We recently bought a new Bonavita Connoisseur BV-1901 TS 8-cup coffee maker. This is our third Bonavita.
- In 2014, we bought our first Bonavita, the BV1800. We loved it. It was a simple machine that made excellent coffee by gently saturating the grounds with properly heated water. The only thing we missed from our previous coffee maker was a timer.
- So, in 2018 we bought a Bonavita BV1902 that included a timer function. Again we loved it. It worked just as well as our previous model but allowed us to set a timer to have coffee when we got up. The time on the clock drifted, but that was a trivial matter.
In mid-March 2023, the BV1902 stopped working. It would turn on and then immediately turn off. It was well out of warranty, so after not being able to reset it or fix it, we decided to get another.
We did some research as there are many more coffee makers that are now SCA certified.
What is SCA Certification?
Developed by coffee science experts and professional coffee tasters, this program reviews brewers designed for in-home use to determine if they meet the rigorous requirements of brewed coffee quality as determined by the SCA. These requirements are based on decades of industry knowledge and research by the Coffee Brewing Center. All SCA Certified Brewers have met these requirements, which are based on proper water temperature, brewing time, and ability to brew within the SCA Golden Cup recommendations. If a brewer passes all of the tests as described below and conducted by the SCA, that brewer will be recognized as an exemplary home brewer and join the short list of SCA Certified Brewers.Specialty Coffee Association
We looked at the current SCA certified coffee makers and decided to get another Bonavita because we liked the simplicity and the small footprint. They no longer had one with a timer, so we opted for the Bonavita Connoisseur. It got good reviews except for the carafe which can be hard to empty. They are also now more expensive. We paid $112 for the first one, $156 for the second, and now $189 for the Connoisseur.
We loved it at first. The coffee was even better than the previous model. The insulated carafe kept the coffee hot. You need the put on the cap to be able to pour the coffee while holding down the release. It works fine. You can’t empty the pot completely and you need to dry it by hand to get all of the water out after washing. Again, not the best design, but it works.
Five Weeks In
However, we noticed it was getting noticeably louder. Initially it was so quiet, only the beep at the end told you it was done. Now it was gurgling and sputtering throughout the brew cycle. We had been using it for only five weeks with bottled water, but we thought maybe it just needed to be descaled. We tried that four times and it did not help. Looking at the shower head we could see it was only using a few of the holes and was pouring out heavily through the few it was using. We removed the top and tried to clean the head, but this didn’t help either.
So, I contacted Bonavita support through their website’s chat feature. They suggested descaling it which we had tried and then asked me to fill out a warranty claim and gave me the wrong URL. I found the right one and sent it in. “Great!” I thought they will help us either get it fixed or get a new one. I didn’t hear anything back, so after a few days, I chatted with them again. They said that they never got the warranty claim and to try again. I filled it out again and waited. After about a week, I emailed their support to find out the status. They apologized and gave me a list of things to try including turning off the pre-infusion cycle, leveling it, and trying a different power outlet. None of this worked. They wanted a video, so I recorded one and sent it in. They replied by asking me to fill out the warranty claim again. I told them that I had done this twice and that the start of this email thread was the claim. They apologized again and replied that they viewed the video and that the loud noise is normal and is the sound it makes when it pumps water. Sigh. They obviously aren’t going to do anything and we are stuck with a malfunctioning machine after only 5 weeks of use. They may as well not even have a 1-year warranty since they don’t honor it.
New Company, Bad Service
Apparently, Bonavita is now a different company. There’s an interesting article that describes the messy changes at Bonavita. Unfortunately, the changes don’t seem to be good. This coffee maker broke after 5 weeks and getting support has been useless. This will be our last Bonavita. It was an expensive lesson.
We have moved on to the Technivorm Moccamaster KBTS which I wish we had purchased in the first place. We were able to use the carafe of the Bonavita as an expensive pour-over vessel while we waited for the Moccamaster to arrive.
Bonavita coffee makers are not built to last and the company does not stand behind their products. They make a great cup of coffee when they work, but when they break you are on your own. Since there are so many companies that make SCA-certified coffee makers, look elsewhere. I should have paid more attention to the 1-star reviews on Amazon.