Cuisinart 12 Cup Coffee Maker, Black & Stainless

Automatic Grind and Brew DGB-550BK

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Cuisinart Grind and Brew Coffee Maker This makes a great cup of coffee when the machine is clean. But it is never clean.

I'm not a huge fan of grind-and-brew coffeemakers. First, they use a blade-style grinder. People who know way more about making coffee than me have declared burr grinders far superior--a better grind for better coffee--and I have no evidence to the contrary.

It is convenient, though. The timer and built-in grinder make it possible to prepare coffee the night before. It will grind it fresh for you in the morning. But that convenience doesn't outweigh the annoyance of cleaning it out. I always end up with ground coffee in every crevice of this machine. The grinds get wet and turn to sludge and then it's even harder to clean. It's not like I never clean my coffee machine, but I don't want to do it between every single pot. And there are seven different parts you have to disassemble and clean so it's not that simple.

The biggest drawback of this model for me: It doesn't have a thermal carafe. That's a must-have feature for me.

I think I'll just stick with a regular thermal coffee maker and a separate burr grinder. It's a little more work, but it's worth it.

For a simpler coffeemaker design, see the Braun AromaDeluxe.

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