on October 22, 2010
After my trusty Cuisinart DCC-1200 12-Cup Brew Central Coffeemaker, Black and Stainless Steel died after 5 years of steady use, I decided to 'upgrade' to a Bunn. The Bunn HG brewer is different from previous Bunns because it heats the water for each brew right before actually brewing, as opposed to inefficiently keeping a water tank heated 24/7, 365 days a year (previous Bunn models). It is for this reason, and the Bunn name, that I enthusiastically dove in and bought it. To make a long story short, I am not so enthusiastic after using it--read on for details.
The carafe. It actually is the cleanest pouring carafe I have ever used--not a drop spilled. However, it consists of a plastic rim attached to a lower portion of glass. Coffee leaks at this junction no matter how fast you pour, producing a steady stream of coffee that dribbles down the outside of the coffee pot and onto the counter top. Not sure if I just got a bad carafe or if this problem is more common.
Full capacity brewing. The way this unit works is you add up to 8 cups of water to the tank. When turned on, it boils this water until the total temp reaches 200 deg F (about 6 mins), then it releases it over 4 minutes through the coffee funnel and into the carafe. The problem is that if the full 8 cups of water are added to the tank, a little comes out during the boil phase from between the spin lid and top of the tank. This then goes down the sides of the tank, drips on the pot and down to the warming plate where it hisses and boils (no, I didn't overfill it--it was right on the max line). I did not experience this with a little under 7.5 cups water in the tank.
Build. This unit actually looks like it came from Captain Picard's ready room and is unique looking. However, there is a lot of open space in it's design--the unit is not compact. Also, there are only two supports holding up the water tank and the brew basket. During the aforementioned boil phase, the vibrations of the boiling water cause the tank to visibly shake. It isn't excessive and in no way harms the unit, but it adds a chintzy feel to this unit and could easily be solved by supporting the tank on three sides. In addition, it is just about 15.5 inches tall, but my cabinets sit exactly 15.25 inches above my countertops. Grrr!
Lastly, 8 cup capacity is just barely enough for me and my wife--a larger capacity would be nice.
In all fairness, the unit makes good coffee. However, so do other coffee makers that only cost half as much. Even if a replacement carafe would solve the leaking coffee problem, I feel there are too many issues present for a $100 coffee brewer.
ADDENDUM (11/4/10): I decided to keep this unit when the place I bought it from wanted to charge a 15% restocking fee (my fault for not reading the fine print). I contacted BUNN about the leaky carafe and they sent out a replacement, which works good--no leaks. Unfortunately, I went to make coffee the next day but nothing happened. The display showed it was working, but it did not heat the water. I called BUNN again, and they sent another brewer. So far, this one is working just fine. I have to say BUNN customer service has been excellent in dealing with my issues--both times sending out replacements promptly.
on November 4, 2010
Bought this model at Target a couple weeks ago to replace the cheapo Mr. Coffee machine we'd been using for the past 5 years. Personally, I think it's great. The wife, however, thinks the coffee comes out too strong. I told her that she's finally getting a taste of real coffee, not some watered down junk. You might need to play around a bit to figure out the ratio of grounds:water that suits you.
1. Coffee is hot. No worries about lukewarm coffee here.
2. Coffee comes out tasting good. It's on the strong side. My preference is to use a french press, but the HG is much more convenient for my morning routine.
Cons (all minor in my view):
1. Coffee might be too hot for some. I burned my tongue on the first few cups, so I usually let it sit on the counter for a few minutes before drinking.
2. It's a 10 minute brew cycle (6 to heat the water, 4 for the drip). It's a little long for my wife, but I have no problems with it. I usually just wind up shaving, brushing teeth, combing hair, etc. during the brew.
3. It's LOUD. Those who are sensitive to that kind of thing might want to look at a different model.
4. It's pretty tall. It just barely fits under our cabinets and I have to slide it out every morning in order to fill it.
5. It has an 8-cup capacity. We only drink 6 cups in the morning, so it suits our needs. We figure that we can make multiple pots on the rare occasions that we have company/family over.
6. It has a 4-cup minimum. Again, it works well for us, but I wouldn't recommend it to my single friends that limit themselves to one mug.
I haven't had any issues with the carafe, like others have mentioned. Then again, the Mr Coffee regularly left little puddles on the kitchen counter, so maybe I just haven't noticed the problems. At any rate, it pours fine for me and I haven't spilled anything yet.
It's not a perfect machine, but I definitely think that the positives outweigh the negatives. My primary concern was getting good tasting coffee. The HG definitely delivers, so I can live with all of the minor inconveniences.
on October 7, 2010
I made my 1st pot of coffee with this today, and I can say that this pot made the best coffee I have ever made. I went with this Bunn model because it was affordable, had a clock/timer, and preheats the water to the correct temperature before the brewing begins. The unit was very attractive, easy to set up, and though the directions said the water had a 6 minute heat up time and then a 3 minute brew time, my coffee was ready much quicker. I add liquid creamer to my coffee, and even though it was chilled creamer, the coffee was still piping hot. The coffee was smooth, with no bitter notes at all. I used Dunkin' Donuts freshly ground arabica beans, and it tasted better than any coffee I ever got at their donut shop! Bunn has made a believer out of me, the water temp. really makes a huge difference.
(PLEASE SEE UPDATE AT THE END)
We don't tend to drink coffee often at all. I have had coffee from all sorts of coffee makers over the years and I just was not impressed by them. Coffee always seems to have that bitter edge that does not thrill me at all. My husband and son have had it on occasion but don't make a regular habit of drinking it.
...then we got the Bunn HG Phase Brew 8-cup Home Brewer.
I have never had a cup of coffee like that in my life!
WHAT IS THE BUNN HG PHASE BREW 8-CUP HOME BREWER LIKE?
We have made coffee so much since receiving this coffee maker, and I have to say that this is one of the most fabulous experiences I have had in a long while. The coffee maker has a 2-8 cup capacity- but this is only 5 oz cups so if you tend to have larger cups of coffee, this only has a small capacity for a few cups tops.
The water is poured in the top and a flap pushed over the opening, and immediately the water begins to boil. Six minutes later the water is at a consistent temperature of 200 degrees and the liquid is sprayed in the filter over the coffee where it takes 4 minutes to brew. The coffee pot sits on the warming plate and stays warm up two hours before automatically shutting off. The package comes with about 20 coffee filters to start you off.
There is a timer that allows you to preset coffee for the following morning if desired.
WHAT DO I THINK OF THIS COFFEE MAKER?
I have to say that this coffee maker makes unbelievable coffee. Bitterness is at a minimum, and the coffee is smooth and luscious- for coffee, anyway.
NOT JUST FOR COFFEE...
I was wondering what a non-coffee fan like me would find to do with this amazing machine when I decided to take the plunge and make a cup of green tea the same way that I brewed the coffee. The results were AMAZING!!!
We have tested this unit out with herbal, fruit, green and white teas, all with fantastic results. Tea is strong and full but no bitterness. This is such a delight, I can not tell you how excited I am about this. We all are- whenever making tea or coffee with this thing, we all line up in front of it and try to divide up the spoils to satisfy everyone.
The pot that comes with this machine is a bit tricky to work with and does dribble when you pour it sometimes, but it is not that bad to work with. I just make sure that I wipe it quickly before placing on the warmer. My husband is more irritated with this than I am.
So, whether it is tea of coffee, the Bunn HG Phase Brew 8-cup Home Brewer is a delightful machine. The pot has a flap on top which has to be held in place with the thumb so it does not flip open when pouring, but it is not a big deal. So far, the pot also pours well, with just a few occasions of dripping, but it is not too bad.
As long as you remember to turn off the machine and not put an empty pot on the warming plate, this machine works great so far. We use it constantly and can not wait to experiment even more with it.
One last thing- you HAVE to use the filters designed for this coffee maker to get the best results- and they are not bleached with chemicals so there is not a twisting of flavor like some bleached filters do.
When making tea from bags, we do not use a filter, but instead line the metal cup with the bags evenly distributed across the bottom, but when making loose tea, we do use a filter, allowing for one spoonful per cup of tea wanted. We find that a full 8 cup pot of tea serves our four medium sized mugs perfectly.
Since the writing of this review, we have made 25 types of tea and 8 types of coffee including organic. In every single case whether it be white, green, black, or herbal tea and whether it be caffeinated or de-caf coffee, the results have been superior to any other method we have used in making these same varieties of tea or coffee. We have never been so impressed by a coffee or tea making machine or method as we have this Bunn Phase Brew coffeemaker. I do not exaggerate when I say that everyone in my family raves EVERY SINGLE TIME we drink a beverage brewed in this machine. It is fantastic!
Well, after seriously loving this coffee maker since day one, I think we will have to say good bye. The best coffee we have ever had is no more. The unit stopped heating water at all today and it does not seem that we can fix it. I am looking into it and will update. Worked perfectly fine yesterday. I will update to let you know what happens, but from other reviews I can see we have done better than many people with this unit. Many had it break down a lot earlier than this one did. For the price, however, I don't think it should be breaking down this quickly. I have reduced this review from five to four stars because we did get a lot of great coffee from this machine (about four times a week), but it did stop working way too early.
on May 9, 2012
This is my first time posting a review and felt compelled to post due to the rusting problem I experienced. Please know I didn't hate this product, but I had to give it one star because the water valve inside the Top Tank began to rust and who wants coffee made with a rusted part. Most people would not even notice because you would have look inside the tank. My husband is an engineer and he can't help but check things out and of course he discovered this major flaw.
on August 20, 2012
I have been looking for all stainless steel and glass (wherever surface touches hot water or hot coffee) in a coffee maker for a long time. This is the closest I could find, with the stainless steel heating tank and filter basket. The water tank opening on the top is plastic, but I am not so worried about cold water passing over that, since the heating tank is stainless steel. The spray head is polypropylene and research showed I could replace it with a stainless steel spray head made by BUNN: BUNN part number 01082.0004, easily replaced by unscrewing the old and screwing on the new. The carafe has a plastic pour spout, and BUNN customer service told me it can be replaced with the glass carafe that fits the BUNN Velocity brewer; however, the Velocity carafe is a 10-cup capacity, and the HG is only an 8 cup capacity, so that MUST be remembered when filling that carafe for the water tank or you may overfill. I have not bought a replacement carafe yet.
I am enjoying the HG's looks and great tasting coffee at the right hot temperature. The original carafe never leaks or drips. The exterior brushed steel seems to be easier to wipe off fingerprints unlike some other coffee makers, with just a damp cloth. I would prefer a larger capacity of brewed coffee, and it is a bit too tall for my cabinets.
I cannot understand why an all-stainless steel and glass drip-brew coffeemaker is not available to the home market; surely, there is a good-sized market there for health-conscious consumers who don't want plastic offgassing in their hot food and beverages. I feel a lot better about drinking my coffee from this coffee maker.
I should state that upon the first use,there was a strong plastic smell (offgassing) from the top water-fill opening as the extreme temperature heated it up. That was only upon close inspection and above the unit, not to my knowledge anywhere near the water, and only upon first-time use.
This unit did not sound any louder than other coffee makers; I thought it to be rather quiet and very sturdy.
Hurray for BUNN for providing more stainless steel hot-water/hot-coffee parts in a brewer! Now, replace the spray head with your stainless steel one, make the top cold-water pour opening in stainless steel, get rid of the plastic rim on the carafe, make it a little shorter for counter-top storing under cabinets, and you will have a home-run!
on July 18, 2011
We purchased the Bunn Phase Brew machine and within six weeks (almost to the day), it stopped working! Upon trouble shooting, we learned it was a common issue with this model: the CLE kiss of death. The CLE prompt appeared on the digital display, calling for a deep cleaning of the machine. I found this odd, since we hadn't had the machine for long and only use filtered water in it, but followed the exact instructions in an attempt to clean it out. The problem was the water would never get beyond the heating phase, despite repeated attempts. Our brand new coffee maker was dead!
The Bunn Phase Brew was a replacement for an older version of the Bunn Velocity Brew, which had developed an internal leak (the water reservoir, I think) after approximately four to five years of use. We had certainly expected it to last longer that a few years, but knew the machine was out of warranty...and we were out of luck. What sold us on the Phase Brew was that it heated water on demand, versus keeping water hot in a reservoir. It sounded like a more energy efficient way to brew coffee, but it was a big failure!
I've since learned that this is, unfortunately, a very common problem with the Bunn Phase Brew. We will not be replacing it with the same model. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice...no, thanks. I wish I could give five starts to Bunn's customer service, though. They were very efficient in handling our issue and didn't put up a fight when we told them we wanted to replace the Phase Brew with the newer model Velocity Brew. We offered to pay the difference in price, but didn't have to.
I rarely write reviews, but I was so disappointed in this product (disgusted, in fact), that I felt compelled to warn others. Be forewarned and do a little research before you purchase this product. You'll be amazed at the consistency with which this coffee maker fails to perform, often in a very short period of time.
First off, let me say I almost NEVER drank 'drip-style' coffee before I started using this Bunn maker. I have a french press at work, and use that every day -- on the weekends, I usually don't bother with the drip maker at home and when I do, I'm usually not crazy about the flavor. More trouble than it's worth.
Enter this newfangled coffee maker... the technology is touted at length on the product description, so I'll spare a re-hash, but to summarize:
- Dimensions: this fits atop my kitchen counter, beneath the cabinets, without a problem. Not sure what others on here have been complaining about (unless their cabinets are really low). It's a little taller than my old maker, but not that much taller. Fits in the same spot as the old one.
- Aesthetic: I like the brushed steel / black aesthetic. Modern, and meshes with other devices around the kitchen/house. I'm not a stickler for interior decoration, but it's still a plus.
- Ease of use: same as a normal maker; fill the carage, pour the water in the receptacle, place filter, scoop coffee, hit 'Start'... in 8-10 minutes you get perfect coffee.
- Carafe: this is where this product gets 4 stars instead of 5. It's a relatively small annoyance, but so key with coffee makers that it does mean I'm lowering my rating. The Carafe is attractive and well-made, but you have to be careful pouring water into the top receptacle, and be even more careful pouring hot coffee into your mug. Why? The pour spout is 'modern' looking, as in it's mostly flat, without a clearly defined pouring channel. As a consequence, liquids tend to run to the sides of the pour spout and will trickle down the outside of the carafe and spill on your counter/table/lap.
This can be MOSTLY mitigated by pouring carefully and you have to leave the top on (helps reduce the seepage/spilling). After a few times, I got more or less accustomed to it and can avoid spilling now, but it's still a small annoyance that, repeated with each pour, makes me miss my old coffee maker's carafe.
- Coffee Flavor: the bubbling/steaming sound as the water heats up sets your mouth to watering. When the coffee brews, the smell instantly fills the room and house. The coffee from this machine is much bolder than normal drip-style makers, yet, true to the manufacturer's promise, is not bitter at all -- I'd say even bolder (and still less bitter) than the coffee I make with my french press. I really believe the technology and the super-hot water make superior coffee.
- Capacity: the 8-'cup' capacity is fine for me. Makes 3-4 good mugs of coffee, and for those who want more, it'd be easy to refill the maker and re-start it... by the time you're done with your cup(s), another batch will be ready.
BOTTOM LINE: I really wish i could give this maker 5 stars. It is a great coffee maker. It looks cool, it sounds cool, makes the house smell good, the coffee tastes great, and it's well-made. One small design flaw -- a quirky and sometimes spillage-prone carafe pour spout -- presents a relatively minor annoyance, but as it's repeated each time you make coffee, it makes you wonder why the engineering team at Bunn didn't make a slight design tweak to mitigate the pouring problem. Oh well - it's otherwise an outstanding coffee maker.
on April 24, 2015
Originally purchased the Bunn Phase Brew 8 Cup w/ stainless carafe on 12/5/2013 from a diff't online retailer (on abt.com). It arrived DOA which abt.com promptly exchanged. Now fast-forward to 4/24/2015. This morning, I found rust had been building in the water reservoir for who knows how long! The issue is a metal disk that is screwed down in the bottom of the reservoir. No idea what its purpose is, but surely its not to rust. I unscrewed the disk to find rust on top and at its bottom. Just avoid Bunn...
on October 23, 2011
Bunn has done a great job with this machine. My old Velocity Brew was starting to leak after 10years of everyday use so I purchased the new Phase Brew. Here's some details:
* Coffee comes out hot and strong (just the way I like it)
* Does not waste energy all day like my old Velocity Brew
* I've tasted the Velocity and Phase side-by-side and the Phase just tastes better (was using Starbucks House Blend or Alterra Breakfast Blend)
* Stainless steel filter holder is an upgrade from the old plastic
* Machine whines and gurgles when making a pot of coffee. I like it!
* Makes up to 8 cups of coffee which is typicall more than my wife and I will drink. If you need more, you can simply brew more.
* Timer is very easy to set and forget.
* Overall look of the unit is high end.
* Brewer sometimes feels a little unstable or wobbly compared to my Velociy Brew (less stability without the big tank of water).
* Carafe will leave a few drips of coffee in the canister each time. I solved this by substituting the superior Velocity carage (see pictures).
* Since the coffee is served very hot, it can scorch after about 1/2 hour on the warmer.
* Had to send back the first unit because the coffee tasted "off" after a few batches. Bunn was very helpful and next day aired me a new coffee maker free of charge. They also paid to have the old maker sent back. I didn't even put up a fuss!)
Overall, I am very pleased with this new product from BUNN and their awesome customer support.