BUNN MCU Single Cup Multi Use Coffee Brewer Review
This is another single cup coffee maker by BUNN. The MCU unit is quite flexible because it is compatible with K-Cups, ground coffee, soft pods and tea bags. It can also heat up water for other purposes.
- 2-years warranty
- Compact and sturdy
- Compatible with K-cups, pods and tea bags
- Compatible with ground coffee
- Heats up fast
- Not programmable
My first wish in the morning is to have that cup of strong brewed coffee. But my desires change as the day wears on, so I was looking for a single cup coffee maker that still allows some flexibility in terms of drink options. That’s why I decided to try the BUNN MCU Single Cup Coffee Brewer.
Below I share my findings. Curious to see whether it’s still in my kitchen? Let’s find out.
BUNN MCU Features
Its range of features is what sets this apart from many other single serve brewing systems on the market. These are what stands out:
- Pulse Brew: if you prefer your coffee stronger than most, the Pulse Brew option extracts more flavor.
- Different drawers: The unit is capable of making different drinks thanks to the variety of drawers you can use:
- A water drawer for when you simply need H2O
- The pod drawer can take any coffee or tea pods as long as they’re soft
- With the cup drawer, you can make the perfect K-Cup brew
- The ground coffee drawer helps you make a superior cup of coffee from any coffee grounds you come across
- Fast brewing: It can brew your cup in less than 60 seconds.
- 6 hour shut off time: It helps you save energy by shutting off after six hours. During this time it will keep water heated so your next cup can be made instantly.
- Removable drip tray: This makes for easy cleaning, but also creates space so travel mugs fit under the spout.
- Serving sizes: Customize your brew by adding 4oz to 14oz of grounds.
That’s all there is. If you’re looking for more options, this machine will frustrate you. You can’t program the machine or adjust settings.
BUNN MCU Performance & Functionality
Here’s what makes this BUNN model so effective. Instead of plastic, the water reservoir is made of stainless steel. Apart from being more hygienic, it keeps water at an optimum temperature. This helps get all the flavor out of grounds and tea leaves.
Your brew will be ready within 60 seconds, provided the machine has been plugged in for at least three minutes. Note that it doesn’t have on/off switch, so plugging it in signals to the machine it has to be ready to start brewing.
You will not get more compatibility than the BUNN MCU. The unit takes all K-Cups, but also handles:
- Ground coffee
- Tea pods and bags
- Loose tea
That makes it compatible with coffee products but also all my drink cravings.
Note: It cannot take hard espresso pods, so don’t harm your machine by forcing one of them into the pod drawer.
BUNN MCU Design
I appreciate a well thought out machine and this is one of them:
- Access to the water reservoir is gained from above
- The two brewing buttons are within reach at the front
- The drawers slide out and you fill it before sliding it back into place. There’s less chance of spilling grounds when you don’t have to work in a tight space.
The components are all black plastic and stainless steel. This color scheme is easy to match to almost any décor style.
When it comes to the aesthetics your personal taste determines whether you’ll like this single cup coffee brewer. It’s not fancy, but rather minimalistic. If you’re looking for the latest flashy appliance, this isn’t it.
But I love how practical it is. Thanks to the sturdiness the chance of this unit tipping over on your counter is very small.
Here you’ll experience a few goods and unfortunately some bad features too.
The machine is sturdy in general, thanks to the many stainless steel parts so it will survive rough handling or even a fall. However, not all parts of the drawers are metal, meaning they can get damaged if you switch them often. Most users have found the handles may crack and break.
Your taste experience benefits from the tank being made of metal. Because the water is kept at a high temperature—200°F—more flavor can be extracted from grounds.
You can also opt for stronger coffee or tea with the pulse brew. The liquid will be a few degrees colder because the water stays in contact with the grounds for longer, but it will still be hotter than any other single serve brewing systems can produce.
Ease of Use
You only have two buttons to navigate between. The brew button initiates the brewing process and the pulse button prompts the machine to make the brew stronger.
The water tank cannot be removed. This means you can’t take it to the tap to fill up, but rather add water with the use of a mug. This makes for easy measurement, but you may spill water from time to time.
I did find the flashing lights confusing at first, so here’s what you need to know:
- A green light signals you need to add water
- Red means it still has to heat up water
- Check if the drawer is in place if you get a mix of green and red
Here’s another feature that is good and bad. The water tank only keeps enough water for one cup:
- It’s unfortunate you have to fill the machine every time you’ve made a cup
- Some users love that each cup is made with fresh water
Once again, your personal preference will guide you into loving or hating this feature.
When that cup has been made, your clean-up procedure is quick:
- Take out the cup, pods, grounds or bag
- Wash the removable drawer
You can even place the drip tray and drawers in your dishwasher.
There are no filters to clean and descaling isn’t a high priority because water doesn’t necessarily stay in the reservoir for long. However, you can run vinegar water through the machine every few months.
One challenge is clogged parts. This becomes a DIY project. Try and unclog with something small such as a screwdriver or paperclip.
So, I did not end up keeping the MCU after the review period. I did like it but did not fall in love with it enough to replace my Keurig 575. The fact that you cannot program it in order to have your first cup ready when you wake up is kind of a bummer for me. 60 seconds wait time is nothing to die for, but it does destroy my current habit.
Anthony is a professional barista in the city of Chicago. He has written for many online publications on various topics related to coffee.