Last updated on December 19th, 2022 by Marissa Bergen
A grind and brew coffee maker sounds nice and convenient but also has its challenges. Common issues include overly coarse grinds, too little coffee output and insufficiently tamped grounds.
Cuisinart DGB-550 Grind & Brew
Performance - 7.8/10
Ease of Use/Maintenance - 7.3/10
Build & Quality - 7.5/10
Design & Features - 8.8/10
User Satisfaction - 8.6/10
The Cuisinart DGB-550 Grind and Brew is a nice drip coffee maker for people who want to make coffee for the entire household or want to brew a few cups they can drink throughout the day. Not only can you grind your own coffee beans to make the freshest coffee, but the auto-features and brew pause make it convenient and easy to use.
While it can be a bit difficult to dial in the perfect grind and strength of your brew and does require cleaning and maintenance after each use, the ease of use and great price make it a worthy option to consider in our opinion.
The good news is the Cuisinart DGB-550 Grind and Brew aims to change all that. Its grind and go technology grinds the beans perfectly so you can enjoy a fresh and flavorful cup of joe every time. But is it the right machine for you?
In this quick straight to the gist Cuisinart DBG-550 review, we answer the question and give our overall rating to help you decide.
Last update on 2023-09-21
- Cuisinart DGB-550 Review and Rating
- Pros and Cons
- How Does it Compare?
- Final Verdict
Cuisinart DGB-550 Review and Rating
The DGB-550 Grind and Brew was built to meet and exceed North American Electrical Standards (NAES). It is made of stainless steel which is tough enough to withstand extreme temperatures and other types of damage. It is food safe and corrosion resistant.
We like the carafe is made of a sturdy glass, but of course thermal would be nicer. The filters are also extra durable.
While some customers say the quality is as good as older Cuisinart machines that have lasted for years, others complained that parts of it are made of a flimsy plastic.
Overall Quality Rating: 7.5/10
The DGB-550 Grind and Brew is a high-performance automatic machine. It offers:
- A built in blade grinder
- An On/Off/Set Auto Shutoff Switch with an LED indicator. It will produce an audible tone that sounds five times when the brew is complete. The Auto Shutoff Tone will sound twice before the machine shuts off.
- A low cup setting that ensures you get the utmost of flavor when brewing less than five cups of coffee.
- A grind off indicator which can be used when brewing pre-ground coffee.
- The DGB-550 can make up to 12 cups of coffee and has a special mode for ensuring optimal taste when making 1-4 cups of coffee.
How Quiet is It?
- This machine is louder than previous models, especially when it grinds.
Taste and Flavor
Although the coffee maker can make a flavorful cup of coffee, some struggle with the brew modes. It can sometimes be difficult to find the strength that is perfect for you. Therefore, the coffee often comes out too weak or too strong, especially if you brew a full pot.
- The brewer can produce a cup of coffee in very little time. The brew pause mode means you can get your coffee even faster.
Overall Performance Rating: 7.8/10
Ease of Use/ Maintenance
How Big is It?
While a big coffee maker will make a lot of coffee, it’s best to get one that occupies as little real estate on your counter top as possible. The DGB-550 Grind and Brew measures 11.2 x 7.48 x 15.16” so it is around average size.
The weight of the machine is 10.8 pounds so it’s relatively easy to move around for cleaning purposes. The carafe is made of a sturdy glass that’s a bit hefty, but its weight is within reason.
Type of Buttons
The DGB-550 has both push buttons and LCD readouts. The buttons are used to set the machine while the LCD read out shows the time.
How Easy is it to Use?
Part of the DGB-550’s ease of use is due to its the ergonomic design. The carafe has a comfortable handle and a knuckle guard ensuring your knuckles will never touch the hot pot of coffee.
However, customers did report some issues with use. For example, you need full access to the coffee maker to pour into it from behind since pouring from the front causes the water to spill out from the back of the reservoir. This makes it difficult for you to store the pot against the wall or under a cabinet.
Pouring from the carafe with the lid on can also be messy, especially when the pot is not full. It’s best to remove the lid if you need to pour at a steep angle.
Getting the coffee strength just right can also be difficult, especially since the manual does not provide instructions on how to adjust the grind for strength. Also the coffee bean chamber may not be big enough to brew a 12 cup pot that is strong.
How Easy is it to Clean?
For the most part, the DGB-550 is easy to clean. It can be wiped down in just seconds. The parts are dishwasher safe, and the grind and filter chambers are removable so you can access all parts during cleanup.
But you do have to clean the grinder after each use, especially since moisture collects in the grind chamber. This can be a bit time consuming and annoying.
Overall Ease of Use/Maintenance Rating: 7.3/10
Design & Features
Pods or Grounds?
- This coffee machine uses either whole coffee beans or pre ground coffee.
- The machine comes with a reusable gold tone coffee filter. You can also use your own filters.
- The DGB-550 offers 24-hour programmability, so you can have your favorite cup of joe brewing and waiting for you before you get out of bed.
- You can pause the brew and sneak a cup of coffee before the brewing process is complete.
Auto Shut Off
- The auto shut off can be set for up to four hours, so you don’t have to worry about leaving your coffee maker on.
Overall Design Features Rating: 8.8/10
- The DGB-550 comes with a three-year limited warranty.
In terms of customer reviews, about 2/3 of those who bought the product gave it a five-star rating. Most customers were happy with the machine as it produced a flavorful cup of coffee in very little time. Common complaints included the machine being made of a flimsy material and difficulty finding the perfect strength for the brews.
Overall User Satisfaction Rating: 8.6/10
Overall Average Rating: 8.0
Pros and Cons
Things We Like
- Makes a flavorful hot cup of coffee with fresh ground coffee
- Can brew a large batch or small batch
- Programmable so you save time
- Stainless steel and glass construction
- Easy to clean
Things We Don’t Like
- Despite stainless steel and glass construction, other elements of the DGB-550 are flimsy
- Difficult to find the right strength for each cup of coffee due to limited coffee bean chamber size
- Grinder settings are not adjustable
- Difficulties when pouring the coffee due to accessibility issues and lid construction
How Does it Compare?
Cuisinart DGB-550 vs. Javastarr Grind and Brew
The Javastarr is another Grind & Brew coffeemaker offering similar features to the DGB-550. So how do the two compare? Here are some factors to consider.
- Will allow you to grind your own beans or use pre-ground beans to get the aroma of fresh coffee
- Come with reusable filters.
- Have an auto brew and auto shut off.
But there are a few differences:
- The Javastarr offers steam pressure technology which produces a richer tasting coffee.
- Carafe Size: The DGB-550 has a 12-cup carafe. The Javastarr brews into a single 12 oz. cup.
- Size and Weight: The DGB-550 is bigger and weighs 10.8 lbs. The Javastarr has a more compact design and weighs just 5.72 pounds.
- Materials: The DGB-550 is made of glass and stainless steel. The Javastarr is made of plastic.
- Price: Amazon has the Javastarr priced at $79.99. The DGB-5500 is priced at $89.99.
- Other Features: The DGB-550 has several features that the Javastarr does not. These include the brew pause, the ergonomic design, the time setting, the low cup setting, and the water filter.
- Customer Reviews: Customers found both machines to make a decent cup of coffee. Common complaints with the DGB-550 include that it’s not as well made as advertised and that it’s difficult to get the right brew strength. Meanwhile people complained that the Javastarr only makes one 12 oz. cup at a time, that you can only use the mug provided to brew coffee (although some say others will fit) and that it’s difficult to clean.
Overall, the DGB-550 is a better product if you value more features, and brewing more coffee in one sitting. However, the Javastarr is best for those who want to grind and brew one cup at a time or who want a coffee maker with a compact design.
The Cuisinart DGB-550 Grind and Brew is a nice drip coffee maker for people who want to make coffee for the entire household or want to brew a few cups they can drink throughout the day. Not only can you grind your own coffee beans to make the freshest coffee, but the auto-features and brew pause make it convenient to use. It’s ideal for the modern coffee drinker.
On the other hand, it can be a bit difficult to dial in the perfect grind and strength of your brew. And you do have to clean it after each use. Honestly with all the maintenance you have to do, it’s probably no different than having a separate manual grinder.
But once you figure it all out, the ease of use and great price make it a worthy option to consider in our opinion.
Last update on 2023-09-21
For more of our favorite grind and brew coffee machines, check out these reviews:
- Breville Grind Control BDC650
- Black+Decker Mill and Brew CM5000
- Cuisinart DGB-900BC
- Gevi 10 cup with grinder
For more quality Cuisinart coffee machines to choose from, check out some of our favorites:
What kind of grinder is in the Cuisinart Grind and Brew?
The DGB 550 uses a blade grinder. A blade grinder is generally considered not the best since it eliminates the fresh flavors in coffee and won’t grind the beans evenly.
How many beans do I need to put in my Cuisinart DGB-550?
The machine has a bean chamber on the top. If you fill it up to the rim, you will have enough for an entire pot of coffee.
What are the benefits of the Cuisinart DGB-550 water filter?
The DGB-550 water filter can filter out chlorine and other impurities from the water so you can enjoy a better tasting and healthier brew.
Now that you know just about everything you need to know about the Cuisinart DGB-550 12 cup coffee maker, will you be adding it to your kitchen appliance collection? Let us know!
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