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Discussions > Coffee > Q and A > Gift for a...  
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yakster
Senior Member
yakster
Joined: 25 Feb 2009
Posts: 1,042
Location: San Jose, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Factory / La Peppina...
Grinder: Vario / Kyocera
Vac Pot: Yama 8 + Pyrex Lox-in Rod
Drip: Brazen / Kalita / Chemex /...
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Thu Nov 29, 2012, 8:07pm
Subject: Re: Gift for a hardcore drip drinker
 

qualin Said:

I'm thinking abut these models:

- Technivorm Moccamaster CDT or KBT-741
- Bonavita BV1800TH
- Bunn B10-B

Posted November 29, 2012 link

Bud,

I recently upgraded from the Bunn BTX Thermofresh to the Brazen and have been very happy.

I picked up the old Bunn BTX from a thrift store and I started using it when my household went from two coffee drinkers to four coffee drinkers and it was no longer feasible to hand-brew Chemex / Kone pots in the morning before work.

The advantage of this brewer is that it keeps the water hot and ready to brew at all times, so if you make lots of pots it's a convenience.  It also brews very quickly.  I had to fine up the grind to get a good extraction.  I believe that the Bunn B10-B you reference is based on this type of brewing.  I didn't like leaving the Bunn on all the time since I would normally only use it in the morning so I put it on a timer.  I noticed that even with it on the timer, my results were not consistent and I believe that this may be due to the temperature dead-band of the water... the water will cool to a point where the heater will kick in so if you brew the pot right before the water reaches the low temp point you'll get different results than if you brew the pot right after it's heated up.  The Bunn also took a lot of counter space, it's pretty deep, at least mine is.  I ordered the Decaf sprayhead to try and prevent any bloom problems with fresh roast too.  The Bunn I have is designed to add turbulence to the brew and often times a lot of the coffee grounds had climbed up the sides of the tall filters they are designed to use.  You need Bunn tall filters, and fewer places sell these now.  Also, with the Bunn that I have, there was no way to wet the grounds for blooming them in a systematic way.  What I would do is pour in the brew water (I used 900 ml water and 50 grams coffee) and then I would close the lid and allow some of the water to hit the grounds in the filter basket and then lift the lid and wait while the coffee bloomed before allowing the rest of the water to flow through to brew.  The water flows by force of gravity and water displacement in my brewer without a pump.  The cold water you pour in displaces the hot water in the tank for brewing.  All this seems sort of fiddly for a gift but I suspect that many people don't go this far and just brew and certainly you wouldn't need to worry about blooming the grounds with pre-ground coffee.

With the Brazen, the water temperature and pre-wet times are programmable.  The Brazen releases a timed dose of water, I believe about 2 * 60 grams = 120 ml of water to pre-wet the grounds and waits your programmed time before brewing the coffee with the balance of the water.  The Brazen keeps the water at a constant temp and the brew path is very short, right from the water kettle above the filter down using gravity.  Because the Brazen brews from cold water and brings all the water up to temperature, it takes longer before the pre-wet and brew cycle begin.  I come down in the morning and start the brewer before my morning ablutions so that the coffee is ready when everyone is up.  I really like the Brazen and have always been impressed with Behmor customer support.  You'll have to decide if your mother wants a programmable brewer, though.  I find that most of my coffee works real well with a 205F setting, but recently switched coffees and like this one better at 203F.  The Brazen has a nice, wide showerhead and the coffee grounds are evenly soaked.  The Brazen is tall but not deep and you may notice some drips from the showerhead when you remove the filter and that the pour spout of the thermal carafe could pour a little nicer, but I feel these are minor issues.  The Brazen has manual release brew modes and the filter basket has a valve that would allow you to remove the pot and serve yourself a cup of coffee before the brewing is complete (if you wanted to do this).

I've never owned a Technivorm or Bonavita drip brewer.  The reviews of both of these will tell you that the temperature of these brewers meets the SCAA specs, but they are not adjustable.  

The showerhead of the Bonavita is wide and is said to evenly soak the grounds.  Beyond that, the Bonavita is a basic brewer with no pause-and-serve feature, no pre-soak, no timer, just a brew button.  The Bonavita may be a good choice for a basic brewer with good temperature control.  You may be able to pre-soak your grounds by shutting off the brewer or just wetting the grounds before starting the brew.

The Technivorm is said to make a very good cup of coffee, but I believe that it has a basic showerhead to the point where many people will manually stir the coffee in the brew basket while making a pot.  There's also a three-position valve for the filter basket with a closed, half-open, and full-open position that you can use for blooming the coffee and controlling the flow.  This can give you a more hands-on brewing experience and allow you to customize your brew, but I don't know if that's what's desired in this case.  

Since I don't have any first-hand experience with the Bonavita or the Technivorm, I may have some of the facts here wrong.  Please verify these yourself.

Bunn Trifecta:  I have had coffee from the Pro Trifecta and the Home Trifecta.  The Trifecta is designed to brew by-the-cup quickly using air turbulence.  I've had great cups from the home Trifecta from a fellow home-roaster.  We compared the same coffee brewed on a Trifecta and a siphon (Vac Pot) and I was amazed that the Trifecta brewed a cup very comparable to the vac pot.  The home version has 5 profiles, I believe and no temp control.  The commercial version has more options.  I've also had several bad cups of coffee from the pro version... at the SCAA Symposium and at a cafe in Orange County.  I blame the coffee used in this case.  In fact, I had a lot of cups of bad coffee at the symposium on the show floor, amazingly.  These brewers (Trifecta and siphons) may favor certain coffees more than others, usually coffees with a cleaner cup.  The bad cups I've had were muddled cups.  You'd have to decide if your mother would like the looks of the Trifecta as well as want to brew each cup one-by-one rather than brewing a whole pot and working off that.  

I hope this helps with your decision, let us know which way you go.

 
-Chris

LMWDP # 272
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jbviau
Senior Member
jbviau
Joined: 12 Jul 2010
Posts: 731
Location: Pembroke Pines, FL
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Preciso / LIDOs
Drip: Trifecta MB / Eva Solo...
Posted Thu Nov 29, 2012, 9:06pm
Subject: Re: Gift for a hardcore drip drinker
 

yakster Said:

Bunn Trifecta...The commercial version has more options. I've also had several bad cups of coffee from the pro version... at the SCAA Symposium and at a cafe in Orange County.  I blame the coffee used in this case...

Posted November 29, 2012 link

Could be, but I'll bet the "more options" bit can be problematic, too, ironically. Ok, enough off-topic Trifecta discussion for me... ;)
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,876
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600, CO/UFO combo
Posted Thu Nov 29, 2012, 9:25pm
Subject: Re: Gift for a hardcore drip drinker
 

EricBNC Said:

+1 on the Bonavita - a simple and effective brewer from my experience. My Bonavita does disburse water better than my Technivorm but both make a great pot of coffee.

I have an older model Baratza - the Maestro - which the Encore replaced and it is great for pour over and drip ground coffee.

Posted November 29, 2012 link

Agree. Folks seem VERY pleased with the Bonavita, especially for the money. Not sure if it does 8 or 10 cups? I thought 8? (40oz).
If that's enough, and it usually is, there you go. If she's not over the top like amy of us here..lol, the BraZen, Technivorm, Trifecta etc is overkill.
I also have a Bunn STX which does 1.75 liter in 4 minutes flat. good coffee, brews to 200f, costs about 139.
As regards the grinder, I agree with Eric. Maybe see if you can get a Baratza Encore refurb. Often, they're only used in trade shows.

A REAL great gift would be a monthly 2 lb subscription to Redbird Coffee 9they have nice SO's), or other reasonably priced roasting company.



EDIT...forgot you're in Canada. Coffee monthly would still be a good gift!! LOL

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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qualin
Senior Member
qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 654
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Elect. Type A
Vac Pot: Looking to buy
Drip: Manual
Roaster: Considering?
Posted Thu Nov 29, 2012, 10:34pm
Subject: Re: Gift for a hardcore drip drinker
 

emradguy Said:

Have you looked at the Brazen?  How about the Bunn Trifecta?

Posted November 29, 2012 link

The Brazen may be a candidate as well, however the others look a little easier to use and look closer to a standard drip coffee maker. The Behmor has a lot of settings which
she may not be familiar with. (ie. Temperature Selection, Pre-Infusion) It does look like they put a lot of thought into it. She's used to flipping a switch and seeing coffee come out. :-)

The Bunn Trifecta would probably scare her. While I think that the Trifecta is an awesome idea, my main concern would be its reliability and ease of cleaning,
not to mention that it can't brew more than 12 oz of coffee at a time. The Trifecta might be something I myself would consider buying though to replace my K-Cup machine.
I think that it is a great idea, especially considering that my wife is more of a tea drinker and it works very well with teas.

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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qualin
Senior Member
qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 654
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Elect. Type A
Vac Pot: Looking to buy
Drip: Manual
Roaster: Considering?
Posted Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:06pm
Subject: Re: Gift for a hardcore drip drinker
 

yakster Said:

It also brews very quickly.  I had to fine up the grind to get a good extraction.

Posted November 29, 2012 link

Clue me in a bit, what do you consider to be a good extraction for drip coffee? I think I need a little bit of education to pass on because having always scooped
drip coffee grounds out of a can before in the past, grind fineness wasn't as important. I was always taught to use 1 tablespoon of ground coffee per 2 cups, so
she typically drinks an 8 cup pot of coffee using 4 tablespoons of pre-ground coffee.

yakster Said:

I believe that this may be due to the temperature dead-band of the water...

Posted November 29, 2012 link

I think from your comments, the Bunn coffeemaker is out. She lives in a small rural area, so whatever you can find at a Supermarket, she can get.

yakster Said:

prevent any bloom problems with fresh roast too.

Posted November 29, 2012 link

I just learned something today. I didn't know coffee was supposed to "Bloom" when it is drip brewed. Having always had pre-ground coffee and not liking it all
that much, now I kind of understand why. It's kind of like always eating stale bread then eating fresh bread for the first time......

yakster Said:

With the Brazen, the water temperature and pre-wet times are programmable.

Posted November 29, 2012 link

That sounds appealing, but I think I'd have to hit her with some information to show her how this would work. The other brewers are fairly intuitive to use.

yakster Said:

I really like the Brazen and have always been impressed with Behmor customer support.

Posted November 29, 2012 link

Those are two things which I have been looking for. This is very good to hear, I've never really heard of Bonavita or Behmor before, but I have heard of Technivorm.

yakster Said:

You'll have to decide if your mother wants a programmable brewer, though.

Posted November 29, 2012 link

OK, I think that pretty much narrows it down then... Brazen for programmable and Bonavita for the non-programmable. Thank you very much for your input!!!

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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yakster
Senior Member
yakster
Joined: 25 Feb 2009
Posts: 1,042
Location: San Jose, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Factory / La Peppina...
Grinder: Vario / Kyocera
Vac Pot: Yama 8 + Pyrex Lox-in Rod
Drip: Brazen / Kalita / Chemex /...
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Fri Nov 30, 2012, 11:41am
Subject: Re: Gift for a hardcore drip drinker
 

yakster Said:

It also brews very quickly.  I had to fine up the grind to get a good extraction.

Posted November 29, 2012 link

qualin Said:

Clue me in a bit, what do you consider to be a good extraction for drip coffee? I think I need a little bit of education to pass on because having always scooped
drip coffee grounds out of a can before in the past, grind fineness wasn't as important. I was always taught to use 1 tablespoon of ground coffee per 2 cups, so
she typically drinks an 8 cup pot of coffee using 4 tablespoons of pre-ground coffee.

Posted November 29, 2012 link

The time that it takes to extract the desirable solids from coffee varies depending on the grind size.  For small particles, there's a high surface area to volume ratio and they extract more quickly than larger particles with a smaller surface are to volume ratio.  If you brew your coffee with a maker that has a fixed brew time, you dial in the grind size so that you don't over-extract the coffee with too fine a grind and don't under-extract the coffee with too coarse a grind.  You can do this by grinding finer and finer until the coffee starts to taste too bitter and then back off.  You should notice more body and flavor in the coffee as you fine up the grind.  If you fine it up too much, you may clog the filter and cause a mess so you want to be careful with this.

I've gone far down the coffee rabbit hole and so I usually weigh my coffee grounds and my water and I use metric units for simplicity.  A good recommended ratio of coffee to water is 16:1 which means 16 times more water by weight than coffee.  This is 62.5 grams of coffee per liter of water basically assuming that a ml of water weighs 1 gram.  In SAE units, you can figure about 4 ounces of coffee by weight for a half gallon of water (64 fluid ounces).

Bunn actually has some excellent presentations on coffee basics that go into depth to explain all of this in both metric and SAE units far better than I can below but remember that the most important thing is that you like the taste, not what some expert says.  I've heard in Japan that it's common to brew up to very strong 4:1 ratios.

BUNN Coffee Basics SCAA -- SAE

BUNN Coffee Basics SCAE -- Metric

yakster Said:

prevent any bloom problems with fresh roast too.

Posted November 29, 2012 link

qualin Said:

I just learned something today. I didn't know coffee was supposed to "Bloom" when it is drip brewed. Having always had pre-ground coffee and not liking it all
that much, now I kind of understand why. It's kind of like always eating stale bread then eating fresh bread for the first time......

Posted November 29, 2012 link

Bloom is not an issue for pre-ground coffee and many hadn't heard of this before until a lot of the local roasters popped up and started selling coffee with roasted on dates.  If you brew your coffee the same week that it was roasted, you may have to worry about bloom.  Being a home-roaster, this was very dramatic when I brewed coffee the day after roasting.  If you're not planning on buying premium, freshly roasted beans this may fall out of the equation, but it's good to know about.  

Frankly speaking, freshly roasted coffee is a whole rabbit hole in itself.  Once you've tasted good quality, fresh coffee it's hard to go back and I'll end up driving to a couple of roasters or Whole Foods and checking bags for roast dates if I run out of my roasted coffee.  This may not be a rabbit hole that your mother decides to go down.  You'll notice with fresh coffee that it doesn't taste bitter.  The coffee oils aren't rancid.  It's not stale.  Many people find that they need to increase their coffee dose when they go from pre-packaged ground coffee to freshly roasted coffee to get the coffee to taste right.  This may be because the mass market coffee producers use more and more robust coffee beans which have sharp, strong flavors and high levels of caffeine that allows you to use less coffee.  The older coffee tastes bitter when dosed at the recommended 16:1 ratios and tastes less so when less coffee is used.

This has probably gone beyond the topic of the thread but I think that it's safe to say that makers like the Brazen and the Trifecta have features designed to get the most from freshly roasted specialty coffee that may not make as much of a difference with commodity grade coffee.

 
-Chris

LMWDP # 272
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msboo
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Nov 2012
Posts: 259
Location: Kentucky
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso, Capresso...
Drip: Technivorm, Bonavita
Posted Sun Dec 2, 2012, 2:35pm
Subject: Re: Gift for a hardcore drip drinker
 

I'm new to drinking better, quality coffee from a brewer that operates within SCAA temp guidelines (for proper extraction) thanks to CoffeeGeek forums.  I did my homework in 3 days, as I needed a replacement brewer quickly.  I chose the Bonavita w/thermal carafe due to simple, quick operation and easy to clean--great decision, I'm a happy camper.  It brews 8 5oz cups (40oz) in little over 5 mins.  If I need to make more, it's a snap.  Prior to this I was used to my 12 cup Krups taking 12 mins (maybe longer) to brew.  W/Bonavita I'm brewing quicker, better while drinking less coffee due to better taste and satisfaction---better extraction for flavor AND caffeine.  I fill the tank at night, paper filter in basket and fill another glass lined thermal carafe with hot water--in the morning put fresh grounds in filter and flip the switch.    

Luv what all Yakster just posted, especially about bloom w/fresh grounds.  I'm going to manually tinker with pre-soaking then completing the brew cycle on this brewer.  Before, like Qualin's mom, I used 4 Tbls of canned pre-ground major brand from grocery store coffee for 8 cups (40oz) in either drip brewer or percolator.  For many yrs that made good coffee for us.  I noticed these major companies cutting corners in packaging over recent yrs, starting loose fitting w/lids--then reduced quantiy size.  I now feel they're messing with what's in the can, blending in whatever to save $$.  When I ordered the Bonavita I contacted an online retailer, asking how they thought it might brew Folgers/Maxwell House... they said it might run thru too quickly due to the grind and be weak.  It was just that.  I had already switched over to local roaster coffee so no turning back BUT out of curiousity will try brewing some Folgers/MH at 8 Tbls coffee per 40oz , as I now do with fresh grnd beans, and will post how it turns out.
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msboo
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Nov 2012
Posts: 259
Location: Kentucky
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso, Capresso...
Drip: Technivorm, Bonavita
Posted Mon Dec 3, 2012, 1:06pm
Subject: Re: Gift for a hardcore drip drinker
 

Qualin....  I tried brewing my daughter's Maxwell House in my Bonavita---instead of 4 Tbls I did 8 Tbls as normally called for per 40oz (8 5oz cups).  It came out just a little bitter IMO.  Prior to that, using 4 Tbls made for weak, blah coffee.  I'm sure your mom wants her coffee like she's used to tasting AND that's what's important (for any of us actually).  Others here can advise you much better than I BUT I'm wondering if brewing her kind of coffee at a little lower temp might make it not bitter in the end.  The Brazen, while loaded with adjustments, might be a good choice due to allowance for temp adjustment among other things----maybe you could do that for her and she'd be set.  I may later get the Brazen for the fact I can control/adjust temp, etc. but before that I need to invest in a good grinder.

Hope this helps and some others comment on temp with major store brand coffees.

Becky
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EricBNC
Senior Member
EricBNC
Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Posts: 1,867
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 Mon Dec 3, 2012, 1:08pm
Subject: Re: Gift for a hardcore drip drinker
 

Most any common coffee maker at the department store will brew at a low enough temp for Maxwell House.

 
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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