The Cuisinart DCC-1200 Brew Central 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker is praised for its 12-cup capacity and easy-to-handle carafe. It also has a number of convenient features, including 24-hour programming, a small-batch option and pause-and-brew. Some owners say the water reservoir is hard to fill, especially for left-handed users, and there are some durability complaints.
Hot brew temperatures please palates. Owners frequently mention their satisfaction with the Brew Central's brew temperatures, which are hot enough to reach optimal temperatures and extract the best flavor from coffee grounds without over-extracting. The water spout design contributes to the Brew Central's ability to maintain proper brewing temperatures, with a showerhead design that distributes water evenly over grounds to reduce temperature loss. It also has a charcoal water filter to remove chlorine from tap water to improve taste. In professional tests, the Brew Central earns very good scores for brew performance.
One standout feature is the adjustable hot plate temperature, which can be set to low, medium or high. Coffee makers with glass carafes use hot plates to maintain the coffee temperature after brewing, but this has a tendency to continue cooking the coffee, creating a bitter taste. By letting users reduce the continued heat, coffee can be maintained for longer periods without contributing to its acidity. The trade-off for this feature is that on lower settings, the coffee won't stay as hot and may need to be re-warmed for those who prefer their brew piping hot.
Lots of extras, but some minor inconveniences. The Cuisinart Brew Central is praised in professional tests for its easy-to-handle carafe, which features an ergonomic design for comfort and to reduce potential dripping during pouring. For users who can't wait to take the first sip of hot coffee, the pause brew feature lets you sneak a cup without making a mess mid-brew, while 24-hour advance programming means you can wake up to a fresh-brewed pot of coffee each morning. A series of five beeps lets users know when coffee is ready, so there's no guessing whether your coffee is done brewing if you're in another room. For days when less than a full pot is necessary, the small-batch function allows users to make a batch between one and four cups.
The charcoal water filter does need to be replaced periodically, but the permanent gold-tone filter means there's no need to purchase one-time use paper filters. However, it is necessary to clean the gold-tone filter between uses -- not a major inconvenience according to most. An indicator light also notifies owners when it's time to clean this coffee maker. Regular cleaning can reduce calcification buildup in the water reservoir and extend the life of the machine.
The most common complaint relates to the water reservoir; users say it's narrow and because it's accessed from the back, it can be difficult to fill. Those storing this coffee maker on a countertop will have to pull it away from the cabinets to access the reservoir, but most owners agree it's a minor shortcoming considering all the other features this machine offers.
Stylish appearance and many color options. The Brew Central looks sleek, with a front-panel user interface. This coffee maker comes in five different colors to coordinate with any kitchen décor: black/chrome, black/brushed metal, matte black metal, metallic pink and metallic red. The unit is relatively tall, so some users say it wouldn't fit under their cabinets.
Most say the Cuisinart Brew Central has a great build quality and design, noting that even the plastic parts feel durable. But one problem we found mentioned by multiple owners is that the water reservoir does tend to leak over time. If the reservoir is leaking, it could create a mess if you fill it the day before to pre-program a morning brew time. We also read some complaints from owners who say that this coffee maker stops working after a few years, and even some users who say that an electrical malfunction caused the unit to start smoking.
A solid, reliable, attractive coffee maker. The Cuisinart Brew Central DCC-1200 is an automatic drip coffee maker with a 12-cup capacity and a host of convenience features. With a small-batch function and adjustable hot plate, the DCC-1200 can accommodate a variety of needs and preferences. Among standard coffee makers, the Cuisinart Brew Central offers more features and functionality than most, and does so in an attractive package. Most downsides are small, but long-term durability could be a concern.
Excellent ConsumerReports.org tests 66 coffee makers in its current roundup, evaluating each for convenience, carafe handling and brew temperature. Standard models with carafes are tested, along with grind-and-brew and brew-and-dispense coffee makers. The Cuisinart DCC-1200 is included in this latest round of testing.
Review: Drip Coffee Maker Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not Dated
Excellent Nearly 3,000 owners post reviews of the Cuisinart Brew Central to Amazon.com, where it earns an overall rating of 3.8 stars out of 5. Most owners appreciate the programming features and say this unit produces great-tasting coffee, but there are some complaints about leaks.
Review: Cuisinart DCC-1200 Brew Central 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of September 2012
Very Good Nearly 290 owners contribute feedback on the Cuisinart Brew Central, resulting in a rating of 91 points (out of a possible 100). Users rate the Cuisinart Brew Central on ease of use, brew performance, ease of cleaning, design and durability. Owners are impressed with the brew temperature, saying this coffee maker produces exceptional coffee.
Review: Cuisinart Brew Central 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker DCC-1200 Reviews, Contributors to Viewpoints.com, As of September 2012
Good Nearly 135 owners review the Cuisinart Brew Central on Cooking.com, where it earns a rating of 4.5 stars out of a possible 5. Reviews here are brief, consisting of one or two sentences, although most praise the Cuisinart's ease of use.
Review: Matte Black 12-c. Brew Central Programmable Coffee Maker by Cuisinart, Contributors to Cooking.com, As of September 2012
Fair About 60 owners contribute reviews here, granting the Cuisinart Brew Central a rating of 3.9 stars out of 5. The most common complaint is that the water reservoir is difficult to fill, but overall, users are pleased with the ease of use and programming features the Cuisinart Brew Central offers.
Review: Cuisinart - Brew Central 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker, Contributors to BestBuy.com, As of September 2012
Fair More than 55 owners offer feedback on the Cuisinart Brew Central DC-1200 on the coffee-enthusiast site CoffeeGeek.com. Owners provide a mixed bag of reviews; some are pleased with the quality and ease of use for the price, while others criticize the weak coffee and low brew temperatures. Overall, it gets a rating of 7.8 out of a possible 10.
Review: Cuisinart DC-1200 Brew Central, Contributors to CoffeeGeek.com, As of September 2012
7. Whole Latte Love
Fair About 15 owners offer feedback on the Cuisinart Brew Central on WholeLatteLove.com, a website geared towards coffee lovers. It receives a rating of 4.5 stars out of 5. Most are pleased with the taste of the coffee produced by this unit.
Review: Cuisinart DCC-1200 Brew Central Coffee Maker, Contributors to WholeLatteLove.com, As of September 2012