As a dedicated coffee drinker I’m always on the lookout for a better way to drink coffee at home. I started with instant, better instant, a french press, drip machines, espresso machines an Aeropress and a great many combinations. In one of my previous jobs there was a bean to cup coffee machine for staff use and that machine has become the epitome of the perfect home coffee. The Cuisinart Grind and Brew Plus Coffee Machine aims to provide great bean-to-jug coffee and do it at a reasonable price without the hassle of grinding yourself. So what does the machine do? At the top of the machine is a hopper for beans. This takes 225g of beans which is the same amount as a standard bean pack size. Fill up and the machine will auto-measure the amount that is needed for a pot.
Towards the back is a flip up lid into which you pour water. Inside the water tank is a built in charcoal filter to clean and flavor the water. Moving to the front of the machine and there are number of button controls. A On/Off, grind on/off to let you use pre ground coffee, coffee strength control, grind control, a clock and buttons to let you program start times.
Just below the controls is a swing out draw that contains a bean presser and a permanent gold filter. Under this is a thermos jug to catch and keep your coffee.
So the thousand dollar question – good coffee or bad coffee? The machine has a number of small problems – it uses a lot of beans relative to the amount of coffee it produces, the thermos does not close at the top and so keeps the coffee warm for less time than would be ideal and the filter lets through a surprising amount of grounds. However the up side is huge – its very, very good coffee. I prefer medium strength coffee with a good amount of flavor but not too strong and overwhelming and the Grind & Brew Plus delivered.
About Manufacturer: Cuisinart
Cuisinart makes kitchen equipment designed for quality and a long life – in effect bringing catering equipment into the home. They are based in Hampshire in the UK and have been operational for over 30 years.
The Ergohacks Evaluation
The Grind and Brew is versatile and lends itself to a variety of uses, users, situations and changing circumstances. It can make from two cups to twelve in a go – in reality this is 1 medium mug to about 5 and its ability to keep the coffee warm for around 2 – 3 hours means It can be used to make coffee for a number of people in one go or provide coffee for one or two people throughout a morning.
It is accessible in use to people with diverse abilities and its design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences – the physical click buttons in particular are impressive. Unfortunately resetting and cleaning the machine – needed in between every pot – is significantly more difficult thank switching on and takes two or three minutes and a little dexterity.
The Grind and Brew plus has a generally ergonomic design with nice big buttons and switches and a very well handled jug that is at least somewhat less fragile than glass. The big drawback is putting in the water – it needs to be poured in the back top in a position that is can be rather difficult to access especially if it is under an overhanging cupboard or shelf. The only way to tell how much water you have put in is on the right had side of the machine making it a little more difficult for left handed users.
Once setup actually turning the machine on is very simple – either a single button press or it can be set to turn on at a single time.
Environment & People
Brewed coffee is inherently more environmentally friendly as is only brewed once whereas instant is brewed and then freeze dried. The Brew and Grind also has the advantages that it only heats the exact amount of water required for drinking, uses a reusable filter, and keeps the coffee warm without electricity. In addition coffee grounds can be composed and provide a good source of nitrogen.
Post use the machine is made mainly from plastics and metal. The metal would be theoretically recyclable but as it is integrated this may be somewhat difficult.
The Grind and Brew Plus is not a cheap coffee machine. It is however among the most economic of the bean-to-jug machines available on the market. On a standard strength setting it uses a little more beans that I would have expected and slightly more than other grinding systems I’ve used in the past but the overall difference is only a few percent.
Color: Silver and Black
Weight (empty): 7kg
Size: 33 x 33 x 46cm
Capacity: 12 Cups
Warranty: Three year guarantee
If you want a coffee machine that can provide decent bean to jug coffee and can do it in a reliable, timed manner and keep your coffee warm the Cuisinart Grind and Brew Plus would be an excellent choice. It has a couple of design choices which are not ideal – the hard to access water tank in particular – but it wins at the biggest requirement of a coffee machine, good coffee. Recomended.
The review is based on the Cuisinart Grind and Brew Plus. This post contains affiliate links. First published on …