Bonavita Immersion Dripper

7.2

Price

6.0/10

Coffee Quality

9.0/10

Coffee Maker Quality

9.0/10

Ease of Use

9.0/10

Cleaning Ease

10.0/10

Durability

8.0/10

Appearance

8.0/10

Brew Speed

6.0/10

Versatility

0.0/10

Pros

  • Solid porcelain body for optimal heat retention during the brew
  • Stopper and lid to control steep time
  • Easy to use
  • Great-tasting coffee
  • Incredible versatility for a manual coffee maker - allows you to control more variables

Cons

  • Bigger and heavier than the Hario V60 and Bonmac
  • Fragile
  • Time-consuming. Especially if steeping for recommended 4 minutes
  • Takes trial and error for a great-tasting cup of coffee

One of the main issues with manual coffee brewers is the lack of versatility they offer. While you can control many different variables when you brew coffee manually, such as water temperature and flow rate, there are still important variables that can only be controlled by using a different brew method.

For example: with French Press you can control steep time, you can stir/agitate the coffee. On the flip side, with pour over into a Chemex you can control where the water contacts the coffee and the flow rate. But you can’t really control steep time, as the water is flowing through the coffee immediately upon contact during a pour-over.

This is where the Bonavita Immersion Dripper comes in. It brings the best of both worlds (French Press and Pour Over), allowing you to control all of the important variables from both of these brew methods.

The Review

The main thing that makes this coffee maker revolutionary is the controllable stopper at the bottom of the cone. With the flip of a switch, you can stop the flow of coffee through the porcelain cone. The brewer also includes a lid for more effective steeping.

First Brew

I put together a video of my first brew with the Immersion Dripper. Here it goes:

Takes Trial and Error to Get a Great Cup of Coffee

The first cup of coffee I ever brewed with the Bonavita Immersion Dripper didn’t taste good at all. It was thin and pretty sour. I chalked this up as user error though, and eventually had some great tasting cups of coffee after adjusting my grind to something finer.

What makes the brew process especially tricky is finding what variables will produce the best tasting cup of coffee. You may have to reduce or increase your steep time, or maybe you’re just using the wrong grind.

Bottom line is that this brewer requires a little more trial and error when it comes to getting the perfect cup of coffee. But if you enjoy the ritual of crafting your own cup, it should be worth it.

Significantly Bigger Than the Hario V60

If kitchen space is limited, you may want to err on the side of caution when considering the Bonavita Immersion Dripper. In relative terms, it’s huge when compared to the popular Hario V60. It’s also bigger than the Bonmac. Here are some image comparisons:

Hario vs. Bonavita Immersion Dripper

bonavita immersion dripper vs. bonmac and hario v60

The Ratings

The following ratings are the average of my personal experience and that of other reviewers on Amazon.

Price

At around $40, this isn’t the cheapest manual brewer out there. When compared to the Clever Coffee Dripper (surprised I haven’t even mentioned this brewer yet), it is about $20 more expensive. So you are basically paying a premium for the quality of the materials used (porcelain vs. plastic).

Score: 3 stars

Coffee Maker Quality

Good quality materials are being used here. Porcelain is pretty much as good as it gets for a cone dripper. The stopper is made of plastic, but most of the reviewers seem to think it’s food grade. The lid is also plastic, which I think detracts from the score slightly.

Score: 4.5 stars

Coffee Quality

You will get great quality coffee from this coffeemaker if you put in the effort. Meaning, experiment a little bit. Have fun with this brewer and you will be rewarded with a great tasting cup of coffee, eventually.

Score: 4.5 stars

Cleaning Ease

Just throw out the #4 paper filter you use, and rinse with warm water. It doesn’t get easier than that.

Score: 5 stars

Ease of Use

While it is very easy to use, it does take some time to get it right. This is the only thing keeping this brewer from a perfect score.

Score: 4.5 stars

Brew Speed

It can be like watching paint dry if you choose to steep for 2 minutes, stir, and then steep for another 2 minutes as the manufacturer recommends. However, it isn’t any longer than a standard pour over…plus, it’s more hands-off…since you are usually going to pour all of your water into the cone at once.

Score: 3 stars

Durability

Don’t drop it. It may survive a short drop, as it’s pretty thick porcelain, but similar to most manual coffee makers…you need to be careful.

Score: 4 stars

Appearance

Not too much wrong with the way this coffee maker looks. I think it could do without the giant Bonavita logo, but aside from that the clean white makes this a pretty decent-looking coffee maker.

Score: 4 stars

Versatility

This manual drip brewer has almost everything you could possibly want in a coffee maker. Given the fact that you can control so many variables during the brew, the Bonavita Immersion Dripper gets a perfect score here.

Score: 5 stars

Is the Immersion Dripper for You?

So do I recommend the Bonavita Immersion Dripper? It depends on the type of coffee drinker you are.

  • Do you usually only brew one cup at a time?
  • Do you have a good amount of space in your kitchen cupboards?
  • Do you like to really have control over the coffee you brew?
  • Do you love both French Press and Pour Over?

If you answered yes to all 3 of the questions above, then I would definitely recommend the Immersion Dripper.

If you still want a manual brewer but found yourself saying “no” to most of the questions above, than I’d recommend you check out the Bonmac, Hario V60, or Aeropress.