We’ve seen quite a few innovations in the world of coffee makers. Yes, sometimes it’s the case of reinventing the wheel and giving it a high-tech makeover. However, from time to time, something unique pops out. Meet Mr. Coffee’s Frappe Maker.
The coffee machine company you know from your childhood came out with something quite interesting. What it is and what it does, we will look into that today. Without further ado, let’s get straight to it.
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Plan of attack
Before we start the review, let’s look at the product concept and promise first. This will keep us honest and help us come up with our final thoughts.
Greek traditional frappe whips up instant coffee with water into foam and serves it over ice. What’s more familiar to coffee lovers on this side of the pond is a slurry of crushed ice, brewed coffee, and sometimes milk.
This appliance needs to crush ice and brew decent coffee. For it to get a passing mark, it should not do worse than a separate blender and coffeemaker at the very least.
We’ll also taste-test the plain brewed coffee and see if we can use this appliance instead of a standard coffeemaker. And, since the machine has a blend and a pulse button, we will see how those features perform as well.
At first glance, the Frappe Maker looks a lot more expensive and sophisticated than classic Mr. Coffee coffeemakers. The matte plastic contributes to that a lot, and I am a fan.
The machine has a tiny footprint and measures only 5.5 in width. And since it’s about 15 inches tall, it should fit on most countertops. It’s a hefty thing (about 9 pounds) and feels quite solid when you pick it up. This is one of those machines that almost doesn’t require a user manual.
It only has 4 buttons: one to turn in on and off, one for blending, one for pulsing, and one to make frappes. Each one is easy to access, even if you have a disability. However, I’ve seen people commenting how they wish the top buttons were bigger, so it may be a good idea to test the machine before buying.
The blending jug is very round and smooth, which doesn’t help with making a vortex. However, the bottom is rounded, which will move the food up and prevent it from sticking to the bottom. I have an issue with the cord. It’s one of those flat and thin ones, and I don’t enjoy seeing it on anything larger than a phone charger.
How does Mr. Coffee’s Frappe Maker perform?
It’s time for the main act. Let’s see if this machine delivers on its promise.
Does Mr. Coffee’s Frappe Maker do its primary job well?
Yes. It doesn’t need babysitting. All you have to do is press a button and you’ll soon have a delicious frappe.
I would recommend using the recipes and quantities from the booklet in the beginning. That ice to coffee ratio produces the best consistency.
After, when you get to know the Frappe Maker better, you can tweak and play and create a signature drink. I tested its ice-crushing capabilities separately. More on that below.
How does Mr. Coffee’s Frappe Maker perform as a coffee maker?
Let’s get this out of the way first. The manufacturer doesn’t market the Frappe Maker as a replacement for a regular coffeemaker. It makes coffee, but I don’t believe that the manufacturer planned on using it for making standard drip coffee.
However, you can still do it. It was important to see how good of a brew it makes since frappes are still a coffee drink. Many people don’t add too much stuff to their drinks, so we need at least a semi-decent cuppa.
Pressing the frappe button will function the same way as turning a switch on a classic drip coffeemaker. It will activate the blades as well, but skip the ice and you end up with plain coffee.
In terms of taste, body, and aroma, it’s pretty much what you would expect from contemporary drip coffeemakers. It’s heaps and bounds better than what I used to get from that cheap Mr. Coffee I had in college, but it still falls short when compared to the brew you get from a premium machine.
As long as you are not using expensive coffee beans, it doesn’t matter much. But if you choose to use something more special, chances are that you will lose some of the more delicate notes and aromas since you can’t adjust the brewing time and temperature.
How does Mr. Coffee’s Frappe Maker perform as a blender?
Here comes the fun part, since the Frappe Maker turns out to be a better blender than the competition.
The first thing I’ve noticed is the shape of the jug. It has a rounded bottom, almost exactly like that highly rated blender from Breville. This is such a tiny design detail that makes a lot of difference in the performance and smoothness of the blend. You can make very smooth smoothies with this blender.
Green smoothies can be a bit of a challenge, but they usually come out very silky if you add a bit more liquid than usual.
I tried a crepe and popover batter as well, mostly to test the pulse button. My recipe calls for 10 pulses for each batter to prevent over=mixing. I feel like I had full control, and I didn’t notice a significant delay between pressing the button and the pulse.
The next thing on the menu was almond milk. The blender didn’t choke. and it left me with roughly the same amount of pulp after filtering.
Of course, its ice-crushing capabilities were next. I didn’t get fine snow, but the particles were still very fine and consistent in size. I tried it both with a frappe and pulse button, and the results were slightly better on the pulse.
Finally, it was peanut butter time. And here is where the machine struggled a bit. I started with 2 cups of toasted peanuts and it started struggling at some point. Switched to a single cup and things went a lot better. Also, it was annoying taking out the jug to scrape out the sides every time.
Verdict: quite happy with the consistency of drinks, wouldn’t use it again to make nut butter.
For a better blender experience, I will recommend my always loyal Ninja blender. You can also read my full article comparing Ninja vs Nutribullet blenders.
The gimmick tax
If you’re used to $20 Mr. Coffee coffeemakers, prepare to suffer a serious case of sticker shock. This appliance costs 10 times as much. To be honest, a good chunk of that price goes on the gimmick tax. Frappe makers are not a common item, so the company can afford not to compete with its pricing.
However, when you take the gimmick away, you are paying for two appliances in one. A simple switch coffeemaker from Mr. Coffee retails for about $50, while most reliable mid-range blenders go from $60 to $150. As long as you take off gimmick tax, you get what you pay for. The blender is a slightly better performer than the coffeemaker, so I would put it somewhere in the middle of the price range stated above. So, yes, you are paying an additional $30 to $50 for “innovation” and “uniqueness”. If you are not comfortable with that, you can always grab a coupon or wait for the appliance to go on sale.
Here I don’t have a single complaint. Since this is a pretty simple appliance, the Frappe Maker is easy to clean and maintain.
You can easily access the inside of the brew basket and wipe it clean. It’s also easy to clean the water tank, the brewing basket, and the blender pitcher at once by pressing the frappe button. And since there are no displays touchscreens, there are no delicate electronic components that can easily break.
Solid 5 stars for how low-maintenance the Frappe Maker is.
Honestly, I never expect a 2-in-1 or a 3-in-1 product to perform better than an appliance that does one job. At least not at this price point.
If you want a state of art coffee maker, you have other options. If you want a blender that will pulverize rocks, you have other options. But if you want a reliable multitasker, Frappe Maker will do the trick.
This machine makes better coffee than almost anything else Mr. Coffee made to date. It’s not the best coffee you will have in your life, but it’s not as bad as what comes out of some homebrewers.
Two things could have improved this situation, and neither of them costs that much. The brewing basket should be bigger. This would allow coffee grounds to blood and produce a richer aroma. And there should be a gear cover. That way you could place a regular carafe or travel mug, and use this machine to brew plain coffee.
As a blender, it’s quite good. It’s not Vitamix or Ninja but it’s not that useless thing you picked up from Walmart for $14.99 either. It will handle most of your basic blending needs, including making plant milk, smoothies, “nice” cream, blending soups and batters, and occasionally making some peanut butter. No major complaints here.
And as a frappe maker? Yeah, it does what it says on the box. At a press of a button, you can have a 4-cup jug worth of frappes. And if this is your favorite coffee drink, then it’s worth it.
Who would I recommend Mr. Coffee’s Frappe Maker to? A frappe addict, of course. It would also make for a nice wedding or moving-in gift. And it’s great for dorms, studio apartments, offices, RVs, and anywhere else where kitchen counter space is at a premium.
Owner and Food blogger on The Cookware Geek. She loves cooking, baking, traveling, playing with the cats, and knitting. She believes that eating delicious meals doesn’t require a culinary degree or a Michelin-star chef in your kitchen.