PROS / You can brew as much as 12 cups of coffee at once.
CONS / You cannot substitute a thermal coffee carafe for the glass carafe that comes with this coffee maker.
VERDICT / The handy Cuisinart Extreme Brew DCC-2650 has a long list of features but is still available at a reasonable price.
The Cuisinart Extreme Brew DCC-2650 is the best home coffee maker around for its ability to make great coffee and its combination of helpful characteristics, including a water filter, cleaning cycle, audible alert when the brewing is finished and more. For those reasons and more, the Cuisinart Extreme Brew wins the Top Ten Reviews Gold Award.
This unit offers a lot of useful features while still being easy to use and reasonably priced. It's fast too. There was only one machine that was faster in our coffee maker reviews, and that one has fewer features overall. You can put the Extreme Brew on a timer so it can be up and working before you are in the morning.
You will not run out of java with this generously sized 12-cup coffee maker. Each cup is measured at 5 ounces, so you get a hearty 60 ounces of coffee if you make a full pot.
However, if your household only needs that many cups when hosting a dinner party, you can adjust this device so it makes just one to four cups. That capability certainly is useful for smaller households, or homes in which only one person is a coffee drinker. You can also adjust the strength to either regular or bold.
Perhaps the best extra this automatic coffee machine offers is the brew pause function. If you have ever stood there while a coffee maker slowly pours all that rich black goodness into a pot and longed for a quick cup while the brewing is going on, you are in luck with the Cuisinart Extreme Brew DCC-2650. You can stop the brewing and fill that essential cup of coffee that will get you going in the morning and then restart the brewing process – all without mess or bother.
This device is equipped with a charcoal water filter to remove the smell and taste of chlorine and other chemicals that your water district might be adding to the stream coming from your kitchen tap.
A permanent filter is included for the coffee grounds, but if you prefer, you can use paper filters. These disposable filters make the coffee maker easier to clean and add an extra level of protection against the cholesterol in coffee oils, which a permanent filter lets through. However, many coffee drinkers like the fuller flavor of the oils. If you use the built-in filter, it is wise to clean it regularly so that any remaining oils do not take on a rancid flavor.
This coffee maker comes with a glass carafe that sits on a nonstick heating plate. You can adjust the plate to a high, medium or low setting to keep coffee from becoming bitter while it stays hot. Unfortunately, unlike with some of the other top-rated coffee makers, you cannot replace the glass carafe with a thermal type on this Cuisinart Extreme Brew.
Conveniences & Safety
With this device, you can awaken to the delicious aroma of a freshly brewed pot of coffee every morning. This drip coffee maker comes with a built-in clock, and you can program the device so it starts brewing your morning coffee at a designated time. Purists might scoff at adding the water and coffee grounds the night before, but anyone who simply cannot face the morning without a good cup of joe will be grateful for this feature.
This machine also protects against forgetfulness: There is a handy automatic shut-off function. You can program the timer to keep coffee warm for as long as four hours. You can also program it to turn the device off at any time up to four hours after the coffee has finished brewing.
This device also provides a useful audible alert once all the coffee that you have planned to brew is done. You get five beeps to let you know that coffee is about ready as the brew finishes dripping into the pot.
It is easy to use this device since the coffee maker's water level indicator shows how much water you have poured in. Another helpful convenience is the 60-second memory that recalls the settings you have programmed and where it was in the brewing process before the coffee-making came to a halt.
When the Extreme Brew has accumulated enough calcium and needs a good interior cleanup, it lets you know. The device is equipped with a "clean" light that flashes when it is time to get to work. However, there is little work involved, since all you do is fill the water reservoir with a mixture of white vinegar and water, push the "clean" button and wait until another light comes on. You get five beeps to alert you that the process is complete. Then all you need to do is run a single cycle of fresh water through the pot to remove any vinegar taste.
You can clean the charcoal water filter by simply rinsing it in cold tap water for about 10 seconds and letting it drain. Cuisinart recommends that you replace the filters every 60 days or after 60 uses of the coffee maker.
Warranty & Support
This coffee maker comes with a three-year limited warranty, which is excellent in the coffee maker world. If you encounter difficulties with this coffee maker, you can contact Cuisinart through its email or phone support. The device also comes with a helpful user manual that describes how to set up, adjust and work your machine.
Cuisinart's assistance provides a helpful retail store locator on its website, so you can find stores that carry this product within a 90-mile area of your home. There also is a product-tracking area so you can check the status of a product order or delivery if you bought it directly from Cuisinart.
The attractive silver-and-black Cuisinart Extreme Brew DCC-2650 looks good in any kitchen, offers a worthwhile variety of features and comes with great customer support. You will enjoy the coffee you make with this device and you do not have to wait long. The time to brew 8 cups is right around five minutes, and you do not even have to wait that long with the brew pause feature. You can sneak a cup at any point without coffee dripping everywhere. It is also programmable so you can wake up to hot coffee as you start your day.