Cuisinart DCC-3000 Coffee Maker Review
Reviewed by: Jennifer
Jennifer’s Rating: 4.2 Stars
Are you ready for a new one-cup experience? The Cuisinart DCC-3000 has the unique distinction of being made to dispense one cup of coffee at a time, from a full batch you brew yourself.
Now it’s NOT a “k-cup” machine – and I do want to stress that before I get into this review. But with the features and benefits it has, you may not miss those pods after all!
See what made this bad boy get the “Amazon’s Choice” title for Cuisinart single-serve coffee makers and why I believe out of all of the five or six models I’ve thoroughly “investigated” on this site, this is one of the best performers, and why I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it! Hyperbole aside, here’s everything you need to know.
Table of Contents
It’s mid-sized, altogether, not compact but not huge either. The approximate measurements given: 14.5″ high, 9″ wide, 10″ deep are what the Amazon sales page states, but when I check with the manufacturer site just to be sure, the dimensions listed are: 11.25″ in length, 8.75″ in width and 14.7″ in height, and 11.4 lbs.
Approximate clearance area: About 5″ with the drip tray in place and if the tray is removed, a 6.25″ travel mug will fit in place.
Now the power cord – this one is tricky. There are conflicting answers about its full length, though, one person said it was 24″, another 27″ and the exact metric was nowhere to be found (or it eluded me). I believe it is close to 30″.
- Black with stainless steel accents
- Dual reservoir function
- 1-4 cup settings
- Power loss backup system
- Audible “ready” tone that beeps to alert you to the finished brewing cycle
- “Showerhead” feature for thorough ground saturation
- The coffee dispensing lever which is also illuminated
- Clean Setting lets you know when it’s time to descale
- Dial Knob functions allow you to set the time, Auto On/Off, and start brewing
- Auto Off setting allows the unit to power down 2 hrs after the brewing cycle by default factory setting, and you can also select a desired power-down time within a 1 to 4-hour window.
The Â Cuisinart DCC 3000 is unique in that it is designed with dual reservoirs: one for water and the other for coffee. The removable water reservoir will accommodate up to 12 cups.
I like how it is marked with measurements on one side – very handy! The max fill line is just above the 12-cup mark. You’ll have no guesswork here. The water filter and charcoal cartridge fit into the bottom slot, also a great bonus as they work around the clock to keep your water pure tasting without impurities.
The coffee reservoir is not an insulated “thermal” unit by nature; it will keep coffee hot on standby for approximately an hour, give or take, depending on how long you program the Auto-Off function, it could stay hot and drinkable for longer than that. Although thermal components are considered top-notch in keeping coffee at optimal temperature and preventing “burnt” tasting coffee, the DCC 3000 kind of acts like a cistern in that the coffee is kept warm/hot within a contained environment. The coffee resulting should not get to that “cooked” or burnt point if you’re concerned about that.
Underneath the lid over the coffee reservoir is a “showerhead” feature that saturates the grounds. I think this is a great concept because good saturation is pretty essential to good coffee. Later on, it can be easily dispensed into the container of your choice; it has a handle on the top making it easy to raise up. One consumer pointed out that this is a great workaround to dispense coffee into a container larger or taller than the clearance allows – it’s also got a spout on one corner too. Pouring is easy as long as you’re careful (it gets pretty hot!)
Buttons and Controls
On the right of your brewer are the front control panel buttons: On/off, Clean, 1-4 (cup settings) Hr/Min clock settings. The digital clock is backlit as you can see.
Using the function dial set to Clock you can select the correct time, by setting the dial to Program you can select your brew-start time of choice. Then to keep this same time for the next day you can switch the dial to “Auto On” with a push of the On/Off button.
This user guide provides a good walk-through of these controls. The unit also has a “ready” tone that beeps five times when the brew cycle has finished; however the majority of opinions claimÂ it sounds “faint” The round dial settings include: Auto On, Auto Off, Clock, Brew, and Program.
Below the dial and the clock window, you’ll see the Clean function. The “Clean” button will signal and the blue light come on if there is any resistance during brewing; It will also beep five times to get your attention.
This will indicate a need to run water/vinegar through and perform a descaling cycle You’d follow the procedure outlined in the manual, minus the water filter, and make sure the brew basket is empty.
Aside from periodic descaling every few months, the other loose parts can be easily hand washed.
Near the top, in the middle of the unit, is the Coffee Gauge – As you can see up close, it resembles the gas gauge on your vehicle dashboard.
Its job is pretty much to tell you how much coffee is remaining in your reservoir. There are mixed opinions about how well it works – some people say it works well, others don’t, At any rate, you can always take a quick peek into the coffee reservoir to be sure.
What’s included with the Cuisinart DCC-3000?
- The unit itself
- Water reservoir
- Goldtone filter
- Water tank cap
- Carbon filter
- Filter holder
- Brew basket
The DCC 3000 comes with a Limited 3-Year Warranty ( the default which Cuisinart includes pretty much, this term on all brewers.)
Filters and Brewing
If you are used to automatic drip units you may find that the Cuisinart DCC 3000 operations are pretty flawless. You will have a plastic filter basket and a goldtone permafilter (pictured left) which you fill with your own coffee grounds. You can opt to use paper filters; be sure they have a similar #4 “cupcake” shape to them.
One thing you’d want to avoid would be using the paper filter and the goldtone filter at the same time this could lead to a potential of “spray back” in conjunction with the shower head that sits atop the brew basket. It may also cause the potential for backup of grounds.
Now with regard to dispensing your coffee – Instead of it all going into a carafe you will get to dispense a cup at a time strictly by depressing the lever (called the “actuator”) as needed after the cycle completes. The actuator itself has a nice “light up” feature too. Great to be able to see how much is going into your cup – especially when you’re feeling groggy when you first wake up!
Depending on your own lifestyle habits and personal preference, you may find yourself opting to dispense your coffee into a container like a thermos, or adjusting the amount of coffee brewed at a time since the 1-4 cups option will support this.
You’ve got a basic tray with a metal grate that comes off, like most brewers which you can remove to make space for a little bit taller cup. If you look at the left corner of the tray you’ll see what looks like a white button – I am told this is a light that automatically comes on in the case of the tray getting filled, something that might be unlikely to happen if you’re careful.
One of the major consensuses of opinion is that the power cord on the Cuisinart DCC-3000 is wonky. It is contained within a storage space near the bottom and you have to tug on it to some extent to pry out the necessary length, as it’s not retractable. It has been revealed to me that if you turn the unit upside down with the inner components not present, it’s easier to release it, to a more desirable length.
Another thing that’s different is that it’s got a two-prong, polarized plug – most brewers I have seen usually have three prongs. Upon first receiving it, you may notice that it’s exceedingly short – at first. One person commented that they couldn’t believe it was only 6″ long? Before you pull out its full length, that is, and after you read the part in the manual that says in so many words, ” the use of an extension cord is encouraged to minimize accidental tripping”
You will be glad to know that optional accessories, or replacement parts, are pretty easy to locate. You will need replacement cartridges for the water filter if you use it regularly, if you want to use paper filters instead of the goldtone filter you can get those too, in a bulk package. Look for the #4 size and shape.
Also, in the event you would need a new goldtone filter, I found that the proprietary brand is available, so you can be assured it will fit.
Cuisinart DCC 3000 Reviews and Ratings
I felt like reviews in general were fair and positive comments well-earned. Many people spoke favorably of the customizable options regarding Auto-On and Off, which provided a more flexible experience, and they liked the DCC 3000’s “intuitive” way of operating with them. The next best feature mentioned was the power loss backup system that preserved their chosen settings in the case of unplugging or power failure.
Also, consumers were pleased with the “1-4” button on the control panel which had the added benefit of slowing down the rate of water going through the filter, enabling greater extraction, which is something great to consider if you prefer tea and stronger brews.
Not too many negative reviews were discovered; the few comments that expressed minor annoyances, were that a few consumers felt like the “coffee gauge” was a little erratic at times so it was a little trickier to determine how much remained in the reservoir. A few other people cited that the power cord did not easily give when attempting to extend the additional length.
A few people were confused about the coffee reservoir being thermal in nature or not but they were easily able to dispense coffee into the chosen tumbler, mug, or thermally-insulated container of choice.
- Intuitive operation
- Being able to press the “1-4” button on the control panel to improve extraction
- Customizable options
- Built-in power loss backup system allows you to preserve chosen settings
- The goldtone filter is top-rack dishwasher safe
- You can use your own coffee grounds and have the traditional drip experience with one cup at a time so you don’t end up with a whole pot that might go to waste
- The coffee gauge can be a tad erratic at times
- Reservoir holds coffee on standby but does not provide thermal heating
- The power cord can be a little tricky to extend out
The price of this model and the options seem good and reasonable for what you get. The many different items that are included, plus more longevity – thumbs up! Absolutely a good deal. I do see several different prices on listings.
At the time of writing, I did come across one that was under $100 – you can check to see if that’s still the case here:
And since you can use your own coffee grounds and not need to use paper filters, you’d pretty much be spending no more than what you usually spend if you buy coffee grounds by the pound or whatever size preferred. The other minor expense might be the carbon filter cartridges, which you would need only if you aren’t planning on using filtered water from another source.
Cuisinart DCC 3000 – Conclusion
If you’re still with me, this may be one of the better package deals out there; with the number of accessories, you get in addition to the brewer itself. A few, like the water filter, may be optional, but their use can certainly enrich the daily experience of using the DCC-3000.
In general, I think this is a great choice for those who are used to automatic drip brewing and don’t really want to give up its perks, but have a unique way of dispensing coffee one cup at a time without the necessity of a carafe-style. Say goodbye to pots, say hello to the DCC-3000!