Top critical review
Owned for ONE YEAR, Slow, Water not Very Hot, Other Issues, Then it Broke
Reviewed in the United States on June 10, 2021
I must say I had very high hopes for this. I looked it up in consumer reports, and they thought quite highly of it. The reviews here mostly dealt with how it sounded. I bought it thinking I was getting a top of the line product. Unfortunately I was mistaken.
I will say that the reservoir capacity is great for a family of 4 Coffee drinkers. Being mounted on the side makes it easy to access and fill. There is a "Built in Filter" that is supposed to filter the water before it enters the machine. Not going to happen.... The filter is suspended over the exit of the reservoir by about 1/8 inch, so there is nothing forcing the water to actually go through the filer, and instead is sucked under it. So basically you can think of the filter as like a tea bag sitting in a cup. Probably the poorest design I have ever seen, but a great way to sell expensive filters. There is also a plastic strainer in the port that the reservoir feeds into. However, you can't remove this strainer to clean it without disassembling the bottom of the unit.
The ability for you to use larger then standard coffee cups is nice, but if it was just a little bit taller I could put in a travel mug. The K-Cup itself is really not meant for brewing more then 8oz of coffee. So if your also a big coffee cup drinker, you will go through lots of them.
There is a water flow device in the unit that monitors the flow of water during the Brew cycle. This combined with a timer decides when to run the Descale process, it also compensates for a slower water flow as the unit ages. There is a well documented procedure on how to descale, but pressing the hot water and rinse buttons exactly at the same time can be tricky. if they are not pressed at exactly the same time the descale process won't run and the indication of the need to descale will not go out. Allowing for a little delay in pressing one then the other would be a great improvident in this regard.
There is a number of setting you can configure, including your water temperature. You get "Hot" or "XHOT" Both setting are well below what I would consider the proper temperature for a cup of coffee or especially Tea.
Speaking of Tea, there is a little refillable insert included, and stored in the side of the unit. This could be used to to make a cup of any ground coffee or lose tea you might care to make. While this little cup has been available for quite some time, its good to not only see it included, but having a proper storage space on the unit itself.
I would avoid using K-Cups that have anything in them besides coffee or Tea, Especially things like cappuccino or hot chocolate. There are all kinds of spaces and crevices where things like this could get into and turn moldy. A lot of these spaces are difficult if not impossible to clean. Again, a very poor design. A cup that happens to leak will create a HUGE mess. Even with coffee, it tends to spit liquid out onto the counter.
**** ONE YEAR LATER ****
I've done all the proper things with regard to descaling, cleaning, changing filters, but the brew times started getting longer and longer. The water would run for a few seconds and then spit water and steam, this would repeat until the brew was completed. Repeated rinces, descales and checking the cup piercing holes didn't rectify the issue. Unfortunately the other day, while trying to make my first cup of coffee of the day, it displayed an EE0 error about 10 seconds into the brew cycle. I checked online and the way to clear the error was to unplug the unit for 15 min and then plug it back in. It did clear the error, but came right back when I tried to make coffee, run a rinse or descale, or just get hot water. I contacted Cuisinart customer service and they had me go through the unplug process again. Still didn't work. They asked me for the serial number and offered to replace the unit. I had to send them a picture of the unit with the power cord cut off. then said it would take 10 to 14 BUSINESS days to get here. My original order was here in 2 days. This EE0 error seems to be quite common, and may be a design flaw in the older models. Once the new unit is in service we will have to see what happens.
I did take the old unit apart to see how it worked and to check for "Clogged" plumbing. I was surprised to find that even the heating element had very little deposits in it. Leading me to believe that it was an electronic failure. I can find no documentation about what an EE0 error is, but may be related to water flow. The only other thing I could think of was the hose going from the heating unit to the top of the K-Cup holder. It passes through a "Pincher" that closes off this tube when the cover is open. I guess its a "Safety" feature that keeps hot water or steam from coming out when the lid is open. The whole system including the one way valve in the head seem very restrictive to water flow. Another design issue that is mandated by our litigious country. That valve location also brings into question any attempt to insert anything into piercer in the top of the head. You could destroy that one way valve if you do.
I really was hoping that this would be a unit that would give me many pleasant years of coffee. My replacement unit will be here next week, so we will see what happens to it a year from now. But knowing what I know now, I probably would have looked at something else for a k-cup device.
***Update on replacment***
So after about 10 days the replacement coffee maker showed up. I opened it up being glad it finally arrived and I could once again make coffee. However I was very disappointed to find out but they didn't send me an exact replacement. Instead they sent me the cheaper black with chrome did I specifically didn't want when I originally ordered it. The customer service representative didn't even bother to ask what unit I had and I assumed that since I gave them the serial number they knew. I can only assume that they actually didn't care. So I'm going to take off another star. I'm very disappointed with this company and as I said in the beginning I had high hopes for it. I can only highly recommend that you avoid this company altogether.