A Cuisinart Dcc-1200 Review

This coffee maker might seem like a hefty investment, but if you truly care about the quality of your coffee experience, this machine offers a number of features that make it well worth the price.

Master Reviewer

The Good

  • Highly attractive retro design, whether you choose black with brushed chrome or red with stainless steel
  • Charcoal  water filter to remove the impurities from the water before brewing – resulting in a cleaner tasting coffee every single time
  • Three different temperature settings – low, medium, and high
  • Includes a “self-cleaning” feature, which even tells you when it’s time to clean your machine
  • "Showerhead”-style dripper lets the water flow evenly over the grounds, as opposed to other machines which deposit the water in one spot only"
  • LCD clock and programmable functions, with both auto-on and auto-off

The Bad

  • The included reusable filter has a tendency to leave “sediment” in your cup. Some people may like this, but we did not
  • The charcoal filter must be replaced regularly which will definitely add up over time, but unless you use only bottled water in your machine, the filter is definitely worth the extra cost

Conair Cuisinart Dcc-1200 Review (Continued)

For those who are unimpressed with the most basic coffee makers but don’t need anything too fancy, the Cuisinart Brew Central DCC-1200 is a wonderful option that maximizes the features without adding any unnecessary cost.

The body of this machine is made of a two-toned plastic design (your choice of red with “stainless steel” or black with “brushed chrome”). While some might be put off that a unit this expensive still utilizes a plastic design, we feel that the outer casing is one of the places you can afford to skimp, especially when it looks simply elegant – as this machine definitely does.

Now, when it comes to the perfect cup of coffee, there are four essential elements that must be considered. The first is the water, which the Cuisinart Brew Central handles quite well – unlike many machines which just cycle the water through, this one actually has a charcoal filter which effectively removes chlorine and many other bad tastes that might be in your water. After all, you want the taste to come from the coffee itself, and not from the faucet.

Conair Cuisinart Dcc-1200 Review (Continued)

The downside to this filtration system is that you will, of course, need to replace the filters from time to time. Thankfully, you can purchase these in bulk for fairly cheap – which is definitely what we recommend. Additionally, the location of the marking lines inside the water reservoir can be difficult to see, but as we usually use the carafe to measure the amount of water needed, this was a very minor problem.

Now, onto the filter basket. This unit comes with a reusable gold tone filter basket that can be washed in the dishwasher and re-used for several years. If you’d prefer to use paper filters, this unit takes a size 4 cone filter. We found that the included reusable filter had a tendency to allow finer grounds to pass through, but this is an easy workaround: Either use a coarser grind or use paper filters.

This unit uses a “showerhead” to distribute the water over the grounds, as opposed to many systems which have a single entry point. This showerhead is supposed to prevent temperature inconsistencies as the water passes through the grounds, as the entire surface is wet at the same time. This is, of course, another area that will need to be cleaned, but thankfully the folks at Cuisinart have thought of that, too.

Conair Cuisinart Dcc-1200 Self Cleaning

The self-cleaning function of this Cuisinart machine is absolutely wonderful. This system even tells you when your coffee maker needs to be cleaned, with a small light located directly next to the self-clean button. When it’s time, simply fill the reservoir with the decalcifying solution of your choice (we use one part vinegar to two parts water) and then press the self-clean button. This process can take quite some time, but the purity of your coffee depends on it. Once your machine has cleaned itself, simply run 1-2 cycles (under the regular brew setting, but without coffee grounds) with clean water and you’re good to go.

Key Facts

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

Of course, all the features in the world don’t mean anything if the resulting cup of coffee is terrible, but this Cuisinart Brew Central actually delivers in this area, too. This machine offers users a truly customizable coffee experience, which is usually not found in larger machines. Users can select the temperature that their coffee will be brewed at – high, for those who use a lot of cream; medium; and low, for those who take their coffee black. There is even a special setting for brewing a smaller pot of coffee (1-4 cups). This setting increases the temperature to adjust for the shortened brew time, so you get the same quality from a single cup as you would for an entire carafe.

That’s not where the features end, though. This unit has an LED clock which, while somewhat difficult to read, allows you to set the perfect time for the pot to start brewing – as well as your preferred time for the machine to shut itself off, up to four hours after it has finished. (Please, for the sake of safety, ensure that your unit is turned off before you leave the house – accidents can happen at any time.) The unit will sound a series of beeps when the coffee is finished brewing, and it will sound again once the unit has automatically shut itself down.

Conair Cuisinart Dcc-1200 Strengths

One of this machine’s biggest strengths, however, is the carafe. While it’s generally accepted that coffee carafes will dribble a little when you pour, this system does not have that problem – we can’t remember the last time we poured our first cup of coffee and didn’t get a drop or two on the counter. This doesn’t sound like it would be such a big deal, but it really is.

With some minor prep work, you can easily set your coffee up to be ready as soon as you wake up – the showerhead works to effectively seal the coffee filter basket to keep it nice and fresh throughout the night. While we wish someone would invent a coffee maker that did all the work for you, this is as close as money can buy, and well worth the price. The Cuisinart DCC-1200 is truly remarkable.