There has been a lot of good buzz about this Bonavita Coffee Maker from a variety of sources around the web and another blogger here at Roaste. I was very glad a while back when I saw that Speedwell Coffee decided to offer them here for sale, and I gladly ordered one about a week and half ago. I have had this auto brewer since Monday and thought I would share some of my impressions of it.
First, what makes these coffee makers special is that it has a powerful thermoblock heater, which gets the water up to 200 degrees farenheit for the brewing. While this might sound simple, it's something that only a few other home coffee machines can do. Since there are only a few other machines out that that can do this, the machine gets compared to the Technivorm brewers, and since those brewers are all priced around $300 dollars and the Bonavita is only around $150.00 you can see why people are excited.
So I got this machine to replace a Cuisinart 10 cup auto drip that I had been using. There was nothing overly wrong with the auto-dripper, it worked fine. Due to the buzz though about this brewer and the fact that I am using very good coffee to brew it seemed almost criminal to continue to use it, or so I told myself. Plus I was only drinking about 3/4 of the pot and the Bonavita is an 8 cup brewer, so there ya go there would be no waste!
The philosphy of not wasting coffee seem to go well with the design of this coffee maker. There are no bells or whistles to it, just a very simple machine to make coffee in. I choose the thermal model because I tend to linger over my pot, and a very nice feature of the thermal is the glass lined carafe. It's something that you do not see ofter, sometimes a stainless steel carafe can impart off tastes to coffee, a very nice touch.
I have also noticed that spray head for the brewer works quite well, and I have been getting a very even saturation. The brewer uses a Melitta number 4 cone, so it has a very small hole for the draining which does allow water to build up a little, so it works quite well. From the photo you can also notice that there is a nice area for steam to escape over the cone. I really liked this touch because if I was not careful with the Cuisinart I could end up with a milldew smell in the coffee maker.
The taste has been really good. It caught the tail end of the Velton's I was brewing and while the Cuisinart wasn't nearly as bad as some other makers out there it failed to extract some of the more nuanced tastes that I am currently getting from the Bonavita.
My biggest complaint with this brewer is the cone sits atop the carafe, so you have to remove it after brewing to put the lid on it. Then the cone has to sit on the counter by itself. The spout though is nice and doesn't drip like some, which is a big deal.
Overall, a great little brewer that if you are in the market for one I would strongly consider looking at. Unforunately, at the time of this writing Speedwell is out of stock of the thermal model and only has the glass version.