Alex has never been professionally involved into the world of coffee, however he knows much more than any average barista. Being an avid coffee lover, Alex is constantly searching for new tips, tools, and techniques to make his morning cup of java even more perfect.
Mary has been dealing with coffee almost all her life long: in her teenage years, she worked as a barista in a number of well-known coffeehouses, later developing her knowledge and skills while studying at the university as well. Several years after graduation, she managed to open her own small coffee bar.
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Mac vs Windows. Android vs iPhone. Ford vs Ferrari. Nearly every industry has a pair of manufacturers whose competition defines the trends of that industry for a generation. For drip coffee brewers, that rivalry is Bonavita vs Technivorm. If you are looking to indulge in a new drip brewer right now, then you are probably going to get either a Technivorm machine or a Bonavita machine. Even if you don’t know what these brands are already, any guide you can find will tell you to look for these two before all others. There are reasons for this. Both brands are reliable, reasonably priced, and generally quite friendly to beginners. These brands’ products are not completely identical, however. In fact, there are quite a few differences that you will probably want to know about.
The first thing you need to know this that drip coffee makers, in general, tend to be worth the investment. The initial price tag can turn a lot of people away. But both Bonavita and Tehcnivorm brewers are meant to last for years, with replacement parts extending that lifespan even further. Consider the cost of a single cup of coffee from Starbucks. On average, that will run you about $2.75. Now, multiply that by five days a week (assuming you are comfortable going into coffee withdrawal on the weekends) and it comes out to more than $10 a week on coffee. This means that within three months of its five-year life, a drip brewer will usually pay for itself. Even the more expensive ones won’t take much longer than that to be worth it. And that is how you should think of these products: Not as expenditures in themselves, but ways of saving money. Investments, essentially. So, Bonavita vs Technivorm: Which is the superior brand? What differences do you need to know about before you “invest” any money?
Bonavita is a brand of drip brewer designed in Germany by a team of professional engineers. Their machines are artisan crafts, designed to be sleek while still being accessible to the ordinary coffee brewer. The machines are, internally, very complex. But the user of the machine never has to deal with this complexity, as it is hidden under a façade of effortlessness.
The most remarkable feature of Bonavita coffee brewers is their pre-infusion function. This is a device that allows the coffee beans to “bloom” as the coffee is being made. This blooming means that more flavor is extracted from the beans, amplifying the taste of your coffee.
It can be hard to go back to other coffee makers after experiencing this “blooming” effect. Many restaurants that serve coffee, such as McDonald’s and Starbucks, will use proprietary machines that have this feature, making unbloomed coffee taste lifeless after a while.
This effect is achieved by a sensor that detects how much water the brewer has used and how hot it is. At a certain amount of water, the sensor will then turn the flow of water off for a time.
Once that water has soaked into the beans, the sensor will turn the water back on, continuing the process from where it left off. If you have ever seen someone time the addition of their ingredients, the blooming effect operates off the same principle. Luckily, all this chemistry requires no extra input from you.
Technivorm has been developing coffee makers for more than 50 years now. Their machines are designed and produced in the Netherlands, all of them made and tested by hand. You might expect that kind of care and attention to result in a pricier product; they are, in general, more expensive than Bonavita products, but they don’t always break the bank.
Technivorm brewers also come with a 5-year warranty. This is quite welcome given their higher price. The machines are highly reliable, but it is nice to have a warranty in case you need it. It is also worth noting that Technivorm tends to use recycled materials and ethical means of production (compared to Bonavita’s raw materials use and production in China). This is a small point for some people, but the absolute most important point to others. The Technivorm does not use the blooming method that Bonavita does, but you would be hard-pressed to find a customer who reviews the Technivorm negatively for its taste.
Bonavita vs Technivorm: Comparing popular models
So, Bonavita machines deliver taste-enhancing features while Technivorm products are handmade and incredibly reliable. But those are just the broad strokes of their products. But how do Bonavita and Technivorm match up product to product?
Technivorm Moccamaster Thermal Carafe Coffee Brewer vs. Bonavita BV1900TS
The core traits of these coffee brewers are essentially similar. They both brew in a similar amount of time, they are both 8-cup coffee makers, and they both heat things to within the same range of temperature. However, there are a ton of important differences that might elude a superficial scan.
You might notice that the Technivorm Moccamaster is far heavier than the Bonavita product. This comes down to their material construction: Technivorm products tend to be made out of recycled aluminum. This plays a part in their longevity as well.
This difference in weight will play a part in setting them up, but not necessarily in their operation. What might make a difference, depending on your preferences, is that the Technivorm brewer is all analog, while the Bonavita uses a digital display for control?
Digital vs Analog
Some people prefer the digital display for how sleek and intuitive it can be. Others prefer analog input methods due to how a digital display can break and become useless. Neither is strictly correct or incorrect, but the difference is there if it matters to you.
If there is an “objective” advantage of the digital display, it would have to be that it allows for a smart home interface. This means you can essentially use your phone to schedule and operate your coffee machine remotely.
All coffee brewers have this to some degree; with an analog machine like the Technivorm, this manifests as a dial that allows you to set a delay on when the machine starts making the coffee. Need coffee in eight hours? Set the dial to eight hours.
The difference with the smart home integration is that you can manage this from your phone and adjust it whenever you want. Want some coffee after you get home from work? You can set that up before you even leave work.
Between the two, the Technivorm is easier to clean. This is actually owed to their difference in materials: Not only is aluminum easier to clean than stainless steel, but Technivorm’s design gives better access to the parts of the machine you need to clean.
In general, the Technivorm brewer feels better to use. With its sturdier design and easy reusability, it was simply built to last longer. Given that it is more expensive than the Bonavita product, this is to be expected. But perhaps because it’s cheaper, you can feel the Bonavita product’s limited lifespan.
One categorical advantage that the Bonavita brewer has over the Technivorm is its double-walled carafe. The carafe is the most easily broken and expensively replaced portion of any coffee maker. The double-walled reinforcement means that it is far less likely to break than normal.
The Technivorm carafe is by no means fragile. Its materials are more durable than the Bonavita’s carafe, but some customers might feel better about having a carafe that is designed to last rather than one that gets by on the strength of its materials.
Whatever else their differences, you probably have one question above all else: Does the Technivorm brewer justify itself being triple the price of the Bonavita brewer?
Well, in this case, the price difference is a bit larger than the last comparison. Previously, the Bonavita was at least partially more expensive due to its digital display and smart home features. Additionally, the Technivorm brewer was a bulkier one, which tends to be cheaper – a nice model of coffee maker under $100.
In this comparison, we are looking at a simplified Bonavita model, as well as a miniaturized Technivorm product. This comparison is interesting because it is a comparison between far more similar-looking machines than the last comparison.
If you were to see these two brewers next to each other, you would be justified in asking what on earth could make the Technivorm brewer three times more valuable than the Bonavita.
And sure, Technivorm’s price tag makes sense when compared to other Technivorm products. If all you have ever bought is Technivorm brewers, then $300 for a miniature version of the same, nigh-indestructible coffee maker might seem like a steal.
Being nearly indestructible does not quite justify that price, though. Even if the Technivorm brewer lasts more than its intended five years, you still have to ask yourself: Why not just buy three Bonavita brewers and switch them out once one of them breaks?
Amount of coffee produced
As worthy as it is to be critical of Technivorm’s high price tag, the product itself is not completely without merit. Despite being smaller, this brewer actually makes more coffee than any of the other brewers in this article. How they managed, this is an engineering mystery.
The Bonavita has also stayed fairly consistent in its quality. In fact, customer reviews tend to paint a more favorable picture of this Bonavita product as compared to others.
Ease of cleaning
This is likely because it is easier to clean and maintain than the previous Bonavita brewer. It is made entirely of plastic, as compared to the multitude of materials that comprise the Technivorm brewer or the stainless steel that makes up most Bonavita products.
Plastic is easier to clean than stainless steel, though the reason for this is somewhat unintuitive. The issue is not with the materials themselves; in isolation, they are about just as easy to clean. Rather, the difference comes down to the mechanical needs the materials satisfy.
Stainless steel is often used to make things look nice while still keeping them cheap to produce. It is more durable than plastic, but affixing it together means welding and screwing different pieces of the metal into one cohesive shape.
If the part of the brewer you need to clean is welded or screwed to another part, then you are going to have a much harder time cleaning your brewer. That is why plastic is easier to clean.
Plastic is cheaper and more flimsy, but because of that, it will usually not be rigidly held in place. Were it to be welded or screwed into place. Then the whole structure would be vulnerable from the breakage of a single piece.
By making their brewer out of replaceable plastic parts, Bonavita has made a product that is easy to maintain while also being far cheaper than the average coffee maker.
Ease of replacing parts
This is not without its drawbacks, though. As you might have surmised, the parts of the Bonavita brewer are replaceable. And indeed, they will need to be replaced after about a year of continued use. Not everyone is interested in bearing the additional expense of replacement parts.
The Technivorm replacement parts are cheaper, and they are far less likely to be needed to boot. It is hard to form a thought about the Technivorm model that refrains from commenting on the price of entry, but at least you are getting just as much reliability as always.
Between these two, the Bonavita is the clear winner. The previous comparison was a close call, but the difference in price really magnifies the advantages of the Bonavita design. This also illustrates how certain frivolous features, like smart home integration, can be. Bonavita wins this time not because it reinvented the wheel but because it simply made the better coffee at a lower price.
Many industry competitions come down to comparing apples and oranges. But comparing Technivorm vs Bonavita brewers is like comparing apples from the Netherlands and apples from Germany. They are alike in so many ways, and worth your money in so many ways that to draw a firm line between them and say that one is better seems to miss the beauty in their craft.
If you want a low-stakes entry into drip brewing, then the Bonavita One-Touch Coffee Brewer is your way to go. It is cheap, delicious, and easy to operate. For only a little more money, the Technivorm Moccamaster Thermal Coffee Brewer is a great second pick. Both will serve you well, however. You may have once said to yourself that “Nothing beats a warm cup of coffee in the morning,” but that was probably before you decided to make your own. So, find a brewer, and get brewing.