CNET First Look
Cuisinart SS-700A reliable cup of coffee from a reliable brand.
Hi. I'm Katie Pilkington with CNET.com and this is the Cuisinart SS-700. One of the first things you'll notice about this machine when you take it out of the box is how heavy it is, at almost 16 pounds, it's far heftier than any of the other machines we tested and we like that, it inspires a lot of confidence in the design and the construction. As you can see it looks really sturdy. To brew a cup of coffee, you simply open the brew head, pop in your K-Cup right there and close it. You'll hear a pop as the needles puncture both the top and bottom of the K-Cup. The reservoir will pull water into the internal heating tank where it will take less than 4 minutes to heat. This machine brews a really nice tasting cup of coffee. We liked it. It was a little bit watery, but not bitter. It reminded us a lot of diner coffee which is definitely not a bad thing. Another thing we really like about this machine is that it's fully programmable and you do this through the control panel screen right here. You can program water temperature settings with the range of 5 or 6 degrees. You can also program whether the machine will turn on automatically in the morning or turn itself off automatically after a specific amount of time. So, if you're really busy in the morning and you want your machine hot and ready to use at a particular time every single morning so all you have to do is brew your cup of coffee in less than a minute and go, this is definitely a great option. The screen is forward-facing which is nice. A lot of the other machines we looked at have a screen that faces upwards, so the only time you can see it is when you're standing directly over the machine to use it. You could actually use this control panel screen as a clock anywhere in your kitchen and it could be visible. This part is removable to make room for a travel mug or for cleaning. Both of these parts are completely dishwasher safe. This machine will brew coffee in 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12-ounce sizes. Its price point is $199 on the manufacturer's website, although, we found it on 3rd party sites for as low as $170. One of the things we really like about this machine is that it came with its own reusable filter. This is great because it enables you to use your own brand of ground coffee that you may prefer. We should add, however, that the Cuisinart was a little disappointing in our taste test when we used fresh ground coffee. We far preferred its performance when it was making K-Cups. It's a great, great machine if you are looking to make K-Cups and if you have a particular brand that you would like to continue using, but as far as ground coffee is concerned, if you would like to use your own, we recommend the Bunn My CafÃ© MCU. I'm Katie Pilkington with CNET.com and this is the Cuisinart SS-700.