Cuisinart SS700 is an impressive coffee maker with its heart set to brew single-serve. And with its heart at single-serve, the machine takes lessons (and license) from Keurig, the single-serve guru. This machine is designed to work with Keurig K cups and related alternatives. However, Cuisinart has also made sure that the coffee maker also brews fresh grounds.
There are a lot of features that make this coffee maker remarkable. We’ll see all of those – and its drawbacks – with this Cuisinart SS700 review. Let’s get a closer look at this good-looking machine!
Highlights Of The Cuisinart SS700
- Large, removable 80oz water reservoir
- Single-serve coffee maker compatible with Keurig pods
- Cuisinart SS700 also brews regular ground coffee
- Includes hot water dispenser
- Five cup sizes available (4oz to 12oz)
- All points of contact for water and coffee are BPA-free
- Hefty machine weighs 16 pounds
- Customizable brew temperature (187-192 Fahrenheit)
- Acceptably fast brew time
- Includes a charcoal filter for water
Top Features That Make The SS700 Formidable
Build Quality And Looks That Impress
One department where the Cuisinart SS700 absolutely kills, is its looks. It certainly does look better than your average single-serve coffee maker. Its minimalist looks go very well with its sturdy construction. This is a machine from which you can reasonably expect a long life and usefulness.
The metal pod receptacle lever looks both sturdy and reassuring. This part is going to get used often and its sturdiness pretty much defines the function of the machine.
At 16 pounds, this machine is not a lightweight. However, rather than a negative, this is worth being seen as a positive. It reaffirms the overall solid build quality of this coffee maker and encourages greater trust in its abilities.
Another feature I like is that the clock is placed at the face of the machine. It is visible from a fair distance and through various vantage points. What’s the point of having a clock if you can’t clearly see it from a distance? Or worse, if it isn’t visible unless you stand close to the machine! It does add to the overall looks.
While the Cuisinart SS700 has excellent minimalist looks, without the clock and the buttons it risks looking “empty”. All parts of this machine that come in contact with water or the coffee are BPA-free. I’d prefer it if it took the route of being a plastic-free coffee maker, but I guess you can’t have it all.
The Reusable Coffee Filter: Adding The Gourmet Dimension
Interestingly, the machine keeps room for its reusable coffee filter. A small compartment is included to keep the filter inside the machine. I like this idea. It probably adds some bulk to the machine. However, keeping the filter close at hand is absolutely worth it. There’s no risk of losing or misplacing your coffee filter.
Buttons And Functions: Easy Management
There are six buttons placed on the right side of the machine. These are:
- Up and Down
- Hot Water
Menu and up/down buttons are placed right below the clock and display. The menu and up/down buttons are used to access and set up various features of the machine. These include brew size, programming functions, etc.
Hitting the brew button puts the machine in action. The rinse button sends hot water through the machine and is useful as a quick-cleaning exercise. Pushing the hot water button will fill up your cup with, well, hot water.
Programming The Coffee Maker For Your Requirements
Cuisinart SS700 is a programmable coffee maker. You can set it up so the machine will automatically switch on at a selected time and heat water, ready to brew at your command. This feature is especially useful for times when you expect to be busy. Not having to wait around for several minutes while the machine powers up and heats the water is a blessing.
Conversely, the feature can be used to shut down the machine at selected/preset times.
Brew Sizes That Fit Cold Brew To Travel Mug
The machine offers five brew sizes ranging from 4oz to 12oz, each option separated by a 2oz interval. Overall, this is a fair range of choices and you can enjoy the beverage of your choice without much trouble.
The cold brew option is at 4oz. In this setting, the coffee maker will concentrate your beverage before pouring it into the ice-filled cup. Concentrating the coffee helps offset the addition of water by melting ice cubes. And those ice cubes are going to melt, so make sure you have more available!
There is also a problem with brewing and coffee strength. Though you can change the brew size, the amount of coffee you add remains practically constant. Whether you use a K cup or the reusable filter, the amount of coffee used per brew remains virtually constant. If you’re using a 12oz travel mug, there’s a good chance the drink will feel watery.
For those who prefer a stronger beverage, the simplest option perhaps is to brew the coffee twice. Rather than going for a single 12oz shot, take two rounds of 6oz. It’s not the best choice, but it is the best the Cuisinart SS700 can do.
The Water Reservoir And Filter
The large 80oz water reservoir is an asset for frequent coffee drinkers. You don’t have to worry about refilling the reservoir quickly. On the same topic, if your coffee consumption is low, be sure to empty the reservoir and fill it with fresh water regularly.
Cuisinart has included a charcoal water filter with this model. The goal of the filter is to remove any dissolved chlorine or other chemicals in the water. If the water supply in your area is hard water, having a filter definitely helps. Besides, filtered water is generally a better option for brewing coffee.
Before installing the filter, it has to spend some time staying fully immersed in cold tap water. After staying immersed, it will easily fit into its holder that is placed at the base of the reservoir. The average lifespan of the charcoal filter is three months, though it varies with usage.
Cleaning The Cuisinart SS700: Descaling And Maintenance
Cleaning your coffee maker is fairly easy. You can fill up (half) the water reservoir in a 1:1 ratio with white vinegar and let it run through the coffee maker. Alternatively, use a cleaning or descaling solution. It is important to descale the SS700 every two months.
While the machine has an indicator to show that it needs cleaning, don’t wait around for it. If it has been 60 days since the last descaling, it’s time to clean the machine.
The rinse function is fairly useful for regular cleaning. Use it as often as possible to keep the internal systems clean. Besides, if you’re using K cups, there is a chance of different flavors of coffee and beverages being involved. Rinse will help in making sure the flavor of the previous cup doesn’t leak into the one you’re currently brewing.
Using The Cuisinart SS700 Single Serve Brewing System
Cuisinart SS700 Single Serve Brewing System has taken notes from Keurig for convenient brewing. It follows in the same footsteps to brew a great cup while keeping user convenience in mind. Of course, Cuisinart is no stranger to this idea and utilizes it pretty well. You place the K cup in the holder, choose the brew size, and hit the brew button. That’s all it takes!
The brew temperature and quality are pretty good. I’d say this Cuisinart gives Keurig a run for its money in brewing K cups. Adding the reusable filter by default is a great touch. You can brew the coffee of your choice and pick fresh ground gourmet coffee whenever you so choose. Additionally, its presence removes the dependence on K cups by default.
Another thing to like here is that the machine is not bound to K cups or the included reusable filter. It will happily accept K cup alternatives, provided they meet the technical and size requirements necessary.
Brewing Time And Temperature For The Best Cuppa
It’s not good coffee if it’s not brewed at the right temperature. And single-serve loses its appeal if the user has to wait a long time to get a cup of coffee. Cuisinart handles both these requirements quite well.
The brew temperature is customizable and ranges from 187-192F. The upper temperature limit is the default and does a pretty good job of extraction. It would be preferable if the temperature went to 195F, which is the SCA recommended best temperature. But hey, 192 is close enough. Also, this is largely similar to many Keurig brewers who prefer to keep the temperature in the aforementioned range.
As for timing, this Cuisinart machine will pour your drink in 40-50 seconds after you hit the “brew” button. However, don’t expect it to go that fast if you just switched on the machine. It has a large water reservoir and needs time to draw water and heat it. Usually, this process takes about four minutes.
It’s good to use the programming function to set the machine to work at specific times so you don’t have to wait up for minutes as it heats. In most cases, your beverage will be ready in under 50 seconds. However, if you want your coffee right after switching on the machine, be prepared to wait.
Cuisinart SS700 Alternative — Cuisinart SS-10P1 Premium Single-Serve Coffeemaker
Cuisinart discontinued the SS700 a while ago. Given the popularity of the machine, it is still available for sale through several outlets. However, in most cases, you’ll get a used or refurbished machine.
Those who want a brand new machine should pick the Cuisinart SS-10P1. It’s as capable as the SS700, though with small changes. The most noticeable difference is that the water reservoir now is 72oz.
There are also some not-so-good changes under the hood. Cuisinart SS-10 has gone through the price cut treatment. It is fairly cheaper than the SS700 for sure. However, it is also less reliable. Cuisinart SS10P certainly makes a good cup of coffee and is fairly efficient. However, it lacks when put in comparison to the SS700.
Making Coffee With The SS700
Great coffee and single-serve convenience are the highlights of this Cuisinart SS700 review. The dependable, good looking coffee machine is an excellent appliance for the kitchen. The large reservoir makes it especially useful for environments where several coffee cups are needed every day. Its compatibility with Keurig K cups and the ability to use fresh ground coffee are strengths it utilizes well. Another highlight is that the Cuisinart SS700 single-serve coffee maker has an excellent build quality and is a sturdy kitchen appliance. Expect it to last several years.