Bonavita Connoisseur BV1901TS Review: High Standards, Low Price
Want to brew a good cup of coffee at home? There are lots of automatic drip coffee makers that will do the trick. But if you want to brew GREAT coffee at home, you want a brewer like the Bonavita Connoisseur, one of few certified by the SCA to deliver the highest standard of coffee.
In this Bonavita Connoisseur review, we’ll discuss what makes this machine worthy of that coveted certification — plus any other details you’ll need to decide if it’s the right coffee maker for you.
Summary: The Bonavita Connoisseur BV1901TS
- Certified by the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) to deliver top quality coffee
- Great value thanks to low price, durable stainless steel construction, and thermal carafe
- Super easy to use with one-touch operation and optional pre-infusion
This machine makes the best coffee we have tasted. The carafe keeps the brew plenty hot for my use without having to preheat it.– James K., Customer
This Bonavita 8-cup coffee maker review is broken down into four sections: design, features, ease of use, and value. The scores will give you a rough idea of the pros and cons of this model, but we suggest you read the whole thing for the crucial details.
Design – 3.5/5
Bonavita coffee makers are all very similar, with only minor functional and aesthetic differences. The design of the Bonavita Connoisseur is classic and timeless. No money has been wasted adding fancy flourishes, which we think is a smart decision by Bonavita. It might not win any cool design awards, but it won’t clash with any decor either.
Both the exterior and carafe of the Bonavita Connoisseur are brushed stainless steel, an attractive and durable choice.
All plastic components, including the water reservoir, filter basket, and lid, are all made from sturdy BPA-free plastic. The design is a slight update from earlier Bonavita iterations, like the BV1900TS. The shape of the stainless steel carafe has been reworked, and the water reservoir is now a tinted plastic.
The Bonavita Connoisseur coffee maker has a surprisingly small footprint, measuring just 17.3 cm deep by 31.5 cm long by 31 cm tall. But keep in mind that this model gets a little steamy during brewing, so it needs some breathing room.
Features – 3/5
The Bonavita Connoisseur isn’t programmable, so it doesn’t have a ton of features. But it does have a lot of capability. As an SCA-certified home brewer, experts have rigorously tested it to meet the SCA’s Golden Cup standards for the ultimate brew (1).
What features allow it to meet this high bar?
First, this Bonavita maintains a brewing temperature in the range of 92° to 96°C, which testing has shown is optimal for extracting coffee (2). It uses a powerful 1500 Watt heating element, which allows it to heat quickly and maintain a stable brewing temperature. The brew time for a full pot is just 6 minutes!
Second, it has an optional pre-infusion mode, designed to mimic the behaviour of a skilled barista. The pre-infusion feature, also known as the bloom, makes it easier to fully extract your coffee. Blooming produces a more flavourful brew, according to the experts at Driftaway Coffee (3).
Giving your coffee a half minute to bloom, depending on how recently it was roasted, will enhance its flavours.
The Bonavita Connoisseur coffee maker uses a showerhead style flow into the brew basket instead of the single stream of water you see in cheaper automatic drip coffee makers. This showerhead feature, paired with the hanging flat-bottom filter basket, produces a more even wetting of the grounds for better extraction.
Many of the best drip coffee machines, the Bonavita Connoisseur included, use a thermal carafe rather than a glass carafe and hot plate, and that’s for a good reason. A pot of coffee sitting for a long time on a hot plate inevitably ends up with a burnt and stale taste. The Connoisseur has a smaller capacity than most, just 8 cups. This helps keep the machine compact but could be a disadvantage for heavy coffee drinkers.
Ease of Use – 4/5
The Bonavita Connoisseur is super easy to use, partly because of its lack of programmability. It is a one-touch coffee maker. As long as it has water in the water tank and coffee grounds in the filter basket, you just turn it on and await your cup of coffee. A child could do it.
That said, some programmability might improve the user experience.
It would be great if Bonavita provided the option to brew on a timer or set the brewing temperature.
Some consumers have complained about the design of the carafe on this drip coffee maker. You need to remove the carafe lid for the brewing process and then screw it back on after the brew cycle. This feels a bit cumbersome.
Value for Money – 4.5/5
The value for money here is excellent. Because the Bonavita Connoisseur has few features, it’s one of the least expensive SCA-certified brewers. This is especially impressive for a coffee machine with a thermal carafe! It’s a good deal cheaper than other SCAA-certified coffee makers like the famous Breville Precision Brewer and Technivorm Moccamaster.
Its stainless steel construction and carafe make it incredibly durable, as does its simple operation. There is little to break or go wrong so that you can expect a lot of years of excellent coffee for a minimal initial investment.
- You want more programming options: If you prefer more options to the convenience of one-touch brewing, there are plenty of programmable drip coffee makers to meet your needs — and some are even SCA certified. Consider the OXO On or the Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker CM407, which still has thermal carafes.
- You want to brew more coffee: If the 8-cup capacity of the Bonavita Connoisseur is a deal-breaker, you’ll be relieved to hear the majority of machines have a 10-cup capacity. But if you and yours really need a boatload of caffeine to start the day, you’ll love the Cuisinart DCC-3200. It’s a fully programmable drip coffee maker with a massive 14-cup capacity.
- You don’t care about the SCA standards: SCA-certified brewers are great because they guarantee the best cup of coffee as defined by expert coffee tasters. But if you’re not an expert coffee taster and just want an affordable way to enjoy a morning brew, there are plenty of less expensive brewers for you. Popular options include the Hamilton Beach 46310, the Cuisinart DCC-1200, or even a basic Mr. Coffee 12-Cup brewer.
Do you want coffee so delicious that it has actually been certified by the Specialty Coffee Association? Do you want it from a brewer that won’t break the bank? Do you want it at the touch of a button? If you answered yes to all of the above, then you want the Bonavita Connoisseur coffee maker. This coffee brewer impressed us with its pre-infusion feature, classic style, durability, and incredible value.
- Specialty Coffee Association. (2021). SCA Certified Home Brewer Program. Retrieved from https://sca.coffee/certified-home-brewer
- Ospina, A.K.M. (2018, October 11). How Does Elevation Affect Your Ideal Coffee Brew Temperature. Retrieved from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2018/10/how-does-elevation-affect-your-ideal-coffee-brew-temperature/
- Driftaway Coffee. (2015, February 9). What Is The Bloom And How Does It Affect Taste? Retrieved from https://driftaway.coffee/bloom/