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Cuisinart Coffee on Demand - Brent Heuss's Review
Posted: November 22, 2005, 12:13pm
review rating: 8.5
feedback: (1) comments | read | write
Cuisinart Coffee on Demand
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More About This Product
Arrow The Cuisinart Coffee on Demand has 12 Reviews
Arrow The Cuisinart Coffee on Demand has been rated 6.63 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since October 19, 2005.
Arrow Cuisinart Coffee on Demand reviews have been viewed 86,374 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Brent Heuss 8.50
Lisa Falleroni 8.33
Don Cummings 8.00
Dan Grayson 8.00
Jay Belknap 7.00

Previous Review  
Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 6.2
Manufacturer: Cuisinart Quality: 5
Average Price: $99.00 Usability: 10
Price Paid: $99.00 Cost vs. Value 3
Where Bought: Macy's Aesthetics 10
Owned for: 1 month Overall 3
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: No
Similar Items Owned: Cuisinart Brewcentral
Bottom Line: Save your money and buy a Technivorm or a Brewcentral.
Positive Product Points

No glass carafe, solidly built, good water temp for brewing, good spray water head that covers the grounds basket, 24-hour timer, adjustable on/off time for warming, looks nice, removable and cleanable drip tray.  The bucket holding the coffee is easily removable for cleaning.  Easy to clean and use, the grounds basket, basket holder, and coffee bucket.

Negative Product Points

Flat-bottom basket, does not brew a full 12 cups without the filter basket overflowing.  Unfortunatley, this machine just does not make good coffee.  Even at the on-sale price of $99 (normal price is $150), I feel this machine is very overpriced for the quality of coffee it provides.

Detailed Commentary

I really wanted to like the Coffee on Demand (Model #DCC-2000).  My Cuisinart Brewcentral has done a great job for many years, and this looked like a potential replacement.  After using it for three weeks, though, it had to be returned.

Initially, several things were impressive:  the water temp for brewing seemed right (no actual numbers, but very hot), brew time was approx. seven minutes for six 5 oz. cups of coffee, and dispensing the coffee was easy.

The flat-bottom Mr. Coffee-type basket is a big problem.  It's not deep enough to hold enough grounds to make even six cups of coffee - half of it's supposed capability.  With freshly ground coffee, the coffee basket would overflow, even for six cups, using a minimum of 1 tbsp. of grounds per cup.

I tried seval different coffees (decaf, Uganda Bugisu, Kenya AA, COE 15 de Septeimbre) and different grinds (using a Rancilio Rocky) in the 25-35 range (with "0" being zero).  This grind range always gave excellent results in the Brewcentral.  In the DCC-2000, the most I could do without overflowing grounds was six cups of coffee.  I also tried this with Folger's canned coffee, and the results were similar.  Using a cone shaped filter (very tricky and not recommended) gave better results, but the bottom third of the filter was actually submerged in the brewed coffee.  Results were worse with a Swissgold flat-botom filter.  The one that comes with this machine has a screen in the bottom allowing coffee to flow out the bottom.

The biggest disappointment  was the taste of the coffee.  Regardless of grind, or how long the coffee beans rested, or the type of coffee, the coffee was both sour and weak.  In side-by-side tastings with the Brewcentral (same coffees, same grinds, same filter baskets), the coffee from the  Brewcentral was a much better cup of coffee.

The internal warming system is interesting, but very similar to the "carafe on a hot plate" setup of many drip brewers.  The plastic coffee bucket has a small, circular metal plate in the bottom, which sets atop the actual warming element in the body of the coffee maker.  Because the heating area is small (not the full size of a carafe), it might actually do a decent job of keeping the coffee warm without burning it.  I didn't notice a problem with  burnt tasting coffee.

On a personal, non-scientific note, there's a lot of plastic involved in the brewing process for this machine.  The filter basket sits in a plastic filter basket holder and the brewed coffee is contained within a plastic bucket.  Even after two-weeks of daily use and several cleanings with Cleancaf, there was still a plastic flavor note in the brewed coffee.  With hot, brewed coffee sitting in a plastic bucket, this may not go away.

Buying Experience

Macy's was excellent for both the buying and returning experience.

Previous Review  
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review rating: 8.5
Posted: November 22, 2005, 12:13pm
feedback: (1) comments | read | write
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