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The quest to finding the best coffee machine probably lead you to the question: Bonavita, or Technivorm? There is very little doubt about the position of the two brands on the market, they are two of the best drip coffee makers, in fact, they are the leaders.
The domestic specialty coffee machine market was lead by Technivorm for many years. They were the sole market leader for many years, and even respectable brands like Bunn, Cuisinart, or Breville were only distant runner-ups. With Bonavita emerging on the market, coffee lovers have now a great alternative to the overpriced product from the Dutch company. But how do the two compare, do we have a clear winner? How much do we have to spend on these two technological miracles? Very important: are there any other good alternatives?
Technivorm vs Bonavita – Side by Side Comparison
Technivorm is a better quality machine, all the materials are high quality, and you can’t see any cut corners for reducing production costs. The machine is manufactured in the Netherlands with Dutch pieces. A couple of great features are the body, built from aluminum entirely, and the heating element made of copper. Many people love the Technivorm’s look and think it is the most elegant coffee machine on the market.
Bonavita is an American company which hired a team of German engineers for the design. The unit is manufactured in China. The coffee machine from Bonavita looks a bit cheaper, compared to the Dutch product, with more plastic pieces, but this machine will last you a long time, regardless. Some people like Bonavita’s look more than its competitor, but this is very subjective.
The Moccamaster from Technivorm is the more expensive of the two, with prices starting from around 300$. The Bonavita machines are less expensive, and you get a better deal, the cheapest models starting around 150$, and going up to around 235.
I know I said Bonavita are going to last you a long time, and I don’t take that back. However, for the sake of comparison, if I were to pick one of the two solely for reliability, my choice would be Technivorm. The practically don’t die. You know, after 10 years you are kind of bored of a coffee machine, and any reason to change it would suffice. Technivorm don’t die and they don’t break, so you’ll have to just admit you are bored with it if you want a new coffee maker.
The warranty on the Moccamaster is 5 years, compared to Bonavita, only 2 years.
Technivorm was for a long time the sole leader on the high-end drip coffee brewing makers. It is still probably the most robust, and reliable machine, with a simple construction, with predictable great results every time. If you have a couple of minutes to tweak your brew, is probably the best choice, because of the simplicity in design, its great materials, and the reliability without a match. This machine will last you forever.
On the other hand, if you want a machine that can do everything for you, and you don’t like to spend your time babysitting coffee making devices, you should take a look at the other two devices we recommend further on the page.
Brewing Differences between Technivorm Moccamaster and Bonavita
Technivorm’s machine has a metal spray head that can be moved around over the grounds to obtain an even saturation. You have to do that manually, which is a turn off for me. They could have done a better job to avoid user’s intervention. In contrast, Bonavita is set and go. The showerhead is designed so that it sprays evenly, and you don’t have to do anything. Even though Bonavita has the advantage on this aspect, the machine from Technivorm compensates a bit with a brewing basket that can be set to fast drip, slow drip, and no drip at all. This allows you to play with various brewing settings and various grind sizes.
The brewing temperature is for both the coffee machines within the SCAA standards. SCAA recommends a water temperature of at least 92°C during the brewing cycle, this means 197.6°F. They also recommend that the temperature not exceed 96°C, which means 204.8°F.
Technivorm brews at a slightly lower temperature, which makes a smoother cup, whereas Bonavita makes a bolder cup because of the higher brewing temperature.
This directly affects the temperature of the finished product, Moccamaster producing a slightly colder cup. Piping hot coffee lovers can fix this by using a pre-warmed carafe.
Bonavita has a Melitta brew basket, and it takes number 4 cone filters. The Technivorm also uses number 4 cone filters. The difference between the two brew baskets is that the Technivorm has an open top design, which allows access to the grounds. In contrast, Bonavita has no access to the brew basket, but you don’t really need it because the showerhead ensures a full saturation of the coffee grounds. Moccamaster does a decent job saturating the grinds, but best results are obtained when you stir in to make sure all the grinds are wet.
Bonavita BV1800SS Coffee Brewer
If you like to press a button and then come back in a few minutes to pour a cup, Bonavita is one of the best choices. You don’t need to fiddle with the grounds in the brewing basket, because the properly designed showerhead takes care of that. It gives you a hotter cup than the Technivorm, if this is what you want from your coffee, and it brews at a slightly higher temperature, that means a little more caffeine extracted, (but is a little more bitter).
Bonavita is solidly built, no doubt, but it can’t compare with Technivorm. You will eventually have to replace it after a few years of use. For most of us, this is not a problem, because we usually want to own newer technology.
Further Brewing Adjustments
Because Bonavita brews at a higher temperature, the grind can be adjusted to be slightly coarser than the Moccamaster. This will avoid over-extraction and will get you a mild tasting coffee. If you want more bite to your cup, grind the regular drip size. Moccamaster needs faster water saturation to compensate for the lower water temperature, hence a finer grind. For those who like a more bodied coffee, grinding finer than the accepted drip standards will provide a nicer tasting coffee, but it will not be clean.
The filter used makes a huge difference, so make sure you use good quality filters. If you like your coffee stronger, and darker, a golden mesh filter would be the best choice. If your joe needs to be clear, use a bleached pre-rinsed filter, these are the best.
Technivorm needs a bit stirring in the filter so that the coffee gets saturated with water. If you don’t stir, you are still getting a great coffee, but you risk leaving some of the grounds under-extracted.
Brazen Plus Drip Coffee Maker
Behmor Brazen is one of the newest filter coffee makers on the market. Even though they are new on the market, they started to win over loyal customers of Bonavita and Technivorm. Brazen is also a winner of the SCAA Best New Product award in 2012. The reason is simple, they designed a drip coffee machine with features coffee lovers were waiting for:
- Customizable brewing temperature
- Programmable grounds presoaking
- Oversized showerhead
- Stainless steel water tank
- Thermal carafe
- Pulse water flow
- High altitude water temperature compensation
- Programmable brew start time
- SCAA certified, (this is big)
The brewing temperature can be customized between 190 and 210°F, with a 1 degree Fahrenheit accuracy. This allows you to adjust your final cup the way you like it, (higher temperature for more bite, lower temperature for a milder tasting coffee). Not all coffee beans are the same, for some you need a higher brewing temperature, for others you need a lower temperature.
The oversized showerhead ensures all the coffee grounds are soaked, and you don’t have to stir during presoaking as you need with Technivorm.
The programmable presoaking feature is a great feature to complement the oversized showerhead. It ensures an even, and complete saturation of the coffee grounds, for a complete extraction. For lower brewing temperatures, pre-soaking is a must. Presoaking emulates the manual drippers method.
The programmable brew start time is a great feature in theory, but I personally don’t use it. Ground coffee goes stale so much faster, and when you let your grounds in the coffee maker overnight, no matter how good is your coffee maker, your cup will be average.
The most amazing thing about Brazen is that all of these features come at a competitive price. The price is comparable with Bonavita, but feature wise, Brazen is loaded. In my opinion, Brazen is at least a great competitor in a market previously dominated by Technivorm and Bonavita.
A great drip coffee machine is not going to be cheap, this is a fact that we need to accept. At the first look, we are tempted to think that a fitter coffee machine is very simple, and it shouldn’t be too expensive, but unfortunately, this is not true. There is so much bad drip coffee brewing as we speak that many coffee lovers give up on drip coffee and try other brewing methods. Just spend a little more and your filter coffee machine will give you the great cup that you want. There are a few more great coffee machines on the market, but our comparison Bonavita vs Technivorm is probably the most mentioned in the coffee aficionados circles. We just had to add in the mix the Behmor Brazen, because it is a strong competitor against the two.