In the age of aesthetically pleasing morning routines, a cheap electric coffee maker can feel a bit dated — something to begrudgingly use at the office rather than a gadget that brings joy to your kitchen. And while I love the fancy coffee gadgets that require a manual, multi-step ritual, there’s one thing that makes me turn to a standard Mr. Coffee machine every morning: its dead-simple “brew now” button that instantly starts the process of getting caffeine into my body.

The single-button operation means I don’t have to navigate the complexities of brewing temps or ratios while I’m still half-asleep. I just press it, it lights up, and the machine gurgles to life, heating up water and pushing it up a tube onto the coffee grounds I’ve added to it. The only decision I have to make is how much coffee I’ll need to get through the day.

Truly, the waiting is the hardest part.
Photo by Mitchell Clark / The Verge

While its controls are about as simple as a Keurig’s, the Mr. Coffee does need you to do a little more than popping in a pod and pressing that button. At the very least, you’ll have to get out a paper filter, scoop in some coffee, and fill up the tank before pressing brew at some point. (Though this can be done the night before.) The Mr. Coffee’s simplicity lets you complicate the process with hand-ground coffee,…

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