Whatever your preferred brewing method, there’s very little to rival the convenience and sheer pace of a single serve coffee maker.
A common misconception is that this type of pod-based machine costs too much. You can buy K-Cup capsules in bulk at very reasonable prices. Beyond that, most single serve machines allow you the option of using freshly ground coffee with a reusable filter.
In today’s Cuisinart SS-10 review, we’ll highlight where this nifty little unit stands and falls so you can see at a glance whether or not it deserves a place in your kitchen.
First up, this pocket-friendly coffee machine is feature-rich with genuinely impressive functionality…
I. Cuisinart SS-10 Single Serve Coffee Maker Features
- 5 drink sizes: 4oz, 6oz, 8oz, 10oz, 12oz
- Compatible with any K-Cup pods
- Removable 72oz water tank
- BPA-free plastic
- Backlit LCD control panel
- Adjust temperature from Hot to Extra Hot
- Programmable up to 24 hours ahead
- Auto on-off can be programmed
- Hot water on demand
- Charcoal water filter
- 3-year limited warranty
II. How The Cuisinart SS-10 Single Serve Coffee Maker Brews
Before you use your SS-10 for the first time, you need to perform a basic one-time set-up.
1. Preparing For Your First Brew
- After removing all plastic wrapping and tape, uncoil the cord and plug in your SS-10
- Pop a large 10oz mug on the drip tray
- Take the lid off the water reservoir and remove it from the machine
- Wash with warm, soapy water and rinse thoroughly
- Fill the tank to the maximum level then return to the machine and replace the lid
- Hit the Power switch. This switch is spring-loaded and will flick back to its original spot
- You’ll spot 2 messages on the LCD display: OPEN HEAD / AUTO OFF SET. By opening and closing the brew head, the first of these messages will disappear
- You’ll now see READY along with AUTO OFF SET and the 5 drink sizes you can choose from
- Hit BREW and your machine will start a preparatory cleansing cycle. You should find around 8oz of water kicked out
- Ditch the contents of your mug
- The one-time set-up is now complete and you’re ready to start brewing up for real…
There’s a charcoal water filter in the box as well as a holder. This can help you combat chlorine in the water while also driving off unpleasant tastes or aromas.
2. Setting Up The Water Filter
Since coffee is made up largely of water, it’s entirely reckless to overlook the importance of ensuring your drinks have a crisp, clean foundation.
The charcoal water filter plays a helpful role here and it’s straightforward to rack up…
- Leave the filter to soak for 15 minutes making certain it’s fully submerged in water
- Remove the lower part of the filter holder and rinse it well with cold water
- Place the filter into the upper holder and close it up
- Run some fresh water through the lower part of the filter to flush it through
- Let the filter drain
- Put the assembled filter and holder into the water reservoir and press it firmly into place
Now that you’re done with set-up and the charcoal filter is neatly in place, it’s time to fire up the SS-10 and get some coffee on the go…
3. Brewing With The Cuisinart SS-10
- Put an appropriate size mug on the drip tray
- Lift the handle to open up the brewing chamber
- Insert your K-Cup pod making sure not to remove or pierce the lid. Keep your fingers well clear of the sharp needles in the chamber
- Close the brew head by lowering the handle and you’ll see the display reading READY
- Select your drinks size from 4oz to 12oz. 8oz is the default setting. If you’re consistent in your drink sizes, simply program in your preferred option and you’ll streamline an already rapid process further
- Hit BREW, wait 1 to 2 minutes and your drink is served
If you want to brew hot water, simply open then close the brew head without inserting a capsule, place your mug on the drip tray then press HOT WATER and you’ll have piping hot water for whatever drink you have in mind.
As you can see, using the Cuisinart SS-10 is a cakewalk and you’ll have mouthwatering coffee in less than minutes.
III. Benefits of Cuisinart SS-10
If you’re not convinced the Cuisinart SS-10 makes sense for you, we’ll underscore some of the chief benefits of this single serve coffee maker to clear things up for you.
1. Striking Aestheticsjhm
While design is to a large extent always subjective, the SS-10 makes a commanding statement in sleek stainless steel and plastic.
While there is rather too much plastic for our liking, it doesn’t come across as cheap-looking and you’re more likely to be impressed by the slick chrome lines than disappointed.
Considering the price point, the slimline look and lightweight 10-pound machine mean the Cuisinart punches above its weight. The last thing anyone will think is that you bought a cheap single serve coffee maker.
2. Deceptively Strong Build Quality
Taking into account the preponderance of plastic, the SS-10 is surprisingly rugged. It feels much more robust than its 9.5-pound package would suggest.
Cuisinart is a true specialist when it comes to kitchen appliance and they bring all that knowledge to bear on the SS-10 so you get a machine that’s built to last without bankrupting yourself.
Stainless steel parts enhance expected lifespan and the overall feedback from users concerning durability has been overwhelmingly positive.
If you hammer your machine all day every day, you can expect it to run into problems. You need to consider the price point and intended usage but for most normal family needs, the Cuisinart SS-10 delivers and should continue to deliver for many years to come.
3. Outstanding Choice of Drinks
Unless you’re happy to drink a single type of coffee or to face certain restrictions, it always pays to look for a coffee machine allowing for maximum freedom of choice when it comes to beverages.
The Cuisinart is compatible with all K-Cup pods so you can take full advantage of hundreds of different coffees without being restricted to proprietary capsules.
You’ll get a reusable filter included with the SS-10 so you’ll be able to easily use your favorite blend of freshly ground coffee further enhancing your choice while also keeping the cost down if your pod bill starts spiraling out of control.
The hot water on demand widens your scope to include tea, hot chocolate or infusions if you get tired of coffee.
Bringing the coffee shop into your home, this single serve machine leaves you spoiled for choice.
4. Reusable Filter For Ground Coffee
The HomeBarista reusable filter cup thrown in gives you the option of sidestepping pods in favor of ground coffee. Whether you choose to grind your own or buy it pre-ground, there’s little substitute for a piping hot cup and it’s much more economical than churning through the pods.
This filter is a nice touch if you want the immediacy of a single serve machine but you’re not sure about committing to the ongoing cost.
5. Cleaning and Maintenance
Some coffee makers, particularly the more complicated semi-automatic espresso machines, are so much hassle to clean and look after it puts you off using it in the first place.
The Cuisinart is a cinch to maintain.
You can remove all necessary components so you can wash them more easily. The funnel and the filter are safe to pop in the dishwasher to further lighten your load.
Slip out the drip tray and water tank and wash them by hand for best results.
Every few months, depending on usage, you should descale your machine. A warning icon will alert you when the time is right. Refer to the manual for simple instructions. Use a mixture of water and vinegar in equal parts as a descaling solution. This basic but crucial step will prolong the lifespan of your machine while preventing any unsavory build-up of sediment from the minerals in your water.
Swap out the charcoal filter every couple of months and that’s about the extent of your duties.
6. Speed and Convenience
The key selling points of single serve coffee machines are that desirable combo of shotgun speed and total convenience. The Cuisinart SS-10 comes up trumps on both counts.
Once you’ve got the initial set-up and brewer’s rinse out of the way, you will have coffee in your cup in just over 1 minute which is much quicker than waiting for the kettle to boil for a uninspiring cup of instant.
Hot water is ready in a jiffy if you’d rather have a nice cup of breakfast tea or some hot chocolate before bed.
The broad spread of choice along with the extremely user-friendly, intuitive nature of the SS-10 make it a super-convenient bet if you want gourmet coffee on tap.
7. Programmable and Customizable
You’ll be able to program your Cuisinart so you can make it work even harder for you. Make sure you’ve got your machine primed up and ready to roll when you come downstairs in the morning or when you return from work.
You’ll also be able to program the default drink size as well as auto on/off.
Using the control panel is smooth and simple while the blue backlit LCD display is a pleasure to read.
8. Outstanding Overall Value
Given the far-reaching functionality and rock-solid build quality not to mention those arresting looks, you might think the Cuisinart SS-10 would be pricey.
It actually comes very much in budget territory without any kind of deficiency in performance or durability.
Allowing for the great variety of beverages at your disposal, choosing the Cuisinart SS-10 is a very cost-effective way to enjoy top-notch coffee from the comfort of home.
IV. Drawbacks of Cuisinart SS-10
While the Cuisinart SS-10 has a great deal to offer, you should be aware of the minor shortcomings so you can make the most informed decision about investing.
1. Some Snags With Piercing of Pods
Many single serve coffee machines like Keurigs make use of pretty sharp needles to pierce the top of the capsules.
Perhaps the leading drawback with the SS-10 is the much blunter plastic piece that often struggles to do its job properly.
If you find this becomes problematic, you can partially pre-pierce the pod.
While this is not a deal-breaker, it’s something you should be aware of to avoid disappointment.
2. Unavoidable Spattering
As with many single serve coffee machines, you’ll get a degree of splashback and spattering from the Cuisinart.
Always stand well back from the machine and you should be fine.
As you can see, the downsides to the Cuisinart SS-10 are extremely minor and dwarfed by the multiple benefits so who is this machine intended for?
V. Who Will Buy It?
If you don’t want to be penned in by the restrictions of some of the more selective single serve coffee machines, the Cuisinart makes perfect sense.
Anyone looking for speed and convenience on a budget without sacrificing design or lifespan will be blown away by this entry-level single serve coffee maker with a twist.
VI. Closing Words
The Cuisinart SS-10 might be heavy on the plastic but it’s equally heavy on the performance front.
If you’re looking to experiment with a single serve machine and you don’t want to spend too much, road test the agile SS-10 at your earliest convenience.