My Favorite (New) Coffee Maker

A few weeks ago we purchased a Bunn Phase Brew HG coffee maker through Amazon (link to the product).  I’m happy to say I’m extremely pleased with our aquisition.  If you’re like Kelly and me, you start the day with a cup of java.  Pretty much since we got hitched (seven years ago!), we’ve been using a french press and Black and Decker drip coffee maker.  The french press made great, thick, dark coffee, while the B&D had an autotimer and was easy to clean (at least the carafe).  Supposedly the former (french press) leaves ends in the brew that can raise your cholesterol (see section 9.) and it isn’t the easiest to clean or the most convenient (because you have to heat the water before brewing).  The latter, B&D coffee maker, had a reservoir that was fully constructed (as far as I can tell) of BPA riddled plastic; not to mention that it yielded a pretty mediocre brew.  Much to my delight the B&D died a month and a half ago!

I settled on the Bunn because it has a stainless brew funnel (I wish the top tank was also stainless steel lined but nevertheless it is comprised of “safe” high quality plastic), is beautiful, MADE IN THE USA (update: a significant number of their products are made/designed in the US and their headquarters is in Illinois), has an autotimer (a new feature for household Bunn’s), and brews some tasty coffee.  The cons: it doesn’t make a lot of coffee (about 8 x 5oz. cups), is a bit noisy, and well… I don’t have any other gripes and these aren’t even mine but some of what I’ve seen other people whine about.

Bunn Phase Brew HG

This is the first pot I brewed.  The packaging was well designed, the user manual gorgeous, and the user interface very straightforward.  It takes about 6 minutes to heat the water in the reservoir to 200 degrees F.  The very hot water is then sprayed into the funnel containing coffee grounds inside a paper filter.  Once the carafe is filled with coffee, the warming plate keeps the carafe nice and hot for about two hours.  

Bunn HG controls

5 buttons make for a very easy to use and simple user interface.  I like the LCD lighting— it’s a nice soft blue/grey light.  To set the autotimer you just touch the button, enter the time, and a few seconds later the start time is set for the next morning.  To set it for subsequent days, to keep the same start time just add the coffee and water, touch the auto-start button, and your coffee will be ready when desired/required (I’ll have to check sometime to see if the timer is when the coffee is actually ready to drink—I’m pretty sure it sets when the brewing process should be initiated).

Here’s my favorite coffee cup (with an elk of course) that my sister gave me.  Hope you enjoyed my little product review.  If you like great coffee in the comfort of your home, I give two thumbs up to the Bunn Phase Brew HG—especially given its price point of less than $100. 

—Matt

PS.  Lastly, a bit of consumer advocacy here, I’d really like to see some bonafide research about the use of plastic in coffee makers.  I was surprised to read that stainless steel is not necessarily perfect either.  When I went to the internet to research this, I was amazed at how little information is actually available on this topic.  Regardless, I’m definitely glad to not be having my coffee water hanging out in lame plastic for 10 hours or so each night.  At least now it’s resting, from what I can tell, in the best materials you can buy for under multiple 100’s of dollars (update: Bunn actually clarified this for me,

We have all materials tested stringently before using them in our brewers.  The materials that come in contact with the water (cold or heated) are polypropylene and silicone rubber.  These materials are NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) grade of plastic and do not leach any known harmful chemicals.

And now truly ending this post, I’m like a new man with this coffee maker—I’m so pleased with the appliance that I actually clean it every night before readying the brew process.  That’s saying something.