As any coffee aficionado would know, buying several pieces of coffee-making equipment can be costly.
If you enjoy single-serve brewing in addition to pots of coffee, a dual coffee maker can be a good alternative. One of the most popular dual brewing models on the market in 2021 is the SS-15 by Cuisinart.
Below, we dive into this unique dual brewer via our Cuisinart Coffee Center Review.
Cuisinart SS-15 Coffee Center Review 2021
- Brew Strength control
- Grounds + K Cup compatible
- Auto shut off
- Filter alignment can be fiddly
The Cuisinart SS-15 houses a 12 cup coffee maker on the left and a single-serve brewer on one side. Each subsection has its own dedicated brewing chamber, settings, and water reservoir, which can fill up to 60 oz. and 4o oz. respectively.
The 12 cup brewer uses ground coffee to brew your pot, while the single-serve side gives you the option to use a Keurig K-Cup. You can use your favorite beans by simply switching to the bundled HomeBarista Reusable Filter Cup and add your preferred dose.
Other features include a programmable brew start and energy save function, adjustable carafe temperature and brew-strength control, Brew Pause, and even a charcoal water filter for both water reservoirs.
Overall, if you have a family of coffee lovers in your home and you’re looking for something with dual capabilities that are fitting for travel mugs, the Cuisinart Coffee Center is worth a more in-depth look.
The Cuisinart Coffee Center 12-cup brewer, which sits on the left side, uses a fixed shower-head design that sprays hot water evenly on your ground coffee, allowing for a uniform extraction.
It’s then brewed directly into the 12 cup glass carafe. While it might not have a thermal carafe, you can adjust the heating plate’s temperature underneath.
It features a 60 oz. water reservoir that can brew up to 12 cups within 5 minutes. You can opt to use the gold tone coffee filter included with the machine, but if you’re after a more delicate cup, a paper coffee filter can easily fit in the chamber.
The Cuisinart batch brewer also features a strength control function for bolder coffee flavor and a fuller body.
At the right side, the Cuisinart single-serve brewer can brew using a K-Cup, and it can brew up to 4 to 6 cups from its 40 oz removable water tank at the side. If K-Cups aren’t your thing, you’d be pleased to know that you can brew using coffee grounds with the included HomeBarista Reusable Filter Cup, which can easily be placed inside the brewing chamber.
It brews a single cup, and you can easily remove its drip tray if you want to use your travel mugs instead.
Although, it’s important to note that the Cuisinart Coffee Center has a single centralized boiler, so you can’t brew simultaneously with each side.
Since the Cuisinart Coffee Center SS-15 is a dual home coffee machine, it has a relatively larger footprint than other standard coffee makers. The Cuisinart Coffee Center’s specs measure around 10.13″ x 10.38″ x 14.25″ inches and weigh 12.72 pounds.
This machine from Cuisinart is constructed using BPA-free ABS plastic to conserve weight while ensuring durability for frequent use. The intuitive control panel is made from stainless steel so that this front-loading brewer can withstand regular use. It’s bundled with a 12-cup carafe that can withstand high-temperatures but unfortunately not a drop!
When it comes down to warranty, the brewer is backed by a 3 year warranty. One thing to note with these machines is that they are not as durable as expensive models. Keeping your Cuisinart Coffee Center well-maintained is a must so you can enjoy drip coffee for years on end.
Ease Of Use
The Cuisinart Coffee Center SS-15 is easy to use with its intuitive interface and a set of convenient features.
For the Cuisinart 12-cup coffee maker, all you need is to fill up its reservoir to your desired amount. The included thermal carafe has indications on the side to help you pour the correct volume.
Then, place your ground coffee in the gold tone coffee filter or paper filters and press Brew. It only takes approximately 5 minutes to brew a full pot of coffee.
Alternatively, you can quickly brew a cup for yourself. The single-serve side of the Cuisinart Coffee Center is a straightforward process. Fill up its water tank and place your preferred K-Cup in the designated slot. It can brew a variety of K-Cups, from your standard coffees to hot chocolate.
Choose from three sizes; 6, 8, and 10 oz. and press the desired amount for your K-Cup brew. With the Cuisinart SS-15’s removable drip tray, you can easily fit your favorite travel mug underneath the brewing head.
Not a K-Cup fan? If you prefer using your own coffee, you can use the HomeBarista reusable filter cup and place it on the allotted slot in your single-serve brewer.
Exterior-wise, cleaning the Cuisinart dual brewer is a breeze. You can easily wipe down the stainless steel surface using a soft cloth and soapy water. Accessories, including the gold tone coffee filter, HomeBarista Reusable Filter Cup, removable drip tray, and glass carafe, can easily be rinsed with water in seconds.
The manufacturer recommends descaling the Cuisinart SS-15 every three months. Thankfully, the brewer can self-clean, and the Cuisinart Coffee Center will prompt you if the machine needs to be descaled.
Descaling is an essential process to avoid any build-up that can clog the machine’s internal piping, and you’ll need to do it for any brewer you buy.
However, some machines help minimize the cleaning frequency through little add ons. That’s the case here, as the Cuisinart SS-15 is bundled with a charcoal water filter that can help filter any unwanted impurities that improve flavor and reduce the need for descaling.
Nonetheless, descaling the Cuisinart 12 cup coffee maker is pretty simple. Start by removing the charcoal water filter and pouring up to 6 cups of water into the tank. Add 4 ounces of white vinegar, then press and hold the Clean button. Allow your machine to finish the self-clean cycle, and make sure to do a final brew cycle of water before you brew.
For the single-serve side, it’s the same self-clean process involving water and vinegar. Just press and hold the 6 and 8 oz. brew buttons on your Cuisinart SS-15 simultaneously for it to go into clean mode. Cleaning up its filter chamber is as simple as popping out your used K-Cup pods from the slot.
The Cuisinart Coffee Center features 24-hour programmability, which is useful when you want a brew ready when you wake up in the morning. Known as the brew start function, it allows you to set the time for your K-Cup coffee maker or batch brewer to start making your coffee without you pressing a button there and then.
All you need to do is set it up initially and then ensure your Cuisinart SS-15 is switched on! Like any other time, you’ll need to ensure the brewer’s got enough water and grounds in ready to brew.
No one like’s forgetting to turn off their coffee maker either. Thankfully, this Cuisinart coffee maker also features an energy save mode where you can program its shut off function for up to 4 hours after the last brew cycle, depending on your usage.
It also has an adjustable carafe temperature knob, which allows you to switch between presets for the heat plate under the glass carafe to avoid over-extracting your brew. For comparison’s sake, the Cuisinart SS-20 features a thermal carafe.
Want a cup without waiting for the pot to finish brewing? The Cuisinart Coffee Center SS-15 also has a brew-pause feature if you want to sneak in one cup without interrupting the machine’s brewing process.
Worth The Money?
With its dual brewer capabilities and additional features, this Cuisinart coffee maker is a pretty good deal overall.
Coffee makers of the same caliber as the Cuisinart SS-15 can be pricey. If you’re looking for cheaper products, you might get fewer features, and they tend to be less durable than coffee brewers made with stainless steel components.
As with anything coffee related, it may or may not be worth it depending on your needs. If you want a convenient coffee maker for your office or big household, the Cuisinart SS-15 Coffee maker is a decent investment.
The Cuisinart Coffee Center Isn’t For You If…
You want espresso
This Cuisinart combo coffee maker can brew a delicious cup of coffee, but if you’re hankering for espresso, it’s best to look elsewhere. The SS-15 is essentially a drip coffee maker regardless of if you’re using its 12-cup function or brewing with a single-serve Keurig-K Cup.
Drip coffee models like the Cuisinart Coffee Center produce mellower cups that won’t hit the spot if you’re after an espresso shot’s intense flavor.
With that said, espresso is also the perfect base for a milky coffee making the Cuisinart Coffee Center not a viable option if…
You enjoy milky coffee
If you want to enjoy a creamier coffee as a daily brew, you might prefer to go for a brewer with a dedicated milk frother. You can purchase a separate frothing wand for the Cuisinart SS-15 if you like, but it might not be the best value for your money, and as it doesn’t brew espresso, adding milk to drip coffees just isn’t the same.
The Cuisinart Coffee Center does one job, and it does the job well, which is to brew coffee, so if you enjoy taking your coffee black, it’s a worthy choice.
You’re looking for products on a tight budget
As tempting as the setup of the Cuisinart Coffee Center sounds, you might be dissuaded from its price tag. It is essentially a single-serve brewer and batch brewer built into one unit, making it a costly purchase.
Alternatively, if you’re only interested in the one side e.g the single-serve brewer, there are several other models that Cuisinart can offer. For example, the Cuisinart SS-10 is essentially the standalone version of the K-Cup brewer found in this dual brewer.
If you’ve decided this one isn’t for you, check out our list of alternative products.
The Final Verdict
The Cuisinart SS-15 Coffee Center has an assortment of features that can make your brewing fun and convenient, including 24-hour programming, a reusable coffee filter, charcoal water filter, brew-pause feature, and a brew strength control.
But what’s at center of the show is the fact that the Cuisinart Coffee Center can brew a delicious cup of coffee, whether it’s for a full pot of coffee or brewing a K-Cup for your personal travel mug.
We hope this Cuisinart Coffee Center review helped you out if it is the right machine for you. Yes, it’s a bit pricey but if you’re in a household full of coffee lovers.