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Old 05-21-2009, 12:22 PM
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Default Cuisinart "Brew Central" 12-Cup Thermal Coffee Maker

List Price:$99.99
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I've had this coffeemaker for eighteen months now. It keeps coffee hot for more than two hours without the bitterness associated with coffee left on a hot plate. It pours coffee slower than out of a glass carafe and the last 2 ounces or so do not come out easily so I simply plan accordingly. I know exactly how much water to put in the carafe for my morning fix of two large cups. It is fast, fairly quiet, and does not emit steam from the top like my old coffeemaker did [ruining the wood cabinet over head]. Most of all, it makes good coffee and is dependable. This is a good product.
Ok, so I thought Cuisinart made top level stuff. It looks very nice on my counter,and makes good coffee, but there are several problems with it. The water level indicator is inside the water compartment. You have to look down into it. Its like looking into a black hole. Very hard to see the water level, even for my 6'4" husband. My husband gets up at 4 AM and makes coffee, leaving me 3 cups. When I get up and pour myself a cup at 7 AM, it is not hot enough. It does not have a hot plate to keep the coffee warm. I have to nuke it. Also, to get the last cup of coffee, you have to turn the carafe almost completely upside down. It is a heavy carafe (for me anyway). Get a different coffee maker!
I guess what reading reviews proves is that,"you can please some of the people most of the time, and most of the people some of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time" and unfortunately it is the terminally discontent that write most of the reviews. I like strong coffee, no problem; I like hot coffee, no problem; I like a carafe that keeps the coffee hot, until it starts to settle down at which point it loses its flavor any way, no problem. I see lots of nit picking by those who enjoy picking nits. Grow up people, this is not a perfect world and this is not a perfect coffee maker but it is more than good enough to rate five stars.\TGP
I did a lot of research before buying this coffee maker from Amazon. Some close contenders were the grind and brew and the higher dollar capresso's.I was really liked the idea of a grind and brew, yet across the board , from one maker to another, people reported problems with the process, whether it be moisture build up in the grinding area, too much coffee being left in the grinding process, problems maintaining brew strength, problems 'switching' coffee flavors, and time consuming cleaning processes. I thought I would invest and buy a higher dollar capresso without the grinder, but was really suprised and disappointed that multiple reviews stated they had problems with a ball float in the pot lid resulting in waking up to find coffee - all over the counter. In my humble opinion, waking up up to the best coffee in the world the rest of the year is not worth cleaning up that mess once in a while.The thermal carafe on the cuisinart is great. I understood before buying it that getting the last drop of coffee out of a thermal carafe lid or in fact using it to fill the water reserv. were problematic across most makers. I keep a 44oz plastic rest cup by my coffee supplies to fill the water and it is handy as I get the water from the filtered fridge and filling into the cup is actually more efficient than filling even into my old glass coffee carafe as they are all kind of bulky. The carafe keeps the coffee hot for about three hours. I am very happy with this product and gave it 5 stars.
I purchased this coffee maker because I wanted something that would keep our coffee warm since we hold regular meetings in our home and the coffee oftentimes sits out during the meeting. With the Cuisinart, not only did the coffee NOT stay hot for any length of time, it never even brewed hot enough to begin with! The first few pots tasted HORRIBLE, and then eventually the coffee did brew with a good flavor, but it was never hot enough and certainly didn't get any hotter once it finished brewing lol. If that isn't bad enough, the cuisinart was NOT a user friendly coffee maker. In order to fill the water reservoir, I needed to stand on a step stool and use a small measuring cup to fill it (you can't possibly fill it with the coffee carafe because logistically it just doesn't work!). The reservoir opening is waaaaayyyy too small and water spills everywhere as you're pouring (yes, I do know how to pour water). It's nearly impossible to see inside the reservoir to know when you've reached the marks for the number of cups that you want to brew. I'm short but I asked my average height husband to look for me and he had to pick up the coffee maker and tip it toward the light and look down into it to see where the water level was. BAD NEWS. I got this coffee maker on sale for half price (still over $70!) and it bothered me every single day for the month that I owned it that I had paid that much for something so poorly designed.I had it for a month and returned it to the store. The best thing I've done in a long time. Immediately following my happy return I took a ride to the thrift store and found a brand new Farberware 4-12 cup perculator that automatically switches to "warm mode" when the coffee's done brewing and it brews super hot and keeps my coffee hot all day. For $3.

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