October 18, 2007

Using Ground Coffee: Cuisinart SS-1 Cup-O-Matic Single Serve Coffee Maker


The Cuisinart SS-1 Cup-O-Matic Single Serve Coffee Maker can make coffee using coffee pods or just plain old ground coffee. We have been waiting for a single serve coffee machine to use ground coffee, and for the process not to be a mess, require an additional coffee filter, and to take roughly the same amount of time to prepare. We're happy to say, the Cuisinart SS-1 Cup-O-Matic Single Serve Coffee Maker is the easiest to use single serve coffee machine that can use ground coffee we've ever tested.

Img 4990
A rich interesting cup of Dunkin Donut's Original Blend
Coffee using ground coffee instead of coffee pods.

The process is very simple, because you use the exact same coffee pod filter/ground coffee holder for both brewing methods. The filter basket is made out of metal, so there are no paper coffee filters to use here. The coffee filter basket can hold up to two coffee pods in the 7-11 gram variety, and it can hold up to two scoops of ground coffee for a total of 4 tablespoons of coffee, from the provided coffee scoop in the same filter basket.

You simply put two scoops of coffee (this is the max at 4 tablespoons - though we had ours overfilling the scoop most times) into the basket, and then put the settings on Ground, pick a cup size of 4-12 oz, and then pick the Regular or Bold coffee setting. The results?

The results were amazing when you use ground coffee wth the Cuisinart SS-1 Cup-O-Matic Single Serve Coffee Maker. We used ground coffee from our local supermarket instead of going to our local fresh roaster. Why? Because most people don't have a fresh coffee roaster in their area, and we thought we'd try some of the more popular coffees from our local market, and see how they hold up.

We tested the following ground coffees with the Cuisinart SS-1 Cup-O-Matic Single Serve Coffee Maker:

Img 4982Img 4984Img 4983

Img 4987
Putting a couple of scoops of ground coffee
into the SS-1 filter basket.
Note: There are no coffee filters - the basket
is made out of metal.

Img 4988
A cup of Dunkin Donuts Original blend
coffee brewing up using the SS-1

Photo 9
Clean up is easy, slide the clasp over the filter basket rim,
and then hit it hard on your countertop trash bin.
The coffee cookie comes out with ease, and very little clean up.

All three of the coffees we tested made excellent cups of coffee. We were surprised how dark and rich by using the Bold setting at 6oz we got the Peet's French roast coffee to be. The extraction for the Green Mountain Hazelnut Cream was on par with it's K Cup cousin, and the Dunkin Donuts Original Blend held up, but there was some magic lost in the translation to the home. We think this "loss of translation" has little to do with the coffee brewed, but the shear amount of sugar and cream we can't bring ourselves to put into a cup of coffee when making a "MEDIUM REGULAR Please". :-)

We were also surprised how forgiving our "larger scoops" of coffee were to the piston tamping Cuisinart SS-1 Cup-O-Matic Single Serve Coffee Maker. You don't want to overfill too much, but you can be a little generous in your two scoops. The extra coffee didn't result in that much more extraction or flavor, but it's nice to know you don't have to be precise each time you make a cup of coffee worrying you'll hurt the machine.

And on the clean up with ground coffee instead of using coffee pods? Still a little messy, but not bad. Because the SS-1 tamps down the coffee with it's patented coffee piston, the resulting coffee cookie is not a wet soppy coffee ground mess. The handle also has a little "clamp" like mechanism you slide over to make hitting the coffee filter basket on a countertop coffee trash bin a thing of ease. A little water will wash the rest of the coffee grounds out.

Wrapping Up

We continue to be impressed with the Cuisinart SS-1 Cup-O-Matic Single Serve Coffee Maker. Given the quality in the cup of coffee using either coffee pods or ground coffee, this is the single serve coffee machine to aspire to this year in the coffee pod arena. We also love the controls (which we're sure we'll expound on in the full review), and we are starting to really like the narrow but tall footprint of the Cuisinart SS-1 Cup-O-Matic Single Serve Coffee Maker.

Here are the features of the Cuisinart SS-1 Cup-O-Matic Single Serve Coffee Maker:

  • Brew basket can accommodate coffee pods as well as ground coffee
  • 60-oz. water reservoir holds enough for ten 6-ounce cups of coffee
  • Low pressure pump and boiler system
  • Patented tamping and sealing method for better tasting coffee
  • Cup size selector - 4 to 12 ounces
  • Can select regular or bold coffee flavor
  • Removable drip tray can accommodate coffee cup from 4 ounces to Cuisinart's travel mug (170mm)
  • 2 minute pre-heat time
  • Charcoal water filter removes impurities
  • Auto shut-off (2 hours from last use)
  • Water level indicator on front
  • Scoop included
  • Easy to clean

At Cuisinart SS-1 Cup-O-Matic Single Serve Coffee Maker

Read More in: Cuisinart | Single Serve Coffee Machines | Whole Bean and Ground Coffee

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Posted by Jay Brewer at October 18, 2007 7:51 AM
Recent Comments

When I use ground coffee in the 2 tbsp recommended amount, the filter plugs. Coffee is ground for a french press. Is this too fine? I am searching for decent pods to use with this machine. The Lavazza don't taste that good to me!

Posted by: coffeelover at January 23, 2010 1:29 PM

my goodness, sounds like I should have waited to buy my first ss coffee maker. Does this unit make decent tea as well? If so does anyone want to buy my 3 week old Bunn my cafe?

Posted by: dawn at October 25, 2007 9:11 AM

How's the build quality on this unit? Do you think it might last a little longer than a simplehuman A40? The seals just went on my A40, like everyone else's eventually do I guess.

I'm looking to move up a notch in quality and you folks have made this machine look amazing. I'm seriously considering it now...

Posted by: JimK at October 22, 2007 1:49 PM
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