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The Cuisinart DCC-1200 Brew Central Coffeemaker
Cuisinart introduces a coffeemaker with retro styling and the latest in high tech features, making it the centerpiece of any kitchen. The Cuisinart Brew Central coffeemaker is reminiscent of the days of classic styling and durable materials. A brushed metal exterior with retro-style controls houses the finest in coffee making technology. This coffeemaker even includes a charcoal water filter. The water filter ensures great tasting coffee by removing all of the impurities from the water. The Brew Central coffeemaker also comes with advanced features such as a programmable digital clock with 24 hour advanced-brew setting, an automatic shutoff, a self-cleaning function, and an audible beep that signals the end of the brew cycle, which makes brewing the best tasting coffee easy.
The Quest for a Perfect Cup of Coffee
It is generally agreed that there are four basic elements critical to the perfect cup:
Element 1. Water:
Coffee is 98% water. Often overlooked, the quality of the water is as important as the quality of the coffee. A good rule of thumb is that if your water doesn’t taste good from the tap, it won’t taste any better in your coffee. That’s why Cuisinart has added a water filter to the Brew Central coffeemaker. The charcoal water filter removes chlorine, bad tastes and odors, for the purest cup of coffee every time.
Element 2. Coffee:
While the bulk of the liquid is water, all of the flavor should be from the coffee. To achieve the same great quality of coffee you receive at a coffee bar, you need to use the same quality beans. Buy the beans fresh and whole, only about a two weeks’ supply at a time for maximum freshness. Once the coffee bean is broken, its flavor degrades very quickly. If it is not practical to buy small supplies, we recommend you separate larger amounts of beans into one to two week portions immediately after purchase, and freeze them in airtight containers. The best way to maximize freshness is to minimize exposure to air, light and moisture. So, once removed from the freezer, beans should be maintained in a sealed container at room temperature, since damaging condensation occurs every time the beans are removed from the freezer or refrigerator. Note that some coffee experts advise against freezing dark-roast beans, because freezing can cause the oils to coagulate. Other experts disagree. We suggest you experiment and decide yourself.
Element 3. Grind:
The grind of the coffee is critical for proper flavor extraction. If the grind is too fine, over extraction and bitterness will result. Too fine a grind may also clog the filter. If the grind is too coarse, the water will pass through too quickly and the desired flavors will not be extracted. A medium-fine grind is recommended.
Element 4. Proportion:
The cups on the Cuisinart coffeemaker measure 5 ounces. Add the amount of ground coffee that corresponds to the number of cups being brewed. Many coffee bars and the Specialty Coffee Association of America recommend adding 2 rounded tablespoons of coffee per 6 ounces of water. Some coffee manufactures recommend using 1 tablespoon per cup. Cuisinart recommends using 1 tablespoon of ground coffee per cup, but use more or less to suit your taste. Note: the maximum capacity for ground coffee is 15 tablespoons for the 12-cup coffeemaker. Exceeding this amount may cause overflow if the coffee is too finely ground.
Features and Benefits
- Reservoir Cover: Flips back for easy filling.
- Water Reservoir: When filling the coffeemaker with water, refer to the carafe height markings and fill to the desired number of cups. Be sure to add a small amount of extra water to account for the amount of water lost in wetting the grounds and lost as steam during the brewing process.
- Showerhead: Distributes water evenly over coffee, reducing temperature loss as water passes through grounds.
- Water Filter: Charcoal water filter eliminates chlorine, calcium and bad tastes or odors from tap water. Cuisinart recommends changing the water filter every 60 days or 60 uses ‒ or more often if you have hard water.
- Filter Basket: Holds a #4 paper filter or a permanent filter.
- LCD Digital Clock: Displays the time of day and set time for automatic functions.
- Function Knob and Flip Switch: Used to initiate programming of automatic functions.
- The Auto On feature is used to program the start time of the brew cycle. The Auto On can be set for any time, day or night. The PM indicator is displayed on the LCD for nighttime program times. The Auto Off feature is used to shut off the coffeemaker at a preset time, anywhere from 0 to 4 hours. Note: To program the coffeemaker to shut off automatically, read the instructions included in the Instruction Manual under ‘To program the Variable Auto Off’
- Heater Plate Control Knob: For controlling the temperature of the coffee after brewing. There are three temperature settings high, medium and low.
- 1-4 Cup Setting: The 1-4 cup setting button is used when you make small amounts of coffee. Normal coffeemakers will produce a colder batch of coffee when smaller amounts are made, because the heater doesn’t have enough time to properly ‘warm up’ to heat a small amount. The 1-4 setting basically ‘double heats’ the water, making your smaller amounts as piping hot as a full pot would be. To use simply press the 1-4 button on the control panel after turning on the unit.
- Retro-style flip switch is used to turn your coffeemaker on and off and works in tandem with the function knob.
- Clean Setting: Tells you when it’s time to clean your coffeemaker. Remove built-up calcification from the water reservoir, to help extend the life of your coffeemaker.
- Brew Pause: Stops flow of coffee from basket when carafe is removed (30 seconds max) from the heater plate, so a cup can be poured in mid-brew. Since the flavor extraction rate varies during the brew cycle, we recommend allowing the brewing cycle to finish before pouring the coffee. The coffee brewed at the beginning of the cycle has a flavor profile which is very different from the flavor at the end of the cycle. Once the coffee has finished brewing, stir it before serving to blend the flavors. The coffee at the bottom of the carafe will be somewhat stronger than the coffee at the top.
- Carafe: The easy pour, no drip glass carafe has an ergonomic handle and brewed coffee markings for two to twelve cups.
- Heating Plate: Scratch resistant with black, nonstick coating.
- Ready Tone: Signals the end of the brew cycle with five beeps (coffee will continue to stream from the filter for a few seconds after the tone).