The Mr. Coffee VBX23 12-cup programmable coffee maker isn't perfect, but most reviews suggest this coffee maker offers a good number of features for its low price. Most complaints center around ease of use, such as the swinging spout that must be moved to place a new filter in the basket and the fact that the basket drips when the carafe is removed from the hot plate. Otherwise, it's convenient and reliable, with 24-hour programming, a two-hour automatic shut-off and a pause-and-brew function.
Good coffee without hassle. The Mr. Coffee VBX23 brews 12 cups of fresh coffee with the push of a button, or automatically if it's pre-programmed. It takes longer to brew than other automatic drip models; editors at one foodie magazine estimate brew time at 11 minutes and 30 seconds. Because the coffee grounds are exposed to water longer, it can cause over-extraction, harming flavor. Most owners don't seem to mind the coffee's taste, but some complain that it's bitter.
The Mr. Coffee VBX23 is a very straightforward coffee maker, without any bells and whistles beyond the basic programming functions that most automatic drip coffee makers have. For some owners, reviews say, that's exactly what they're looking for: a simple, easy-to-use product that is capable of producing 12 cups of coffee each day.
Leaky basket and inconvenient lid aren't deal breakers. In general, the Mr. Coffee VBX23 12-cup programmable coffee maker is easy to use, although there are a few common convenience quibbles among reviews posted to sites like Amazon.com, BestBuy.com and Target.com. Users say the filter basket tends to drip when the carafe is removed from the hot plate, and the carafe is prone to drips and spills during pouring.
Other users also complain about the swinging water spout, saying it must be rotated out of the way to insert a new filter. The lid is hinged completely, so it must be opened the whole way to fill the water reservoir and change the filter. The other problem is that there are small holes in the back of the reservoir to prevent over-filling, which can cause water to spill if you slide the unit back under a cabinet when it's full. Some owners wish the clock was backlit to make it easier to read in the dark.
Beyond these complaints, many owners are pleased with this simple, inexpensive coffee maker and say it couldn't be easier to program and use. They also appreciate the ability to program this coffee maker to start brewing the next morning and note that the automatic shut-off feature gives them peace of mind.
Simple black design, and it fits under most cabinets. The Mr. Coffee VBX23 looks like most coffee makers, owners say. Its simple design doesn't look especially modern or outdated, but it's attractive enough to sit on a counter all day without detracting from a kitchen's décor.
Most owners haven't had any problems with durability; some users say this coffee maker will last for years. There are a few isolated complaints of malfunctioning units, but most complaints are related to ease of use rather than durability.
A solid performer, with good features and an attractive price. With a lineup of features similar to those found in coffee makers that cost three times as much or more, the Mr. Coffee VBX23 12-cup programmable coffee maker is a good choice if you're looking for a capable coffee maker that won't break the bank. Just keep in mind the few ease-of-use issues, such as the dripping filter basket.
1. Cook's Illustrated Magazine
Very Good This review is several years old, but because of the professional testing methodology and the fact that most of the models tested are still current, we still find it useful. Eight inexpensive coffee makers are rated for ease of use and cleaning, taste, brew times and temperatures, including the Mr. Coffee VBX23.
Review: Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Programmable (VBX23), Editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine, April 1, 2007
Good More than 45 owners contribute to a rating of 4 stars out of 5. The Mr. Coffee VBX23 doesn't have a brew strength selector, but most owners are happy with the features it does offer, such as auto shut-off and pause-and-brew. Some complain that the clock isn't backlit.
Review: Mr. Coffee - 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker - Black, Contributors to BestBuy.com, As of September 2012
Good Nearly 45 owners weigh in with comments on the Mr. Coffee VBX23 12-cup programmable coffee maker, resulting in a rating of 4 stars out of 5. Some owners say the basket drips onto the hot plate and the carafe is difficult to pour, but otherwise users are happy with the budget price and convenient features of this coffee maker.
Review: Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker - Black, Contributors to Target.com, As of September 2012
Good About 40 owners rate the Mr. Coffee VBX23, and it earns a lower user rating here than elsewhere -- just 2.5 out of 5 stars. Complaints address ease of use -- namely the full-hinged lid, which must be opened completely to fill the reservoir, and the carafe, which some users say spills and drips during pouring.
Review: Mr. Coffee VBX23 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker, Black, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of September 2012