Cuisinart CPO-800 Review: Live from 1985

This is part of my Everyday Coffee series, in which I review four affordable SCAA-certified coffeemakers. Criteria is simple: they have to be programmable, they have to be easy to use, and they have to produce a damn fine cup of coffee. Read on to see how the Cuisinart CPO-800 compares!

Meet the Cuisinart CPO-800
A Cuisinart CPO-800 coffemaker. The carafe is about 75% full of rich, dark coffee. Sunlight streams in through a window in the background.
The sharp angles and VFD display give it a very 80s appearance.

First on deck is the Cuisinart CPO-800. I actually purchased this last Friday, and I’ve been using it religiously all week. I love this design! Gentle angles, a vintage-looking vacuum fluorescent display, and a semi-traditional coffeemaker look. The Cuisinart CPO-800 looks like it’s straight out of the mid-80s, and that’s a great thing!

The CPO-800 is one of three tested units that mimics the behavior of a pourover. Water gets heated to that golden 195-205 range, then sprinkled (or “jimmied” if you’re from Philadelphia) over the grounds in waves — including a presoak. The presoak allows the coffee to bloom and develop its full flavor, while the brief pauses in watering ensure the grounds aren’t over-extracted.

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Everyday Coffee: Coffeemaker Roundup

This is the first in a series called “Everyday Coffee”, in which I put four highly-rated coffeemakers through everyday, real-world testing.

We have a long-lasting love-hate relationship with coffeemakers.

An antique hand-operated coffee grinder is overflowing with beans. It's sitting next to a cup of rich, fresh-brewed coffee. Morning sunlight reflects off some out-of-focus objects in the background.
You don’t grind coffee like this. Stop showing off.

Your great-grandparents likely used a French press, siphon, or pourover. Probably involving fire. They’re all great brewing methods with their own strengths and weaknesses. They take a bit of effort to do correctly, but they can easily coax out the rich, full-bodied flavor of coffee.

Your grandparents likely used an electric percolator. And it was terrible. It produced hot, dark liquid that contained caffeine. Technically, it was “coffee”. But if you weren’t careful, it would burn and over-extract the coffee, resulting in a bitter pot of awfulness. Most electric percolators have a window of roughly 30 milliseconds between “still brewing” and “LOL RUINED AGAIN”.

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Everyday Coffee: Ninja Coffee Bar Review

I am a coffee snob. My French press is my weapon of choice. But when I saw the Ninja Coffee Bar on sale (refurbished) for around $90 at Ollie’s and Woot, curiosity got the best of me. I had to try it out.

The Ninja Coffee Bar is … unconventional. It promises “better than a coffee house experience — at home” and delivers four different strengths: classic, rich, ice, and “special”. I decided to take advantage of the low price and run a comparison against my daily driver — a Cuisinart DGB-550BK — and against a French press.
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