The Cuisinart 12-cup Grind and Brew DGB-550BK produces great-tasting coffee thanks to its built-in grinder that lets owners grind their own fresh beans. There's also a charcoal water filter that eliminates unwanted tastes from tap water. Its many parts make the DGB-550BK cumbersome to clean, but most owners say it's worth the hassle for the extra features.
Superior coffee, but some complaints about grinder capacity. Most reviews say this coffee maker produces exceptional coffee, thanks to its ability to grind beans and immediately brew them for the freshest taste. This model has a 12-cup capacity, but some owners say the grinder can't hold enough beans to make a full pot. As a result, they feel the coffee is too weak. Others disagree, however, saying they have no problem obtaining strong flavors using this machine.
Otherwise, reviews praise the features offered by the Cuisinart Grind and Brew, such as the pause-brew function, which lets you get a cup without making a mess before the brew cycle completes. For a smaller pot of coffee, the batch size can be adjusted to brew between one and four cups. A few users say the grinder can't be adjusted to accommodate a smaller batch, but others say they simply put fewer beans in the grinder.
Seven parts make for cumbersome cleaning. There are numerous comments among reviews about how cumbersome the Cuisinart 12-cup Grind and Brew DGB-550BK is to clean. The grinder portion has two parts, the basket is in three pieces and the pot itself is an additional two parts which must be disassembled and cleaned thoroughly between uses for best performance. Some users say they don't mind the inconvenience of cleaning all the parts, thanks to the great-tasting coffee this machine produces. Additionally, most of the parts are dishwasher-safe, which simplifies the process for many owners.
After cleaning the parts, users say it's important to make sure the grinder is thoroughly dry before use; otherwise, the grounds will become gummy, potentially clogging the machine and affecting taste. It has an ergonomically designed handle that's comfortable to grip and a knuckle guard to prevent burning your fingers when removing the carafe. Some owners complain that the door to the basket tends to pop open during use, but others contend that this is a result of not having all the parts assembled correctly.
Sleek design, but a bit tall. A few owners say the Cuisinart Grind and Brew is too tall to fit on the counter under cabinets, but most are pleased with its slim, black and brushed-metal design.
The Cuisinart 12-Cup Grind and Brew is durable, with many owners saying they've owned this model for several years with no problems. One owner posting to Amazon.com says he's owned this coffee maker for seven years and it still works as it should.
A solid contender, but consider the Krups KM7000 as well. The Cuisinart Grind and Brew DGB-550BK performs adequately, with some small complaints related to ease of use and cleaning. It costs less than the top-rated Krups Grinder and Brewer KM7000 (*Est. $160), although the Krups gets better professional reviews. However, user reviews are more split, with some giving the Cuisinart Grind and Brew slightly higher grades.
1. Real Simple
Very Good This roundup recommends the best coffee makers in four categories: French presses, percolators, grind-and-brew combos and automatic drip coffee makers. The Cuisinart Grind and Brew DGB-550BK is listed as the runner up among grinder-brewers, next to the Krups Grinder and Brewer KM7000. We wish the author had included more details on testing methodology.
Review: The Best Coffeemakers, Mieke Ten Have, Not Dated
Very Good More than 400 owners provide feedback on the Cuisinart Grind and Brew, and it earns a rating of 3.5 stars out of 5. Owners say it must be cleaned regularly to maintain its lifespan, which some say is difficult because there are several parts. Overall, users say this machine produces excellent coffee.
Review: Cuisinart DGB-550BK Grind-and-Brew 12-Cup Automatic Coffeemaker, Black/Brushed Metal, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of September 2012
Good Nearly 70 owners review the Cuisinart Grind and Brew at Cooking.com, contributing to a rating of 4.5 stars out of 5. Some owners say there are a lot of parts to clean after each use, but most are pleased with the ability to grind and brew using the same appliance.
Review: 12-c. Grind and Brew Automatic Coffee Maker by Cuisinart, Contributors to Cooking.com, As of September 2012
Good Just under 40 owners comment on the Cuisinart Grind and Brew DGB-550BK at Viewpoints.com, where it earns a rating of 83 out of a possible 100. Owners say the grinder can be noisy and the unit is a pain to clean, but most agree it produces great-tasting coffee.
Review: Cuisinart Grind and Brew 12-Cup Coffee Maker DGB-550BK Reviews, Contributors to Viewpoints.com, As of September 2012