In 1971, Carl and Shirley Sontheimer were in France and had the privilege of attending a demonstration of a restaurant-quality food prep machine. At this time, there was a home appliance bonanza taking place. Coffee drip machines were replacing electric percolators and new models of blenders featured multiple speeds designed for various functions. The Sontheimers left that demonstration inspired, and upon return to America, the couple established a new housewares company called Cuisinart.
By 1973, Carl had designed a device he thought home cooks would embrace. He debuted the food processor at the National Housewares Exposition to rave reviews. Within a few years, he had accumulated some very influential culinary fans, including James Beard, Julia Child, and Jacques Pépin.
A Kitchen Mainstay
Over the past 40-plus years, Cuisinart has steadily introduced kitchen appliances that home cooks have come to appreciate and depend on, including:
• Mini-Mate chopper/grinder
• Food Preparation Center
• The Mini-Prep
The company has also ventured into mixers, blenders, toaster ovens, rice cookers, slow cookers, and coffeemakers.
According to the website, TopTenReviews, a Cuisinart coffeemaker leads the list of best coffee machines for 2014.Cuisinart DCC-2650 Brew Central 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker
This machine holds the TopTenReviews No. 1 spot. Perhaps it’s the inherent versatility that makes this coffeemaker so superior. You can brew a single cup or an entire pot. You can choose a light or dark brew setting. You can choose the glass carafe’s temperature, from low to high. You can program it to have the coffee waiting for you first thing in the morning, up to 24 hours in advance. You can choose how long to keep the coffee warm before the maker automatically shuts off. However, you don’t have to choose when to clean the machine; it’ll give you an automatic reminder.
Cuisinart also earned the No. 5 spot on the 2014 list.Cuisinart DTC-975BKN Thermal 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker, Black
This design features the patented Brew-Through/Pour-Through lid, which traps heat in, but lets the freshly brewed beverage to drip into the carafe and allows you to pour a cup without having to open the lid…or even adjust it. This keeps the coffee hot and fresh. Of course, there’s also brew pause, which stops the flow so you can pour a cup before the process is completed. Like its Brew Central cousin, the DTC-975MKN can be programmed up to 24 hours in advance.
While this next model didn’t make the TopTenReviews list this year, it remains a perennial favorite among customers.Cuisinart CHW-12 Coffee Plus 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker with Hot Water System, Black/Stainless
Of course, the CHW-12 contains all the Cuisinart perks, including programmability, adjustable carafe temperatures, brew pause and adjustable shutoff, but it also offers a hot water system, which provides quick access to hot water for tea, cocoa and instant soups. The best part, however, may be the self-clean function.
Even with the high-tech options on these coffeemakers, you can ruin a cup of coffee if you don’t properly care for the grounds. Here are a few tips to ensure the freshness of your coffee beans or grounds so you consistently brew a great cup each time.
1. Light, moisture and heat are coffee’s enemies.
Whether you buy whole beans to grind as needed or pre-ground, to maintain their integrity, keep them out of light, moisture and away from heat. Each element will degrade the coffee’s quality.
2. Keep your coffee in the dark.
Find a cabinet away from the stove, away from windows and away from outside walls that could get too hot or too cold depending on the weather. Do find a location that is dry, dark and cool.
3. It’s okay to freeze but not refrigerate.
If you buy large quantities of coffee, divvy them up into smaller portions and then freeze for future use. However, once you take the coffee out of the freezer, do NOT keep it in the fridge. Taking it in and out of the cold and opening it every day leaves it vulnerable to moisture sneaking in and contaminating the coffee.
4. Airtight is right.
Keep your daily supply of coffee in an airtight container.