A Dependable Coffee Maker
The Cuisinart DCC-3340P1 Coffeemaker is an old standby machine. Many coffee makers come and go but various versions of this model have continued to be released. While Cuisinart has released many coffee makers with more options, it still releases new versions of this to meet its popular demand.
This automatic drip coffee machine with a shower head water dispersion design and thermal carafe offer the basics of what a coffee maker should be able to do and it does it very well.
In this review, we’ll cover the pros and cons in order to give you enough information to make a solid decision as to whether this coffee machine is right for you.
Notable Features of the Cuisinart DCC-3400P1
Most coffee makers can be categorized by certain features. Here’s a run down of the features of this Cuisinart coffee maker.
Let’s take a closer look at the basic features of this coffee maker.
Type of Coffee Maker: Automatic drip.
This Cuisinart coffee maker has a nice shower head water dispersion design. This allows lets the water to be spread out over a wider area over the coffee filter and beans. A wider dispersion area means the grounds will be well-saturated, extracting more flavor from the beans.
The average brewing temperature measured between 198 to 202 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the ideal temperature range for brewing coffee and brewing any kind of tea except for black tea, which demands the water reach the boiling point of 212 to bring out the full body of its leaves.
Average brewing time was between 9 and 11 minutes. A lot of this depends on both the strength of the brew and the age of the machine. Many people are reporting that as the machine ages, the brewing time on the Bold setting can take as long as 20 minutes for a full pot of coffee. This isn’t always the case although most agree that it slows down somewhat after a year of use.
Type of Coffee Used: Roasted Ground Beans.
You can use your favorite can or bag of coffee.
Type of Filter Used: Permanent Gold-tone mesh or paper filters. Both types of filters are included in your welcome pack. Many people recommend using paper filters even if you’re using a mesh filter. Paper filters are better at removing oils that create bitterness and can even raise your cholesterol.
This Cuisinart Coffee Maker features a 12 cup reservoir. You’ll get a clear view of the water levels for accurate measurements. It also features a charcoal filter which removes a lot of the impurities without sacrificing the minerals necessary to brew a solid cup of coffee. Note that leaving the charcoal filter out of the machine will not speed up the brewing time.
Carafe: Several options are available.
- 12 cup Thermal with Stainless Steel handle. This carafe has a solid feel to it but it doesn’t really seem to hold heat as well as we expected.
- 14 cup carafe in both thermal and glass versions.
Lift the lid by gently applying pressure in an upwards motion. It will feel like you’re going to break it but use the Force.
There are reports of the hotplate corroding. It seems to be happening when the carafe is wet and water drips onto the hotplate and basically boils away. Any minerals in the water will work their way into the metal. You definitely have to keep the bottom of the carafe dry to keep this from happening.
Auto-Pause: Yes. The dripping after the carafe is removed is a little messy.
Be sure and wait until the pot is about mid=way through the brew cycle before you use this feature. Trying to snag a cup too early will result in a very weak flavor profile. Also, don’t keep the carafe out of the cycle for more than 20 seconds or the filter basket will probably overflow.
Number of Cups That Can Brewed at Once: 4-12 cups at 5 ounces each. Also has a 1-4 cup small batch option. It still uses ground beans but the flavor isn’t diluted as you would normally expect from brewing a small batch in a large carafe.
Automatic Shut-off: No.
It’s a little surprising that with the thermal carafe, there is no option to shut off the machine automatically. Most coffee makers with programmable options have an automatic shut off feature. Keep this in mind when you’re setting it up.
Single-Serve: No. You can’t use K-cups or other pods in this machine. There’s an option allowing you to brew 1 to 4 cups and there’s no change is flavor when compared to brewing a full pot of coffee.
Brew Strength Options: Two options: regular and bold.
The regular setting brews a full-flavored medium roast that’s spot-on. The Bold setting lives up to its setting, brewing a strong, almost smoky, roasted flavor without bitterness. This Bold setting is perfect for fans of French Roast that don’t have time to use the pour over method.
Color: There are nine different color combinations available.
Power Failure Feature: Yes
There’s a 60-second memory setting which will remember where it was in the brewing cycle if it’s interrupted during the process. Note that if this fails to work, the manufacturer recommends that you unplug the machine for 2 hours. This should reset the programming to the default settings. You can then set up the program again.
Cleaning the Cuisinart DCC-3400P1
Cleaning is pretty straightforward as it has a self-cleaning cycle. It’s really a chance to run the machine with just water. There’s also has an indicator for when it’s time to decalcify the machine.
While cleaning is easy, it definitely should not be ignored. Calcium deposits can ruin this machine. If you notice the carafe not filling as fully as it used to, it’s likely that you have waited too long to descale the coffee maker. Running CLR through it should clean out the deposits and hopefully, they haven’t started to corrode the internal pipes. Be sure and run clean water through it a couple of times after doing this.
Programmable: The basic setting of allowing you to set the timer up to 24 hours in advance.
Hold down the Time button. The hour button will start blinking and you can set up the time and timer.
There’s a Ready Tone to indicate when the coffee has finished its brew cycle. If you don’t want this town and to sound, that’s easily turned off at the push of a button. Just hold it down until the icon disappears.
The display is a backlit LCD panel. It’s a decent display with no problems reading the instructions.
How Much Counter Space Does it Use?
9 x 7.8 x 14.25 inches with the lid closed. This is usually enough space to fit under over-hanging cabinets but there will be little room for play and there’s a chance the steam from the coffee machine could affect the bottoms of the cabinet. There’s a 36- inch power cord which is convenient for when you need to keep it away from other appliances.
What the Comments Say
Praises From Reviewers:
1. A solid performer with a good brewing temperature and a robust Bold setting which is perfect for French Roast and other hearty coffee beans.
2. Some people reported that they owned earlier versions of this model and that it lasted up to 10 years, even with daily use. While we’re not sure that the current models will last that long, you can bet that it will continue to brew coffee until the burner finally gives out.
3. This coffee maker doesn’t have a lot of features but it’s dependable and easy to use. It doesn’t require a lot of maintenance.
Drawbacks to Consider
1. Some people found it difficult to fill the reservoir without spilling water onto the beans and the filter. You can’t actually use the coffee pot to fill the reservoir without a lot of spillage. This can make it difficult to measure out an accurate bean-to-water ratio. It will take some experimenting with your own set-up to get the flavor profile you’re looking for.
2. Depending on where it’s placed on your counter, you may have to bring the coffee maker out from under any overhanging cabinets in order to fill the reservoir and drop in the coffee filter.
3. Take into account this coffee maker emitted the common appliance smell that you often get when plastics are heated up. There are quite a few complaints but others have reported that this smell goes away after brewing a few pots.
The Cuisinart DCC-3400 won’t win any prizes for design innovation but it does deliver a consistent cup of coffee without any fuss. We like that there are several carafe and color options, too. The small batch option is great for everyday use and you can still brew large pots for those times when guests drop by. It’s easy to clean and use. If you’re looking for a solid, dependable automatic drip coffee maker, the Cuisinart DCC3400 may be the machine for you.
Cleaning the Cuisinart DCC-3400 Coffee Maker
Here’s an overview of how to clean the coffee maker so you can see if this is a good machine for you. Be sure and read the manual for precise instructions.
- The carafe, lid and filter can be placed in the upper rack of the dishwasher. Otherwise, you can wash them with clean, soapy water.
- Be sure and rinse off any soap residue by wiping or soaking with a 50/50 vinegar/water solution.
- To remove any coffee stains, wipe the stains with a microfiber cloth dampened with white distilled vinegar, then rinse thoroughly.
This is a standard decalcification process. It should be done about once a month or more often if you have hard water or the coffee maker sees heavy daily use.
- Remove the charcoal filter.
- Fill the reservoir with one-third white distilled vinegar and two-thirds water.
- Put the empty carafe on the resting plate.
- Press and hold down the Clean button until it starts flashing.
- Release the button. The machine is now in Clean mode.
- When the cycle has finished, you’ll hear 5 audible beeps.
- If the Clean cycle needs to be run again, you the clean light will go on again. If not, finish off with a rinsing cycle of simply filling the reservoir with clean, fresh water and running the brew cycle once.
- Don’t forget to put the charcoal filter back in!