When you’re in the market for a fully programmable coffeemaker that will fit with your home’s classy aesthetic, the Cuisinart DC-3200 might be the right machine to meet your needs.
In this article, we’ll review the DC-3200 in-depth so that you’ll know whether you should grab it for your home or whether you’d be better served by another coffee maker or another modality of coffee brewing equipment.
Things To Consider Before Buying A Coffee Maker
If you’re in the market for a coffee maker, you’ll need to consider what your brewing needs are. Most of the time, you’ll want a few core features from a coffee maker, such as:
- Brewing capacity
- Grinding capability
- Adjustable brewing strength
- Ease of cleaning
In this section, we’ll briefly discuss each of these things to consider so that you’ll know how much they matter in the context of your brewing goals and needs.
The coffee maker’s brewing capacity determines the amount of coffee you can brew with one run of the machine. Most coffee makers have a brewing capacity between four and twelve cups of coffee. If you have a large household, consider purchasing a machine with a higher capacity.
Many coffee makers have a reservoir for coffee beans. The reservoir, when paired with a built-in grinder, allows for beans to be freshly ground right before brewing, thereby improving the quality of the brew.
Some coffee makers have programmable brewing settings which allow for brewing to execute automatically at a specific time. These features enable coffee makers to have coffee prepared for when you wake up or when you come home from work.
Some people prefer watery coffee, whereas others prefer intense coffee. Adjustable coffee makers can provide either brew.
Low-quality coffee makers have buttons that break, so it’s important that your coffee maker meets certain minimum standards of durability.
You’ll need to clean your coffee maker frequently, potentially after every use. If your coffee maker is easy to clean, it’ll be significantly less hassle to mop up after each brewing session.
The Cuisinart DCC-3200 coffee maker is fully programmable and has a capacity of 14 cups. You can adjust the intensity of the brew with an intuitive user interface, and the coffee maker also has a self-cleaning system that takes care of the internal mechanisms.
Compared to prior versions, the 3200 has a larger capacity, improved self-cleaning capabilities, and better insulation on the standard carafe, meaning that you won’t need to spend as much time disassembling the unit for deep cleaning and that it’s more energy efficient.
In comparison to other leading coffee makers, the DCC-3200 lacks a bean grinding system but has better durability and is also easier to clean. Furthermore, the DCC-3200 has a larger capacity than its competitors like the Ninja, which only has a 12-cup capacity.
Things We Like
With the DCC-3200, we appreciate features like:
- Sleek silver aesthetics
- Energy-efficient carafe
- Easily programmable timer
- Effective brew-strength calibration
- Automatic deep cleaning mode
- 14-cup brewing capacity
However, we also think that the DCC-3200 has room to improve in a few areas, including:
- Lack of a grinder
- Small ground bean capacity compared to the brewing capacity
- The different carafe temperature hold settings are indistinguishable from each other
The DCC-3200 has a bevy of features that you should know about. In this section, we’ll go over each of these features in detail so that you’ll know where the coffee maker outshines the competition.
Programmable timed brewing is one of the core features of the DCC-3200. If you want to wake up to a hot pot of coffee ready for your enjoyment, you’ll need to synchronize the coffee maker’s clock with its automatic brewing function.
Setting the time on the coffee maker is straightforward, and if you have ever set the time on your microwave, you should be up and running without delay. On the other hand, programming the coffee maker’s automatic turn on and automatic brewing functions require a bit more effort.
First, you’ll need to push the program button. Next, select a time for the automatic brewing protocol to begin. Keep in mind that the coffee maker will require about five minutes to warm up, then one minute to brew each cup of coffee.
Thus, if you want to drink a hot cup of coffee exactly at 7 AM, you should probably plan for the coffee maker to turn itself on and start brewing your coffee at 6:45. If you want to prepare coffee for your entire family, plan the automatic brewing protocol accordingly.
Then, select the number of cups you’d like to brew when the coffee maker turns itself on. You should probably supervise your coffee maker’s first run of the automatic brewing protocol.
If you’re having trouble, be sure to consult the manual’s guide to automatic brewing and to program the automatic turn-on feature.
With many coffee makers, you’ll need to disassemble the entire unit if you want to perform a deep cleaning of the internal mechanisms responsible for brewing your coffee. With the DCC-3200, the self-cleaning mode takes care of this chore for you.
You’ll still need to clean the carafe, the carafe heating surface, the bucket where the grounds are stored, and the interior filter. However, when you want to clean the water heating element and the pipeworks, the self-clean function is the right choice.
When you want to activate the self-cleaning mode, fill the coffee maker’s reservoir with water and place an empty carafe underneath the spout. Then, press the clean button. The coffee maker will pressurize hot water and flush it through all of the relevant areas in the machine.
After the internal mechanisms of the coffee maker are cleaned, the wastewater will be expelled out of the carafe. Finally, hot water will purge any remaining wastewater from the spout, ensuring that your next cup of coffee will taste fresh.
You can run the self-cleaning protocol as frequently as you want, but if you live in an area with hard water, you should probably activate self-cleaning more frequently.
Using the cleaning protocol once per week might seem like too frequently, but it will keep your machine in good condition.
Brewing Strength Options
With the DCC-3200, your coffee can be brewed as standard strength or in bold strength. When you opt for the machine to brew your coffee in bold strength, it will pass less water through the coffee grounds.
It will also pass more steam through your coffee grounds, and at a slightly higher pressure than normal. The effect of the bold mode is that the resulting coffee is more concentrated than usual, evoking a flavor closer to espresso than standard drip coffee.
It’s important to remember that the bold mode does not guarantee that your coffee will taste anything like espresso. Instead, think of the bold move as a shortcut to making a stronger cup of normal coffee.
Likewise, you should recognize that the coffee brewed via the bold mode will not taste good to some people. If you prefer coffee that is thinner, the bold mode will probably taste too bitter for you, even when you use the right set of coffee beans.
Carafe Temperature Hold
One of the best features of the DCC-3200 is its adjustable carafe temperature hold functionality.
With normal coffee makers, after a pot of coffee has been brewed, the heating element at the bottom maintains a steady temperature in the carafe, thereby ensuring that you always get a warm cup of coffee whether you pour it immediately after brewing or hours later.
As most coffee enthusiasts know, steady-temperature carafe heating elements leave a lot to be desired. Rather than heating the entire carafe to a delightfully hot temperature, typical carafe heaters leave the pot of coffee with a lukewarm temperature.
Alternatively, low-quality carafe heaters tend to overheat the coffee in the carafe, thereby scalding anyone who takes a sip too quickly while also degrading the flavor of the coffee.
With the Cuisinart coffee maker, the temperature of the carafe heater is adjustable, meaning that you can calibrate it to suit your needs. If you prefer a piping hot cup of coffee, you can select the hottest setting.
On the other hand, if you prefer your coffee to be warm but not hot, there’s also a setting for that. This means that you won’t be wasting energy to heat your coffee to a temperature where you don’t want to drink it.
The insulation of the carafe is a highly underrated feature of the DCC-3200. Unlike many other coffee makers, the DCC-3200’s carafe is insulated, meaning that it won’t lose its heat as rapidly as it might otherwise.
As a result, the entire coffee maker system is more energy-efficient, which is great for households trying to cut down on their energy costs.
With the DCC-3200, you have several options for the carafe. The basic carafe is the least insulated, but it is also the most similar to other coffee carafes in that it is a glass vessel with a reinforced bottom.
If you’re interested in a premium carafe, opt for the vacuum-insulated carafe. The vacuum-insulated carafe will keep your coffee warm even when the heating element is turned off.
This means that the heating element won’t need to exert as much effort to keep your coffee at the temperature you desire, increasing the entire coffee maker’s energy efficiency even further.
However, the vacuum-insulated carafe is significantly heavier than the standard glass carafe, so it may not be ideal for some people.
At the end of the day, the carafe is also an aesthetic element of the brewing machine. If you think that the less-insulated carafe is more visually appealing, you shouldn’t feel bad about picking it over the more heavy-duty carafe.
The DCC-3200’s strengths are its ease of cleaning, automatic brewing functionality, and energy efficiency. It’s also aesthetically pleasing and easy to use.
Furthermore, Cuisinart’s reputation for producing high-quality kitchen hardware means that you’ll know that you’re buying quality when you buy the DCC-3200. The extended warranty is proof that the manufacturer has faith in this coffee maker product.
However, for some people, the DCC-3200 may not be the best coffee maker for their needs. Thus, in this section, we’ll provide you with a few options for alternative coffee makers, which could address your brewing preferences more effectively than the DCC-3200.
In particular, some people may not get the most mileage out of the DCC-3200’s high brewing capacity, and they may not necessarily care about the carafe temperature hold feature if they aren’t very picky about the temperature of their coffee.
If you want a coffee maker that has a similar set of great features but with a much smaller capacity, check out one of the alternatives that we’ve reviewed. Each of these coffee makers has automatic brewing functionality, but most don’t have the same self-cleaning features as the Cuisinart.
If you’d rather go with one of the Ninja coffee makers we suggested earlier, know that they’re a high-quality alternative to the Cuisinart coffee maker. Ninja coffee makers tend to have a smaller maximum capacity than the Cuisinart coffee maker, however, so plan accordingly.
Now that you’re up to speed on what to look for in a coffee maker, the DCC-3200’s features, and several alternative coffee makers, it’s time to decide which coffee brewing solution is the right choice for your preferences and your needs.
Remember to buy from a brand that has been producing coffee makers for a long time to ensure that the coffee maker will be of high quality. Likewise, keep in mind that the energy efficiency of your coffee maker can do a lot to cut down on your energy costs.
Coffee makers are an integral part of most households. Be a discerning consumer, and pick the coffee machine that will help you wake up with a smile every day.