Most helpful customer reviews
367 of 370 people found the following review helpful.
Good flavor, strength, and temp.; can get HOT
By Mr. Walker
I hemmed and hawed about a small coffee maker and ended up buying this at a B, B, & B store locally. I have used a Cuisinart DCC-1100 12-cup maker for a couple years and so can compare the 2 machines well. I took a few pics of it as well.
First: this is a compact machine. It says 4 'cups' - and means 5 oz. cups. Many/most coffeemakers are set up that way. The water measure is very accurate (as with the DCC-1100). I don't use the pot to fill the tank - I just use a spare water or pop bottle that is 20 oz. (5 oz. x 4 'cups' = 20 oz.). It is MUCH easier to fill the tank with a bottle. Besides, if you just look in the tank, there are "steps" for 2c, 3c, 4c. in it (see the pic). When the water is level with or just over the step, there you go. Easy.
Second: the extraction and brew is excellent. I opened the lid to check a few times, the grounds are underwater. I am using 1 TBSP coffee (Gevalia or Peet's, a finer grind) per "cup" and have great taste. I bought the gold GTF filter and I think the taste is a little better than using Melitta #2 filters (but the paper filters have faster cleanup).
Third: along with great taste/strength, the temp is HOT. The pot is metal, but not insulated, so do not touch it or you may get burned. When you push in the switch to turn it on, it will only be on for 30 minutes, which is not very long. You can always pour any leftover coffee into a thermal mug if it shuts off.
Fourth: brew times. I used a stopwatch to test them:
For 2 cups: 4:25
For 3 cups: 5:30
For 4 cups: 7:30
(these are when it is all done sputtering and spitting) It is not the fastest, but the taste is GREAT, so it's worth it.
Fifth: regarding the carafe and spout. I think it has been redesigned since 2009 or so. I'll post a pic. The spout is set down and curved, and the pot lid has a bunch of small holes by the spout so it won't all dump out. I have had no troubles with any drips or leaks. None. To get the lid off, pivot the HANDLE side up FIRST (the spout end is resting under a small plastic projection). That way it is easy to get the lid off.
Overall, the coffee taste, strength, and temperature is very similar to the full-size DCC-1100 maker. I wanted to try the small one for easier cleanup and a smaller footprint on the counter. This 4-cup maker is making good tasting, HOT coffee. Be sure to use good-tasting water, and fresher coffee, and you'll be all set.
Cons: I suppose the lack of a timer; also, the maker shuts off in only 30 minutes from when you turn it ON (not 30 minutes after the brew is done). Thus, the plate heats only for 22 to 24 minutes.
I can't vouch for the long-term reliability - I've only used it about a week. But once you taste how it brews, you'll like it. I am impressed thus far. From experience I can say that keeping the metal pot clean is VERY important as it won't stay as smooth as glass does, and it can harbor old taste and smells. Besides washing after each use, you can periodically use Citric acid or vinegar solution, or even baking soda + dish soap to remove any stains or smells.
UPDATE: August 2014
Still using this little pot, and it works great. No leaks or problems. Still great taste, and hot temperature. Be sure to properly insert the lid (spout end first, then pivot down to handle) and also be sure the basket is fully seated, and no leaks. If it had a timer I would give it 5 stars.
I did some temperature testing; after brewing a pot, I put a thermometer in it and it was 180 *F. Very hot. Overall, it is very compact and convenient vs. a big maker, since I'm the main coffee drinker. I've been using "Brew Rite" cleaner and that works better than vinegar, it cleans fully with NO smell or aftertaste.
Update: Dec. 2015
Still using this pot, it seems to work well, and it still makes hot coffee. The warming plate has a couple scratches and is showing some wear, but I still wipe it gently with a clean wet washcloth each day. One thing I've noticed over time is that the coffee can get really *HOT* if you leave it on the burner, especially if only a little is in the pot. *At times it can make it taste burnt/scalded.* I usually like to add liquid creamer, and I pour it only a minute or so after it's done brewing, so it's not all the time I notice that. I usually set it up the night before work, plug it in, so when I saunter into the kitchen I can just push the button to start it.
Update: Jan. 2016:
I am noticing that the taste seems off lately - I think the metal pot is making the coffee burnt / scalded / too hot? I compared it to the DCC-1100 maker, and the coffee tastes a bit better in the glass pot. Perhaps after a year or so it starts running too hot? The flavor is better if I use a Melitta filter (it has pores) or the gold tone filter, versus a normal white filter (the first 2 allow the water to drain through the filter faster). I brewed around 4 cups on the DCC-1100 maker, on the "1-4" setting, and compared it. The larger maker made a bit better tasting coffee. I think if the 4-cup maker had a glass pot, it would taste better (but then easier to break...)
UPDATE again - May 2016:
Okay, sorry for the long review, sometimes I can be wordy... I decided to test this out some more recently. On vacation I retested some Gevalia House Blend, and it was good tasting coffee, rich and smooth but not burnt. So, at home, I used some Gevalia Guatemala coffee, and it came out quite good, hot, flavorful. ** I seemed to have worse flavor when using darker, more roasted (burnt?) coffees like Starbucks and Caribou. They were tasting bad, maybe it was overextracting them?
So I'll say that a Medium or Light roast coffee can taste pretty good, and hot in this maker; the flavor with Melitta #2 filters (have pores) or the Cuisinart GTF-4 gold filter is better than plain white filters. I still wipe up any spills from the hot plate, and run a 1/3 vinegar brew every 4-5 weeks, and it is pretty clean. If the filter basket weren't as finicky to double check for being fully seated, it would be better. If the coffee comes out a little too strong with fine grinds (Peet's, Gevalia, etc.) at 1 TBSP per "cup", then I just use 1/2 TBSP less in total.
I will say that coffee tastes better if you don't leave it on the hot plate a long time; I think it heats it too hot when I do. So I just brew what I want, wait a minute after the sputtering is done, and pour it into a travel mug so it doesn't 'cook' on the burner. Wow, have had this over 2 years now, and it is still working perfectly. Hey, maybe Cuisinart could send me some dinero/tips/remuneration for the thorough review? jk
0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
Nice little machine
By D. E.
This little coffee maker turned out to be a good purchase. I wanted something for when I was in a rush and didn't have time to use my stove top percolator. It takes up very little counter space.
The stainless steel carafe is fantastic for me in the mornings when I'm barely awake and bumping into things or dropping things. I don't have to worry about it breaking as easily as a glass carafe.
The coffee tastes good & the machine is easy to clean. I also bought the permanent filter. It's one less thing to have to remember.
FYI: To remove the carafe lid lift the narrow section that's just above the handle. It pops right off. Any other attempts may leave you very frustrated.
I'd buy this again.
0 of 0 people found the following review helpful. See all 1789 customer reviews...
Buy this if you want a quality small Coffee Maker
Quality Product. This is a very good Coffee Maker. It took some time to figure out how to open the lid and such. But, once I got the hang of it, it works really good. Solid construction. And most of all...makes great tasting Coffee. Highly recommend.