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Bonavita Electric Kettle

May 17, 2012

Bonavita has done coffee home-brewers a great service by introducing two (cost-)effective devices: an autodrip, and an electric kettle for hand-drip. Their electric gooseneck kettle is, to my knowledge, the only one on the market. Hario presented an electric Buono at last year's SCAA convention, but it is still mired in various regulatory hold-ups.

First, price. You can get an electric Bonavita for the same price as a non-electric Buono. That's a great value. You can bring a full liter of water to a boil in about five minutes, which is not too shabby at all. You also don't need to transfer water from one kettle to another (which some people like to do for the sake of speed...boil in an electric kettle, then transfer to the non-electric pouring kettle). This certainly makes the process easier in the morning.

Second, build-quality. The Bonavita doesn't have the build quality of the Hario, the standard gooseneck kettle, and definitely lags behind other more expensive kettles. Some kettles feel like veritable heirloom items, and I personally like that kind of solidity. The Bonavita feels more like an appliance you buy that'll last a few years only to be replaced.

As far as performance goes, the Bonavita is the least comfortable and responsive gooseneck I've used. It's more like a minivan than a sportscar. Then again, for most home-brewers it'll definitely do the job. For professionals or certain serious amateurs, there are probably more attractive options out there. Insofar as hand-dripping coffee is not just about making coffee but part of a relaxing morning practice, kettles that are ultra responsive are definitely appreciated by me at least. For people who just want to make coffee, the Bonavita will do just fine. .

Bottom line, the Bonavita is a great device for someone who makes hand-drip coffee. It's relatively cheap, reasonably effective, and quite lovely on the counter.

P.S., a variable-temperature model is slated to be released later in the summer. Probably more useful for tea than coffee, since you can make great coffee by pouring immediately after the water's at a boil--the spout and air will sufficiently cool down the water. No need to wait until it's 205 or whatever in the kettle.  








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