So there I was...a pound of freshly roasted (and 2 day rested!) Ethiopian Yrg waiting for my Solis Maestro Grinder, to be followed by a trip to the Capresso 12 cupper (my wife gets the drips.. ME and the Capresso..I use a press pot)...when surprise...the Capresso gives up the ghost...so...a little cyber-trip or three to our beloved coffeegeek, more than a few reviews read; I decide it's the Cuisinart Brew Central for us.
I notice a $25 off coupon for Bed Bath and Beyond, and $75 later, home she goes.
Setting her up was a breeze. The manual clearly explains usage and installation of the included water filter, setting the clock, brew timer options, warming plate options (there are 3 temperature choices, low, medium and high... though I thermos mine after brewing)
Ah, here's where we separate the good, bad and the ...well you get the point.
First, I filled the carafe to the 11 cup line (a cup measuring around 5oz according to Cuisinart, 12 cups capacity...note...what's nice is that the carafe markings correspond EXACTLY in volume to those on the inside of the water reservoir...which isn't always the case with drip brewers.)
The manual (yes, I RTFM) states that a MAXIMUM of 15 scoops of ground coffee per brew cycle can be used). I then carefully measured out 12 scoops (using Cuisinarts provided scoop, I guess around 6 grams per scoop) of the freshly ground, 2 day rested Yrg, and dumped this into the supplied permanent gold filter (You may also use a #4 paper filter). I figured with the slightly smaller scoop then my 7.25 gram scoop, I'd cut back the water amount a cup, thus 11 cups of water rather than 12. Cuisinart actually recommends 12 scoops/12 cups, but we like our brew a bit stronger.
Next,I flipped the little toggle on/off brew switch (I like it a lot) to ON, and within about 30 secs, brewing commenced.
Around 7-8 minutes later I heard the pleasant "beep..beep..beep", signaling completion of the Cuisinart's brew cycle. I can't understand the few negatives I've read concerning this feature...but I digress...
Finally, I removed the carafe from underneath the filter assembly (no drips), removed the hingeless lid, gave the brew a quick stir, something I recommend with any drip coffee maker, replaced the carafe's lid (once in a while, a wee bit tricky to snap back on), and poured the wife and me a mug each.
Sipped black, the coffee was full bodied, flavourful, yet still with lots of highs (Poppery induced, to be sure), and the brew was a bit hotter than my older Capresso. As Mark Prince would say, VERY PROMISING!!
As always, I quickly grabbed my trusty pre-warmed thermos, and poured the remaining brew into it.
Now HERE's where the story turns....
Upon lifting the hinged lid that covers the filter assembly, I couldn't help but notice a fair amount of spent grounds nestled against the brew "spout" and underside of the lid....hmm...obviously, the expansion of the fresh roasted grind (at a mark, 1 notch to the left of the drip icon on my Maestro) was perhaps something Cuisinart had not figured into the equation...I can only imagine what would have happened had I gone to 15 scoops!!...
I ran a cycle of fresh water only through the machine, just to check for loose spent grounds that might have spilled over into the water reservoir...at the end of that cycle, the "brewed" water was pee yellow, with a bit of grounds floating around.....so....
Next day, I brewed a 9 cup cycle, with 9 scoops of fresh ground...no problems. Trying 11 scoops, the overflow manifested itself again, to a lesser extent.
Now, I realize that to many home roasters, a drip coffeemaker is not the brew device of choice, but to those roast-a-holics who enjoy the easy drip brew method, the overflow issue is worth mentioning.
My guess is this "bloomin'" problem will probably not affect everyday users, who purchase whole bean roasted coffee from their local supplier or supermarket, as it might tend to be a bit less fresh.
However, for the roasters among us, it seems even with coffee rested several days, you might have to limit the amount of ground coffee somewhat.
This seems a bit of a bummer, considering this is a 12 cup capacity brewer. However, in most other aspects the Cuisinart Brew Central does shine (The stainless steel body helps!). I noted I would buy the Cuisinart again, despite the overflow episode(s) I've had. If allowed, I'd rate it an 8.5. And the 3 year warranty is a big plus!!
(Final note)...As you might expect, several days later the overflow effect was less pronounced, as my Yrg aged, and finally (sob) vanished. But at least, my Cuisinart is going strong!
I realize this review has been a back and forth thing, but I hope I was able to touch upon issues of interest for those who trust this website as a source of fair and honest consumer product evaluations. Peace to all!