More than half of all adults in the United States have a caffeine-laden thread binding us together. We share coffee as a preferred beverage to the tune of some 400-million cups, per day. Quick math tells you that we drink a lot of coffee, and not just as a passing notion. We enjoy good coffee, perfectly roasted, expertly ground and methodically brewed. We even enjoy bad coffee, rehydrated, freeze-dried, rancid crud brewed through a used gym sock, thick as stew and served stale in a flimsy paper cup. But, our love affair with coffee, joe, java, mud, liquid love, black gold has been a paramour of true, mad and deep desire. There is no denying the caffeine buzz and its not-so-innocent havoc it causes for staying addiction-free. But, as addictions go, it is a heck of a lot better tasting than, say, heroine. And certainly more socially acceptable.
So how do you get yours? A stop at the Kwik-E-Mart on the way to work? A jaunt to Devilish Donuts and a double injection of sin, with a donut to dunk? Perhaps you brew at home and bypass the average of nearly $1.50 per cup? The classic drip coffee maker? Or maybe the really classic percolator, with its urgling, gurgling sputter? Perhaps, the elegantly simple French press with its undemanding and timeless construct? And even more variables dance across the counter to the coffee pot; whole beans or pre-ground? Coarse or fine ground? Light, medium or dark roast? So many questions with some guiding light, there are answers.
My little one-cup brewer met a power-surge induced homicide. It was quick and painless and it never saw the fatal blow coming. After a brief, yet meaningful send off, with whispered condolences and muffled sobs, the trusty coffee maker was cast off to its plastic bag-lined grave. Grieving halted moments later; Single, white male in search of long-term relationship, mostly one way; you give, I take; committed to establishing a daily routine. Only serious coffeemakers need respond. I needed a new coffeemaker to fill the void left by the tragic loss of my dear, departed.
In the market, I most certainly had ideas of what I was looking for in establishing a new, committed relationship. I like the beans to be freshly ground, just before brewing. There is no denying the impact on the flavor of the coffee. But, grinding beans can be a chore – it can be messy, inconvenient and lessen the haste in which I can consume my morning dose. So, I wanted a machine that would grind the beans for me, preferably incorporated into the machine. I also wanted out of the brew and cook status quo of classic drip machines. A pot that can receive coffee and not insist on nagging at it with angry heat as the day progresses is a fundamental part of this new affair. And, ultimately, I wanted control, as all one-way partners do in a newly formed conjugation. A timer and the ability to control how much coffee I can effectively make at a time are good starts for this control freak. Enter the Cuisinart Grind and Brew Thermal 10-Cup Coffee Maker.
The tipping point in selecting a new morning partner came down to the coffee receptacle. There is no heating element to reduce the coffee to au sec under the scourge of constant heat. Rather, the ingenious thermal carafe accepts the coffee from the brewer with nearly no space traveled from said brewer to carafe. As a result, the coffee remains hot, really hot, throughout the day and well into dusk without turning acrid from that little char-broiling hot plate found embedded in other coffeemakers. Like a set of long, sleek legs, this machine is stylish and functional; the built-in grinder turns beans yielding ten cups of coffee into ground coffee in less than forty seconds. The blades whir quickly and efficiently, if not just a bit higher up on the decibel range. A mere quibble, though. The grinder has a job to do and it is does it better, faster and more efficiently than I. The blade grinder is easily removed for cleaning and should be done between uses. The ground coffee makes its way to the gold filter with ease and no evidence of fly-away mess. From the start of the process to first drip of coffee is under two minutes and a mere eight minutes to a full ten cups. I am in control, as well. I can get that eight minutes shortly before I awake with the incorporated timer. As a bonus, for whatever insane reason that I may want to do less than a full batch, the good folks at Cuisinart realized that the temperature of the water may not reach its optimal brewing temperature with less than a complete brew cycle, so they added a booster to the heater to ensure a smaller pot is as lava hot as the full pot.
As with all good relationships, keeping things tidy and clean is always a bonus. There are a few parts of the Cuisinart Grind and Brew Thermal 10-Cup Coffeemaker that require attention. Namely, the grinder, the basket filter and carafe need per-use cleaning. But, given the economy of time the Grind and Brew imparts, the few pieces in need of attention really do not hamper, in any way, the pleasure of having a new counter-top partner. Of course, you can use a disposable filter for brew and toss convenience. You can even use ground coffee and the machine will not complain nor nag that you don't spend enough time together anymore, saving a moment or two of clean-up. The included charcoal filter is easily installed and replaced, as needed. A nice touch, this new machine caring so much for my health!
The Cuisinart Grind and Brew Thermal 10-Cup Coffee Maker has made for an excellent partner in the wee hours and welcomes me home with the same, willing warmth from which we parted ways earlier in the day. It has the easiness on the eyes that we all have come to expect from the Cuisinart brand and the same, true quality in design and construction that is the foundation of any good relationship.
Available from: Everythingkitchens.com