There’s a lot to consider when crafting the perfect cup of coffee: From choosing a machine that fits your budget and lifestyle to experimenting with different brewing techniques, temperatures, and grind sizes. But, if you just want your cup ready to go when you get up in the morning or if you need a quick afternoon pick me up, you might be considering something like the Cuisinart 14 Cup Programmable Coffeemaker. In this review I’ll look at the key features including its program ability, check out the design and size, and I’ll let you know if I can recommend it as a good overall automatic coffee maker for you.
Cuisinart Drip Coffee Maker
The Cuisinart Programmable Coffeemaker is ideal for those looking for a no-fuss machine that still offers smart adjustability. It has all the basics you need to look out for in a drip-type coffee maker at an affordable price.
- Programmable brewing schedule
- Adjustable carafe temperature (Low, Medium, High)
- Brew strength control
- Large capacity
- Small footprint
- Brews quickly
- Easy to use
- Easy to clean (carafe is dishwasher safe)
- No water temperature control
What’s in the Box?
Let’s take a quick look at what you get with this coffee maker. For such a large volume machine, it has a rather small footprint. No space is wasted here. In the box you get:
- 14-Cup glass Carafe
- Measuring Scoop
- Reusable Gold-Tone metal mesh Filter
While the coffee maker looks like it would be made of stainless steel, the construction is mostly plastic. No knock on Cuisinart for this as it does make the machine quite light, but just in case you think you’re getting something else…
The top of the machine is flat and lifts up to reveal the cone filter on the inside. The lid opens quite wide and provides more than ample room for you to pour in fresh water. (This is a stark contrast to another coffee maker I recently reviewed where it was impossible to empty the carafe into the holding tank thanks to a very poor design.)
While the reusable filter is handy, you can also use a No. 4 paper filter if you prefer.
To get ready to brew, just plug the machine in and set the time of day. When you plug it in for the first time it will automatically start clock programming, and if you need to restart it, press and hold the hour or minute button and wait for the clock to flash.
Install the included charcoal water filter by adding it to the ladder basket and slipping it into place in the back of the tank. Cuisinart recommends you run a pot of clean water though to flush the system before first use.
|No. 4 Paper Filter or the Permanent Gold-Tone Filter
The Cuisinart’s main feature is its programmable brewing schedule. You can set it up the night before to have your cup ready by morning; no need to wait around while your coffee brews. Speaking of waiting, the machine has an auto-shutoff feature, so you don’t have to worry about leaving it on all day if you forget to switch it off.
You can also program how hot you want your carafe to stay: between 140 to 175 degrees Fahrenheit – so you can control how long your cup of Joe can stay at the perfect drinking temperature. I like a good hot cup of coffee so I chose and stuck with the highest temperature option.
This coffee maker seems like it brews in a reasonable amount of time. On most days I make anywhere from 6 to 10 cups and I was able to get my coffee brewed within about 10 minutes.
14 Cup Capacity Carafe
The machine comes with a 1-4 cup setting, so you can get it just right if you’re brewing for one or for a crowd. The manual for the Cuisinart drip coffee maker says pushing this button “adjusts the brewing process to maximize coffee flavour when brewing fewer than 5 cups,” but again it’s not specific about what it’s doing or what you can expect.
The 14-cup carafe has an ergonomic plastic handle, dripless spout and knuckle guard, so you can pour without burning your hands.
Pause and Serve
A feature I think is crucial in an automatic coffee maker is Pause and Serve. This allows you to remove the carafe while the coffee is brewing to pour yourself a cup without coffee leaking all over the machine. On this machine a small stopper locks into place if you pull out the carafe and re-open the flow when you return it. I found this feature worked really well and I never had coffee baking onto the heating plate.
Brew Strength Control
Depending on how strong you like your coffee, you can choose between regular and bold brew strength settings. That way, you don’t have to worry about over or under-extracting the flavor of your favorite beans. It appears the machine simply adjusts the flow of water over the coffee grounds; adding water more quickly for a week or brew or more slowly for a stronger brew. If I’m being honest I’m not completely sure how this works and the manual doesn’t explain. If you’ve got insight, I’d love to hear it in the comments below.
Permanent Gold-Tone Commercial-Style Filter
This Cuisinart Coffemaker also includes a permanent gold-tone filter that works by allowing more oils through to the finished coffee so you get more of that coffee flavor without that papery taste from other filter types. I find these permanent reusable filters often let in a lot of fine sediment which can lead to a muddy brew at the bottom of your cup. For that reason I usually swap out the reusable filter for paper filters.
Cleaning reminder + cleaning
There’s a button on the front of the machine that will light up when it’s time to clean or de-calcify your coffee maker. Again, the manual doesn’t give you any idea of how many pots you can expect to brew before needing to clean. During my three weeks of testing I did not get any cleaning reminders.
It comes to how to clean your coffee machine, the carafe and lid and filters can either be hand washed or placed into the dishwasher in the top rack only. I ran all my pieces through the dishwasher repeatedly with no ill effects.
Overall review: Cuisinart Programmable Drip Coffeemaker
There’s something about the simplicity of an automatic drip coffee maker that makes it hard to beat. The Cuisinart Programmable Coffeemaker is ideal for those looking for a no-fuss machine that still offers smart adjustability.
It has all the basics you need to look out for in a drip-type coffee maker – size and capacity, adjustable carafe temperature, programmable brewing schedule, and a permanent filter that won’t require replacement – all at an affordable price.
So what are the downsides? In all honesty while I like to provide balance in all my reviews so you can consider all the possibilities, I’m having a hard time finding anything that is a major negative on this machine. It has all the important features for an automatic coffee maker and was easy to program to boot. While I suppose one might wish for adjustable water temperature during the brewing process, that seems like some thing that only true coffee connoisseur’s would really be after.
In short, you’re looking for a reliable coffeemaker with smart features I can definitely recommend the Cuisinart PerfecTemp 14 cup programmable coffee maker to you.
It sells for about $120US/$170CAD and you can get it, as I did, from Amazon.
This is not the first Cuisinart coffee maker I’ve used. Check out my review of a slightly older and more vintage styled Cuisinart model here or if you want to see how to get quick and easy espresso check out this Breville espresso maker review.
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