Great rich tasting coffee made simple and easy is what you get with a Cuisinart Coffee Center. But before you buy a Cuisinart Coffee Center, there are a couple of things you need to know.


This post is the result of our investigating a problem a customer had when she set up her Cuisinart Coffee Center. She wrote a note to us after being disappointed. We think that she may have given up much too soon. We will explain that a little further down.

She did not know what to expect from her new coffee maker and dutifully followed the instructions. Normally, that is what we recommend. However, after looking into the problem that this lady had… Those instructions were lacking a couple important steps. She had a genuine right to be upset.


But first, a disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.  Never the less, we will always give you our own point of view from the most accurate information we have available. You may read our full disclosure here.

We decided that we had to have a firsthand experience with this coffee maker in order to determine whether we should, or should not… continue to recommend it to our readers. Jay already had the 14 cup Cuisinart and it has never given him a moment’s worth of trouble. We thought that the Cuisinart Coffee Center SS 15 would be the same.

Glenda drinks wayyyy more coffee than Jay does and she is very picky with it. That is how we decided to test it out in her home. She had purchased the Ninja previously and learned to love it as well. So now she has a coffee station in her kitchen that includes both the Ninja Coffee Bar System and the Cuisinart Coffee Center.

Yes, that may be a bit of an overkill there but Glenda really does enjoy both coffee and tea and enjoys serving it to her guests. Initially, we figured that we would purchase the Cuisinart Coffee Center, find out what the problem was, report back to both the unhappy customer and also send a note to the manufacturer… We were not certain that we would even keep it if it had any problems. We wanted to know the source of the problem and whether the complaint was valid.

Suffice to say that Glenda is still enjoying the fresh rich taste of coffee from the Cuisinart Coffee Center daily. It is definitely a keeper! She did not plan to have two great coffee makers sitting in her kitchen but she found it to be quite handy. After fixing many test cups of coffee and tea in the Cuisinart she finally settled down to a routine that she thoroughly enjoys. 

The Cuisinart is the star of the mornings when she is able to enjoy a quick K cup or two before work. Come afternoon, she likes to refresh herself with a tall mug of iced decaf coffee made in the Ninja.  Cuisinart Coffee Center Vs Ninja Coffee BarLeastways, that has been the routine while enduring the hot summer days. Want a quick K cup anyone?  Gevalia has the best taste for our preference. How about some iced coffee? Or a hot cup of tea? A cappuccino or frappuccino? Maybe you would like a single cup or a pot full. How about a pot each of regular and decaf for those special guests? With these two machines, it is easy to do it all… and very quickly!

Glenda says, ”It really came in handy recently when I had guests and everyone wanted something a little bit different. Having both styles of coffee makers in my kitchen gave me more variety than I could possibly have imagined.”

But we digress.

Cuisinart Coffee Center Problems

The customer who wrote to us never actually had a chance to make any coffee in her machine. She figured it was defective since water was splashing out of the cup, so she sent the machine back. She had run water through both sides of the coffee maker to rinse it according to instructions. The carafe side did just fine.

However, when she ran water through the single serve side the coffee maker spit and spurted, and splashed water out all over the coffee maker and the counter. Now no one wants that, right? We would not want that either!

In order to test it out for ourselves, Glenda set up her Cuisinart the same way the customer said she did, including using the same size cup. This was accurately following the instructions. Then with the camera on her cell phone ready, she watched to see what would happen. YEP! it spit, spurted and splashed water out of the receiving cup on the platform.

That lady had a right to be upset. But we are problem solvers so we determined to run more tests to get a clearer picture. As a result, we learned what caused the problem and what could easily be done about it.

Solving The Problem

You see, both sides do indeed need to be rinsed clean before using them to make your first pot or cup of coffee (or tea, or hot chocolate). But, by running a brew cycle on the single serve side with no pod or filter in place, the force of the water splashes down and around in a way that would make a watery mess. It would be easy to assume that coffee would come out the same way. It doesn’t.

That spitting and spurting action is designed to make sure that all the coffee grounds are saturated the right amount of time and temperature to make a delicious cup of coffee. But without a pod or filter in place you get water splashing out of the cup.

I am sure that anyone walking away from the machine and coming back would have been convinced that the machine leaked! This is not a leak! If you have a machine that leaks you have a different problem and it should be sent back to the manufacturer.

There are two things that caused this to happen and there are two simple remedies that will get rid of the issue…

The cause:

1… Unrestrained water coming down with force

2… Too much distance between the spout and the bottom of the cup

Simple Remedies:

1… When doing your first rinse with plain water or when just getting hot water for tea or chocolate… replace the pod holder with the home barista filter and holder. Having the filter in place causes the water to flow through in a stream rather than a spitting spurting action. This greatly reduces the splattering and splashing out. Of course, having coffee in that filter basket reduces the force of the flow even more. There is very little splattering out of the cup.

2… Use a taller mug or place your regular coffee cup on a stack of coasters (or anything handy and stable) to raise the cup to a higher level under the spout. I find that a 14 ounce mug works fine by itself.

This is simple to do but the instructions do not warn you of any splashing out. It seems that the smaller size cup you use, the more it is likely to splash out. 

Both the Hamilton Beach and the Ninja coffee makers have raised platforms for when you wish to use a smaller cup or mug. 

Other Potential Problems to Watch Out For:

All of the single serve coffee makers can clog from time to time. Yes, even Keurig. It is just the nature of having a piercing needle go through the lid of a pod and into the coffee grounds. To prevent this, it just makes good sense to occasionally use a paper clip or something similar to clean out the needle.

If the arrows are not lined up inside the Cuisinart single serve, then you can stop the flow of coffee from going where it is supposed to go. That can really make a mess. It is very simple to make sure that the white arrows line up with each other. Failing to do that is simply operator error.

I recently read about a regular coffee pot that malfunctioned because the owner forgot to put the lid back in place. Without the lid to press the brew/pause mechanism in the proper place, the basket overflowed with coffee and grounds that could not get out the normal way.

The same thing can happen if you fail to place the filter basket all the way down into it’s proper place. That is ANY coffee maker with a brew/pause button that rests on the lid of the carafe.

Is The Cuisinart Coffee Center Worth It?

Most people have coasters in their homes anyway for protecting their furniture. Stacking a few of them on the platform is an easy way to raise the cup up to a better height. With a raised platform and a filter in place,  there is no splashing problem.  A tall travel mug would do the same thing. We think that this coffee maker is well worth the minor  inconvenience of changing the initial setup. This machine makes some of the best tasting coffee you have ever hadCuisinart SS-15 12-Cup Coffee Maker and Single-Serve Brewer, Stainless Steel

According to Glenda,”I don’t know about you but the minor splashing problem with set-up is the only problem I have had with my coffee maker. That was easily taken care of once I understood the cause. It is well worth the money for me. I have had my Cuisinart for over two months now. I have used it every day and multiple times a day. I have used it to make coffee, tea, and mocha. I have made many pots of coffee as well as single cups. I have tried different K cups in it and also used my own preferred coffee grounds or tea in the home barista filter and holder.

The only issue I have ever had with it was during the setup where as instructed I pushed the button for a 10 ounce cup to pre-rinse before actually making coffee. Those instructions do say to run it without a pod in place. Following those instructions cause a spitting, spurting action rather than a steady stream of water flow.

The Best Great Tasting Plain Hot Coffee Comes From the Cuisinart

Whether you are using the carafe side or the single serve side, the Cuisinart makes excellent rich tasting coffee without any bitterness. I love it for everyday use. When I want some specialty coffee that requires either a concentrate or brew over ice, I still use the Ninja. but for regular coffee… I won’t give up the Cuisinart. It gives me a quick great tasting cup of coffee with either my own grounds or with one of the specialty K type pods. The Ninja does not use pods and a single cup is quicker with the Cuisinart. They both make great tasting coffee but I have found that the Ninja requires just a bit more grounds for the same rich taste.

I am not putting the Ninja down by any means here. It is still a great coffee maker with multiple functions.  Iced coffee made in the Ninja is easy to do and is delicious.    It is easy to make tea with either machine but with the Ninja you have the option of either hot or iced tea. I have found it easy to make a pitcher of iced tea with the Ninja as well. 

As I said before, I did not plan to have two coffee makers sitting in my kitchen but with my varied tastes and love of both coffee and tea… they serve me well.”

Before You Buy a Cuisinart Coffee Center or Any Other Coffee Maker

Before purchasing any coffee maker you do need to be informed about what to expect and the product needs to deliver on those expectations. We do think that the makers of Cuisinart failed when they wrote their setup instructions. They also should supply a raised platform for using smaller cups. They did not make a good first impression and unfortunately, sometimes that is all that one gets. But the coffee maker itself makes great tasting coffee and has convenient features.

The Cuisinart is hard to beat if you are picky with the taste of your coffee like we are.  Like we stated earlier, simply use a taller mug or elevate the cup with some coasters or such. There has not been any major issues at all with it. We have taken our time before writing this article and have not jumped to any conclusions either way. We wanted to give a fair and honest review on our findings.

We think that with proper care and the workarounds mentioned above, most people would really enjoy this coffee maker. We each love our Cuisinart Coffee Makers and hope that they last a long, long time.

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Ninja Coffee Bar System Review



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    • Lisa

    Hi, thank you so much for a great article. I would like to know why you seem more impressed with the Cuisinart over the Hamilton Beach? I am trying to decide on which one to purchase.

      • Glenda

      Hi Lisa,

      It is just my personal preference. They both are good coffee makers. I have the Cuisinart and also a Ninja coffee maker in my home. My son has the Hamilton Beach.

      I prefer the taste of the single serve coffee from the Cuisinart. It also brews a lot faster. When it comes to making a pot full, I actually prefer the Ninja better. The way the Ninja pot is made it prevents excessive evaporation which helps keep the brewed coffee tasting fresher.

      The Cuisinart pot also makes a good tasting coffee but it is better to use soon (like for several people) rather than keep it hot for 2 to 4 hours. It will stay nice and hot but over time it loses it’s fresh taste.

      The Hamilton Beach also makes good coffee but is slower to brew. I don’t think that the taste is as good (subjective point of view) but then my daughter-in-law is brewing the coffee to the preferred taste of her family. Each person must adjust to their own preferences according to the amount of coffee used.

      If you take into account the things mentioned in the article I believe you would be happy with either. Sorry if this does not help you. Just being honest.

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