Cuisinart Grind & Brew 12-Cup Review
Pros: Built-in grinder, easy to fill water tank
Cons: Inconsistent grind size, condensation builds in grinder, difficult to brew
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|Pros||Built-in grinder, easy to fill water tank||Easy cleaning, simple design, can use pods||Large brew capacity range, good water distribution, coffee filter included||Inexpensive, automatic brew feature||Simplistic interface, easy to clean|
|Cons||Inconsistent grind size, condensation builds in grinder, difficult to brew||Small water tank opening, fill to brew volume||Bulky, confusing interface||Hard to fill, bulky||Poor brew quality, no automatic shut off, short carafe handle|
|Bottom Line||This machine combines two appliances into one convenient and stylish coffee maker||The combination of features and affordability make this a great budget option||A great option for coffee drinkers looking to brew larger batches of coffee||The most affordable and straightforward coffee maker that consistently brews decent coffee||A decent budget option if you like the simplicity of a single-button brewer|
|Rating Categories||Cuisinart Grind & B...||Hamilton Beach 2-Way||Cuisinart 14-Cup Pr...||Black+Decker 12-Cup...||Mr. Simple Brew 12-...|
|Brew Quality (30%)|
|User Friendliness (35%)|
|Ease of Cleaning (20%)|
|Specs||Cuisinart Grind & B...||Hamilton Beach 2-Way||Cuisinart 14-Cup Pr...||Black+Decker 12-Cup...||Mr. Simple Brew 12-...|
|Brew Temp (°F)||165.44||166.14||176.94||161.98||160.36|
|Energy Usage||1025 watts||950 watts||1050 watts||975 watts||975 watts|
|Dimensions (H x W x D)||15.5" x 8.1" x 12.6"||13.9" x 12.2" x 11.1"||14" x 8" x 9"||8.2" x 12.2" x 11"||12.3" x 9.3" x 13.8"|
|Weight||10.9 lbs||5.0 lbs||9.5 lbs||4.75 lbs||2.8 lbs|
Our Analysis and Test Results
More than anything else, the convenience of a built-in grinder sets the Cuisinart Grind & Brew 12-Cup apart from the other coffee makers in this review. The Cuisinart Grind & Brew 12-Cup performed quite averagely overall — the subpar grinder being the main culprit. During brewing, condensation builds in the grinder, which we found to be problematic. The grinder can also only be used once per morning and must be air-dried after each use.
The Grind & Brew produces a good quality cup of coffee. Although, the brewing temperature is not adjustable on the Grind & Brew. There is no pre-infusion setting, but the spray head effectively distributes water evenly across the brew bed. Good water distribution gives the coffee a better chance of evenly saturating, contributing to better-tasting coffee.
This brewer is simplistic but also provides an easy-to-use layout with different actions. The interface buttons are labeled well enough that there is not much of a need to reference the instruction manual. The Grind & Brew is programmable with a single-cup option, separate cleaning button, sneak-a-cup feature, and an adjustable automatic shut-off. The carafe is not insulated, but it has a nice lid that does not flap when pouring. The pour is not very smooth, though, and when pouring quickly, coffee comes out of the side of the lid opening.
Ease of Cleaning
The Grind & Brew was less than ideal in our eyes when it comes to easy cleaning. The filter basket and cover, grinder basket and lid, and carafe are all dishwasher safe. The grinder must be washed after every use and you cannot add water to the unit once the grinder basket is removed. This coffee maker lost points because all components must be thoroughly cleaned in order to use the grinder.
To gather data on consistency, we measured several gallons of coffee in a test of five back-to-back pots of coffee. Our team scanned the grounds of each batch of coffee to find different water distribution patterns. The temperature was measured for each and every pot to look for any significant deviation.
The Cuisinart Grind & Brew had poorer temperature consistency than any other coffee maker. From the first brew to the fifth, this brewer deviated by almost 5 degrees. Unfortunately, the Grind & Brew does not reach the SCA Gold Cup Standard for brew temperature between 195 and 205 degrees. This model performed well in brew time testing, with only a one-second deviation between consecutive brewing.
Coffee grinders and brewers can both be very expensive. The Grind & Brew is a good value for a coffee maker with both grinding and brewing capabilities. Although grinding coffee fresh before brewing is the best practice for a quality brew, this grinder does not produce an even grind size. A brew bed consisting of fines and boulders will not produce a balanced coffee. The Grind & Brew does not produce the quality we expect from a brewer at this price.
Despite all of the features on the Grind & Brew we were not impressed with the overall quality of the coffee. We found that the extra features did not improve the overall quality of the coffee. If you are looking for better cup quality at a comparable price, we recommend looking to our other reviews.
— Liz Nelson
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