The Kenmore 12-Cup Programmable Aroma Control Coffee Maker is appealing for a number of reasons including the price and the level of programmability. However, it did not perform well in our blind coffee taste test. Additionally, it features a glass carafe and warming plate system, which we found heated our brewed coffee 6°F over the course of an hour. "Cooking" the coffee like this can negatively impact its taste and flavor. However, if you are on a budget and want to wake up to freshly brewed coffee, this could be a great option for you.
The Kenmore Programmable Aroma Control Coffee Maker is an automatic drip brewer with a 12-cup glass carafe. It has an easy-to-read LED screen where you can set the machine's clock or program it to begin brewing at a certain time. It also features a built-in water filtration system. In addition to being inexpensive, the Kenmore comes with a Gold Tone filter that helps to eliminate the expense and waste of paper filters. Also, this coffee maker steeps the grounds prior to decanting the coffee into the carafe to help ensure a robust flavor. The auto-off simply adds to this already convenient machine.
This Kenmore model employs traditional automatic drip brewing technology. The key feature of this machine is that it saturates, or steeps, the coffee grounds before decanting the coffee into the carafe. During our test, we measured the brewing temperature at 188°F mid-cycle, slightly below the recommended temperature parameters. The machine beeped to indicate a completed cycle at 9 minutes and 25 seconds. Immediately after brewing, the temperature in the glass carafe was 170°F, but it actually warmed up to 176°F after sitting on the warming plate for an hour.
We conducted a blind taste test with 31 coffee drinkers to rank samples of black coffee on overall taste, flavor, body, acidity, and color. The Kenmore Aroma Control came in 9th out of 10 machines overall, beating out only the Cuisinart 14-Cup. The highest score it received was in the acidity category, and it actually ranked higher than any other machine. Alternately, it struggled with color, flavor, and body. To learn more about how we tested the Kenmore against other coffee makers, please read our How We Test section.
We found that the Kenmore 12-Cup model was average in terms of construction material and overall quality. It is what we expected at this price point. The glass carafe does pour easily, and frankly we think you get what you pay for with this machine.
The Kenmore 12-Cup is straightforward to use and clean. The reusable coffee filter is removable and washable, and the glass carafe can be easily cleaned by hand. The only thing we didn't like was the water tank. It has a very small opening and is hard to refill.
The Kenmore includes an impressive number of functions for the price. It can be programmed to begin brewing at a specific time and will automatically turn off. It also features a built-in water filter and an easy-to-read water gauge on the side of the machine. Lastly, it will beep to indicate when the cycle is complete.
The Aroma Control Coffee Maker is ideal for a budget-conscious household looking for a programmable brewer.Value
The Kenmore 12-Cup is available from $49.99 and includes a 2-year limited warranty. At this price point, and considering the warranty, we think the Kenmore is a decent value.Conclusion
The Kenmore 12-Cup Programmable Aroma Control Coffee Maker is the most inexpensive machine that we tested. We liked that it was a programmable, budget-friendly option, but we definitely found some drawbacks. It performed poorly during our coffee taste test, and the warming plate actually "cooked" our coffee after it was brewed, heating it up 6° over an hour. If you can afford to spend a little more, we would probably recommend the Mr. Coffee Optimal Brew, winner of our Best Buy Award. For more information about our Award Winners and the other machines we tested, please visit our Coffee Maker Overview.
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