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Bonavita Automatic Brewer - 1st Look
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EricBNC
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Espresso: QM Silvano, LP Stradivarius,...
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Drip: Bonavita BV-1800,...
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Posted Thu Dec 8, 2011, 10:44am
Subject: Bonavita Automatic Brewer - 1st Look
 

I had the opportunity to try on of these Bonavita Automatic Brewer coffee makers recently and I like what I find.  This design has been available for a while overseas named as the Melitta Aroma Excellence.  A British member of our forum - Keepitsimple - uses one of the 220v models and speaks highly of it.  The coffee maker looks nice with a brushed steel exterior and a blue tinted water reservoir and black trim.  The design is simple - a switch to turn the unit on with a built in 2 hour cut off for the glass carafe model.

EricBNC: IMG_0665-700.jpg
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I chew coffee beans with my teeth while gargling with 195 F water to enjoy coffee. What is this "coffee brewing" device you speak of?
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zhens
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Joined: 15 Oct 2009
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Location: Louisville
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Thu Dec 8, 2011, 8:07pm
Subject: Re: Bonavita Automatic Brewer - 1st Look
 

I heard from the guys over at PrimaCoffee that this is fantastic machine. They've put it through some tests and have found consistent temps of 202 (90% sure that's what they said) in the coffee bed during brewing. I believe the price point, when it finally comes stateside, is going to be substantially less than the Technivorms.
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EricBNC
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EricBNC
Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Posts: 1,828
Location: North Carolina
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: QM Silvano, LP Stradivarius,...
Grinder: K30, Major, Preciso, Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam C30, Bodum Santos...
Drip: Bonavita BV-1800,...
Roaster: Behmor, Melitta, Fresh...
Posted Fri Dec 9, 2011, 10:43pm
Subject: Re: Bonavita Automatic Brewer - 1st Look
 

Looks like Intelligentsia is carrying these too - the thermal carafe model from what I see on their web site.

Click Here (www.intelligentsiacoffee.com)

I like the shower head design - it does a nice job wetting the grounds.

EricBNC: IMG_0666-700.jpg
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I chew coffee beans with my teeth while gargling with 195 F water to enjoy coffee. What is this "coffee brewing" device you speak of?
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EricBNC
Senior Member
EricBNC
Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Posts: 1,828
Location: North Carolina
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: QM Silvano, LP Stradivarius,...
Grinder: K30, Major, Preciso, Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam C30, Bodum Santos...
Drip: Bonavita BV-1800,...
Roaster: Behmor, Melitta, Fresh...
Posted Sun Dec 11, 2011, 2:44pm
Subject: Re: Bonavita Automatic Brewer - 1st Look
 

I had the opportunity to take the Bonavita BV-1800 automatic coffee brewer over to a friend's house to brew some test pots for comparison of time and taste results between this machine and his Technivorm Moccamaster KBT-741coffee brewer.  Both machines were filled to 1.25 liters and the same amount of grams were added.  The Technivorm was started while the grinder prepared the coffee for the Bonavita so I was unable to get a clear feel for brew times but the Technivorm produced drips of water a little (estimate less than 30 seconds) quicker and did finish quicker.  

So close but no cigar for the Bonavita BV-1800 automatic coffee brewer (took around six and a half minutes) is what you might think until you examine things a little closer.  The grounds are more evenly saturated in the Bonavita's basket.  The Technivorm looked like a hole had been bored into the middle of the basket. Working the restrictor valve on the basket will correct this but also adds time to the brewing process - figure in a 15 second pre-infusion along with another 15 seconds extra it takes the Bonavita to start pushing water on the grounds and the actual water/grounds contact brew time is very close.

I tested this at home in a controlled setting using 1 liter of water and 60g fresh ground coffee - from the time I hit the power switch till the brewing stops  (when the drops from the bottom of the basket become slow and irregular) I measure five minutes and twenty seconds. The coffee is extremely hot and well extracted.  as for taste, the brewer saturates well and can work with either less coffee or a coarser ground coffee if a faster pot is needed, but for me the extraction using a fine auto drip grind is perfect - full flavored but not bitter.  

When we taste tested the pots from the Technivorm and the Bonavita side by side the quality of cup from each machine is comparable and, in our opinion with this coffee at least, virtually identical.

 
I chew coffee beans with my teeth while gargling with 195 F water to enjoy coffee. What is this "coffee brewing" device you speak of?
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roastedcharlie
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Joined: 14 Dec 2011
Posts: 3
Location: Needham, MA
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Wed Dec 14, 2011, 1:15pm
Subject: Re: Bonavita Automatic Brewer - 1st Look
 

Thank you so much for this review of the Bonavita automatic brewer, both here and the additional information in the currently running thread "Question about plain ol' drip coffee makers".  

I just can't figure out why this should be so difficult - a drip brewer that heats the water to 200 degrees, and has a good shower head to evenly saturate the grounds.

I have considered buying a Tehnivorm Moccamaster, but the price just seemed hard to justify.

Well, I just ordered the Bonavita as a Christmas present to my coffee loving wife, mainly on the basis of your review.  (I know she'll really like her other presents, the jewelry, but day in day out, I expect she will LOVE the coffee.  And yes, this was a ploy to have Santa get me a present as well, even though I am on the "naughty list".)


My only question is over the length of brew time.  In your review you state:
"So close but no cigar for the Bonavita BV-1800 automatic coffee brewer (took around six and a half minutes) is what you might think until you examine things a little closer.  The grounds are more evenly saturated in the Bonavita's basket.  The Technivorm looked like a hole had been bored into the middle of the basket. Working the restrictor valve on the basket will correct this but also adds time to the brewing process - figure in a 15 second pre-infusion along with another 15 seconds extra it takes the Bonavita to start pushing water on the grounds and the actual water/grounds contact brew time is very close."

So my question is "Could the longer brew time might actually be a plus, as it allows a more thorough saturation of the grounds as the scalding hot water drips more slowly drips/seeps through?"

I certainly could wait the little bit of time if it means a good cup of coffee. But given the "even saturated" grounds from the Bonavita, could its particular shower head pattern + longer drip time actually result in a superior brew than the Technivorm where the grounds "looked like a hole had been bored into the middle of the basket?

I know the ultimate test is the taste, and believe me, I will settle for "virtually identical" for the two machines.

Thanks again, and best wishes for happy holidays and a healthy, happy new year to you!
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__________
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Posted Thu Dec 15, 2011, 4:54am
Subject: Re: Bonavita Automatic Brewer - 1st Look
 

The "brew time range", i.e. the minimum/maximum time the water is in contact with the coffee, are broad standards set by a couple of the Coffee Standard Institutes - mainly the US and European ones. They aren't exactly the same, but very similar I think.  There is a fair amount of science behind it and if you do a search you'll probably find plenty to read ;o)

Those standards, along with temperatures etc. are reckoned to bring out the best in the coffee being used.  Individual taste might differ from that, but they are at least a benchmark against which to measure the capabilities of drip machines.

I don't know if the Technivorm used in the comparison is a recent or older model. The older ones did have a very poor spray pattern.  Newer ones are an improvement, but the Bonavita one is still better in my experience.  

As to why most domestic * machines don't achieve that standard - probably a sacrifice to aesthetic design, manufacturing cost, possibly power requirements in 110v territories, but mainly most customers not knowing any better.

Your wife will like the Bonavita machine, and given good quality freshly ground coffee, you'll get a very good result.

Edit * comments are limited to domestic type machines.
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roastedcharlie
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Joined: 14 Dec 2011
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Location: Needham, MA
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Thu Dec 15, 2011, 8:11pm
Subject: Re: Bonavita Automatic Brewer - 1st Look
 

Thanks for information.

I'm getting excited for my wife to get that Bonavita brewer.

It hasn't yet arrived.

But I'm not sure that she needs to wait all the way until Christmas to open it.

She has been very good this year, and maybe she should have a cup as soon as it arrives.
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farmroast
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Posted Fri Dec 16, 2011, 2:41pm
Subject: Re: Bonavita Automatic Brewer - 1st Look
 

Terroir Coffee in Acton, Ma. has them too.

 
Ed Bourgeois... LMWDP #167
please visit my blog
http://coffee-roasting.blogspot.com/
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roastedcharlie
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Joined: 14 Dec 2011
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Location: Needham, MA
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Sat Dec 17, 2011, 8:49am
Subject: Re: Bonavita Automatic Brewer - 1st Look
 

Thanks for letting me know that I could have bought it locally, but I had already ordered it from Intellegentsia.

Still, looking at your site, I am pleased to see you the Bonavita Brewer high praise, indeed:

"We are ecstatic about the new Bonavita brewers. We have been using them as our electric brewer of choice in our cupping room since this past summer. They are SCAA approved. The Bonavita brewer features a well thought out design, including a larger spray head that fully saturates the grounds for perfect extraction. The heating element brews at ideal temperature of 197 - 202 degrees."

Your post was the first introduction to a nearby treasure I didn't know existed. I really appreciate the tremendous info you have on your site, including some great videos.

Now I just have to get up to Terroir Coffee in Acton this weekend to buy the perfect coffee to go with this brewer.
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rwyble
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Joined: 26 Aug 2006
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Location: Massachusetts
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Dec 17, 2011, 10:43am
Subject: Re: Bonavita Automatic Brewer - 1st Look
 

roastedcharlie Said:

Now I just have to get up to Terroir Coffee in Acton this weekend to buy the perfect coffee to go with this brewer.

Posted December 17, 2011 link

You may want to phone first.  My understanding (subject to correction, as always) is that they are not set up for walk-in customers, and you may or may not be able to purchase coffee on-site.  I live fairly near your location, and I order from Terroir online.  UPS ground delivers the next day, and the price of shipping is far less than the cost of starting my car.
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