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Cuisinart Grind and Brew DGB-550BK 12 cup

by susan williams
(phoenix, az)


Cuisinart DGB-550BK Grind-and-Brew
12-Cup Automatic Coffeemaker

The world of coffeemaking is becoming increasingly modern. Coffeemakers are keeping up with the times and have been for some time, automatic. The 12-cup automatic coffeemaker from Cuisinart is an example of how modern design can be blended with old-fashioned coffeemaking.

The cups of joe that the automated coffeemaker pours out offer a great start for the day. The coffee is tasty and fresh. The Cuisinart automatic can produce twelve cups of that delicious coffee. It is also completely programmable. So, you can choose how you want it to work for you. Its helpful features are encased in a sleek, modern Italian finish.

Key Features

So what features does the Cuisinart 12 cup automatic coffeemaker have that make it effective? Here they are:

- The Cuisinart coffeemaker can produce up to twelve cups of coffee per brew.
- The coffeemaker is fully programmable.
- The coffeemaker has an elegant Italian design.
- It has an adjustable auto shutoff.
- It grinds whole coffee beans automatically before brewing.
- It has a commercial filter, with a gold tone.
- The coffeemaker is easy to clean because the filter area and grinder chamber are separate.
- It has a charcoal water filter for the removal of debris and impurities.
- It has a 12 cup carafe.
- The coffeemaker's carafe has a dripless spout.
- It has a Brew Pause feature that makes it easy to pour a cup of coffee before the rest of the brew is finished.


Consumers who love their coffee freshly grounded and freshly brewed love the Cuisinart 12 cup automatic coffeemaker. This is because they can put in their whole coffee beans and have it grounded in the same machine before the actual brewing. This feature makes the coffee fresh and tasty, just as a barista would have prepared it.

You also get to drink your savory coffee in no time at all, despite the fact that you may have grounded the beans first. You may even use pregrounded beans if you like. After enjoying your cup, or cups, of coffee, you can easily clean the coffeemaker. Consumers are also happy to find out that this well-designed coffeemaker is being sold at an affordable price.


Busy consumers do not like the fact that the Cuisinart 12 cup automatic coffeemaker needs to be cleaned after every use. Though easy to clean, the coffeemaker does need to be cleaned after every use to keep on functioning properly.

Consumers may find the price affordable but are disappointed to find that the coffeemaker can get busted after only a few months. Others have this coffeemaker for years but complain about burnt coffee if the brew is made to stay on the hot plate a little longer.

Some consumers complain about the noise and vibration that the coffeemaker produces. They say that the Cuisinart grind and brew model is noisier than some cheaper coffeemakers.

Now, what are the pros and cons of the Cuisinart 12 cup automatic coffeemaker from a more objective point of view?


- modern Italian design
- grind and brew capability
- produces freshly grounded coffee
- has an affordable price
- fast brew
- great features
- keeps coffee hot and fresh
- brew time can be programmed


- produces sticky residue
- needs to be cleaned after every use, focusing on each part
- noisy
- does not last long

Key Features

As with other coffeemakers, consumer satisfaction will depend on what features are desired. If a consumer does not mind the noise and the regular cleaning, the Cuisinart 12 cup automatic coffeemaker can prove to be a near perfect choice.

Comments for Cuisinart Grind and Brew DGB-550BK 12 cup

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Apr 22, 2011
Grinder Issue
by: Anonymous

Right after the coffee is made, I like to take the grinder and basket out and clean them so they'll be ready for the next pot of coffee. However, with this model, the grinder is like glued in, for whatever reason, and no amount of brute force can break it free! This has caused me great anger on many, many occasions! Why can't you simply reach in and pull the grinder out? Why does it have to be cemented in for over an hour after the coffee is done? This is SO frustrating!

Jan 17, 2011
Terrible Coffee Maker
by: Darin R.

We bought this coffee maker because a friend of mine had one and said it was working well shortly after he bought it. Soon after we bought it, his quit grinding coffee, hmmm. In the mean time, ours quit grinding coffee on the second day we had it. We returned it to Cuisinart and they sent us a new one, GREAT! Not so fast... it lasted about two weeks and the filter door would not stay closed. It would open in the middle of a brewing cycle and we would come back into the kitchen to a pot of cofefe all over the counter top, WHAT A FREAKIN MESS!! I blamed it on my girlfriend at first...I thought maybe she wasn't closing it tight enough. Not the case! No matter how you close the filter door, it would open once in a while. One of us actually had to stay in the kitchen while the coffee maker was making coffee. We might as well had a hand operated french press. The next thing that went wrong was kinda funny. We would be watching TV in the living room and all of a sudden, the coffee maker would start the grinder, with no-one around! Finally, the electronics have completely taken a crap. Not only does the thing grind when ever it feels like it, the hot plate turns on and off as it pleases, whether there is coffee or not. AND it doesn't even start making coffee when the "on" button is pressed anymore. You have to whack the machine over the head to wake it up. This thing is TERRIBLE!!! We are going out to buy a $19.99 Mr. Coffee today and will deal with Cuisinart to get something else later.

Jun 15, 2010
Good Coffee Every Time
by: John

I have not had this coffee maker very long. The first 4 cups brewed were perfect. I used 6 scoops of beans as recommended for 4 cups or less(1 1/2 per cup) plus a paper filter. This made the coffee too strong for me. I now use 5 scoops.

My experience with the baskets provided in coffee makers as an alternative to paper filters is that the coffee is inconsistent and often weak. This is because the basket does not adhere to the surface of the sides of the container. As a result, some of the water escapes along the sides rather than through the ground coffee.

Abrasive cleaners and/or a wet surface will result in particles sticking to the grinding compartment. If thoroughly cleaned as recommended after each use and the height is no problem, this machine should provide years of good service. This is not a rush and go coffee maker.

Mar 11, 2010
best ever
by: susan williams

We bought our Brew and Grind Cuisinart coffee maker about 4 years ago. After many years of struggling with coffee makers that just didn't quite cut it - coffee didn't taste too good, got cold too soon, pot was accidently left on and coffee burned to the decanter, etc. we decided to try something different.

We always did buy whole beans and grind our own coffee so it was natural for us to consider buying a coffee brewer that could also grind the beans for us. We were a little skeptical at first but after checking it out we decided to give it a try. Well, we've had it for four years now and that's the longest we've kept any coffee maker ever! The Cuisinart Brew and Grind makes absolutely perfect coffee.

I think it also saves us money because the coffee compartment only holds about 1/2 cup of beans and that makes the perfect 10 cups of coffee. When we've gone on vacation (we usually rent a cabin) the coffee maker there requires a lot more coffee and doesn't make nearly as good a cup of coffee. I told my husband next year the coffee maker is going with us! It isn't really difficult to clean - just three very easy to remove parts need to be washed in warm soapy water.

About once a month my husband takes it a little further apart and washes out the upper part where the coffee gets ground just to keep it clean. One problem we did have in the beginning is that you have to be absolutely sure that the basket that coffee grinds dump into is completely closed before starting the grinder up!

Made a mess a couple times but that was entirely my fault as you can even hear a little click when it is closed as it should be. Never happens now that I listen for that click after loading the coffee. I can honestly say that this is the BEST coffee maker ever!

Feb 08, 2009
Not the best coffee maker
by: Anonymous

This was a gift, so it is not something I researched. This particular coffee maker is large and bulky and takes up too much space on my counter. The built in grinder does not work as well as a separate grinder unit.

Many of the beans don't get ground and/or dumped into the filter compartment, so the coffee often comes out too weak. You are able to make as few as 2 cups of coffee, but when you make only a small amount, it appears that the water doesn't really saturate the coffee grounds and again, the coffee is too weak.

There is a built-in timer which works nicely. You can program it to start brewing at a pre-determined time in the morning, waking up to fresh coffee. In my opinion, this is not the best coffee maker. It retails for about $98, so it's rather pricey. I think you can get a much better cup of coffee for models that sell for less than $20.

Nov 26, 2008
Mediocre Coffee Maker
by: Susan Davis

I didn't really need a new coffeemaker, but the Cuisinart Grind & Brew Automatic Coffeemaker was a housewarming gift, so I had to graciously accept it and find room for it on my kitchen counter. This all-in-one device makes as little as two cups of coffee, all the way up to a full 12-cups. According to the instruction manual, it delivers unsurpassed ease of use and rich, full-bodied coffee flavor.

The instruction manual also claims it has a streamlined, European styling and a graceful carafe, but I found this coffee maker to be anything but streamlined. It is large and bulky and occupies more space on my counter than I?d like. In order to use the coffee grinder or add water, it is necessary to lift up a reservoir cover, which you can?t do if it sits underneath any cabinets on your counter. So every time you want to use the coffeemaker, you need to pull it out so you can access the grinder and water tank.

These inconveniences aside, the coffeemaker does not make a very good cup of coffee. No matter how much coffee you use(whether whole beans or previously ground), the brewed final product lacks flavor and body. Plus, it just doesn't come out hot enough. I?m not sure if this a flaw in the coffeemaker or my personal preference, but my old model (a very old Mr. Coffee) made hot and strong coffee, despite being about 10 years old.

The Cuisinart has a timer which allows you to set it up the night before to start brewing at a preset time in the morning. This is a nice feature. It also has a button that you can activate if you are making less than four cups of coffee. This supposedly does something to make the coffee hotter. However, I don't notice any difference.

There is a permanent filter basket, which is also nice. Or, you can use paper filters if you choose. I think the paper filters make a better tasting cup of coffee. I'm not sure why that might be the case.

One particular beef is that the grinder does not seem to grind all of the beans. Perhaps this is one of the reasons that the coffee seems weak. Whenever I take the compartment out, there is always a spoonful or so of beans that didn't get ground, which is quite wasteful. And if you do try to make a whole pot of coffee (12 cups), the bean compartment does not want to hold 12 scoopfuls of beans. And yes, the Cuisinart comes with a measuring scoop, but the grinder compartment seems too small to handle all the beans!

Overall, the Cuisinart Grind & Brew is a mediocre coffeemaker that retails for a high price. It is bulky and takes up too much counter space. And the coffee just doesn't taste that good even if I buy the high priced brand.

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