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Technivorm or Bonavita?

I'm so ready to part with our Keurig. Lousy Coffee (isn't it really overhyped instant?) and lousy for the environment.

Shopping for a drip coffee maker that makes an excellent cup and am considering these two. I do not mind spending an extra $100 if the Technivorn produces a better cup of coffee.

Any suggestions? I like the looks of the Bonavita better but Technivorn gets points for not being made in China.

Also, can anyone recommend a good mail order company that sells good coffee?

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  1. Neither! The Behmor Brazon beats both of your choices in all categories, including price.

    http://www.sweetmarias.com/sweetmaria...

    1 Reply
    1. re: poser

      I love my Technivorm, but if I were looking for a drip coffee maker today, I'd probably choose the Behmor. All the reviews are impressive and the priceis right.

    2. For me, there were more factors that influenced my decision, & I'd still buy another TechniVorm today.

      If I were considering a Brazen, I'd get this instead:
      http://www.amazon.com/Melitta-Cone-Fi...

      This is what the Brazen mimics, with lots of electronics & mechanical components. One of the reasons I chose TechniVorm over other brewers was its simplicity & lack of things that might fail. If I'm spending this much for a coffee maker, I don't want to face replacing it in a few years because an inexpensive component failed & can't be simply repaired.

      There are lots of good mail-order coffee places these days. Pick one & try 'em, & if you don't like 'em, pick someone else next time! I've been using these guys:
      http://www.ourcoffeebarn.com/Default.asp
      But I've been interested in giving these guys a try:
      http://www.specialtyjava.com/

      1. I have a Technivorm. I came from decades of French Press. It really is just an insanely priced water heater, albeit with a good thermal carafe. Sometimes I wish for something with more bells and whistles--if I knew I could get a grind and brew combo unit that did as good a job and would last, I probably would. (anyone? Price doesn't really matter)
        It's broken down once in ~4-5 years of 2x daily use. Fortunately Boy was able to diagnose, find the necessary electrical bit, order it and then fix it here. I would have been SERIOUSLY annoyed if I had had to send it out for repair.
        FWIW, I've also had to repair my Bartazza Maestro grinder in that same period of time.

        I dunno. There is more to compete with it since I bought, so I suspect I would probably not end up with one again.

        1. I've been using a Technivorm for about a year now and truth be told, I don't get the hype surrounding it. Sure it makes a really great cup of coffee, but there's so much fussing I don't know if it's worth it.

          22 Replies
          1. re: CindyJ

            Fussing? What sort of fussing?

            I've been using mine for more than six years by adding coffee, adding water, & pushing the 'On' switch. My KBTS obliges by making coffee to SCAA standards.

            That's the way it was designed to work, wasn't it?

            1. re: Eiron

              The fact that "it makes a really great cup of coffee" is the reason for the "hype". What more can you ask of a coffee maker? As for "fussing", I don't know what you can possibly mean. Fussing?

              1. re: Eiron

                Well, much of the fussing is self-imposed to make for what I believe is a better cup of coffee. Fuss elements: I heat water in my electric tea kettle and I pour it into the thermal carafe to preheat it for a minute or two. I wet the filter before I put the ground coffee in. At the beginning of the brewing process, I close off the brew basket until the water level on the water reservoir is down to the "8 cup" mark in order to pre-wet and "bloom" the grounds in the basket. Usually I remember to open the basket and let the coffee start dripping into the carafe; a couple of times I walked away and forgot. As I said -- self-imposed fuss, but worth it, I believe.

                1. re: CindyJ

                  I thought the Techivorm was supposed to take care of all those things so you don't have to worry about preheating, blooming etc. Otherwise what is the point of buying it?

                  I have the Bonavita. It makes a great cup of coffee. It's also less expensive than the Technivorm.

                  I wish the Bonavita didn't have the filter holder lay directly on top of the carafe. It's actually very inconvenient because there's always a spare part laying around somewhere (either the filter holder or the carafe lid). All they have to do is have the holder attach somewhere to the main unit. If the Technivorm was designed to fix that problem, I would pay more just to not have to deal with that.

                  But in terms of coffee quality, I'm happy with the Bonavita.

                  1. re: calumin

                    Wetting the filter, closing the filter, and blooming are optional steps. I only do that on the rare occasion I brew less than a full pot and even then it isn't mandatory. As far as heating the carafe, I just use hot tap water.

                    The Technivorm does have the filter basket attached to the unit apart from the carafe.

                    1. re: grampart

                      It looks like that's another difference between the Technivorm and Bonavita. The Technivorm gives you access to the coffee basket during brewing while the Bonavita does not.

                      Here's a good comparison between the two:

                      http://www.clivecoffee.com/learn/2012...

                      1. re: calumin

                        That's an interesting comparison. And it reinforces my reasons for the fussing the way I do with the Technivorm. For example, Bonavita gets the edge for brewing hotter coffee and holding the coffee hotter for longer -- that's why I preheat the carafe with boiling water. Bonavita gets the edge for saturating the grounds completely -- I allow some of the water to accumulate in the basket and bloom the grounds. I think, if I were shopping for a coffee maker today, I'd give serious consideration to the Bonavita.

                        1. re: CindyJ

                          That comparison made me feel better about owning the Technivorm. I don't wet my filter, and I don't boil water, just hold very hot tap water in the carafe for 30 seconds before brewing. It keeps coffee so much hotter in my old Cater Profi carafe than the second carafe which is the one sold with it now, too.

                          Plus, I just am sour on anything built in China, even with German parts.

                        2. re: calumin

                          Thanks for the link calumin. When I ran my carafe temperature tests, I got higher temps than what they did at Clive's:
                          180°F w/o pre-heating the carafe
                          182°F pre-heating the carafe
                          170°F after 1-1/2 hours
                          Of course, the coffee's still too hot to gulp after 1-1/2 hrs. But it doesn't matter, because there's none left at that point!

                          http://coffeegeek.com/forums/coffee/m...

                    2. re: CindyJ

                      "Well, much of the fussing is self-imposed to make for what I believe is a better cup of coffee..."

                      Ah, I see... :-)

                      It seems to me that you would be especially adept at making coffee via the 'manual pour-over' method. I almost went this way myself, before deciding to buy my TechniVorm. But, in the end, convenience won out for me. I think you may be putting more work into your 'automatic' than if you simply perform the entire process manually!

                      You already have the electric kettle, & I wouldn't be surprised if you already had an excellent thermal carafe. All you need now is this:
                      http://www.amazon.com/Melitta-Cone-Fi...
                      And you'll probably like the coffee even more than what you do from the TechniVorm!

                      :-)

                      1. re: Eiron

                        I kind of recall looking into something similar to that pour-over system, but being put off because I didn't want to buy a rather expensive long-spouted kettle that was designed to deliver a stream of water to the grounds in a precise pattern. Or maybe I'm confusing the Melitta with something else.

                        1. re: CindyJ

                          "Or maybe I'm confusing the Melitta with something else."

                          Yes, you must be. While you CAN get 'fancy' with any number of specialized brewing components, all it really takes is a $10 kettle & the $10 Melitta pot-&-cone. Seriously, I watched my mother brew coffee this way for 20 yrs.

                          You can 'make patterns' with a normal kettle if you really want to (all you really want to do is evenly re-wet the grounds with each dose of water), or you can go to the extremes of following someone else's OCD ritual for everything. That's the beauty of being able to do it yourself!

                          My suggestion would be to splurge the $10 on the Melitta kit & give it a try with the equipment you already have at home. Who knows? You might like the control & results so much that you'll want to sell the TechniVorm. Then you'll have extra cash for more toys! :-)

                          1. re: Eiron

                            The one I was thinking of was the Hario dripper. That's a fairly inexpensive component in plastic. But the kettle they recommend to use with it is $50+.

                            Many weekdays I use a small 1-cup French press and that makes a great cup of coffee. I don't like the cleanup, but the coffee is worth it. Now I'm tempted to try the Melitta kit.

                             
                             
                            1. re: CindyJ

                              Melitta pour over is mighty cheap and makes great coffee, as does French press. And Chemex, wonderful results, beautiful pot.

                        2. re: Eiron

                          I had a pour over coffee today from one of the boutique coffee shops in the area. It was really great.

                          But you have to be really precise with details to realize the full potential of this method. The barista actually pulled out a timer, and a scale, and a measuring cup, and made sure the water was at the perfect temperature, and pre-warmed all the containers. And it took all her attention the whole way through to make my cup. It's something I'll gladly pay for every now and then but probably wouldn't do every day.

                          And if I didn't have that level of precision I'm not sure if the coffee would still be better than with my Bonavita.

                          1. re: calumin

                            "But you have to be really precise with details to realize the full potential of this method."

                            No, you don't. But at a coffee shop, where the emphasis is on specialization, they're going to WANT to be VERY ritualistic with the process. Yes, this is to ensure consistent results, but it's also for show (your perception that you're getting value for your money).

                            For example, the clock on the wall is a perfectly capable timer, & any barista worthy of their title should know how many grams of coffee is in their scoop & when to stop pouring water. But none of that is very good 'presentation'! So, by all means, let's drag out the timer, scale & measuring cup & make a REAL 'production' of pouring hot water over coffee grounds! (If they were REALLY serious, they'd be weighing the water rather than measuring its volume, but try to explain THAT to your barista...)

                            I guess all I'm really trying to say is that it's not as complicated as it might appear. Your shop has a vested interest in making you THINK it's complicated, because they want you to come to the conclusion you already have: that it's too much trouble to do it yourself, so you'll gladly pay for them to do it for you. That's good business on their part!

                            I'd wager that yes, with minimal precision, the coffee from a $10 Melitta pourover kit will be better than from your auto-drip. The only auto-drip that might come close is the brand new Brazen, since that's the only one that mimics the manual pour-over process. But $200 for a bucket-full of not-yet-field-tested complicated electronics & mechanics?? I'd rather spend $20 for a kettle & kit & know that I'm brewing it to my own OCD requirements. :-)

                            1. re: Eiron

                              A lot of "specialty" coffee shops that have pourover coffee stations measure the water by weight not volume (actually all the coffee shops that I go to, but there are a lot of shops out there that I have never set foot in.)

                              1. re: khuzdul

                                Water is one of the things in which the relationship between weight and volume shouldn't change. (Unless there is something really bad in the water).

                                There is a delta of about 1% in the weight density of water from 180 degrees to 210 degrees. You'd probably get more variability just from the temperature difference of the pitcher into which you pour the water when measuring.

                                1. re: khuzdul

                                  I don't quite get the notion of weighing water. The little rhyme, "A pint's a pound the world around" reminds us that the weight of water is constant and that one would only need to weigh a given amount of water once; then the volume could be determined for that weight and water could be measured by volume thereafter.

                                2. re: Eiron

                                  Pour over is a Jeckyll-and-Hyde process. When pour-over misses the mark, it's usually by a mile. Frankly, it demands more patience than my un-caffeinated brain wants to deal with, so I much prefer just about every other method (knowing full well that pour over done properly is probably the ideal brew).

                                  1. re: MikeB3542

                                    "Pour over is a Jeckyll-and-Hyde process. ..."

                                    Not in my experience. But maybe there's a 'learning curve'?

                            2. re: CindyJ

                              For a coffee maker that brews at 200 degrees, the coffee is not very hot. We also preheat the carafe first, and our mugs.

                        3. For coffee mail order, I usually buy locally so it's more fresh.

                          If you want high end, you can mail order Kona coffee from Maui Oma coffee roasting company. Their peaberry is really great (but expensive).

                          http://www.hawaiicoffee.net/hawaiian-...

                          Blue Bottle is my favorite coffee purveyor these days. I have not done mail order from them but they offer it.

                          http://www.bluebottlecoffee.com

                          Peets also does a pretty good job of mail order coffee.