Cuisinart DCC 3200: A Practical Review

Cuisinart DCC 3200: A Practical Review

The sleek and spaceship-like Cuisinart DCC 3200 has garnered almost 19,000 reviews on Amazon, making it a popular choice for drip coffee enthusiasts. For those seeking a straightforward, budget-friendly coffee maker with substantial brewing capacity, this 14-cup machine might just fit the bill.

With a 70-ounce glass carafe, a temperature-controlled hot plate, and a delayed start timer, the DCC 3200 is all about convenience. Its brushed stainless steel housing gives it a modern look, and the blue backlit LCD screen displays the time, carafe hot plate settings, and programmable brew timer. Five buttons on the control panel manage features like auto-clean, strength controls, and brew functions.

The DCC 3200 boasts a substantial 70-ounce brewing capacity, making it ideal for small offices or homes that need large quantities of coffee. The water reservoir is housed inside the unit and is not removable, but a side window shows the water level. The brew basket is fully removable and comes with a reusable gold-tone filter, which is perfect for those who enjoy a heavier-tasting coffee. The basket also accepts #4 paper filters for those who prefer a cleaner taste.

Most important for any coffee maker is the brewing temperature. The Specialty Coffee Association suggests that the ideal brew temperature falls between 197.6°F (92°C) and 204.8°F (96°C). Cuisinart’s DCC 3200 claims to use ‘expert coffee-making technology’ to hit this range, but user reviews indicate that it brews between 198°F (92°C) and 202°F (94°C) when new. However, as the machine ages, the brewing temperature can drop to as low as 185°F (85°C), which is below the optimal range for light roasts.

One of the features touted by the DCC 3200 is the ‘bold’ button, which simply extends the brewing time to allow for a stronger coffee. This programmable coffee maker also includes a delayed start timer, so you can set it to brew before you wake up. However, grinding your coffee beans the night before can slightly impact the flavor. The machine also features a 1-4 cup setting, which optimizes extraction for smaller quantities, though the DCC 3200 lacks brew size controls, meaning you must manually measure the water for your desired amount.

The hot plate under the 14-cup glass carafe has low, medium, and high settings to keep your coffee at the preferred temperature. While this is a user-friendly machine with intuitive controls, it does lack a few features like removable water reservoir and brew size selection, making operation a bit more cumbersome than necessary.

Is the DCC 3200 worth the money? The primary issue is its water temperature consistency, especially if you prefer light or medium roasts. Compared to other models in the same price range, like the Braun Brewsense, the DCC 3200 offers great capacity but may fall short in some other aspects.

When it comes to cleaning, the DCC 3200 is relatively low-maintenance thanks to its auto-clean function. Pressing the clean button initiates a self-clean cycle, which descales the machine using either vinegar or a descaling solution. Just remember to remove the water filter beforehand.

Extra features include a brew-pause function that lets you pour a cup mid-brew and a 3-year limited warranty, albeit only for U.S consumers. However, this coffee maker might not be ideal for those who need a machine that fits under kitchen cabinets or those who relish a fruity, light roast coffee.

The Cuisinart DCC 3200 is a budget-friendly coffee maker with a large brewing capacity and several useful features. While it has some shortcomings, like inconsistent water temperature and lack of brew size controls, it offers good value for those who need a high-volume, no-fuss coffee machine.