President’s Choice Coffee Maker – Failing The Grade

From time to time we write about products we use in our home. Usually we have pretty good experience with the products we use. Not this time.

For years we had a cheap, plastic, old coffee maker. It was simple to use. It made good coffee. It’s primary colour was white which matched ascetically with our white kitchen appliances. To pour yourself a cup of coffee you simply take the carafe out of the coffee maker, pour the coffee, and put the carafe back into the coffee maker. No muss, no fuss.

The one issue we had was that it was so incredibly loud when the coffee was being made. So a few weeks ago, Cath purchased a new coffee maker from President’s Choice. It cost under $100.

I have to admit it looks pretty cool with its faux brush nickel exterior, its modern oval shape giving it sleek lines.

presidents choice cofffee maker Presidents Choice Coffee Maker   Failing The Grade

When it is making the coffee it is somewhat less noisy than our old model. And, it boils the water at a sufficiently high temperature to make good coffee. The top has three holds where the steam escapes when coffee is being made.

pc coffee maker top Presidents Choice Coffee Maker   Failing The Grade

However, I don’t like it and I cannot recommend it. In no particular order, here are my complaints with the model.

First, it only makes 10 cups. Our old one made 12 cups. We can drink a lot of coffee.

10 cup coffee maker Presidents Choice Coffee Maker   Failing The Grade

Second, if you pour 10 or slightly more than 10 cups of water into the water holding area there is a small hold in the unit on the opposite side where the water will leak out and make a mess on the counter, even though the water holding area can actually hold 12 cups of water.

Third, you have to make sure that you position the carafe in a specific location within the unit. Failure to do so will cause some of the water to remain in with the coffee grinds. As you can see in the pictures the unit is made such that the opening in the back of the unit is the same as the front. You cannot just push the carafe into the unit until it cannot go any further (like our old unit). So you are never really sure if you have properly positioned the carafe to receive the coffee from up in the unit (unlike our old coffee maker).

carafe placement Presidents Choice Coffee Maker   Failing The Grade

You know what will happen when you remove the carafe once you see that no more coffee is pouring into it, right? Yes, once the carafe is removed that excess coffee will start to pour out onto the warming plate and then onto the counter top.

Next, the carafe needs to be redesigned. When you pour coffee from a full batch it starts to spill, even when you pour it incredibly slowly. Cath finds it better when you flip up the lid before pouring; we never had to with our old coffee maker.

And, finally, in the pictures of the coffee maker can you make out the dials and the purpose of each? Neither can I. The buttons are incredibly small and the labeling is even smaller.

All in all I have to give our new President’s Choice coffee maker a failing grade. The only reason why we don’t return it is because we lost the receipt. icon smile Presidents Choice Coffee Maker   Failing The Grade

I just have to get used to pouring coffee into the cup sufficiently slowly with the lip flipped up to not spill ….. I can and have started doing that ….. it takes me a full minute to do but at least there’s no spillage.

I wonder how long my patience will last!

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  1. GregB says:

    We have one of these. I love PC products, and when we needed a coffee maker PC was my first choice. I CAN NOT STAND spilling half a cup of coffee on the counter every time I want a cup. Didn’t they try it when they were designing it?

  2. Dan says:

    I hear ya Greg. I agree that I also like PC products, generally.

    It also took me about a month to be able to figure out the exact placement of the caraf so the coffee goes immediately and direclty into it from above. The first several weeks we constantly had coffee grinds in our cups of joe because we didn’t position the caraf exactly where it needs to be.


  3. Anonymous says:

    there is another PC coffee maker model that works great! it even has a timer, makes the best coffee! And theres no spilling!

  4. Darlene says:

    I purchased a PC 12 cup entertainer coffee maker for $9.94 clearance in January that was regularly $19.99. Brought it home and it gave us three brews and was dead. Very disappointed and there was absolutely no return because of it being on clearance. Would there have been a return on full price. I know there was a few returned because when I asked about returning they said their manager had just reminded them there was to be no returns on the clearance coffee makers. So that tells me that coffee maker was not a good purchase. They had higher priced coffee makers but who wants to chance spending that kind of money and having another dud coffee maker and maybe no return. I think I will stick with my Black and Decker (reliable) coffee maker.

  5. Dan says:

    Hi Darlene,

    Yes. Very disappointing how a reputable retailer will still try to get money out of the consumer by selling a (have to be) known defective product.


  6. gracie says:

    also love pc products makes great coffee but you don’t get a chance to drink it cause it’s all over your counter! i still had the box but no receipt the store had great customer service and allowed me to return it!


  7. Linda says:

    This is the second pc coffee maker I got the first one lasted six months and now the second one (six months) just went like the first.

  8. Andrea says:

    I just purchased a PC Coffee Maker 3 days ago at a surplus store in Maine. So far I like it alot. It’s not the same model as the one you had bad luck with. It’s all “stainless steel”, including the carafe. The only thing I don’t like is you practically need a magnifying glass to read the clock & set the automatic timer! I noticed this company is out of Canada & when I went to their website there was no info on coffee makers. I was just wondering if they have discontinued making them. I was also curious as to what the coffe maker originally sold for. I paid $25.00, I’m sure it once retailed for more. Any ideas? Thanks.

  9. Dan says:

    Hi Andrea,

    Sounds like even though it’s a different model they have not corrected the issue we have with the clock, etc. being way too small for anyone. And, since I have no idea what model you actually purchased I can’t help you on your other Q’s.

    You might want to go to the President’s Choice web site to find the information you seek.


  10. Keith K says:

    I went a different route this time for my new coffee maker. After realizing that the old one was eating 1200 watts of electricity(for 1-2 hours every morning), I started looking at the wattage of coffee makers in the stores. This is not an easy feat, as they do not list the wattages on the outside of the box. I had to remove the carafe from the display models and look for the wattage stamped on the underside of the base of the coffee maker. I finally selected a 300 watt, single cup Toastess, with no warmer from Walmart. It takes between 2-3 minutes to make a cup, I drink 4-5 cups in the morning, so the coffee maker is only on for 15 minutes max. By my calculations that means 300 watts divided by 4 (15 minutes)= 75 Watts. That is a significant differance from the 1200 to 2400 watts I would have used with the warmer on for 1-2 hours. Even if I saved conservatively 900 watts per day, that equals 328,500 watts or 328.5 kw per year. Food for thought when you look at ways to save energy.

    Love your site!


  11. Dan says:

    Hi Keith,

    You bring up a very good point about the wattage not being displayed on the outside of coffee maker packaging.

    For our situation, a single cup coffee maker wouldn’t do as we tent to dring between the two of us, Cath and I, about 8 cups in total early in the morning, 4 each at the same time.

    I will also say that while I am not a coffee expert, and while I did not sleep at a Holiday Inn last night ;) , I do recall a consumer information section on a local TV station which said that the hotter the water created by the coffee making machine the better tasting the coffee. This would indicate more wattage rather than less for a really good cup of coffee.

    However, you bring up a really good point about wattage comparisons between machines and something to take into account that perhaps we had never previously when looking for a coffee maker.


  12. Keith K says:

    Hi Dan,

    you are very correct on the temperature of the water making a difference in taste. I also use a 1 cup manual drip coffee maker, the kind that sits on top of the cup, and hot water is poured in (I think mine is a “Melitta”). Using Boiling water actually makes even “No Name” Coffee taste good.

    I definitely wish it was mandatory to have companies put the wattage/usage for electrical products clearly on the package so we can all make an educated decision on purchasing products.

    Just a final thought on coffee maker efficiency and taste. We recently switched at work from a double burner coffee maker to a coffee maker with an insulated carafe with no warmer. The coffee is still hot after 60 minutes and doesn’t get stronger as it sits, as there is no warmer to “burn” the coffee. The added advantage is the electricity saved by not having warmers constantly on during an 8 hour work day.



  13. Ellen Behar says:

    This is my third PC coffee maker that has just quit. I am going to return it as they accept returns without a receipt but it is very frustrating as I am sitting here now not being able to have my morning coffee.

  14. Dan says:

    Thanks for the comment, Ellen.

    One more point on my part.

    We have started to need to unplug and then replug the coffee maker each day (long story as to ‘why’).

    When ever we do this, the coffee maker makes a very high pitched sound which hurts our dog Sandy’s ears.

    I’ve never heard of such a thing on any appliance we have previously or currently have used.

    Just and FYI.

  15. Keith says:

    We used to have the old 12 Cup PC coffee maker and had zero problems until it died after 2 years.

    This coffee maker is by far, the WORST coffee maker we’ve ever had. Put a standard filter in it and because the water pours so quickly, the coffee always over-fills and you get grinds in your coffee. Pour a cup of coffee and expect 1/2 a cup to pour onto your counter. The buttons and display border on useless.

    It’s been 3 weeks and this thing is going back. Found a sale on a Delonghi 14 cup coffee maker and this time I took the time to read the reviews before purchasing. I won’t make the mistake of blindly trusting PC again.

  16. Yvonne says:

    We bought the 10 cup PC coffee maker 6 months ago. A couple of weeks ago it started to “whine” when it is finished brewing. I canno’t turn it off, I have to pull the electric core out of the wall, which means that we cannot keep the coffee warm. We don’t have the receipt to take it back.What should we do?

  17. Dan says:

    Hi Yvonne,

    Someone earlier left a message on this site stating to simply take back the coffee maker, even without the receipt.

    I hope that helps,

  18. Kathrin Evans says:

    I have to say that we have had ours…identical to the photos…for about 6 months. All of a sudden, tonight, the darned thing is BEEPING! I am on here trying to find out why it is beeping and if there is some kind of feature that will tell me WHY? If anyone knows, can they let me know? Thanks.

    • Jane says:

      Hi ,We have the same coffee pot and today is started that Beeping, too!! I can’t find the book, but the thing is not six months old. Does anyone know what to do about it!!~

      • Dan says:

        Hi Jane,

        Actually according to a comment below all it means is that your coffee maker needs cleaning.

        Check-out the comments below.

        Let me know if that solves your particular coffee maker beebing issue.


    • sheri says:

      hold the auto button down for three seconds the beeping should stop as this resets the counter for cleaning

  19. Dan says:

    Hi Kathrin,

    As I haven’t had ours now for several months, I can’t help you on this.


  20. Max says:

    Like your coffee machine ,I am quite satisfied with the coffee it makes ,my only problem is the holding latch on the lid tends to fail.You couldn’t have made it any cheaper in my view.

  21. mike says:

    i have the same pot as teh one pictured and it is crap. i get more coffee on the counter than in my cup, and today its started beeping at me half way thru the brew cycle and instead of the warmer element heating up, the rest of the damn thing was hot to the touch and my coffee was cold. this is not the first PC product that has failed me terribly but it will most certainly be the last !

  22. Brenda says:

    Mine also just started beeping and won’t stop! If I try to plug it back in, it beeps still! Is there a “reset”?

    • Dan says:

      Hi Brenda,
      How long have you had the coffee maker?

      I am guessing that some sort of mechanism is broken and you will likely have to replace it.

      However, why not speak to the folks at your local Loblaws / Super Center store as they should know since they sell it.

      Sorry I cannot help more.

  23. Brenda says:

    Thanks Dan. Actually I found the manual (didn’t think I kept it) and it is a reminder to clean it. It automatically does it after 200 pots. All you have to do is hold in the “program” button for 3 secs and it resets. Hope this may help other people.

  24. George says:

    Hey guys,
    I have the same product, it also started beeping at me today. I was also thinking that it suffered an electrical malfunction. But thanks to this post i did the program 3 second reset and it went away! (altho i had to press the Auto button while it was beeping at me to fix it)

    Thanks Brenda!

    I also agree that the carafe needs to be re-designed to be able to pour without spilling while full. I bought mine on sale for $30 at a local grocery store so I am assuming that PC knows about the problem by now.

    Also the hole on the side of the machine is there for a reason, it prevents you from overfilling the reservoir to protect the carafe from spilling over and flooding the warming plate.

    Hope this helps

  25. Dan says:

    Hi George,

    Isn’t it the little things in life sometimes that can be the most frustrating?

    Yes, thanks to Brenda for her help.

  26. Hersha says:

    My question is: what was the brand of your old coffee maker?

  27. travis says:

    my coffee machine is making annoying beeping noises after owning it for 6 months. It didn’t make that noise before. Its so annoying i dont like drinking coffee anymore from it and spend more money elseware to drink coffee.

  28. halsafar says:

    The very loud beeping that pops up every now and then was driving me nuts. I could not remember how I fixed it last time. Both times a google search drove me to this blog. Commenting just to say thanks. Very frustrating but I guess I go through >400 pots of coffee in a year. At least I’m not the only one drinking it.

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  31. Susan Savile says:

    Anyone have problems with the PC coffee maker shutting off on it’s own?

  32. paul says:

    3 failures……..ridiculous……I was so pissed I took it back to super store and smashed it flat with my cement hammer…..IF YOU LIKE PROBLEMS,,,,BUY ONE OF THESE PC…..PIECES OF CRAP……COFFEE POTS…..

  33. Carol Graham says:

    I have had all the above problems and now a new one. The last couple mornings when the coffee is done the coffee starts to beep very loud and very fast and will not stop no matter what you do, unless you unplug it. Can’t return it — didn’t think it was necessary to keep the receipt!

  34. Ryan Van Hoeke says:

    Boy am I glad i found this blog. That beeping was driving me nuts. I thought for sure I was going to have to buy a new coffee maker. I am having all the negative issues with it that you and your posters have mentioned so I may just get a new one anyways!

  35. Debbie says:

    Our PC coffee machine started beeping today, and after unplugging it, plugging it back in, and having it beep at us time and time again, we took to the internet.

    Thanks so much for the solution!

    Holding in the auto/program button did the trick!

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