If you are on the lookout for a new electric drip coffee machine, you may have heard of Bunn, an American company that has been making coffee makers since the 50s. If you’d like to know about some of the different models, here are our recommendations for five of the best.
Buying a Bunn
Bunn was originally a grocery store that opened around 170 years ago, but back in the 1950s, the family-owned company branched out into producing coffee brewers.
The goal back then was to produce a simple machine that was capable of producing a superior brew with a minimum of fuss – and things haven’t changed much since.
The main advantage that all Bunn home brewers have in common is that they are able to brew a 20-50oz pot of coffee much faster than regular brewing systems, usually in only about three minutes.
Beyond this, they share broadly similar features. They all include a water delivery system designed to ensure an even extraction of coffee; the more modern versions have more refined delivery systems than the older models.
Some include classic glass carafes that are kept warm on a hotplate while others come with thermal metal carafes that keep coffee warm and fresh without the need for the hotplate.
Another advantage of Bunn is the simplicity of use. There are no complicated controls to understand or confusing variables to adjust – you just put in your ground coffee and hit “brew”.
This type of machine will appeal to someone who wants a simple, tasty cup of coffee with no unnecessary hassle. On the other hand, they are perhaps not so well adapted to those who enjoy making modern coffee shop-style espresso-based drinks like lattes and macchiatos at home.
The Best Bunn coffee maker reviews of 2020
Here are our top five picks for Bunn coffee makers.
1. BUNN CSB1B Speed Brew Select Coffee Maker
This Bunn brewer measures 8” x 13.4” x 14.7” and weighs 11.05lbs. It comes with a glass carafe and can brew anything from a 20oz travel mug to a full 50oz pot of coffee. It is capable of brewing coffee in only three minutes, and the brewer includes a three-year warranty.
This is a no-nonsense brewer that is designed to brew a great-tasting cup of coffee in the quickest time possible. This is because once the water is heated, the machine keeps it hot permanently until required in a commercial-grade Stainless-Steel reservoir.
Once heated, you need to leave the machine switched on all the time. Initial heating takes around 15-20 minutes, but once hot, Bunn claims this machine brews in half the time it takes rival machines to have your coffee ready.
Another useful feature is the non-drip carafe that Bunn claims is the “cleanest pour on the market”. The spray head is designed for optimum extraction, producing evenly extracted coffee with little bitterness. Bunn also sells a slower spray head for brewing stronger coffee.
On the downside, this machine doesn’t have a timer, so you can’t set it to come on automatically. You also can’t stop the brewing cycle before it’s finished – but since brewing time is so short, neither of these issues is a big problem. The cleaning process is also a little time-consuming.
What I Like
What I Didn't Like
This is a great machine for someone who likes their coffee to be ready quickly and also for someone who will be using the brewer a lot. If you are only an occasional coffee drinker, the fact that this machine is left switched on permanently means it might not be the best choice for you.
2. BUNN BT Velocity Brew 10-Cup Thermal Carafe Home Coffee Brewer
This model measure 9.25” x 7” x 14.25” and weighs 10.2lbs. The main difference between this and the previous model is that it comes with a thermal carafe rather than a glass one. It can brew 4-10 cups of coffee in about three minutes and keeps the coffee hot for up to two hours.
This model is similar in many ways to the model reviewed above. It shares many of the same capabilities and features, including the ability to brew fresh coffee in around only three minutes. The special spray head also ensures a perfectly even extraction, producing a superior-tasting coffee.
Water is kept permanently hot at the optimum brewing temperature of 200°F in a Stainless-Steel tank. It features an 800-watt heater and an internal thermostat to precisely control the temperature of the water. It can also produce hot water for brewing tea.
The big advantage of this model is the double-walled vacuum thermal carafe, which can keep coffee hot and fresh for up to two hours. There is no hotplate, which some people may not be used to, but with the carafe, there is no need, and this method keeps the coffee fresher and prevents stewing.
One problem with this model is related to the super-fast brewing time – the water comes out of the nozzle very fast and can result in the grounds overflowing. To prevent this, make sure you use proper Bunn filters. You can also buy a spray head that slows the rate of water flow.
What I Like
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This is a good option for someone who likes to brew their coffee and then have it available without drinking it all at once. For this, the metal thermal carafe is ideal. As with other models, it is not a good option if you enjoy more variety – it can only brew regular drip coffee and nothing else.
3. BUNN CSB3T Speed Brew Platinum Thermal Coffee Maker
The “Speed Brew” is extremely similar to the “Velocity” thermal carafe model above but represents an upgrade on that version. Its dimensions are 13.6” x 8.25” x 14.9” and it weighs 9lbs. It is supplied with a platinum-colored thermal carafe and includes a three-year Bunn warranty.
In almost all ways, this machine is practically identical to the model we looked at just before. Like all Bunn machines, it is capable of brewing a full carafe in only around three minutes, can brew 20oz-50oz each time and features a special non-drip spout to avoid spillages.
This model comes with a platinum-colored double-walled vacuum thermal carafe that keeps coffee hot and fresh without the need for a hotplate for up to two hours. This machine is also designed and assembled in the USA.
So what’s the difference between this and the previous model that warrants the higher price tag? Firstly, the spray head has been modified to ensure a longer contact time between the coffee and the water, resulting in a noticeably superior taste.
The shape is also slightly more curved, which is also supposed to help improve the flavor.
The cons associated with this model are also similar to the previous model. With a metal carafe, it is impossible to see inside to see how much coffee is remaining. There is no programmable timer and the brewing cycle cannot be stopped – but with three-minute brewing, this is not important.
What I Like
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This is a great option for the true coffee aficionado who cares about having a great tasting brew. If you are the kind of person who will notice the difference in flavor, this is the one to go for. If you are not quite so particular about the taste of your coffee as long as it’s ok, go for a cheaper model.
4. BUNN GRB Velocity Brew 10-Cup Home Coffee Brewer
This is an older model coffee maker than some of the others we have already looked at. However, even “back then”, Bunn brewers already featured most of the elements that make the more recent versions so successful – three-minute brewing, non-drip spout, etc.
This coffee maker is one of the older versions that spawned the more recent iterations of Bunn’s coffee makers. Most of the features of this brewer have remained unchanged or have been only slightly modified in newer machines, in itself suggests that this was a decent piece of kit.
As with the others, it features a Stainless-Steel reservoir that keeps the water permanently hot and ready to brew, allowing it to produce hot and steaming fresh coffee in only three minutes.
The drip-free spout helps protect against splashes and accidents, and the simple operation of this machine means even the most tech-averse coffee lovers will be able to operate it – you simply fill the basket, ensure there is enough water and hit “brew”.
If you are more of a coffee connoisseur, you might appreciate the more modern Bunn coffee makers since the water delivery and extraction technology has been tweaked a little, resulting in a more refined coffee. Also, the old-fashioned shape of these machines makes them look quite dated.
What I Like
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These machines are ideal for someone looking for a bargain. They have most of the functionality of the modern machines, but since they are the older version, they now cost a lot less. However, they are not the best choice for someone who wants the latest tech and best possible taste.
5. ThermoFresh High Altitude 10-Cup Home Thermal Carafe Coffee Brewer
Again, this machine is similar in most respects to all the other Bunn machines – including high-speed brewing, spray head for even and consistent extraction and, with this model, a thermal carafe to keep the brewed coffee hot. The big difference is this machine is optimized for use at high altitude.
Again, this model offers everything you would expect in a Bunn. This is one of the more recent models and features the special spray head for optimizing extraction as well as the Stainless-Steel reservoir for keeping the water heated and ready to brew whenever you need it.
The metal carafe is an effective way to keep coffee hot for up to two hours – or potentially longer if you don’t need it piping hot – and it avoids stewing the coffee like when you leave it on a hotplate.
The most important feature in this machine is the special internal thermostat designed for optimal brewing at up to 5000ft. Since the boiling point of water drops the higher up you go, it becomes harder to brew good coffee at altitude – and this machine solves that problem for you.
While this machine is a great option for altitude brewing, it’s still not perfect. Brewing is fast, but this causes the water to pass through the grounds quite quickly – which results in coffee that might be too weak for some. Also, as with the other models, it is always switched on and consuming power.
Obviously, this is the model to go for if you like the idea of Bunn machines but live at a higher altitude. Otherwise, it performs as well as any of the others. If you live at sea level, on the other hand, you would be much better off buying one of the regular models.
Wonderful coffee makers for when you need a quick brew
Bunn coffee makers are all reasonably priced, all make great-tasting coffee – and can all do it in only a matter of minutes. In fact, the differences are small. You simply need to choose between slightly superior tasting coffee, a metal or glass carafe and the ability to brew at higher altitude.