One minute review
Cuisinart is perhaps a brand synonymous with food processors, and it was indeed the device that launched the household name. However, since its beginnings in the 1970s, the brand has expanded its range considerably, now offering kitchen appliances, cookware and gadgets, including some of the best coffee makers. (opens in a new tab).
In the United States, Cuisinart offers a wide range of coffee makers, but in other countries the selection is more limited. The Grind & Brew DGB-650BC automatic coffee maker is available in the US and UK, with its built-in bean grinder making it one of the most premium drip coffee makers available from the brand.
Its ability to grind whole coffee beans, coupled with a large 10-cup capacity thermal carafe, means this coffee maker promises more than your average model. But it’s not just for whole coffee beans; the grinder can be turned off if you prefer to use ground coffee. It’s also fully programmable, so you can set it up at bedtime to give you a fresh cup of coffee when you wake up.
During testing we found it simple to use and set up, the thermal carafe keeps the coffee hot, but the 10 cup capacity is enough to fill five decent sized mugs. We had to play around with the amount of coffee to get the flavor we were looking for, but overall the Cuisinart Grind & Brew Auto makes a great cup of coffee with minimal effort. However, there will be a few parts to clean at the end of the infusion.
This model is best suited to households that want coffee from freshly ground beans, without having to break out a separate grinder. But if you usually drink the whole carafe right after brewing, you could save some money and buy the model with the glass carafe instead.
Cuisinart Grind and Brew Auto Coffee Maker Price and Availability
- List price: $129.95 / £160
The Cuisinart Grind & Brew Auto DGB-650BC is available direct from Cuisinart or Amazon in the UK and US. The bean grinding function and thermal carafe make it more expensive than the most basic drip coffee makers. However, those who don’t need the thermal carafe should consider the Grind & Brew DGB-625BC. Aside from the glass carafe, it offers all the same features for a more affordable price of just $99.95 / £125.
- Simple control panel
- The filter is easy to remove
- Beep at end of brewing
The Cuisinart Grind & Brew Auto is about the size we’d expect for this style of coffee maker, measuring 15 x 8 x 8.1 inches/ 38 x 20.3 x 20.6 cm (hxwxd). It can be pushed to the back of your counter, but if you have wall-mounted kitchen cabinets, keep in mind that you’ll need some space above to flip the lid over and access the water tank. water and grinder.
It’s not the most attractive coffee machine we’ve seen. That said, the stainless steel exterior is harmless, but it easily marks with fingerprints, which is frustrating. Setup was easy, however, we were quickly able to figure out how to assemble and start the coffee maker.
The Cuisinart comes with two charcoal water filters to remove chlorine and unpleasant flavors from tap water. A filter will stay with you for about 90 days, and you can buy spare parts inexpensively online. The water reservoir is filled by folding down the top lid, and there is a water level indicator with cup markers on the side of the coffee maker.
This model does not have a bean hopper, so you will need to fill the grinder with fresh beans before brewing. However, if you’re using pre-ground coffee, the ‘grinding’ button will deactivate the grinder and you can add coffee directly into the filter, which opens at the front. All parts are easily removable for cleaning by hand or in the dishwasher.
The simple control panel displays the time and allows you to program the coffee maker to brew coffee anytime within the next 24 hours. There’s also a 1-4 cup button that needs to be selected if you’re brewing such quantities; it adjusts the process for better extraction and flavor.
- Decanter pours cleanly
- Easy to program
- 10 minutes to infuse at full capacity
We found this coffee maker simple to use and set up, and unlike espresso machines, there are no difficult skills to master. We first brewed the maximum capacity of 10 cups, which took just over 10 minutes including grinding. The manual advises about one scoop of beans per cup, but no more than 14 scoops, so we opted for 12 to make sure it would be strong enough. The flavor was fresh and well-rounded – not bitter or overpowering – but that will vary depending on the beans you use.
At 77 dB, the grinding was the loudest part of the process. Fortunately, it didn’t last too long. The temperature of the freshly brewed coffee was 170oF/ 77oC, and we poured out a few cups and left the rest in the carafe. Two hours later, his temperature had dropped to 151oF/ 66oC, which was still warm enough to drink. Five hours after brewing it had dropped to 129oF/ 54oC, which is about warm enough – if you don’t plan on adding milk. All in all, considering the coffee had been sitting in the carafe, and not on a hot plate, for five hours, that’s a pretty good result.
The amount of coffee brewed is dictated by the amount of water filled into the machine, so to brew four cups – which equals two cups – we filled the water to the four cup line. The manual says if you’re brewing four cups or less, you should add 1½ scoops of coffee beans per cup, so we’ve added six scoops. We also pressed the 1-4 cup button for this brew; it’s not essential that you do this, but Cuisinart says it will improve the flavor of the resulting drink. It took seven and a half minutes to brew the four cup amount and the resulting coffee came out at 167oF/ 75oC. Cusinart advises reheating the carafe with hot water if you want your coffee to be hotter. So the next time we brew four cups, we’ll first pour boiling water into the carafe and let it sit for five minutes. After reheating the carafe, the brewed coffee measured a slightly warmer 172oF/ 78oC.
Using ground coffee is easier than adding beans to the grinder – just add the ground coffee directly to the filter. You will need to remember to press the “grind off” button or the grinder will continue to spin. Brewing with ground coffee is quieter, with the Cuisinart Grind & Brew Auto peaking at 50dB on our sound meter. A full 10-cup brew took just under 10 minutes, which is similar to brewing time with whole beans, while a four-cup brew took five minutes faster. We found that using pre-ground coffee resulted in a stronger drink, but it was also much more bitter – although again this will very much depend on the coffee you use.
While brewing, you can remove the carafe to pour your coffee without spilling, then brewing will continue when you replace the carafe. The resting plate under the carafe was the only part of the coffee maker that got hot during brewing; the rest remained cool to the touch. We also tried the scheduling feature, finding it easy to set the machine up at night to brew coffee automatically in the morning – although we’d suggest a test run to make sure you’ve done it right to avoid having to go without your morning caffeine fix.
Cleaning the coffee maker was simply emptying the grinds from the filter and then washing all the parts. The filter and carafe are dishwasher safe, but we found that a good rinse removed most of the coffee residue. It’s a good idea to let all parts dry completely before using them again, especially if you don’t plan on using the coffee maker for a few days.
Should I buy the Cuisinart Grind and Brew Auto?
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First test: June 2022