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Bonavita Automatic Brewer - 1st Look
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Discussions > Coffee > Machines > Bonavita...  
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Redbone
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Redbone
Joined: 20 Aug 2012
Posts: 12
Location: Mississauga,Ontario, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Brasilia cappuccino del-1
Grinder: Brasilia BFD flat burr...
Drip: Bonavita BV-1800
Posted Tue Oct 2, 2012, 8:44am
Subject: Re: Bonavita Automatic Brewer - 1st Look
 

I played with both filter types, paper bleached and unbleached as well as rinsing paper fines. I also bought a gold type metal filter that is reusable and allows for more coffee oils and minor sediment to seep through. Here are my findings: This is our Mon-Fri work week machine & brew method. Keep in mind the grind here makes a huge difference and make take a while in order to dial in the ideal cup.

*If dead set on using a paper filter, the unbleached filter offers a better taste profile than the white paper. You will need a finer grind (than metal filter) in order to extract more from the grinds since the oils are being absorbed by the paper filter. You may also need more coffee in order to achieve the same flavor profile as a reusable metal filter.
  • If you prefer taste profile  closer to french press then I recommend the gold reusable filter . My ideal here using a Baratza encore grinder is #19. Each unit may vary slightly 18-20 grind.
  • When metal filter brewing, I brew .5-1cup more coffee than I use, dumping remaining amount with fine sediment in house plants with added water. Right after brew is complete I place lid on carafe and let settle min 4 min to allow any sediment to sink.
  • If paper filter I found that #13 is ideal if using the Baratza Encore, once again each unit will vary slightly so 12-14. Advantage here is that you can use all coffee brewed and makes for easier clean up.
  • As far as amount of coffee to use, I have found that use one more rounded Tbsp pre ground beans than cups of water listed on Bonavita water tank marker. So if I make 7 cups I use 8 Tbsp of beans.
    I initially measured and have tweaked amounts in order to get best brew profile. I don't have the time or patients at 6am to weigh beans.
    *I use the Bonavita Automatic Brewer in the morning during the work week and when  entertaining. I typically use a French Press, Clever coffee dripper or Aeropress when time and patients are on my side usually in the evening or weekends.

The other advantage of the Bonavita Automatic Brewer for me outside of proper brew temperature and brew time is the ease of cleaning due to it's simplicity and small footprint. There are other great units out there but they larger and have more parts to clean. I had a grind and brew unit (basement now) and it was like assembling a Lego diagram, to many pieces for daily use. At the price point I find the Bonavita Brewer hard to beat. My only wish might be for a copper heater element as I don't know if the current Bonavita element effects the water adversely. Anybody with lab access care to test it and get back to me. :)

*Keep in mind that the cup levels on the Bonavita are 5oz. I only hand wash the carafe with water and mild dish washing soup and never place in dishwasher. I also pass water through the lid. Use twice daily and have yet to have any issues with unit or carafe.
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EricBNC
Senior Member
EricBNC
Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Posts: 1,869
Location: North Carolina
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: QM Silvano, LP Stradivarius,...
Grinder: K30, Major, Preciso, Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam C30, Bodum Santos...
Drip: Bonavita BV-1800,...
Roaster: Behmor, Melitta, Fresh...
Posted Tue Oct 2, 2012, 9:58am
Subject: Re: Bonavita Automatic Brewer - 1st Look
 

Nice detailed impression there! I use the Melitta Brown filters too most of the time when quick clean up is desired. When I have more time I like brewing with the SwissGold permanent filter. My grind settings with my Baratza match yours too - 20 for paper filter and 24 for permanent filter.

 
I chew coffee beans with my teeth while gargling with 195 F water to enjoy coffee. What is this "coffee brewing" device you speak of?
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Pnutsmom
Senior Member
Pnutsmom
Joined: 25 Mar 2012
Posts: 4
Location: Las Vegas
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Saeco
Drip: Bonavita
Roaster: Fresh Roast 500
Posted Sat Nov 10, 2012, 12:08pm
Subject: Re: Bonavita Automatic Brewer - 1st Look
 

I purchased the Bonavita Thermal in Feb. 2012, in 2 months time the glass exploded just sitting on the base, empty.....They sent out a new one asap, that one has Melitta stamped on it. Fast forward 6 months to last week when we noticed a ring of coffee under the carafe on the counter, upon closer look it seems a few drips coming from the seam where the metal meets plastic directly under the spout. I email Tracy their customer service person, she asks me a couple questions, have I ever submerged the carafe or put it in the dishwasher? NO, on both. Then between emails we notice 4 cracks on the rim of the plastic, so I snap a pic & email that to her. Her reply was that she showed it to her engineer who stated we must have put the screw on lid on 'TOO HARD"......Huh? Anyhow they are sending me another replacement all the while saying this has never been reported to them prior to me. I did a search on Google & came up with someone writing a review on Amazon who had the exact same cracking issue. Then I see the same carafe & basket at Bed, Bath, & Beyond <Melitta> & in the description it says top rack dishwasher safe & sells for $39.99. Don't know what to make of all this, but don't have a good feeling on longevity.

Karen
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Forest2012
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Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 13
Location: Chapel Hill, NC (USA)
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia; Nespresso...
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky
Drip: Bonavita; Hario Woodneck...
Posted Sun Nov 11, 2012, 3:04am
Subject: Re: Bonavita Automatic Brewer - 1st Look
 

I recently purchased the Bonavita brewer with the glass carafe, at the going price of $129. I have to say, in my opinion, that the quality does strike me as somewhat flimsy, and I, too, have doubts about the longevity of the machine and its parts. The plastic handle on the glass carafe is slightly loose and does not feel super-sturdy. In my opinion. a reasonable price for the machine would be half the current price, $65. That's just me--others might feel differently. I have used the machine each morning, and it functions well and makes good coffee. I have been using both paper filters and the Frieling permanent gold filter. I like both methods. We Coffee Geeks must have our new toys!  Note: After having used this machine now quite often, and having taken off the top and sprayhead (relatively heavy/solid parts) for cleaning, I now think a reasonable selling price for this brewer should be more around $85! :)
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JEMarks
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Dec 2012
Posts: 1
Location: NY
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: 3
Grinder: 3
Vac Pot: 1
Drip: BonaVita 1800 TH
Roaster: 0
Posted Wed Dec 26, 2012, 4:11pm
Subject: Re: Bonavita Automatic Brewer - 1st Look
 

Re: Bona-Vita 1800TH  brewing station w. thermal carafe  a 2012 Holiday present
Tasting Brews:  Fresh ground medium-dark beans: ('Yehman' from Lighthouse Coffee, Seattle).
Brewing water: mineral-rich tap water.
Results:  
Taste and aroma:  bland.   Noticeably better but not good enough when I used bottled water (Nescafe/Polar Springs in polycarbonate 3-qt containers.)
Temperature control:
The measured brew-water temperature shower-head outlet of this unit was 8-10 degrees low on 4 measurements on 2 occasions.
Test Set-up:  
Thermometer = CDN ProAaccurate Quick Read, scale precision of 0.1 deg F, calibrated at 212.2 deg F. in boiling hi-mineral local tap water.
Heated water from the brewing shower head was caught in a non-metallic cup  which was pre-heated to 200+ def. F. to reduce latent heat loss to the cup.
Note:  Careful measurements reported elsewhere indicate the same unit correctly controls brew-water temp to 200 +/- 1 deg.

Follow-up:
I did not open up the unit to look for a meansof adjusting the brew water discharge temperature, mostly to avoid voiding a warranty, but also because the bottom cover is held on by 4, 3-point star-head screws for which I do not own a driver, yet.

Personal taste / methods…:
I prefer dark roasts brewed at temperatures at or above 200 F., and as high as 210 f. when I’m sloppy about it.
Prior to this gift, I was brewing dark roast beans ground in my Bodum (M/N 10903, ugly orange) grinder set to the press-pot symbol at about 10 on its   0 to 12` scale..
I brew using enough water to fill two Bodum 12-cup  press-pots to the max, (120 fl. Oz. total), and heated to 300 F. in a single 4-qt. (128 fl oz),  SS pot on a gas range.  (Not much room for CO2 foam)
When the temperature of the water in the pot reaches 202-203 F., I start a timer and dump 2 fully-loaded, Bodum grinder cups of ground coffee into the water (2 tablespoons of ground coffee per 5-oz cup which is approx. 0.56grams of ground coffee per.fl. oz of water), and brew for 4 minutes.
I slowly but as quickly as I can, stir the floating ground coffee into the 200+ F. water with a bamboo, paddle type spatula.  The water temp. in the pot drops immediately to 200 F. which I maintain manually by adjusting the gas burner.  If awake enough I can keep it at 200  +/- a degree F. or 2.  I stir continuously to keep every grain in contact with the hot water from the beginning to the end.
Then the fun begins:  CO2 from the beans RAPIDLY outgases  and continues until almost exactly the 4 minutes set on the timer, when it simply stops forming and disappears .
When the timer goes off at 4 minutes I pour the brew into two 12-cup press pots, pouring slowly enough to leave most of the grounds in the brew pot.
I insert and press down the strainer/plungers asap, then pour the filtered coffee from the press pots as quickly as convenient into two Bormioli Rocco 1-litre  Glass Pitchers which I then keep heated in water in a deep sauce pan on a low gas flame.  Any left over coffee I store in the pitchers in the refrigerator, almost indefinitely.
Caution:  The Bormioli pitchers have taken the shock of the hot brew OK, but one shattered when, at room temperature and attempting to pre-heat it, I plunged it into boiling water. Another shattered when I poured in boiling water.
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etexlady
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Apr 2007
Posts: 44
Location: Texas
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Capresso Infinity;  Bunn
Drip: Krups Moka Brew, Melitta...
Posted Fri Jan 11, 2013, 10:17am
Subject: Re: Bonavita Automatic Brewer - 1st Look
 

Dropping in to report regarding my attempt to obtain warranty service for the Bonivita thermal carafe that imploded.  I was disappointed that the company decided I "must" have hit the carafe on the sink or otherwise done something that caused the glass liner to shatter.  I disagreed stating that I have used glass carafes on an almost daily basis for various purposes for years and never had one "implode and shatter" like this one did.  No go.  The best they would offer is a discount on a replacement.  In the meantime I had knee surgery and didn't follow up on the offer.  I don't know that I will pursue it any further.  I was not that impressed with the brew the machine produced.  It's interesting that there are reviews on Amazon that report exactly the same problem with the Bonivita carafe.
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VKirby
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Mar 2012
Posts: 99
Location: World Wide
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Sat Jan 12, 2013, 8:39am
Subject: Re: Bonavita Automatic Brewer - 1st Look
 

etexlady Said:

Dropping in to report regarding my attempt to obtain warranty service for the Bonivita thermal carafe that imploded.  I was disappointed that the company decided I "must" have hit the carafe on the sink or otherwise done something that caused the glass liner to shatter.  I disagreed stating that I have used glass carafes on an almost daily basis for various purposes for years and never had one "implode and shatter" like this one did.  No go.  The best they would offer is a discount on a replacement.  In the meantime I had knee surgery and didn't follow up on the offer.  I don't know that I will pursue it any further.  I was not that impressed with the brew the machine produced.  It's interesting that there are reviews on Amazon that report exactly the same problem with the Bonivita carafe.

Posted January 11, 2013 link

Sorry to hear it.  They probably have no way of determining how they break, & since the majority would be accidents vs. defective glass (not that yours was), otherwise if they covered that as a rule they'd be giving out too many for free for people being careless. You think there's something inherently wrong with the glass?  Did it just break sitting there, or when exposed to hot/cold all & you knew the moment it happened (how long had you been using it before breaking)?  How much is the replacement normally, & how much did they offer off?  Either way they shouldn't have insisted that you hit it, just said they don't cover the glass as a policy.

BTW anyone know if the glass of the nonthermal version, I assume it would be more robust, since it's all that's there vs. a liner?


I recently purchased the Bonavita brewer with the glass carafe, at the going price of $129. I have to say, in my opinion, that the quality does strike me as somewhat flimsy, and I, too, have doubts about the longevity of the machine and its parts. The plastic handle on the glass carafe is slightly loose and does not feel super-sturdy. In my opinion. a reasonable price for the machine would be half the current price, $65. That's just me--others might feel differently. I have used the machine each morning, and it functions well and makes good coffee. I have been using both paper filters and the Frieling permanent gold filter. I like both methods. We Coffee Geeks must have our new toys!  Note: After having used this machine now quite often, and having taken off the top and sprayhead (relatively heavy/solid parts) for cleaning, I now think a reasonable selling price for this brewer should be more around $85! :)

So if it had been 1/3 less expensive, you wouldn't have a problem with the build quality?  Because if you're saying $85 is a fair price, that's still a whole lot more than your average coffee maker- is bonavita's loose handle, flimsy plastic etc. any less so than $15 makers in walmart at least?  Oh well it looks good anyway.  Best looking coffee maker out there actually. It would be nice if it were built like a techivorm, but then we'd be moving in the other direction.
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etexlady
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Apr 2007
Posts: 44
Location: Texas
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Capresso Infinity;  Bunn
Drip: Krups Moka Brew, Melitta...
Posted Sat Jan 12, 2013, 12:37pm
Subject: Re: Bonavita Automatic Brewer - 1st Look
 

VKirby Said:

   Did it just break sitting there, or when exposed to hot/cold all & you knew the moment it happened (how long had you been using it before breaking)?  How much is the replacement normally, & how much did they offer off?  Either way they shouldn't have insisted that you hit it, just said they don't cover the glass as a policy.  
.

Posted January 12, 2013 link

I knew the exact moment the glass shattered because I was holding the carafe in my hand.  I had poured the brewed coffee in my thermal travel mug earlier and the empty carafe had been sitting on the cabinet for 20 minutes or so.  I rinse the carafe out before I leave for work and it was when I picked it up to rinse it that the glass shattered.  I had the brewer for about two months before the incident happened.  I didn't use it daily.  The fact that I had not just received the brewer was one of the reasons given for not offering a free replacement.  They did offer a replacement carafe at 50% off (or $25 plus shipping) which was not a bad deal but I just didn't think I wanted to invest more money in a brewer I was not overly impressed with from the beginning.
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EricBNC
Senior Member
EricBNC
Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Posts: 1,869
Location: North Carolina
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: QM Silvano, LP Stradivarius,...
Grinder: K30, Major, Preciso, Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam C30, Bodum Santos...
Drip: Bonavita BV-1800,...
Roaster: Behmor, Melitta, Fresh...
Posted Sat Jan 12, 2013, 1:47pm
Subject: Re: Bonavita Automatic Brewer - 1st Look
 

I have the same glass lined carafe with a pour over cone (thermal Bonavita minus the coffee maker part) that came in a Melitta box. I have a couple other older ones too but I haven't seen one break unless the thing got dropped (Thermos in the third grade) or not handled properly. Vacuum glass containers have been around for a long time. Maybe someone in your house dropped it but didn't tell you?

 
I chew coffee beans with my teeth while gargling with 195 F water to enjoy coffee. What is this "coffee brewing" device you speak of?
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etexlady
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Apr 2007
Posts: 44
Location: Texas
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Capresso Infinity;  Bunn
Drip: Krups Moka Brew, Melitta...
Posted Sat Jan 12, 2013, 2:12pm
Subject: Re: Bonavita Automatic Brewer - 1st Look
 

I'm the only one in the house so I know I did not drop it, hit it, or handle it improperly.  I have had many drip coffee makers with glass carafes and have never broken one of them.  I used a glass lined carafe for years with never a problem prior to buying the Bonavita.  I don't believe it was something I did to cause the container to shatter.  But, Bonavita wishes to believe otherwise and they make the final decision.
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