Coffee Maker Review: Behmor Brazen Plus

Brazen Plus Review

Table of Contents

There’s a new SCAA Certified coffee maker in town, folks!

The new and improved Brazen Plus is the latest iteration of a feature-rich auto drip coffee maker invented by a company best-known for its popular roaster: the Behmor 1600.

I have a feeling that the Brazen Plus is going to soon be a very popular auto drip option, as it offers features that even the most advanced coffee makers on the market don’t offer. Let’s take a look at some of the features.

Complete List of Features and Benefits

  • Brew Pause – remove the carafe mid-brew to grab a quick cup of coffee
  • Permanent Gold Tone Filter – great for a full body, rich cup of coffee
  • Compatible with Paper Filters – great for a cleaner cup of coffee with less sediment/sludge
  • Brew Timer – Brew a pot (or cup) at a set time, automatically
  • Boiling Point Calibration – calibrate the temperature to the altitude of the city you live in
  • Brew Temperature Control – set the brew temperature anywhere from 190˚-210˚ F
  • SCAA Certified – one of only 9 coffee makers currently certified. Refer here for the most up-to-date list.
  • Oversized Shower Head – for full and even coffee saturation
  • Pre-infusion Setting – for blooming coffee anywhere between 10 seconds and 2 minutes
  • Stainless Steel Water Reservoir – less water contact with plastic is always good
  • BPA Free – for the times hot water does make contact with plastic
  • Manual Brew Option – use a Chemex, Hario V60, or other manual brewer under the shower head
  • Pulsing Shower Head – for more even coffee saturation
  • Thermal Carafe – keeps coffee hot for hours without burning it/affecting taste negatively

Phew! I don’t think any coffee maker can claim to have a list of features as long as this….and I’m probably even missing a few things. In any case, this is a Versatile coffee maker (yep, with a capital V).

The Review

Since SCAA Certified coffee makers don’t come around too often, I plan to throughly review this brewer. I’ve also conducted a thorough comparison between the Brazen Plus and the BV 1800 that you can find here.

You can also check out my comparison between the Brazen Plus and BV1900 here.

Let’s talk about the Brazen Plus’ pros and cons first.

Video Review

How does the Brazen Plus compare to the Bonavita BV 1800?

Glad you asked! I do a side-by-side comparison of the two coffee makers here.

How does the Brazen Plus compare to the Bonavita BV 1800?

The Ratings

Let’s break down the current individual ratings of this coffee maker. Be aware that at the time of writing, this is still a very new coffee maker so there aren’t as many user reviews out there to collate into this review. As a result, this is completely based off of my personal experience with the Brazen Plus.

The Price

At $200 I find this coffee maker to be well worth it in terms of value. But since we’re going on price alone, this is definitely on the higher end for an auto drip coffee maker.

Rating: 3 stars

The Coffee Maker Quality

Really not too many design or usability flaws from what I can tell so far. The condensation build-up is a little bit annoying, but considering the coffee maker boasts a stainless steel reservoir, permanent gold tone filter, BPA-free materials, and a very practical thermal carafe, it’s hard to dock anything more than a half star here.

Rating: 4.5 stars

The Coffee Quality

While I still need to try using the Brazen Plus with a paper filter, I haven’t been disappointed with the permanent filter at this point. Sure, the coffee isn’t quite as good as what you’d get from an Aeropress (in my opinion), but for an auto drip that gives you this much control I think it deserves a full 5 stars.

Rating 5 stars

Ease of Use

I think this is potentially the one achilles heel of the Brazen Plus. With lots of features and settings comes a steeper learning curve, and as a result this isn’t the easiest coffee maker in the world.

Having said that, the fact that all settings (minus the clock) are saved after unplugging the machine is absolutely awesome. Setting up your auto-timed coffee for the morning is a breeze once you’ve used the coffee maker a few times.

Rating: 4 stars

Cleaning Ease

Aside from wiping up condensation build-up from the reservoir lid and shower head, this isn’t any more difficult to clean than most coffee makers. There are only 4 removable parts, so this shouldn’t be a pain point for anyone.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Durability

Only time will tell how long the Brazen Plus lasts, but considering there is a 2-year warranty I’m not too worried about malfunctions for now.

Update 5/29/15: I’ve been using the Brazen Plus for almost a year now and it has still held up great.

Rating: 5

Appearance

It’s very futuristic-looking. Reminds me of a space station of sorts. But I think it looks pretty good.

Rating: 4 stars

Brew Speed

The brew speed mostly depends on your personal preferences. With variable pre-infusion times and temperature settings, brew time can clock in at all kinds of different speeds.

Having said that, I brewed 2 cups at 195˚F and it took about 6-7 minutes. When compared to the BV 1800, that’s 5 minutes slower.

Rating: 3.5 stars

Versatility

Do I really need to elaborate on this one? This is the most versatile coffee maker I’ve ever used, or even heard of for that matter.

Score: 5 stars

Customer Service

If you are going to go forward with the Behmor Brazen Plus, keep in mind that you are purchasing a coffee maker from a relatively small company. As such, the only method to contact Behmor for support is via their website’s contact form. In other words, there is no phone number you can call to get in touch with someone for immediate help.

So if this is an issue for you, you’ve been warned.

Is the Brazen Plus for You?

If you’ve been looking for an SCAA certified auto drip coffee maker that can do it all, the search should end here.

Currently, my BV1800 is in my cabinet while the BV1800 has taken its place on the counter as my go-to auto drip coffee maker.

I’ve already done a head-to-head comparison with the BV 1800 and BV1900. This was the clear winner for me and remains the only auto drip coffee maker that I currently use..

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  • Good morning Benji,

    I greatly appreciate your videos and all the time you’ve
    taken. It has helped narrow down the
    ideas of what I want but I still don’t know what to buy.

    1. For years I’ve used my $20 Mr Coffee and have been sufficiently satisfied.

    2. I tried the Aeropress 3 years ago and didn’t like that it only made one cup at a time. A very small cup at that. Tasted great though. Returned it anyway.

    3. I recently received a Keurig as a christmas present. Tried it and was not satisfied with the coffee, nor getting one cup at a time, nor the fact that it wasn’t kept warm for me to come back to, nor the filling of the landfills with k-cups. Returned it.

    4. I then purchased a Bialetti Moka pot. Made the best full flavored coffee I’ve ever had. For the first time my coffee tasted as good as the beans smelled. However I learned about the possible connect of Alzheimers and aluminim. That was all I could think about and wasn’t very apt to use the moka pot anymore. I know there are steel versions but I read horrible reviews of those. Anyway they
    don’t make enough coffee nor keep it warm for me to keep coming back to.

    5. I purchased a Caspresso Infinity Burr Grinder. (just added that as info)

    6. I was considering the new Bonavita 5cup coffee maker but I’m not 100% sold. I’m also considering the Brazen Plus which is larger than I’d like and makes more coffee than I need it to. Also considering the pour over method and purchasing a separate thermal carafe to pour into, but I don’t know.

    What are your thoughts on this? I’d appreciate the help.

    Additionally, I’d love to see you perform a head to head taste test of a $20 Mr. Coffee vs the Brazen Plus, Bonavita, etc. You may know for yourself that it’ll get
    whooped but your audience, just like me, may really appreciate it. As the market is so flooded with so many options I don’t know what to pick and am considering just saying “heck with it” and getting another Mr. Coffee.

    • Hi Rick,

      Thanks for your kind words and great feedback!

      It really depends on how much work you want to do in the coffee making process. Considering you’ve used an AeroPress in the past and are considering pour over, I’m going to assume you don’t mind the manual process too much.

      If it were me, the next thing I’d try would be a Chemex. It can a) Make more cups than 1, b) it is all glass…which means you don’t have to worry about the potentially harmful stuff coming from aluminum or plastic, c) it may cool down quickly, but you could easily pour the coffee into a thermos like you said.

      I’d put your Mr. Coffee head to head with the Chemex. If you find they produce roughly the same results, then stick with the Mr. Coffee. If it’s significantly different, choose the one that makes better coffee.

      That’s a great idea for a head to head test re: Brazen Plus and Mr. Coffee. I’m kicking myself for throwing away the Mr. Coffee maker I had, but I know at least one of my friends still has one. So stay tuned!

      • Thanks for the reply and advice Benji.

        I hadn’t really considered the Chemex because you’re brewing into a receptacle only to move it to another one and loosing heat the whole time. Then you need the temperature just perfect and you need a good pouring kettle, etc, etc. Just more moving parts and steps than I care for.

        I threw away my Mr. Coffee as well when I was gifted the Keurig. I should not have done that. That little thing was going on 10 years strong and I was proud of that fact. Did it make amazing coffee? No I don’t think so but it never made bad coffee. However that depends heavily on the quality and grind of the coffee used.

        I’m still thinking about getting the Brazen. I’m not on the fence because of the price. It’s that I don’t want it to be a mistake and be one more thing I have that I wish I didn’t. On the brazen topic, do you find water condensation falling onto your counter top during/after the brew process or just within the enclosed areas where the water is? I also don’t want a coffee maker that’s a mess every time I use it. With the Brazen you’re offered more variables to control which seems great at first glance. However I am a fan of the KISS method.

        Keep It Simple Stupid. Often times more choices leave people unhappy because they can’t decide what to do and if the choice they make turns out to be the wrong one they’ll be even more frustrated with the whole process. That’s why I’m still considering the New Bonavita 5 cup. Less variables to control and maybe I’ll just learn to be happy with what it makes and move forward. However I could only find it at Sur La Table (hate that name) and it was $120 + $17 shipping + $9 tax. That’s a total of $146 now for a coffee maker that may only make coffee comparable to a Mr. Coffee? I don’t know, I have’t tried it. But how much different can it be?

        Today I’m considering walking down to a local shop that carries the new and improved Clever Dripper. I have a little contraption practically identical to it for tea which I purchased at teavana. It’s the Teavana Perfectea Maker. I’d be Very curious to know how the Clever Dripper stacks up to the taste of the Brazen Plus and Chemex.

        • Re Chemex losing heat: you’re basically losing heat post-brew no matter what brew method you use. If you’re just talking about drinking temperature, I find that the manual methods like the Hario V60 and Chemex come out at fine temperatures, so long as you drink them within 10-20 minutes.

          Even the AeroPress calls for a 175˚F brewing temperature, and I think it yields great results…the drinking temperature is perfect in my opinion.

          In the end, you’re going to lose even more heat with the Clever coffee dripper not only because it’s meant to steep the coffee for approximately 4 minutes, but also because it’s made of plastic which I don’t believe conducts heat as well as glass or ceramic.

          The reason I mention ceramic is because Bonavita makes the Immersion Dripper, which is basically the same as the Clever Dripper, just made of ceramic. Also, neither of these will make you more than 2-3 cups of coffee as far as I’m concerned. What was changed with the Clever btw?

          Ah, the old KISS acronym…very familiar and in total agreement. If you’re trying to KIS, then you shouldn’t mess with the Brazen Plus. If however, you enjoy experimentation and trying to improve your final cup of coffee, I highly recommend it.

          The Brazen’s condensation only builds up in the reservoir and under the shower head. You could easily get a little water on the counter if you aren’t careful with the reservoir lid, but if you keep it over the reservoir this isn’t an issue. The shower head only drips onto the metal plate at the bottom. To me, this is the biggest issue with the Brazen, but still a minor one.

          So, I’ve probably made the paradox of choice even stronger for you, but take comfort in knowing that return policies are very good at both Sur La Table and Amazon. Additionally, if you’re between the Brazen Plus and BV1900ts, both companies offer incredible customer service. To me, there is almost nothing to lose.

          Let me know what you decide…if you’re ultimately able to decide at all 😀

  • Benji, Just a quick note to confirm our discussions. My Brazen Plus produces inconsistent coffee. Sometimes great, but mostly just okay (not bad but not great). It is not nearly as consistent as my old Chemex pour over or my Technivorm (where I can stir the grounds during brewing). I think the problem is the highly inconsistent water dispersion. The shower head is large with many holes, but 90% of the water comes out of the center holes and falls on only about 5% of the coffee. The outer holes, which should fall on the other 95% of the coffee are rarely in play. During a complete cycle (7 or 8 water pulses of 15 sec. each) 80% of the outer holes have no water coming through at all. During a single water pulse, one or two holes at most are involved and often the water is only coming from the center holes. There is no pattern during a complete cycle as to which holes are involved. It seems completely random. More often than not the few outer holes involved over the complete cycle are all in the same general area, so huge sections of the grounds get no direct hits at all. After one minute of the pre-soak cycle, the majority of the time there is a 10-40% area of grounds which are completely dry. I don’t see how this pattern can cause anything like an even exposure of the grounds to the water. You provided me with a video of your BP in action. I also received a similar video from the vendor. What struck me was how different they all are. During the first water pulse yours seemed to have a reasonable distribution of water over the grounds from the center holes and the outer holes; mine has almost all water coming from the center; the vendor’s had all the water coming from the outer holes and no water at all from the center holes. Apparently there is no normal water distribution pattern for these brewers. It just seems to depend on the luck of the draw. You got lucky, I didn’t. I relayed all of the details about the water distribution in mine to Behmor customer service. They told me my BP was perfectly normal. They must be right since apparently anything is normal. I bought this unit for a home I have in the mountains at 3900 feet so I can adjust for altitude. I don’t know of any alternative. However, I would never buy this brewer for use at sea level. There are far preferable options. Thanks again for your help!

    • Henri, Thanks for your experiences with it. Inconstant water delivery and even worse, the fact that Behmor didn’t really seem to care about the issue, is the reason i’m going with the Bonivita now.Nice job, Behmor!

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