Want to make just one cup?Cuisinart Programmable Conical Burr Mill is a simialr grinder that adds a digital display and lets you grind enough for just one cup, rather than the Supreme Grind's minmum of four. It is, however, almost twice the cost.
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Hands-on Gear Review
Cuisinart Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill Review
Price: $50 List | $45.10 at Amazon
Cons: Exceptionally messy, very noisy, makes a poor cup
Bottom line: Creates deal-breaking static mess. A bargain price for a burr grinder, but delivers a quality of grind inferior to a blade grinder that's much cheaper and easier to use
The Cuisinart Supreme Grind is the cheapest burr grinder we tested. It's exceptionally messy and it's loud. If you're really not picky about your coffee at all then you might not mind the cup the Supreme Grind produces with a generous addition of Coffee Mate™. But even so, you can make an even better cup with a less expensive blade grinder that is much easier to use and doesn't create an after-use chore list for you. The noise and mess this machine created was hard to match, and very hard to justify paying for—even with such a low price.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Cuisinart Supreme is an incredibly affordable option for a burr grinder. However, throughout each test that we subjected it to, we found that it presented such epic inconveniences that we ultimately recommended a blade grinder over this product. The unit gives a low price, but it's not really a deal with poor cup quality, chintzy controls, very noisy operation, and deal-breaking statically charged mess with every use.
Quality of Taste
As soon as we ran the Cuisinart Supreme we noticed that this grinder spit out a lot of coffee powder. As we suspected, this made it difficult to avoid extracting bitter taste into the brew. For drip coffee we could only produce a watery brew that was without bitterness, or a stronger brew that yielded some bitter, astringent aftertaste and a dry dirty mouthfeel. The French press brew became bitter and was full of soot even at a loose grind setting (keep in mind we're not using cheap coffee here!). We could not make good coffee with this chine. We had greater success brewing coffee using a blade grinder like the Krups Fast Touch or Epica Electric, which both scored a 5 for quality of taste. The Cuisinart Supreme produced a "poor" cup and fell two points below the blades' scores with a 3.
Ease of Use
The Cuisinart Supreme scores a 5 for ease of use. Although with most machines we tested, the ease of use score revolved around how intuitive and effective the controls were, there were a few other issues that influenced the ease of use score for this unit. The controls include a switch to select the user's preferred dose and a start/stop button. The controls are a little clunky and there is no option to grind fewer than four cups. If that were the only ease of use issue, we would have assigned this unit a 7, tying with the control setup of the Bodum Bistro. However we found we had to put so much effort into controlling the mess that this machine creates when transferring the coffee to the brewer that the Supreme Grind came in with a 5. This grinder isn't helpful or easy to use; rather the mess it creates is a significant distraction from simply making your coffee.
The Cuisinart Supreme is right at the bottom with a score of 2 for quietness. Burr grinders tend to make their noise pollution by crunching coffee and running their motor. The Cuisinart Supreme has an unusually loud motor that is high pitched and finishes with a record scratching sound. It's not only a high volume grinder with the second highest decibel reading, but is additionally unpleasant in the kind of noise it creates. The burrs tend to deflect coffee beans creating additional rattling noise as well. This machine ties with the KitchenAid Burr, although the KitchenAid has more of an issue of very high pitch motor noise rather than than very high volume. Both of these grinders are not just a nuisance for a noise sensitive environment, they are unpleasant to tolerate for the average user.
This is where the Cuisinart Supreme really struggles. The Supreme Grind spits coffee into the chamber from the side instead of from the top and because the grinder creates a substantial amount of dust the chamber gets caked and coated with coffee powder. When the chamber is opened, powder on the lid creates mess on the counter. Then static buildup in the chamber causes coffee to escape and magnetize to your hands and surrounding items. Once the coffee is removed the chamber remains dirty and should be rinsed. The Supreme Grind landed the lowest possible score of 1 for mess-free operation because we found ourselves painfully avoiding the hassle that this machine required. We got better at using it over time by inventing tricks to control its chaotic nature, but even then, the inconvenience of managing this machine's mess still clearly fell into the deal-breaker category.
The Cuisinart Supreme is the most affordable burr grinder that we tested. If burr grinders were always superior to blade grinders then we'd be pretty excited about the price on this item, but our tests show that this is not always the case. The Supreme Grind comes at a bargain price but it also comes with a host of significant inconveniences. When we opened the box we were hoping to recommend this machine to those looking for an inexpensive grinder that functions better than a blade model, but our test results deflated our hopes. We're certain that any buyer would encounter similar disappointment. Unfortunately, with cheaper blade grinder options (such as the Epica) that give better results in the cup and are far easier to use, we cannot recommend the Supreme Grind to any user.
The Cuisinart Supreme Grind is not worth the price. It has a super low list price for a burr grinder, but it doesn't just give you fewer features for a low price, it gives you more issues as well. It's very noisy, by far the biggest mess-maker we tested, and doesn't make good coffee. If you're looking to save money you may be better off spending less for a featureless blade grinder like the Krups Fast Touch. Or better yet, keep $28 in your wallet and enjoy the easy-to-use design of the Epica Electric.
Overall, the Cuisinart Supreme Grind looks good in the box, but as we began testing it we encountered multiple significant drawbacks. It's noisy, incredibly messy, and makes a poor cup of coffee. We can't find a reason to recommend this unit over a less expensive blade grinder like the Epica Electric, which performs much better in all our criteria.
Cuisinart Programmable Conical Burr Mill
— Jared Marquez
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