465 of 479 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Minimalistic, quality machine
I'm really happy with this coffee maker, having chosen it over the Technivorm Moccamaster Coffee Brewer With Thermo Carafe - Technivorm 9587. It brews extremely quickly (about 7 minutes), and I measured the temperature of the water coming from the spout at about the 195F-200F range, so it's in the right range for extracting optimum flavor -- the brew from this machine is...
Published 22 months ago by Tim Lopez
131 of 145 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Shockingly bad customer service
We bought the Bonavita January 3, 2013 and it worked very well. I appreciated the simplicity: it is easy to see how much water you have put in, one button to press makes operation simple. However, in late March (3/27/2013) the water did not heat. I tried again the next day with no luck. I'm guessing this is a bad heating element that should be replaced since it should...
Published 7 months ago by Richard A. Ramirez
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465 of 479 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Minimalistic, quality machine,
This review is from: Bonavita BV1800TH 8-Cup Coffee Maker with Thermal Carafe (Kitchen)I'm really happy with this coffee maker, having chosen it over the Technivorm Moccamaster Coffee Brewer With Thermo Carafe - Technivorm 9587. It brews extremely quickly (about 7 minutes), and I measured the temperature of the water coming from the spout at about the 195F-200F range, so it's in the right range for extracting optimum flavor -- the brew from this machine is just at the point of being tip-of-the-tongue scalding. The water is dispensed at a number of different points into the filter, and looking at the grounds afterwards you can tell that the dispersion pattern works well, as the coffee grounds remain clumped at the bottom of the filter, rather than being thinly spread across the entire filter.
Note that this is a minimalistic coffee maker. It is fairly compact, has an unassuming appearance, and there are no glowing dials, no HUDs, no clocks. There's one control: the on/off switch. It has no timer. It doesn't have a brew stopper, so you have to let the coffee maker finish before you can pour yourself a cup (since the coffee maker brews so quickly, this isn't too big of a deal). You cannot navigate your kitchen at night by the light from this coffeemaker, nor can you signal passing UFOs.
Nonetheless, it makes great coffee.
355 of 367 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't overlook this one!,
This review is from: Bonavita BV1800TH 8-Cup Coffee Maker with Thermal Carafe (Kitchen)At the time I'm writing this review there were no reviews of this coffee maker and I almost overlooked it and ordered a different one. I would normally wait longer to post a review but this review may bring others attention to this machine. I have only used mine twice but I know from those two times this machine extracts more from the grinds than my Starbucks Barrista did because I can feel the effects of the caffeine after 3 cups (about 3/4 of the carafe) whereas I didn't feel it at all from the Starbucks unit (also 8 cup capacity) after a whole pot. I don't notice that the coffee is any hotter than it was from the Starbucks unit but it is piping hot. My Starbucks unit was 8 years old and had started to leak water on the counter during the brewing process and shut itself off before the reservoir was empty requiring multiple restarts. I am not trying to compare the Bonavita to the Starbucks because I did not descale the Starbucks unit anywhere near as frequently as I should have which may well have lead to the leaking problems. The Starbucks unit did brew a very good pot of coffee.
This machine is one of only four coffee makers certified by the Specialty Coffee Assoc. of America for home use. The certification is based on the machine's ability to heat the water to 195-205 degrees which is the ideal temperature to extract maximum flavor from the grinds. Bonavita claims on their packaging this is the only coffee maker sold with a 1400 watt heating element. The other three certified machines are a Bunn HG Home Brewer (sold on Amazon) which is slightly less money but when I read the reviews is very unreliable, the Technivorm Moccamaster which is $300 (sold on Amazon) the reviews indicated quality control problems, and the Lance Larkin BE 112 Brew Express $300+ (not sold on Amazon) which requires a water line permanently installed and is designed to be built into cabinetry. Since I was not going to spend $300 the choice was between the Bonavita and the Bunn but I immediately excluded the Bunn because of the numerous recent reviews indicating it stopped working and had to be replaced sometimes more than once. Bunn is known for high quality machines but it is very apparent this is not one of them.
The Bonavita's thermal carafe is manufactured by Melitta and has a glass liner. It can be purchased separately from Bonavita (perhaps Melitta too) and is so satisfactory to use I would recommend it even if you don't purchase the Bonavita coffee maker. One of the things I noted repeatedly in many reviews of thermal carafe coffee makers (all the brands Amazon sells) was users having difficulty using the tops of their carafes and/or dripping when pouring a cup. This carafe has a very easy to use top that screws on and has a trigger for one handed usage. My Starbucks carafe always dripped and the center spring loaded button broke on two tops. I am thrilled that I don't have to wipe the carafe and counter every time I pour a cup anymore.
Because of the caffeine effect from this machine's brew the next pot I'm going to use 3 rather than the 4 coffee measure spoons I have always used to brew 8 cups and see how that tastes. The machine is very easy to use, I simply fill the carafe and pour into the non-detachable reservoir than the filter basket sits on top of the carafe (with the carafe's top removed). After brewing which takes about 8 minutes you simply remove the filter basket and screw the top on. Again, because of the caffeine effect I have yet to finish a whole pot so I can't say how long the carafe keeps the coffee very hot but it is still piping hot 2 hours after brewing. My guess is probably 4 hours, maybe 5 like my Starbucks thermal carafe. It uses #4 cone filters and Bonavita claims using the paper filters is preferable to the metal style filter because the paper filters absorb more coffee oils.
The machine appears to be well built and all but the bottom and recessed drip tray area are stainless steel. Two potential downsides of this machine are 1) you cannot pour a cup until the brewing cycle has completed (doesn't bother me but may bother others) and 2) there is no timer function which for the cost of the machine I think there should be. It is not a feature I used very often on my Starbucks unit so I'm OK without a timer but others may want one.
The reason I rated the Bonavita 4 stars rather than 5 is because the machine is in such limited distribution the $149 price is in my view not a deal like almost every other coffee maker Amazon sells. There are however two ways to look at the price, I read an online review which favorably compared the Bonavita to the Technivorm unit which costs twice as much. Still, I think at some point this machine will have wider distribution and the price will come down. If you go to Bonavita's website they list the resellers and everybody sells it for $149-$159. I think closer to $100-120 would be a good deal.
It does have a 2 year warranty and at this point given my limited usage of the machine I would say that I am very satisfied with it. It does brew an excellent pot of coffee, is easy to use and clean and I like its appearance. So if you want an excellent pot of coffee poured from a drip free carafe and can overlook the lack of a timer and the ability to pour a cup before the brewing cycle has completed and don't mind the price this is a choice well worthy of consideration.
I was mostly satisfied with my Starbucks Barrista except for the carafe always dripping so thus far I like this machine better because the carafe doesn't drip. Here's a tip for Starbucks machine owners, call their customer service when yours stops working and complain that they have no support because they no longer sell coffee makers. When I did I was initially offered a $10 gift card but ended up with a $25 gift card.
On a side note, I was truly amazed by all the problems other owners reported with virtually every thermal carafe coffee maker Amazon sells. From machines that stopped working to those that spilled water/coffee all over the floor/counter to tops that leaked and/or were difficult to use. I probably spent a good 6-7 hours researching all the thermal carafe models filtered by highest reviews and had selected the Kitchen Aid 12 cup model but before I ordered it I quickly reviewed the models one more time and caught this one on the last of 7 pages of machines with no reviews. I'm glad I did. I hope my review will cause others to consider this machine.
If I encounter any issues with this machine I will update this review.
330 of 342 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bonavita First Brew and First Pour: Very Impressed!,
This review is from: Bonavita BV1800TH 8-Cup Coffee Maker with Thermal Carafe (Kitchen)
The video captures brewing the first pot of coffee with the Bonavita and (briefly) how to fold a filter. It demonstrates pouring.
Today I received my Bonavita Thermal Coffee Maker and made my first brew with it.
First impressions: This is one fast and impressive little machine. No wonder it garnered the Specialty Coffee Association of America's coveted Certified Brewer Equipment award: one of only four machines to do so as of this writing. This machine makes very hot coffee indeed: I measured the coffee in the preheated thermal carafe right after brewing at 188° F. With a non-preheated carafe the coffee was 183.2° F right after brewing completed.
Temperatures during brewing were at 195° F at 58 seconds into brewing and reached as high as 205.8° F briefly at the 4:04 minute mark and at 203.3° F at the end of the brewing cycle (see photos). Brewing time was 5 minutes 48 seconds, so just under six minutes.
A photo is attached of what you receive with this brewer, and the list, like the brewer, is very basic.
WHAT'S IN THE BOX:
* Bonavita BV1800 8-Cup Coffee Maker
* Bonavita Thermal Carafe
* Carafe Lid
* Filter Basket
* Bonavita "Brewing Perfect Coffee Everytime" Manual
* Small paper insert on how to clean the showerhead (the lid and showerhead are removable and can be cleaned in the dishwasher)
* "Bonavita Exceptional Brew" Manual
* Pink sheet of instructions for care of the thermal carafe, also known as the "Melitta insulation jug."
* Starter pack (4) of Melitta Super Premium Flavor Enhancing #4 Coffee Filters in Natural Brown
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
* Extra filters. A starter pack will get you going for the first few days.
* If you choose it, a gold tone filter, instead of paper filters. I purchased the Cuisinart GTF Gold Tone Filter, which fits inside the Filter Basket, in case you'd like to fit your Bonavita with a permanent filter. Be advised that gold tone filters do let in sediment (depending on how your coffee is ground), so if you use a gold tone filter, you may get sediment at the bottom of the pot. As a sidenote, so far, the Bonavita brew times have remained within the recommended SCAA guidelines when I tested it.
* ETA about the gold tone filter: Although I am a fan of gold tone filters, I have become a big fan of the Melitta filters since my Bonavita purchase as they have no paper taste. So I am sticking with paper Melitta filters for my Bonavita.
MY FIRST BREW:
The instructions are basic and easy to follow. Using the "Bonavita's Exceptional Brew" manual, I measured 7 grams of coffee for every cup or a total of 56 grams of coffee to make 8 cups. (Bonavita recommends between 7 and 9 grams of coffee per 5 ounces of water. The Bonavita "cup" size is a 5-ounce cup.)
You can also measure your coffee to taste or use the scoop size you usually prefer if that is your preferred method. More detailed instructions are in the manual.
I put a paper filter in the filter basket, folding the crimped edges of the filter (per the instructions on the back of the filter package) -- the filter fits perfectly this way. I put the coffee into the filter, then placed the filter basket on top of the thermal carafe. I placed the thermal carafe onto the coffee maker, put in 40 ounces of filtered water, then turned it on. Voila! It began to brew.
The brewing cycle is fast and efficient at just under 6 minutes. I was expecting the filter basket might be clumsy to remove: not the case. Having previously used Chemex, Krups, Braun and even Cuisinart (with all of their dreaded innards), the simplicity of removing just the filter basket and replacing it with the thermal carafe lid was marvelous. One complete turn and the carafe lid was in place.
MY FIRST POUR:
My first impressions of the coffee? Delicious and strong. Hot at 188° F. I went back to the carafe three hours after making the coffee and took off the lid. Still hot. You *will* get hot coffee from this machine: blissfully hot coffee.
HOW TO CLEAN THE CARAFE:
There are a few reviews about exploding carafes. I clean my carafe by only swishing warm water inside of it (see the pink sheet of instructions). I don't put sponges, plastic dish scrubbers, or anything else inside the carafe. It's been fine so far.
A NOTE ABOUT PLASTIC TASTE, OR RATHER, THE LACK THEREOF:
There is no plastic taste with this machine. If I put my sensitive nose into it, I smell no plastic smell. I don't taste plastic in my coffee. Even with the first brew right out of the box. This is likely due to Bonavita's use of BPA free plastic. Hallelujah!
* Very hot coffee.
* Speedy brew cycle of 6 minutes: within SCAA guidelines
* 1400-watt heating element (aluminum)
* Auto off after 15 minutes
* Glass-lined carafe that keeps coffee hot for hours
* One-full-twist easy-on carafe lid
* Easy off filter basket makes clean-up easy
* I'm only mentioning this so people will be aware in case it happens to them. After brewing, when I lifted out the paper filter from the filter basket, there was a small amount of coffee that had not drained from the filter basket. Apparently this has to do with the position of the hole in the filter basket and is for better extraction. I removed the paper filter and simply tipped the filter basket with its coffee directly into the thermal carafe. The amount of coffee is so small it is insignificant. ETA: After doing this a few times, it depends on the amount of coffee or your grind. The water might drain into the carafe on its own.
WHO SHOULD GET IT:
* If you love coffee; and you just want a deliciously brewed, piping hot, delicious cup of coffee
* If you want a machine that produces fantastic coffee but without all the "bells and whistles" such as programmable features, brew and pause, etc.
* If you are looking for a truly great thermal carafe: one that keeps the coffee hot, pours easily, and has an easily removable and replaceable lid
* If you want a machine that is easy to clean
* If you want a machine that easily fits under cabinets: my kitchen cabinets are low at 17 3/4" and the Bonavita fits under them easily at 11 5/8" high.
Overall, I'm extremely satisfied with this machine.
Please see my photos and video for more details.
117 of 123 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lives up to its claims,
This review is from: Bonavita BV1800TH 8-Cup Coffee Maker with Thermal Carafe (Kitchen)Making good coffee is actually quite simple:
1. Buy freshly roasted beans.
2. Grind the beans immediately before brewing.
3. Brew with 195 to 205 degree water.
The brewer can only help you with #3, and although there are various manual methods you can use, there are only two drip machines that are rated to consistently deliver the water at the right temperature: the Technivorm Moccamaster Coffee Brewer with Thermo Carafe and the Bonavita. I've been using the Bonavita for a month now, and I'm a very happy camper.
* The Bonavita heats the water quickly and brews at the temperature they claim. I measured the temp myself and it was right at 200 degrees.
* It makes a full pot (40 ounces) in 5-1/2 to 6 minutes. That's how long it takes to extract all the flavor from the grinds, so you don't want a brewer that works any faster. Of course, the coarseness of your grind affects the time. Too coarse and the water flows through too fast; too fine, and it bogs down and over extracts.
* It brews smaller amounts well, too. Just for myself, I make 3 cups (15 ounces) at a time. It takes two or three minutes and tastes just as good as a full pot.
* The showerhead design distributes the water evenly so all the grinds get to participate.
* The design is simple and attractive with a small footprint.
* I'm delighted with the lack of useless bells and whistles. The Bonavita's only "feature" is that it shuts off automatically. I'm a believer in unplugging small appliances when they aren't in use (let me tell you about my toaster oven experience sometime... ) but the auto shut-off is a nice safety feature in case I forget.
* The thermal carafe has a well-designed lid that screws on and keeps it sealed, so it should keep the coffee hot as long as coffee could be expected to stay hot in any thermos. I don't really keep coffee sitting around, so I have no comparison for that.
* The only real "con" is the price. I don't see why such a simple appliance has to cost $150, but since the only competition costs twice that much, the Bonavita is the best buy.
* This is really more of an FYI than a con. A lot of steam comes out of the top so you probably don't want to leave it directly under the upper cabinet while brewing. Just pull it forward.
Please don't let my comment about the steam discourage you from trying this great brewer. Obviously, any brewer that heats the water adequately is going to put out some steam. Just to be clear, the steam vents are the dot pattern you can see in the picture, on top above the basket, so the Bonavita design nicely directs the steam in one small area.
Keep in mind that you have to pull this or probably any brewer out from under the cabinet in order to fill the water tank anyway, so it's easy enough to just leave it pulled out while you brew.
ONE YEAR LATER
I've been using the Bonavita daily for more than a year now and it has held up well. I have no complaints.
131 of 145 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Shockingly bad customer service,
This review is from: Bonavita BV1800TH 8-Cup Coffee Maker with Thermal Carafe (Kitchen)We bought the Bonavita January 3, 2013 and it worked very well. I appreciated the simplicity: it is easy to see how much water you have put in, one button to press makes operation simple. However, in late March (3/27/2013) the water did not heat. I tried again the next day with no luck. I'm guessing this is a bad heating element that should be replaced since it should work for more than 3 months. When I attempted to report the malfunction, I discovered the real problem:
The customer service is the worst I have ever encountered. Should something go wrong, you must email them with a full description of the problem. You must include several numbers off of the maker and carafe, so have those available. They will then email you back within 5 WEEKS! I am writing this review at the limit of the 5 weeks (5/2/2013) since I filed the service request. I have been very carefully scanning my junk mail folder to be sure I don't miss the email but they have not contacted me yet. For those of us who have a daily coffee or more, 5 weeks is really unacceptable. I have been using my back-up french press for the last month and the ridiculous delay has given me time to fall in love with it.
If you decide to buy the Bonavita coffee maker, be aware that if it breaks, you're on your own.
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Exploding/Imploding Thermal Carafe (Glass Lining) - the other reviewers were NOT kidding,
This review is from: Bonavita BV1800TH 8-Cup Coffee Maker with Thermal Carafe (Kitchen)Please pay attention to what other reviewers are saying about the exploding carafe (just look at the past few months alone). I received my Bonavita BV1800TH coffee maker three days ago, and sometime in the middle of the night last night, the glass lining of the thermal carafe exploded (imploded might be the correct term). Most of the big shards of glass stayed inside the carafe, but there were a few small shards of glass on the counter and floor. I am glad it happened while we were sleeping and no one was around.
I read negative reviews on products, and I often give the product the benefit of the doubt (i.e. "maybe it was operator error", etc.); however, this carafe exploded without reason. We had simply rinsed out the carafe with water and set it on the counter to dry for the next morning. They send a warning with the thermal carafe stating that the inside of the carafe is fragile and that you should never place anything inside the carafe (except for the provided cleaning brush). I always read the instructions and warning sheets when I get a new item, and I assure you we didn't place anything inside the carafe nor did we accidently hit it or drop it.
This thermal carafe is very dangerous, and Bonavita should recall these and replace with a different design. I was originally thinking of replacing the product, but after reading more online about other people's experiences with the carafe, I am returning this and trying another product. It is a shame since the coffee was very good.
I just searched the last three months of Amazon reviews, and there are eight (8) occurances of exploding carafes (again, only three months and only on Amazon). Reviews were posted on the following dates: 9/26/13, 9/7/13, 8/31/13, 8/8/13, 7/27/13, 7/2/13, 7/1/13 and 6/28/13. I didn't look any further back but I assume there would be many more if I kept looking further back.
Also, type in "Bonavita exploding carafe" in Google and you will see other non-Amazon reviews/comments.
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Makes good coffee but broke in 6 months.,
46 of 51 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bursting glass in caraffe is common problem,
This review is from: Bonavita BV1800TH 8-Cup Coffee Maker with Thermal Carafe (Kitchen)Our carafe imploded, one week after we bought it. Based on other reviews, this is a recurring problem. Definitely a design flaw. The warranty attempts to exclude this, but we will test that in court if necessary.
55 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A TRULY GREAT DRIP MACHINE!!!,
78 of 91 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect low-cost alternative to the Technivorm,
My initial interest in the BV was to check how well the TV was performing after 16 months of continual use, so one of the first things I did was to brew a pot of coffee in each of the machines simultaneously. Then I had my wife serve me samples of each so that I would not know which cup was from which brewer. The brews would have been completely imperceptible had it not been for a very subtle difference in temperatures, with the BV being perhaps as much as 5º F hotter although I did not measure this. I also noted that the TV was just about 30 seconds faster at brewing 1 liter of water, and that the slightly larger hole in the filter holder allowed the coffee to drip into the pot a little quicker. As a whole, the BV is a more conventional looking coffee maker that, at less than half the price of the TV, appears to be just as well made. Only time will tell if it is as durable. I do prefer the TV for the platform on which the filter holder sits. The BV is designed so that the filter holder rests atop the pot, and must be removed in order to pour your coffee. That is a lot simpler, albeit a bit clumsy. Neither the BV nor the TV can make huge amounts of coffee at a time, but if 1.25 liters -- about 43 ounces -- will suit your needs, you're good to go.
Given all of the positives, I'd recommend the BonaVita to anyone thinking about the purchase of a high-quality coffee maker; it's SCAA-certified too.
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