If you know your regular coffee order by heart or like to play with new combinations, the Cuisinart Veloce coffee machine will have you covered. This coffee machine is great value for money when you consider that it grinds the beans, steams the milk, and cleans itself after every use. I’ve had the pleasure of putting the Cuisinart Veloce coffee machine to the test for almost a month now, and I can attest that it’s easy to use and packed with features that make it fun to experiment with different beans and drinks.
Take a look at our best bean to cup coffee machine buying guide for more options
Before we get into this Cuisinart Veloce coffee machine review, here’s a bit about me, the reviewer. Working a commercial coffee machine used to be part of my job, so when I do fancy a coffee I always prefer one that’s freshly ground and made with an espresso machine. The Cuisinart Veloce coffee machine has an automatic milk steamer that allows you to select the amount of foam you want in your coffee and portion accordingly. This is a feature I hadn’t tried until this year, but it has a lot of advantages in terms of convenience and removing the human error from steaming milk.
Find out more about the Cuisinart Veloce in this review, or take a look at the best coffee machines for more options.
Ideal Home’s rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Reasons to buy:
- Remembers up to 4 custom drinks
- Easy to operate
- Cleaning is straightforward
- Setup is guided by the machine itself
- Everything is adjustable
- Automatic milk steamer
- A mid-price bean-to-cup coffee machine
Reasons to avoid:
- Needs cleaning every time after steaming milk
- Water and grounds container may be small for regular coffee drinkers
- Coffee type: beans or ground
- Control type: digital
- Water tank capacity: 1.25 litres
- Pressure: 15 bar
- Power: 1550 watts
- Power cord length: 1.2 metres
- Dimensions: W20 x H32 x D40cm (+ milk frother)
- Weight: 10.5kg
The Cuisinart Veloce instructions are very thorough, but there’s also a Quick Start leaflet included that makes it easy to get going. The machine itself simply needed beans to be added, and the water tank (which pulls out of the front) to be filled with fresh water. Once the drip tray had installed I was able to get started with long coffees and espressos.
The milk container comes with a freezer pack which can be attached throughout the day to keep the milk fresh. You can also store it in the fridge between uses.
There’s a long tube that needs to be inserted into the back of the machine and around through the side until it sticks out to the machine’s right side. Then it’s a case of inserting it through the grooved side of the milk case and through the hole at the top of the milk container. The container slots inside a black case that matches the Cuisinart Veloce, but doesn’t actually attach to it in any way.
The milk container has a capacity of 650ml, but there are no milk measurements on the plastic itself, which makes it a little tricky when you just want to measure out enough milk for one coffee.
The machine tells you when it needs more coffee, grounds emptying, more water, or milk nozzle cleaning, with visual guides on the screen. These are very helpful as they visually indicate what to do.
Cuisinart Veloce: Design
First things first, the small footprint of the Cuisinart Veloce is perfect for my compact kitchen. It’s narrow and deep, but the beans need to be refilled at the top of the machine, so placing it under low counters can be a little annoying as you’ll need to lift up the top lid to top up.
The black exterior is reflective (a little annoying for taking review photos but other than that very pleasing) and the dispenser clicks up and down to fit all types of drink.
Refilling the water and emptying coffee grounds is convenient because you simply pull both containers out from the front of the machine. That’s good, because while I had no issues with water running out fast, my partner (who drinks a lot more coffee than me) complained that he had to refill the water a lot more frequently than he is used to doing with his Lavazza coffee machine. It’s the same story with the coffee ground container, which fills up on average every two days (or, for those who don’t drink about six cups a day, every 12 cups or so).
The controls are digital and operated through a touchscreen display. I am pretty loyal to my more traditional Sage coffee machine and wasn’t expecting to enjoy a touchscreen, but I was wrong. The screen shows a menu of different coffees (latte, cappuccino, espresso, americano, hot milk, hot water) and you can select either a circular display or a grid-like option depending on preferences.
When you click on a coffee you can increase or decrease your desired volume up to 300ml. For milky drinks you can then choose the level of desired foam (from one to three plus signs) and the proportion of milk to coffee, in percentages. Milk comes first and coffee second, but pressing the stop button will stop milk and move onto coffee, or stop the cycle altogether if it’s on its final stage.
You can also choose your desired strength on a scale of one to five coffee beans. You can also adjust the grind itself on the top container of the machine, from fine (for a more rich coffee) to coarse for a less strong flavour.
When selecting your coffee you can decide to make one cup or two. Pressing two will essentially double the coffee volume produced, but because the filter is only one shot, it will make two espressos one after the other if you choose to make two. I did sometimes find myself selecting two coffees when I wanted one large one, because 300ml is actually quite a conservative size when compared to my regular latte.
Cuisinart Veloce: Is it good?
The first coffee we made in the Cuisinart Veloce was very weak. We even bought more expensive coffee to see if it was the type of bean we had chosen. We just found that the coffee was less strong as standard when compared to my regular Sage Barista. I adjusted the grind settings to make my coffee extra fine, and made sure to bump up the strength settings when selecting my drink, which did counteract this. The Cuisinart Veloce lets you adjust your settings depending on the type of coffee you’re using, which is great for coffee enthusiasts.
I was pretty impressed by the lattes the Cuisinart Veloce made. The milk steaming is seriously great, far better than the Swan coffee machine I had tested just before it (although, admittedly, the Cuisinart Veloce is four times the price).
What I didn’t like was the fact that you need to clean the milk nozzle after every latte you make. This means getting a cup of cold water and placing the nozzle inside to rinse out the dispenser. I always kept a cup of water handy when making coffee for the immediate cleaning mode that followed. It was then a case of removing the milk container and placing it in the fridge. While it takes out the work of actually steaming the milk by hand, it does make you work in other ways.
One thing I enjoyed was the ability to save four drinks to your menu for personalised settings. As a household of two we only use two of these slots but it meant I could make my partner his go-to coffee, or him mine, without me having to explain that I wanted 40% coffee, 300ml, at 4 strength, with +++ of foam. A bit of a mouthful, to say the least.
I struggled to figure out how to save custom drinks, but it turns out that you need to press down a setting for three seconds for it to open a separate display with the option to save as a custom drink. When making an americano, it is also possible to select a ‘carafe’ option which is great for those who want to serve out filter coffee to a crowd.
Cleaning the Cuisinart Veloce
This coffee machine takes care of the daily cleaning (milk nozzle aside) itself, which is fab. It runs a quick descale after every espresso and americano. In the month I tested it never asked me to run a cleaning setting. I did though, just to see if it’s easy to do, which it is. Everything you need to clean the machine comes included. There are instructions on the screen when you select a clean mode in the settings bar, which really helps.
When starting to clean you are instructed to place a cleaning tablet in the grid that sits next to the coffee beans. Then you just need to close this, fill up the water dispenser, and ideally place a large mug underneath the dispenser. The machine will intermittently clean itself, pausing to remind you to empty the drip tray, but I found it was a lot easier to empty a mug.
You can choose the temperature from moderately warm to extra hot using the settings on the Cuisinart Veloce. Extra hot is advised, but I switched to moderately warm when making an iced coffee.
There are also two heating modes, the eco mode (great for those who don’t plan on using the machine all too regularly) and standard mode. This keeps the machine ready to go and warm between uses.
Should you buy the Cuisinart Veloce coffee machine?
The Cuisinart Veloce retails for a standard price of £600, which is a lot of money for any coffee machine. For a bean-to-cup with fully automatic steaming though, it’s actually below the industry standard. If you do want a machine that does all the grinding and steaming for you then it’s a good option. Those who want to feel a bit more involved in the process may prefer a coffee machine that allows you to grind and tamp your own coffee and then brew the espresso from a separate outlet, such as the Breville Barista Express.
If convenience is your key concern, I would recommend the Cuisinart Veloce. It does offer a lot of customization and you can even save your own preferences with one of the four save slots. This is also a good compact option, especially if you don’t plan on leaving the milk container out on the side.
About this review, and the reviewer
Millie Fender is small appliances editor at Ideal Home. She reviews everything from coffee machines to air fryers from her own kitchen, meaning these tests have been carried out in the same conditions that you’ll be using the machine.
The Cuisinart Veloce was kindly loaned by Cuisinart, and Millie tested for a month before returning it. This gave her the chance to test all of its functions as well as cleaning and check for any troubleshooting. While she prefers a frothy latte or an iced cappuccino, her partner is never running on less than three americanos, so the Cuisinart Veloce was very thoroughly tested.