Home > Cooking > Breville vs. Cuisinart K-Cup Brewers

Breville vs. Cuisinart K-Cup Brewers

Update – New post about why these brewers may be failing (2/4/2012)  https://murison.wordpress.com/2012/02/04/the-insides-of-a-k-cup-brewer/

Update at the end of the post (7/10/2011)

I’ve been using K-Cup brewers for about 18 months now, and having personally owned both the Breville BKC700XL and the Cuisinart SS-700, I thought it might be helpful to post a comparison of them. The first brewer I purchased was the Breville and I loved it. About 6 months ago it started to fail by refusing to brew. In retrospect I probably should have changed the filter more often, because we have pretty hard water (109 ppm). About 4 months ago I picked up the Cuisinart brewer for a couple reasons; it was $50 cheaper and we already have a bunch of Cuisinart appliances in the kitchen so it would fit in nicely. I now only use filtered water from the refrigerator in addition to changing the brewer filter more often in hopes of it lasting longer.

One tip I have is to always push the K-Cup down so the bottom is punctured before closing the top. K-Cups are pressurized and if you just drop it in and close the brewer, the top of the K-Cup will be punctured before the bottom. This will release the pressure and some coffee grounds will shoot up requiring more cleaning. In the picture on the left you’ll see that the top of the K-Cup is bulging up from the pressure and on the right you can see a bunch of coffee grounds in the head which happens if you don’t puncture the bottom of the K-Cup first.

Now it’s time to get on with the review. I dug the Breville out of the basement and picked up a few gallons of vinegar to see if I could revive it. It still isn’t working properly but it came back to life enough to be able to do a good comparison.

The Cuisinart is on the left and the Breville is on the right. The handle on the Cuisinart is metal while the Breville is plastic. This gives the Cuisinart a slightly better feel when operating it but I never had the felling the Breville would break either. Other than that they are both pretty much all plastic and they both look good sitting on the counter.

The display and controls on both are pretty close. Notice that the display on the Cuisinart is a little brighter with more of a blue glow. The Cuisinart also has a Rinse and Hot Water button. Other than that they both operate the same way and the brew size selection is identical (4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 ounces). It’s a nice touch that the Cuisinart shows how many ounces will be dispensed. The Rinse button automatically selects the smallest brew size and dispenses the water. The Hot Water button performs the same action as the Brew button except that the display will say “Hot Water” instead of “Brewing”. This might appeal to some but to me it’s just a couple redundant buttons. The biggest problem I’ve found is that the up and down arrow buttons on the Cuisinart are only illuminated around the button and not the arrows themselves. This may seem minor until you try to use them in the dark. The light around the buttons is bright enough to prevent you from seeing the arrows.

As you can see from the menus, they both have the same selections. The clock set on the Cuisinart is flashing and I took the picture at just the wrong time but it’s there. I like the menu controls on the Breville better in that it’s seems more intuitive. On the Breville you use the up/down arrows to select a function and press OK. You then make a selection and press OK again to return to the menu. Pressing Menu again exits the menu. On the Cuisinart you press the Menu button to cycle through the function. While a function is blinking you press the up/down arrows to make your selection and press the Menu button to go to the next function. Pressing Menu repeatedly until you go through all the functions is the only way to exit.

Here are pictures of the left side of each brewer. Notice the Cuisinart reservoir is clear all the way around and there is a little condensation on the inside. I’m not sure why this is but the Breville never had condensation on the inside of the reservoir. The Cuisinart does have a larger reservoir by 20 ounces (80 oz vs. 60 oz) but there is a huge drawback to the design of the reservoir and how it fits into the brewer.

As you can see there is no easy way to hold the Cuisinart reservoir when placing it in the brewer, while the Breville has an opening on the bottom for your hand. To install the reservoir on the Cuisinart I’ve found the best way is to hang on to the lip at the top right while guiding the bottom into place with your other hand. The Breville is very simple due to the handle on the bottom of the Reservoir. This may seem like nit picking but the Cuisinart really is a bad design compared to the Breville.

The right side of the Cuisinart is where the My K-Cup is located but there is no storage space for the scoop. Personally I could care less because I never use it. With the Breville the My K-Cup and scoop are stored under a door on the top of the brewer. Both brewers use the same type of power switch located on the right side.

The drip tray on both machines is large enough to catch a large size brew in case you forget the cup (yes it happens but usually only once). The Breville has a little indicator on the back left of the tray if it becomes full; pretty useless in my opinion. And they both have plastic trays underneath the drip tray where you can place a large travel mug.

I use travel mugs daily and the Cuisinart doesn’t have as much room between the bottom tray and the brew head. My travel mug on the left just barely fits while the wife’s doesn’t fit at all. On the right you can see that the wife’s mug does fit into the Breville, albeit just barely.

I pulled out a tape measure to see if there were any big differences between the two.

Height: 12 5/8 inches closed, 17 inches open
Width: 10 1/2 inches plus the switch on the right
Depth: 12 1/2 inches on the bottom, 13 1/2 inches at the tip of the handle
Drip tray to bottom of head: 6 1/4 inches
Drip tray removed: 7 1/8 inches

Height: 12 3/4 inches closed, 17 inches open
Width: 10 1/4 inches plus the switch on the right
Depth: 13 1/4 inches (bottom and tip of the handle are the same)
Drip tray to bottom of head: 6 1/4 inches
Drip tray removed: 7 1/2 inches


These are both excellent appliances and I like them both. However, in my opinion the Breville edges out the Cuisinart slightly when it comes to design. I get the feeling that the Cuisinart is a reverse engineered version of the Breville and is just a little rough around the edges, figuratively speaking. They both operate the same and brew coffee in the same amount of time. The Cuisinart does cost less and has a 3 year warranty compared with only a 1 year warranty on the Breville. My biggest gripes with the Cuisinart are the reservoir design and the arrow buttons. Is it worth at extra $50 to fix that? I’ll let you know when it comes time to purchase another one.

UPDATE (7/10/2011)

Despite only using filtered water the Cuisinart brewer has died after only 7 months of use.  It would take multiple power off/unplug attempts to get it to brew.   I took it back to the retailer and they exchanged it without question.  I opted to pay the extra $50 to go back to the Breville and both the wife and I are very happy.  The extra vertical space and the handle space at the bottom of the water tank are huge differences.  You just don’t realize how much of a difference they make until you’ve used both brewers.  I’ll concede the tank doesn’t hold as much water but the ease of refilling the Breville makes up for it.

Categories: Cooking Tags: , , , ,
  1. June 5, 2011 at 9:04 PM

    Thank you for the article. I sell both Keurig and Cuisinart on my website.

  2. Miyuki
    July 10, 2011 at 6:10 PM

    Thank you for the blog! my Keurig just died and I was looking at Breville or Cuisinart. I think I will get the Breville and try it though the 3 year Cuisinart warranty is very attractive.

  3. July 12, 2011 at 4:39 PM

    @Miyuki, Glad the post has been some help. From what I’ve heard, and I can’t confirm this, is that the warranty for the Cuisinart requires you to send the unit back at your own expense and you have to pay for the shipping for the new unit as well. Not sure what Breville requires.

  4. July 18, 2011 at 10:16 AM

    Thank for your review

  5. daniel.chu@ymail.com
    October 9, 2011 at 7:49 AM

    damn, thats crazy. won’t be buying these then cause they break down so fast

  6. October 17, 2011 at 8:06 AM

    I have had two Keurig’s die within months of purchasing them– one I only had for 6 months at the most. I am tired of having this happen, not to mention the over supply of K cups I have because I used a coffee delivery that was very cost effective. I love the concept, but I don’t want to spend $200+ every six months for a new machine– that does make the cost/cup seem out of sight now doesn’t it? Which one do you think has the best track record for length of service?

  7. November 10, 2011 at 4:14 AM

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  8. sezron
    December 14, 2011 at 5:58 PM

    I have both Keurig and Cuisinart K cup machines…

    About me… I am an embedded systems design engineer and know about control systems and such.

    Food processing products should only use parts ( components ) in the water / control systems – internal to the coffee maker – that are “fit for purpose” as designed to be use with WATER.. as a coffee maker uses water.

    I have opened several of my failed Keurig and Cusinart K cup machines and found that they are using an AUTOMOTIVE Market Pneumatic Solenoid Valve made in China.. part number SH-V0829…Google this number if you want to check and see this. It is designed for auto seat cushon inflation and has a built in LEAK RATE of 1CC/Min at 4 PSI for air compresser unloading used in seat cushon inflation systems. It is NOT WATER PROOF and DRIPS inside the coffee makers in the transformer and the air pump near the bottom getting the electric motor wet and make it smoke.. My coffee maker was way too young to smoke .. hahha just a joke..

    The folk that make this coffee maker IN CHINA think most folk are too stupid to find out about their use of cheep and unfit for purpose components inside their coffee maker. I have attached a DOOR and Hinge on the back of one of my coffee makers that I keep repaired personally.. and buy the replacement control solenoids on ebay to keep my coffee maker working…. THIS SUCKS….. I was ripped off…

    I did not pay for a rusty solenoid that leaks water inside my $250.00 coffee machine. When I call Keurig… they do talk some but avoid the topic of this solenoid.. just reading a standard reply statement… When I talk to Cuisinart.. they have nothing to say but want my $10 for shipping a replacement unit… also with the same defective solenoid inside of the same type and part number…

    I want to like my coffee maker…. but I do not like being treated like a fool …

    My old Mr Coffee has very nice insides… good design.. and lasted a long time… I am wanting to see Mr Coffee make a K cup that I would like… Cuisinart and Keurig are only about making money .. and not delivering INTERNAL quality of their product with this machine.. They come from the SAME China factory…and they are made using non water proof – no O ring – air only – pneumatic solenoid valves… The part numbers are on the side of the solenoid if you care to open up your machine and look… Do not have it plugged in if you do.. safety first..

    I hope you like having RUSTY water in your hot water for making tea and coffee…. the solenoid does rust internally as it is only for air usage…not made for water exposure…

    I have photos and also plan to use this experince in a control system class I teach at a University as an example of poor ethics in business manufacturing…

    I need not say how MAD I am over this discovery …..and the lack of interest from the folks that make this product..

    Barnum and Bailey.. a sucker is born every minute… that must be their motto..

    I must be a sucker… THAT SUCKS

  9. December 17, 2011 at 5:48 PM

    Interesting comment. I’d love to see the pictures. Kinda of makes sense why these brewers keep malfunctioning. So you’re saying the pneumatic solenoid is what’s used to turn on and off the flow of water? I think I still have a dead one downstairs; if so I will definitely open it up and take a look. With the holidays here I probably won’t get to it for a couple weeks, but if/when I do, I will make sure to post a blog entry about it letting everyone know what I find.

  10. Daniel
    December 30, 2011 at 10:53 AM

    Hi everyone,i would like to know if the Keurig B145 commercial duty coffee maker has the same parts made in China inside,i read that the coffee maker is made in the US and not China,any info would be greatly appreciated before i purchase my coffee maker.

  11. January 7, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    Ok, I just took apart a dead Breville I had in the basement and I did confirm that the pneumatic valves are used. I’ll be putting up a full blog post with pictures a little later as I have a bunch of pictures to go through along with all the editing.

  12. January 17, 2012 at 1:24 AM

    What’s up, just wanted to tell you, I loved this blog post. It was inspiring. Keep on posting!

  13. February 6, 2012 at 5:11 AM

    Marvelous, what a website it is! This webpage gives helpful data to us, keep it up.

  14. February 6, 2012 at 5:57 AM

    Touche. Great arguments. Keep up the great work.

  15. Roy
    February 6, 2012 at 6:26 AM

    What’s up, just wanted to tell you, I loved this blog post. It was practical. Keep on posting!

  16. February 23, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    Excellent post, l quite agree with your conclusion. However lam having problem subscribing to your rss.

  17. Chase
    March 13, 2012 at 6:34 PM

    Great posts.

    I just returned the Cuisinart model after it quit working just over the 60 day mark. Best Buy was great in that they let me return or exchange even though it was well past their policy date. I ended up giving the Breville a try and am hopeful it will fair better.

    If I’d have thought of it at the store I would have paid the extra few bucks for their 2 year no questions on site warranty as it seems these types of units are prone to needing it, unfortunately. Perhaps additionally necessary as it would extend the Breville to two full years as well instead of the factory one.

    My original keurig brnd maker worked great for over two years until it went kapoot. Maybe I should have stuck with the noisy little $85 unit instead!

  18. EMC
    April 19, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    Get the Mr. Coffee k-cup version brewer. It is very basic, but it will last and last. Honestly, don’t you just need a reliable machine that infuses your k-cup with super-hot water and deposits it into your cup? Nuff said.

  19. Vernon
    April 22, 2012 at 4:52 AM

    I also had a Cuisinart and it broke. Cuisinart makes junk as far as I am concerned. I will never buy anything Cusinart again.

  20. Roy
    April 27, 2012 at 11:00 PM

    Touche. Solid arguments. Keep up the good work.

  21. sharon allen
    May 1, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    i have been using k-cups for about 5 years or more and tried the cuisinart, breville and all the keurig styles. i will never buy a breville or cuisinart again- you are lucky if they last a year and both are over $200.00. my first keurig just died recently(5 years old+), the next keurig is still going and the small one cup keurig is the best-only drawback is filling the reservoir for each cup—-but absolutely fabulous for travelling.
    i need another bigger one and will go back to the keurig again.

  22. Jenny
    June 21, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    Liked your post too, and found it very helpful, but “the wife”? That took me aback, to be honest. (Would you have said “the son” or “the daughter”?… Just wondering…)

  23. July 4, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    If you buy your appliances at Bed, Bath and Beyond. they will exchange them with no problem no matter how long ago you made your purchase–no questions asked! I have had to do this three times over the last few years with my Cuisinart and I will not get another one of those this time. Time to try one of the other brands! Thanks for all of the helpful posts…..

  24. Terry Zrust
    August 19, 2012 at 6:46 AM

    Any experiences with the Mr. Coffee K-Cup brewers, such as the BVMC-KG5-001? Has anyone had one of these apart? I’d like to know if they have resolved some of the issues mentioned in earlier posts by using corrosion resistant parts (pumps, solinoids).

  25. Deb
    September 17, 2012 at 7:56 AM

    I’ve been a Keurig user for about 3 years now and was a Tassimo user before that. The single serve machines last forever it seems – but are not as convenient as the multi-serve versions. (FWIW: The Tassimo lasted at least 5 years!)

    I had 3 Keurigs break on me in the first 18 months (used between work and home – I’m a tea drinker and like to offer a better coffee solution to visitors to my office.) At the second failure I went to the Breville for the replacement home machine. At 11 months it failed so I replaced it with a Cuisinart, which has been running like a champ for 10 months so far. Meanwhile, I managed to fix the Breville well enough to get another eight months of use out of it. Now it is out of warranty and irreparably broken.

    In short, for the past two years I’ve been using the same Breville and/or Cuisinart machines you discuss here and have been fairly happy with them.

    But I’ve learned a few lessons:

    1. NEVER descale with “descaler” products. White vinegar and water ONLY. (sigh)
    2. Seat your pod firmly in the coffee maker before closing the lid.
    2. Buy your product at a Bed Bath and Beyond if possible. These units *will* break. BB&B makes the return process about as easy and hassle free as it can be made.
    3. Because these break so frequently, warranty is essential. Breville has a 1 year warranty. Cuisinart’s is 3 years. That warranty difference, along with the extra $50 for the Breville, makes the Cuisinart a better overall value IMHO.

  26. Roxanne
    December 25, 2012 at 10:28 AM

    I wonder if both machines heat up water to the same temperature?

  27. Alexandria Gooden
    January 9, 2013 at 1:48 AM

    So Good I made a YouTube video about it! http://youtu.be/Z63DwjfRHmc I have had it for a year and really love it. Makes life so easy!

  28. Floyd
    January 10, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    Roxanne :
    I wonder if both machines heat up water to the same temperature?

    I don’t know about the Breville, but you could change the temp settings on the Cuisinart.

  29. robin
    June 15, 2013 at 5:41 PM

    Bed Bath and Beyond is my hero. We’ve purchased and LOVED the Breville but switched to the Cuisinart after returning 3 Brevilles in a row over in less than 2 years. We are back to the Cuisinart. Each and every time, whether it’s 6 months, or 3 years, BB&B will exchange, no hassle whatsoever! One thing I have to disagree about, our Cusinart is very very quiet compared to the original Keurig. Overall, no leaks, but one time, great coffee and KUDOS to BB&B or else I would go back to my good ole fashioned peculator!

  30. S Batourin
    July 16, 2013 at 5:54 AM

    Thank you for this comparison, it helps for us to chose our next machine.

  31. July 19, 2013 at 1:01 PM

    I am part of the Green Mt coffee club and they replace the the Kcup brewer you use for free. I have used the Breville for 5 years and it was a GREAT machine. Green Mt sent us the Cuisinart as a replacement because thr with the caveat that the Cuisinart is covered by Cusinart for 3 years thereafter Green Mountain will replace it. So kudos to Bed bath and Beyond but Green Mountain has replaced every machine I have ever used just for buying my coffee from their coffee club and they have no minimum as far as I can tell … and they have EVERY Brand and type of K cup. Great comment about China and how it sees us as stupid. I never buy china If I can help it. NEVER EVER FOOD.
    BEst Kcups Tied for 1st DONUT SHOP and A&P 8 O’Clock. 2. Donut House 3 Celestial (only) English Breakfast tea

  32. amr
    July 29, 2013 at 1:54 PM

    I am so happy to have found this blog. I just bought a used Breville on Amazon for less than $100 including shipping. I was looking at the Cuisinart Keurig and Breville on Ebay, and the Breville seems to sell for more than all the other K-cup machines. These postings have made me feel good about my choice. I wish I had read these in advance of my purchase, but at least I will have less buyers remorse now. I am happy to get the little tricks to making it last longer, like making sure the insert is punctured prior to closing the lid and using vinegar and water to descale. I was wondering if anyone has an opinion about using a reusable coffee filter to save money. Brands? Issues? advice? Thanks.

  33. January 20, 2014 at 6:20 PM

    I too have fallen for the “wow, this looks like an excellent machine” and I will spend a lot (relatively speaking) of money to get it syndrome. I had bought one for a friend’s birthday and he loved it so last December I bought one for me. It lasted only one year and now doesn’t work. So, I took it apart as I typically do with most of my stuff that doesn’t work and found what seems to be the problem. The Breville uses two Italian solenoid valves made by CEME S.p.A. It is part number 5000en1 12V. When I opened it up there was rust in it and the plunger spring is broken. Not good for a machine that is only one year old.

    I tried to contact Breville through their website and haven’t heard a word back. Useless. I am now sourcing out a better valve and will see if I can revive it.

  34. January 30, 2014 at 4:54 PM

    Well, I got the new valves from a guy on Ebay and changed them out in my machine. I went with the same as the original valves. It works!!! Yeah! If you would like to do it yourself, drop me an email and I will do what I can to help you out. You could also ship it to me and I will fix it for you.

  35. Frank Williams
    February 3, 2014 at 7:56 AM

    Use the Cuisinart and have tried the self fill option instead of the K-Cup inserts. I need to reset lid and press start a second time to make one cup of coffee. Is this a selinoid problem?

    It works fine with a K=Cup insert.

  36. John
    March 25, 2014 at 7:24 AM

    Very useful article, thank you.

  37. Malherbe
    September 15, 2014 at 8:15 PM

    Do they last longer if you shut them off? We brew in am and evening. My wife wants to leave it on 24/7. I would shut it off after am coffee and pm tea. Which will help the machine last longer?

  38. September 17, 2014 at 9:51 PM

    That is a really good question. I leave mine on all the time and I’m not sure if it makes a difference or not. The one thing I do know makes a difference is using filtered water. I’m using a Brita filtered pitcher for water exclusively and my latest one is still going strong. I think that is one of the biggest things you can do to prolong the life of your device.

  1. February 29, 2012 at 1:06 AM

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