Cuisinart Filter Brew DCC-1000 12 Cups Coffee Maker - White Reviews
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Cuisinart Filter Brew DCC-1000 12 Cups Coffee Maker - White

34 ratings (15 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating: Very Good
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Great coffeemaker, but with a few niggles.

Jan 21, 2007 (Updated Mar 9, 2007)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Tasty brew. Visual appeal. Relative compactness.

Cons:Awkward filling process. Irritating drip-stop feature.

The Bottom Line: I certainly haven't experienced every coffee maker available, so I can't say, unequivocally, that this is one of the best. Overall, it's okay, especially considering the price.

A few months back, I decided to buy a new coffee maker to replace the basic $19 GE 12-cup Wally-World unit that had served me dutifully, albeit in a very utilitarian manner. I had a brief encounter with a Farberware FAC400C 10-cup coffee maker (see my review here), but it went back to the store after only a couple of very disappointing trial runs. I recalled the trusty old GE from retirement, until I stumbled upon a Cuisinart that I decided might be just what I had been looking for.

Enter the DCC-1000BK. The "BK" simply denotes that it is black. This Cuisinart actually looks like a coffee maker . . . as opposed to most of their juke box / R2D2 / radio cube designs. In contrast to other reviews of this unit, and its timer-less sibling, the DCC-900, it appears to be more compact in design than any other 10-12 cup model I have found. It's certainly shorter than many of the Krups or Bunn offerings, and its footprint occupies far less countertop real estate than the old GE it replaced.

This unit is fairly attractive, in an understated way. The lines are simple, elegant, and totally functional looking - cleanly contemporary and unobtrusive. Most of the outer surface has a gloss finish, which is tastefully complimented by the matte finished control panel and reservoir lid. It uses standard #4 cone filters (more on that later), and it features a built-in LCD clock (virtually useless), a multi-function power switch, programmable auto-on and auto-off, pause-and-serve, 1 (one) replaceable Brita-style water filter, a permanent gold coffee filter and a 3-year warranty.

The carafe is marked in 1-cup increments on two sides, so they are visible to both righties and lefties. South Paws, however, may find the water tank a bit awkward to fill, because its opening is on the right side. There's also a water level indicator on the body of the housing just to the right of basket enclosure, but it isn't easily readable on this black appliance. I never felt compelled to look at one on any other coffee maker I have owned, so it's a non-issue for me.

Setup isn't anything esoteric. Plug in the charcoal water filter provided (after soaking and rinsing, of course), drop in the coffee filter basket, pour in a carafe of plain water, place the carafe on the warming plate, turn the switch on and let 'er rip. I always use a 1:1 solution of white vinegar/water, followed by a clear water only cycle, to help neutralize any residual plastic flavoring. Only once in my coffee consuming life has that procedure failed to work, and that was with the aforementioned Farberware that I promptly returned.

I haven't bothered to measure the brewing or warming temps of this Cuisinart. Admittedly, I tend toward anal retentiveness, but not to that degree (no pun intended). The temps are what they are, period. In the final analysis, it's all about the coffee anyhow. And my tongue tells me that this coffee brews hotter and stays hotter than I have experienced in a dumpster full of discarded coffee makers. Beyond that, the flavor of the end product is, IMHO, very smooth and robust, from the first cup out o' the pot to the two-hour-old fifth cup.

All my wives, past and present, will attest to my tendency to nitpick. So, here goes with the exceptions I take to this appliance, as well as to the nits picked by other reviewers.

Perhaps I'm of the minority opinion, but the Cuisi' doesn't seem overly tall compared to others, including Krups, KitchenAid and Bunn. In terms of sheer girth and footprint, it actually appears smaller than typical K/A's and Mr. Coffees. As with the temps, I have no desire to actually measure it. It is what it is. It lives on a countertop beneath a wall mounted cabinet, and, yes, I do have to slide it out to fill the reservoir. But that's the nature of the beast. I have never seen a coffee maker that didn't fill from the top, and I have never owned one that could be filled while sitting under an upper cabinet (the coffee maker, not me).

Filling the reservoir does require a bit of finesse, since the opening is rather small. I agree with others that the tank lid tends to complicate this process. It does not swing fully out of the way; rather, it stops in a vertical position. Since the diameter of the carafe is large, the tank lid does get in the way, which makes filling without dribbling somewhat of a challenge. {Updated 03/09/07} I have done this more than 300 times, and it's fast becoming a real pain in the neck!

Auto-On? Personally, I don't use it. My rise 'n shine times vary and are rarely predictable, so pre-set "on" times don't simplify my life. On the other hand, Auto-Off is a feature I find practical. The Cuisi' can keep coffee hot, and still drinkable, up to three hours. One reviewer stated that it shuts off after an hour. More precisely, auto-off is programmable for 0-4 hours in one minute increments.

This Cuisi' has an indicator that beeps softly when the brew cycle is complete. I happen to like that feature, in addition to pause-and-serve. There are occasional mornings when I become distracted noodling on my computer, and the soft beep gently reminds me that Joe awaits! One reviewer stated that it beeps three times. For the sake of accuracy, and to validate that I still have a bit of functional gray matter, I checked mine - it beeps five times. The user manual confirms that's how it's designed. There is also a two-beep indicator to signal that the warming plate has turned off.

The gold filter supplied is something I will never use. Nothing against gold filters. I just simply prefer using paper filters, because the coffee they produce seems more flavorful and has less sediment. Regarding complaints that the paper filter must be folded in order to fit the filter basket, that has always been SOP for cone filters. In fact, the box that my Melitta filters came in specifically states the crimped edges should be folded before use. As for those who try to use a paper filter AND a gold filter at the same time, certainly the paper filter won't fit. Both have been around for at least 30 years, and they were never intended to be used together. Even the user manual clearly states "either/or." {Update 03/09/07} In all fairness, though, I find that the #4's must be folded slightly smaller than with past coffeemakers in order to fit the basket properly.

The LCD clock might be a useful feature if it were backlit. As it is, however, it's unreadable in less than a brightly lit room. In reality, though, my kitchen, like nearly every kitchen I have had or visited, has at least three other clocks. So, the only real world purpose of the Cuisi's LCD is for function programming, not time checking. Certainly not a big enough nit for me to mess with picking.

Whether this 12-cup coffee maker is truly a 10-cup is the subject of considerable user grousing. Cuisi's claimed 12-cup capacity is based upon a 4.5 oz cup size. I seem to recall that, in the past, the predominate standard was 5.0 oz. Even further back, I believe it was 6.0 oz. Regardless, it simply is irrelevant to me. I make a pot, and I drink it. If I want more, I make more . . . period, end of story.

My ONLY significant issue with this appliance is the brew pause feature. Removing the carafe during the brew cycle without dripping is fairly easy to accomplish. Replacing the carafe after pouring is quite another matter. I have found that, due to the design of the drip stop mechanism in the bottom of the filter basket, the carafe MUST BE replaced in a single, quick, fluid motion, and the carafe must be perfectly perpendicular to the warming plate when doing so. Otherwise, coffee WILL DRIP onto the warming plate. I don't like it, but I've adapted. {Update 03/09/07} This issue is getting REALLY OLD!!

I have two minor issues, and both relate to the user manual.

First, it clearly states to remove the filter basket, set it on the counter, insert a filter after folding the seam edges, add measured coffee, then reinsert the filter basket. It's obvious that, due to the shape and design of the basket, it will not stand upright on a countertop. Why, then, does Cuisi' bother to include this instruction? It's far simpler to start with the basket already in place, insert the filter, and then add coffee. Very curious, but not a deal-breaker for me.

Second, nowhere in the manual is there a recommended replacement interval for the charcoal water filter. Based on prior experience with a similar Braun design, I'm opting for three months. I know that some types of filters now tout 6-month change intervals, but I'm not convinced that is optimal. It just would have been thoughtful of Cuisinart to include guidance in the book.

From the standpoint of aesthetic appeal and coffee brewing ability, I really like this Cuisinart. Notwithstanding the few design niggles, I would probably buy another if, and when, this one fails. The price can't be beat. It seems to be continually on sale, somewhere, for $49. If I were to have to pay full-boat retail, though, I would certainly choose one that better justified the higher price.

{Update 03/09/07} I'm gonna start shopping for a better coffeemaker. This one is beginning to wear on my nerves!

Recommend this product? Yes

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