Mr. Coffee

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Mr. Coffee
Founded 1972; 43 years ago (1972) in Cleveland, Ohio U.S. [1]
Founder Vincent Marotta, Sr. and Samuel Glazer
Headquarters Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Products coffee makers, espresso makers, iced tea makers
Parent Jarden Consumer Solutions

Mr. Coffee is a registered trademark of Sunbeam Products, Inc. d/b/a Jarden Consumer Solutions. The Mr. Coffee brand manufactures automatic-drip kitchen coffee machines as well as other products.


Vincent Marotta, Sr. and Samuel Glazer founded a company in Cleveland, Ohio[2] focused on coffee delivery called North American Systems (NAS) in the early 70's.[3] At this time, Marotta had an idea to create an automatic drip coffeemaker. Marotta and Glazer hired two former Westinghouse engineers, Edmund Abel and Edwin Schulze to engineer the idea.[4][5] In 1972, the Mr. Coffee brand drip coffee maker was made available for home use.[6] Unlike later models, this original offering with its distinctive yellow and white gingham decal used gravity to immediately pull water through a heating section and allowed to drip freely into carafe below. Later units used thermosyphons (similar to the principle operating geysers) to carry water up from a reservoir as it reached boiling point in the lift tube, identical to the percolator principle but without the endless recirculation and reheating of the coffee.

In 1973, Marotta convinced former baseball player Joe DiMaggio[7] to become an advertising spokesman for the brand. This coffee maker revolutionized coffee and sold more than one million units by April 1974. Prior to this machine, coffee was primarily made in a percolator which often gave it a bitter and burned flavor. The new Mr. Coffee machine produced a much more uniform brewing temperature which resulted in a much better flavor.

A succession of products from 1992 to 1995, the Potato Perfect, the Mr. Coffee Juicer, Food Dehydrator by Mr. Coffee, Breadmaker by Mr. Coffee, and Mrs. Tea Hot Tea Maker, contributed about one-third of Mr. Coffee’s total annual sales of $174 million by 1995. In the 1980s, Mr. Coffee endured a leveraged buyout and two significant changes in ownership before being acquired by Health O Meter Products, Inc. (eventually known as Signature Brands USA) in 1994.[8]

In 1995, a variation was produced by the same company for tea called "Mrs. Tea". The machine differed from the Mr. Coffee branded appliance only in detail as the company claims the drip process works equally well for tea as for coffee,[9] although the result is often a darker, samovar type of tea.

In 1998 Sunbeam Corporation (eventually known as American Household, Inc.) purchased Signature Brands (Health o Meter and Mr. Coffee). In January 2005, Jarden acquired American Household, Inc.[10]

Popular culture[edit]

There have been several cultural references to the easily parodied name. It has been parodied in the Back to the Future trilogy as Mr. Fusion (which was actually made for the movie from a Krups coffee grinder), and in Spaceballs as Mr. Radar and Mr. Coffee itself. It was also mentioned in The Bloodhound Gang's song "The Bad Touch", in the full version of the Cheers theme song, the Marah song "Christian St." and in the title of Raymond Carver's short story "Mr. Coffee and Mr. Fixit." A Mr. Coffee branded appliance also appeared in a scene in the film Apollo 13. (However, a number of critics pointed out that this was technically inaccurate, since the film took place in 1970, and the Mr. Coffee branded appliance wouldn't be introduced until 1972.[11]) In the Futurama movie, The Beast With A Billion Backs, one character can be seen using a "Mr. Wino" machine to make wine directly from grapes. In Hoyle Card Games 2011, Rhett said "That's worse than Mr. Coffee".[12] Mr. Coffee was mentioned in the American TV show Seinfeld.

Mr. Coffee today[edit]

Recently, the Mr. Coffee product development team altered how their drip coffee maker works with a method dubbed “Optimal Brew”. The coffee maker does not use the previously mentioned traditional method of routing the water over a heating coil under the warming plate invented by Marotta, Abel, and Schulze. Instead, a small flash boiling chamber flash heats the water to deliver the water to the beans within a temperature range of 195-200 degrees F.[13] Heating the water this way allows 10 cups to be brewed in generally less than eight minutes depending on the barometric pressure.[14] Once brewed the coffee stays warm in a thermal carafe without requiring a heating plate which could potentially burn the coffee. This coffee maker engineered and designed by TEAMS Design USA and the Jarden team, won a Red Star Award[15] in 2010 and an Appliance Magazine EID Award [16] in 2011.

More recently, Mr. Coffee has licensed the Keurig K-cup technology[17] to introduce a line of single serve hot beverage machines. Also recently introduced, the Mr. Coffee Cafe Latte brews coffee as well as whips in steamed milk in one step.[18]

More than 600,000 coffeemakers, Chinese-made Mr. Coffee Single Cup Brewing System models, are being voluntarily recalled in the United States and Canada. A brewing malfunction can release steaming water and grounds. More than 61 injuries, including facial and hand burns, have been reported.[19]


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