Cuisinart Coffee Center Review 2022: Two Is Better Than One!

After working as a professional barista for many years, Arne Preuss founded Coffeeness.

There are a lot of dual coffee makers on the market. With so many options, how do you choose which one is the best? Do you go by brand or by features? How about colors? I looked around at some of the offerings on Amazon and picked out the Cuisinart Coffee Center for my latest review of 2-in-1 coffeemakers.

There are a lot of dual coffee makers on the market. With so many options, how do you choose which one is the best? Do you go by brand or by features? How about colors? I looked around at some of the offerings on Amazon and picked out the Cuisinart Coffee Center for my latest review of 2-in-1 coffeemakers.

You know how sometimes you don’t have time to brew a whole pot of coffee in the morning? How about when you have company, and each person has to stand in line for a turn at the single serve brewer?

It’s a pain, I know.

This is where a dual brew coffee maker comes in handy. You can brew a pot to share or just a single cup, whatever you’re in the mood for or what time allows. It’s cool to have options, for sure.

Seeing as a lot of people are interested in this machine, I ordered one from Amazon to test out. I must say, I’m looking forward to sharing my experiences in this Cuisinart Coffee Center review. Let’s start by seeing what the Cuisinart Coffee Center SS-15P1 has to offer and why you might want one.

Cuisinart Coffee Center

Best Dual Coffee Maker!

Both a coffee pot and a single server brewer

Comes with a reusable k cup pod

Nice selection of colors to choose from

User friendly

Also takes regular k cups, which destroy our only planet

Cuisinart Coffee Center Overview

Right off the bat, it’s easy to see that this is a good-looking Cuisinart coffeemaker. Of course, I’m partial to the black version, but this model comes in quite a few colors. There’s your classic silver and white, but Cuisinart also offers a smart-looking copper model as well as a sleek navy blue.

Cuisinart Coffee Center Components.

The machine comes complete with a permanent coffee filter that can be removed for washing and a HomeBarista reusable filter cup so you can use your own coffee on either side of the coffeemaker.

There are two water reservoirs, and the controls are straightforward. At first glance, it seems to be a pretty well-rounded machine in terms of features, too. Let’s continue this Cuisinart Coffee center review by breaking them down.

Cuisinart Coffee Center Features

Cuisinart Coffee Center.

Regular Coffeeness readers will know I’m not a big fan of pod coffee. Still, if you like to use them, then this machine offers the best of both worlds. That said, at a price point of $154.00 on Amazon right now, the Cuisinart could be a bit of an investment for many people.

However, as far as machines with dual coffee making options go, the Cuisianrt Coffee Center is worth it simply for the convenience it offers.

Dual Brewing

Cuisinart Coffee Center Control Panel.

Next, let’s take a look at the setup. On one side, you have your classic drip coffee maker, complete with a 12-cup glass carafe. It has all the controls you’d expect, including a brew strength control and a warming feature.

The other side of the coffee maker functions as a single serve brewer and is compatible with Keurig K Cup pods. The controls for this side are basic, with just three buttons to choose the cup size you want to brew. More on those buttons later in this Cuisinart Coffee Center review. 

There’s also a removable drip tray to fit your travel cup under the brew head or easily clean up any accidents.

In all honesty, I probably wouldn’t use the K Cups side myself. Okay, I take it back; I might use it to whip up the occasional instant hot chocolate. Still, if you’re a fan of single cup brewers, make sure the single use coffee pods you use are biodegradable.

K Cups generate a lot of plastic waste, so it’s best to use the environmentally friendly kind to lessen the impact on wildlife habitats. Or, better yet, people can buy areusable k cup and enjoy the added benefit of brewing single cups of freshly ground coffee!

Conveniently enough, one comes with the Coffee Center!

HomeBarista Reusable Filter Cup

Cuisinart Home Barista Reusable Filter Cup.

Cuisinart got it right to promote the environmentally friendly alternative to the single cup pod by including a reusable filter cup with each new machine. You can also buy one separately.

If you’re going to brew one cup at a time, using this little gadget is your best bet. You can use your favorite coffee beans and grind them fresh. Which means you’ll get a better quality cup of coffee. I’ll discuss my experiences using the HomeBarista later in this Cuisinart Coffee Center review.

Gold Tone Coffee Filter

Continuing with the environmentally friendly theme, there’s also a reusable coffee filter. Imagine how good you’ll feel once you start reducing your paper waste! The gold tone filter is easy to use, too. Just dump and rinse out the spent grounds, and you’re ready for the next pot.

Of course, this model also can take paper filters if you prefer those. Heck, Cuisinart even throws in a few samples for good measure. However, be sure to choose one or the other and not both. Putting a paper filter in the reusable one will most definitely cause the brew basket to overflow.

Carafe and Cup Sizes

Cuisinart Coffee Center Cup Sizes.

The carafe is your standard glass model and holds a healthy 12 cups of your favorite brew. That’s twelve 5 ounce (150 milliliter) cups or less, depending on your mug size and how much – or little – you coffee lovers slept last night.

The single serve brewer has three cup sizes to choose from. There’s a setting for 6 ounces (177 milliliters), 8 ounces (236 milliliters), and 10 ounces (295 milliliters). 

In general, if you use a K Cup or the reusable filter cup, it’s best to brew on the 8 ounce (236 milliliter) setting per the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Water Reservoir

Cuisinart Coffee Center water reservoir.

Next up, we’ll take a look at the water reservoirs. As it happens, there are two on this particular coffeemaker. One for the drip brewer and another for the single serve brewer.

First, the 60 ounce (1774 milliliter) reservoir for the drip brewer is not removable. You’ll need to have enough clearance above the coffee maker to pour in your water. Not only that, filling the water tank takes a steady hand seeing as there isn’t much of an opening to aim for.

As with many automatic coffee makers, the drip brewer side of the Cuisinart uses up all the water each time it brews. However, there’s a handy easy-view water window that will help you accurately measure. Use the carafe to fill it up, and you’re golden. Oh, and there’s also a charcoal water filter inside to ensure the water you use doesn’t have any off-putting flavors. 

In addition to this reservoir, there’s also a separate 40 ounce (1182 milliliter) removable one to provide water for the single serve brewer. This reservoir also has a charcoal water filter which I was pleasantly surprised to see. Plus, it’s pretty easy to know when to refill, as there’s an indicator light to give you a heads up when it gets low.

24 Hour Brew Start, Brew Pause and Ready Alert

Cuisinart Coffee Center User Interface.

As with most coffee makers nowadays, the Coffee Center has a brew program feature that allows you to set up your morning brew up to 24 hours in advance. To program it, you turn the dial to Prog, choose the time you’d like the machine to start and then switch it to Auto On. 

The machine will start up the following day at the time you chose, and when it’s finished, it will beep five times to signal that your coffee is ready. 

By the way, if you can’t wait for the brew to finish and you need your morningcup of joe, the machine is equipped with Brew Pause Technology. You can pull the carafe while it’s still brewing, and the water will pause until the carafe is returned so that you can pour yourself a cup.

Just know that this will affect the overall strength of your coffee, as it was measured out according to a specific coffee grind to water ratio. That to say, the earlier in the brewing process you grab a cup, the weaker it will be.

Adjustable Carafe Temperature

Cuisinart Coffee Center carafe temperature.

Once your coffee is ready, you can adjust the temperature of the hot plate to keep the carafe warm. Here at Coffeeness, we aren’t huge fans of keeping the heat on the carafe; it tends to scorch the coffee.

Some people love them and use them all the time, however. So, if you decide to use the warmer, I recommend using the lowest setting. 

Energy Use

Cuisinart Coffee Center Power Cord.

The Coffee Center also has a couple of features to conserve energy. There’s an auto off feature on the drip brew side that’s adjustable. This lets you decide when the coffee maker will shut off and can be set for up to four hours after the brew cycle is finished. 

There’s a built-in energy save mode on the single serve coffee maker side, which will dim the lights after 30 minutes of being idle, kind of like when your computer goes into sleep mode. 

Colors

Cuisinart Coffee Center Colors.

In addition to all this, the Cuisinart Coffee center has six color combinations, making it super easy to coordinate all your appliance colors or match it to your decor.

  • Black
  • Copper
  • Light gray
  • Navy
  • Silver
  • White

Warranty

Cuisinart Coffee Center Components.

Another plus point for Cuisinart is that they offer a three year limited warranty. Should your machine break, give Customer Service a call to diagnose the problem. They will determine if you need a repair or replacement and help you out from there.

How to Use the Cuisinart Coffee Center

Cuisinart Coffee Center as seen from above.

Using the Coffee Center couldn’t be easier. There are separate controls for each brewer type, so you don’t need to switch functions like some other dual brew systems out there. 

For the drip coffee brewer, use the carafe to add water to the reservoir, insert the gold tone filter and add your ground coffee, close the lid, turn the selector to Brew, and press the Brew/Warm button. You’ll have fresh coffee in minutes! 

On the single serve brewer, it’s as easy as removing and filling the reservoir, popping in your K Cup, reusable filter cup or other single serve coffee pod, and choosing your cup size. The machine will brew according to the button you pressed.

Oh, and be sure to have your cup in place on the drip tray before pressing the cup size button. Just in case you forget, the drip tray is removable, so you can dump the overflow or fit a larger cup under the brew head.

Drip Brewer Observations

Cuisinart Coffee Center in Use.

I didn’t embark on this Cuisinart Coffee Center review expecting to get pour over quality coffee. However, I was pretty impressed by the results I got from the drip brewer side. During my test I brewed up a couple of pots using a natural process Nicaraguan coffee.

I have to say, the Cuisinart Coffee Center did a solid job of teasing out the orange and chocolate notes that make me love this coffee. Still, I missed the depth and complexity I’m used to when brewing the freshly ground coffee beans from Nicaragua in a Chemex

Incidentally, I started out using six scoops of medium ground coffee for a six-cup carafe. That’s what the manufacturer recommends and I wanted to play ball. The results were a little weak and watery, so I increased the amount of ground coffee to eight scoops for the next pot. That seemed to be the magic ratio, and I probably ended up drinking way more coffee than I should have.

One thing I couldn’t help notice was how loud this coffee machine is while it’s brewing. Seriously, some of the pops and gurgles almost made me jump out of my seat! Plus, once the brewing cycle has finished, the coffee maker beeps like there’s no tomorrow. Still, maybe I was just a little edgy from all that caffeine.

During my Cuisinart Coffee Center review I was a little disappointed by how flimsy this thing feels. Although the showerhead on the drip brewer side is quite impressive, the flip top lid seems like it could break all too easily. Not only that, the control panel buttons feel cheap and wobbly. I guess I wonder how long it would take for a button to fall off!

Single Serve Brewer Observations

Cuisinart Coffee Center as seen from above.

I’ve already congratulated the manufacturer on its reusable single serve filter in this Cuisinart Coffee Center review. However, upon seeing the HomeBarista I had serious doubts about how well it would work. That’s because the filter cup is just so small – there really isn’t much room for sufficient ground coffee in there.

Anyway, I went ahead and added two scoops of medium ground coffee and brewed up a 10 ounce cup. I have to say, I was surprised by how fast the brewing process was. However, even though my coffee was ready in under a minute, the results were underwhelming, to say the least.

Not to be deterred, I switched to a coffee with a darker roast profile. Plus, I used a much finer grind setting to compensate for the quick brew time. For those of you who enjoy single servings of dark roast coffee, let me say this machine is a winner. The results were rich, chocolatey and incredibly satisfying.

Needless to say, I was bouncing off the walls by the end of my Cuisinart Coffee Center review!

Cuisinart Coffee Center Cleaning

Cuisinart Coffee Center removable parts for cleaning.

Cleaning is pretty straightforward for both brewers. On the drip brewer side, you should dump your spent grounds and wash the reusable coffee filter and carafe after each use.

For the K Cup brewer, toss your spent cup toward the nearest landfill or wash out the reusable filter cup if that’s what you used for your coffee.

Always use a mild soap and handwash the parts to prevent any damage. The outer housing usually only needs a quick wipe-down with a soft microfiber cloth.

Descaling should be done every three to six months, so hang on to the User Manual for instructions on doing this correctly. This model has a Self Clean feature to help you with descaling, too.

Cuisinart Coffee Center Specifications

 Cuisinart Coffee Center
ManufacturerCuisinart
NameCuisinart Coffee Center SS-15P1
Product category2-in-1 Coffee Center
Carafe materialGlass, stainless steel handle
Housing materialStainless steel/plastic
Serving size options2 to 12 cup carafe, 6, 8 and 10 oz / 177, 236, and 295 ml single serve
Compatible filtersGold tone filter basket, #4 paper filter
Coffee pod compatibleYes
Water filterYes
Removable water reservoirYes, single serve brewer side only
Number of water reservoirs2
Adjustable strength controlYes
Brew styles2
HomeBarista reusable filter cup compatibleYes
Programmable delayYes
Warmer plateYes
Self clean featureYes
Weight12.20 lbs / 5.53 kg
Dimensions10.13 x 10.38 x 14.25 in / 26 x 26 x 36 cm
ExtrasHomeBarista Reusable Filter Cup, coffee scoop, instruction manual
Current price on Amazon$154.00

Cuisinart Coffee Center vs. Other Dual Coffee Makers

So, now that you know what this Cuisinart Coffee Center has to offer, let’s compare it with a few other dual brew models starting with the next Coffee Center in line, the thermal carafe model.

Cuisinart SS-15P1 vs SS-20P1

Cuisinart Coffee Center SS-20p1 vs SS-15p1.

The $218.49 Cuisinart SS-20P1 is the stainless steel thermal carafe version of the SS-15P1, the focus of my Cuisinart Coffee Center review. There’s not a whole lot of difference between the two models, aside from the fact that the carafe is not made of glass. Also, the SS-20P1 has no adjustable auto-off feature.

Since it is a thermal carafe, there’s no need for a hot plate. You should still be able to pour a great cup of hot coffee long after the brew cycle is completed. The downside is that it’s a bit smaller than the glass carafe, holding only about ten cups of joe at a time.

Cuisinart Coffee Center vs Keurig K Duo

Keurig K Duo Cuisinart Coffee Center.

The $169.99 Keurig K-Duo is a very different machine, although it has many of the same functions. Like the SS-15P1, it has a 12-cup glass carafe with a heating plate and reusable gold tone mesh filter. The water reservoir is the same size, too, at 60 ounce (1774 milliliter).

It also boasts a brew strength control feature and the ability to program your brew.

On the other hand, you can brew up to a 12 ounce (354 milliliter) cup on the single serve side of the Keurig Duo, something the Cuisinart can’t do.

There’s also only one reservoir for water, which I suspect would need to be filled up more often than the Cuisinart, given that both brew options draw from it. Black and silver are the only color options.

Cuisinart Coffee Center vs Hamilton Beach FlexBrew Trio

Hamilton Beach FlexBrew vs Cuisinart Coffee Center.

In terms of similarities, both the Hamilton Beach FlexBrew and the Cuisinart SS-15P1 have the same carafe and single serve brew options. The Flexbrew, however, boasts a third way to brew using a reusable filter cup on the single serve side.

I don’t know if this qualifies as a different brew type; it’s still single serve and the same idea as Cuisinart’s HomeBarista reusable cup. There’s even the removable drip tray and two reservoirs, one for each side of the machine.

A difference between the two coffee makers is that the Flexbrew can go up to 14 ounces (414 milliliters) on the single serve side, which is good for the largerinsulated coffee mugs. The main difference, though, is the price point, at $109.04 on Amazon, but there’s a catch

The reservoir on the K cup side of the machine is not removable, and it’s tiny. It holds 14 oz of water at maximum. I feel like refilling every time you brew would get old pretty quickly. 

Verdict: Cuisinart SS-15P1 Coffee Center

Best Dual Coffee Maker

Convenient and easy to use!

Best Dual Coffee Maker!

Both a coffee pot and a single server brewer

Comes with a reusable k cup pod

Nice selection of colors to choose from

User friendly

Also takes regular k cups, which destroy our only planet

I hope my Cuisinart Coffee Center review helps answer any questions you had about this particular model. I think it’s nice to have the option of brewing a single serve or a full pot if only to make having company over for coffee a little easier. 

While I’m not a fan of the K Cup way of life, I appreciate that Cuisinart included environmentally-friendly brewing products upfront without me having to buy the reusable filters separately. That in itself makes the Cuisinart Coffee Center a viable option for those who want a coffee maker with the best of both worlds.

Do you own a dual brew coffee maker to rival the Cuisinart Coffee Center? I look forward to hearing all about it! Leave a comment below.

Cuisinart Coffee Center FAQ

The Cuisinart Coffee Center measures 14.25 inches tall, perfect for a coffee bar, and fits underneath most cabinetry. 

Since this is a dual coffee maker, the footprint is bigger than your standard drip coffee makers. It measures 10.13 x 10.38 inches, or just over 100 sq in. To convert, that’s right, about 0.75 square feet (697 square centimeters). 

First, open the reusable filter cup. Fill it with a maximum of 2.5 scoops (15 grams) of your favorite ground coffee. Then, clean up around the edge, ensuring there are no stray ground coffee bits. 

Next, pull out the capsule holder from the single serve side of your Coffee Center. Replace it with the reusable filter cup. And, adjust to your preferred brew settings and start the brew.

To clean the reusable filter cup after you’re finished brewing, hand wash with warm water and mild soap. Don’t forget to replace the capsule holder in its original position!

Yes, you can! The Coffee Center comes with a reusable gold tone filter, but you can also use a #4 paper filter to brew coffee. However, it’s best not to use them at the same time. Doing so can overflow your filter basket, so choose either one or the other when brewing your morning joe. 

You can, but I would not recommend it. The Coffee Center is made to use ground coffee or pod coffee only.Instant coffee is best brewed in your cup by adding hot water.

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