Cuisinart SS-5 Review
Rated by Jennifer
In this review I’m doing it again with yet another compact size single-serve brewer that is a big hit with those of you seeking a smaller device that you can keep at the ready in your domicile or take along with you other places.
If the idea of having a smaller version of the SS-700 appeals to you, read on..No bells and whistles with this one. A few things, I discovered, though, did cause me concern.
Although the Cuisinart SS-5 seemed to have less than ideal ratings, I do manage to shed some light on a few things to look out for before you buy, as well as recommendations.
Table of Contents
On the Amazon sales page the dimensions listed read: 10″ by 12.8″ by 14″ and a weight of 7 pounds, which I went to double check the manufacturer’s site gives a slightly different set of figures. Needing more clarity, I sought out an answer from the Q & A section and a consumer told me her findings.
- 10.7″ (l) by 7.25″ (w) by 12.0″ (h)
- Weight: 8 lbs
- Removable drip tray: 2″ of extension past the unit.
- Clearance with drip tray in place: 6.25″
- Clearance with drip tray removed: 7″
If you’re looking for a coffeemaker with “to-go” tumbler accessibility, this is a choice to consider.
The Cuisinart unit itself includes a drip tray, reservoir, water filter assembly, start guide and a 3-Year Limited Warranty.
The Cuisinart SS-5 comes in two color choices: Brushed Metal and White. Personally, I don’t know how it got a name like “brushed metal” because the front part of both colors has the metal appearance but the accent colors are respectively black and white when looked at from a side view.
- It has a 40 oz water reservoir, which is considered a nice mid-range size.
- 6, 8, and 10 oz brew sizes
- An Auto-Off feature that kicks on automatically after 30 minutes of inactivity
- Clean function
- A removable drip tray that is top-rack dishwasher safe
- A water filter assembly
- A filter cup inside the K-cup chamber that can be easily removed and replaced
Buttons and Controls
The buttons are located on the front control panel with the power button at the top and the three brew size choices below. underneath them is an “Add Water” indicator light The buttons are blue when illuminated and all of them light up right away when the power button is turned on. When you make a size selection the other two size buttons will go out.
One thing I really like that’s worth mentioning is the fact that if you are trying to adjust for a bigger cup is that all you have to do is hit the brew size button twice (example – for 12 oz, hit the 6 oz button two times). The lack of ability to program I think you can make up for with this ability.
The included reservoir holds 40 oz and has a nice slim rectangle shape. It fits into the rear of the unit and is more visible from a side view, and gives the Cuisinart SS-5 its compact appearance. The lid opens for easy pouring or you can easily remove it and refill it from your chosen source.
The included carbon water filter holder segues into the right side of the reservoir inside after you’ve fitted the carbon cartridge. The water filter looks easy to insert even though I heard one consumer mention that it doesn’t stay put well (it “floated up to the top” in so many words.) So be sure to seat it tightly.
After the initial priming, you’re looking at a basic plug-and-play operation here. . The K-cup chamber has a lip-like slight protrusion with which to open it and insert a K-cup. You can also use refillable K-cups and the included assembly is removable for easy cleaning.
Pretty much just putting a mug under there and selecting your brew size of choice. You’ll remove the inner assembly to use your refillable k cup and put it back in place when switching back to pods.
Cuisinart SS-5 Compatible Accessories
- Sekmet Replacement Charcoal Water Filters For Cuisinart Coffee Makers, 6 and 12 pack
- Geesta Replacement Charcoal Water Filters
- Everyday DCCF-12 Replacement Charcoal Water Filters
- Cuisinart SS-RFC HomeBarista Reusable Filter Cup
- Solofill K3 Refillable K-Cup
Cuisinart SS-5 Consumer Reviews and Ratings
When I looked at its average score at the time of writing, it seemed to be below what is normally considered a “keeper” (at least 4.0) So I went digging deeper to find out what was pushing that score down a little. The negative comments fell into one of these three categories:
1). Water leaking problems, 2) Splatters happening while dispensing, 3) Coffee temp wasn’t hot enough.
Obviously no. 1 raises a red flag, and from what I could gather a few consumers ended up having to make a swap early in the game for a new brewer, and others made the discovery that their unit’s reservoir was not fitted securely, and secondly, one person claimed that an overfill of his/her own doing caused the leakage.
Splatters when dispensing: When I viewed a demo video, the demonstrator was using a standard size mug and if there’s one thing you notice when pouring something with four or five inches above -it seems to splash more than when the spout is closer to the object being filled. I found myself thinking this might not have been the case with the use of a travel cup or mug that’s a little bit taller overall?
Now since only a few reviews made a mention of the coffee temp not being adequate, this one is another subjective piece of criteria, because different people have different ideas of what “hot” should be in terms of coffee. Since the Cuisinart SS-5 does not have an option to let you move up or down on the temp in a range (such as that of some of the Keurigs will let you do) this one is up for debate. The default factory temp as stated by the manufacturer is 187-192 degrees F. That’s a pretty normal range.
Interestingly enough, I felt that the overall score for this coffeemaker on Best Buy was much higher and I saw very few performance complaints. I can only wonder what that is about as the user base wasn’t that different.
The positive comments about the Cuisinart SS-5 ranged from “works fast” “nice modern design” “easy set up” “coffee temp just right””quiet” “able to use any kind of K-cups” and “space saving” All that seemed legit in my book.
But I think I need to return to the “biggie”…the reports of leaking, not just when I started this review, but some that I have found between 2018-now, were pretty alarming. A number of people ended up having to get their brewers replaced only to…what?? End up with another one that did the same??
I did come across a few reports of exploding pods (one reviewer thought being at high altitude could have been the problem- legitimately, this is one cause)
So I decided to search for some info on this model and the leaking issue, unfortunately, I couldn’t find a video on this one, the two I did find were strictly product demos and didn’t address any issues. I have come to the conclusion, that this is more of a design flaw with the reservoir, in which the gasket on the bottom is not a good fit and causing the majority of the leaking reports, and thus, the lower ratings.
- Quiet operation
- Attractive design
- Smaller electronic footprint
- Easy setup
- Accepts all brands of K-Cups and no DRM technology to worry about
- Accommodates mugs and travel cups easily
- Has Auto-Off function
- 3 year Warranty
- Seems to have a propensity towards leaking
- Water filter a little tricky to get to stay in place correctly
- Does not have programmable options
- Lacks brew strength control
- Tendency to splatter if you’re using a shorter cup
I think the price overall is reasonable and pretty justified; at the time of writing it looked to be under $100, which is in line with the average smaller or more compact sized model on the market today.
If you are insistent on finding a good Cuisinart pod brewer, may I suggest you take a look at the SS-10 which has better ratings and all the good features like the reservoir with filter and the refillable cup; plus the overall design is pretty similar, it is just somewhat bigger.
To be fair and impartial, you can check out the SS-5 at the link below and read other reviews before you decide if it’s going to be worth your time, or not:
The HomeBarista cup that is compatible is going for the same price on Amazon and the manufacturer’s site.and its price is pretty comparable to the many other brands of reusable filter cups in the same quantity.
You won’t find yourself having to pay for a lot of upkeep extras other than the filter cartridges. If you’re used to using a water filtration system like the Brita pitcher you may not be concerned with the water filter and cartridges at all.
On the topic of the cartridges, if you’re looking at a package of 12, you’ll get a much better deal getting them on Amazon over the manufacturer’s site. Regardless of Cuisinart or Keurig, water filter cartridges are usually priced competitively whether bulk rates are 6, 12 or greater.
My Final Thoughts on the Cuisinart SS-5
What do I think of the Cuisinart SS-5 so far? Eh….all right I guess, but, I think you could do better.
I had to take off a star just because of all of the leaking reports I’d found, and while it’s design looks good, it’s a nice size and highly apropos for small kitchens, there are other models I encourage you to check out first.
I think the flaw with the reservoir, however, clinches it…if this were worked out, I think it would be a very good model.