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Brew & Serve Black Coffee Maker (12 Cup)

IntelliRating: 4.5 stars
Pros: Fully automatic and programmable, Keeps coffee hot and fresh for a long time, Allows mid-brew pouring, Audible sound alert after brewing
Cons: Needs lid to be screwed on tightly and evenly or coffee may spill, Works better with coarse grounds, Slow pouring of coffee

Review: An elegant brushed stainless-steel look sets it off nicely against your kitchen counter top, but the Cuisinart Brew and Serve Thermal Coffeemaker is more than just a pretty machine. This coffee maker is all business, with a 12 cup capacity held in a solid, double-walled and insulated carafe also made of stainless steel. Early risers will love that it is fully automatic and programmable for 24 hours beforehand, allowing them to simply grab a cup on their way out to work or school without having to watch over the machine as it works. Meanwhile, the dual walls of the carafe keeps coffee piping hot for 12 straight hours plus an additional 8 more at a slightly cooler temperature. Because the outer walls of the carafe never get as hot as the inner walls, there's very little chance of accidental burns.Keeping a maximum amount of 12 cups of coffee hot is already a mean feat, but that's not all this particular Cuisinart Coffeemaker can do. The brew-and-pour-through lid on the carafe is a one-stop wonder, as it allows the machine to brew coffee directly into the container and pour it out after brewing is done, all without having to twist or turn it. Since there's no heating element inside the Brew and Serve that comes in contact with the coffee beans, there's no awful burnt aftertaste. As an added bonus, the tight fit of the lid keeps out air and seals in freshness, adding to the unit's excellent thermal properties. Thanks to that and the 12-cup capacity, you likewise save on electricity since you won't need to brew coffee that often. Convenience-wise, it also gets top marks for the brew-pause feature, which allows you to pour a quick shot of coffee even if the Brew and Serve is in the middle of the brewing process, and an automatic shutoff coupled with an audible beep that tells you that the coffee is done and ready to be served. You also get a very visible water level indicator and a LED clock to help with setting the automatic switch-on function of the coffee maker.Overall, the Cuisinart Brew and Serve Thermal Coffeemaker is a genuinely nice product to have around, especially if you love the simple pleasure of a hot cup of coffee. It should be said though that a mutual complaint regarding this particular model is that if the lid is not aligned correctly and screwed down tight enough, it can and does make a mess. Unfortunately, that tends to happen quite often. Another cause of spills is having your coffee grounds down to super-fine particles, as this coffee maker has a bit of an inclination towards coarser grounds rather than finer ones. Some people also may not appreciate the rather slow pace that the carafe dispenses coffee, as well as the beep that happens after brewing. As it stands though, the Cuisinart Brew and Serve is a solid choice for your coffee needs.

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