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Brazen or Bonavita
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CoolBeanz
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Feb 2013
Posts: 8
Location: Colorado
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Mar 12, 2013, 5:04pm
Subject: Brazen or Bonavita
 

Hi,

I'm somewhat new here and new to trying to make the "perfect" cup of coffee.  I enjoy coffee daily out of my aging Saeco machine using a blade grinder and beans from my local Safeway that roasts fresh daily or from Starbucks.  Obviously a lot of room for improvement :)

I want to buy a new drip machine.  I'm stuck between the Brazen and Bonavita.  Leaving out the Technivorm as I do not want to spend $300 for a machine at this time.  I like the adjust-ability of the Brazen and the simplicity of the Bonavita but I'm not sure which way to go.  They both seem to get good reviews.  I prefer the look of the Brazen but could live with either.  The Bonavita is $50 less, not a big deal, but $50 is $50. Any thoughts on which way I should go, pros, cons?  If it makes any difference, I live at 9000' - would the Brazen be the way to go since I can, in theory, better compensate for my elevation?  

I will purchase a decent quality burr grinder at the same time, budget around $200 for the grinder.

Thanks!
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frcn
Senior Member
frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,427
Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
Grinder: Mazzer Kony, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Hario, 2 Cory pots, 1 Cory...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Bunn A10 mod...
Roaster: computer controlled Hottop,...
Posted Tue Mar 12, 2013, 6:01pm
Subject: Re: Brazen or Bonavita
 

About ten years ago home espresso machines made espresso at whatever temperature (or temperature range) the machine was designed for. Now many of them come with electronic temperature controls. Anyone really serious today gets an espresso machine which has adjustable temperature- maybe not as the first machine, but certainly as a second. Is there even one other home drip machine which has this sort of control other than the Brazen? Even discounting all the other features like the calibration function, altitude adjustment, preinfusion (which makes a big difference), the adjustable temperature, and precise temperature control put it at the  top of home drip brewers... in my opinion. It gives repeatability, day after day, that allows you to really taste the difference small changes make, and when you find something that works, it is easy to repeat the effort. Add unsurpassed customer service, and I have to ask, "Are there any other questions, class?" See my review on my website for details.

 
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,891
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600+, CO/UFO combo
Posted Tue Mar 12, 2013, 9:09pm
Subject: Re: Brazen or Bonavita
 

I own a Brazen, and agree with Randy on it's merits. But to be fair, many nice words have also been said about the Bonavita.
My choice also involved the level of customer service (if ever needed) that Behmor provides. They have lots of experience, as they also manufacture the popular Behmor 1600 coffee roaster.

IMO, the Brazen offers the ultimate control for getting the best from your beans via drip method.
BTW, one thing often not mentioned about the Brazen is it's ability to emulate a manual pour (Chemex/Hario) style brew profile using the "Manual Release" function. Also, the pre-infusion ability and it's adjustability is unique in an auto drip brewer.

Of course, being a BraZen owner, I'm familiar only with it.

I'm sure you'll hear from happy Bonavita owners as well.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
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CoolBeanz
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Feb 2013
Posts: 8
Location: Colorado
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Mar 13, 2013, 4:50am
Subject: Re: Brazen or Bonavita
 

Randy, Rob,  Thank you for your responses and information!  Randy, I enjoyed looking through your website and reading you reviews.  

I was already leaning towards the Brazen, I just needed a little push to make it happen.

Regardless of the coffee maker, am I going to have difficulty making good coffee at 9000'?  Or will the Brazen completely compensate for my elevation?
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frcn
Senior Member
frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,427
Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
Grinder: Mazzer Kony, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Hario, 2 Cory pots, 1 Cory...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Bunn A10 mod...
Roaster: computer controlled Hottop,...
Posted Wed Mar 13, 2013, 6:52am
Subject: Re: Brazen or Bonavita
 

Unless you  build a pressurized chamber, nothing can compensate for a 9000 foot altitude. But since the brazen does have an adjustment for altitude it should do a bit better since at least it know where it is at.Check with the Behmor folks and ask specifics about that.

 
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__________
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Sep 2006
Posts: 919
Location: .
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Machine now fixed ;o)
Grinder: None
Vac Pot: None
Drip: None
Roaster: None
Posted Wed Mar 13, 2013, 7:11am
Subject: Re: Brazen or Bonavita
 

I don't have a Brazen, so this is based only on what I learned on another well respected forum, from a well respected poster.

The reason you set the altitude is so that the device can calibrate it's temperature settings.  

The device heats the water until it detects that it is boiling.  

By reference to the set altitude, and a resulting assumed atmospheric pressure,  it can then calculate what that boiling temperature is, and calibrate its internal settings against that.  

Not sure it makes much difference in the actual coffee making process, but it does mean you get the water temperature you set, and allows you to re-calibrate in the future to compensate for any component inaccuracy and drift over time.  I'm guessing it then may also stop you from setting a brew temperature higher than boiling, but not sure.

Quite clever really.
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frcn
Senior Member
frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,427
Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
Grinder: Mazzer Kony, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Hario, 2 Cory pots, 1 Cory...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Bunn A10 mod...
Roaster: computer controlled Hottop,...
Posted Wed Mar 13, 2013, 10:09am
Subject: Re: Brazen or Bonavita
 

I would guess that if a machine with a boiler open to the atmosphere (not a sealed boiler) is set to boil water at 210, as an example, and has a sensor that will not begin the brew cycle until the water reaches that set temperature, and the machine is at a high altitude where water boils at a lower temperature, the water will never reach that set temperature, the machine will never start the brew cycle, and it will boil itself dry trying to achieve its programmed temperature.

 
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dyqik
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Oct 2011
Posts: 383
Location: Cambridge, MA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera BZ07 PM
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso...
Vac Pot: Cona D
Drip: Bona-Vita, CCD, Aeropress.
Roaster: Gene Cafe, Modded Poppers
Posted Wed Mar 13, 2013, 10:56am
Subject: Re: Brazen or Bonavita
 

In contrast to that, the Bonavita will just heat water until it boils in the heating element tube, and then pass the water out to the spray head at whatever temperature it comes out at.  The Bonavita is consistent and fairly well built, and consistently hotter than most machines, but it's not going to give you the controllability you may need to get the best from your coffee at high altitude.

(Currently drinking an excellent home roasted Costa Rican from my office BV, but at more like 45' above MSL)
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CoolBeanz
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Feb 2013
Posts: 8
Location: Colorado
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sat Mar 16, 2013, 6:33am
Subject: Re: Brazen or Bonavita
 

I ordered a Brazen this morning!
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LiferJuice
Senior Member
LiferJuice
Joined: 27 Jul 2009
Posts: 75
Location: USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Capresso Infinity Stainless
Drip: Behmor, Technivorm
Posted Sun Mar 17, 2013, 11:51am
Subject: Re: Brazen or Bonavita
 

CoolBeanz Said:

I ordered a Brazen this morning!

Posted March 16, 2013 link

You did good.
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