Is this the Best Drip coffee machine, the Cuisinart DCC-3200 review

For fans of Cuisinart coffee machines, the DCC-1200 was one of the innovators. Still, it had its own fair share of customer complaints – and, in an effort to fix the problems the predecessor caused, the Cuisinart DCC-3200 Perfect Temp was born. This coffee maker offers a completely rethought interface that anticipates the needs of the user and offers it to them. Of course, there are bound to be some complaints even in an improved product. We did a careful review, and here’s what we found

The Cuisinart DCC-3200 is a perfect choice for anyone who wants just a little more than the Brew Central delivers, without a huge price tag

Master Reviewer

The Good

  • High-capacity water reservoir and large carafe, without taking up unnecessary counter space
  • Three warming plate settings and an auto-shut-off that can be adjusted between 0-4 hours
  • Sleek stainless steel design and attractive (and intuitive!) control panel
  • Carbon water filter removes most contaminants before brewing, giving a purer coffee taste than non-filtered machines
  • The “Coffee’s Ready” alarm can be turned off, but when on is quite loud – allowing you to hear it from another room

The Bad

  • There are issues with the filter basket overflowing, although the 3200 shows improvement over the previous model. Using the “bold” setting with less coffee grounds seems to help with this problem
  • Control panel is difficult to understand in the dark – each button uses the same color LED, so you will have to know their placement, or turn on a light
  • The water reservoir is not easy to fill – the lid stands straight up, rather than tipping to the back. However, this might help keep the water tank cleaner, and the fill markers were very easy to read, so filling with another container is no problem

In-Depth Cuisinart DCC-3200 Review

The Cuisinart DCC-3200 Perfect Temp Programmable Coffee Maker was designed as a customizable answer for your morning caffeine needs. Many people start looking into the 3200 because it has a large 14-cup capacity and an attractive design. As soon as you start using your new Perfect Temp, you’ll most likely notice that they have addressed many other concerns as well.

The first thing we noticed was the taste. This unit seems to have actually perfected the brewing temperature, which provides a bolder cup of coffee. The warming plate temperatures were a bit hotter, as well, which helped keep the coffee warmer for longer. There is an auto-shut-off feature that is adjustable, from 0-4 hours. This means you can set your coffee to stay warm without forgetting to shut it off. As with most programmable coffee makers, you can also set your machine up ahead of time, too. These features work together to let you have a warm cup right when you’re ready for it.

Of course, the temperature of the coffee doesn’t make much difference if you’re not using good water. Cuisinart has chosen to include their carbon filters in this unit as well. We loved that it took the same sized filters as the DCC-1200, but it seems like they’ve given it to fit better. A better-fitting water filter reduces the chance of clogging the water filter. Clogging did seem to be this machine’s biggest downfall, although they did make some improvements over the 1200.

Cuisinart DCC-3200 Review Continued

The filter basket on this particular model is shaped a little different than most, to accommodate the extra coffee. We suggest that you use the “bold” settings to make a stronger cup, instead of adding more grounds. The risk of overflow increases with finer grounds, as well, and there is a chance that you will get coffee grounds into the water tube. The DCC-3200 seems to have improved this, but it’s still not completely fixed. We suggest you never brew without a water filter in place, as it may help protect your system.

As we’ve come to expect with Cuisinart coffee makers, the carafe pours nicely and has a removable lid. The water reservoir is a little larger with the 3200, with a slightly larger opening. The lid to the water reservoir only opens about 90 degrees, so this extra room doesn’t help much when you’re trying to fill it with the carafe. Cuisinart knew this, though, so they made sure the water fill line was easily visible from the outside. If you can see the side of the coffee machine, you can see how much water is in the reservoir. This made it much easier to fill with a separate container.

While the Perfect Temp does have a larger capacity than the Brew Central, it isn’t any taller – just a bit wider, from front to back. It does take up a fair amount of counter space, but should fit fine under a cabinet. (You’ll probably have to pull it out to fill it.) If you choose to use paper filters, this takes a standard #4 – but you won’t need to, as the Brew Central comes with a goldtone reusable filter. As with other reusable filters, there is a chance of sediment when using finer grounds. Coarser grounds will usually fix this problem.

Key Facts

  • Drip Coffee Machine
  • Under $100
  • 14 Cup Capacity
  • Ground Coffee

This coffee maker uses a push-button interface, where the previous model used switches and dials. The whole control system was redesigned, in fact, and is now much simpler to use. Our favorite control panel feature was the backlight. It is a bit bright, and we wish they had used different colored LEDs, but compared to no backlighting, we’ll take this one. The clock now has separate hour and minute settings, which makes it easier to program. Cuisinart has chosen to include their self-cleaning function with this machine, as well, which we love. The included instruction manual tells how to use this feature.

While the carafe and water reservoir will definitely hold 14 cups of coffee, the filter basket just isn’t big enough for a strong pot. If you use paper filters the space in the basket is even smaller, and you will increase the risk of overflow. The bold feature can help with this, but those who enjoy very strong coffee may be disappointed to find they can’t brew 14 cups.

Cuisinart DCC-3200 Overall

Overall, this coffee maker is a wonderful choice for most coffee lovers. If you’re debating between this or the DCC-1200, definitely spend the extra money to get this one. The improvements over the previous design are enough to get excited over. But if you’re only looking at this for making large, bold pots – you may be a bit disappointed.