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Hands-on Gear Review
Cuisinart 14-Cup Programmable ReviewPrice: $100 List | $69.99 at Amazon
Pros: Great taste, relatively inexpensive considering its taste quality
Cons: Not as thoughtfully designed as other high end machines
Bottom line: Great if you want something with high quality taste, but don’t want to pay $200 for the OXO
The Cuisinart 14-Cup Programmable was the second highest scoring machine we tested. With a little bit of fiddling it can produce a great tasting cup of coffee. It lost out on our Editors' Choice Award because it isn't quite as easy to clean or use as the OXO On Barista Brain 9-Cup, and it does occasionally let some sediment get through into the coffee. However, it also costs half as much as the OXO, which makes it a good choice if you want something that can produce a great tasting cup of coffee, but don't want to to pay a premium price.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Cuisinart 14-Cup Programmable is a dependable machine that makes a great tasting cup of coffee. It is perfect for those that are picky about taste but don't want to spend $200 on the OXO On Barista Brain.
The Cuisinart 14-Cup Programmable earned the second best overall score in our testing.
Below we discuss how the Cuisinart performed in each one of our individual testing metrics.
The Cuisinart was a close runner up in our taste testing, earning a score of 8 out of 10. This was one point behind the leader, and well ahead of the bottom score of 2. When we made a pot using the manufacturer's suggested amount of coffee it tasted good, but a bit weak. Adding in a bit more coffee brought out a strong and flavorful taste that all of our testers loved. It missed some of the more subtle flavor notes that the OXO was able to bring out in its brew, but definitely succeeded in creating a hearty, full bodied cup. Its reusable filter did occasionally let some sediment through into the pot, but this was only occasional, and never enough to noticeably affect the taste of the brew.
The Cuisinart fell into the large group of average performers in our user friendliness testing. It earned a 6 out of 10, putting it right in the middle of a metric where scores ranged from 4 to 9. Our testers liked that the Cuisinart has a large LCD display and clearly labeled buttons. They also like that they could tell the machine when they were brewing less than 5 cups so it could adjust settings accordingly. While the interface is nice, it isn't quite as streamlined as that of some other models. It also lost some point for its carafe, which has a plastic spout that tends to make a mess if you're not careful.
The Cuisinart was again average in our convenience testing, picking up a 6 out of 10 where scores ranged from 3 to 9. If you include prep and cleanup its 6 cup brew time is 12 minutes, which was on the longer side of the models we tested. However, it can be programmed to start brewing right when you wake up. This feature largely offsets the long brew time.
Ease of Cleaning
The Cuisinart was close to the bottom of our ease of cleaning score sheet, earning a 5 out of 10. This was just above the low score of 4 and well short of the high score of 9. The Cuisinart was mostly docked points for its reusable mesh filter. While we love that a reusable filter reduces waste, it undeniably adds more effort to the cleaning process. The carafe was easy to clean, and both it and the reusable filter are dishwasher safe for periodic deep cleaning. The descaling process was fairly easy but took a full hour to complete, which was on the longer side.
At a list price of $100 the Cuisinart 14-Cup Programmable certainly isn't a cheap machine. However, if you consider that getting a better tasting cup requires spending twice as much on the OXO On Barista Brain, the Cuisinart becomes a great value for those seeking a good tasting cup.
The Cuisinart 14-Cup Programmable is a good machine that makes a great tasting cup. While you can get a better tasting cup from the OXO On Barista Brain, it costs twice as much.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata
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