Cuisinart’s 12-Cup Thermal is a drip machine that brews directly into a brushed stainless steel carafe with a specially designed lid. The carafe features a “hands-free” lid to seal in heat and flavor. For more convenience and control, the coffee maker provides the increasingly common 30 second Brew Pause feature to let you pour a cup in mid-brew.
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Trying to keep fresh brewed coffee tasting fresh brewed has inspired manufacturers to develop machines with insulated carafes. Cuisinart’s 12-Cup Thermal is a drip machine that brews directly into a brushed stainless steel carafe with a specially designed lid. The carafe features a “hands-free” lid to seal in heat and flavor. For more convenience and control, the coffee maker provides the increasingly common 30 second Brew Pause feature to let you pour a cup in mid-brew. The Cuisinart 12-Cup Thermal features a clock/timer that can be programmed to start brewing up to 24 hours in advance. If you don’t want to reprogram your machine every day, the Cuisinart 12- Cup Thermal has a feature you will appreciate. Once a brewing time has been set, the machine stores the information in its memory. After this, it will brew at this time each day if it is left on. As a safety feature, the machine will automatically shut off if there is no water in the reservoir. The Cuisinart 12-cup Thermal has a clock/timer with LED display. It uses a simple on/off switch to brew coffee, and a red light is illuminated each time the machine starts to brew. The machine will beep 5 times to signal that brewing has been completed.The little things in the performance of the Cuisinart 12-Cup Thermal make it stand out. Brewing time for example, is swift, producing a full pot in about 11 minutes. It’s a small detail, but along with the “hands-free” lid and memory storage, the accelerated brew time shows a determination to smooth out the rough edges and remove the “wasted motions” of coffee making. The Cuisinart 12-Cup Thermal uses five clear, but unobtrusive, beeps to signal that brewing is complete. After brewing is signaled, it pays to wait for a minute. Removing the carafe immediately may cause the few last drops in the filter basket to spill onto the base plate. Overall, the Cuisinart 12-Cup Thermal is an above average performer.
The Cuisinart 12-Cup is built for strength and durability. The machine is made of polished plastic, with a plastic filter holder. Its carafe is made of very solid and durable brushed stainless steel, with a polished plastic lid that features a unique valve to seal immediately after brewed coffee has entered into the carafe. The valve works with several intricately connected parts to form and maintain an airtight seal. When open, the lid to the water reservoir adds a few inches to the machine’s 15.5-inch height, so be sure there is sufficient vertical space. Interestingly, the Cuisinart 12-Cup does not have a cord storage feature, so you will have to wrap the fully extended cord alongside the machine when not in use. An airtight lid is only as good as its seal. The less you have to twist and turn, the better. Cuisinart has taken this concept a step further. The Cuisinart 12-Cup Thermal virtually eliminates the problem of loose seals. It features what’s called a “hands-free” lid that never needs adjusting. You do not have to fiddle with the lid or twist it into a specific position to pour. The lid allows coffee to drip into the carafe while brewing. After brewing is complete, a special valve seals the lid shut to retain heat. The carafe has a double-walled, brushed stainless steel insulated carafe with a large, deep spout for drip free pouring, and an easy to grip plastic handle. Because the carafe of Cuisinart 12-Cup Thermal is insulated, there’s no need for a hot plate. The double lined, stainless steel carafe sits on a polished plastic base.
You can stop squinting to read water level lines. An exterior water level indicator uses a floating red ball to show water level, so it can be seen instantly and clearly. The large reservoir is located in the back of the machine, but water is poured in through the top. There is no filter or water filtration system with the Cuisinart 12-Cup Thermal. Filtered water helps to improve the taste of coffee and to maintain cleanliness in the internal portions of the machine, so it is recommended to use filtered or bottled water when brewing. The Cuisinart 12 Cup uses a paper cone filter. The Cuisinart 12 Cup Thermal comes with 5 paper cone filters and a three year limited warranty. Filter re-order information is included with the instruction booklet.
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