Bonavita Coffee Maker Review

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The Bonavita coffee maker is an acclaimed brewer known for producing a superb pot of coffee. Don’t be fooled by the underwhelming exterior, this coffee machine packs a serious punch! 

This, combined with the affordable price tag and reliable build, make it one of the best drip coffee makers on the market. This review will look at some of the key features of these coffee makers and then break down the differences between the various models. 

Bonavita Coffee Maker

Best Budget Coffee Maker

The Bonavita coffee makers are defined by one thing: simplicity. They have a basic but durable design and are simple to use with one-touch brewing. But perhaps the most standout feature is their ability to brew coffee that is delicious and well-extracted. This is the best drip coffee maker for anyone who wants to save some bucks without skimping on quality. 

Design

The Bonavita Coffee Maker has a classic but basic design. On the one side, you have the transparent water tank; on the other, the brew basket and carafe. The machine is operated via a single button, making it foolproof to use. 

The potential downside of the simple design is that the Bonavita has next to no features. There is no programmability or auto-brew options. This is a simple coffee maker that is designed to do one thing and that is to brew good coffee.

And it accomplishes this through the well thought out brewing features. Most of the Bonavita models have a 1500W heater which is able to maintain an optimal brewing temperature of 195-205F (91-96C). This is perhaps the key consideration whenever you are considering purchasing a drip coffee maker. If a coffee maker can’t heat the water this high, you will get under-extracted, sour coffee. And vice versa, if it heats the water above this temperature it will result in over-extracted and burnt coffee. A coffee maker that can reach and maintain water at this sweet spot is well on the way to producing excellent coffee.

In addition to this, the Bonavita coffee makers have a showerhead, which evenly delivers water over the coffee grounds. Finally, they have an optional pre-infusion function that wets the coffee grounds before brewing, to allow them to degas. These three features ensure the coffee is well extracted and delicious. 

Most models have an 8-cup capacity, except for the Bonavita BV1500TS, which is a 5 cup coffee maker. The 8 cup models have a flat bottomed filter basket and use your standard 8-12 cup basket-style coffee filters. The 5 cup model uses #4 cone shaped filters.  

You can choose between a stainless steel thermal carafe or a glass carafe with a warming plate. Most people opt for the thermal carafe, which can keep brewed coffee hot for several hours (if you preheat the carafe). However, not everyone loves it. There have been recurring complaints about how the thermal carafe pours and that you can’t get the last of the coffee out. The most recent model- the Bonavita Connoisseur has an improved thermal carafe for pouring (although the reviews of this are somewhat mixed).

The final commendation for the Bonavita is that they are very quiet coffee machines when in use. You won’t have to worry about waking the household when you brew coffee. 

Bonavita Showerhead

Build

The Bonavita is built from a combination of stainless steel and black plastic, which integrates well with a range of kitchen color schemes. The scaled-back design means that there are few parts that can break down, making it a reliable and durable coffee maker. The showerhead, carafe lid, and filter basket are all made of BPA-free plastic, which is dishwasher safe.

Ease of Use

As mentioned above, this coffee maker is straightforward to use. To brew a pot of coffee, you use the following steps:

  • Fill the water tank with fresh filtered water.
  • Add your paper filter and coffee grounds to the brew basket (Bonavita recommends using 10 grams of coffee per cup of coffee brewed). 
  • Lock the brew basket back into place. How this is done varies between the different models. The Bonavita Connoisseur has a hanging brew basket, whereas most other models have the brew basket sitting on top of the carafe. 
  • Turn the brewer on by pushing the on/off switch. The brewer will run through the brew cycle and then automatically shut off after brewing.
  • If you want to activate the pre-infusion mode, press and hold the on/off switch for 5 seconds. The on/off switch will flash during brewing rather than remain solid to indicate you are in this mode. 

Performance and Taste

The Bonavita takes around 6 minutes to brew a pot of coffee. This fits with the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) recommendations for the time of coffee-to-water contact to be between 6-8 minutes for drip coffee. The Bonavita coffee maker also reaches and maintains the optimal water temperature during brewing, has a pre-infusion function and a showerhead for even saturation. 

All of these factors aid the Bonavita in producing delicious well-extracted filter coffee. The coffee made by this unassuming coffee maker is the reason it is so well-loved in the coffee world.

Bonavita Coffee Maker

Cleaning

Cleaning the Bonavita coffee maker is a breeze. The showerhead, carafe lid, and filter basket are all made of plastic and are dishwasher safe. The carafe itself should be washed in hot soapy water. Now and then, it will need a deeper clean with cleaning powder. The outside of the coffee maker should be wiped down with a damp cloth. And that’s it for the regular cleaning.

Other than that, you need to descale the coffee maker. Bonavita recommends doing this every three months or 100 brew cycles.

Bonavita Drip Coffee Makers

Bonavita offer a range of coffee brewers that all function the same way but differ slightly in the design, capacity or carafe they come with. We have compiled a list of their best coffee makers below.

Bonavita Connoisseur (BV1901TS)

Bonavita Connoisseur

The Bonavita Connoisseur is their best coffee maker. It is an 8 cup coffee maker the brews a carafe of coffee in 6 minutes. The Bonavita Connoisseur features a hanging flat-bottom filter basket and comes with a 1.3L thermal carafe with improved pouring. One other point of difference is that it beeps to notify you when the brewing cycle is done. The Bonavita Connoisseur has a 1500-watt heater, showerhead design, and pre-infusion mode. This model is SCA certified.

Bonavita BV1900TS or BV1901GW 

Bonavita 8 cup
Bonavita 8 cup

The Bonavita BV1901TS coffee maker is one of their most popular models. This brewer is an 8 cup coffee maker and is almost identical to the Connoisseur. It features the same 1500-watt heater, showerhead design, and pre-infusion mode. It also comes with a thermal carafe. The main differences are that with the BV19001TS model, the filter basket sits directly on top of the carafe. It also doesn’t have an audible sound to notify you when the brewing cycle is finished.

The BV1901GW is the glass carafe version of this brewer. The glass carafe comes coupled with a warming plate that shuts off after 40 minutes. This model also beeps to notify you when the brewing cycle ends. Both these brewers are SCA certified.

Bonavita BV1901PW

Bonavita Metropolitan

If you are looking for a sleek model, the Bonvita BV1901PW coffee maker is where it’s at! This model is identical to the glass carafe version above. It has the same glass carafe paired with a warming plate that shuts off after 40 minutes. The point of difference lies in the color scheme. This model has a black stainless steel body rather than the typical silver one, giving it a modern, sleek look. This model is also SCA certified.

Bonavita 5 cup Coffee Maker (BV1500TS)

Bonavita 5 cup

The Bonavita 5 cup coffee maker is their smaller and more affordable version. As the name would suggest, it only brews 5 cups of coffee, making it an excellent option for a smaller household. It has an 1100-watt heater, showerhead design, and pre-infusion mode. This model comes with a thermal carafe. It is worth noting that this coffee maker is NOT SCA certified but is still capable of producing a decent cup of coffee.

These are the most popular models of Bonavita coffee makers. They have a few other options in their line-up, including a model with a programmable digital display and auto-start timer. 

Value for Money

The Bonavita Coffee Maker is a basic coffee maker. It is never going to be a statement piece in your kitchen, the way a Moccamaster might be. But what it does have going for it is excellent value for money. The coffee maker is well designed, durable, and straightforward to use. We would say that this is the best budget drip coffee machine on the market at present.

Alternatives

If you are on the fence regarding the Bonavita, there are a couple of other options.

Technivorm Moccamaster

The stunning, hand-crafted Technivorm Moccamaster is the best coffee maker in the drip category. The Moccamaster is all about simplicity and minimalism. It has a stunning design, is extremely well built. And most importantly, it produces great coffee; that is well extracted and delicious.

Breville Precision Brewer

Alternatively, for the coffee geeks out there, the Breville Precision Brewer is the most customizable coffee maker you will find. It offers an impressive amount of features, allowing you to fine tune the coffee brewing process. This is one of the few coffee brewers out there capable of brewing craft filter coffee. See our guide to the best SCA coffee makers for a complete list of excellent drip brewers. 

Pros:

  • Excellent value
  • Produces delicious coffee
  • Well built
  • Option of glass or thermal carafe

Cons:

  • Not as aesthetically pleasing as other brewers
  • No option to program the machine
  • Pre-infusion has to be done manually

Bonavita Coffee Maker- The Verdict

A Bonavita coffee maker is a good buy for many reasons. They are well built, offer one-touch brewing, and produce a delicious pot of coffee. If you want to brew drip coffee on a budget, you can’t go wrong investing in one of these bad boys. 

In terms of which one, we recommend the Bonavita Connoisseur, as the best all-round coffee maker. If you are after a smaller model, the Bonavita 5 cup brewer is an excellent choice.  

Bonavita Coffee Maker

Happy Buying!

Faqs

What does the Specialty Coffee Association certification mean?

The Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) has a program for testing drip coffee makers. This is with the aim of promoting better brewing and consequently better coffee. To be certified by the SCA a drip coffee maker has to be able to maintain a proper water temperature of 92-96 C (196-205F), have an acceptable brewing time (4-8 minutes) and be able to brew within the SCA golden cup standard. If a brewer is able to meet all these requirements it is certified by the SCA. Most of the Bonavita coffee makers on this list are certified, with the exception of the Bonavita 5 cup coffee maker. If a coffee brewer has the SCA certification, you can buy it with confidence knowing it has been rigorously tested and is capable of brewing good coffee.

What size coffee grounds does a drip coffee maker use?

A drip coffee maker uses a medium grind size, of a similar consistency to sand.

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