Cuisinart SS-12 Basics coffee maker : The Space-Saving Two-in-One Coffee Maker

Published on Oct. 4, 2023, 6:13 p.m.

Coffee, as one of the world’s most popular beverages, is not only a refreshing drink but also a lifestyle and cultural symbol. Since the advent of the first coffee maker in the early 19th century, coffee maker technology and design have continued to evolve to meet people’s demand for convenient and delicious coffee. Today, coffee makers have become an indispensable part of the modern kitchen, and the Cuisinart SS-12 Basics coffee maker is one of the latest results of this evolution.

 Cuisinart SS-12 Basics coffee maker


The Cuisinart SS-12 Coffee Center Brew Basics is a 12-cup drip coffee maker and single serve K-cup brewer rolled into one. Available in multiple colors like black, white and stainless steel, this programmable coffee machine has a compact footprint of 10.3” x 9.75” but offers the versatility of being both a drip machine and a single cup brewer.

The Cuisinart SS-12 Coffee Center Brew Basics is a combination of a 12-cup drip coffee maker and a single-serve K-cup brewer. Its multifunctionality and programmability make it ideal for the busy modern lifestyle. Understanding its design philosophy and target demographic is important before diving into the detailed review.

Key Features

The Cuisinart SS-12 Coffee Center Brew Basics is a 2-in-1 coffee maker that combines a 12-cup drip coffee maker with a single-serve K-cup brewer, making it ideal for both home and office use.
- Dual Water Reservoirs: A 64-ounce reservoir for drip coffee and a 40-ounce reservoir for single-serve coffee cater to different needs.
- 24-Hour Programmable Timer: You can preset the brewing time to enjoy fresh coffee as soon as you wake up.
- Keep Warm Function: Adjustable keep-warm time from 0 to 4 hours ensures your coffee stays at the perfect temperature.
- Removable 12-Cup Glass Carafe: The large capacity is perfect for families and easy to clean.
- Reusable Filter: The drip coffee maker side comes with a reusable filter, which is both eco-friendly and cost-effective.
- K-cup Pod Compatible: The single-serve side is compatible with K-cup pods, allowing you to quickly brew a variety of single-serve coffees.
- Water Level Window: Easily monitor the water level in the reservoir and refill when needed.
- LCD Display: The clear display shows the time and settings for easy operation.
- Brew Pause™ Feature: Pause the brewing process at any time to pour a cup of coffee and then resume brewing.

Sleek Stylish Design

The Cuisinart SS-12 Basics coffee maker has an elegant two-tone design with stainless steel and black accents. The backlit LCD display clearly shows the time and programming settings.

The durable glass 12-cup carafe has an ergonomic handle and brewed coffee markings. The lid opens smoothly on its hinge to allow pouring.

For single serve, the K-cup pod holder easily loads a coffee pod and punctures the lid for brewing. The removable drip tray catches any splatter. The coffee maker’s housing is made of durable plastic, while the control panel is stainless steel.

How Drip Coffee Makers Work

Drip coffee makers operate on a relatively simple principle. Water is heated and then passed through coffee grounds, extracting the essence of the coffee, which then drips into the carafe. The Cuisinart SS-12 enhances this process by utilizing Pulse Brew technology, which allows the hot water to come into fuller contact with the coffee grounds, thus better releasing the flavor of the coffee.

How to Customize Your Brew

The Cuisinart SS-12 Basics coffee maker’s programmable clock and adjustable keep-warm timer allow you to customize your brewing experience.
1. 24-Hour Programmable Timer: You can set the time the night before, so the coffee maker automatically starts brewing at your desired time in the morning.
2. Adjustable Keep-Warm Timer: After brewing, the coffee maker automatically enters the keep-warm mode, which you can adjust from 0 to 4 hours to enjoy hot coffee within the set time frame.
3. Brew Strength Options: You can choose between regular or bold flavor strength for your drip coffee.
4. Single-Serve Customization: For single-serve coffee, you can adjust the brew size and coffee grind size (finer grind for stronger espresso, coarser grind for drip coffee).

24-Hour Programmable Clock and LCD Display

This coffee maker is equipped with a backlit LCD display and a 24-hour programmable clock. You can set the brewing time in advance so that the coffee maker will automatically start brewing before you get up, allowing you to enjoy fresh coffee as soon as you wake up. The LCD display is clear and easy to read, making it easy for you to view and adjust settings.

Customized Brewing Options

With its programmable clock and adjustable keep warm timer, the Cuisinart SS-12 Basics coffee maker allows customized brewing. Set it up the night before to automatically brew a pot at your desired time in the morning.

The keep warm function keeps your drip pot hot for up to 4 hours after brewing completes. No more cold coffee!

You can select regular or bold flavor strength for drip. For single serve, brew size and coffee grind size can be adjusted as well (finer grind for a stronger espresso, coarser grind for drip coffee). The brew strength setting affects the flavor of the coffee, with the bold setting extracting more coffee oils and aromatic substances, while the regular setting produces a milder coffee.

 Cuisinart SS-12 Basics coffee maker

Dual Brewing System

One of the most appealing features of the Cuisinart SS-12 Basics coffee maker is its dual brewing system.
- Drip Coffee Maker: The drip coffee maker side is equipped with a 12-cup glass carafe, perfect for sharing with family or friends. The showerhead design ensures that water is evenly distributed over the coffee grounds, extracting the best flavor and aroma from your coffee.
- Single-Serve K-Cup Brewer: The other side features a single-serve K-Cup brewer, allowing you to quickly enjoy a fresh cup of coffee on busy mornings. Simply insert your favorite K-Cup pod, select your desired cup size, and press the button to have the coffee maker automatically brew a delicious cup of coffee for you.

Reusable Filter and K-cup Compatibility

The Cuisinart SS-12 Basics coffee maker is equipped with a reusable filter on the drip coffee maker side, which is both environmentally friendly and economical. On the single-serve coffee maker side, it is compatible with K-cup coffee pods, allowing you to conveniently and quickly brew a variety of single-serve coffees.

Dual Water Reservoirs

The Cuisinart SS-12 Basics coffee maker features two separate water reservoirs, one for the drip coffee maker and one for the single-serve K-Cup brewer. This design is highly practical, as it eliminates the need for frequent refilling and prevents cross-contamination between different brewing methods, ensuring that you always enjoy the purest coffee flavor.

Brew Pause™ Feature

The Brew Pause™ feature allows you to remove the carafe at any time during the brewing process, pour a cup of coffee, and then put the carafe back to continue brewing. This is very convenient for those who can’t wait to drink their first cup of coffee. However, it is important to note that the carafe should not be removed for too long, otherwise the filter basket may overflow. Also, due to the interruption during brewing, the overall flavor of the coffee may be affected.

Ready Tone

When your coffee is brewed, the Cuisinart SS-12 Basics coffee maker will emit a tone to let you know it’s ready. This feature is especially handy when you’re busy and might forget that you’re brewing coffee.

Keep Warm Function

The Cuisinart SS-12 Basics coffee maker has an adjustable keep-warm function that can be set from 0 to 4 hours. After brewing is complete, the coffee maker will automatically enter the keep-warm mode, allowing you to enjoy hot coffee within the set time. This feature is very practical, especially for those who like to savor their coffee slowly.

Auto Shutoff

For safety, the Cuisinart SS-12 Basics coffee maker automatically shuts off after brewing. This means you don’t have to worry about forgetting to turn off the coffee maker, preventing potential safety hazards.

Removable 12-Cup Glass Carafe

The coffee maker is equipped with a removable 12-cup glass carafe, which has a large capacity and is suitable for family use. The glass material is not only beautiful, but also easy to clean. The handle of the carafe is ergonomically designed, comfortable to hold and easy to pour coffee.

Removable Drip Tray

The Cuisinart SS-12 Basics coffee maker comes with a removable drip tray for easy cleaning. Simply pull out the drip tray to clean up any coffee drips or spills.

Self-Cleaning Function

To maintain optimal performance, the Cuisinart SS-12 Basics coffee maker will automatically remind you when it’s time to descale. Descaling removes calcium deposits that can build up inside the coffee maker, which can affect the taste of your coffee and the lifespan of the machine. Simply follow the instructions to easily complete the descaling process.


The removable parts like carafe, filter basket and drip tray can be hand washed or placed in the dishwasher. To remove limescale from the internal components, it is recommended to use a descaling solution regularly. The specific method is to dissolve the descaling agent in water, add it to the water tank according to the instructions, and then run the cleaning program.


The brewing operation is relatively quiet. There is some noise during heating and percolating, but not excessive. The beeping alerts at completion may be loud for some.

About Cuisinart

Cuisinart has been a pioneer in kitchen appliances since 1971, earning global consumer trust with innovative products and high-quality standards. Its product lineup extends beyond coffee makers to include food processors, blenders, and ovens, aimed at providing comprehensive solutions for the modern kitchen.

 Cuisinart SS-12 Basics coffee maker

Ideal Use Cases

The Cuisinart SS-12 Basics coffee maker is perfect for:

  • Households that need to brew both pots and single cups
  • Those with limited counter space
  • People who want programmable brewing
  • Anyone who enjoys brewing coffee their own way - full pots for company or single cups for just themselves

User Feedback and Product Evaluation

Based on over 20,000 reviews from platforms like Amazon, feedback on the Cuisinart SS-12 coffee maker shows a stark polarization. Admirers consider it a morning savior for its dual-function system that quickly makes a single cup or caters to larger brewing needs. Critics, however, are displeased with splattering issues on the single-serve side and its complex programming. Specifically, the main advantages of this coffee maker include its dual brewing system and programmability, while major drawbacks are the difficulty in filling water tanks, the cheap appearance of some plastic parts, and occasional leaking issues reported by some users.

For coffee aficionados who have found their morning savior, the Cuisinart SS-12 Basics coffee maker is nothing short of a revelation. They enthusiastically applaud this machine as their new best friend, saying it brews a cup o’ joe so delicious it’s “heaven in a carafe.” Many hail it a “game changer” that has rescued them from poorly brewed swill they suffered through previously. The dual-side function earns glowing acclaim for quenching both quick single cup cravings and big pot percolating. Like a dependable sidekick, the Cuisinart SS-12 Basics coffee maker delivers 24/7 coffee glory.

Not all ride the hype train, however. A vocal minority have condemned this product to the depths of Tartarus like an angry Zeus. The biggest lightning strike of outrage is aimed at the single-serve side, which apparently splatters and spews like an out of control firehose, covering their countertops in puddles of resentment. The caps on their keyboards shall forever bear the stains of this coffee catastrophe. Though they may scrub with the intensity of Hercules, some vestiges remain as permanent reminders of the day their dreams were darkened by drips of disappointment.

Others in the “anti” camp berate the machine’s confusing programmability, which they claim requires the intellect of Einstein to master. Setting the clock elicits more frustration than solving Fermat’s Last Theorem. And don’t get them started on the reservoirs, whose inaccessible water openings mockingly defy all attempts at smooth pouring. Each fill brings another wave of muttering fury.

So while devotees worship this appliance like a gift from the caffeine gods, the cynics see only a faulty disappointment destined for the trash heap of kitchen gadgets. But such is the eternal struggle of pleasing every palate. In the epic battle for the perfect brew, the Cuisinart SS-12 Basics coffee maker proves itself a fierce and flawed combatant.

Pros and Cons

- Two brewers in one
- Programmable LCD screen
- Durable glass carafe
- Adjustable keep warm timer
- Can use own coffee or K-cups

- Water tanks can be tricky to fill
- Splattering on single serve side
- Programming can be difficult
- Plastic quality on some parts seems cheap


For a programmable dual-side coffee maker, the Cuisinart SS-12 Basics coffee maker provides excellent value. Competitors with similar features easily run $150+, making the $112 Cuisinart SS-12 Basics coffee maker a budget-friendly option.

 Cuisinart SS-12 Basics coffee maker


Cuisinart has been a pioneer in kitchen appliances since 1971, earning global consumer trust with its innovative products and high quality standards. Its product line extends beyond coffee makers to include food processors, blenders, and ovens, all aimed at providing comprehensive solutions for the modern kitchen. The Cuisinart SS-12 Basics coffee maker is a testament to Cuisinart’s commitment to innovation and quality. For those seeking one compact machine for both drip and single serve convenience, the Cuisinart SS-12 Basics coffee maker is an ideal option. Its dual-side brewing system, programmable features, bold brew settings and space-saving design make this a great addition to any kitchen.


  • Product Dimensions: 10.3”D x 9.75”W x 14.5”H
  • Capacity: 12 Cups
  • Material: Glass, Stainless Steel, Black plastic (specific materials for different parts not detailed in the documentation, assuming standard components used in model)
  • Weight: 9.5 Pounds
  • Power: 1200 watts
  • Voltage: 120 volts (assumed standard for the model as typical in the documentation; exact regional voltage adaptations unknown)
  • Water Reservoir Capacity: 64 oz for Drip Coffee, 40 oz for Single Serve
  • Filter Type: Reusable
  • Special Features: Programmable, Brew Pause feature, Adjustable Keep Warm time, LCD display, Dual water reservoirs
  • Included Components: Glass Carafe, Coffee Machine, Charcoal water filter

Cuisinart SS-12 Coffee Center: User Manual

Important Safeguards

Before you start, please take a moment to review these safety precautions:

  1. Read all instructions carefully.
  2. Don’t touch hot surfaces. Use handles and knobs.
  3. Keep the appliance away from water. To protect against electric shock, never immerse the cord, plug, or base unit in water or other liquids.
  4. Supervise children and individuals with disabilities. This appliance should not be used by or near them without proper supervision.
  5. Unplug when not in use. Always unplug the coffee maker when not in use and before cleaning. Allow it to cool down before handling or cleaning any parts.
  6. Inspect for damage. Do not operate the appliance if the cord or plug is damaged, or if the appliance malfunctions or has been dropped. Contact Cuisinart customer service for assistance.
  7. Use only authorized accessories.
  8. Indoor use only.
  9. Keep the cord away from hot surfaces.
  10. Don’t place on or near a hot burner or in an oven.
  11. Fill first, then plug in. Always fill the water reservoir before plugging in the appliance. To disconnect, press the OFF button and then unplug.
  12. Use as intended. Use the appliance only for brewing coffee.
  13. Secure the lid. Always snap the carafe lid securely before serving any beverages.
  14. Prevent scalding. Do not remove the lid during the brewing cycle.
  15. Carafe is for this appliance only. Never use it on a stovetop.
  16. Protect the carafe. Do not place a hot carafe on a wet or cold surface.
  17. Inspect the carafe. Do not use a cracked carafe or one with a loose or weakened handle.
  18. Do not lift the handle to open the lid during brewing.
  19. Don’t overfill the water reservoir. Use only water in this appliance.
  20. Clean gently. Do not clean the carafe, heating plate, or drip tray with harsh cleaners, steel wool pads, or abrasive materials.
  21. No user-serviceable parts inside. Do not attempt to repair the appliance yourself.
  22. Ensure proper airflow. Do not obstruct airflow beneath the coffeemaker.
  23. Use the correct filter. Use only the Cuisinart Gold-Tone Commercial-Style Filter or standard cone-shaped paper filters.
  24. Avoid enclosed spaces. Do not operate or store the appliance in an appliance garage or under a wall cabinet.
  25. Use compatible capsules. Only use capsules designed for this appliance. Do not force capsules that do not fit.
  26. Do not open the brew chamber during brewing.

The Quest for the Perfect Cup

Water: Start with good water. If your tap water doesn’t taste great, it won’t make great coffee. Use filtered or bottled water.

Coffee: Use fresh, high-quality coffee beans for the best flavor. If you grind your own beans, grind only what you need for each brew.

Grind: The grind size matters. Too fine a grind can make bitter coffee, while too coarse a grind can make weak coffee. A medium-fine grind is recommended.

Proportion: Use the right amount of coffee for the amount of water. The general guideline is one level scoop of coffee per cup, but adjust to your taste.

12-Cup Coffeemaker Instructions

  1. Insert the charcoal water filter (see instructions below).
  2. Fill the water reservoir. Lift the reservoir cover and pour in the desired amount of water.
  3. Add coffee grounds. Lift out the filter basket, insert a filter, and add coffee grounds.
  4. Brew. Close the lid and press the CARAFE BREW button.

Single-Serve Coffeemaker Instructions

  1. Fill the water reservoir.
  2. Insert a K-cup pod. Open the brew head, insert a K-cup pod, and close the brew head.
  3. Select brew size. Press the POD SIZE button to choose your desired size.
  4. Brew. Press the POD BREW button.

Charcoal Water Filter

To insert or replace the charcoal water filter:

  1. Soak the filter in cold water for 15 minutes.
  2. Open the filter compartment in the water reservoir.
  3. Insert the filter and snap the compartment closed.
  4. Flush the filter with cold water for 10 seconds.

Replace the filter every 60 days or 60 uses.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Regular cleaning is essential for the best coffee and the longevity of your machine.

  • After each use: Discard used coffee grounds and filters, and rinse the carafe and filter basket.
  • Regularly: Wipe down the exterior with a damp cloth.
  • Periodically: Descale the coffee maker using a vinegar solution or a descaling agent. Follow the instructions on the control panel or in this manual.


If you encounter any issues, refer to the troubleshooting section in this manual or contact Cuisinart customer service.


Your Cuisinart SS-12 Coffee Center is ready to brew your perfect cup of coffee. Experiment with different settings and coffee varieties to find your favorite brew.