Coffee Maker: Bunn BX-B

Guest review submitted by KJ.

bunn-bxb-velocity-brewerYou’ve probably seen Bunn-branded coffee pots and coffee machines at restaurants and businesses. Bunn also sells products intended for your kitchen at home, one of which is the BX-B coffee maker.

I received one as a gift in 2015. First I’ll describe basic operations, since it’s different than you may be used to. Then I’ll give the pros and cons of the machine, from the perspective of a daily coffee drinker.

Your standard coffee maker has a reservoir you fill when you’re ready to make a pot of coffee. You also add ground coffee in a filter. Then you turn the machine on and put the pot on the burner. You come back 10 or 15 minutes later to a pot of hot coffee. When the pot is empty or you’re done drinking coffee, you turn the machine off so the burner doesn’t crack the empty pot.

The Bunn BX-B has a reservoir that is always full of hot water. You do add water when you make a pot, but that isn’t the water that will be dispensed in the form of coffee, that is just water to replenish the reservoir for next time. To make a pot of coffee, you pour in as much water as you want coffee (any amount – 4 cups, 8 cups, 10 cups or whatever). You add ground coffee in a filter. You put the pot on the burner. You close the flap where you poured in water. As soon as you close the flap, the coffee starts dispensing, so make sure you place the pot on the burner before closing the flap. And most likely, you turn the burner on. Since the coffee machine is really “on” all the time, the burner has a separate control that lights up when it’s on. You’ll need to turn the burner off when you’re done, just as you’d normally turn a standard machine off.

You can probably infer some of the pros and cons by reading how the machine operates.

Pros:

  • The machine makes coffee extremely quickly – I’d say it takes between one quarter and one third as long as a standard machine. The coffee doesn’t taste better or worse, it’s just extremely fast, because you aren’t waiting on water to heat up. The drip-brewing begins instantly when you close the flap after adding water.
  • Also, the Bunn BX-B has an attractive stainless look that reminds you of their commercial machines, in a good way.

Cons:

  • You leave the machine plugged up and technically turned on 24/7. This worries some people – needlessly, in my opinion, but I suppose something could go wrong.
  • It’s harder to completely clean the reservoir, not that you need to do this very often (it’s just plain hot water), but when you do it, it takes a little time and effort. Also if you need to empty the machine completely, for example to ship it for warranty service, that’s also harder than with a standard machine.
  • There is a setup process before the first time you use the machine – mainly, you need to fill the water reservoir and wait for the water to get hot before it can properly make coffee.
  • Someone who doesn’t know how the machine operates is likely to spill coffee on their counter due to closing the water-fill flap before putting the coffee pot on the burner.

And I’m deliberately listing this issue toward the bottom of the review to avoid implying this one event is typical:

My coffee maker stopped working a little less than two years after I received it. It was a gift, and the person who gave it to me did not hold onto the receipt. Bunn has a three-year warranty, but requires one of two things to prove the machine is still inside the warranty period: a receipt, or a date code (stamped on the bottom of the machine) that is no more than three years old. My machine’s date code was much older than three years, so without a receipt, I was technically out of luck. However, to Bunn’s credit, they decided to replace the machine anyway, at no cost to me. They sent me a shipping label, I packed up and sent the old machine, and they sent me a new machine.

It worries me that it stopped working within two years, but, I have to give Bunn credit for how they handled it.

Verdict:

I really enjoy the speed of this machine. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it really is a relief when you have it, and an irritation when you are used to it but have to use a standard machine. That said, if your current coffee maker’s speed fits your schedule well (for example, if you start a pot of coffee before taking a shower in the morning and your coffee’s ready when you want it), there is no need for this machine.

Final: Like

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