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Hands-on Gear Review
Bonavita Thermal Carafe 8-Cup ReviewPrice: $190 List | $135.60 at Amazon
Pros: Good Taste
Cons: Expensive, carafe can be difficult to pour
Bottom line: A good machine, but others in the same price range offer better taste and features
The Bonavita Thermal Carafe 8-Cup makes good coffee and is relatively easy to use and clean. However, in its price range there are other coffee makers that make better coffee and are easier to use, namely the OXO On Barista Brain. If you find the Bonavita on sale it is a great machine, but if you're paying full price you'll be better off investing in the OXO.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Bonavita Thermal Carafe 8-Cup made one of the better tasting cups of coffee in our testing, but other models in its price range make better coffee and have better user interfaces.
Though the Bonavita Thermal Carafe 8-Cup's overall performance in our testing was above average, it fell short of the top performers.
Below we discuss the Bonavita's performance in all of our individual testing metrics.
The Bonavita earned a 7 out of 10 in our taste testing. This put it in the field of frontrunners in a metric where scores ranged from 2 to 9. It produced a very pleasant and smooth cup in our testing. Most of our testing enjoyed the mellowness of this coffee, but felt it was considerably less strong than the brews from the OXO and Cuisinart machines. It also produced zero plastic taste, even in the first pot from a brand new machine.
The Bonavita scored a 5 out of 10 on our user friendliness test. This put it just above the worst score of 4 and decently behind the top score of 9. This was mostly due to some annoyances we experienced when pouring coffee. First, the entire filter basket must be removed and set aside to gain access to the carafe, which we felt was less than ideal. The carafe also has a large lip that can make pouring a little awkward, especially if you're trying to get the last of the coffee out. The interface is just a single button. Some may appreciate that simplicity, while others may wish for some more adjustability in the brew settings.
The Bonavita earned a 5 out of 10 in our convenience testing. This put it somewhat on the lower end of a metric where scores ranged from 3 to 9. It took the Bonavita 9.5 minutes, including prep and cleanup, to make 6 cups of coffee in our speed test. This was actually quite good for a drip machine. However, it is not programmable, so you can't frontload the prep work to the night before and then wake up to a fresh pot of coffee.
Ease of cleaning
The Bonavita was an average performer in our cleaning tests, earning a score of 6 out of 10 in a metric where scores ranged from 4 to 9. Its filter basket and carafe both require standard cleaning. The required paper filters make it easy to dispose of grinds and the carafe is fairly easy to clean to by hand. The descaling process took us 35 minutes to complete, which was shorter than that of most machines.
The Bonavita Thermal Carafe 8-Cup lists for $190. It is a great machine, but the OXO On Barista Brain and the Cuisinart 12-Cup Programmable both made better coffee and cost just $10 more and $90 less, respectively. Most users who are concerned with taste would get a better value out of either of these machines. If you find the Bonavita on sale, however, you won't be disappointed.
The Bonavita Thermal Carafe 8-Cup is a great coffee maker, but there are better machines available at or below the same price. Most people would be better off investing in the OXO On Barista Brain or saving some money with the Cuisinart 14-Cup Programmable.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata
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