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712 of 729 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love it!
Since we don't usually need a full pot of coffee except on weekends -- I typically just grab a Starbucks "Via" instant coffee on the way to work in the morning (a pretty remarkable innovation, by the way) -- I was attracted to the hot water dispenser on this coffee maker. I like it particularly because of its 58-ounce capacity -- meaning that you don't have to keep...
Published on September 11, 2010 by Jeff Shane

versus
530 of 578 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Works great for coffee,, hot water needs a redesign
This machine was to make both the coffee hound and the tea lover in our family happy in the morning. Only one of us is happy.. No complaints at all with the coffee maker..
The hot water dispenser has a strong bad taste that I cant get rid of with repeated vinegar or the 1 cup of lemon juice suggested by the customer service representative.. She had heard my story...
Published on May 21, 2011 by tea lover


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712 of 729 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love it!, September 11, 2010
By 
Jeff Shane (Washington, DC USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Cuisinart CHW-12 Coffee Plus 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker with Hot Water System, Black/Stainless (Kitchen)
Since we don't usually need a full pot of coffee except on weekends -- I typically just grab a Starbucks "Via" instant coffee on the way to work in the morning (a pretty remarkable innovation, by the way) -- I was attracted to the hot water dispenser on this coffee maker. I like it particularly because of its 58-ounce capacity -- meaning that you don't have to keep refilling it if you're just using it once each morning to fill a car mug. My wife prefers tea to coffee, and she loves being able to get a cup of really hot water whenever she likes. (We fill it with spring water, and the results are superb.) I haven't had any problem with the "add water" light, as another reviewer apparently did. I was concerned about squandering energy by keeping a reservoir of water constantly hot, but it doesn't. It keeps only about 13 ounces of water at serving temperature; the rest of the reservoir is unheated. It doesn't take all that much energy to keep 13 ounces of water hot. And if you know you won't be wanting hot water for a while, you can just turn it off with the on/off button. I had expected it to heat water instantly through some kind of coil system -- much like an under-sink unit does -- but not so. As a result, if the unit hasn't been on, there's about a 3-minute wait for the water to reach the right temperature. I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 because I wish the hot water dispenser were programmable in the way the coffee maker is, but it isn't. You have to start it manually. (No - you can't use an outlet timer because the unit has an electronic on/off switch.) I also wish the hot water dispenser had a temperature adjustment (the coffee maker does); the water it dispenses is so hot that I have to wait for several minutes before I can drink any beverage I make with it. Finally, some Cuisinart coffee makers have a strength adjustment but this doesn't. But these are minor quibbles; it's still a great appliance. The coffee maker itself works as well as an automatic drip coffee maker can -- always a function of trial-and-error at the beginning (what kind and how much coffee you use). It uses a cone filter (#4) -- which in my humble opinion always delivers better coffee than the flat filters used in so many other coffee makers -- including a lot of Cuisinart models -- and the water is sprayed onto the coffee by a showerhead array in the reservoir lid. (Tip for review "Me2": Pour water into the coffee maker by putting the lip of the carafe on the rear LEFT corner and pour it in that way. It's a lot easier and you won't spill any.)
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627 of 643 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than I expected., July 2, 2011
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This review is from: Cuisinart CHW-12 Coffee Plus 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker with Hot Water System, Black/Stainless (Kitchen)
I looked at a LOT of different coffee makers before deciding on this model. Buying a coffee maker has to be one of the hardest things to buy. The problems come in because everyone has a different take on what coffee is supposed to taste like and unfortunately many of them are dead wrong. The most important thing for anyone that really enjoys coffee the way it is supposed to be made is that the water heats up to a sufficient temperature (greater than 190 degrees). This allows for the best flavor to be extracted from the coffee ground without that bitter taste that you get when the temperature is too low. Since most people don't know that you don't find that information in most reviews. I found that information in the good reviews for this product and it had an overall rating of 4.5 at the time that I purchased it but I was a bit concerned with some of the bad reviews. They pointed to things like the carafe leaking, the hot water dispenser side leaking or not functioning correctly, bad tasting water, etc. Well, I'm happy to report that I have not seen any of these problems.

Pros
1) Hot water dispenser heats water to 185 degrees. This is perfect for anything you might want to use it for.
2) The coffee maker side heats the water to about 200 degrees. This is GREAT for making a really good cup of coffee.
3) The coffee temperature allows the coffee too stay warm even after I add half & half.
4) The lid on the carafe is NOT hinged which means that it doesn't flop around when you're pouring and it doesn't have a flimsy hinge to break.
5) The hot water dispenser side is HUGE, much larger than it looks in the pictures. That is why I've uploaded some pictures with mugs sitting on it and my tape measure showing the actual size. It fits both very wide and very tall mugs.
6) The auto-off setting is adjustable from 1-4 hours. This is great for my mom who likes to brew a pot and drink it all morning.
7) The indicator lights on the hot water side that let you know when the water is ready and when you need to add water are great.
8) Indicator light lets you know when it is time to clean the unit.

Cons
1) I'm not really sure how much safer the safety lock is on the hot water side. Anyone that can reach the lever can EASILY slide that safety lock to the left.
2) This is a small nitpick but pointing out small things like this show how much I really like this coffee maker. In order to set the clock you switch the switch to Clock and then hold down the HR button until the time starts blinking. What else am I going to do while I have the switch set to Clock? Why do I have to hold down that button too? The only reason this actually bugs me is because if you hold it down a split second too long it will begin to change the hour. So if you only wanted to change the minute it can be annoying.
3) This is only a con at first. The first time you pour water into the coffee side the angle of where you have to pour it makes you feel like you're going to spill it. Not to worry though. The design of the carafe and the fact that the flipped up lid will catch the water if you go to far make it really easy. Just don't hesitate and you'll find that it is as easy as pie to pour the water in.

Finally, this thing makes a GREAT TASTING cup of coffee. I can't believe I finally have a drip coffee maker that I enjoy using. Prior to this any time I wanted a good cup of coffee I would break out my French Press.

Feel free to let me know if you have any questions. I'll be glad to check it out and get back to you.
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530 of 578 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Works great for coffee,, hot water needs a redesign, May 21, 2011
This review is from: Cuisinart CHW-12 Coffee Plus 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker with Hot Water System, Black/Stainless (Kitchen)
This machine was to make both the coffee hound and the tea lover in our family happy in the morning. Only one of us is happy.. No complaints at all with the coffee maker..
The hot water dispenser has a strong bad taste that I cant get rid of with repeated vinegar or the 1 cup of lemon juice suggested by the customer service representative.. She had heard my story many times before..
The taste is similar to drinking out of a garden hose. The customer rep assured me that the insides are stainless steel and not plastic. I think there may be some quality control issues...
Even if I could get the bad taste out, the dispenser will only release 16 oz of water for the 32 oz you must put into it. This leaves 16 oz to sit until the next day to be reheated when you add 16 oz of new water.
You must always put in 32 oz to get out 16 oz. If you put in any amount less than 32 oz, the "add water" light will come on after only 6 oz drawn out..The machine will not let you take more than this out--even thought there is plenty more inside of it.
Consequently the new water put in always mixes with the old water that is both stale and bad tasting. Who wants day old water that has the taste diminished further by reheating?
I see this as a big design flaw that requires you to take the entire machine to the sink, pull the very ergonomically incorrect and difficult plug out of the bottom and manually drain it... The manual tells you to do this if the water has been in the dispenser a week or more...
There always will be water in the dispenser a week or more.. yuck..
I say back to the drawing board with this item..
Not what I expected from Cuisinart...
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78 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great Produce: Most Recent UPDATE 04/07/14, November 28, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Cuisinart CHW-12 Coffee Plus 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker with Hot Water System, Black/Stainless (Kitchen)
6 Month Update: It works perfectly as new and I have found no issues whatsoever. My original review below stands as originally written. If I have any problems in the future I will note them here.

Since I don't lend a lot of credence to reviews written by those who have just opened their shiny new item and are gushing with naive enthusiasm I will make my initial review quite brief at this time. I promise to follow up with a more comprehensive review in about 6 months.

The reason for my purchase of this item is that my lovely wife and I drink coffee in the mornings and also I drink quite a bit of hot tea later in the day. Instead of turning on the microwave every time I need more hot water I thought this unit would satisfy both requirements nicely. And indeed so far it is succeeding nicely.

I was concerned that the hot water dispenser would consume a lot of energy, but in fact it does not. Reason: While that side holds over a quart of water it only actually heats about 15oz at a time. Great idea! It takes about a minute longer to heat each batch of water than my microwave, but as soon as you dispense the hot water it immediately begins heating another batch. It might not be the best for those who want a larger amount of hot water at one time, but it works very well for my purposes. Just FYI.

There are several small but thoughtful items that makes this unit a good value in my opinion not the least of which it is actually two units in one. For example:

1) The #4 cone style filter that comes with this unit brews a superior cup of coffee in my opinion and better utilizes the coffee in a more even way. The fine wire mesh filter that comes with the unit sells for about $8 alone and means you never have to buy another paper filter. And you get a better yield for your coffee dollar. Its my opinion but not only mine.

2) There is a small silver button looking device under where the carafe is placed that is the actual heating element. This provides a much more accurate way of keeping the coffee at the desired temperature. When you press the "1 - 4 cups" button on the front of the machine a blue light comes on.
This function keeps the brewed coffee in the carafe at a lower and more desirable temperature when brewing smaller portions. It keeps the fresh brewed coffee from getting that burned stale taste that results from being heated for too long at too high a temperature. Just trivia those who care about keeping the flavor of the coffee good longer.

2) The coffee maker can be set to automatically turn off after a certain period of time after the coffee is brewed.

*** UPDATE of 10/25/12 ***

This unit has turned out to be so practical that I have purchased a second one for my mother. For anyone who drinks hot tea or other drinks requiring preheated water, the water heating part of this unit is really useful. It heats ~15oz of water at a time and holds nearly another quart in reserve that automatically feeds into the heating area as you drain the first 15oz. I only wish it made some sort of sound to alert me once the water is hot. It only takes about 3 minutes to heat the water by the way.

*** UPDATE OF 04/07/14

I have been using this unit - both sides - several times a day since new. It seems there is a problem with the hot water tank leaking. It leaks into the coffee reservoir. Which isn't so bad I suppose. After all it is a small leak, but seems to want to get bigger. Also it doesn't leak if I don't fill the tank to the full line. Otherwise it is still working well. I would definitely purchase again.
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105 of 115 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Machine.. Read the directions for Water Dispenser.., December 30, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Cuisinart CHW-12 Coffee Plus 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker with Hot Water System, Black/Stainless (Kitchen)
This is really a great unit. Coffee brews perfectly. As far as the water dispenser, mine works fine. It notices water levels etc. The only thing is that the water will start to smell bad (metallic) if it is left in the resevoir too long. I would say follow the instructions. It says to empty the water resevoir fully if you do not plan to run the water function for more than a week, or to store the unit. There is a drain plug on the bottom of the unit (who knew)... I drained it and refilled it, flushed a couple of times and the water is much better. No more metallic taste/smell... OK, Just an FYI...
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66 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A-MAZE-ING!!!!!!!!!!!!!, December 1, 2010
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This review is from: Cuisinart CHW-12 Coffee Plus 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker with Hot Water System, Black/Stainless (Kitchen)
My Hamilton Beach Brew Station crapped out on me (the electrical has issues... ugh!) so I ordered this Cuisinart with the Hot Water System and it is incredible! I am totally in love and will never buy another brand of coffee maker again!

I have been drinking a wonderful brand of coffee illy Caffe Scuro Drip Grind (Dark Roast, Brown Band), 8.8-Ounce Tins (Pack of 2) for years but I never truly tasted it until now! This coffee maker brews so perfectly! The coffee tastes even better than it has all these years (and trust me, it's great coffee!). Now, the coffee is soooooooooooo smooth and I even found that I don't have to use as much sugar and creamer.

The water sprinkling system over the grounds is superb and when I went to empty the grounds to make more (it was sooooo good I had to make more!), there was no dripping water from the filter basket. Another reviewer said that he/she thinks that the cone shaped filter baskets work more efficiently and I must say that I absolutely agree!

The hot water system works like a dream! During winter I really enjoy drinking tea and making instant soups and such, now I'm so glad I got this coffee maker with hot water system because I can now enjoy all of those winter favorites without the fuss of microwaving or boiling water and such! I also love that the hot water system has a separate water tank with separate power functions and it also includes a child safety lock, so your little ones won't accidentally burn themselves.

I also love that this comes with a 3 year warranty - considering that I just had to throw away my second Hamilton Beach because the first one stopped brewing completely and the second one would shut off and the power and display lights would suddenly turn off. Then anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours later it would turn back on and I would have to do the coffee dance while it brewed in hopes that it would at least finish brewing one cup before crapping out again. Having a 3 year warranty makes me feel so much better about buying a new coffee maker.

Another great feature of this machine is that it alerts you when you need to clean the system, which will prolong the use of your coffee maker. This will help me to stay on top of cleaning it rather than putting it off til later!

If you aren't sure whether to go with this coffee maker, let me make the decision for you! It's truly A-MAZE-ING!!!

December 12, 2011:
It has now been just over a year since purchasing this machine and I'm still absolutely in love with it!!! Here are a few things I'd like to add to my original review:

This machine includes a permanent filter which comes in really handy when you run out of paper filters and can't get to the store right away.

This machine includes directions for cleaning the system using vinegar and water. Most machines I've used in the past tell you to purchase some kind of expensive cleaner but not this one. I love that they recommend using plain ol' vinegar!

I also love the hot plate temperature dial. I use refrigerated creamer in my coffee and I like to drink it right away so I set the hot plate on medium. If you don't use creamer then you can put the hot plate on low so it won't be too hot to drink right away. Or if you use a lot of creamer or don't plan on drinking it immediately, you can set it on high.

If the machine turns off using the auto-off feature and you haven't finished all of your coffee all you have to do is turn it back on. My old machine required you to press and hold the "on" button for 3 seconds and then it was supposed to turn back on. Most of the time, however, it would beep at me to tell me that there was no water in the tank and then it would turn back off. This machine simply turns back on without having to do anything special to make it work properly.

The separate hot water system has been really handy since having my baby (born in June 2011). He is breastfed and my husband bottle feeds him sometimes. So he thaws the milk under cool running water and then puts the milk storage bag into a coffee cup and pours hot water from the hot water tank into the cup and lets it sit for a few minutes. If he uses the faucet to heat up the milk, he has to pour out the hot water and replace it a few times because it cools down too quickly to warm the milk.

The hot water system has also been really nice while family members are visiting. My mother-in-law drinks hot tea every morning and she normally uses a tea kettle but she is incredibly impressed with my new coffee maker and hot water system - and we all know how nice it is to impress our mother-in-law!!!!

All-in-all, this machine is still a dream come true! I would buy this machine over and over and over again!
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95 of 111 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A dream come true!, September 25, 2010
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This review is from: Cuisinart CHW-12 Coffee Plus 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker with Hot Water System, Black/Stainless (Kitchen)
My last old Cuisinart bit the dust so I was in the market for a new one. I had also been in the market for a water kettle but really did not like the idea of having one more appliance on my counter top. When I checked out the Cuisinart web site to see what was new I was blown away by the idea of this coffee maker that also dispensed hot water!! I was so excited about it I had it sent overnight.

I have only had it for a day but oh what a wonderful cup of coffee I had this morning and right now I am loving the convenience of having hot water available for my tea drinking!

Pros: Everything!! In perfect working order and I was able to follow the manufacture's instructions on hot water without any problems at all! Best cup of coffee I have had even counting my old Cuisinart!

Cons: Only 1 negative so far. It is awkward pouring water into the coffee maker side and I guess I will need more practice at this to keep from splashing water all over everything.

So far extremely pleased with my purchase!!
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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Coffee maker only, January 17, 2012
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This review is from: Cuisinart CHW-12 Coffee Plus 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker with Hot Water System, Black/Stainless (Kitchen)
A lot of people are extremely happy with this coffeemaker, and I would have been too, if it wasn't for the fact that I seem to have gotten one of the ones with a bad taste problem on the hot water side. I have been unable to figure out how to get the bad plastic taste out after spending much time looking on the internet. Turns out there are more than a few owners with the same problem and no solution. I've tried flushing multiple times, tried soaking in vinegar, and nothing seems to work. It is a great coffee maker so it doesn't seem fair to give it only one star, but the only reason I got this coffee maker was because I wanted the coffee maker and hot water combo. And on that front it has failed.
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44 of 50 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unreliable, August 11, 2011
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This review is from: Cuisinart CHW-12 Coffee Plus 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker with Hot Water System, Black/Stainless (Kitchen)
Beware the limited warranty. We received our coffee machine last week. Yesterday the machine begun leaking from the back of the unit. I called up Cuisinart, and they only provide limited warranties on their units. What this means is, if you want a replacement, you have to pay for shipping the unit back to them.

Good thing Amazon exists - the refund process was smooth with them. We're getting a replacement unit - hopefully that will be more reliable than this one..
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75 of 89 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hot water side runs amuck, unsafe, November 20, 2010
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This review is from: Cuisinart CHW-12 Coffee Plus 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker with Hot Water System, Black/Stainless (Kitchen)
The hot water side of the CHW-12 continues to boil after the water ready light comes on. After 30 minutes the unit itself becomes almost too hot to touch and condensation starts to appear inside the LCD display and drip from the upper housing. You can hear it continue to boil from your kitchen table, it becomes that loud. The carafe heater plate stays on when the setting is set to brew after you press the power button and the blue light goes off. The only way to turn the heater plate off is to turn the switch to Auto Off. This is not stated in the instructions.

If you have to have this model or are just love Cuisinart because of its past reputation, order, conduct the 30 minute hot water side test and evaluate for yourself. I exchanged this unit for the same model hoping for a one in a million defect and returned for a refund. Unsafe around young children who tend to counter surf with their hands. Cuisinart support was quick to tell me to return it with no confirmation that this issue would be recorded or reported to their product or marketing teams. Disappointed in a brand I have trusted for decades.
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