GE Cafe Series CYE22UELDS Counter Depth Refrigerator Review
This game-changing fridge will brew coffee for you
Imagine that you wake up, stumble to the kitchen, pop a K-cup into your refrigerator, wait for the water to heat, then pour coffee into your mug. With your free hand, you open the door, and grab the cream.
If there’s something about that scenario that sounds surreal, welcome to the GE Café Series CYE22UELDS counter depth French door refrigerator. It has an integrated Keurig single-serve brewer, so it can make you a cuppa joe to start your day. It isn't the world's best coffee, but the novelty (Really? I can make coffee from my fridge?) goes a long way.
When we reviewed the standard depth version of this refrigerator, we loved it, and that was even before it dispensed coffee.
Now, there’s more to love. This counter depth model still has a control panel that shows animations, dispenses hot water and two sizes of ice. Plus, it will still measure out the water for you with its Precise Fill feature. The color LCD screen lets you upload pictures to make a slideshow, a really small one, at a kid's eye level.
And with its WiFi connectivity, you can ask Alexa to tell the fridge to prepare some coffee.
The Black Slate finish on our model is unique to GE, and it's a big change from the typical stainless steel. You won't be able to get that finish from any other brand. A bonus for some families: magnets stick to it, so go ahead and post school schedules and art projects.
Black kitchens are in style right now, and this fridge could blend into one, though its rugged good looks could be the star of almost any kitchen. The dark matte finish gives it a handsome, stone-like look, but you can purchase the refrigerator in a stainless model (the GE CYE22USHSS), if you prefer.
Smoothly rounded stainless handles give the fridge a professional look, and feel comfortable in the hand. And this is a counter depth model, giving it the look of a built-in.
There’s a pull-out shelf in the dispenser area, so a larger mug fits comfortably. (You can specify six, eight, or 10 ounces of coffee from the Keurig.) The lower edge of the shelf feels a bit sharp, but it’s a small complaint.
If you like this fridge but don't want a coffee dispenser, the stainless steel CYE22TSHSS is otherwise identical—and sells for about $2,780.
Touch Screen Controls
Clear and easy to read, the control panel is a delight. Safety first: a three-second touch locks the water and ice, so a child won’t get hurt or adjust the temperature controls.
It takes two motions, a turn to the left and a push, to dispense hot water or coffee from the spigot. It’s not intuitive the first time, but it will be in short order.
We loved the way the control panel talked to us, providing instructions on how to make coffee. (Once it gets annoying, a touch of a button turns the sound off.) The animations on the touch screen were equally useful without the chitchat.
Dispensing hot water was easy, and it lets you choose whether you'd like it to be the right temperature for coffee or cocoa.
When we threw open the doors, the showcase LED lights were bright, putting the spotlight on the food. The light in the full-width cool drawer changes color according to its setting, which can be meat, cheese, or beverage.
Bins on the right door are capacious and adjustable. Beneath the butter compartment, an additional shelf pulls down when you need extra space, maybe for a few cups of yogurt.
The bins in the left door are smaller, because they’re sharing the space with the icemaker. They could be ideal for condiment bottles, if not for much else. When it’s time to change out the water filter, look for it on the left side of the main compartment.
If you want a fridge without through-the-door ice and water, the $2,700 CWE23SSHSS puts a cold-only water dispenser inside the door and ice down in the freezer for a cleaner exterior look. It's only available in stainless.
Two crispers provide separate storage space for fruits and vegetables with separate humidity sliders that let you choose fruits or vegetables.
Good to know: our tests showed that the temperature in the fridge stayed at safe levels to keep food fresh.
We liked the bottom freezer, because its solid drawers don’t allow frozen peas or corn to escape to the unreachable zone, the way they do with freezers with mesh baskets. A bin on the freezer door is the ideal size in which to stash your popsicles or spare sticks of butter.
In our tests, the freezer did well maintaining an appropriate temperature.
More and more often, refrigerators are built with two evaporators, so refrigerated foods stay fresh and frozen foods stay glacial. They also ensure that odors don't pass from the fridge into the freezer. TwinChill evaporators do the job here. Features like Turbo Cool and Turbo Freeze up the chill when you need it.
The Bottom Line
American-made, with stellar features, this French door fridge will store your fresh and frozen food, and get your day off to a strong start. Sure, it’s an investment at over $3,000, but with all these desirable features, it can actually be a good value.
If you can swing this multi-talented refrigerator, it will probably make you happy. User reviews praise its features (the Keurig, especially) and its good looks. A small number had issues with the water system.
One of the side benefits you'll discover: you can put away the coffeemaker, creating additional space on the counter. Now, if it could just learn to make toast...
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