Pros:Easy to clean, makes wonderful coffee
The Bottom Line: This is a wonderful coffee maker, and a great way to get fresh ground coffee without the hassle of having to use a separate grinder.
My wife and I love coffee and always will. Sometimes we'll talk about trying to cut down on caffeine, but our hearts aren't ever really in it. Coffee is an elixir of the gods, and we never want to lose it.
Recommend this product?
We didn't know how much better the coffee at home could be until we got the Cuisinart DGB-550.
We own a standalone coffee grinder, which I bought long ago and rarely used. It just felt like too much of a hassle to grind the beans and transfer them to a filter in a standard coffee maker(we now use it as a spice grinder, so all is not lost!).
The Cuisinart DGB-550 changed all that.
This machine features a built-in grinder, so we simply add beans to the top, water to the reservoir, and the machine does the rest. The coffee that comes out of this machine has been fantastic, no matter what kind of beans we use.
The best feature of the Cuisinart DGB-550 is Grind & Brew, which turns whole beans into coffee. The improvement to the flavor cannot be overstated.
If you're not using whole beans, that's fine. The machine features a "Grind Off" button which disables the grind feature, allowing you to place your grounds directly into the reusable filter basket.
Speaking of the reusable filter basket, it's great! Never having to mess with paper filters again is a great joy. We dump the grounds into our compost bin, rinse the basket, and it's ready to go.
The carafe is made of glass and plastic, and is quite sturdy. We haven't found any problems with it.
The Cuisinart DGB-550 also features an easy-to-use program feature. Set the clock and the program time, fill the beans and water, and the coffee will start brewing at the appointed time. We've never had a problem with it, and it saves us a lot of groggy time in the morning.
I have seen some clamor about the cleaning of this machine being difficult, but I've never found that to be so. Coffee beans leave buildup in the grinder, and it has to be cleaned. But this is part of the regular maintenance that comes with any type of appliance! I pop out the grinder attachment (which separates into 2 pieces), and the filter basket and cover, and I rinse off each piece, dry them, and put them back into the machine before each brew. It takes about a minute at most.
I have seen other complaints about the filter basket drawer popping out, but we've never had that problem. It has performed admirably every time we've used it, and it's produced wonderful coffee reliably.
The Bottom Line
If you're looking for a machine that lets you explore the wonder of freshly ground coffee in one step, look no further than the Cuisinart DGB-550. The coffee it makes is better than anything we could buy at a coffee shop, and we've never looked back.