Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it has been discontinued. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
Our taste panel was divided on the DeLonghi's 14-Cup DC514T coffee maker. Some loved its potent brew, while others found it to be too strong for their palates – one panelist even called this coffee “bitter.” We followed the user manual's instructions for the water-to-coffee ratio, but the manual also notes that you can use more or fewer coffee grounds to adjust the strength to suit your taste.
Although the coffee was flavorful, it was not especially hot when emerging from the coffee maker. It tested at 169 degrees Fahrenheit when first made, and after it sat 30 minutes in its carafe, the temperature dropped to 167 degrees Fahrenheit. However, that did not affect the coffee’s taste, strength or aroma.
One thing we did not find favorable was the initial setup and use. It took us some time to figure out the programming using the directions in the user manual. Even cleaning this coffee maker is a bit more complex than most coffee brands we reviewed. Hard water can leave lime scales inside any coffee maker, and it needs to be descaled with an acidic medium. Typically, you just run white vinegar through a coffee maker, then a few pots of clear water to rinse away the vinegar flavor and smell.
The DeLonghi's user manual recommends that you clean this coffee maker with a mixture of water and citric acid (which you can buy at a drugstore) and clean the machine in an interval process where you run cupfuls, then wait 15 minutes and repeat the process a few times. Finally, you need to rinse the machine by running three full pots of water through it in succession.
If you want coffee with a somewhat milder flavor, try the Mr. Coffee BVMC-CJX31-AM coffee maker.
This coffee maker has an aroma button that emits a small amount of hot water onto the grounds while brewing to bring out the best flavor and fragrance. You also get a freshness indicator light showing, in 15-minute increments up to one hour, how long a brewed pot has been sitting on the warming plate.
In addition, this drip coffee maker comes with a chlorine filter to eliminate bad tastes and smells from your water, a measuring scoop for coffee grounds and a gold-tone nylon mesh filter that is cone-shaped. Many coffee aficionados maintain that the cone shape compresses the water into the grounds better than round coffee brewing baskets and creates better flavor. You also get an indicator telling you when the machine needs cleaning.
You can program this device 24 hours ahead so you wake up to a fresh pot. You can also quickly grab a cupful in the morning during the brewing process, since it employs a brew pause function. You do not have to brew an entire pot; instead, you can set the device to brew the number of cups you want. There is also an automatic shut-off function for safety.