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Grind and brew coffee maker

I've done a little research on the topic, including here, and it seems that there is a lot of dissent on the Cuisinart models and some mixed reviews on Capresso. I'm looking for a grind and brew for my BF around the $200 or so range. He likes freshly ground coffee beans and always complains that "no one" ever makes him coffee. "No one" refers to guess who - so i'm looking for a grind and brew that is easy to clean (b/c i will be the one cleaning it) but that makes a mean cup of coffee. I've seen reviews that the Capresso model leaves ground coffee in the bin so the next time you make a pot, a portion of the coffee beans are left over from the last time. I would only be making 2 cups most of the time - if that makes a difference in the coffee maker. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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  1. I'm glad you posted this, because we've also been researching this and I'd like some opinions. One of our big issues in addition to this is that the thermal carafe we have now with our coffee maker doesn't keep coffee HOT for very long. It's lukewarm after about 30 minutes.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Andiereid

      Our G&B thermal is amazing. My husband is convinced that there must be a heating element under the pot (there isn't).

      When I am on call, I set the coffee to be ready at 0345 since I have to be out the door at 4. On Mondays, my hubby doesn't have to leave until 1100. Even after 7 hours the coffee is still piping hot. In fact the first morning, he called to thank me for making another pot and setting it to "make" just before he got up!

    2. I was shopping for the same recently and ended up buying a regular coffee maker (Cuisinart) and a Krups Burr Grinder. Reasons: 1)many grind and brew machines are so integrated, if the grinder breaks, you can't make coffee 2)Burr grinder produces a better, more even grind of the beans for better cup of coffee.

      1. We had a Cuisinart Grind & Brew Thermal for four years; it just died (the tank started to leak and then it shorted itself out with a nasty burning smell). My husband thinks four years is a short life for a coffeemaker that cost $150 but I think that's not terrible. I always thought the convenience of the Grind & Brew was just about equal to the annoyance of cleaning it out--the way the bean dust would form a sludge in the (blade) grinder and have to be scraped out or put through the DW every day. It also makes comparatively weak coffee relative to how many beans you put in. We were thinking of shelling out for the Capresso (can't remember the model name, but also programmable, grind & brew, thermal), but I just watched the product video on the website and it looks very delicate and vulnerable to breaking (the grounds/filter container thing that has to swing over from the grinder to the coffeepot; the small parts like the cover over the grounds chute). The video also reveals that you can't put beans straight from the freezer into the grinder (frozen beans gum up the works, apparently), which is a negative, since like most people we store our beans in the freezer for freshness. So perhaps we will also get a quality thermal non-grinding coffeemaker plus a separate burr grinder.

        3 Replies
        1. re: veryveryrosalind

          I have a Capresso although it doesn't have a thermal container. Have had it over a year and it makes coffee every morning. Have had zero problems with it, none. I don't freeze my beans so have no comment on that aspect. It makes great coffee.

          1. re: rtmonty

            FYI...Capresso has come out with a new model this year WITH a Thermal vacuum container.....
            here's a link...

            http://www.amazon.com/Capresso-455-05...

          2. re: veryveryrosalind

            You should NEVER, EVER store any coffee or coffee beans in the refrigerator or freezer. Roasted coffee has many enemies. In order of importance: oxygen, moisture, change in temperature, light and/or odors! Instead, get yourself an airtight container and store your coffee (ground or whole beans) in a cool, dark and dry area of your kitchen or pantry. Many people have never had a perfectly brewed cup of coffee and the taste in the difference is astronomical. Most if not all of grocery bought coffee gets shipped in a refrigerated or freezer truck-then it is stored in a warm and humid stock room before it makes its way to the shelves in your favorite grocer's isle. And stay clear of the whole bean dispensers at your local retail store as well--it just hangs out in the light and air all day (horrible taste). Find a reputable coffee wholesaler or retailer to purchase your coffee. I buy mine online--check out "Bad Ass Coffee" in LA, California. Hope this helps. You will be able to taste the difference immediately--but most Americans are used to terrible tasting coffee which in turn would lead them to believe that the really good stuff tastes bad!

          3. We are also in the market for a grind and brew. My husband is sick of the French press and drinking lukewarm coffee. I read coffeegeek.com a lot, and they have tons of great reviews. I'm currently leaning toward the Technivorm Clubline. It has lots of consumer reviews on coffeegeek and people seem to love it.
            http://www.coffeegeek.com/reviews/dri...

            The Capresso that the OP mentioned also appeals to me.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Atomica

              Have you considered a thermal french press?

            2. The various Cuisinart Grind and Brews are somewhat similar; nobody seems to really like them! I bought one about three years ago when Costco was selling them off at $50. It was noisy, messy, and only gave a coarse grind, so I had to use lots more beans. It brews at 185F, a bit low, but holds themp in the carafe well.
              A year ago I got a KitchenAid burr grinder, and now I just use the brewing section on the Cuisinart.
              And guess what? The Cuisinart grinding motor has packed up from dis-use, and too much moisture. I think I'd be happier with the Technivorm and the KA burr grider.

              1. My only recommendation is to avoid the Cuisinart Grind & Brew at all costs! Impossible to clean and incredibly finicky...unless I set mine up in a very particular way, coffee would end up all over the counter. Man, did I hate that coffeemaker.

                3 Replies
                1. re: gremly girl

                  We've had a Cusinart Grind and Brew for a few years and have had no trouble with it at all. Maybe there are a lot of different models? We got ours at Sams for around $100. Never have a problem with it, it's easy to clean and makes a mean cup of joe!

                  1. re: jackie de

                    I concur. I've had a Cuisinart Grind and Brew for about eight years and I've never had a single complaint. I certainly never have found it even difficult to clean, much less impossible, and not at all finicky. The only time I ever ended up with coffee all over the counter was the time I spaced and forgot to put a coffee filter in. And believe me, you only forget to do that once!

                    As for noise, I don't find it noisier than any other coffee grinder I've used, and frankly, I can withstand an aural assault for the 20-25 seconds or so it takes to grind. It startles the cats, but hey, it's good to keep them on their furry little toes.

                    I've had several opportunities to upgrade my Cuisinart, and someday I'll probably have to because this'll die eventually, but I still recommend it.

                  2. re: gremly girl

                    Had that problem the second day I had the machine. Found out that the "10 cup step" is the MAX water mark with no forgiveness!! My Crups maching actually had almost 2 cups leeway, this machine has NONE!!

                  3. The big problem I see with the Grind & Brew is the lack of a uniform grind. Every barista and coffee geek I know agrees that a consistent grind is key to a good cup. I'd go with a decent burr grinder and seperate drip machine. It's a little more work, but I think it's worth it.

                    1. My Grind and Brew made so much noise that it scared the dog and the cat! Worse, however, was that after less than a year it started spewing water and coffee grounds all over the place. Plus, it required a lot of cleaning each time I used it.

                      1. Just my two cents, since you really seem headed towards a grind+brew machine, but I thought about buying one for the convenience a couple of years ago and instead just invested in a burr grinder (I think it's Cuisanart) and a regular drip machine with a timer. When I know we need to be up and out quickly in the mornings, I set it up before going to bed filling up water and grinding the beans and set the timer to brew the coffee just as we should be getting to the kitchen to run out the door.

                        On most mornings, I start the grinder and by the time I've gotten the filter in the basket and filled the machine with water, the coffee grounds are ready to put in the filter and we're set. It doesn't take that much time, really.

                        One cheap way to get a nice looking coffee maker with a timer is to sign up with Gevalia (www.gevalia.com). Their into packages usually include a machine and coffee for $10-15 and then you can cancel at any time with no penalty.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: leanneabe

                          Grinding the night before doesn't make sense - the whole idea of freshly ground coffee is to minimize the time coffee is exposed to air.

                          Gevalia coffee makers are pretty basic, crappy coffee and you have to commit for at least a year I think.

                          1. re: welle

                            Perhaps it depends on the "deal" you get from Gevalia, but I've never had a commitment problem. Once you get your initial package, you can always cancel your account if you're unhappy.

                            Maybe I'm just not fine-tuned to coffee, but a basic machine is really all I need. Ground coffee from the night before is still better than pre-ground coffee.

                            I do agree that for 1-2 cups of coffee, you could probably get by with a nice french press and burr grinder.

                        2. I know it was mentioned above about the noise factor, but I wouldn't discount it. One of my sisters has one- her bedroom and guest rooms are far from the kitchen, and I don't notice it when visiting. Another friend had one in a small apartment and it startled him every morning.

                          1. I have a Cuisinart Grind&Brew now - had for a couple of months, bought it after my old Krups started emitting burnt plastic smell. When I first bought it, I hesitated for the first few days: setting the whole thing seemed too complicated; washing after each time was burdensome and not to be able to control the grind seemed not too economical for coffee. But after a week of so of usage, I got used to the freshly ground coffee and decided to keep my coffee maker. It's been over two months, I've had this brewer and I find no less convenient than having separate coffee maker and a grinder (the thing is when they are separate, I almost always use ground coffee). I also learnt that if you quickly rinse the grinder part right after brewing, it's much easier to clean and it will be perfectly dry for the next pot (when the grinder is even a bit moist, the beans get stuck to it and hence, uneven grind). About weak coffee, I found that buying darker roasts makes just the right consistency coffee. And the carafe keeps the temp alright, I love that it's all stainless steel (my old Krups was very fragile glass inside). And I'm totally in love with the 'brew pause' feature.

                            To the OP, if you're only going to be making 1-2 cups of coffee at the time, it's probably not worth all the labor and money these combo machines demand. If I were you, I'd just get a beautiful french press and nice coffee grinder.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: welle

                              I, too, have the Cuisinart G&B. It's main advantage is that you can program it to automatically grind and brew coffee for you in the morning. That's an important time saver when you're trying to get ready for work and getting kids their breakfast, etc. If that's not an important consideration I'd go with separate grinder and coffeemaker.

                            2. Spend your money on a really good coffee maker and then 10 bucks on a grinder. All in one appliances are overrated...sort of like my HP color inkjet, scanner, printer, fax, copier, the copier and scanner work great while the cartridges run out constantly and the faxes jamm all of the time.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: amoncada

                                uh, a $10 grinder? Unless you are getting the deal of a lifetime I wouldn't suggest a $10 grinder.

                              2. To change direction here a bit, 1. Burr grinders are considered better than blade, which "burn" the coffee's delicate oils 2. Been looking at green coffee which you roast at home (buy a roaster which looks like a hot air popcorn popper) or in your oven, then Burr-grind and make in the coffee maker of your choice. Apparently, green beans last as long as you keep 'em, but roasted coffee starts to degrade after a mere week.Tried a cup black at the Green Coffee merchant's demo, and it was goood.

                                1. I was all hopped up to buy a burr grinder a couple of years ago until I read in either Consumer Reports or Cooks illustrated that while technically burr grinding is ideal, in reality, that is, in blind tasting no one could discern the difference nor did differences show up in taste scores.

                                  Kurt

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: KayZee

                                    It was Cook's Illustrated November 2001. As a coffee geek, I remember being infuriated by that article.

                                    They set a ceiling of $50 on the price of the grinders they tested. There are no good burr grinders for $50 or less - at least at non-sale prices. Occasionally you can get the Bodum Antigua for $50 on a really good sale. I would consider that the minimum acceptable grinder.

                                  2. I have been able to replace my aging Cuisinart Grind and Brew (lid latch broken, grinding motor dead at 2.5 yrs.) with a shiny new Bosch, designed by Porsche. I had my eye on it during my weekly trips to Costco, where it was $170. Sure enough, it apparently didn't sell, and they reduced it to $80 this week.
                                    It is simple, elegant, easy to clean, and looks good on the counter. My major concern was brew temp, as the element is 1000 watts, compared to Technivorm's 1400 watts. (I didn't order a Technivorm because I would have to get it on line, and its appearance on the counter is 'in your face'.)
                                    Well, the first pot of medium roast in the Bosch was great, and clean up was a snap! I even checked brew temp. It came in at 195F and held the coffee in a thermal carafe at 175F.
                                    The design and construction is so simple, that I expect a few years of good service from it.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: jayt90

                                      Is your new Bosch this one?
                                      http://www.boschappliances.com/produc...

                                      I see Bosch explicitly specs the brew temperature at 199.4 degrees. If that's the one you got, excellent score!

                                      1. re: srgoodman

                                        Yes, that's the one!

                                        However, I have found that is risky waiting for a big box store to reduce a slow mover. Sometimes thay just send it back to the distributor. In this case I lucked out.

                                        1. re: srgoodman

                                          Dang, I want one! It looks so cool. It would match nicely with the Porsche designed toaster I have.

                                      2. Mister's Cuisinart grind and brew sounds like a durned mini air raid siren every morning.

                                        1. I HATE my Cuisinart grind and brew, i have the white version. The grinder is like a jet engine in the morning and wakes everyone up, teenage daughter not happy. The thing is a pig to clean, both the coffee grinder and water holder is a b*tch. It finally got to the point where I grind my coffee, keep it in an airtight container and make in the machine without the grinder.

                                          Yes it makes a good cup of joe for a simple reason and this is my best advice on buying a coffee maker. TURN IT UPSIDE DOWN in the store. Look to see how many jets the water comes out of. Some models have a single hole others have more of a spray. Go for the spray. Cuisinart has a spray.

                                          1. i bought the cuisinart grind and brew for my husband. supposedly, it would make our life easy. WRONG! As others have stated, it is impossible to clean. and you never know when the dawer with filter will pop out and coffee willgo everywhere. i am looking into the thermal french press. waiting for the water to boil will take just as much time as cleaning the stupid machine, so its a wash!

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: paparouna

                                              Maybe they've re-done the design. I've never had the drawer pop open (it has a VERY sturdy button and latch system). Clean up is a breeze, rinse the grinder and the basket, not much more than most machines require. And the bonus, no more coffee grounds all over the counter.

                                              BTW, there's a top to the basket, maybe you aren't using it? Without it, the latch might not work. It would be almost physically impossible for the coffee to fly out of the filter when the drawer is "popped" when the top is on.

                                              This could also explain why your machine is hard to clean, the grounds must be splashing all over the insides. Maybe if you wrote to the company thay'd send you another. I LOVE those guys, they are so helpful.

                                              1. re: lhb

                                                Sorry lhb but i have numerous examples in which the door flew open and yes the coffee grounds flew out of the machine all over the place. You should have seen my blonde lab with coffee freckles one sunday morning. very funny in hindsight, but she was one upset little girl.

                                            2. The solution might be to bite the bullet and go with a machine I've been eyeing for my daughter - The Saeco Easy espresso/coffee maker. This is Saeco's entry-level fully automatic machine,and is fairly new on the market.

                                              It grinds the beans for each cup as required, and a simple dial allows you to adjust the amount of water that is used, for coffees of up to 8 ounces, I believe.

                                              http://products.saeco.com/Index.asp?i...

                                              Does anyone out there have any experience with this machine?

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: FlavoursGal

                                                Did you find prices on these machines?

                                              2. I would suggest the Q G&B but with two reservations (below).

                                                1. If you don't rinse the parts of your current coffee then you won't like this one. I've been reading some of the comment by people who hate the G&B and I am amazed at how many people who must not wash or rinse their machines, remind me not to eat or drink at their houses.

                                                2. This machine has a 1-4 cup button that double-heats the water so the 2 cups you make will be as good as if you made a whole pot. But the problem is that the coffee is so good (and easy) that you are going to have more coffee drinkers in your house so you are going to have to make a whole pot anyhow!

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: lhb

                                                  My cuisinart G&B is is finished, going out the door, and maybe no Cuisinart product will ever come in, because of poor design, and their assuming the customer will put up with it.
                                                  For two years I put up with coarse grounds and a lid that would not latch. To make it work, I had to put a can of beans on top.
                                                  I am glad your top drawer is secure, but for several years the company relied on a thin plastic latch that would fail without warning, and they used an elaborate wind tunnel that was unable to grind properly, and difficult to remove and rinse. I think Cuisinart deserves the bad publicity they are geting from these postings, but I hope the current product is better.

                                                2. I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the Melitta Mill and Brew, which I'm now in the 4th year of using daily with zero issues. I love it and it makes very good coffee. I don't know if Melitta is still making them or not, and I know they are no longer being sold in Canada, which is a problem for me since I want to get a second one as backup for when this eventually dies. It is a lot less expensive than the Cuisinart (which a good friend of mine has) and I couldn't be happier with it. She, on the other hand, is on her 3rd Cuisinart in about 2 years as they have consistently failed and been replaced under warranty. She tells a story of a call to a Cuisinart CSR who basically accused her of using the grinder to grind nuts -- that's when she lost it. She hates it and as soon as it dies out of warranty it will be gone.

                                                  1. Tried 'em all, I guess. Best I ever had, bar none, was the Toshiba MyCafe. Used less coffee for a richer cup, could be set for a wide choice of strength. Trouble is, sale in USA was banned by feds in a trade dispute. Melitta was good, but way hard to clean. Cuisinart even harder and made weak coffee, often spilled messily onto counter.
                                                    Finally got a Capresso CoffeeTEAM in white, to match our kitchen (color no longer made, alas). This was the next best to Toshiba, though coffee still not as good. Far, far easier to clean since it keeps several pots worth of bean dry. You just throw out the paper filter, or clean the permanent filter. My advice? Get a Toshiba if you can possibly find one and buy an extra carafe and grinder/filter basket. If not, get a CoffeeTEAM. Best, fastest coffee however was not from a grind and brew machine. I could grind the beans, pop them into the filter, pour water in the top of my BUNN machine and within seconds good coffee pours into the carafe — just couldn't set it to do all this automatically. The Capresso just shorted out, so I will go back to the BUNN for awhile.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: jfchappell

                                                      Hi, question to jfchappel:

                                                      Do you know where I can get a replacement carafe for the toshiba mycafe (10 cup model).

                                                      The unit requires a slim carafe and the ones I see in stores don't fit.

                                                      I'm just putting this maker back in service as I just got the keypad working again.

                                                      If anyone knows of a carafe size that fits please let me know. Approximate dimensions are 4 inch heating base that flanges out to 5.5 inches with a height also about 5.5 inches.

                                                    2. We've been through TWO previous Cuisinart Grind-and-Brews (their very first model, and their second version) and a Melitta (alas, no longer made). The first Cuisinart was okay, but cleaning it was a nightmare! The second--purchased a few years ago--made weak coffee. The Melitta (which filled in between the death of #1 and the purchase of #2 Cuisinarts, was fine but fell apart, eventually...)

                                                      Now, we're on our 3rd manifestation of Cuisinart, and it's the charm: heavy build--stainless steel--vacuum carafe, much easier cleaning, the hopper on top stores about a half a pound of coffee, so it can be *really* automatic, and there's a wide variety of coffee brew strength and grind size selectors.

                                                      It's a winner. Hubby--Mr. Coffee Man--got this for his birthday almost two years ago, and has had nary a complaint.

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: Beckyleach

                                                        You're very brave to get a third Cuisinart grind and brew, but maybe they got it right this time.
                                                        I gave up after the first model, which sounded like a jetliner taking off at 7AM. (After a year it stopped grinding, too much humidity for the motor.)
                                                        The early models also distributed heat between the brewer and the carafe, meaning a lower brewing temperature. This should be better if they now use a vacuum carafe, and a burr grinder. Good luck with it!

                                                        1. re: jayt90

                                                          The second one was re-manufactured, so it didn't cost much. Good thing, because we hated it instantly and "re-gifted" it to someone who LIKED weak coffee. ;-)

                                                          The third one made me nervous, I admit, but it was still SO much less money that a comparable Capresso, I had to at least try it--from a store with a generous return policy. It's just great, so far!

                                                          1. re: Beckyleach

                                                            jt sounds as if the drivers here are ease of use, quietness, keeping the coffee warm, and a great cup of coffee. Any grind and brew I've seen may look easy to use but also looks like a PITA to clean, I agree on spending some money on a decent grinder BUT for a coarse grind, just right for press, my Capresso burr grinder does a pretty good job and is quiet. I got a Bodum insulated SS press pot, and I'd give it a B for insulation, A when I throw a tea cozy over it. The new Bodum press filter is SOOOO much easier to clean than the old multipart filter on my 35 year old one. In short, this combo seems to deliver what I seek. BTW, regular cleaning of a burr grinder is important, especially w. oilier roasts,