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Best Cuisinart coffee makers: which is right for you?

(Image credit: Cuisinart)

The best Cuisinart coffee makers are regular entries on any list of the best coffee makers. There are dozens of models on the Cuisinart website, with a variety of features and prices, with everything from basic automatic-drip machines to coffee makers with built-in grinders to single-serve brewers and even an old-fashioned percolator. 

One thing they all have in common is that they live up to Cuisinart's high-quality reputation, making good-looking, great-functioning appliances. We particularly like Cuisinart coffee makers for their excellent dependability, wide range of features and build quality, which is why we're rounding up the best Cuisinart coffee makers you can buy right now.

You can depend on Cuisinart coffee makers to come with very thorough use and care manuals. All of the removable parts can be cleaned in the dishwasher (top rack), even the thermal carafes. If something goes wrong, don't worry, because Cuisinart offers an unusually long three-year warranty.

What are the best Cuisinart coffee makers?

After poring through various reviews and customer comments online, we've selected seven of Cuisinart's best coffee makers to suit coffee drinkers of all types. Households with lots of coffee drinkers will love the Cuisinart DCC-T20 Touchscreen 14-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker, which makes more cups than any other automatic drip model on the market and also offers plenty of additional programming features for a great price. However, if you're looking to save cash and pick up a cheaper everyday machine, we'd recommend the Cuisinart DCC-1100BK. This 12-cup automatic drip model is programmable yet reasonably priced. Or, the Cuisinart Grind & Brew DGB-650BC has a built-in grinder, giving you the flavor and aroma you can only get from freshly ground beans.

If you only serve a cup at a time perhaps because everyone in your house wakes up at a different time, or you work at home and return throughout the day for refills, we recommend the Cuisinart DCC-3000 Coffee on Demand. It brews a whole pot but has a dispenser so you can fill your mug the way you would from a soda machine. You get a lot of versatility with the Cuisinart SS-15 Maker Coffee Center. When you’re rushing out to make an early morning train or exercise class, you can use it as a single serve machine to brew one cup into a to-go mug. Then, on the weekends, when the whole family enjoys a leisurely breakfast together, you can set it to brew a full carafe.

Are there coffee and tea lovers in your household? Then, the model for you is the Cuisinart CHW-12 Coffee Plus. In addition to brewing a 12-cup carafe, it can dispense hot water for a cup of tea or hot cocoa. Many coffee connoisseurs prefer the pour-over method, but let’s face it, it takes a lot of hands-on work. With the Cuisinart CPO-850 Coffee Brewer you can have the benefit of pour-over – coffee brewed using water that’s the perfect temperature in the optimal time – without the hassle of boiling water and pouring it methodically over ground coffee.

The best Cuisinart coffee makers you can buy today

Cuisinart coffee maker DCC-3200

Cuisinart DCC-3200CP PerfecTemp (Image credit: Cuisinart)

1. Cuisinart DCC-T20 Touchscreen 14-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker

Plenty of features at a great price

Cup capacity: 14 cups
Size: 14 x 8.5 x 7.5 inches
Features: Programmable, permanent filter, adjustable brew strength, can silence the ready tone, adjustable keep-warm temperature, adjustable automatic off (up to 4 hours), clean alert and cycle, charcoal water filter
Reasons to buy
+Large capacity+Adjustable brew strength, keep-warm temperature and automatic shut-off+Can turn off the ready tone
Reasons to avoid
-Water tank is difficult to access-Controls can be tricky to operate

Have to brew a pot for a crowd? The Cuisinart DCC-T20 TouchScreen 14-Cup Programmable is the best coffee maker for the job. It makes more coffee than any other programmable automatic-drip coffee maker in the marketplace. That makes the machine ideal for large households, people who return for cup after cup throughout the morning, or for entertaining guests. This is a brand-new version of the PerfecTemp with a touchscreen instead of buttons. When you’re not using it, the panel “goes to sleep” giving it a sleek look. 

If a ding telling you your coffee is ready annoys you (especially before you've had your morning Joe), you can turn off the sound. You can control how hot you want your coffee to be as well as how long you want the coffee maker to remain on before it shuts itself off which means you won't have to worry about whether the machine's on when you leave the house. This Cuisinart comes only black.

best cuisinart coffee maker DCC-1100BK

Cuisinart DCC-1100BK (Image credit: Cuisinart)

2. Cuisinart DCC-1100BK

A cheaper alternative for everyday use

Cup capacity: 12 cups
Size: 14.2 x 8 x 8 inches
Features: Programmable, permanent filter, adjustable automatic off (up to 4 hours), clean alert and cycle, charcoal water filter
Reasons to buy
+Reasonable price+Programmable +Adjustable automatic shut-off
Reasons to avoid
-Water tank is difficult to access

If you're looking for the best value from the brand, this 12-cup model is the one to choose. In spite of its relatively low price, the Cuisinart DCC-1100BK is attractive and offers the same basic perks as the more expensive models. It's programmable, so you can set it to have the coffee ready the minute you wake up or walk into the house.

With this machine, you get both a reusable coffee filter to save you the bother and expense of buying paper ones and a water filter to improve the taste of tap water. A light comes on to let you know when the DCC-1100BK needs an internal  cleaning. Our only gripe is that it can be difficult to fill the tank with water without splashing. It's available in black or white, as well as in a smaller, 10-cup model. 

best cuisinart coffee makers: Cuisinart DGB-550BKP1

Cuisinart DGB-800 Burr Grind & Brew (Image credit: Cuisinart)

3. Cuisinart Grind & Brew DGB-550BKP1

Coffee maker with a built-in grinder

Cup capacity: 12 cups
Size: 15 x 11 x 7.5 inches
Features: Programmable, permanent filter, charcoal water filter, adjustable automatic off (up to 4 hours)
Reasons to buy
+Can grind your own beans+Comes with permanent coffee filter and water filter+Thermal carafe for keeping coffee hot
Reasons to avoid
-If the grinder or coffee maker breaks, you're left one appliance short-Grinder is noisy

If you like to grind the beans right before you brew, the Cuisinart Grind & Brew is the best coffee maker for the task. It has a built-in grinder that after grinding, transfers the ground coffee directly into the filter. However be warned. tWhen the grinder goes off in the morning, it'll be loud enough to wake up anyone who's still sleeping - even one floor above the kitchen. And you'll have to clean the grinder occasionally, which is an additional chore. If you ever want to use pre-ground coffee, you have the option to turn the grinder off.

As you would expect, you get the ability to program the Grind & Brew to start the brewing process just when you wake up or walk in the door. It will keep your coffee hot for up to 4 hours before turning itself off. 

best cuisinart coffee maker DCC-3000

Cuisinart DCC-3000 Coffee on Demand (Image credit: Cuisinart)

4. Cuisinart DCC-3000 Coffee on Demand

Dispenses one cup at a time or a full carafe

Cup capacity: 12 cups
Size: 14.3 x 10.4 x 10.1 inches
Features: Programmable, permanent filter, adjustable automatic shut-off (up to 4 hours), charcoal water filter, clean alert and cycle
Reasons to buy
+Dispenses a cup at a time+Programmable+Reservoir can be filled at the sink
Reasons to avoid
-No carafe

In this unusual brewer, a whole "pot" of coffee is brewed at once, but rather than dripping into a carafe, the Cuisinart DCC-3000 Coffee on Demand fills up an internal reservoir. You then dispense just one cup at a time, the way you would from an urn or a soda machine. It's a great choice if people in your household drift into the kitchen for their morning java at various times or if you find yourself returning throughout the morning to refill your mug. On Amazon, reviewers customers report that they find the  coffee tastes just as good a few hours later as it does right after it was brewed.

The water tank is removable and can easily be filled at the sink. As this machine eliminates the need to pour from a carafe, you don't get those otherwise-inevitable splashes to wipe up. 

Cuisinart coffee maker SS-15

Cuisinart SS-15 Maker Coffee Center (Image credit: Cuisinart)

5. Cuisinart SS-15 Maker Coffee Center

Two coffee makers in one package: a single serve and an automatic drip

Cup capacity: 12 cups
Size: 14.7 x 11.3 x 8.9 inches
Features: Brews 6-, 8- and 10-ounce ounce cups; brews a 12-cup carafe; programmable; permanent filter; bold setting; adjustable carafe coffee temperature; adjustable automatic shut-off (up to 4 hours); clean alert and cycle; charcoal water filter
Reasons to buy
+Makes three serving sizes or a full carafe+Single-serve coffee can be made with reusable coffee filter+Adjustable brew strength, serving temperature and automatic shut-off
Reasons to avoid

The Cuisinart SS-15 Maker Coffee Center is designed to give you lots of choices with just one machine. For those days when you need a single cup to wake you up before you drive the kids to school, there's a single-cup brewer that works with K-cups or your own reusable coffee filter. You even have your choice of 3 different cup sizes so you can down a small dose at home or take a travel mug with you. This Cuisinart can also deliver a 12-cup carafe that’s great  for when you're hosting a weekend brunch or book club meeting.

While you are getting two appliances in one, the SS-15 does cost twice as much as and take up more counter space than most single-function brewers. Before you shell out big bucks and clear counter space, make sure you really need the double functionality.

Cuisinart coffee maker CHW-12 coffee plus

Cuisinart CHW-12 Coffee Plus (Image credit: Cuisinart)

6. Cuisinart CHW-12 Coffee Plus

For the tea lovers in your house, this coffee maker also dispenses hot water

Cup capacity: 12 cups
Size: 14.3 x 10.3 x 9.5 inches
Features: Hot water dispenser, programmable, permanent filter, adjustable carafe coffee temperature, adjustable automatic shut-off (up to 4 hours), clean alert, charcoal water filter
Reasons to buy
+Dispenses hot water+Adjustable serving temperature and automatic shut-off
Reasons to avoid

If there are both coffee and tea lovers in your house, the Cuisinart CHW-12 Coffee Plus is your machine. In addition to brewing a 12-cup pot of coffee, it can dispense a shot of hot water for quick cuppas, mugs of cocoa or bowls of instant oatmeal.

The CHW-12 has a safety lock to prevent hot water from being accidentally dispensed. On this model, you can up the temperature of the coffee in the carafe, which is a handy feature if you’re one of those people who never thinks your coffee is hot enough. It’s a bit tricky to access the filter basket and the water tank when the lid is fully opened. As the coffeemaker is taller than the space below cabinets when the top is opened, you will need to move it to pour in water and add ground coffee.  

Cuisinart coffee maker CPO-850

Cuisinart CPO-850 Coffee Brewer (Image credit: Cuisinart)

7. Cuisinart CPO-850 Coffee Brewer

Pricey, but worth it for coffee connoisseurs

Cup Capacity: 8 cups
Size: 13.5 x 12 x 7.5 inches
Features: Meets the Specialty Coffee Association of America's Golden Cup Standard, programmable, permanent filter, adjustable serving temperature, adjustable brew strength, adjustable automatic shut-off (up to 2 hours), clean alert and cycle, charcoal water filter
Reasons to buy
+Attractive+Meets the Specialty Coffee Association's Golden Cup Standard+Adjustable brew strength, serving temperature and automatic shut-off
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-Makes only 8 cups

This good-looking, stainless-steel brewer is designed to mimic pour-over coffee, which usually requires that you boil water in a kettle and then  slowly and carefully pour it over ground coffee in a filter set over a carafe. The Cuisinart CPO-850, however, does the work for you yet still delivers the same great beverage. That’s because this brewer is certified to meet the Specialty Coffee Association's Gold Cup Standard, which means that the machine brews with water at the perfect temperature for the optimal time to give you the ideal results. 

You can adjust the strength of your coffee as well as the serving temperature. However, as is often the case, "the best" comes at a price. This machine costs almost twice as much as other Cuisinart coffee makers and far more than a non-electric pour over model.

Three things to consider before buying a coffee maker

Will it fit?
Before you buy, be sure to measure the space where you plan to keep your coffee maker, as well as how much room you have below your cabinets. Keep in mind that even if your machine fits under the cabinet, most Cuisinart coffee makers need to be pulled forward so you can load them with water and ground coffee. 

Cup size
When you're deciding what size brewer to buy, remember that coffee-maker cups are the equivalent of 5 ounces, or an old-fashioned teacup that isn't filled to the brim, leaving room for milk. Today, most of us use mugs that hold 8 ounces or more, which means a typical 12-cup coffee maker brews enough coffee for about seven mugs at the most.

What kind of carafe?
You'll pay a premium for a model with a thermal carafe. If you entertain a lot, such a model is worth the extra dollars, as you can bring the carafe to the table, where it will keep coffee hot for second cups. While Cuisinart's insulated servers are top-rack dishwasher safe, they may not actually fit on the top shelf and the machine may not be able to thoroughly clean inside them. The narrow opening makes hand-washing difficult.

How to care for and maintain Cuisinart coffee makers

  • Wash all the removable parts thoroughly in the dishwasher or by hand with soapy water. Coffee can leave behind an oily residue that builds up over time and gives a bad taste to your beverage. 
  • When the clean alert light comes on or your coffee maker begins to take longer than usual to brew, it's time to descale, which means removing mineral deposits that build up inside the machine. Start by removing the charcoal water filter. Run a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water through the machine. Follow up with a cycle of plain water. Then, replace the charcoal filter.  
  • On single-serve coffee makers, the needle may get clogged, resulting in grounds in your coffee or a smaller cup of coffee than the size you selected. To fix this, begin by unplugging the machine. To unclog the exit needle, remove and disassemble the pod holder and then use a paper clip to clear away any debris. You lift the head and use the paper clip to clean the entrance needle. Refer to your manual for complete instructions with diagrams.

If you want to check out the competition, take a look at our guides to the best Nespresso machines and the best Keurig coffee maker. Or, for something more budget friendly, take a look at the latest cheap coffee maker deals. If you're not using pre-ground beans, it might also be worth checking out the best coffee grinders available right now.

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Sharon Franke

Sharon Franke is a journalist who specializes in testing and writing about kitchen equipment. A thirty-year veteran of the Good Housekeeping Institute, Sharon also worked as a professional chef in New York City restaurants for seven years. In her free time, she is an avid home cook who is in the process of mastering the art of baking sour dough bread.