A good choice if your mornings are rushed and/or you like to wake up to great coffee aroma. Kudos to Cuisinart for design changes that make this the best grind and brew coffeemaker to date.
Positive Product Points
If (like me) you're rushed in the morning & want to wake up to decent, freshly brewed coffee, this is the best option to date. An improvement over previous Cuisinart & Capresso models: easy to clean, doesn't make a mess. Coffee is good, not great, but if you start with great, freshly roasted beans it's better than 90% of coffee shops. So nice to wake up to the aroma of freshly ground & brewed coffee.
Negative Product Points
Coffee isn't nearly as good as you can brew with a great grinder & coffeemaker. Burr grinder doesn't produce a uniform grind -- lots of powder. Suspect the brew temperature is too low, since the coffee doesn't taste fully extracted.
I'm always rushed to get myself & my kids out the door in the morning. We recently moved to a new town, after being spoiled by a GREAT coffee roaster/coffeeshop near my kids' former school. Unfortunately the local coffee shops here are mediocre, but there's a local source of excellent quality freshly roasted beans.
I bought the Grind & Brew about a month ago. The design is vastly improved over previous Cuisinart models, since there is a barrier between the ground coffee chute and the steam -- the chute doesn't get clogged, and a quick cleaning once a week seems to be sufficient. The chute is short, so there's not too much day-old coffee is left behind for the next day's pot (a problem with the Capresso model, I understand).
The grind from the burr grinder is better than a blade grinder, but there's still quite a bit of powder... this is not a particularly high quality burr grinder. The hopper has room for more than a day's worth of beans (even if you like strong coffee). To get sufficiently strong coffee I have to set the brew strength to 'strong', grind for 8 cups and put in 6 cups of water. If you want to brew a full pot, you could grind beans for 4 cups, turn the machine off, then let it grind and brew a full pot... haven't tried this, but seems like it would work (though not an option for timed overnight brewing).
The brew tastes under-extracted. I don't have a thermometer, but I suspect the brewing temperature is lower than optimal. The showerhead does a good job of quickly soaking the coffee.
It's got a thermal carafe so it doesn't cook the brewed coffee (yuck). I was surprised to find that the thermal carafe sits on a hot plate -- I suppose this is a response to complaints that the coffee in the carafe wasn't hot enough -- but the hot plate turns off as soon as brewing is done. As best as I can tell, this heats the carafe enough to preheat it. I ran hot water into the carafe from my sink to see whether the bottom outside got hot... it didn't, so the short time on a hot plate won't directly heat the coffee.
I chose this over the Capresso Coffee TEAM therm because I've got wood floors and was scared by the frequent comments that the Capresso sometimes spills all over the counter & floor. I've had no such problem with the Cuisinart.
Bottom line: A good choice if your mornings are rushed and/or you like to wake up to great coffee aroma. Kudos to Cuisinart for design changes that make this the best grind and brew coffeemaker to date.
With 1 further generation of improvements, grind & brew coffeemakers may really become an option for great coffee -- specifically, a better quality grinder & proper brewing temperature would make a huge difference.
Look for 20% off coupon from some of the major kitchen stores (Bed Bath & Beyond or Linens & Things.