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668 of 684 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2005
Ye gads. I forgot all about the fierce partisanship amongst purchasers that this wee little machine invokes. Last year, I dutifully combed through all of the reviews and was almost pursuaded to look to another machine. Thank the stars I was not. Like many, I was won over by the lure of (1)the thermal carafe, (2) the auto grind&brew feature, and (3) the shininess. I also trusted the Cuisinart name and had been previously pleased with the Brew Central. I noted, however, that many writers were highly displeased with (4) the noise and (5) the mess. So, after a year, here are my experiences:

(1) The thermal carafe rocks out loud. Yes, pre-heating the carafe seems to keep the coffee hotter for longer, but on the crazy work-mornings that I use the auto-grind&brew function, I do not pre-heat and find no need to, as I am out of the house at light speed. Note that the coffee is still scaldingly hot. People seem irritated/perplexed at the slowness with which coffee is dispensed from the carafe, as well as the steep pouring angles necessitated by the carafe. I am not at all disturbed by either; however, a relative in need of immediate coffee discovered that one can get faster pouring by just removing the lid. Which defeats the awesome vacuum-packed thermal hotness, but seems a likely remedy for those with a fundamental aversion to slow pours. As far as weird geometry issues, I have nothing to offer.

(2) The auto grind&brew is very convenient. It has always worked flawlessly for me and really amazes and pleases guests who may rise before residents.

(3) It is damn shiny.

(NB: I have a lot of stainless in the kitchen and, through trial and error, have found that the Method stainless steel cleaner keeps it all damn shiny and keeps me from going stark raving from the constant buffing and rubbing).

(4) The noise? Really not that unusual for a coffee bean grinder. I did not notice that it was any louder than other grinders. If the "grind" portion of the auto grind&brew is waking one too early, I would imagine that one could either pregrind or use ground beans and just skip the "grind" function. While it is intriguing to imaging a space age machine with stealth grind mode, I would urge potential buyers to neither expect silence nor let lack of silence keep you from buying this machine.

(5) The ire over the mess was what nearly kept me from purchasing this maker. And I completely forgot about the issue until just now when I re-read some of the reviews. I guess that I don't understand what "mess" they mean. There are seven parts to this thing that I clean: carafe/lid, filter/basket/lid, and grinder base/lid. I rinse the carafe and filter with hot water and clean the rest with hot soapy water. It all takes approximately 2.5 minutes. I never have to clean the rest of the machine. I usually tilt the top-loader lid open to let condensation out after brewing is done. I occasionally wipe the inside of the machine down with a damp cloth. I have replaced the water filter a couple of times. But altogether, clean-up is not that big of a deal. Maybe others are not getting a tight enough seal on the the grinder parts?

SUMMARY: I have had this machine for over a year and have never had a single problem with it. It makes delicious, hot coffee. I was almost deterred by the problems that others have had with it, but am glad that I opted to take my chances. I gave it four, rather than five stars because so many people have had problems with it. Even though I have not experienced these problems, the negative feedback must nonetheless be taken into consideration.

cheers!

~currer bell
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513 of 529 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2003
- previous was the typical old plastic type with glass carafe
Good Points:
- much considerable improvement in coffee taste now
- the thermal carafe with autoseal until poured keeps coffee hot and no stale or burnt taste, it is double lined with stainless steel
- auto shutoff of heating element immediately after brewing prevents burning of coffee and electricity bills
- the 1-4 cup extra heat excellent idea
- the built-in grinding process
- choice of using paper filter or gold filter basket
- beeping tells you when coffee is ready
- does not have that ugly water level marker, it has a built-in marker where you pour water, a 3-D step ladder sort of speak
- does not expell any heat or humidity from unit, well sealed
- nice design and looks
Bad Points:
- cannot tell amount coffee left in carafe
- pours out slowly from carafe
- carafe autoseal feature requires you to pour at a steeper angle to get faster flow output which still isn't fast enough for me
- grinder howls for about 30 seconds when running, it does not adjust grind-time for amount of coffee beans inside, it defaults to a 10 cup grind, solving this would require some clever engineering idea
- I find I have to clean more than my old machine, I clean the grinder and lid, basket and basket lid, ... the grinder does create a lot fine coffee dust which does get packed into every nook and cranny
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144 of 148 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2003
Because of all the negative reviews, I thought I should write a positive one. I would consider myself a coffee snob and have worked as a professional barista in a coffee lover's cafe (as in NOT STARBUCKS), and I have never bought maxwell house in the can as was suggested that those of us who liked this machine did in an earlier review. My brew of choice is Peets Major D's blend,which is a full-bodied dark roast, and this makes a great cup of that.
Positives for me with this machine: it looks great on my bar (which was a key reason I bought it), the thermal carafe works with or without the preheating, it does not drip when you pour it, the coffee makes a great cup and I like the four cup feature since I usually don't make more than that anyway. I don't find the cleaning to be a big issue, and if I did, I doubt I would have bought a machine with technical features. The only negative really is that the grinder mechanism is not sealed enough to provide storage--I think it would be great if they came out with a hopper/grinder/dispenser attachment where you could store a half pound of beans on top--which would mean it couldn't fit under a counter. I don't have mine under a counter though, and the design of this probably isn't conducive to that anyway. Capresso makes a good machine, but it's not as pretty as this one.
Since I was aprehensive about this machine from all the critiques, I can only suggest to those wavering on purchasing it to try the machine, read the MANUAL, don't overuse the brew pause feature, use quality beans, and don't overgrind--this is not an espresso machine. And yes, it takes a few brew cycles to flush out the "funny" taste. But if cleaning your coffee machine makes you twinge or you have low kitchen counters and can't move it out from underneath, don't buy it. This machine is not a generic "all things to all folks" as the polarized reviews indicate, so buy smart, know what works for you in your kitchen.
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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2005
I was a skeptic after reading all the negative reviews, and even encountered a disgruntled elderly woman at the store who told me how much she despised this machine, but something in my gut said I should buy it and I did. I've had this coffeemaker for three months now and it's become one of my most loved possessions, right up there with my handsfree wireless and my favorite pens.

It is important to note that it takes a few brews to get to know your new coffeemaker. I too had the leak experience upon first brew, but I realized that I was obviously overfilling the water tank, despite what the level said. It's also taken some trial and error to get the right ratio of coffee to water, but one must understand that this is a factor of personal taste and shouldn't be dictated by some recipe. Yes, it takes a little extra effort to clean. But I've noticed that most nice things do take that extra effort to manage and maintain, and I don't mind getting my hands a smidge dirty in exchange for the result!

It does pour slower than the regular carafe. But that's a bit picky, don't you think? Seven seconds to fill your cup. What do you want, three seconds? What so great about that other four seconds? Is it life or death? If it is, you probably shouldn't be kicking back with a cup of coffee at the moment anyway. Plus, this is no regular carafe! I park this thing right next to me at the computer and don't have to travel back and forth to the kitchen to get more coffee - that's well worth the four seconds I'd save in the kitchen with my old coffeemaker.

It grinds loud? Of course it grinds loud. It's grinding. Just the nature of the word "grind" leads one to attach a certain amount of noise to the action in my mind. The process is swifter than my previous grind n' brew and actually a bit quieter - not that I mind the grind sound. I've come to appreciate it in a way.

I'm not one to usually write a review, but it seemed that others picked at this product and I felt compelled to share my thoughts on what I consider to be a fantastic addition to the kitchen. By one if you're on the fence. I'll be enjoying my french roast while you think about it.
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234 of 264 people found the following review helpful
on December 11, 2002
Normally, Cuisinart is synonymous with quality. And I love my Cuisinart food processor. Love the small food processor, too. But their grind-and-brew coffee makers are poorly-made plastic junk. I had the original one...everything with two plastic connectors now has only one, and I was always careful with it...I now have to balance the lid on the carafe, have to hold the top lid closed with clamps I've attached or the thing won't brew...
So when I saw the new model, I thought, "Great! They must have fixed it!" Just got it yesterday, and I'm already disappointed. The first thing you'll notice is that the nice shiny metal is only real on the carafe. The rest is just a cheap faceplate over flimsy plastic on weak hinges and thin components. I can almost feel it wanting to break every time I fill it. The first model had to be completely dried out after every use because the steam backs up through the grinding components, leaving a trail of coffee-bean-coagulated-sweat all through the device. I'd hoped they'd have put some sort of steam backflow prevention mechanism in the new model...they did not. Still have to dry out the whole works after every use. Even the compartment where only dry beans were placed.
With the thermal carafe version, the resting plate at the bottom does not heat, it only holds the carafe. I assume the glass version does act as a heating plate...So this morning, when I came to get my coffee, I thought perhaps I'd set the timer wrong. I didn't see the little light glowing to tell me that the thermal plate was working. I had done it right, however; it just relies on the insulating properties of the thermal carafe to keep the coffee warm. Truth be told, I prefer that to burnt coffee...but that's the only good part of this device.
I think, for my next grind-and-brew, I'll shell out the extra bucks for the Capresso.
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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on February 1, 2003
We have had our new Cuisinart DGB-600BC Grind and Brew, Thermal coffee maker for a week now. We had ordered it online before we saw these reviews and based on the poor reviews of others almost cancelled our order, but decided to give it a try anyway. Well, so far we are not disapointed at all.
Ours was on backorder and perhaps some improvements have been made.
Using the gold filter basket along with a paper filter and a full grinder of normal bean coffee, it makes a very good and strong coffee.
As far as the complaints about cleaning...the only thing different than a normal coffee maker is that you must take out the grinding mechanism and rinse and towel dry after every use. It slips out easily and we just rinse under hot water for about 30 seconds and then dry with a paper towel (there are only two parts to the grinder). Does not take more than a minute or two and you can proceed to make another pot of cofee right away.
The coffee is very hot in the thermal carafe and seems to stay that way for hours. It is a little difficult to pour out the last few ounces of coffee as the pour spout is set in from the side of the carafe.
The stainless model is not really stainless, but is simulated (plastic) stainless. This was somewhat of a disappointment as I don't know how well the finish will hold up over time.
Another concern is that the opening and closing latches and hinges seem a little flimsy and poorly designed. Sometimes hard to open or close.
In closing, where performance counts - a great cup of coffee - this coffee maker produces the results we were looking for in a sharp looking package.
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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on August 20, 2003
I bought this Cuisinart instead of the DCC-1200 because I wanted a thermal pot, not a glass carafe. I wasn't too keen on the grind feature, but after using it for a week, I LOVE it.
Brewing from fresh-ground, high-quality beans is definitely the way to go. And it's so simple -- dump the beans in at night, wake up to a great cup. As for cleanup: big deal. When I have time, I wash out the grinder. If I'm in a rush (which is most mornings), I wipe it out with a paper towel. Small price to pay for really tasty coffee.
Cuisinart must've redesigned the carafe, because mine is absolutely drip-free. After reading the negative reviews below, I tried to get mine to drip/spill, and I couldn't.
The only reason I'm not giving this machine five stars is that the DCC-1200 looks so much cooler (though this model does look pretty good in my kitchen).
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2004
I've had this coffee maker for about a year now. Given the wide variety of opinions, I thought I'd contribute my .02.

Pros:

(*) It really makes good coffee.

I'm scratching my head at the reviews who say the coffee is weak.

The grinding chamber is admittedly a bit small for those who like a lot bolder cup than I do. I have no problem brewing my standard amount, 8 cups of coffee at 1 *heaping* tablespoon of beans per cup (for a total of 8 heaping tablespoons). This is very standard and to me produces a very flavorful coffee. The grinding chamber can probably handle about 12 heaping tablespoons but not much more than that. Some may find this ratio weak and if they brew 10 cups they may not be happy about the lack of grinding room.

I have never tried to make small pots of coffee, due to the thermal carafe keeping the coffee warm all day, and extraction efficiency usually being higher (from what I know) with larger batches. So maybe there are some issues in the 1-4 cup mode.

Note: I always grind my coffee (home roast these days), and I always use the included gold filter. I do not know the result of not using the grinder or using standard paper filters. I don't use the timer, either, so I can't comment on how that works.

(*) The thermal carafe really works well. Provided that you fill the thermal carafe with piping hot water from your faucet and use that to brew, it will keep coffee hot for several hours, without going into burnt territory. This is idea for me, it means I can brew a very large pot that will last the entire day if needed.

(*) Ground coffee is messy. But I've never seen a case where it isn't. I've wondered how many of the reviewers have dealt with grinding beans before. Ground beans = oily gummy particles. I've personally found this an easy machine to clean for a raw bean machine. Most of the parts are dishwashable, and the fact that they seperate out makes it easy to scrub the raw oils off if you want. About the only parts I don't dishwash are the carafe itself (which I've found a good oxygen-based cleaner does well on if needed) and the gold filter. The machine itself only needs mild cleaning every now and then.

Cons:

(*) The grinder is loud. Well, I haven't had a grinder that doesn't have high volume personally... but it's definitely something it would be nice to see more engineering on to quiet down.

(*) There are a lot of parts to deal with. The part list may seem daunting: a grinder basket, grinder lid, coffee basket, coffee filter, coffee filter lid, carafe, carafe lid. All are necessary. If you combined a regular drip coffee maker and a regular grinder, you'd get roughly the same thing. Still, one time, I brewed coffee while forgetting to put the gold basket in the machine. Result: coffee spewing out the basket and a wild mess. I do not mind the number of parts for the most part, because this allows for the dishwashable nature of the design; however it could be a problem for those who don't want to fiddle a lot to produce their cup.

(*) The water tank is a bit hard to read as far as the numbers go.

(*) Steam is allowed to come up and interact with the grinding chamber. This is more of a mess issue than anything else. The grinding chamber can become pretty sticky if you brew more than one batch without cleaning it up first. I don't do that, since (due to the thermal carafe) I can brew one large batch for the day and be done in most cases.

Conclusion: I tend to like this coffee maker on the grounds that it brews a very nice cup of coffee, nicer (in terms of clean-taste and allowing the subtleties of the lighter City+ style roasts coming through) than many of my older machines. And it is a lot less messy than my old system. I'm certain that there is a lot of room for improvement, as far as grind and brew designs go -- on this machine, the water tank and grinder location design could be improved. Plus, a bigger grinding chamber would satisfy the strong-coffee folks more.

This is definitely not a 1 star machine. It's very good for what it's claim to fame is. Maintenance wise, I've had no problems with this machine at all since I got it last year. It just takes a lot more to brew coffee than other machines. But to me, the coffee is much better than standard drip.

My only other thoughts are wondering how other grind and brews fare. The grind and brew from Capresso for instance seems to address a lot of the Cuisinart model's faults and although it costs more I would say it is definitely worth considering over the Cuisinart considering the reviews. The Melitta Mill and Brew might be an option, since it's a lot cheaper and supposedly easier to clean -- however the reviews seem to indicate much more mechanical issues, so it seems you get what you pay for in construction quality. I'm not aware of others. :)
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2002
I had a disappointing experience with the Melitta Mill & Brew, but hated to give up the convenience of the automatic grind feature. The original Cuisinart Grind & Brew is so big and bulky looking that I was reluctant (but resigned) to purchase it. Then I saw an ad for the new design and ran out and grabbed one up. I'm no engineer, but whoever designed this coffeemaker thought of everything. It looks like a robot (we call it our coffee-bot) and everything about it is easy to use and well thought-out. Although still quite tall, it is less bulky than the original and the styling on the stainless steel model is beautiful. The thermal pot keeps the coffee hot without continual heating, so you never get that nasty over-cooked taste. Dinner guests were very impressed with the taste of the coffee. Once people hear about this coffeemaker, they won't be able to keep it on the shelves!
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2003
This coffee maker is awesome! Got the thermal version for Christmas and couldn't be more pleased. Read other reviews about poor coffee and wonder if someone got a defective unit, because mine is very good. First pot was a little funny tasting, but I've learned to expect that on a brand new coffee maker. After about 5 pots brewed, the coffee tastes great. Also, making minor adjustments in amount of beans and switching to paper filters probably helped. I think the reusable metal filters allow the water to pass too quickly, and you get better results with paper. Anyway, it works great, it is a snap to clean. Parts are dishwasher safe. The thermal pot stays piping hot for hours with no burner beneath it. And an added bonus, you can take the pot around the house, set it anywhere as it is cool to the touch within minutes of brewing, while keeping the coffee hot. Can also use with pre-ground coffee. I have no negatives to report.
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