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Sometimes life gets a little hectic, and for many of us, coffee is what keeps is chugging along. So needless to say, you need to be able to rely on your coffee maker to not leave you high and dry. There are some brands out there that get it and dedicate their innovative energies to producing long-lasting machines backed by excellent warranties and customer service. Once such brand is BUNN.
Today, we’re going to be looking through the BUNN line to help you find the best BUNN coffee maker for you. Stay tuned for our inside takes and some tips on how to find the one you should be waking up to.
Got BUNN, Hon’?
Let’s begin this adventure with a little bit of history about the brand we will be reviewing. BUNN started over 170 years ago with a man named Jacob Bunn and his grocery store. That little store grew into the Bun Capitol Wholesale Grocery Company, and eventually George R. Bunn had a stoke of genius.
In the late 1950s, he founded the beverage equipment division that would ultimately become the Bunn-O-Matic Corporation. Since then, BUNN has continued to be a reliable, family-owned manufacturer that is the go to for many homes and businesses.
Best Bunn Coffee Makers
Now that you’ve met the Bunns behind BUNN, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of things. We’ve gone ahead and divided this buying guide into three sections based off of model lines put out by BUNN. So we have the Velocity brewers, Speed brewers, and Other category.
For each section we’ll tell you all about the machines we like, and for the current line we’ll talk about the ones that didn’t make the cut.
Velocity Brew Family
So, beginning with the Velocity line, we’ll be looking at the BUNN GRB, BUNN BX, BUNN BT, and BUNN NHS models. This line is technically the “older” line and is no longer featured on the company’s website; however, they’re still sold new through Amazon and many people still buy them.
You’re about to see why that is:
All 4 models plus their high-altitude variants (where applicable) have a 50 ounce brew capacity and are customizable between 8 and 10 cups. The brew itself happens in about 3 minutes, which is impressively fast for a drip brewer.
The internal water reservoir is stainless steel and heats to 200ºF. There is also no “on” button, the brew simply begins when you shut the lid after adding water. Lastly, all of these machines come with a 3 year warranty.
Because the brew is so fast, there is no auto-pause like many other drip brewers if you want a cup as it is brewing. There is also no auto-off feature, so you need to manually turn off the heat plate.
BUNN GRB Velocity Brew
The original Pour O’ Matic GRB base model measures 14.8″ Hx 7.1″Wx 13.8″D and weighs about 8 pounds. That makes it, like many of the other models you see here a little on the tall side.
The carafe is glass and the heat plate is porcelain coated. As for the lid, it is the standard flip up style that you find on most drip brewers.
BUNN BT Velocity Brew 10 Cups
The BT model is sold as the thermal carafe version of the BX/GRB. However, they don’t really look all that similar. Aside from being double walled and vacuum insulated, BT thermal carafe is more angular than its counterparts. This carafe keeps coffee warm for 2 hours and doesn’t require a hot plate.
Also, it can brew a minimum of 4 cups and a maximum of 10. It is dishwasher sage as well. Overall, if you prefer the Velocity line to the Speed line, this is a nice alternative to the Platinum Speed Brew, which we’ll cover later. The show head isn’t quite as good, but the coffee is acceptable and the price is better.
BUNN NHS Velocity Brew 10 Cups
Lastly, we have one of the most popular BUNN models of all time. And, for many people, this model still holds the top spot even after the introduction of the Speed Brew line. It’s dimensions differ a good bit from the other models, measuring 13.7″ H x 9.1″ W x 11.6″ D.
This machine has all the great features of the base models with a few welcome extras. It has a large, flat-bottom filter and funnel design that helps you get better extraction form your grounds. Additionally, it has a convenient swivel lid rather than the usual flip-up one.
There’s also a vacation switch that you can turn on/off if you won’t be using the machine for awhile to save. power. You’ll just have to wait a bit longer for the water to heat up when you next use it.
Because of the unique shape and the speed of the brew, you should definitely use BUNN filters rather than a third-party brand to get the best results.
Velocity Family Flops: BX
You’ll find similar specs with a nearly identical look with the BX model, which is essentially the second generation of the GRB. It looks and functions almost the exact same way. The dimensions didn’t change between Gens but the BX is a tad weightier at 8.6 pounds.
Due to it’s significantly higher price point with nothing much to show for it, we’d recommend opting for the GRB model or the Speed Brew Classic over this one.
Speed Brew Family
Meet the new line of BUNN coffee makers! Following the success of the Velocity machines, BUNN released a very similar “update” called the “Speed Brew” machines, which we’ll cover now.
In this line there are four different models, the Classic, Select, Elite, and Platinum. They are mostly the same save for a few minor differences that we’ll cover later.
The Speed Brew machines all have a 70 ounce, stainless steel water reservoir with a flip lid for refilling. This reservoir keeps the water hot for brewing to decrease brew time, so the only time you have to wait for heat-up is when you refill.
As for the carafes, they all have a 4 cup minimum and a 10 cup maximum, so you can brew anywhere from a travel mug to a full carafe. Also, the lids and spout design allows for an impressively clean, mess-free pour.
If you’re brewing at the 20 ounce minimum, the machine takes about 2 minutes. And it only takes 4 to brew the whole carafe, which is much faster than just about any other drip brewer on the market.
Lastly, all of these machines are backed by BUNN’s 3-year warranty and excellent customer service. Watch the base model in action below:
The base model of this line is the Classic, often just sold as the BUNN Speed Brew Coffee Maker. This machine falls in the middle of the line up as far as size, measuring 14.5″ H× 7.1″ W× 14.5″ D. Also, the Classic is the only Speed Brew machine where the warmer’s on/off switch is located at the top and uses a red rather than blue indicator light.
Go for the Classic if you are on a tight budget but still want to take advantage the improved showerhead of the Speed Brew Line.
Lastly, but certainly not leastly, let’s look at the Platinum Speed Brew Coffee maker. This model is really the only one with obvious, important differences from the Classic model.
Most notably, it has a double wall, vacuum insulated thermal carafe, which is a huge plus for people who like to take their time sipping their coffee. It stays hot for 2+ hours, and the lack of a hot plate means it’ll still taste good if you wait that long.
This machine measures 14.9″ H× 8.3″ W× 13.7″ D, making it slightly taller, a bit wider, and shallower than the Classic. The thermal carafe definitely justifies the extra cost, plus it comes in a high altitude version for those who are interested.
Family Flops: Select and Elite
The Select is about the same height as the Classic with a thicker width and thinner depth, measuring 14.8″ H× 8.3″ W× 12.6″ D. So it shouldn’t make much of a difference in the counter space department.
Other differences include a grey or black back panel with vertical bar accents. Also, the water on/off switch is on the right side on the front of the warmer with a blue indicator light. However, in our opinion it’s not really worth the increased price when compared to the Classic as far as functionality.
The Elite measures 13.8″ H× 7.7″ W× 12.7″ D, which is shorter and shallower than the Classic. Though it is slightly taller, it’ll still fit under most cabinets.
The differences here are, again, mostly aesthetic. There are chrome accents for the backsplash, carafe handle, and filter basket, and the horizontal stripe pattern is echoed across the machine. Overall, the price jump isn’t really justified by much more than looks.
However, this model does come in a high-altitude version, which is what we have linked above. This capability works well enough in those areas far from sea level to make this machine worth buying, though we’d still pick the High-Altitude Platinum over this one.
Other BUNN Brewers
BUNN MC MyCafe Single Cup Multi-Use
The MyCafe is arguably the most versatile machine that BUNN makes. It can brew using K-Cups, ground coffee, tea pods, loose tea, and more. To accomplish this, they have four interchangeable drawers one each for pods, grounds coffee, cup, and water.
There’s a pulse brew option for extracting bolder flavor from your brew, but the regular brewing begins as soon as you pour water in and plug in the machine. It keeps water hot for up to 6 hours before shutting off automatically. The heat up time for this machine is also much. faster than the other BUNN machines at 2 rather than 10-15 minutes.
Furthermore, it’s able to brew between 4 and 14 ounce servings, which is perfect if you are just brewing for one in a cup or travel mug.
This machine, unlike most of the other machines, comes with a 2-year rather than the usual 3-year warranty. However, it’s still considerably longer than many of the warranty options offered by competitors.
Click below to see this brewer in action:
Heat N’ Brew Coffee Maker
Moving on to our final, non-commercial brewer, the Heat N’ Brew. This machine is relatively new to the BUNN lineup and is pretty nice change of pace from their other offerings.
Firstly, the Heat N’ Brew is programmable, so you can set a brew time using the digital clock. Unlike the other machines, this one actually has a brew button, so it doesn’t automatically start. As a result, it’s a little slower, brewing 20 ounces (travel mug size) in 6 minutes or 10 cups (full carafe) in 10 minutes.
Nonetheless, it is still pretty fast and is great for bigger groups. The warmer plate shuts off after 2 hours, which is a nice automatic feature to have. Also, this machine has the trusty 3-year warranty.
This machine is basically the flip side of the need spectrum from the MyCafe. It’s best suited for larger spaces and company. It measures 16.3″ H× 8.7″ W× 9.7″ D, so you’ll definitely need to check your under cabinet space before buying.
Check it out below:
Velocity Brew vs Speed Brew
The main differences between the previous Velocity machines and the newer Speed Brewers are the sprayhead and filter basket. The former has been modified to increase contact time between the water and grounds, and the latter has received a slight change in space to help the coffee pout more smoothly into the carafe.
Overall, these changes have resulted in a noticeably better tasting brew and a wonderfully mess-free experience. Additionally, these machines have a more rounded aesthetic overall that effectively gives them a smooth, sleek look while also improving the way coffee drips into the carafe.
However, these updates don’t mean you should completely skip over the Velocity brewers, which are still sold. And they are still rather popular thanks to their lower prices and high quality.
Things to Consider
Most of BUNN’s coffee makers are glass carafes, with only one from each line featuring a thermal carafe.
Now, this isn’t a super big deal if you only brew as much as you play on drinking in the next 30 minutes or so. However, thermal carafes are better overall for larger carafe sizes because they keep coffee hot for longer (about 2 hours) without it getting burnt or spoiling. Hot plates add heat back into your brew, affecting the taste after a prolonged period of time.
This isn’t to say that you should completely dismiss the BUNN glass carafe models. In fact, the hot plates on these machines are porcelain coated, which helps prevent or at least delay some of the negative effects of other hot plates.
One of the biggest drawbacks of some otherwise great drip brewers is that they take forever to brew. Now, some machines have an auto brew pause function that allows you to drink some coffee while you wait. However, this creates uneven flavor as the first few cups are much stronger than the later ones.
With BUNN Coffee makers, you don’t have to worry about this. Most of the machines can brew a full carafe in under 5 minutes (usually around 3) but even the slowest one only takes 10. So if you’re concerned about you coffee maker not being able to keep up with your morning routine, you can trust BUNN to have your back.
As you’re purchasing a new drip brewer you need to take into account how many coffee drinkers you may need to supply at any given time.The average serving of coffee is about 8 ounces, so keep in mind that “cups” the measurement doesn’t necessarily mean actual serving cups.
As far as your options in the BUNN lineup, there aren’t many.
The vast majority of BUNN’s brewers have a 10 cup maximum (50 ounces), which is roughly enough to fill about 6 regular mugs. That is plenty for most people’s serving needs. And if your 4-5 guests want multiple cups, just make sure you put water in the machine as soon as you’re done serving the first round so it has time to heat up.
As far as what your other options are in this category, the biggest most hot brewers will go is about 12 cups, though you can find the occasional oddball that brews more. These sizes aren’t really necessary unless you frequently host a lot of people or are brewing for a family of multi-cup coffee drinkers.
On the other end of things, the minimum for BUNN machines (except the MyCafe) is 4 cups or 20 ounces. That is enough to fill your average Travel Mug, which is a pretty suitable size for most people.
If you’re interested in a machine that can go smaller with ease, then check out the MyCafe. If you need a machine with a bit more range, consider getting a dual brewer.
Moving on to what these machines can actually brew. Now, BUNN machines don’t really have many bells and whistles in this category. But for most coffee drinkers that won’t be an issue considering the quality of the brew,
Nonetheless, there are some basic capabilities across the board. These machines can all give you hot water just as fast as they give you coffee, which is handy for tea, instant soups, and the like.
As for as actual coffee, all of the machines except the MyCafe only brew with loose grounds. However, you do have a good bit of range for size as we discussed above.
If you do want a few more options and are only brewing for you, looking into the MyCafe could be beneficial. It can brew loose tea for you (rather than just giving you hot water) and is compatible with both K-cups and soft coffee pods.
What’s the Best BUNN for…
Technically, you can brew for one with just about all of these machines by simply reducing the amount of water you feed into them. While the “optimal” minimum might be listed as 20 ounces or so (about the size of a travel mug), these machines will still work with less grounds and water.
But the true powerhouse in this lineup if you are only brewing for one person is the MC MyCafe . It’s the only machine in the lineup that includes a 4 ounce serving within its parameters, and it maxes out at 14 ounces.
The incredible amount of customizability is just icing on top of an already great cake. The main drawback is that there are extra drawers to store and keep track of. But if you’re mainly working with one, that isn’t too much of an issue.
Lastly, the price is actually comparable to other single-serve pod and podless machines, but we find that the brew quality is significantly better, especially with fresh grounds.
A Tight Budget?
If you are on a tight budget, the best machine for you is probably the Speed Brew Classic . This basic model gets the job done and the updated showerhead makes for a better brew than the similarly priced GRB and BT Velocity Brew Models.
However, the BT Velocity Brew model is definitely a close second, and if you are a slow, multi-cup drinker it is probably the better choice for you. The brew is still good and the thermal carafe will allow you to take your sweet time.
Just because you’re chilling on cloud nine 4000+ feet above sea level, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have great coffee. But if you want to go with BUNN, which model should you choose?
Well it comes down to two options really. If you prefer a thermal carafe and improved showerhead and have a little extra room in your budget, the High Altitude Platinum Speed Brew Machine is a good choice. On the other hand, if you’re fine with a glass carafe and are trying to spend a little less, the High Altitude Elite Velocity Brew is also a nice option.
They both have a 50 ounce carafe capacity and heated stainless steel water reservoirs for fast coffee on demand. Also, both models come with a 3 year manufacturers warranty.
Overall, we were pretty impressed with the BUNN Coffee maker lineup. While there isn’t a ton of range here, this brand takes what they do best and really goes the extra mile for quality. So if you are looking for an extremely reliable machine that both the company and you have complete faith in, a BUNN brewer makes a great choice.
They keep the bells and whistles to a minimum so that they can ensure your brew isn’t something mediocre or glorified dirty water. Plus, it says something about the quality of their machines that their previous line of products are still popular buys for consumers.
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