Cuisinart DGB-900BC Review
Cuisinart has been a consistent name in quality kitchen appliances for more than four decades. Initially known for their groundbreaking food processors, Cuisinart has expanded over the years and now brings innovations to a multitude of products. Coffee makers are a field in which they particularly excel. The DGB-900BC implements a new take on the classic drip coffee machine by pairing it with an automatic burr grinder. The result is a one-stop appliance that grinds, brews and accentuates your coffee.
Specifications and Features
The DGB-900BC’s dimensions are: 10.7 x 8.4 x 16.2 inches and it weighs 9.9 lbs. This is an average sized machine that although tall, and somewhat heavy, can still be used and stored with relative ease, so long as your kitchen and/or storage area is amenable. The detachable carafe is stainless steel and thermal, so the coffee inside remains hot for hours, even though the machine turns off whenever it’s not in use.
This machine is programmable through each step of the coffee making process. A built-in clock timer allows you to program the machine to brew coffee whenever you want it, a feature even some high-end machines don’t include. You can choose to make anywhere from two to twelve cups and the machine will grind and pour the desired amount. Strength is adjustable, too; simply set your brew for mild, medium or strong. If you’re not using fresh beans the grinder can be switched off and grounds can be added directly to the filter. And once the pot is done the machine shuts off automatically, so you never have to worry about it being left on too long.
This device also comes equipped with a gold tone filter with the option to sub it out with an average paper filter, depending on how much sediment you desire to seep down into the coffee. Also, in the reservoir, there’s a slot which allows for a charcoal filter, which are sold separately. Some would call this optional feature superfluous, seeing that filtered water added directly to the reservoir would be just as effective.
The premiere feature, however, is the burr coffee grinder. Burr grinders, unlike blade grinders, grind whole beans more evenly. A blade will chop beans closer to the center of the blade finer, while beans toward the sides will be thicker and coarser. This phenomenon will lead to uneven flavors at best and poorer quality coffee at worst, since the coarse grounds tend to bulk up during brewing and overpower everything else. A burr grinder forces all beans toward the center where they are chopped by a star-shaped centralized blade which enables each grind to occur at a uniform, consistent pace. This maintains the integrity of the bean and gives each cup the coffee’s true flavor.
The bean hopper on top of the machine holds up to ½ lb. of whole beans which can be stored there when not in use because of the hopper’s airtight nature. When the brewing begins the hopper directs the appropriate amount of beans as per your settings and sends them through the burr grinder at your sought after pace. The grinder rests in a wide open stance, making it harder for the grounds to become caught inside, so the process won’t slow or jam upon repeated usage.
Ease of Use
The DGB-900BC is as simple to use as any old drip device and works as quickly as a top of the line drip. The grinding doesn’t take very long at all and the brewing follows straightaway. The front opens easily, so if you want to turn off the grinder and fill the filter manually, the brewing routine won’t be adversely affected.
Your coffee will be at its freshest because the beans grind as the coffee is being made. You can even pause the brew and pour a cup or two, even if you’re making the full twelve cups – this is automatic, so don’t worry about burning your flesh or coffee dripping onto and staining your counter.
Cleaning this machine can be a challenge. There are a number of detachable parts that all must be washed by hand on a regular basis. And while the burr grinder won’t itself get mucked up with excess grounds, sometimes beans can get trapped between the hopper and the blade and may need to be scooped out. Also, grounds tend to bunch up in every little crevice within the expansive hopper and need to be dealt with (either by brushing or rinsing with water) often.
With a retail price of $200, this Cuisinart grinder/drip combo isn’t on the cheaper end of this type of machine. However, the burr grinder does add value to this already fancy drip machine that includes numerous convenience features. With a three-year warranty and the fact that many retailers sell this product far below retail price, this product can be worth the investment.
- Easily programmable for coffee strength, number of cups and whether or not to grind.
- Automatic clock so you can set your coffee to brew exactly when you want it.
- Burr grinder allows for even, pure grounds that bring the best out of your bean’s flavors.
- Removing the carafe mid-brew won’t cause spillage and won’t reset the cycle.
- Airtight hopper stores and utilizes up to ½ lb. of beans at a time.
- Thermal carafe seals in freshness so the last cup is as fresh as the first.
- Quite tall and sort of heavy, this may lead to challenges regarding storage and mobility.
- Numerous parts that all need to be taken apart and washed by hand regularly.
- Large bean hopper covers most of the water reservoir, making it difficult to fill, especially if you want to make a lot of cups.
- If reservoir is filled too high the carafe will overflow. And while the reservoir gauge is clear, there is a delay on the display and once the water’s in it’s difficult to remove.
If you’re looking for a programmable drip machine with an excellent coffee grinder attached, the Cuisinart DGB-900BC by Conair should be one to consider. If kept at peak condition, the pure, uncorrupted flavor, brewed to your precise specifications can be enjoyed over and over again with ease.