This was a serious purchase for me. Since 2001, I have used a Capresso CoffeeTEC 471 that I reviewed (along with several other thermal models) for a small independent magazine. Two weekends ago, the CoffeeTEC crapped out, and I began my search for a new coffee maker. The single, deal-breaking criterion that absolutely had to be met was a lid that remained closed and sealed before, during, and after the brewing process. The whole point of a thermal carafe is to keep coffee hot without a heating plate, right? Well, WHAT'S THE POINT IF THE CARAFE IS LEFT WIDE OPEN AFTER BREWING?! This single detail eliminated several big players in this demographic, including, but not limited to:
- Capresso Elegance Therm
- All Krups models (that I looked at)
- All Starbucks models (that I looked at)
I was basically stuck between the Cuisinart and the Capresso MT500.
Pros for the Cuisinart: Larger 12-cup carafe, and $60 cheaper.
Pros for the Capresso: Solid metal construction, and I just came off 4 great years with another Capresso product.
In the end, I went with the Cuisinart mainly for the price, but also because my mother-in-law has the MT500 and she has complained a couple times about the brew temperature not being hot enough. I know I picked the underdog, but here's hoping Cuisinart's engineers have crafted a winner.
Out of the box, the DCT 975 has been problem-free. Easy set-up, easy programming, hot coffee. Before testing anything, I set everything up to brew, programmed the timer for the next morning, and went to bed. The coffee brewed at 6:30am, and I didn't get to it until after 7:15am. That's my routine, and that's why the closed lid was so important. At 7:15, the coffee was piping hot, and the machine had long since shut itself off, a feature missing on my old CoffeeTEC, which would stay on for hours in case you suddenly wanted some steam for your Au Lait. I am getting a slight plastic flavor, but I am chalking that up to break-in. if it persists, I'll make sure to return and update this review.