. Coffee AT13

The Mr. Coffee AT13 (www.mrcoffee.com) is a member of the Home Café™family of pod brewers and beverage pods that includes the Krups 1010 and Black & Decker HC100 together with compatible pods produced by Procter & Gamble under its Folgers and Millstone brands. The Mr. Coffee AT13 is available only in black, has a suggested retail price of $79.99 and can (supposedly) be purchased first-hand at Target department stores nationwide. Strangely, searches for this brewer on the Internet produce few direct hits and even the AT13's page on the Mr. Coffee website didn't have a "BUY NOW" link. Perhaps even more disturbing was the Product Locator page on the Home Café™website, which provides no retail listings for purchasing the brewer.

Serving Size and Reservoir Capacity

Removable 32 oz. water reservoir with no water filter option. Brews 7, 9 and 14 oz. serving sizes.

Coffee-Pod Size and Format

Of the 44, 55 and 62mm-sized filter paper pod formats currently available in the single-serve pod brewer market, the Mr. Coffee AT13 brews 62mm-sized paper formatted pods, each containing 8 to 10 grams of coffee. The AT13 comes with three pod holders, one for single pods, one for two pods for taller drinks, and one for proprietary Home Café specialty drink pods which provide pod interpretations of with-milk drinks like cappuccino.

Machine Quality and Ease of Use

The AT13 has a number of convenient benefits and features. All three serving sizes can be brewed with one or two pods to vary the cup strength, the brewer has an adjustable dispensing spout to avoid splashy messes when brewing into shorter cups and mugs, and the machine turns itself off after each brew.

Unfortunately, Coffee Review was not able to benefit from these benefits and features as much as we would have liked owing to the sensitive nature of the buttons on the brewer's control panel. The initial priming of the AT13 is initiated by simultaneously pressing the "7 fl oz" and "Specialty" buttons. As it turned out, this little manipulation is tricky. After several tries and a second machine from Mr. Coffee, we realized that we were required to touch both buttons precisely at the same time, not too heavily but not too lightly, and release them immediately. Anything else (touching one button slightly before the other, or holding the two buttons down too long, for example) results in a blinking red "STOP" button and nothing more. Neither the directions nor the troubleshooting section in the user manual gave any indication on how to resolve this issue. Nor did they warn the user about the precision necessary for this crucial operation.

Once the sensitive nature of the AT13's control panel was resolved, however, the AT13 operated according to specification, brewing multiple cups of coffee without further difficulties.

Range and Availability of Coffees

Like other Home Café brewers, the AT13 is specifically marketed for use with Folgers and Millstone coffee pods: Classic Roast, Classic Decaf and 100% Colombian from Folgers, and Colombian Supremo and French Roast from Millstone, plus four flavored coffees. Certainly this is a limited menu for the aficionado, but the AT13 will brew other filter-paper formatted coffee pods of similar size, including those sold for the Senseo brewer and those produced by third-party providers like www.podhead.com. Home Café brand coffee pods range from around $0.24 to $0.28 per pod.

Other Beverages

The Mr. Coffee AT13 currently produces two specialty drinks using Home Café proprietary plastic pods: a cappuccino and a "Skinny Vanilla Latte." No teas are listed on the Home Café website.

Dimension and Style

Standing about 11 inches high, 6 inches wide and 8 inches deep, and weighing less than 10 lbs., the AT13's cylindrical shape makes it an easy fit on most kitchen countertops.

Notes and Other Features

Why is the AT13 so hard to find at present? Could be that it is too new to have achieved much market presence, or it could be that the priming peculiarity we noted has pushed the pause button back at the company headquarters. At any rate, the current version needs a sensitive touch, but beyond that peculiarity it seems as reasonable a choice of single-serve pod-format brewer as any of the competing brands with similar pricing.



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