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Discussions > Coffee > Machines > Behmor Brazen...  
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Dripp
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Oct 2004
Posts: 143
Location: Ohio
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Andreja Premium
Grinder: Baratza Vario and virtuoso
Vac Pot: Bodum Chambord FP
Drip: Behmor Brazen
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Thu May 30, 2013, 6:52pm
Subject: Re: Behmor Brazen users weigh in
 

Just buy it- you'll love it. I've only had mine for a month or so and it replaced my capresso coffeetec that I had for 7 years. I never really achieved the quality I expected with the capresso, but the behmor produces one excellent cup. Sure it dribbles when I pour, so I take off the lid first and pour over a sink. Big deal. I also only fill my water reservoir to the calibration line, and with 30 g of coffee it still produces a great cup. I'm a huge fan of my behmor roAster, and an equally big fan of my brazen. I fuss over a lot of things coffee related, but drips aren't one of them.
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Spitz
Senior Member
Spitz
Joined: 7 Apr 2006
Posts: 177
Location: Toronto
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: VBM DD v3
Grinder: Compak K10 PB
Vac Pot: Hario Vac
Drip: 8c Chemex, Hario Hand-Drip,...
Roaster: Hottop P
Posted Thu May 30, 2013, 7:20pm
Subject: Re: Behmor Brazen users weigh in
 

Listen to Randy aka FRCN and really anyone with something good to say about the BraZen.  The BraZen like all products, or most anyway, had 'teething' problems, I had most of the issues that have been brought up and some have just gone away without doing anything - the water dropping after pulling the filter basket has stopped for some reason...


The issues are nothing to write home about, IMHO.  Unless the unit is actually a defect, in that case it should just be replaced.  If it was truly a poor product the sentiment and feedback in this thread would be MUCH different.  It's not a bad price and I believe it brews better than any other auto brew period.
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Prof
Senior Member
Prof
Joined: 10 Sep 2004
Posts: 712
Location: Seattle
Expertise: Pro Roaster

Espresso: PV Lusso
Grinder: Pharos 696
Drip: Aeropress
Roaster: Behmor 1600+
Posted Thu May 30, 2013, 8:11pm
Subject: Re: Behmor Brazen users weigh in
 

It is not wise to be a perfectionist, for you will never be happy.

Anyway, an early Brazen just dumped the water out on its own without any help from me or the buttons.  

A new machine was dispatched with a mail label to send the defective one to Chocolate Alchemy in Eugene, OR, for their work to inspect and learn from the problem.

The second Brazen is working perfectly.  I use Brita filtered water for every pot.

 
LMWDP # 010
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woodscomp
Senior Member


Joined: 29 May 2013
Posts: 14
Location: Knoxville
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Thu May 30, 2013, 9:01pm
Subject: Re: Behmor Brazen users weigh in
 

Mfoster

I purchased mine at release last fall. Not sure of the exact date, I would have to look that up. Being in East TN we do not have excessive hard water. However I have always used the commercial Bunn filter system in my home to reduce the scale that accumulates in most coffee equipment. It is a great system to use and is worth the hundred dollars or so for the initial purchase.

I have always cleaned my machines weekly, it is what I do. My issues with the Brazen first appeared within two weeks of ownership. I have been in contact with Behmor since the beginning and have taken whatever they recommend as a solution. Leaving a little water in the bottom of the kettle is not a big deal. Leaving an inch of water is. The other day my wife tried to make a pot and None of the water left the kettle.

I dissolve the lemi-shine before putting it in the machine, then I turn it on, let it heat up to 190 and shut it down. Put the cover on it and let it sit for 30 minutes before running a manual release.

I have never had an issue running the manual release. I have never had a scale build up on the machine. It looks like it is brand new.
I have not been offered a replacement. I was told to buy a reverse osmosis by the Behmor CS.

In the carafe I did not hear or feel anything, my coffee had a very sour taste, it was as if it almost tasted like it was a flavored coffee of hazlenut. I contacted Behmor regarding this and they told me I had a bad carafe and sent me a new one. After they told me the carafe was bad that is when I swirled it on the counter and you could hear and feel the liquid between the walls.

They knew immediately from my description what the issue was. Yes it dribbles, unless you pull the lid and pour. Makes a mess, very awkward for guests and does not score well with my wife.

I am 30 year professional chef, educated and certified. I gave this coffee maker a very long run in my personal kitchen. I gave it props where it shines for me. It makes a great cup of coffee when it is working correctly.

Behmor are hacks, they might have great marketing and engineering skills and have the insight to know what Coffee Geeks" want in a maker. That does not make them qualified to bring to market a half baked product that could potentially harm someone. And I would not feel that way if they publicly stated there errors, and made good on them by fixing the issues and ensuring those of us who bought into this were taken care of with properly working machines.

My opinion stands
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woodscomp
Senior Member


Joined: 29 May 2013
Posts: 14
Location: Knoxville
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Thu May 30, 2013, 9:28pm
Subject: Re: Behmor Brazen users weigh in
 

Spitz

I did not come here to specifically trash Behmor. I came to tell an unbiased truth, my story.

The machine is a kettle, with a very short discharge tube, with a control valve, a screen, a shower head of sorts, a basket, carafe, and a control board that you get to set your own brew temps and control the release valve. The uniqueness of the Brazen is good, the concept is excellent.

The execution sucks.  Will everyone have the same issues I am having? No. But I think that people need to be made aware of what they might be facing. And what you might expect from Behmor as a response.  

If you purchase things based on all the rosy reports alone then that is your business.  Personally I like to know what I am walking into before I buy something. I still have a reasonable expectation that when I pay for a product that it performs what it supposed to do every time I turn it on. And the minimum time frame that is supposed to work that way is during the warranty period.

I could care less if anyone else here agrees with me or not. When your coffee starts to have a tinge you will know what to look for. If your pallet is so jacked up that you can not taste that tinge then hopefully somebody else will before you end up in the ER with an unknown illness.

If you do have issues and there support staff might just tell you to buy another piece of equipment because they can tell from the high desert that your water quality is so low and that must be the cause of your issues you just might change your perspective.  It changed mine, very quickly. I have been quiet about this machine for months, giving Behmor the opportunity to find and fix this issue for me.

They did not, therefore I will exercise the ability to tell my story, which I have here and will be on other forums and various sites that get read regularly.
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frcn
Senior Member
frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,394
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 Thu May 30, 2013, 10:06pm
Subject: Re: Behmor Brazen users weigh in
 

My Behmor Brazen was literally one of the very first off the production line and came to me directly from the manufacturing facility iirc. Joe and I are competitors to a minor degree. I am proud to claim Hottop USA as a client and Behmor sells their roaster. I do not doubt you had problems with your Brazen. The carafe, I believe, was an existing design from another machine and was used to save money. The solution was to tip and then press the lever. I always hold a towel on the carafe to catch the drips. Your leaky carafe was evidently from a production run that had a problem. There were others and they were taken care of by Behmor from the reports I have read. Min was retaining water in the reservoir because their was a run of top lids that were not "baked" in manufacturing and so they expanded when heated and created a seal that allowed a partial vacuum to form "holding" the water in the reservoir.  I also found that a screw was not installed at the factory. Joe sent me the screw (two actually) and also replaced the lid (sent me two) as soon as he heard of the problem. Now, being a media person you would expect I would receive such service, but that is not the case here. I cannot remember any another such negative report as you have posted concerning Behmor customer service; quite the opposite. Whenever customer service is mentioned, there are always the same sellers and companies mentioned- Cris Coffee, 1st-Line, Baratza, Hottop, Espresso Care, Orphan Espresso, and Behmor among others that are not coming to mind right now.

There are two sides to every story, and it is not my place to defend Behmor. At the last two SCAA Exhibitions (Portland and Boston) I had the opportunity to sit and have lengthy talks with Joe. He very much reminds me of the sort of folks who use to own and run motorcycle shops back in the 60's and 70's, before they became boutiques and corporate showcases. He is realistic, down-to-earrth, and loves what he is doing and stands behind his products, above and beyond what is required.

I do not expect Joe to comment in this thread either. We have all seen too many threads that become a pissing match when that happens and no one is satisfied and no one benefits. Without casting aspersions on you nor blame on Behmor nor Joe, I can only say that with the massive amount of positive comments in regards to Behmor service which abound on the forumS, that yours seems contrary to all that I have ever heard about Joe and his company.

And the brazen makes an amazing cup of coffee- it is my second choice whenever I want coffee the first being my Vibiemme Domobar Double.. can you blame me?  ;-)  But when the espresso machine is off and cold, I go right to the Brazen.

 
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Mfoster
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Feb 2013
Posts: 14
Location: Columbia, Il
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: cheapo
Grinder: Capresso Infinity
Drip: Brazen
Posted Fri May 31, 2013, 4:30am
Subject: Re: Behmor Brazen users weigh in
 

Woodscomp,
Thanks for your input. I don't have any issues with the carafe, but if I hear any swishing in the liner, I'll know if there's a ring leak.
Sorry to hear about your disappointment.

- Mark
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Atredeis
Senior Member


Joined: 31 May 2013
Posts: 6
Location: Tampa Bay, FL
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Virtuoso
Drip: BraZen, Cuisinart, Bonavita
Roaster: Hottop
Posted Fri May 31, 2013, 11:04am
Subject: Re: Behmor Brazen users weigh in
 

I've been a long time lurker here and had to sign up to speak up in support of Woodscomp's experience.

I had purchased it last September, after watching the 60 page thread on it with much anticipation. Much the same, I love the temperature control, altitude correction, etc... basically the controller built into it. It makes a fine cup of coffee, when it works.

My carafe has been fine. Any drips are 1-2 drops and I'm not sure I even notice.

On May 14th, the machine stopped brewing, no water would drain through. Heat, controls, etc... worked fine. I tried an acetic acid (vinegar) rinse to no avail. So, I contacted Behmor and they recommended the 50g/2c./150F citric acid treatment described in the other thread. No luck. Then it got weird...

Trust me, I'm keeping my frustration to myself in this. I basically wound up in some twisted sort of internet TDS pissing contest (21 emails) with their tech support person. It started with the email voiding my warranty after 1 replacement due to "high TDS" and please use RO water.  It was horrible to go through over a $200 coffee maker. I had to get the retailer involved to contact Joe directly to get some sort of resolution. The resolution I discussed with the retailer was never put in email or writing though.

Much to their credit, they did replace my unit which had failed after 5 months of use according to their instructions. With the new instructions, there was an additional sheet of paper about 50ppm TDS or less.

For my professional opinion, it seems Behmor is discovering they have a sensitized machine design. Their handling of the situation is murky at best (1 replacement? not clear if my warranty is voided or not) The communication is awful from their tech support. It's responsive in that you get a reply in about a day, but questions are either flatly not addressed, or ignored and the bulk of the email is about how I have "High TDS" according to Zerowater.

I'm giving this replacement a run and will do routine acid treatments if necessary, but Behmor hasn't supplied me a fequency or concentration to do so. (yet?) If it fails, at least the retailer was sympathetic and there will be a path forward. That path will not be with Behmor though.

Don't get me started on RO and purified water. It's part of what I do for a living. Suffice to say the levels are around 100ppm and far from the WHO/EPA maximums of 500ppm and far below the national average of 350ppm.

Were I to do it all over, I'd go with the TV and sacrifice some of the BraZen automation. It sucks trying to find and drag out a Cuisinart or Meiletta at 6:00am before coffee.
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The_Coffee_Guy
Senior Member
The_Coffee_Guy
Joined: 5 Jan 2009
Posts: 141
Location: Toronto
Expertise: I live coffee

Grinder: Baratza Encore
Drip: Behmor BraZen Brew System,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Fri May 31, 2013, 8:59pm
Subject: Re: Behmor Brazen users weigh in
 

Everyone, I would like to provide input here if I may. I probably picked up the second Brazen to leave a retail shelf in Canada back in October. When I received the machine I noticed there were issues with pooling water and a steaming lid, both things being very frustrating. My follow up, to be fair to Joe, was to go through the full Behmor support process. They were very receptive to my cry for help and were able to experience my pain through the statistics I provided to them including pictures to demonstrate the issues I was experiencing. I did receive a replacement machine and to be honest it has been magnificent ever since, providing reliable and repeatable superb results and the best cup of coffee for my taste. The main issue that remains here is with regards to possible pooling of water (sometimes) and when Behmor Support suggested turning the machine over gently in the sink and rinsing out the hole with the sink nozzle to clear the little filter it worked like a charm. The blockage disappeared and I immediately noticed brew times completely improve and the reservoir emptying completely every time, even for full pots and there I was back to the perfect pot.  When cleaning once in awhile (because hardness of water is not an issue here in the Toronto Canada area to the point where scaling is an issue) I use a solution of 50 g (4 T) of granular citric acid in 2 cups of warm water and run that through a manual cycle at 150F which cleans things up nicely. Everything about this great machine is a learning experience from brewing retail beans or freshly home-roasted beans, a process that I have found to be quite exciting thanks to Behmor. Maybe I just have a great amount of patience but I am sure this machine will continue to be tweeked (including carafe) as a result of these forums.
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frcn
Senior Member
frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,394
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 Fri May 31, 2013, 10:00pm
Subject: Re: Behmor Brazen users weigh in
 

The_Coffee_Guy Said:

Everyone, I would like to provide input here if I may. ...{snip}.... Maybe I just have a great amount of patience but I am sure this machine will continue to be tweeked (including carafe) as a result of these forums.

Posted May 31, 2013 link

I was thinking today that some manner of "backflush," if built into the Brazen, might just supply a remedy for the problem of clogging of the port and its valve. Bits of dust and lint, and particulate matter in the water as well as loose scale could be removed that way. But I think you have something there with the upside down  flush. Much as with Poppery 1's, we just may see the  price of Water Pics go up in thrift stores all across the nation until the supply dwindles!

 
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