It seems we go through a coffeemaker every two to three years. It’s been my experience that the more expensive brands that I buy don’t hold up any longer that the cheaper coffeemakers. With that in mind, the Cooks Coffeemaker from JC Penney’s is a good, value priced model.
What I love about the Cooks brand is that their coffeemakers are available in a wide variety of bright colors, and unusual colors at that! If you want something different, modern and that will stand out, this is the coffeemaker for you.
The footprint of the Cooks Coffeemaker is pretty standard, measuring just over 14 inches high, 11 wide and 9 inches deep. The model that is in their 2009 fall catalog retails for $29.99 and is priced half off of the retail price.
It comes in these colors: white, black, tangarine, yellow, pink, and red. We have red accents in our newly remodeled kitchen, but finding red colored small appliances as an accent color is hard to do, so I was thrilled to see this available in red.
The Cooks Coffeemaker has a square shape, with a flat front. Unlike the other coffeemakers I have owned, the Cooks model has the programmable digital clock at the very top. Below this are the following controls: on/off, “prog”, hr, min, and auto. A light comes on when the unit is turned on, as well as when it is in the auto mode.
The top flips back via a hinge, so you can fill the reservoir with water, and add coffee grounds to either a permanent reusable filter, or a disposable paper filter. The filter basket is cone shaped, which is what I prefer, and I’ll explain more about that later.
There is a water window along the side, with white lines and numbers, reading 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 cups. This model has the ever popular “Pause & Serve” feature, allowing you to sneak a cup of coffee before the entire pot has brewed.
Warming plates sometimes take a beating, but this one is covered with a non-stick surface so it is easy to clean. The carafe looks like most, except the Cooks model has a large silver handle that is made of plastic, and is nice and thick so you can grip it securely.
The Cooks Coffeemaker in the color cherry red makes a striking accent on any counter top. If your accents are red, all the better, this really ties things together with my color scheme.
Depending on my monthly budget, I buy inexpensive canned coffee as well as whole coffee beans that I grind myself. No matter the quality of the coffeemaker, it has been my experience that the quality of my coffee is not so much determined by my coffeemaker as it is the quality of my coffee beans or grounds.
This model makes a fine cup of coffee, and it brews it fairly quickly as well. Not as fast as a Bunn machine, but within a satisfactory time frame. I have never timed the brewing cycle, but I’d say an entire pot can be brewed in about 5 minutes.
Many coffeemakers these days have the digital clocks, but I wouldn’t plan on using this one to act as a night light, it’s not bright enough. The ability to program this coffeemaker is nice, but I personally like to use fresh cold water each morning, not water that has been sitting in the reservoir all night long.
Most coffeemakers I have owned over the past 10 years are too tall to allow me to lift up the lid and pour in the water, unless I pull it out from under my cabinets. This Cooks model is no exception. On the plus side, the carafe is handsome and does not leak.
If you choose to use the permanent filter that comes with the Cooks Coffeemaker, you will have to wash it out each time. I prefer to use unbleached cone shaped paper filters. I feel that the cone shaped filters make a better tasting cup of coffee, as all of the grounds are being saturated. Sometimes the flat bottomed filters don’t always drain as effectively simply because they are flat. I believe that cone shaped filters do two things better – they drain the water through better, and this shape allows the full extraction of the coffee grounds.
It seems that the pernament filters tend to let some of the coffee grounds sneak through on occasion, and when I use paper filters this never happens. For the sake of my own health, I choose to use unbleached paper filters, even though they are more costly.
So that is my review of the Cooks Coffeemaker. A solid choice at a good price. And just look at all of those amazing colors to choose from! This coffeemaker is a good value. This coffeemaker comes with a one year warranty.