The Cuisinart SS-15 Coffee Center is a great 2 in 1 coffee machine that fills in a gap for many households that need(or want) both a drip coffee maker and a single serve coffee maker in one machine. In this Cuisinart Coffee Center review, we’ll look at the SS-15 in detail and see whether it’s a good machine or not.
Cuisinart Coffee Center Review: SS-15 2 in 1
The Cuisinart SS-15 coffee center combines a 12 cup carafe drip system and a single serve system that works with K-cups and coffee grounds.
Here’s what you get
- Programmable coffee maker that can brew 12 cups in one go
- Single serve coffee maker compatible with K Cups
- Built in charcoal water filter
- Thermal carafe
- Removable drip tray
Do you need a 2 way coffee maker?
At this point, the question you need to ask yourself is: “Do I need a 2 way coffee maker?” The answer will really depend on many factors, but here are some things you can think about to help make a choice:
- Do you live alone and just brew one cup at a time, or do you entertain guests often and would like to be able to brew many cups at once?
- Do you always drink drip coffee, or do you prefer the convenience of a single serve once in a while?
- If you have other members in your household, do you all have breakfast at the same time and share a pot of coffee?
- Do you wake up at different times and just brew for one person at a time?
- Do you need a hot pot of coffee for a few cups throughout the day?
If your answers to the above questions were leaning more towards needing multiple cups, then your primary need is a drip machine.
If your answers to the above questions were leaning more towards needing just a single cup at a time, then a single serve machine would be the best choice.
However, if you answered “hmm..?” to most of the questions, then you fall in between both extremes and the Cuisinart Coffee Center may just be a good fit for you.
The bottom line is that if you want the flexibility of brewing both drip coffee and single serve coffee in one machine for less than the price of two independent machines combined, this is an option worth considering.
One more advantage to a 2 way coffee maker such as this one is the space that you’ll save: instead of two machines, just one machine will do the trick.
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Brewing drip coffee with the Cuisinart Coffee Center
On the drip side of things, you have a 60 ounce reservoir capable of brewing 12 cups into the carafe. Here’s what does not make 100% sense.
60 ounces is actually 10 “standard” cups of coffee, not 12. So this is a bit of a marketing gimmick. Saying the carafe can hold 12 cups and providing a reservoir that only holds enough water for 10 cups is a bit of a bummer.
However, is it a deal breaker? I don’t think so. Realistically, how often are you going to brew 12 cups of coffee in one go? Maybe during Christmas or Thanksgiving when the whole family is over, but aside from that, for everyday use, 10 cups is way more than you need(or should be drinking anyway).
There are plenty of controls that you can use to customize the brew: you can program the coffee maker to start brewing at any point in 24 hours, which is useful for waking up to a ready pot of coffee.
You can adjust the temperature, strength, and there is an auto-off button to save power when you’re not using the coffee machine.
The carafe is a simple glass carafe that sits on a heated plate. That’s good enough to keep the coffee warm for a short time, but if you let it sit for too long, it will begin to taste stale.
Thermal carafes are always better as they’re meant to keep the coffee from getting cold in the first place. If you opt for the 12 cup version, you will get a glass carafe, but there is also a 10 cup thermal carafe available. It is a bit more expensive but the thermal carafe makes a huge difference especially if you don’t always drink the coffee right away.
There is a gold tone coffee filter inside the drip side of the machine.
Brewing a single serve
On the single serve side of the machine, you have a 40 ounce removable water reservoir capable of brewing 6, 8, or 10 ounce servings of coffee.
There is a removable drip tray which can be used to accommodate taller travel mugs too so that makes it pretty convenient to brew directly into it.
The single serve machine takes either Keurig K-Cups or you can use your own coffee grounds in the small filter basket.
Personally, I prefer using my own grounds because it works out to be cheaper, the coffee is fresher, and you don’t throw out plastic unnecessarily.
Keurig does happen to recycle cups now but why not just use your own coffee? Anyhow, that’s your own decision but it’s good that the Cuisinart Coffee System offers you both choices.
There’s not much customization possible on the single serve side. The only thing you can choose is the brew size, that’s all.
I am not entirely sure what Cuisinart was thinking when they decided to make the drip reservoir fixed and the single serve reservoir removable, though.
Removable reservoirs are much easier to maintain and clean, and if they did it on one side I am sure they would not have had trouble doing it on the other.
Since this is a 2 in 1 coffee maker you’ll have to remember to clean both sides of the machine regularly.
Leaks and how to fix
There have been many reports of the machine leaking at some points. From an initial glance, it seems like there is a 50-50 chance you’ll get a leaky machine, but there is a little more to the story.
Leaks will generally happen if the machine clogs somewhere and water is not able to go as it should.
Clogs can happen if you don’t use the filter basket properly – especially on the single serve side. If the piercing needle is exposed directly to coffee grounds, the needle will clog and you’re going to have a bad time.
Similarly, the gold mesh filter is only so fine, so if you use super-fine coffee grounds in the filter basket, you’ll run into clogging.
A medium to medium-coarse grind is ideal for the drip basket(and for the single serve side too) so as long as you’re using the correct grind size and you’re not overfilling the baskets with coffee you should not run into any problems.
There’s no doubt that the choice of being able to brew 1 single serving or 12 cups is incredibly convenient. The Cuisinart Coffee Center is exactly that – a coffee center designed for convenience.
A 3 year warranty, sleek stainless steel exterior, and overall durability should easily win you over.
It’s expensive for sure, but you are getting two machines in one. Interestingly enough, 2 way coffee makers that have pod and drip brewing tend to work very well, but 2 way brewers that combine espresso and drip are few and far between.
- 12-cup glass carafe with stainless steel handle. Material: Metal
- Brew Strength Control - select BOLD for stronger coffee flavor. BPA free.MC Cubic Feet: 1.71
- Gold-tone coffee filter lets only pure coffee flavor flow through.UC Cubic Feet: 1.26
- Single-Serve serving sizes: 6, 8, 10 oz; Charcoal water filter
- Includes Cuisinart's Home Barista Reusable Filter Cup which lets you use your own coffee, K-Cup pod compatible as well
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Cuisinart a good coffee maker?
For sure! Cuisinart makes really solid appliances and their coffee makers are no different. The Cuisinart Coffee Center SS-15 is one of their best offerings.
Can you use K Cups in a Cuisinart coffee maker?
It depends on the make and model, but the SS-15 Coffee Center is definitely compatible with K-Cups.
What is better, Keurig or Cuisinart?
I personally would recommend getting a Cuisinart SS-15 if you have the counter space. Keurig locks you into their ecosystem, but you have choice and flexibility with the Cuisinart.
Last update on 2020-07-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API