I almost exclusively drink whole bean coffee, and I love my Culinary Prestige Manual Grinder to get the perfect, customizable grind for my cup.
But if you’re looking to keep things simple with an all-in-one grind and brew coffee maker, then go with the Cuisinart DGB-550. Compatible with both whole bean and pre-ground coffee, this coffee maker keeps the brew process as simple as possible.
Like the DCC-3200, the DGB-550 features Cuisinart’s Brew Pause feature allow you to halt the brew process (advisable only up to 20 seconds) and siphon off a quick cup before the brew is complete. Also like the DCC-3200, you can use the 1-4 cup brew setting to optimize the brew for smaller portions.
Despite a smaller brew capacity than the DCC-3200, the DGB-550 is bigger and heavier due to the built-in grinder. The grinder is pre-set for a medium grind, which is the recommended grind size for this brewer’s speed and brew process.
Clean the grinder regularly. It’s advisable you do it after each use! It’s a simple process, though: rinse and use a bristle brush to lightly scrub. The grinder basket and grinder lid are both dishwasher safe.
However, while the cleaning process is simple, it’s not always easy.
Because the grinder is part of the coffee maker, it tends to get moist from the hot water and steam of the brewing process. This mixes with the finer, powdery parts of the medium grind to create a paste-like substance that adheres well to the grinder basket. To keep everything functioning properly, you’ll have to dedicate time to cleaning this paste. For that reason, I still prefer a separate grinder — either the Culinary Prestige manual grinder mentioned earlier or an electronic grinder.