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Bonavita 8 Cup Brewer with Stainless Steel Thermal Carafe

In this post, we'll be reviewing the Bonavita 8 Cup Brewer with Stainless Steel Thermal Carafe.  The model # is BV1900TS.  This is the newest model.  We purchased these in late 2016.  It does look different in aesthetic than the earlier models, although I'm not sure when the design changed.  

I have to say that the brewer is attractive.  There are a lot of brushed steel finishes, which is nice in that it's easy to keep clean.  I have some experience keeping this brewer clean as I have the Bonavita 5 Cup Brewer at home.  It's simplicity, brushed steel finishes, and long, smooth surfaces definitely allow the user to keep this machine clean long term.  

Unboxing, the brewer is packed well.  A pack of flat bottom Melitta paper filters (about 100 count), and a single pack of cleaner is included.  This is a nice touch.  The brewer has good weight to it.  It's not super light or super heavy.  It does feel substantive.  The same thing can be said about the parts like the carafe and filter basket.  Even though the filter basket is made of plastic, it doesn't feel flimsy.  It feels like it will last for a long time.

Bonavita 8 Cup Brewer With SS Thermal Carafe

Another important note in favor of the Bonavita brewer is that it is one of a select few coffee brewers certified by the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA).  In this article on the SCAA website, SCAA has seven pillars of coffee preparation:

  1. The optimum brewing method choice and operation of that method
  2. The correct coffee-to-water ratio
  3. An appropriate coffee grind
  4. Good water
  5. The correct contact time between the coffee and water
  6. The proper water temperature
  7. A filtering medium

While the Bonavita brewer cannot control all of the seven pillars listed, it does an excellent job of the pillars that it can control.  Number 5 for example states "The correct contact time between the coffee and water".  The brew basket on the Bonavita brewer is deep.  This is important in that I feel, a lot of brewers have too shallow of a brew basket.  This doesn't allow for the proper amount of coffee to be inserted into the brewer, thus not allowing the proper amount of contact time between coffee and water.  So in this respect, I feel the Bonavita brewer does a great job with its deep brew basket.

Bonavita 8 Cup Brewer Brew Basket

Pillar 6 emphasizes an importance of "The proper water temperature".  Further down in the same article, SCAA states that proper water temperature for coffee brewing to be "between 195°-205°F (hot, but not too hot)".  The Bonavita brewer again, does an excellent job of heating water to a proper temperature range for brewing coffee.  I'll add that it does this fairly quickly as well.

There are a few negatives about the brewer.  I wouldn't say that any of these are deal-breakers but they are worth mentioning:

  • The power chord is a little short.  It's 21 inches long.  While this is fine if you have counter-top outlets as most kitchens do, it's not quite long enough if you don't.  For example, I was using a work table to un-box and play around with the brewer.  The work table was against the wall, with an outlet that was near the floor, where most outlets are.  I had to use an extension chord.  No big deal, but good to know.
  • I think some people can get confused by the fact that there is a brew basket, and there's a lid.  The brew basket and the lid don't work together.  They are separate, and serve separate functions.  Where to put one while you're using the other may be confusing and different from other traditional home brewers.  Again, a minor detail, but worth mentioning.

Here are a couple of positive features that I feel make the Bonavita 8-Cup Brewer stand out:

  • This brewer has a pre-infusion mode.  If you hold the power switch in the ON position for 5 seconds, it will enter pre-infusion mode.  Once you press the switch again, it will give a short burst of hot water to pre-infuse the coffee, allowing any potential coffee bloom to settle down.  After about 15 seconds, normal hot water flow ensues.  This is a nice feature on a simple brewer!
  • The brew head on this brewer is nice and wide, which evenly distributes the water over the coffee grounds.  I've seen many brewers, both commercial and home, that can sometimes miss the coffee grounds.  When you look in the brew basket after brewing, you'll see spots of dry coffee grounds.  This is definitely something you don't want to see.  It's a waste of coffee and it means you haven't properly extracted your coffee.  

Bonavita 8 Cup Brewer Brew Head

In conclusion, this home brewer is a great deal.  There are many positive features, with a couple iffy negative features.  Again, this is one of the most attractive, well-built home coffee brewers available.  The brewer works extremely well, as well as offering a nice pre-infuion mode - a definite plus!  At a retail price of $179, this brewer is worth it.  For some reason, Amazon lists it even cheaper at $135.  At that price point, it's a steal!

Another noteworthy review of the Bonavita 8 Cup Brewer online:

  • The Sweet Home actually chose the OXO 9 Cup Coffee Maker as winner of their Best Coffee Maker category, but list the Bonavita 8 Cup Brewer as their runner-up.  The Bonavita brewer has also won this category in the past.
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