Bonavita BV-1800 Automatic Coffee Brewer - First Look (Part 2)

As I mentioned in the first part of this review, 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.  as you might guess, someone with one of those machines on the counter is definitely a fan of good coffee.  The Technivorm Moccamaster KBT-741coffee brewer retails for $299 last time I checked and is not the type of product you pick up as an impulse buy.  When I asked if he wanted to check out a new coffee maker he was happy for the chance to play with it.

He measured out some 75% El Salvador/25% Sumatra blend he had roasted recently. This looked like a good choice for the test since the Central is bright and acidic - it earns the title "fruit bomb" - and this particular Sumatran can impart nice body and mouth feel without watering down the brightness.  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. 

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