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The 's uncomplicated, sturdy design is a refreshing change from the way other pod coffee brewers are built.

Sides Photo

Olympus SZ-31MR iHS side views

There is a good-sized reservoir on its left side, and a compartment on the right that holds the My K-Cup reusable coffee filter. The power button is also located on the bottom of the right side.

Brewing Chamber Photo

The 's brewing chamber has more of a heavy, well-built feel to it than some other pod coffee makers and is easy to open and close.

Controls 1 Photo

Users can change settings such as brew temperature, brew size, clock, and on/off time on the 's LCD screen. The machine comes with a pre-set temperature of 192 degrees, but users can adjust it by single degrees with the arrows located under the screen.

Also below the screen are "Hot Water" and "Rinse" buttons. Users can choose the serving size for hot water to be used for their hot chocolate or tea. The "Rinse" button funnels out about 4 ounces of water that will help wash away coffee or tea residue.

Controls 2 Photo
Reservoir Photo

You'll find the water reservoir on the back side of the machine.

The 's reservoir is pretty spacious and we measured it out at 2.35 liters (79.46 ounces), which is well above average for a pod coffee maker. Users will be able to get about 8.5 large cups of coffee before having to refill the water reservoir.

In The Box Photo

The comes with a box of 12 assorted K-Cups, but also includes a charcoal water filter that gets rid of some of the bad tastes involved with tap water. Users should soak the filter in tap water for 15 minutes, place it into the filter holder, and lock it into the nozzle at the bottom of the water reservoir.

Cuisinart recommends that you replace the water filter every 60 days or 60 uses. Replacement two-packs will cost about $10.

To determine how strong of a brew you're going to get from the we have two brewing trials for the largest and smallest settings on the device. We use a refractometer to calculate the total dissolved solids (TDS) of each cup. More on how we test the brewing process.

The measured out with a high of 0.61 TDS on our large cup test, which isn't the worst we've seen but is relatively weak if you're looking for a strong brew. As is to be expected with a smaller amount of water and Keurig's "Dark Magic" blend, the 's smaller cup came out with a much higher result with 1.40 TDS. This number was greater than most of our previous reviews and proved that strong Keurig coffee can be brewed.

The doesn't take much time to warm up and brew as the small cup took only 33 seconds and we brewed the large cup in 1:08.

You can decide to brew drinks as small as 6 ounces and as large as 12 ounces with the option to make 4-ounce cold drinks.

The isn't tough to use and follows along the same simple brewing process as other Keurig-brewed machines.

Step 1
Brewing Process Step 1 Photo

There's nothing out of the ordinary when it comes to setting up the for brewing. First step is to place your cup beneath the brewing chamber.

Step 2
Brewing Process Step 2 Photo

Next, users need to ensure that the water reservoir is full and ready to go. The doesn't even let you view the menu options without having the proper amount of water in the reservoir.

Step 3
Brewing Process Step 3 Photo

You should then place the K-Cup inside the 's brewing chamber and close the brewing chamber by pulling the lever down.

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Brewing Process Step 4 Photo

You will have the option of deciding how hot you want your drink. The comes with a pre-set temperature of 192 degrees and you can raise or lower that number with the arrows below the screen. While this isn't a feature that common in all pod coffee brewers, many of the newer Keurig machines, such as the Keurig Special Edition B60, offer users the option.

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Brewing Process Step 5 Photo

There's also the option to decide the size of your drink, which ranges from 6-12 ounces and an option of 4 ounces for cold drinks.

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Brewing Process Step 6 Photo

Hit "Brew" and your coffee will start to dispense!

There aren't too many loose parts in the to clean. Users can pull out and wash the reservoir and its top, the drip catcher and platform, and the "My K-Cup" filter. Cuisinart says that the reservoir and its lid should stay out of the dishwasher and that users should clean them with a damp, soapy, non-abrasive cloth.

Other Features 1 Photo

One of the 's best features is its My K-Cup filter. The filter is stored in a compartment on the right side and allows you to use your own grains when brewing coffee. You can use this filter if the K-Cups aren't quite strong enough for you or if you prefer another brand.
The 's MSRP ($199) is about $30 more than the Bosch Tassimo T45, but users will get what they pay for. The produces an impressive TDS of 1.40 in the small cup while the Tassimo T45 tops out at 1.15. The SS-700 also beats the T45 in speed as it brews in 68 seconds while the T45 takes 90 seconds to make coffee. Its water reservoir is much bigger: 79.5 ounces compared to 52 ounces. Furthermore,T45's reservoir isn't easy to remove because it's at the back of the machine and it will only brew the Tassimo T Discs and not ones from competing manufacturers. If you still need convincing, the SS-700 allows users to customize their brewing process with cup size and temperature settings.

In short, the Cuisinart makes better coffee and is more versatile than the Tassimo model, all for just thirty dollars more. You'll get a lot of value out of that extra $30.
The was much better than the Mr. Coffee BVMC-KG1-WM-001 in our TDS test, 1.40 to 0.70, and it requires half the amount of time to brew a cup. While Mr. Coffee is about as basic as a pod coffee brewer gets, the SS-700 gives users a good amount of freedom in the brewing process with five different cup sizes and a "My K-Cup" filter. The BVMC-KG1-WM-001's water reservoir is also much smaller and harder to remove and clean.

The disparity in performance and flexibility isn't surprising because the BVMC-KG1-WM-001 costs only $78 MSRP and the SS-700 is priced at $199. If all you care about is a quick cup and aren't concerned with brew strength or aesthetics, you should go for the far-cheaper Mr. Coffee.
The Keurig Special Edition B60 ($150 MSRP) and the ($199) have similar customization options. They both LCD-lit screens, and almost identical brewing steps. And both are also in the same bracket for time spent brewing a cup, as each small cup took about 33 seconds and the large cup took just over 1:20. The sets itself apart from the B60 in our TDS test, however, as it blows past it in maximum TDS 1.40 to 0.56.

The also has an advantage over the B60 is its sturdy design, big reservoir and the compartment on its right side that holds its "My K-Cup" filter.
The makes stronger coffee than most other machines, but its price ($199) is also higher than most other pod coffee makers. The SS-700 provides more customization options than most other brewers and users don't need to refill the reservoir very often (79.5 ounces). Customers will also like the 's heavy design that tends to escape K-Cup brewed pod coffee makers. That design also includes a compartment on the right side for its "My K-Cup" filter. The SS-700 does well with usability ratings and its maximum TDS numbers (1.40) prove that it's a top-flight pod coffee brewer.

The SS-700 is pricier than many other pod coffee makers, but it brews relatively strong coffee while giving users customization options and a large reservoir that other high-performing brewers don't have. The may not appeal to those who require the heaviest of brews, but is a good option for those looking for a machine that scores high in most areas.

Meet the testers

Patrick Ouellette

Patrick Ouellette

Staff Writer

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Patrick Ouellette is a valued contributor to the Reviewed.com family of sites.

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