Owning the Cuisinart DCC-1200 Brew Central
Control is in the eye of the coffee drinker. For some, you can never have enough dials and buttons. The Cuisinart Brew Central is a sophisticated 12-cup coffee maker with numerous controls that enhance every phase of the brewing process. The machine has an LCD clock/timer to program brewing up to 24 hours in advance, as well as a 30 second “Brew Pause” feature to let you pour a cup while the a pot is brewing. It stands 14.25 H x 8 W x 8.5 D. The Cuisinart Brew Central is distinguished by its sleek design, featuring brushed stainless steel. It is available in Stainless Steel/Black or Black Metal. A smart coffee maker gives you options where it counts. The Cuisinart Brew Central certainly delivers in this area. All of the features are easy to use, and many of them, starting with a 30 second “Brew Pause”, which interrupts brewing so you can pour a cup, and a clock/timer, to program brewing up to 24 hours in advance, are increasingly standard features on coffee makers. It must be said that the controls are evenly spaced on the front of the machine, so it’s clear at a glance what each button or dial operates. The machine can be set to brew 1- 4 cups, or a full 12-cup pot. If that isn’t enough, there are also 3 settings to control hot plate temperature and a shut off function can be programmed to turn the machine off anytime after brewing, from zero minutes up to 4 hours. Another control light intelligently blinks to let you know when it’s time to clean and decalcify the machine. The Cuisinart Brew Central also signals that brewing is complete with a series of 5 beeps. A retro looking flip switch is the main power control, adding a nice design accent to this machine’s overall contemporary look.
Your reaction to this machine will probably depend on your feelings about control features. It may take some time to realize and utilize all of the options available. In terms of brewing, the performance of this model is considerably above average. A full 12-cup pot brews in under 12 minutes and the steam that gathers in the carafe shows you that the carafe’s lid fits securely to retain heat. Maintaining this heat is easy with low, medium, and high hot plate settings, allowing you to fine-tune the final product to your liking. Programmable on and off options automate the brewing process, giving you less to worry about and more time to enjoy your coffee. The Cuisinart Brew Central’s construction is inspired by the industrial look of commercial equipment. The machine is solid and stylish with a rounded contoured look, slightly softer than some of the faux commercial designs of other home coffee makers. A single lid gives you access to the coffee filter, reservoir, and water filter. The cord storage area has a plastic piece that guides the cord into the back of the machine. This is a very solid and durable coffeemaker. The on/off switch has a unique retro design that gives the machine an extra ounce of style.
Attention to detail extends into the design of the carafe as well with the Brew Central. Some might argue there’s no substitute for an insulated carafe, but the vented lid on the 12-cup glass carafe fits snugly to hold steam to retain heat and flavor. The carafe is clearly marked with a fluid level indicator. Its large plastic handle is ergonomically designed to provide a sure grip. An adjustable hot plate. Who knew? The scratch resistant hot plate has a non-stick coating. More remarkably, the heat level of the hot plate can be controlled with 3 different settings to keep the brewed coffee at your desired temperature. You won’t have to guess how much water you’ve poured into the reservoir. The reservoir features a stepped and raised fluid level indicator with clearly visible numerals along the inside wall to help you measure water accurately. The reservoir is deep and easy to fill without spilling water.For a machine with so many smart features, it’s not too surprising that a water filter is included. The charcoal polybag is smaller than a tea bag, but slightly more plump. It fits snugly in a compartment that is set in the reservoir. A gold tone filter is included with the Cuisinart Brew Central. You can use a #4 paper cone filter if you prefer. The Cuisinart Brew Central comes with the basic accessories. A plastic coffee scoop, a permanent gold tone filter, and a charcoal polybag water filter are included along with coffee and water filter re-ordering forms.
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