The Cuisinart DCC-3200: the Best Coffee Brewer for Most People

Are you looking for a great mid-priced coffee maker for your everyday brew? Something fairly simple to operate but that gets the job done, and that makes a HOT brew?

Cuisinart DCC-3200 14-Cup Glass Carafe Programmable Coffeemaker available on Amazon

At a Glance:

Pluses

  • 200°F water temperature.
  • Extended extraction time with showerhead style spigot.
  • Easy to use controls.
  • Auto program for delayed brewing.
  • Larger than average capacity.
  • Small batch compatible.
  • Charcoal filtration.
  • Not stupidly expensive.

Minuses

  • No thermal carafe model available.
  • No brewing temperature adjustments, pre-bloom, etc.
  • Not SCAA certified.

Here’s the deal:

The Cuisinart DCC-3200 is NOT in the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s (SCAA) Certified Home Brewer program.

It doesn’t have micro-controls to change temperature degree by degree, pre-soak/bloom, elevation settings (yes, this is a thing), pitch, yaw, or Faster-Than-Light (FTL) travel.

This pot is designed for the everyday coffee drinker who enjoys a better than average tasting cup of joe without a lot of fuss.

If you are familiar with terms like “Peabody” and “blooming,” you may want to look at models with a few more controls to dial in your extraction.

The only downside (for some people) may be the fact that this model is not available with a thermal carafe. We’d recommend the slightly smaller in capacity Cuisinart DCC-3400 12-Cup Programmable Thermal Coffeemaker if this is a consideration.

Having said that, the DCC-3200 does have some of the most important features required to produce GREAT coffee.

Hot is Good

This machine has the ability to reach around 200°F, which is the ideal range for brewing a great cup of joe.

The Bold setting keeps the hot water in the brewing chamber longer, allowing for a lengthier extraction of flavor.

If you’ve ever found yourself adding more and more coffee grounds to reach your desired brew strength, the Cuisinart DCC-3200 could actually save you money in the long run.

Rather than adding more and more grounds, the 200°F temp, plus the lengthier extraction time, allow for a richer and more developed brew with less waste.

Keeping it Warm

The control panel allows the hotplate warming the glass carafe to be set to low, medium, or high. If you are a “gulper,” you’d want a low or medium setting. If you are a “sipper” or like to add cold dairy/non-dairy concoctions to your drink, the hot setting would be your choice.

Should you forget to turn off the machine, the hotplate will automatically turn off in two hours via its default setting – but this is adjustable up to four hours. (Side note: For the love of God! Make a new pot! Old coffee is yuck!)

Showerhead Design

The DCC-3200 also features a “showerhead” method of percolation. Cheaper models often just have one spigot for the heated water to drip onto the grounds. With a showerhead design, multiple orifices are suspended above the brew basket, allowing full coverage of all of the coffee grounds.

Size Matters

At 14 cups, this is a larger model suitable for both personal use and for entertaining.

But remember, most manufacturers measure their capacities according to “old style” or European style cups. That is, around 4 or 5 ounces per cup. Cuisinart considers their “cup” to be 5 ounces, which means this appliance has a capacity of about 70 ounces total, or almost 9 servings in modern 8-ounce mugs.

Cuisinart’s older models in the same line held just 12 cups, and this increase in volume has been welcomed by many repeat customers.

This increase in capacity has made this model a little deeper but has not affected the all-important height consideration (i.e. the need to fit under cabinets), nor has it affected the width of the device.

Small Batch Brewing

Unlike many models, the Cuisinart DCC-3200 also allows you to easily brew smaller batches simply by pressing the 1-4 button.

On many other coffee makers, trying to brew a smaller batch results in a weak and under-extracted brew. Not so with the DCC-3200.

Charcoal Filtration System

Another key feature of this model is the included charcoal filtration system that removes impurities and chlorine, and helps to keep calcium carbonate buildup (aka “scale”) at a minimum.

Both Cuisinart brand and generic replacement filters are available.

Basket and Filter

This model includes a metal, gold tone, cone style permanent filter that fits into the basket. Cone style paper filters also work quite well if you want to remove all bits of sediment from your cup.

Exquisite Stainless

The DCC-3200 is coated from head to toe in gleaming stainless, giving this model an air of refinement and expense – at a mid-range price.

Easy-To-Use Controls

The machine is controlled by a series of easy to read push buttons, which also light up in a blue LED when they are pressed.

Control surface of the brewer.

The four circular buttons on the bottom include the aforementioned “Bold” setting, the “1-4 Cup” setting for smaller batches, the Brew button, and the Auto Program button.

The “Clean” button is not actually a button at all; it’s merely an indicator light that lets you know the machine needs to be descaled (which requires less frequent attention thanks to the charcoal cartridges).

The button around the clock includes separate hour and minute controls – handy for both setting the clock and the auto program mode for a delayed brew time.

Also included in this area are the controls for the hot plate temperature and the switch for turning off and on all audible notifications, tones, beeps, whistles, belches, and burps (your dog will thank you).

Brew Pause

As with most other mid-range coffee makers, the Cuisinart DCC-3200 features a brew pause feature that stops the extraction process when the carafe is removed so that you can “sneak a cup” (or two) before the cycle is complete. This feature works well with minimal dripping.

Foodal’s Rating

  • Build Quality
  • Temperature Control / 200 Degree Brewing
  • Water Dispersion
  • Egonomics
  • Advance Features
  • Value

Summary

A dang good value for not a lot of money. Read more customer reviews on Amazon now!

4.4

The Bottom Line

The Cuisinart DCC-3200 is an excellent choice of home coffemaker for those who aren’t into micromanaging their brewing, and who want a full-flavored cup with minimal fuss.

Cuisinart DCC-3200 14-Cup Glass Carafe Programmable Coffeemaker

Of course, fresh roasted beans ground in a burr style coffee grinder always improve the flavor – so don’t forget that is half of the battle in the quest for an excellent cup.

Also, for more options, make sure you check out all of our coffee maker reviews and “how to” articles and well as our all encompassing drip pot buying guide.

About Mike Quinn

Mike Quinn spent 20 years in the US Army and traveled extensively all over the world. As part of his military service, Mike sampled coffee and tea from all virtually every geographic region, from the beans from the plantation of an El Salvadorian Army Colonel to "Chi" in Iraq to Turkish Coffee in the Turkish Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. He spent nearly a decade in the Republic of Korea where he was exposed to all forms of traditional teas. Mike formerly owned and operated Cup And Brew, an online espresso and coffee equipment retail operation.

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