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on September 11, 2010
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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VINE VOICEon July 2, 2011
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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on May 21, 2011
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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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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on December 30, 2010
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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on August 6, 2012
For the past couple of decades I've been buying the old Mr. Coffee drip coffeemakers, or in this last case a B&D automatic with programmable and auto shut-off features, every few years. One morning, a few weeks ago, I went to turn the old B&D on and nothing happened. Let's see, I paid about 20 bucks for it at the Wally World in Miramar, FL in Spring 2008. It's Summer 2012, so that comes out to 5 bucks of use per year. Do I replace it with another 20 dollar coffeemaker or get something that should last a bit longer?

Well, this product got a lot of good reviews and a lot of reviews period. My sister has an older model Cusinart coffee maker that is about 5 years old now, but it doesn't have the hot water feature. The hot water feature is perfect for my morning oatmeal, which I have for first breakfast. My wife likes the hot water feature for her occasional hot tea. She doesn't use it for her oatmeal, because it won't get her oatmeal "mushy" enough. What about the coffee maker? No complaints whatsoever. Easy to program once you've owned another programmable coffeemaker. Also, I love the reusable coffee filter, although it's a bit messier than a disposable.

If I have one complaint, and I didn't ding this any stars for it, it's the small opening(s) for filling the coffee water reservoir. It's a tight, small area and you better have good aim. Unlike the hot water reservoir opening, which has a large area for refilling the water. I've been using a beer pitcher to fill the coffee water reservoir, since the beer pitcher has a nice, pouring spout. I like the visible water measure on the side, which let's you know you've got enough water in the reservoir.

This past Sunday, I was caught off guard by the beeping sound as the coffee maker turned itself off after 2 hours. I had set it for 2 hours, but during the week I am long gone before it shuts itself off. I also like the beeping feature when it let's you know that the coffee is ready. It'll also let you know when it needs to be cleaned. We found that out when I forgot to put the lid on the carafe and the grinds backflowed everywhere.

All in all, I feel like I've made a worthwhile investment even if this Cuisinart costs as much as 5, semi-basic Mr. Coffee coffeemakers. It's got the classy metal look to it and seems much more durable and better made than the Mr. Coffee coffee makers. If it lasts a decade, I think it'll have paid for itself:)
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on January 17, 2012
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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on December 1, 2010
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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on February 12, 2011
We've had this coffee maker for 2 days. I made one pot of coffee so far using the included permanent filter and it was very good. I'll leave the coffee evaluation to others who care about coffee more than I do.

I set the "Auto Off" time to 4 hours and brewed the coffee manually (no auto start). After I finished the coffee I put water in the carafe and set it back on the warmer to check the auto-off feature. Sure enough, after 4 hours the unit beeped twice and turned off. (This defaults to 2 hours from the factory.)

The hot water dispenser is what I want to talk about. I filled it with water and turned it on. It heated the water quickly and got it to 185-190 degrees. As it sat there it would cycle the heat on every couple of minutes, and at the end of each heat cycle (around 5-7 seconds) I could hear the water boiling. This was noisy enough that I could hear it in the next room. Every two minutes - gurgle, gurgle, gurgle. None of the other reviews that I read had mentioned this noise as an issue so it made me start wondering if our altitude might be an issue. We live near Denver at 5780 feet and water boils here at 201.5 degrees. If we lived at sea level maybe the heat cycle wouldn't quite reach the boiling point and there wouldn't be any noise - others will have to comment on that. I started wondering about safety - what would happen if all the water boiled away? I did a quick test and emptied the water from the dispenser after it was at full temperature and then waited. The "Add Water" blinking light came on as soon as the water level was too low, and the On/Off light was still on. I waited to see if anything started getting too hot, but it didn't. After a while (15-30 minutes?) the hot water dispenser turned itself off.

I still wonder what would happen up at the ski resorts (9500 feet) where water boils at 195 degrees. Would the unit keep trying in vain to get water hotter than that until it was all boiled away? I did see one review that described something like that but don't know if it was related to altitude or a defect with that particular unit. After about 30 minutes with the hot water dispenser on, the upper right side of the unit (where the hot water sits) did get pretty hot. I could press my palm against the plastic housing but could only keep it there for a couple of seconds.

So - I plan to keep this coffee maker and plan to use the hot water dispenser since it's quicker than our tea kettle on the stove when we want tea, oatmeal or hot chocolate. I won't leave it on all the time, mainly because of the noisy gurgling every two minutes. I'll use it in the mornings and then manually turn if off when we no longer need hot water.

July update...

We've stopped using the hot water dispenser, partly because of the noise and constant activity (energy waster), partly because it's summer and we don't need hot water very often, and partly because the tea kettle on the stove is almost as fast anyway. It seems like a good idea but it just doesn't work for us.
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on September 25, 2010
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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