This impressive single-serve coffeemaker is compact but punches above its weight with a bean grinder, and the option to use ground coffee or single-cup pods.
Finding a reliable, relatively inexpensive coffee machine these days can feel like a daunting chore with no shortage of options to choose from online or at your local department store. Here we take a look at Cuisinart’s Grind & Brew Single Serve Coffeemaker to see if it fits the bill for java lovers on a budget.
This compact machine is more than just a coffee maker – it’s a mini coffee station. Freshly brewed coffee beans can produce a more flavorful and robust cup of coffee. However, those who want single-serve coffee makers usually don’t have the option to brew beans – unless they bring in an external grinder – which takes up more countertop space.
However, the Cuisinart Grind & Brew Single Serve Coffeemaker finds a logical way to integrate the grinder without adding extra weight and bulk. I tested the machine for over a week to see if it performs as well as it looks.
- Grinds whole beans
- Compatible with ground coffee
- Accepts any single-cup pod
- 2 color choices
- Removable water reservoir
- Brews various sizes
- Decalcification notice
- Grinder is not adjustable
Unboxing and Setup
Packed securely, the Cuisinart Grind & Brew Single-Serve Coffeemaker arrived in good shape. The contents were protected by molded pulp for extra protection. In addition to the coffee machine, the box also contained the removable drip tray, coffee scoop with a brush on the other end, charcoal water filter and holder, and user manual.
There’s also a reusable filter cup, and a removable capsule holder.
Controls on the top are easy to read and understand. The control panel includes the on/off button, grind button, and add water indicator – which turns red when the water level is low. There are also three cup sizes to select from: 8 ounces, 10 ounces, or 12 ounces.
Cuisinart includes a charcoal water filter (and water filter holder) to remove the chlorine, odors, and bitter taste of tap water. The filter is placed into the holder, which is then put in the water tank. Don’t worry, it’s not just floating around. The holder fits securely into a designated slot in the water tank. The company recommends replacing the charcoal water filter either every 60 days or after 60 uses. If you have hard water, replacement should be more frequent.
Before brewing coffee, I flushed out any dust by pouring water into the water reservoir, placing a coffee mug underneath the spout and then brewing a 10-ounce cup of water (per the instructions).
Using the Cuisinart Grind & Brew Single Serve Coffeemaker
After flushing the machine, the first step was to test the burr grinder. But first, I refilled the water reservoir. It’s removable, which makes filling, emptying, and also cleaning it much easier.
I love the idea of freshly ground coffee beans, and was excited to see how this one would perform. I took the bean hopper lid off and poured beans into it. Then I put the reusable filter cup (which is neatly stored on the left side interior) into the holder. (Actually, the first time, I used a glass container instead of the reusable filter cup, so you could see the process more clearly – but you should use the reusable filter). After turning on the machine, I pressed the grind button.
When the grinder finished, I transferred the coffee to the reusable filter cup (don’t forget, you won’t have to perform this step since you won’t be grinding into a glass mug.) I pulled the lever on the right to open the capsule holder, inserted the reusable filter cup, and closed the lid. Then I selected my beverage size and the brewing process started.
I also want to note that the bean hopper has a sealed lid, which keeps the beans from getting stale. As a result, I didn’t have to replenish the supply of beans in the hopper every day – although I never put more than a week’s worth in it at one time. The hopper holds 3.5 ounces of coffee beans, and the transparent window let me easily gauge the remaining amount.
You can also make coffee using pods. Just open the brew head lever, add a pod, and then close the lever. Unlike some competitors, Cuisinart lets you use any type of single cup pod, so you’re not limited to Keurig’s K-Cup pods.
The coffeemaker makes a good cup of coffee. It may not compare to much more expensive brands that let you customize every feature – but not everyone requires all of the bells and whistles. Some people just want a good cup of Joe – and this one coffeemaker delivers.
Cleaning the Cuisinart Grind & Brew Single-Serve Coffeemaker
Your cleaning process will be determined by how you use the machine. For example, if you use the burr grinder, you’ll need to clean it and the bean hopper. On a regular basis, I wiped the exterior and bean hopper with a damp soapy cloth. I cleaned the capsule holder, reusable filter, and drip tray in the sink, and used the included brush to clean the grinder.
The machine has a decalcification notice (all of the lights will flash at the same time to alert you that it’s time to perform this task). Cuisinart recommends decalcifying the machine every month – more frequently if you have hard water and use the coffeemaker frequently. The instructions are in the manual, but fortunately, they suggest using a vinegar and water solution instead of purchasing a specific product.
Should You Buy the Cuisinart Grind & Brew Single-Serve Coffeemaker?
It’s hard not to like this nifty appliance. It didn’t take up much space – and looked good (and unique) on my countertop. It’s also quite functional, as a single-cup coffee maker with a built-in grinder is far from common. And the machine is versatile enough to also accept ground coffee. Another selling point is the ability to use any brand’s K-cup.
The price is another selling point. This model might not work well for households with multiple coffee drinkers, since they would likely require a large capacity carafe. But for single-household coffee drinkers or those willing to wait their turn to get a cup of coffee, this is a good choice.
If you have the Cuisinart Grind & Brew Single-Serve Coffeemaker, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the machine. You can leave them in the comments section below.
Cuisinart Grind & Brew Single Serve Coffee Maker Specs: