Bunn My Cafe MCU Review

bunn mcu coffee makerBunn My Cafe MCU Review

Jennifer’s Rating: 4.5 Stars

The Bunn My Cafe MCU coffee maker is one of the most popular single serve coffee brewers on the market today for its reliability and versatility. You have the option to brew anything you want under the sun by means of 4 interchangeable trays that are designed differently to hold each medium of coffee or tea bags too for that matter.

It also dispenses hot water on demand as well. Having dug deep with the MCU in this review,  I felt like it is a great unit that I would consider if I was in the market for a second brewer, and it stood out to me as one of the least problematic models I have come across.

Product Dimensions

Approximate  measurements: 16.5 inches x 9.2 inches x 13.5 inches are what is provided on Amazon’s sales page, but the manufacturer’s website gives a little more precise numbers at 12.1″ in height, 7.2″ width and 10.1″ in depth. So all in all, a very nice, reasonable size brewer that will not make a huge footprint, and since you move the water tank lid to the side as opposed to up, you don’t need to be concerned with countertop-to-clearance space as much as some other brewers, which is nice.

With regard to dispenser-to-cup clearance, the Bunn MCU My Cafe can easily admit travel mugs when the drip tray and plate is removed but one minor exception is the K-Cup tray that is slightly more bulgy.  There is 6.25″ of space, under the larger K-cup tray, with the other three trays, there is about 7.25″ of space, if you are someone who likes to take their coffee on the go, you should find this machine’s space adequate.

video Courtesy of Breakfast After 11:30 am


What’s Included?

In addition to the coffee maker, there are 4 different multi compartment drawers. The drawers are each designed differently to accommodate the different coffee deliveries as well as hot water dispensing. Your machine also includes a few coffee packs and a coffee ground scoop.

There is a manufacturer’s 2-Year Warranty on the Bunn MCU.

User manual

Bunn My Cafe MCU Features

  • The brewer is made of stainless steel with a black/chrome finish.
  • The BUNN MCU has 4 multi-compartment drawers with which to accommodate pods, tea bags, loose grounds and K-cups that are each designed differently for each coffee delivery product.
  • The unique “Spin Lid” feature on top of the machine makes it easy to pour water through (it is not a reservoir; however… you pour in the amount of water you need each time you use it.)
  • Removable drip tray and plate
  • Pulse setting to allow you to obtain a stronger brew
  • You can interrupt and restart brew cycles at will

Buttons and Controls

There are actually only 2 buttons that can be found on the front control panel. They are a Brew button and below it is the pulse setting button, which is great to extract better flavor, or in the case of something like tea which needs a few extra minutes of steeping time.

The Bunn MyCafe MCU does not have an actual power switch. It is a definite plug-and-play operation. Sorry to have to report that as I wish it did have an actual switch 🙂

Even with this minimalist approach, one neat feature of importance is the ability to stop brewing and restart at any time just by pushing the brew button, and then pushing it again to start it back, which is great to have on hand for whatever purpose. Always good to have on hand to get the “right” strength at times.

Interchangeable Coffee Drawers

This baby pretty much works with the whole kit and caboodle, whether you need coffee, tea, hot water, yada yada.  It makes this possible by the use of 4 interchangeable trays or “drawers” that accommodate the above different beverage types.

The soft pod tray and the K-cup tray have a polished chrome appearance; the hot water and grounds tray, black. The coffee grounds tray top resembles a mesh screen. The grounds drawer holds about 2 tablespoons of grounds. Within it is a filter that can be removed for easy cleaning.

The pod tray has a flatter appearance than the K-cup tray. The hot water tray has a small round depression in it with a small exit hole. All four of the trays have a gray locking button on them that you push on to insert and push on again to remove which makes them very user-friendly.

When the corresponding tray is loaded up with the product of choice the tray interlocks right under the water fill opening. You should hear a “click” after pushing in the gray button in which case, you’re good to go.

Even though this is a great concept, I do find myself wondering where the heck do you store all these drawers?

Bunn MCU Reservoir and Water Tank

The concept is very different from what you may be expecting; instead of a reservoir keeping water on standby for your convenience and not having to refill it often, it’s made with a water tank that keeps water on standby warm at all times so you can be assured of an expeditious brew cycle.

Basically, you, the consumer, fills the compartment from the top via movement of the “Spin Lid” feature on top that swivels back for easy pouring, and slides back when you are done.

Beneath the Spin Lid are different water level indicators. They are somewhat faint looking at first, but the lines for what amount and the “max fill” line (14 oz is the max capacity) are more visible from a top view.  The water level indicators read respectively 8, 10, 12 and 14. The range of brew sizes is 4 to 14 so the procedure to get a size not indicated below 8 may require the use of a measuring cup to get it exact.

Drip Tray and Plate

There is a stainless steel plate that sits over a plastic drip tray which is where would-be runoff would be contained.  This plastic drip tray as well, can be removed to make it easy to accommodate a bigger tumbler.

Both the drip plate and tray are top rack dishwasher safe.

Energy Save Mode

This subject is very interesting to say the least. There is a “warm mode” that stays intact for up to 6 hours and a full “sleep mode” that  goes into effect in 26 hours (why an arbitrary number such as this I don’t know)

I find myself scratching my head at this one; after all 26 hours is a little bit more than a day, and considering the pretty quick startup that takes place (more so if you’re making a succession of cups) I can’t honestly say that this little feature really saves a lot of energy.

The hot water tank heats up to approximately 200 degrees F. After “sleep mode” is kicked off, the normal reheat time is about 2 minutes and for the six hour “warm mode”, one minute. Which is not long – so it’s almost like you’re better off just unplugging it at the end of the day.

Ease of Use

One thing that makes using the Bunn MCU MyCafe fun and enjoyable is not just the many options that the different trays provide, but the fact that it is easy to tell which one is used for which coffee delivery product. Another unique thing about the trays, is that once one is inserted, it kick starts the brewer into operation mode. So once you have filled the tray of choice and inserted it (and you hear the “click”) from there you’re going straight to the Brew button, and/or Pulse if desired.

   

The large square Brew button’s red light blinks if the water amount needs to be replenished; when the light goes to steady it indicates the preheating stage before going green signalling brewing readiness which is helpful.

Since you can’t in all honesty tell how much water is in the unit at one time, you may find yourself needing to keep a measuring cup handy, or pre-measure the desired amount into empty bottles.

I’d also like to stress that the cleaning procedures involved are a little different – all the loose parts, including the interchangeable trays are dishwasher safe on the top rack, but you may also want to perform due diligence in cleaning the sprayhead on the underside of the dispensing area, as continuous use can lead to some buildup. Not difficult as it can be removed to do so.

Bunn MCU MyCafe Consumer Reviews and Ratings

In general, reviews of the Bunn MCU coffee maker indicated great performance and reliability. My opinion is based on owners who have owned this machine for at least six months to be able to provide an accurate product representation. Customers also felt overall that their customer service experience with Bunn was quite satisfactory. (yep it is important to not feel like you’re on your own in the face of malfunctioning items, so I consider this as well!)

A few people did not care for the part of clearing the loose grounds drawer. Speaking from experience, I know what this can be like. Using one of the reusable filters seems to be the best way to remedy this issue. Finding the included filter basket difficult to clean, the switch to reusable single cup filters made the experience better.

bunn my cafe mcu review            bunn my cafe mcu review

It appears to function quickly, and many people felt that the machine was quite durable and sturdy. A few people discovered that you can use a measuring cup for accuracy as it is the best way to get around the possible ambiguity they experienced regarding the “how much water is in there?” question regarding the compartment. Measuring between 4 and 14 oz h20 at a time seemed to do the trick.

One “bone to pick” was the lack of a power switch; something that often seems universal in the coffee maker department, but not present in this particular model.  Hot water on standby can seem like an OK idea, but consider that heat is also energy, and some people do not like the idea of “wasted energy”.

Pros

The versatility of this machine makes this model of the Bunn MCU coffee maker a real boon for coffee drinkers who like the luxury of being able to switch between different coffee types.

  • Open platform – you can use any K-cup brand you want
  • Removable plate and drip tray will accommodate different height cups easily
  • Quick heatup from idle mode
  • Interchangeable trays support a variety of beverage choices and brewing options
  • Ability to interrupt the brew process and restart again
  • Pulse option for getting better flavor when desired

Cons

In general these are what the negatives fall into:

  • Absence of a power switch
  • The lack of a reservoir
  • May be tricky to tell how much water is inside
  • The “warm mode” and “sleep mode” features may not be considered energy efficient to some

Price

As of my latest update the Bunn MCU My Cafe is still selling for under $200 which is great – it has managed to stay in that price range for awhile in addition to having many satisfied coffee drinkers.

Since this is an “open platform” model you should not find yourself having to search far and wide for “special” types of coffee pods – it won’t cost you a fortune in coffee either.

bunn mcu mycafe reviewThe Verdict

Bunn is a trusted name in coffee machines as their automatic-drip style models have stood the test of time. I owned a Bunn drip model once and it was very long-lived at the time! I feel that is why the Bunn My Cafe MCU makes the Best of 2016 list.

One reason for the performance reports being so favorable is that Bunn was well-known for commercial-grade coffee makers back in the day which have higher standards of construction and ability to withstand wear and tear.

But with the few caveats explained earlier, I think the good reviews and many different features make the Bunn My Cafe MCU a great addition to the home and probably one of the best choices available especially if you want to experiment with a menu of coffee choices or just dispense hot water on tap when the occasion calls for it. I also think the price is good too for what it does.

So there you have it…superb performance and few grievances…can’t ask for more than that in a one cup coffeemaker.

 

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