I chose this grind and brew after reading all of the reviews for this and similar machines. Frankly, I am surprised by the negative comments. This is an easy to use machine once it is set up properly (the bean hopper takes a little of effort to snap in). The coffee tastes great and the parts are very easy to clean quickly. While the instruction book is not clear, Cuisinart was very helpful on the phone. The machine does not know how much water you put in, so if you set it to grind coffee for 6 cups and you have 8 cups of water in it, it will process all 8 cups of water. Other than this small quirk, the machine is a small wonder and I do not feel compelled to go out for coffee in the morning. The thermos carafe will keep the coffee quite warm for a few hours, even when the carafe is not warmed up with hot water. Wondering why it took me so long to go ahead and buy this machine. This is the best model; my neighbor has the first generation/second generation machine which is hard to clean and has a large footprint. Save your money and buy this model!
Now that I have had the machine for a month and a half: It requires some cleaning to get the fine grounds that compress and stop the grinder and ground coffee to get into the filter for brewing. I use a bamboo chopstick and a skewer to break up the compressed fine grounds that impede the machine from working properly. (Unplug the machine and put it over the sink area). I also use compressed air to blow out the fine ground particles. Still, this is a small maintenance to allow for great coffee in the AM.
on January 26, 2008
I bought this coffeemaker after returning my Krups KM7000. Overall, I have been pleased with this model, save for a few quirks. The bottom line is that it makes OUTSTANDING, HOT coffee with great convenience in a design that appears very durable. I have NOT had any problems with getting the pieces together and I do not find it complicated on a day-to-day basis whatsoever.
-Coffee is full-bodied and flavorful. I use the 4-cup setting with about 3 cups of water and the strength set to strong. This uses the aroma feature, and the coffee is perfect.
-Temperature is perfect, the hottest I've tasted from a model like this. The base WARMS THE THERMAL CARAFE when the machine goes on, then goes off when the brew is complete. This may theoretically be eliminating the effect of the cooling of hot coffee by a stone-cold carafe. On the other hand, the carafe is highly insulated and it may be doing nothing. The bottom line is that the temperature is perfect, the coffee is still hot even after adding cold milk. The coffee remains hot for quite a while in the thermal carafe.
-Design is quite nice- it is self contained as opposed to other mill & brew models that have parts that swing around. The design feels very robust, there are no wimpy plastic bits. There is a piece that fits over the grind basket that has a gear which appears to rotate, likely to keep steam out of the grinder.
-It could not be easier to use on a daily basis - all I do is put in THE RIGHT amount of water, put the cover on top of the brew basket, and press program (I have it programmed for the same time every day). After it brews and I pour the coffee, I swing out the basket, pour out the grinds & rinse the basket, rinse the carafe, and I'm ready to go.
-cleaning is simple; I notice others complain but I haven't had any problems. See above for my daily routine; I've been using the brush weekly on the grind spout, it takes two minutes and is not messy.
-The brushed chrome looks great on the counter.
-3 year warranty is reassuring
-The grind appears to be too coarse. Other models have a grind control to change the coarseness of the coffee, this one does not. This has improved a little after a few weeks of use, but not completely. Also, I've noticed that (through laws of physics) the coarsest part of the grind stays on top, then the finer grounds work their way to the bottom. This is probably wasting a bit of coffee, but once I worked out how much water to use it doesn't affect the strength. Overall I have not noticed that I am going through coffee faster than before, so I think some of the "coffee wasting" reviews may be somewhat overstated. On first glance it does appear to use a lot of coffee when you are pouring out the grounds, but looking at how many bags I'm going through it doesn't appear much different.
-The mechanism to pour coffee from the carafe is not perfect; it works ok when pouring out from a mostly full carafe, but to get the last cup or two from the bottom I have to take the top off. If I don't it drips all over the counter. Taking the top off I can pour it without any mess.
-The water indicator level is on the right side near the back. If you are putting it against a wall on the left it will be fine, but on my counter it needs to be against a wall on the right, so if I need to look at the water level I need to pull the coffeemaker away from the wall. To get around this I have figured exactly how much water to put in from a measuring cup.
THE BOTTOM LINE (again):
The coffee is excellent, and HOT. The design is marvelous. On a day-to-day basis it is extremely easy to use and convenient. The grind is a bit too coarse, but I don't seem to be going through coffee much faster than before, so this may be a little bit of an illusion. YOU WILL BE ABLE TO ADJUST THE STRENGTH OF YOUR COFFEE USING THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF WATER. I can strongly recommend this coffeemaker if you want hot, convenient, fresh-ground coffee every day. Enjoy!
on December 28, 2007
This is a GREAT coffee maker. The primary objections in other reviews I saw were 1) Weak coffee - I do not understand this as you can adjust both the strength of the brew as well as the quantity of beans ground (e.g. grind enough beans for 10 cups but only put in 8 cups of water). We have actually had to reduce the strength settings as the strong setting was too rich for my wife ; 2) hard to pour - this is somewhat true as the opening on the carafe is very small (to preserve heat), but twisting the top open just slightly solves that problem; 3) coffee not hot enough - it is not as hot as what you would get at a specialty coffee shop - but it is still hot enough to make very good coffee. We always rinse the carafe and our cups with hot water before we start and that seems to help a lot; We do find that we need to microwave the coffee in the cup if it has been in the carafe for about an hour or more 4) difficult to program or set up - it does require being put together properly and it is somewhat more complex than the traditional drip coffee maker, but the setup requires about 20 seconds to master. We leave the settings alone and just pour in water and add beans daily - so once it is set up, it is a "no brainer". We have never had problems with grinds being spilled and I suspect that whoever did either had a defective unit, or did not put the basket into the unit properly. My wife forgot to put the filter basket into the unit one time -- and it would not grind the beans until she did -- great feature.
The combination of a burr grinder, 12-cup capacity, insulated pot (no hot plate to burn the coffee), adjustable coffee strength, and large bean reservoir with ability to specify the number of cups being brewed (no need to measure beans every time you brew) make this a really great coffeemaker.
If your expectations are for a super-hot cup of coffee then you will be disappointed. If you just want an easy-to-use coffee maker that allows you to adjust the coffee strength to your preference (including very strong), then this is a great unit.
on January 1, 2008
This unit wastes beans.
According to the user manual, if you fill the coffee bean hopper with 1/2 lb of coffee, you can expect "at least" two - 12 cup brews. I thought this was a bit conservative but it was confirmed when I made the first pot of coffee. I set the machine for 12 cups and watched as almost half of the beans disappeared on the first pot.
I figure it uses almost 1/4 lb of beans to brew a full pot (12 cups of 5 oz coffee). This is about double what would be used if you followed the directions when using a manual grinder (one scoop of beans per cup using the scoop that comes with this coffee maker).
I think Cusinart kept the grind at very coarse level to ensure proper grind flow in the machine. To compensate, they increased the amount of coffee ground. Thus it uses about 4 oz of beans versus 2.5 oz of beans per 10-12 cup pot. It doesn't sound like much but works out to 60% extra per pot.
I've owned the Cuisinart DGB-600BC Grind and Brew Coffeemaker and Melitta Mill & Brew Coffee Maker so this is my third unit brew and grind unit. The two previous units has manual bean fill and comparatively good control on the grind. This unit always grinds very very coarse.
Pro: Large Bean Hopper
Easy to clean
Fill level on side (DGB-600BC did not)
Gold filter basket included
3 Year Warranty
Simple operation (for a grind & brew machine)
Seems well constructed
Cons: Grind is always very course
Uses twice as much beans
Carafe pours slow and tends to drip
The coffee tastes OK - its not as good as what you can get with a manual grind/brew but consistent with the other Mill & Brew machines I've had. It is well built and I think the 3 year warranty is key because our other Cuisinart grinder motor lasted about 18 months, but its going back because I make about 2 pots/day and this translates into a couple hundred dollars year. Going to try the Capresso 455 or 454.
I've got the Capresso 454 and love it. It can grind from super fine up to coarse and makes a great cup of coffee.
on December 1, 2010
I previously had a Cuisinart grind and brew which I was happy with and just decided to try this one because of some of the advanced features. It is a great concept but did not work well for me at all as it was too tedious and labor intensive to clean the area called the "chute."
On the program manual itself was a large label that said the chute would need to be cleaned after 7 to 10 uses. Failure to do this cleaning could result in no coffee being brewed at all or very weak coffee.
In our case, failure to not clean this chute after 1 or 2 uses resulted in very weak coffee. The chute would get totally clogged with clumps of the ground beans. Given this was different from what the label said, I called Cuisinart.
I was immediately asked what kinds of beans I used. When I said Starbucks, I was told that the oily beans of Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts tend to create the situation we were experiencing.
I was told that there is no fix for this situation at present and that I would either have to live with the inconcenience or try to return it to whomever I bought it from. I asked what Cuisinart would do if I was outise the store's return period and was pretty much told it would be my tough luck, a totally different attitude than I had experienced with Cuisinart in the past when I would call Customer Service about something.
Anyhow, I just wanted to alert those who use Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts beans that Cuisinart already has knowledge of problems with the chute getting clogged quickly and has no fix. So, I would recommend not buying this product if you use those beans.
on October 24, 2007
We are very happy with this coffee maker. The things that are not good are that the thermal carafe pours out a very weird thin stream of coffee which takes to long to fill a cup and it is awkward to comepletly emtpy it. It does leave some grindings on the lid but that is not a total problem. The coffee is not as hot because it goes into the cool carafe and that cools it down.
So the point of a thermal carafe is now a drawback. I like my coffee hot so its a draw back for me. Other than that it all works well, stays clean, you do not have to clean the grinder compartment eveyr time you use it. The compartment does not get any steam it in it like the previous one did. We bought ours from Williams Sononma and are trying it out. I think we will keep it but we are still not 100% sure. It makes a good cup of coffee and the grinder works great and the extra beans it holds is a big plus.
on May 3, 2008
2015 Update: I just replaced the original machine with a new one. Like many others who kept their machines for a while, after almost 7 years of service it was leaking badly. The reason I decided to stay with the Cuisinart Grind and Brew? Primarily, the 3 year warranty and the number of years I got from the first machine. I was considering the Breville BDC600XL YouBrew Drip Coffee Maker, but was put off by the higher price tag coupled with many reviews saying the machine died within a year and the 1 year warranty. Perhaps there are people who can afford to keep replacing a $200+ kitchen appliance 1-2 times a year, but I'm not one of them.
A few improvements that Cuisinart has made to this machine:
- The grinder is quieter. It's still a grinder and makes a loud(ish) noise), but definitely not the racket the old one was making.
- Hallelujah, hotter coffee!
- Carafe does a better job of keeping coffee hot
- Overall parts seems to fit together better
Note: I discovered with the old grinder that the type of beans used does make a difference; the grinder does seem to have more issues with more "oily" beans. Something to keep in mind if the grinder on your machine grinders to a halt.
2008 Original review: This is the third grind-and-brew machine that I've owned (Melitta Mill & Brew, Capresso 455) and I also tried an earlier Cuisinart Grind and Brew 5 years ago that horrified me with it's bad coffee. While this machine isn't perfect, the quirks are minor and easy to work around. The footprint is relatively small on the counter, although you should measure the distance between your counter top and any overhead wall cabinets to make sure it will fit as (like all the grind and brews) it's rather tall. The carafe is an amazing 12 cup capacity and the construction of the body appears to be real stainless. It does a decent job keeping the coffee hot although after an hour it will start to cool; a small thing compared to over-cooking the coffee on a warming plate for an hour. It is difficult to pour, although I've learned to aim for the side of the cup rather than the middle. Another trade off for being able to keep the lid in one position for both brewing and pouring; another workaround is to remove the lid for pouring. As other reviewers have stated, it took some trying to get the bean hopper to lock into place. Hopefully over time I'll figure out the trick to it. Since there are a number of plastic parts that need to fit just right in order for the machine to function properly, I've decided not to put any of them in the dishwasher and risk having them warp. I haven't had any issues with the amount of beans to use, but that's probably because I was already using a lot to make my coffee very strong. All the controls are right on the front of the machine so it's easy to make per-pot changes. Now that I've got it figured out I simply put in the beans and water and press on. I'm a tough customer when it comes to coffeemakers and I'm very happy.
on October 29, 2009
I vacillated so long before buying this coffee maker, torn by the huge polarity of reviews. I even spent several months with my last grind & brew machine requiring a fresh application of scotch tape to hold it together every time I used it. Eventually I decided to bite the bullet and go for this machine and wow am I glad I did. It looks great, feels like a real piece of engineering (OK, I'm a guy, I like to be impressed by engineering), works perfectly, makes great coffee that it keeps hot for a good amount of time, is simple to clean and operate, and far less messy than my previous grind & brew machine.
There is a lot of discussion by reviewers about the cleaning process required to stop this machine from clogging and preventing the fresh coffee getting from the grinder to the basket and thus producing weak coffee. This was one of the things that initially made me so reluctant to buy this machine, but I have had no problem with that at all. So, every time I use the machine I press the button on the side and the filter basket assembly opens, I take the whole thing to the sink and have everything emptied and rinsed in less than a minute, (I always dry the filter cover/lid with a kitchen towel before replacing the whole assembly, just because it feels like the right thing to do), I unlock the coffee bean hopper take it off and using the supplied brush just give it a quick jiggle in the chute where the ground coffee is fed to the filter basket and replace the hopper. Then just rinse out the carafe and use it to refill the reservoir. Believe me, it has taken me longer to write that than it does to actually do it, it really is a fast, clean, and simple job to clean and refill this machine.
It has an insulated carafe to keep the coffee hot rather than the conventional hot plate to keep the coffee stewing. Some have complained that it doesn't keep it hot enough and there was an extra note from the manufacturer in with the instructions, suggesting that the carafe should be warmed with hot water before use. I have never warmed the carafe and the coffee is always hot enough, in fact I recently made coffee at 6am and had the last cup at midday and it was still hot enough to drink (but I do drink it black so adding milk or cream would cool it down). I personally like the idea of NOT having a hot plate that keeps stewing the coffee.
The carafe does need to be tipped up at a very steep angle to pour the coffee, due to the lid mechanism that is designed to prevent heat loss. Even when tipped right up the coffee still comes out fairly slowly. Being 6'2" I find the tipping angle required for the carafe quite natural, though my wife at 5'4" does find it a little awkward. If I'm in a hurry to get at the coffee the 1/4 turn required to remove the carafe lid and pour it faster really isn't a problem.
I do like my coffee brewed quite strong and this probably the only area that makes me less then delighted with this machine. You set it to the number of cups that you wish to brew and it grinds the amount of coffee that cuisinart think you need for that number of cups ... and it's not really strong enough for my taste. However, because this is a 12 cup machine (larger than most) and I rarely need to brew that much, I simply fill the water level to 10 cups but leave the setting on 12 cups. That works a treat and makes coffee at a good strength for me. If I need to make more than 10 cups I simply add some pre-ground coffee to the filter basket before turning the machine on.
I think this is a great machine, certainly the best coffee machine that I've owned and I really wish that I'd bought it long before i did.
on May 10, 2008
I read reviews on many different websites, and compared several different models before buying. The main issues with this model that are hit so negatively on some reviews, also seem to be the same issues hit on positively in others -- in other words, there seems to be an even 50-50 split on the same issues, not much middle ground. So, I took a gamble, bought it, took many, many "tests" using it, and finally have decided I am satisfied with my purchase (it's been a few months already).
There is a noticeable difference between the mild, medium, and strong.
Brew temperature for smaller amounts (4-6 cups) comes to only about 187-190 degrees (recommended is around 200+). For a full pot, it finishes the brew cycle at about 196-197 degrees. The more water you brew, the hotter it gets (it seems to get hotter the longer it brews). I rarely preheat the carafe, and typically always brew 6 cups at a time. Time after time, the initial coffee temperature inside the carafe immediately after brewing, is around 168 degrees -- cooler than recommended, but still a little too hot to drink. (If you brew more, it gets hotter, if you brew less, it doesn't heat up as much). It does maintain a hot temperature for a longer time even if I don't preheat it. If you preheat the carafe, it does keep it even hotter.
Another main point is the grind size. It is a little coarser than what I am used to. HOWEVER, this type of grinder doesn't continually grind the same bean over and over and over. Coffee beans are fed into a funnel-design, through the burr grinder, and into the basket. It grinds optimally for this machine. If it ground any finer, it would clog the chute and gum up the grinder. It is fine enough, though, that it gives full flavor. It does seem to use more beans than I'm used to -- but not so much that it bothers me or seems too expensive.
An odd concern I had was that a metal carafe would give a metallic taste to the coffee -- which is actually a common problem with insulated mugs and thermoses, in my experience. This carafe did seem to taint the coffee taste initially, but the more I've used it, the less noticeable it's become. It kinda wore off I guess, with use. Anyway, it does not seem to be metallic-tasting at all now. I think it's like new plastic devices -- they always smell strong when you open the box, but after you wash and use them, they don't smell anymore.
It is a little awkward to pour -- solve the problem by grabbing the carafe handle at it's base.
Cleaning -- VERY easy. Has not spilled over, moisture does NOT get into the upper areas such as grinder and hopper (the older model 600BC had a HUGE problem with that). Very easy, quick, and efficient.
All in all, every concern I had was answered very positively. No complaints at all. Hopefully it will last for a long time. But, with a 3 year factory warranty, it should be just fine. :)
on May 2, 2011
I hate to say bad things about a mostly good product, but here goes: We purchased this machine just yesterday and brewed our first pot of coffee today. Everything about this product says "quality": the build, how the parts fit together, the operation of the buttons and switches, etc. This was intended to be an upgrade from our previous grind and brew Cuisinart and it certainly seemed to be. It has a larger bean hopper and a burr grinder instead of a blade one on our old machine. Even the water level indicator was easier to read. Things were looking up. Then we brewed a pot of coffee and reality sunk in.
Our old machine with its glass decanter was continuously heated by the heating element for up to 2 hours after brewing. The coffee would rise to its maximum temperature and stay there for the whole period. The DGB-900 model depends on its thermal decanter to keep the coffee warm. The heating element works only until the brewing process is finished then shuts down. In other words, the coffee is as warm as it is ever going to be at the exact moment the brewing process is complete. It's all downhill temperature-wise from there.
With the old model, I would set the program to start 30-45 minutes before I planned to start drinking. The coffee would be hot and fresh. With this model, at the 30 minute mark, the coffee is already lukewarm. After adding creamer, it was absolutely tepid. This is unacceptable. While the manual and the service rep suggested pre-warming the decanter with hot water, this totally defeats the purpose of having a timer. As a commuter, I want my coffee hot when I leave the house. This machine will not do that for me or you if you like you coffee hot, too.
I think this "heat only until the brewing is finished" function was a very bad design decision on Cuisinart's part and makes this machine unacceptable to commuters and anyone else who likes their coffee hotter than baby bath water.