Cuisinart DCC 3200 Coffee Maker Review
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of coffee makers to choose from. Each model has their own features and most differ in the quality of coffee they brew. On model that stands out from the crowd is the Cuisinart DCC 3200. I recently received this coffee maker as a gift and have been using it for three weeks. So far, I have found some positives and negatives for this product. But I will say that the Cuisinart DCC 3200 certainly delivers. If you are interested in learning more, this article has got you covered. In this review, I’ll go over the various aspects of the Cuisinart DCC 3200. I’ll also give my final thoughts on this coffee maker.
Pros and cons
Fine ground can slip through gold-tone filter, end up as sediment at the bottom of the carafe
Well designed: appealing, compact, and durable
Lip on carafe can make it difficult to pour out remaing bit of coffee
Plenty of useful features
Might not fit in small kitchens
Brews great tasting coffee
Price and availability
On Amazon, the Cuisinart DCC 3200 sells for $129.98 CAD (this excludes accessories). On the Cuisinart website, the coffee maker goes for $179.99 CAD. Other costs will vary between stores. Some common prices I saw where $149.99 and $139.99 CAD. Outside of online retailers, you can purchase the Cuisinart DCC 3200 in person from stores like Best Buy, London Drugs, and The Brick.
While the price for the Cuisinart DCC 3200 may seem high, you are getting a lot in return. To me, the price is justified by the features and capabilities you get in return. Cheaper coffee makers can be of poorer quality, in their design and in the coffee they make.
While some coffee makers have complex and fancy designs, the Cuisinart DCC 3200 has a simple, no-nonsense look. The exterior is made from stainless steel, which gives off a silver metallic shine. The buttons and display are neatly organized on the front of the coffee maker. The cup indicator is located on the right side. It clearly shows you how many cups of coffee you can brew. The inside of the Cuisinart DCC 3200 is also very basic. The filter basket and holder are both positioned at the front of the coffee maker, which makes it easily accessible. Additionally, the wire gold mesh filter easily fits into the holder. The water reservoir is also well-placed. It clearly indicates how many cups of coffee you will be making. The 14 cup carafe is similar to other models. It is made out of glass and has an ergonomic handle. It was easy to pour coffee from the carafe. However, it has a lip which makes it difficult to pour out the last remaining bits of coffee.
Even though the coffee maker is large, I was able to fit it in my kitchen. I could fit it under cupboards and beside other kitchen gadgets. The coffee maker also did not take up a lot of counter space. However, if your kitchen is small, the Cuisinart DCC 3200 might be too big. My kitchen was fairly large, so I had no issues. But for someone with a small kitchen, the size of the coffee maker could pose a problem.
I tend to like products that are more minimalistic rather than complex. Therefore, the basic design of the Cuisinart DCC 3200 was appealing to me. The silver and black colours looked sleek, and the controls and measurements were all effectively placed. This combination of elements gave the Cuisinart DCC 3200 a modern aura. Out of other coffee makers I have used in the past, this one might be the best looking.
Features and accessories
The Cuisinart DCC 3200 has several useful features. The one that stood out to me was the automated brew feature. By pressing the Prog/Auto On button, you can program a time for the coffee maker to begin brewing. This feature is convenient, especially if your morning schedule is tight. I used this feature throughout the work week, and it saved me about 6-8 minutes each morning. The second feature I frequently used was called Brew Pause. The feature stops the brew process once the carafe is removed from the heating plate. This lets you pour a cup of coffee mid brew. Placing the carafe back onto the heating element will resume the process. Cuisinart suggests that the carafe be returned within 20 seconds to prevent the basket from overflowing. The Brew Pause feature came in handy several times. I usually want to drink my first cup in as soon as possible, so I often removed the pot before the brew cycle finished.
There are other useful feature worth mentioning. The 1-4 Cup button is one example. If you’re not looking to brew up 10 or more cups, then this feature is for you. It adjusts the brew process to get the best flavour when making less than five cups of coffee. I often used this feature, and each time the flavour of the coffee did not disappoint. I also used the Carafe Temperature button. This feature lets you adjust the warming plate temperature to low, medium, or high. If you want more control over your coffee’s taste, the Bold button lets you select a strong or regular flavour. This feature was not as important to me, and I often switched between the two strengths. Lastly, the Clean button will let you know when its time to clean the inside of the coffee maker. Over time, calcium deposits will form in the inside of the coffeemaker. This is called calcification. It is caused by the minerals found in tap water, which most people pour into the reservoir. The self-clean feature helps with decalcification. Fill the water deposit with 1/3 vinegar and 2/3 water, then press and hold the Clean button. When the indicator flashes red, the coffee maker will go into clean mode. To rinse the unit, fill the reservoir to the brim with cold water and press the Brew On/Off button. After that, the coffee maker is ready to go. The self-clean feature makes the cleaning process much simpler; it does all the hard work for you.
There are other accessories that come with the Cuisinart DCC 3200. The charcoal water filter helps eliminate chlorine and various metals from tap water in order to improve taste. The Gold Tone Filter Basket eliminates the need for paper filters. The basket can hold grinds for 10-12 cups of coffee. This accessory is eco friendly and will help you save money on buying filters. The one downside to the basket is that fine grounds can sometimes flow through the filter and end up in the carafe as sediment. While this did not affect the flavour of my coffee, it was unpleasant. Lastly, Cuisinart provides a coffee scoop and a coffee machine starter kit. The kit comes with a water filter, scoop, and paper filters. I did not use most of the accessories since I already have a good supply of paper filters, and I use a regular spoon to measure out coffee grounds. But for someone who does not have these things, the accessories would be very useful.
I can safely say that the Cuisinart DCC-3200 has the most features out of any other coffee maker I have used. Each feature is designed to give you the best cup of coffee possible. On top of that, the accessories were useful. In the future, I plan on using each feature at least once.
Coffee shouldn’t be complicated, and the Cuisinart DCC 3200 lives by this statement. It is a user friendly coffee maker, but there was a small learning curve . Before I made my first pot of coffee, I had to read the instruction booklet to get started. I didn’t know where to begin, and I was unfamiliar with the buttons and what each one did. Thankfully, the information was easy to understand. According to the booklet, here are the steps to making coffee with the Cuisinart DCC 3200:
- 1. Fill the reservoir with water. Use the level indicator to pour out the desired amount.
- 2. Add the coffee grinds. You can either use a paper filter or the gold filter basket. I usually add one or two tablespoons of coffee grounds, but do what works for you.
- 3. Place the carafe on the heating plate. Make sure it is sitting level (i.e., not off kilter).
- 4. Set your preferences. If you are brewing less than five cups, press the 1-4 cup button. If you want a strong coffee flavour, press the Bold button. Press the Carafe Temp button to set the heating plate’s temperature. Choose between Low (L), Medium (M), or High (H).
- 5. Begin brewing. Press the Brew/Off button to start.
Once the cycle has finished, five beeps will sound.
I frequently used the automated brewing feature. I again had to read the instruction manual to set up the feature. Once again, the information was clearly communicated. Here are the steps:
- 1. Set up a time. Press and hold the Prog/Auto On button for about two seconds. The display will flash the default time of 12:00. Use the Hr and Min buttons to set the desired time.
- 2. To activate the feature, press the Prog/Auto On button. Your set time will be displayed and the indicator will light up.
After that, all you have to do is add water to the reservoir and put some coffee grind into the filter. The Cuisinart DCC 3200 will brew up your pot of coffee at the time you set.
After each use, it’s important to clean the Cuisinart DCC 3200. Coffee grounds can end up in the filter holder, and other parts of the coffee maker can get stained. Most of the parts can be cleaned in the upper rack of your dishwasher, e.g., the filter basket and carafe. You can also wash them in warm soapy water. The base model can be wiped down with a damp cloth. The instruction booklet advises not to use harsh cleansers or rough materials to clean any part of the DCC 3200. The self-clean feature made it easier to maintain the inside of the coffee maker. However, I thought the process was a little cumbersome.
I appreciated the fact the instruction manual was written with the customer in mind. Each section was informative but at the same time readable. I was not bogged down by overwritten and complex paragraphs. Because of the booklet, I had no issues in using the Cuisinart DCC 3200. After reading the manual, I knew how to make coffee, set up the automated brewing, and the proper way to clean the coffee maker.
To view the instruction booklet for the Cuisinart DCC 3200, click here.
In the end, one of the most important questions about this coffee maker is whether it brews a good pot of coffee. After using the Cuisinart DCC 3200 for several weeks, I can confirm that it does brew great tasting coffee. As I mentioned earlier, I mainly used the 1-4 cup setting. Each batch of coffee I made was flavourful. If the coffee did not taste good, it was because I did something wrong. For example, the grounds to water ratio was off, which either led to coffee that was too bitter or too weak. The coffee was brewed in a reasonable time. Four cups of coffee took about seven minutes to complete.
However, I did discover one issue. As i mentioned earlier, fine coffee grounds can sometimes slip through the gold-tone filter. They will end up as sediment at the bottom of the carafe. As you drink your cup of coffee, the sediment becomes noticeable towards the end. The sediment does not affect the taste. Plus, the instruction booklet warns you that this may happen. Still, I thought it was unappealing. Even though it did not affect the overall quality, it made it seem like the coffee was much more bitter than it actually was. The workaround to this problem was using filter paper instead. With this filter type, there is less likelihood of grounds ending up in the carafe. But even with the filter paper, coffee grounds could still occasionally end up in the carafe. This usually happened when the paper clung to moisture that formed along the sides of the filter holder. The filer paper would fold up, preventing the water from properly steeping the grounds during the brew process. For some reason, this caused ground to slip into the carafe or onto the carafe’s lid. This was a pain to clean up, but thankfully it only happened once.
For coffee lovers everywhere, the Cuisinart DCC 3200 is a solid coffee maker. It is packed with useful features such as automated brewing, temperature control, and self-cleaning. The coffee maker also comes with accessories that help you save money from buying additional items; for example, the gold-tone filter. The Cuisinart DCC 3200 was intuitive to use. Plus, the instruction booklet was very helpful and improved usability. The coffee maker’s design was attractive and despite its large size, I was still able to fit it in my already crammed kitchen space. The price for this coffee maker seems high. But for the number of features you get in return, the cost is definitely worth it. Plus, similar coffee makers are in fact more expensive than the Cuisinart DCC 3200. And if you opt for an affordable model, it may be cheaply made and make a bad pot of coffee.
One area of improvement I have for the Cuisinart DCC 3200 is in the design of its gold-tone filter. The mesh sometimes lets fine coffee grinds through and end up as sediment at the bottom of the carafe. As I covered earlier, this does not actually affect the coffee’s flavour. Still, seeing the dark sediment at the bottom of my cup was not a pleasant sight. Hopefully Cuisinart can improve the mesh material of the gold-tone filter. Another alternative would be to permanently switch over to paper filters.
Despite this drawback, I thoroughly enjoyed using the Cuisinart DCC 3200. If you are looking to buy a coffee maker, then this is the one to get.
Limited 3-year warranty
Plastic + stainless steel
Regular or bold
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