The Cuisinart Coffee Center is a line of models that are two coffee systems in one. One side is a drip coffee maker, with similar features and brew systems to other Cuisinart Coffee Maker models. On the other side is a full K-Cup compatible system like those found on a Keurig or CHULUX coffee maker.
This includes two Cuisinart Coffee Center reviews. The SS15 is a 12-cup system and the SS20 is a 10-cup system. Because they have both types of coffee systems, the Cuisinart Coffee Center models SS-15 and SS-20 can be compared to a FlexBrew model such as the Hamilton Beach 49976.
Cuisinart Coffee Center SS-15
Cuisinart SS-15 Single-Serve Brewer Side
The Cuisinart SS-15 coffee maker is the Cuisinart Coffee Center 12 cup coffeemaker and single-serve brewer. It’s K-cup, single serve side will make drinks in 6, 8 or 10 oz. sizes and dispenses them directly into your mug or travel cup. The drip tray can be removed to accommodate most size travel mugs.
It is compatible with Keurig K-Cup pods and any brand of single cup pod including. This means you have the convenience of single serve but with the large selection of K-Cup compatible pods. K-Cup are far and away the most popular single serve coffee system and this has increased choice and pushed down the cost of pods.
But you are not limited to disposable pods. The Cuisinart SS-15 comes with Includes Cuisinart’s HomeBarista Reusable Filter Cup. This is a two piece, reusable plastic pod that fits in the single serve side. You fill it with whatever coarsely ground coffee you like and use it just like you would a disposable pod. This is good because the pods are convenience, but they cost a lot and create a lot of waste.
Of course, you can put the HomeBarista Reusable Filter in a dishwasher otherwise you need to wash it manually, which lessens the convenience of a pod system a lot. The water filter is a charcoal water filter. The Cuisinart SS15 is made from BPA free materials.
Cuisinart SS-15 12-cup coffee maker side
We determined in our Cuisinart Coffee Center reviews that the Cuisinart SS-15 12-cup coffee maker side is a very good drip brewer. It has a healthy 40-ounce water tank. It is pretty easy to access and fill.
Don’t forget to clean these occasionally. You can make it part of your regular cleaning. We looked over a lot of Cuisinart Coffee Center reviews. Most Cuisinart SS-15 problems come from people not cleaning the needle on the single serve side or not cleaning the brew system and water tank on the drip coffee side. It does have a self-cleaning program.
Cuisinart SS15 coffee maker
The Hamilton Beach 49976 is an alternative to the Cuisinart Coffee Center at half the cost.
SS-15 Coffee Center Features
The Cuisinart SS-15 coffee maker has a lot of the basic features you expect. It has a 12-cup glass carafe with stainless steel handle. It is nice and well made. It has a programmable 24-hour start time. The Cuisinart SS15 has the same brew strength control you find on other Cuisinart Coffee maker models. The Bold setting makes for good coffee but isn’t ideal for all coffee. So, experiment a bit.
You can adjustable the carafe temperature if you prefer hotter or less hot coffee and the Brew Pause feature works well. You can pour a cup during the brew cycle and it doesn’t drip. It has a nice Gold-tone coffee filter, which is good and means you don’t need disposable coffee filter.
Early Coffee Center models did have some manufacturing problems but those are long resolved. And the Cuisinart SS-15 is available through Amazon Prime and Cuisinart offers a 3-Year warranty on manufacturing defects. So, we don’t worry about reliability.
Our coffee center review gives the Cuisinart SS-15 combo coffee maker a “Strong Buy” rating. It is a lot more expensive than a Hamilton Beach 49976 so if you don’t have a brand loyalty to Cuisinart then consider that as an alternative.
Thermal Carafe Cuisinart SS-20 Review
The Cuisinart SS-20 Coffee Center is the 10-cup, thermal carafe version of the dual coffee brewing system. It also has a K-cup compatible side that also includes the Cuisinart HomeBarista Reusable Filter Cup. So, you can use any Keurig K-Cup or compatible disposable pod or your own coffee grounds with the SS20.
This model, the Cuisinart SS-20, also brews single servings in 6, 8- or 10-ounce servings. For the largest size you will want to remove the drip tray so you can fit a larger or travel mug under the brew spout.
Cuisinart SS-20 Coffee Brewer Side
The Cuisinart SS20 does brew very good coffee and has the same brewing system as the SS15 model. Our Cuisinart SS-20 Coffee Center Review found it handled a good range of oily and normal beans, flavored coffee and so on. The Bold setting gave some varieties a slight burned taste and didn’t make it better.
Cuisinart SS20 Coffee Center
Finally, our Cuisinart SS-20 Coffee Center Review also gives the SS20 a “Strong Buy” recommendation.
The 10-cup carafe on the Cuisinart SS20 is good. The glass feels a tad thin, but that is a gut feeling. I didn’t want to be too rough with it. I have smashed a few carafes in my sink over the years.
The Cuisinart SS-20 has an Energy Save mode, removable drip tray, 40-ounce water tank, water filter and a programmable start time.
The Brew Pause feature works well. I like to pull the carafe in and out suddenly and repeatedly to see if it will drip and it didn’t. The Gold-tone coffee filter replaces paper filters and works well in the Cuisinart SS-20 Coffee Center 10-cup thermal single-serve brewer.
Cuisinart Coffee Center Troubleshooting
There are two big things that cause people problems with their Cuisinart Coffee Center. The first is ensuring you clean and maintain both sides of the system. Any coffee maker needs to be cleaned. The brew sides of the SS15 and SS20 both have self-cleaning systems. Check for grounds clogging the needle on the self-serve brewing side.
Make sure you do not use finely ground coffee grounds on either side of the Cuisinart SS-20 Coffee Center. It will clog the HomeBarista Reusable Filter Cup and the Gold-tone coffee filter too. Both are made for coarsely ground coffee.
Both the single serve side and the drip brew side need to be cleaned. Run the self clean cycle using a 50/50 vinegar and water mix every third or so time. You can wash the removable parts in the dishwasher. Use a toothpick straightened paper clip to clear stuck grounds from the single serve needle or drip spout on the brew side.
You can wash the removable parts in the dishwasher. Use a toothpick straightened paper clip to clear stuck grounds from the single serve needle or drip spout on the brew side. Both the single serve side and the drip brew side need to be cleaned. Run the self clean cycle using a 50/50 vinegar and water mix every third or so time.
The best pricing is direct from the Cuisinart Store on Amazon. The links on the page will take you directly there. The prices are better than on the Cuisinart website and you get Prime shipping and returns.
If you liked this review, check out our review of the top selling Cuisinart DCC-3200. Also check out our other Cuisinart Appliance reviews on Top Buyers Guide, our sister site. Our 2020 Buyers Guide includes reviews of the Cuisinart toaster and air fryer models.
Cuisinart SS15 Specifications
- Dimensions 10.13″ x 10.38″ x 14.25″
- Weight: 9.50lb
- K-cup compatible Single-Serve in 6, 8, 10 oz. sizes
- Cuisinart HomeBarista Reusable Filter Cup
- 40oz removable water tank reservoir
- Energy Save mode
- 12 cup glass carafe with stainless steel handle
- Fully automatic programmable start time up to 24-hour brew start
- Self-clean program, adjustable auto-off and ready alert
- Brew Strength Control and Adjustable carafe temperature
- Brew Pause feature
- Gold-tone coffee filter & Charcoal water filter
- BPA free
Cuisinart SS20 Specifications
- Weight: 10 lbs.
- Dimensions 10.75″ x 12.75″ x 16.50″
- K-Cup compatible Single-Serve in 6, 8, 10 oz. portions
- HomeBarista Reusable Filter Cup
- 40 oz. water tank
- Energy Save mode
- Removable drip tray for travel mugs
- Charcoal water filter
- 10-cup thermal carafe
- Fully automatic, 24-hour programmable start, self-clean, ready alert
- Brew Strength Control
- Brew Pause feature
- Gold-tone coffee filter, Charcoal water filter
- BPA free materials