Saturday, May 03, 2014

Cuisinart DCC-450 4-Cup Coffeemaker with Stainless-Steel Carafe

$34 on Amazon
The DCC-450 brews 4 cups of coffee at a time, doesn't take up much counter space, and is easy to clean up

Pros: Decent coffee, Easy setup and clean up, Auto shut-off feature, Small footprint 
Cons: Coffee cools off too quickly, Doesn't brew hot enough

2 1/2 stars out of 5

This little coffee maker brews small batches of coffee, maxing out at four cups.  There's a a thermal carafe to keep the coffee warm.  I had been using a Keurig before this machine and was not really happy with the coffee from that machine, so I wanted to go back to a traditional coffeemaker.  I don't tend to drink a lot of coffee - usually two cups at the most, so I had hoped that between the small sized brew and the thermal carafe, I could have decent tasting coffee that stayed warm.  Overall, I wasn't really disappointed, but I have to admit that this coffeemaker does not brew coffee as hot as other coffeemakers I've had and for some reason, even with the thermal carafe, the coffee cools off too quickly once it's brewed.

Machine Basics 

There really isn’t anything too fancy or complicated about this coffeemaker. It’s small, easily fits on most counter areas (I had it tucked into a corner), brews up to 4 cups of coffee at a time and the thermal carafe is supposed to keep coffee hotter longer than a standard coffee pot. That thermal pot is also stainless steel, so it gives the coffeemaker a bit of a modern look and it could go with your stainless steel appliances I suppose. 

Brewing a pot of coffee is easy. Just start out by filling up the machine with as much water as you want (the reservoir is marked by cup so you can brew from one to four cups at a time). Then place a cone coffee filter in, add your ground coffee, close the top and press the on button. The coffee starts to brew and within a few minutes you have your coffee brewed and waiting for you in the thermal coffee pot. 

There is an automatic shut-off on the coffeemaker after 30 minutes so you don’t have to worry about leaving the coffeemaker on all day (I know this is something I worry about).  You can also pour coffee before the coffeemaker is completely finished brewing as there’s a brew-pause feature on the machine. I don’t find much use for this personally since the machine doesn't brew much coffee – can’t you wait a minute or two for it to completely finish? 

Coffee Taste? 

For a smaller coffee maker that only brews 4 cups, the coffee tastes okay. I was satisfied with the results overall, finding that it was more pleasing in taste to me than the coffee I had gotten from the Keurig machine, though the lack of a high temperature brew really does impact the taste of the final cup off coffee.

You get four 6-ounce cups of coffee when you fully fill the DCC-450. That’s enough for about 2 standard coffee mugs or one travel mug with a bit left over.  You can brew less than the 4 cups if you’d like, but I never did that. I always found that the 4 cups was a good amount for either the travel mug or for my morning coffee on weekends. I usually only have a little bit left in the pot and I’d rather brew it all at once than have to go back and brew more.

My biggest problem with this coffeemaker was even with a heating element and a thermal carafe, the coffee seemed to cool down way too fast.  Unless you took the coffee from the pot right after it brewed, it cooled down to the point within 10 minutes or so that I found it to be undrinkable.  I shouldn't have to microwave my coffee after I've just brewed it to keep it warm!  That is what finally did me in with this coffeemaker and I upgraded to a larger one that brews coffee at a hotter temperature and keeps the coffee warmer.


The DCC-450 is easy to clean. The filter basket easily comes out (it’s got its own handle) and you can then toss the coffee filter (or compost it!) and rinse out the basket. The coffee pot’s lid pops off and it’s also very easy to rinse it out.  I’d say it takes me about a minute or two to clean up the coffeemaker when I’ve finished with it.

Final Thoughts 

If you are looking for a smaller, standard drip coffeemaker, the DCC-450 from Cuisinart is not a terrible choice, but I think other similar coffeemakers probably brew a tastier cup of coffee. However the DCC-450 brews 4 cups of coffee at a time, doesn't take up much counter space, and is easy to clean up. 

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