If you enjoy this review, please help keep Storm Gods on line.

Cuisinart SS-700 Single Serve Brewing System

title stars
title stars
title stars
title stars


Coffee makers that accept plastic coffee pods, rather than loose coffee, are a marvel of convenience, a wonder of taste and a prize beyond avarice for the companies that manufacture those pods. Coffee pods are expensive.

The Tassimo coffee maker, reviewed elsewhere at Storm Gods, is a brilliant way to enjoy a quick shot of caffeine with a minimum of preparation or delay – but the coffee pods that drive it costs about ten times what comparable loose coffee does.

Cuisinart’s SS-700 Single Serve Brewing System – also known as the Cuisinart Keurig Coffee Maker in some quarters – is a giant step sideways in coffee pod technology. It accepts widely-available T-Cup coffee pods, for those days when you’re in a raging hurry or your eye-hand coordination is limited to stabbing at the machine’s buttons – but it’s also accompanied by what its manufacturer calls a K-Cup filter – essentially a reusable coffee pod that you can fill with any ground coffee you like the look of.

Unshackled from the tyranny of plastic pods, the Cuisinart machine can brew gourmet coffee, flavored coffee or indescribably loathsome coffee from a dollar store with equal aplomb. Its reusable pod has been well thought out to make it easy to fill, quick to install in the machine and effortless to clean up once a brewing cycle is complete.

Like its competitors, the Cuisinart system is impressively quick, filling your cup in less time than a conventional coffee maker takes to get itself up to temperature. It’s also miserly in its power requirements, as it only cranks your electric meter for the duration of a brewing cycle. Even situated in Ontario, where our electric rates include about five levels of tax and a special surcharge to fund the government’s concern for the atmospheric conditions on Saturn, a Kill-A-Watt meter indicated that the total cost in electricity to brew a cup of coffee with the Cuisinart system was under four cents.

The Cuisinart machine is easily the most well thought-out of all the coffee pod systems we’ve encountered thus far. It has a huge water reservoir; a trap door in its side to store its refillable coffee pod; a charcoal filter to scrub the water you run through it of impurities; a rinse feature to clean its internal plumbing and a large display panel to allow its various options to be configured without the use of a magic decoder ring or a team of cryptographers.

Robustly made and reasonably attractive, the Cuisinart Brewing System has a minimum of moving parts. The ones that do move – the elaborate mechanical housing from which emerges its coffee pod holder – are cast in metal, rather than stamped out of plastic. I’d have cheerfully paid a bit more for it had it been made somewhere other than China. This said, it’s accompanied by a three-year warrantee.

One of the most notable aspects of using the Cuisinart coffee pod machine is that it’s singularly quiet. Unlike its predecessors, which sounded remarkably like diesel tractor engines when their pumps kicked in, the pump in the Cuisinart hardly whispers. It can be obscured by the gentle splash of coffee descending into your cup.

This is unquestionably the pod machine to own if you enjoy a late-night shot of coffee to keep you awake when all around you slumber… or if you resort to caffeine to sooth the occasional hangover.

The Cuisinart machine can also brew tea, hot chocolate and soup.

Perhaps the ideal permutation of coffee pod systems, the Cuisinart system will allow you to enjoy most of the convenience of this technology with none of its expense… and still permit periodic lapses into extravagance. Its designers have clearly learned from the shortcomings of its competitors, and have arrived at an appliance that does what it was bought to do with little to apologize for.

I imagine that somewhere there exists a plastic pod manufacturer who just hates this thing.

Comments (1)

Wayne M.June 17th, 2011 at 10:35 pm

I purchased this system last week… a MOST EXCELLENT machine !