Most helpful positive review
710 of 724 people found the following review helpful
If you want a coffeemaker, look no further
on May 11, 2008
I have this one in black, and have been making coffee at least once a day for the past three weeks. I was debating between this 10-cup thermal ($80), the 12-cup thermal ($130), and the 12-cup glass carafe with warming plate ($80), all by Cuisinart. In the end, I wanted something that used less electricity, so I went with the thermal. The added bonus with a thermal is that the coffee taste doesn't change from your first cup to your second cup a few hours later. I finally decided to save $50 and buy the 10-cup thermal because everything else was the same except for the 10 ounce difference (both coffeemakers brew 5 oz cups). I purchased mine from a different store, and I found out that there was no gold cone filter. I called up Cuisinart and they said depending on where you purchased the coffeemaker, it may use paper cones, or it may come with the gold cone filter. They graciously sent me a gold cone for free. So after 3 weeks:
-easy to set up, easy to use
-charcoal water filter (I use tap water, so I like the fact that the machine filters it before going into my coffee)
-auto brew timer (the smell of coffee helps me wake up in the morning and I am fully brain dead when I first wake up. I can barely get dressed, much less make coffee. So I set it up the night before and I have amazing, fresh coffee ready for me in the AM).
-beeps to signal that coffee is ready
-coffee stays fresh for at least 4 hours. On weekends, I set my coffee to brew as normal at 7AM, but sometimes I sleep late until 11AM or later. I go to pour my coffee and it's still steaming! (and not burnt from the warming plate)
-thermal carafe saves electricity because there is no need for a warming plate
-I can use both paper cone filters or the gold cone filter. The gold cone is just as easy to clean as the disposable paper cones. I just shake out the grinds into the trash, and rinse with water. SO easy. And I save money because I don't have to buy filters!
-I drink my coffee black, so I can tell good coffee from bad coffee. I also like my coffee strong and bold. When I'm lazy, I use Illy medium grind, medium roast pre-ground. One mountainous scoop (comes with the coffeemaker) per 10 oz. of coffee. My one mug of coffee is equal to the coffeemaker's two cups, so yes, the machine makes 5 mugs total. When I make coffee for just myself, I fill the reservoir to 2 cups, add one giant scoop of coffee to the filter, press the 1-4 cups button, turn the dial to brew, and press "on." I love it.
-I have no problem with the size of the machine (I thought it was small). It is sitting on a side table in my tiny kitchen, not on the countertop or underneath cabinets. So I can easily flip up the top and have easy access to the water reservoir. It is also on the right side of the table, so I just use a cup and pour water into the reservoir. I don't think it's hard at all to pour water in. The triangular opening is on the right, back corner of the machine and is about 3" x 3" x 4".
-The water level is very clearly marked and easy to see on the right side of the machine.
-The beep is not just one cute beep. It is 4 or 5 beeps in a row. This could be annoying to some people.
-Not really a con for me, but other people have commented on the pouring as "difficult." I think it is the nature of a thermal carafe to require some patience when pouring into a cup. It is well sealed to keep the coffee hot, so when you pour, the liquid has to go through a maze to get out. On my last cup, I just take the top off and pour. Definitely worth the "effort." It's really not hard, I promise. :)
-I read reviews of how people wake up with coffee all over the counter because the carafe was clogged at the top. So whenever I set up the machine to brew, I make sure to rinse the top with hot water and shake it around a bit to make sure the little ball isn't stuck. Also, not difficult to do.
-I guess if you don't have easy access to the right side of this machine, it could be difficult to pour water in and see the water level. If it's in the middle of your countertop, you may have to turn it to the side in order to pour the water in. For me, it's easy because my coffeemaker sits on the right side of a table in my kitchen.
I am so glad I went with this machine. I hope it lasts for a long time.
4+ YEAR UPDATE: I've had it replaced, but I still love the machine! After 2.5 years, the machine stopped brewing. I can't remember the problem exactly, but I would press brew, and the green light would go on, then off after a minute without brewing. I called customer service, and they said to unplug it for a few hours and try again. This worked! The machine was back in action for another 6 months or so. Then it really stopped working. Apparently, you're supposed to pour diluted vinegar into the reservoir and brew that once in a while to clean out the machine. I never replaced the filter because the "clean" light never went on in the 3 years that I owned it. Regardless, I called Customer Service and they sent me a new machine within a few days (for a delivery charge of $10 or $15). I also had to send the old machine back to them (I can't remember if shipping was prepaid by Cuisinart).
Now I use filtered water only, hoping to prolong the life of the filter and machine. Still makes great coffee, and I love that it keeps the coffee hot for so many hours without changing the taste!!
CORRECTION: I used to think there was a ball in the lid of the carafe, which the liquid flows through and into the thermal carafe. It's actually a little flap. If you shake the lid, you'll hear it. My recommendation for avoiding clog disasters is the same - rinse the lid under hot water and shake to make sure the flap mechanism is not stuck, and you're good to go!