The Best Coffee Maker For Even 2 Cups-Cuisinart DCC-1200
The World’s Best Scented Alarm Clock
*From Our Readers: “Paul, I’ve been through three coffee makers in the last three years. Some were expensive ($200+.) and some very cheap (under $50.00). None of them made good tasting coffee consistently and some required a training course just to operate.
Why is it so hard to find a coffee maker that just makes great tasting coffee, is simple to use and easy to keep clean?
Can you please help?” Sarah G. NH
PG: “Sarah, it is amazing how many versions of a “coffee maker” are available today. Some perk, some grind before they drip, others do one cup at at time with pre-measured coffees, and still others also do expresso, cappuccino, foam milk, seemingly everything but drink it for you (nice they still left that part to us.)
When it comes to creature comforts, like coffee, most of us don’t want take an IQ test each morning just to get it. We simply want it delicious and simple. That means the product that creates it needs to be the same, or it won’t be “The Stuff You’ll Love To Live With.”
Our research found a proven coffee maker that does all this, is attractive and takes up very little space on the counter.
So grab a cup of “Joe” and get ready to really enjoy both your coffee and your coffee maker, maybe for the first time.”
The Short Story:
- Classic Stainless Design (also available in 3 other color finishes, Red (MR), Bright Chrome (BCH), and Black (BW) textured)
- 1 to 4-cup mode (double cycles water heating to assure full brewing temperature / great flavor with fewer cups)
- 12-cup carafe with Ergonomic Handle, Dripless Spout and Knuckle Guard
- Brew Pause™ feature lets you enjoy a cup of coffee before brewing has finished
- Adjustable Keep-Warm Temperature Control (Keeps coffee hot for up to 4 hrs. Low/Med/High selectable temps)
- 24-hour brew programming
- Quiet brewing (no loud gurgling)
- Soft 5 beeps tone when coffee ready and at shut-off
- Time-to-Clean Monitor with indicator light and Self-Clean mode
- Programmable Automatic Shut-Off 0-4 hours (auto-off default at 2 hrs. if you don’t set it)
- 25″ Cord stores inside base
- Charcoal Water Filter (removes impurities)
- Gold tone filter and measuring scoop
- #4 paper coffee filter starter kit
- Instruction book
- Limited 3-year warranty
- All materials that come in contact with water or coffee are BPA Free
- Product Dimensions: 7.75″ x 9.00″ x 14.00″
Coffee is one of the most universally enjoyed products on this planet.
So why is it so hard to sort out one really great coffee maker?
Hundreds of different models, dozens of different function and feature combinations. But in the end, all we want is a great cup of Joe!
When we began researching these life altering appliances (you know how bad coffee can mess up your morning), we found there were seven primary criteria to look for, no matter how many cups you want to make:
1.) It must make great coffee consistently. (amazing how many don’t)
2.) Easy to operate intuitively. (Really, who could even read a manual BEFORE coffee?)
3.) Will keep coffee hot and tasty for a long time.
4.) Turns on and off by itself. (will wake you up and never forgets to shut off)
5.) Easy to maintain daily.
6.) Takes up little counter space.
7.) Appearance works with many kitchen styles.
Praise the Java gods,our research founda coffee maker that does all these things and is proven to be a coffee maker people continue to praise for years. (almost 10, from its original introduction!)
The Cusinart DCC-1200 Coffee Maker came to the top of the list, first and most importantly, because it consistently makes great tasting coffee.
With so many “one cup” coffee makers out there, many have felt making a pot of coffee was more than they needed.
Now there’s no debating that for one quick cup of coffee, the “one cup” system wins for convenience.
But many I speak with are realizing that they are throwing away multiple K-cups or individual packages per day. Our research found that because each cup is a combination of coffee grounds, plastic, paper and metal, they cannot be recycled.
In 2009 alone, more than 1.6 billion K-cups were sold, with the numbers predicted to have doubled in 2010. (the not so good environmental impact of “one cup” systems.)
However, one of the other reasons many went to the “one cup” system was because their coffee maker wouldn’t make just a few cups and still have it taste good.
They were right. Because with most all coffee makers, when you make less than the full pot, the heating elements and therefore the temperature of the coffee, is below what it needs to be for proper brewing. This is because the heater takes time to heat up, just like the elements on an electric stove.
The Cuisinart DCC-1200 solves this problem.
In it’s 1-4 cup mode, it automatically double cycles the water through the heating chamber to be sure it always hits the coffee hopper at full temperature.
By simply pressing the 1-4 cup button on the front panel, you can make a small amount of coffee and not sacrifice flavor.
But you say “I don’t drink 4 cups of coffee in the morning!”
Well, that depends on how you measure them……..
Most medium size coffee cups are at least 8 oz. Most coffee mugs are about the same. The Cuisinart DCC-1200 is designed around what many coffee makers use as standard: A 5 oz. cup of coffee.
The reality is if you normally have 2 cups of coffee in the morning, you would fill the carafe to the 4 cup line and it would be pretty close to perfect.(2 8oz cups plus room for steam loss in the brew process).
I set up coffee for my wife each night and her morning cup plus her travel mug empty the pot. (She leaves for work earlier, so I get my own later.)
Some coffee maker systems use a thermal carafe to keep the coffee hot after it’s made.
Our research found that many people who had previously owned the Thermal carafe systems and then used the Cuisinart DCC-1200, said coffee simply tasted better when its kept hot in the glass carafe.
And to keep it hot and tasty for a long time, the DCC-1200 lets you set both the Carafe Temperature heat level (Low, Med. High) and program the coffee maker Shut-Off time. (1-4 hours) (Nice)
This feature is one that a large number of users praised and my wife and I can also vouch for.
You might never microwave your coffee again.
If you don’t set the shut off timer, (ie. if you just leave it in the Brew setting), the DCC-1200 will automatically keep your coffee hot at your desired temperature for 2 hours, then shut off.
When it comes to taste, one big factor (other than your choice of coffee) is what makes up 98% of coffee:
And brewing coffee using unfiltered tap water will add flavors you weren’t intending, like chlorine, minerals and impurities that can significantly alter the taste.
The Cuisinart DCC-1200 incorporates a charcoal filter into the water flow to remove chlorine and other items that detract from achieving coffee Nirvana.
If you already (wisely) filter the water you consume, just remember to use that water for your coffee too and you can save money on the charcoal filter replacements.
If the minerals do start to build up, the DCC-1200 will flash the light next to the “Self-Clean” button to tell you it’s time to clean it. (where’d I put the white vinegar?)
This feature not only helps you maintain the best coffee flavor, (calcified elements don’t transfer heat well) but helps extend the life of your coffee maker.
Once the proper mix of white vinegar and water is installed,(4 cups white vinegar plus 8 cups water) the “Self Cleaning” cycle is activated by a button on the front to make cleaning easy. (instructions for that process are in the well written manual linked at end of this review.)
Cuisinart also builds in an easy to use, 24 hr. Turn-On timer. It’s simple to program and will make your wake up call the great scent of fresh brewed coffee.
Then the Auto-Shut-Off will happen on schedule whether or not you started the coffee by the timer or manually. (Nice! How many times have you run out of the house and then worried you forgot to turn off the coffee maker?)
Also, in the “Saved my butt” category, if you unplug the DCC-1200, it should give you about 30+ mins (when the unit is new, less as it ages) before it loses that programming.
So brief power failures and clean ups that require unplugging, should not require reprogramming.
In the “There are no perfect products” category, there are two issues some people had with the DCC-1200:
1.) They would like to see a back light added to the clock display. I agree. However, a light On/Off button would make it perfect so it doesn’t burn the midnight oil continually, only when you want it.
2.) The water ladder inside the water chamber is not very useful. Unless you get a flashlight and are very tall, this auxillary way to see how much water you just poured in is not of much help until you get to at least the 8 cup level.
But this issue is really easy to solve. Ignore the ladder.
Why, you ask?
Since most of us are using the glass carafe to fill the water chamber anyway, simply use the cup markings on the side of the carafe when you fill it. It is much more accurate and a lot easier to read.
The Cuisinart DCC-1200 gives you 2 choices to make filtering your coffee easy:
1.) They include a very nice gold filter basket right in the package. Just scoop in the coffee, add the water and brew. When your coffee is done, simply dump the grounds, rinse the filter and you never have to dispose of paper filters again.
2.) They also give you a starter pack of No. 4 paper coffee filters, which make clean up a bit quicker, but, of course, requires regularly buying filters.
If you choose to use the paper filters, remember to remove the gold filter and place the paper filter in its place.
Be sure to use only the gold filter Or the paper filter, but not both at the same time.
If you put the paper filter inside the gold filter, it can slow down the water flow too much and cause water and grounds to back up and spill over the basket. (timing is everything)
Another factor to water flow speed is the grind of the coffee itself.
Cuisinart recommends using a Medium-fine grind. This density will allow the water to spend the right amount of time in contact with the grounds to maximize flavor and keep up with the drip rate of the coffee maker.
If you just gotta have a cup right now, the “Brew Pause” feature let’s you pull the coffee pot mid-stream and the No Drip Pour Spout kept things consistently dribble free. (FYI: you’ve got up to 30 seconds to put the carafe back in before the water backs up too much).
Now, you get the best flavor by waiting for the DCC-1200 to beep, telling you the brew cycle is completed. Cusinart knows that by letting the total cups your making blend in the completed pot for a short time, it evens out the flavor.
This is because the coffee in the filter saturates progressively as the water hits it.
The first water that hits the coffee draws through at one strength of flavor, whereas the fully saturated grounds pass through a different flavor and strength. When they all rest in the pot for a few moments, everything blends together perfectly.
So for maximum taste, wait for the 5 beeps and you’re good to go.
The glass coffee carafe is easy to clean and the “no-drip” spout works well. The drip through lid is also easy to snap on.
If you clean the carafe in the dishwasher, Cuisinart recommends putting the glass pot and lid on the Top rack of the dishwasher when not cleaning by hand.
We usually clean the pot by hand to help preserve the life of the water level markings on the side.
Ours still looks good after four years and counting. We’ve not had any problems with our DCC-1200.
For maintenance, we normally do a vinegar cycle cleaning once a year to help maintain the heating elements.
In our experience, if you use filtered water for coffee, you may never see the “clean me” light come on.
The Cuisinart DCC-1200 will make great coffee from 2 cups to 12 consistently, keep’em hot at your temperature for up to 4 hours, turns On and Off when you want it to and looks good in even a very small counter space.
I also hunt to find you a great price with a quality merchant for the products we research.
Click here or on any of the highlighted product names to see the discount you can get today!
Buy the Cuisinart DCC-1200 coffee maker and sleep well knowing you have the world’s best scented alarm clock……and its name is “Joe.”
FYI-1: When you first get your Cuisinart DCC-1200, you need to run it through an initial first use cleaning cycle. This gets the the system cleaned and ready to make great coffee. You can read about it in the manual I linked for you in FYI-4. A quick set up of the timer and coffee and you’ll be ready for your java scented wake up call in the morning.
FYI-2: If you find none of your programming is working, check to see if the light next to the “Self -Cleaning” button is on. If that light is on all programming is disengaged in Cleaning Mode. But no worries. Press the Self -Cleaning button once to turn off the light and all your programming should return to normal.
FYI-3: Save your receipt, as the Cuisinart DCC-1200 has a Three Year Warranty. Hopefully you’ll never need it, but if you do, Cuisinart has a reputation of taking care of customers well. During our customer service check, they were responsive and helpful.
However, as good as they are, without some proof of purchase, you have no warranty.
I recommend everyone take a moment and Register your stuff. I know it will connect you with some marketing, but having spent a number of years overseeing service operations for a major retailer, at least registering your product many times will allow them to cover the repair /replacement of a product, even if you’ve lost the receipt.
I also suggest stapling the receipt into the back of the owner’s manual and putting the manual wherever you keep product manuals (hopefully that’s somewhere you’ll remember to look). It’s always good to hedge your bet whenever you can. PG
FYI-4:Here’s a link to the Owner’s Manual for your reference:
FYI-5: Here are the colors the Cuisinart DCC-1200 comes in and their direct product links at Amazon:
Cuisinart DCC-1200BCH Bright Chrome Finish
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