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Mr. Coffee Café Frappe Maker Review

on September 13, 2010 1:00 pm

A couple of days ago I posted a news item about the Mr. Coffee Café Frappe Maker.  I mentioned that my family and I are addicted to the Starbucks’ frozen Frappuccino™ coffee drinks, and we spend a lot of money on them in the coffee shop in the local Barnes and Noble bookstore.  Making our own drinks using the Mr. Coffee Café Frappe Maker should allow us to save a lot of money, and we should be able to customize our flavors.  We spent some time Saturday (after one last drink at the Starbucks in the B&N) searching for the Mr. Coffee machine.  We finally found one at Target, got some flavored syrups at Walmart, and anxiously raced home to try it out.  If the drinks don’t taste good, all our efforts will have been wasted.

Inside the box is a black plastic brewing stand, a plastic pitcher, Quick Start guide, manual, and a recipe book.  Although there were a variety of recipes to choose from, we followed the basic recipe and added our own touches.

Basically, the Mr. Coffee machine brews a small amount of strong coffee into the pitcher.  The pitcher is equipped with blender blades to crush ice and blend the ingredients together into a frozen drink.  You add 3 tablespoons of ground coffee to the brewing basket and add ½ cup of water to the reservoir.  Add 2 cups of ice, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 3 tablespoons of flavored syrup, and ¼ cup of milk to the pitcher.  Lock the pitcher into the brewing stand and press the Frappe button to start the process.

The coffee brews into the pitcher; this process takes about 1.5-2 minutes.  After the brewing process is complete, the blender begins to pulse to crush the ice.  The first time this happened, we were all very startled because it’s quite loud.  After a few pulses, the blender runs for a while to completely blend the drink.  Press the Blend button for additional blending time if the drink consistency isn’t to your taste.

The drink is very frosty and thick at first – rather like a Slurpee.  The ice was the consistency of perfectly shaved ice.  I didn’t have a single big chunk of ice in my drink.  The drink does melt faster than the Starbucks’ version.  Mine didn’t completely melt, though.  There was still a lot of ice left in my last sip.  I would imagine that Starbucks uses some sort of thickening agent to help theirs stay thicker longer.   And I should note that this recipe made enough drink to completely fill a 16 oz red plastic cup with a little left over.  Starbuck’s says this is 2 servings, but it’s about the size of the grande drink I get at Starbucks.

As I mentioned before, I’m diabetic, so I used a sugar-free Torani chocolate syrup and Splenda (instead of the sugar) in mine.  My daughter had one with Hershey’s chocolate syrup and sugar, and my husband had one with caramel ice cream syrup and sugar in his.  Rachel’s drink with Hershey’s syrup seemed to be a bit more watery to start than were the other two drinks.

So how did they taste?  Butch, Rachel, and I all agreed – they were delicious!  We all tasted each other’s drinks, and we all agreed that they were all equally tasty.  The drinks had a distinct coffee taste, and they didn’t seem as bitter as the ones we buy at the coffee shop. 

A single trip to Starbucks costs about $14 if we all three have drinks, so the Mr. Coffee Café Frappe Maker will pay for itself in six visits – or three weekends.  It will use quite of bit of coffee, but even an inexpensive coffee (like the one we used for this experiment) tastes great and will reduce our continuing costs.

If you are also addicted to these frozen coffee drinks, my advice to you is RUN – do not walk – to buy yourself a Mr. Coffee Café Frappe Maker.

 

Product Information

Price:$79.99, but you can find it cheaper if you look around
Manufacturer:Mr. Coffee
Pros:
  • Makes thick, frosty, icy coffee drinks
  • Much cheaper than buying the drinks at coffee shops
Cons:
  • None

Comments

  1. 1
    Corinne says:

    I tend to do the whole “buy 15 iced teas and get a free frapp” kind of thing, but I am tempted.

  2. 2
    AndyM says:

    I am curious… was the ground coffee used of the standard grind, like one would use in a drip coffee maker? Thanks.

  3. 3
    Janet Cloninger says:

    @AndyM My husband grinds beans in a retro-style KitchenAid coffee grinder. It allows you adjust your grind, but there are no settings for the type of coffee maker you have. You just adjust the burrs until you get a grind that you like. However, he did use the setting that he uses to grind coffee for the My K-Cup accessory for a Keurig machine. Sorry I can’t be more specific.

  4. 4
    AndyM says:

    Thanks, Janet. Sounds like the usual setting on my burr grinder will work just fine. Of course, changing it wouldn’t be hard… I’m just lazy and forgetful. :)

    Thanks for the review. I ordered one from Amazon about 45 minutes ago.

  5. 5
    Janet Cloninger says:

    @AndyM Also, when you have a variable dial with no pre-defined settings, it’s hard to get back to your previous setting if you change it.

  6. 6
    The Dreamer says:

    Darn, now I want one….just have to work it into a future Amazon.com cart…

  7. 7
    Jimlat says:

    Got one the other day based on your review…it is awesome!!! easy to use, easy to clean and the drinks are YUMMY!!!! Made a basic recipe chocolate last night and a caramel tonight…. =)

  8. 8
    Janet Cloninger says:

    @Jimlat I’m glad it worked well for you!

  9. 9
    AndyM says:

    Just as a follow-up, mine arrived and has been put to serious use already for family and friends. I had to play around with the amount of ice to use, as size and shape greatly affects the actual amount of ice present when measured by volume… the best solution might be to get a kitchen scale and do it by weight. Bulk density experiments aside, I simply could not be happier.

  10. 10
    Janet Cloninger says:

    AndyM, I’m glad you like the machine. As I recall, the directions said 2 cups of moon-shaped ice cubes. You have to play around with the amount of ice, but at least you get to drink the “mistakes”!

  11. 11
    Holly says:

    Hi Janet – Do you have to use ice in this machine? I was wondering if I could make the same drink but without the ice, like a caramel macchiato?

  12. 12
    Janet Cloninger says:

    @Holly This machine only makes frappuccino-style drinks with the crushed ice blended in. If you’re talking about the hot drink, you’d need an espresso maker and a milk steamer to make a caramel macchiatto.

  13. 13
    shannon says:

    alright.. i bought this today. and Im so excited for it! I work just down the street from a Starbucks and I am addicted to caramel fraps..but working 5 days a week and getting a frap everyday its over a $100/month habit. Im going to wrap it andput it under my tree from Santa :) Christmas is only 6 days away. I think I can handle the wait. I was tempted to stop into Starbucks to buy some ground coffee from them to use. Is it just anytype of ground dark roast coffee??

  14. 14
    Janet Cloninger says:

    @Shannon You should be able to use any type of ground coffee in the machine.

  15. 15
    Aimee C S says:

    Is there a Mr. Coffee frappe maker recipe for cafe vanilla like Starbucks?

  16. 16
    AndyM says:

    @Aimee Starbucks sells their Vanilla Bean Powder. I’d say make the frappe the usual way, but replace the syrup with a tablespoon or so of the powder. One other idea, something we have been playing with, is to drop the milk, sugar, and syrup, and use a scoop of ice cream.

  17. 17
    shannon says:

    alright, so I tried it today It was pretty good. I came up with my own recipe for a caramel frap. My mother bought me some Caramel frappucino syrup from Starbucks for Christmas which I used along with caramel ice cream topping. It was a little watery, but I may have added too much syrup/milk and not enough ice. Also It leaked out the top of the blender portion but it may be because I filled it too much.

  18. 18
    Darlene Rosson says:

    I got this machine for Mother’s Day 2010. I LOVE the results. However, the base of my mixing jar broke within 4-5 months I called customer service and there were no replacement parts available, so they sent out a whole new machine. This time I allowed the ice to sit out and soften a bit, I even held the handle to the machine when it first start mixing because it’s such a strong jolt at first. For all of my efforts, the new jar broke in the same place within that same 4-5 month period. There are still no replacement parts and although my machine is still under warranty, they said that there was nothing they could do but give me a number of a nearby service center. Nothing available there either. So I have two machines I can’t use. I also visited some boards online and others were having the same problem. I’m hoping they will redesign the base.

  19. 19
    Darlene Rosson says:

    Oh I forgot! The flavored liquid creamers ie, International Delights, Coffemate; are great too. I use (or used, sniff sniff) 1/2 cup of the liquid creamer,about 1 1/2 spoonfuls of sugar, and optional Hershey’s syrup or Carmel syrup. For a less sweet mixture use 1/4 creamer 1//4 milk. This allows for many flavors and it cost less. My family’s favorites: Mocha, Chocolate Carmel, Carmel, Peppermint Mocha. These creamers go on sale all the time for .99 cents.

  20. 20
    Bonnie says:

    I have a frappe maker and loved it until I needed to buy a replacement part. I have been waiting since January for the part and it hasn’t been in stock since then. How can a company continue selling these and not have replacement parts? I am very dissappointed and hope another company can make a frappe maker to replace this one. Steering away from Mr. Coffee brand products.

  21. 21
    Sarah says:

    i am not a big coffee fan, but i love the mocha e frappes, so if I decide to buy this, any suggestions what type of coffee would I have to buy?

  22. 22
    Janet Cloninger says:

    I think you could use anything sold in the grocery store. Just make sure you get the pre-ground coffee, or you’ll need a grinder, too.

  23. 23
    sarah says:

    ok, thank you!

  24. 24
    John says:

    We just bought this (on sale, plus instant rebate, at Costco: $50), and in just three weeks it has already paid for itself. BUT…if the drinks aren’t good then who cares if you’re saving money, right? Well, I’m happy to report that the machine is fairly impressive (crushes ice and mixes very well) and does indeed make delicious drinks.

    I use…5 tablespoons of dark-roast coffee, 1/2-cup of water, 2 cups of ice (half moons), 3 tablespoons of sugar, 5 tablespoons of unsweetened unprocessed cocoa powder, 1/2-teaspoon of vanilla extract, and 1/2-cup of whole milk.

    Very nice! Creamy, frothy, dark, rich, not too sweet, delicious, and an antioxidant powerhouse! Plus protein and calcium. If it doesn’t brake, this gadget will save us $1000 a year, I bet.

  25. 25

    Oh. My. Word.
    I saw this by chance on a target weekly ad – on sale for $49.99 (this week from 12/4/11 to 12/11/11) and jumped up and bought it (split the cost with my mom, so it cost me about $27) and so I went home and made the classic mocha. Two words. like. heaven. This is the BEST frappachino I have ever made. I usually brew extra strong coffee, chill it through the night, mix it with my ingredients and blend it up. But it was gritty and the taste left much to be desired. THIS beauty mixes up what I need in 3. minutes!! It saves me time and money and, guess what, they taste just like Starbucks. I have found heaven in a cup and this is making my mornings so much more delicious. :)
    Thanks for the review!!

  26. 26
    Tori says:

    I got this as an early christmas present from my godmother due to my love of starbuck’s frappachinos.Within 12 hours of recieving the first one, all the lights beout to megan blinking and the customer service representative said they had no more to ship me. My godmother found one at meijers so we did an exchange for that one. Today, my second frappe machine did the same thing my first one did. Luckily the company did have one they’re shipping out to me. Two machines in one month is ridiculous and I refuse to repurchase an other thing from this company. This is outrageous so buyers beware!

  27. 27
    Dianne says:

    I just picked up one of these machines at a yard sale. I’ve never had a Starbucks frappe so i have nothing to compare it to, but my first try was impressive. All my frozen drinks made in my expensive bar blender still have chunks of ice in them. Not a single one in the Mr. Coffee frappe machine. Anybody try cocoa power instead of syrup ? Also i read one recipe onlinethat called for pectin, which would solve the watery drink problem some of you mentioned (i did not have that problem mine was thick to the last bit)

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