March 29, 2005

Review: Bunn My Café Commercial Grade Pod Brewer

Review from Single Serve Coffee.com - Coffee Pod ReviewsMc Front 03-1Bunn introduced the Bunn My Cafe Commercial Grade Pod Brewer earlier this year, and as always we were excited to see what Bunn had to offer. Bunn has been making drip coffee makers since 1972. The big difference in their home machines is a heated reservoir that when you pour cold water in the machine, it displaces the hot water in the tank for an almost instant pot of fresh brewed coffee. Also the founder of Bunn coffee created the first coffee paper filters in 1957. So - if you have a company that has instant cup of coffee knowledge combined with coffee filter knowledge - surely Bunn would hit the nail square on the head with a Commercial Grade coffee brewer, and best of all they do.

Update 12/10/10: There is a new My Cafe Model - the Bunn My Cafe MC Model Coffee Pod Brewer available. Read our review here.

The Bunn My Cafe Pod Brewer Experience

There are two different versions of the Bunn My Cafe from Bunn - the MCP and MCA. They sent the Bunn My Cafe MCP - which is the pour over version of the pod brewer. The MCA can be connected to a water source so you don't have to pour water over. Since the reservoir is really quite large, we can't imagine most people wanting to buy the MCA, but a small Cafe or office might really like the water line option.

Img 3661 1The Bunn My Cafe Pod Brewer features:

  • Patented pod drawer works with most pods from 45 to 61 mm.
  • A commercial-quality system capable of brewing both coffee and tea.
  • Fast brew coffee in about 30 seconds. Stainless steel heating tank uses a thermostat to hold water at the perfect ready-to-brew temperature.
  • Patented sprayhead allows extraction of all coffee flavoring materials and aromatics.
  • Tea button features Pulse-Brew technology to provide steeping action.
  • Brew 4 to 12 ounces of coffee or tea to preferred strength by adjusting the portion/volume control.
  • Easy to use and maintain with a removable water reservoir and easy-slide lid to pour in water.
  • A drawer-style pod holder keeps hands clean and dry at all times.
  • Reservoir holds 46 oz. of water.
  • Pod holder, reservoir / lid and drip tray assembly are dishwasher safe.
  • Includes two pod holders to prevent flavor transfer.
  • Energy-saver mode reduces tank temperature during idle periods.

Img 3644 1The thing we like immediately - the pod drawer. Instead of a holder which will only accept one size of pod, the My Cafe will take almost any pod currently on the market. That means if you like the Melitta pods, or the Senseo pods, or even the Folgers pods - you'll be able to use them. Also - like Melitta's One:One, Bunn includes two pod holders for the My Cafe so you can separate out you coffee pod holder from your tea pod holder.

The next thing we like was the size of the water reservoir. It's really large, and like the Extra Large Water tank from Senseo, accomplishes what it seeks out to do - you refill every couple of days instead of every morning which can be draining. Also - it's a pour over top. You can simply add water by sliding the top open, and pouring in your water. NICE WORK!

Img 3637The styling of the Bunn My Cafe is a little Jetson like. The machine is very slim and tall, and allows for the use of any size mug you would put under it including a travel sized mug. As you can see from the picture to the right, the My Cafe produces a smaller footprint than the Keurig B50 or the Senseo.

Brewing a Cup of Coffee with the My Cafe

We fired up the My Cafe and put in a Kona pod from Aloha Island Coffee. Anita from Aloha Island had sent us email that the Bunn My Cafe made the best cup of Kona pod coffee she's had from a pod brewer.

When you turn on the coffee machine and heat up the reservoir the Bunn logo glows red. The brewer was not that noisy heating up, and after we got our red logo we dialed up a nice 10 oz cup of coffee. The My Cafe features the ability to brew 4 to 14 ounces of coffee by using a slide on the front. We then pushed the button and a whine of brewing began much higher in pitch from other pod brewers and to our surprise - A NEON BLUE LIGHT shown down on our coffee. NICE TOUCH!

The water pouring forth was piping hot. There was steam all around the top of the brewer, much like using a regular drip Bunn maker for a full pot of coffee. The coffee being produced was of the same color as most pod coffee brewers.

Img 3659 1Tasting the Bunn My Cafe Coffee

Indeed Anita from Aloha Island Coffee was right, this is the best cup of coffee we've had from a non-pressure brew pod brewer. Unlike the Senseo, other makers like the Home Cafe and the Melitta One:One don't use a pressure brew system that produces the faux "crema" like froth, however the Bunn produced a nice amount of crema on the top of our Kona coffee.

The kona coffee produced was superb. The coffee as hot and had more flavor than what we've found produced from the Home Cafe with a Kona pod. We then went on to try the Baronet Pods, JavaPodz, and others - all of the coffee we tried had a higher quality fresh brewed coffee than we have experienced with the Melitta or the Home Cafe. Nice work Bunn!!!

Conclusion

The Bunn My Cafe Commercial Grade Pod brewer is a winner. We would give it 4 stars, but have to take 1/2 a star away due to the price. It's $199.95. That's $50 more than the Keurig B50, and nearly triple what a Senseo or Home Cafe will cost you. However, it does produce the best cup of brewed pod coffee we've had. The coffee is hot - the maker is stunning - and the quality you get when you use the Bunn is top notch. So we feel if you have $199.95 then you'll be happy if you buy it.

Pros

  • Large Reservoir
  • Pour Over Top Refill of Reservoir
  • Brews Tea and Coffee
  • Excellent Coffee taste from all pods tried
  • Two Pod holders included
  • Can use any pod size available

Cons

  • Price - a bit higher than other makers
  • For the price we'd like to see a timer and clock like the Keurig B50

Buy the Bunn My Cafe Pod Brewer from Amazon.com.

Bunnpodreview-1

Read More in: Bunn My Cafe | Reviews | Single Serve Coffee Machines

Share this Article with others: social bookmarking

Related Articles:

Came straight to this page? Visit Single Serve Coffee for all the latest news.

Posted by Jay Brewer at March 29, 2005 6:47 AM

Recent Comments

I like this machine, but am on my third unit and now it has stopped working properly too. The problem each time is the same, it puts out 12 oz. of liquid no matter what you have the amount lever set to. They did replace the other ones but now they are going to start charging to replace. Only had it a few months. Irritating, poor quality, but otherwise good machine.


Posted by: jim at October 3, 2010 2:40 PM

Is there a refillable pod like the Presto MyPod for the Bunn MyCafe?

Thanks!


Posted by: dbchicago at April 29, 2009 9:55 PM

Is there a "refillable" Presto MyPod or equivalent for the Bunn MyCafe?


Posted by: db at April 27, 2009 7:14 PM

Apparently after all this time, they have not resolved the priming issue. I just received mine and it was air locked as well, and wouldn't prime during initial setup. I tried the methods mentioned here and elsewhere to force water in the inlet tube to the pump, but thw water refused to go inside. After an hour I was ready to give up and called CS, but of course not open on Saturday. I then decided to the unthinkable and unscrewed it to take it apart. I took the valve off the pump inlet tubing and I used a baster to force water directly into the open tubing, and through the pump and into the internal tank. That obviously primed it, so all ended well. I wouldn't recommend doing what I did as I'm sure that's a warranty voider if they were to find out, but it is a guaranteed fix. The alternative would have been to wait a few weeks, instead of enjoying my 2nd cup while I write this 1-2 hours after the ordeal. It definitely makes a fast cup of coffee, and slightly better tasting coffee than my previous k-cup Breville, though the Breville was a MUCH higher end machine. The Bunn feels cheap in comparison.


Posted by: Paul at January 10, 2009 6:32 PM

I also have been through two due to water leaks. And now am in need of third one. First one was dumping all water on counter top from a leak in valve. Now like above, I have a smaller amount of water leaking but it causes bright blue flash when I try pushing brew button and it blows circuit breaker at wall plug. Bunn service has been great about replacing but not sure I want to keep going through this. I think they are sending out repaired units for replacements not redesigned ones. Also my friend has gone through one replacement so far. I think I will just give him my remaining pods and go to drip. First Bunn was a gift so if I quit now I am still ahead.


Posted by: William Smith at April 13, 2008 10:25 AM

Like Jeff, I have been through multiple My Cafes. Two of them developed leaks in the valves from the heating tanks, and dumped the contents of their reservoirs on my kitchen counter. The third must have leaked into its electronics... It had been dribbling slightly from its pod tray for a couple days until, during a brew attempt, it produced an electric arc and blew a fuse in my house, leaving the smell of ozone and burning plastic.

I love the coffee from this machine.

I love the convenience of this maching.

Bunn's customer service rocks.

Between machine 1 and 2, two of my friends bought My Cafes on my recomendation.

However, I regret paying a couple hundred dollars for a machine that won't last a year, and may burn my house down. Even if Bunn doesn't give me a hard time about replacing it, I don't want to keep going through this. Why don't they just fix the design flaw?

In the mean time, I am buying a different brand (possibly the new cuisinart), and will no longer recoment the Bunn to friends.


Posted by: Alex at December 9, 2007 11:54 PM

I have a question. We have a bunn coffee maker at our cabin. When I left I shut it off but am not sure if I unplugged the machine!!! Will this damage the machine ? Will the water inside go dry ??


Posted by: Lana at October 1, 2007 12:58 PM

I'm now on my(get this) fourth Bunn My cafe, waiting on number 5 from Bunn. The last one lasted almost a year. Apparently the heating tank develops a leak and the machine starts leaking out of the base. I would think that Bunn would solve this problem. On the other hand, they keep replacing my machine. Other than the inconvenience of being without the machine for a couple of days can only say the customer service is great. I'm also totaly spoiled by the machine for consitent tasting coffee when ever I want in less than 60 seconds.


Posted by: Jeff at June 20, 2007 9:53 PM

Yes, pods have to be used, but you can make your own.


Posted by: jane at June 19, 2007 10:57 AM

I have a simple question. A friend just told me she ordered the Bunn My Cafe Pod Brewer for us as a gift. I haven't even received it yet, but after reading this one thought came to mind: do 'pods' HAVE to be used? What about regular ground coffee? Is there a way to use regular grinds, or does this only work with pods? Honestly, if it only works with pods, I personally wouldn't have gotten this....we like to mix coffee flavors, and like one post above, 1/2 regular and 1/2 decaf.

I'm not happy about having to use pods if this is the case.....anyone have any suggestions?


Posted by: Donna at June 5, 2007 12:33 AM

I purchased a Bunn My Cafe last month and have been extremely pleased with it so far. My whole family loves it!! After much researching on Single Serve Coffee Pod machines, I decided on the Bunn My Cafe and am happy with my choice. The machine primed exactly as it should have (I have read many instances where people have said that they have had problems with their machines not priming), it is easy to use and most of all makes a good-tasting, HOT cup of coffee. I also purchased the Perfect Pod Maker and am completely satisfied with that too. Since my first Bunn purchase last month, I have purchased an additional one for my daughter to use at college. Again, it primed-up immediately and works perfectly. At this point, I can't say enough good things about the Bunn My Cafe or the Perfect Pod Maker. Hopefully in a year from now I will still feel the same way.


Posted by: Joanne at March 23, 2007 10:46 PM

I bought a Bunn My Cafe for Christmas in 2005. It wouldn't prime, so Tech Support sent me a call tag and a brand new My Cafe a couple of weeks later. Fast forward to March 2007, the wife loves the Bunn but it has started leaking water and shorting itself out. Called Tech Support, gave them the serial number, and they are sending a call tag and I'll have a brand new My Cafe in a couple of weeks!

I love Bunn's Tech Support!


Posted by: Jimmy at March 21, 2007 10:41 AM

Thanks, Clif!! That's exactly what I was looking for. I just ordered one from Coffee Giant along with pod paper refills.


Posted by: jane at March 13, 2007 1:47 PM

There is something called The Perfect Pod Maker that you can use to create your own pods using whatever coffee you want to experiment with. I've received one but haven't had a chance to try it out as of yet. Here is a link to a review on this site. http://www.singleservecoffee.com/archives/009434.php


Posted by: Clif at February 22, 2007 4:03 PM

Hi dcal,

Like you my Bunn My Cafe from Amazon came and wouldn't prime. I called customer support at Bunn, and the guy told me to take a turkey baster and try to prime it manually. After some fussing, that worked. It's worked perfectly ever since. Sounds like Bunn needs to include something in the documentation to cover this, or they could just fix it. : )

I'm also looking for better pods than what I have. I have Java One pods, and they're not bad...just adequate. I've also been making my own pods using #2 t-sac filters. I've found I have to grind the coffee into the finest powder I can, but it works ok. Still a both though.

Which brings to the reason I came here in the first place. Is there a refillable pod on the market for the Bunn My Cafe? I've Googled to exhaustion.

Thanks!


Posted by: jane at February 12, 2007 1:08 AM

Update -- I've had my Bunn for just over a month now. The quality of it seems fine, once I got one that worked (see previous post 12/29/2006). However, I've got to say I'm having real problems finding coffee that is any good. Don't get me wrong, most that I have tried are adequate but no where - and I mean no where - near the quality of my Cuisinart Drip or Fr Press. It all seems to lack some bite - none of it seems quite strong enough. I'm not trying to get 12oz cups here. I gave that up after a week. I'm talking 6oz cups; and yes, I am using 10g+ pods. I've even tried 12g pods and not much better. I've tried JavaPodz, PodHeads (AE Sensation), and Baronet 12g french roasts, columbian, sumatra, and costa rican. I don't want to give up on this yet, so can someone please reccomend what works best in their Bunn. Why aren't we seeing any 16g or larger pods out there?


Posted by: dcal at January 31, 2007 2:39 PM

I received my Bunn MCP as a Christmas gift. It came from Amazon, and as others have reported, it did not work. It failed to prime the internal tank. Basically it would not draw water from the reservoir to the internal heated tank. It came in a white box with black and red graphics; extra parts did arrive in a manilla envelope. I promptly returned it and ordered another from Target. That one arrived in a full color yellow-ish box; parts were still in a manilla envelope. This one worked right out of the box.


Posted by: dcal at December 29, 2006 1:05 PM

I've had this coffeemaker for several weeks now, and I LOVE it! The coffee is hot, flavorful, and fast. I'm not a major tea drinker, but I've tried the tea, as well, and found it equally acceptable. Although this machine is pricey compared to some others, I thinks it's well worth it, and recommend it to everyone.


Posted by: Carolyn at October 13, 2006 9:21 AM

I still love the machine (you'll see my comments at the beginning of this thread)...when it's not being replaced!!

Machine #2 just died, and although Bunn is gonna replace it again, I didn't expect this from a $200 machine. It's death is different than the first one (about 8 months ago)...the tank heater keeps cycling on/off...making the water RESERVOIR very hot and, according to my wife, it was smoking too (dare I suggest it mighta caught on fire had she not unplugged it??). She is able to use it by plugging in/unplugging after each brew, but clearly that isn't right.

And what really kinda irks me is that Bunn doesn't send you a new one until you/I send in the old one. That means you're without a machine for 1-2 weeks. This time I asked (demanded!) that they send me a prepaid shipping label... I was NOT gonna pay to ship it back!

Again, I still think it's the best machine available, and there don't seem to be THAT many breakdowns reported. My first one was when it was first introduced (always risky), and hopefully the second failure was a fluke.

I got one for my mom last Nov. and it's been fine!

I just wanted to vent a bit & seeing how much I raved early on, I figure it's best that I do my venting here.

Dean Smith


Posted by: Dean Smith at September 19, 2006 12:02 PM

You're going to have a hard time finding one in any store. I've never seen one in a store but can tell you it's one of the best single serve coffee machines. It will not work with any reuseable filter but you can make your own coffee pods using t-sacs and other methods.


Posted by: Jay Brewer at August 17, 2006 10:36 PM

I am considering buying a single serve coffeemaker and the Bunn is currently at the top of the list. However, a couple of things bother me. First, I would like to actually see one before I lay out nearly $200 for one. I have looked all over the Chicago area and have yet to see one. This seems a little strange for a major brand like Bunn. Second, I would like to use whatever coffee I like in the brewer. Has anyone used any of the refillable pods (ecopad, Presto mypod, the Melitta padfilter appears to have been discontinued) in this machine? Any pros or cons from anyone? Thanks.


Posted by: jsiegfri at August 17, 2006 10:30 PM

We are very unhappy with our Bunn, My Cafe...We are on the second machine that has stopped abruptly after two months of normal home use. They both have sputtered and quit and although Bunn will replace this machine a third time, we are frustrated that we have had to replace it at all. This machine is too expensive for this kind of fooling around. Something is not quite right with this machine.


Posted by: Unhappy with Bunn at July 29, 2006 2:21 PM

I ordered my Bunn My Cafe from coffeewhiz.com. It was $199 + tax because I live in the same state as them. The reason I didn't mind was because I knew I'd get it quick.

My only gripe with them is they had a promotion giving away two boxes of Timothy's pods for free, but I have no interest in trying them. I've bought Baronet flavored coffee's. They wouldn't let me swap for another brand.

Shipping was pretty quick.

The machine itself looks great and feels strong. I haven't fired it up yet to make a cup of coffee, but will post again when I do..


Posted by: yuppicide at March 22, 2006 11:32 AM

I was searching the internet for reviews on different pod machines. I think this is a great site. I'm really glad I didn't settle for a cheaper machine such as the Home Cafe.

I'm also glad I didn't go for the Tassimo with T Discs. I like flavored coffee and the pods offer a lot more flavors.

I just wish there were a lot more flavored teas in the pod.

Your review on the My Cafe was great. The after reviews were great as well. They really helped me make up my mind. Now all I need to do is find a good deal on one and order myself some pods.


Posted by: yuppicide at March 16, 2006 10:38 PM

I recently saw at bed bath and beyond that Kurig has a refillable k cup that you can use your own coffee and tea in.


Posted by: Todd at February 15, 2006 6:37 AM

I got a new Bunn My Cafe the other day and I think it's an overall improvement over the Senseo I've used the past year. However, the Bunn causes the lights in my kitchen to flicker as it maintains the water temp. I've had to resort to turning it off except when I want to brew a cup. I've had an electrician check out the circuit and it's fine with a 20 amp breaker...only thing on it is the Bunn. Anyone else have this problem?


Posted by: Terry at January 31, 2006 6:38 PM

Made my own pod with Jamaican Blue Mountain for the My Cafe using instructions posted on ineedcoffee.com (this is simply wrapping finely ground coffee tightly in a small piece of filter paper, but the website has fun diagrams). I moistened my home-made pod before using. I ground the coffee super fine (and I only have a hand-crank grinder, so this is hard work!) First try was too weak, then I tried again, making sure it weighed at least as much as my other pods. This made the best cup of coffee I've ever made, possibly that I ever had. The only problem with using homeade pods is that it takes longer for the water to come through, so it's kind of a wimpy drip at the end. I strongly recommend trying it out with your favorite coffee.


Posted by: Christina at January 13, 2006 12:21 AM

I too got a My Cafe from Amazon that had the attachments in an open manilla envelope, and I had the same blinking light problem when I tried to run it, and no water would run through the machine. I got it for Christmas, so tech help office was closed. I was feeling crafty one Sunday and discovered that the opening on the machine for water to empty from the reservoir, which opens with a little spring, was just a little stuck. After pressing it a few time with my finger, the machine works perfectly.

My boss just brought me back coffee from Jamaica, so now tonight I will try making my own pods with some filter paper.


Posted by: Christina at January 9, 2006 3:31 PM

Anyone know if Bunn will be releasing a double pod or specialty pod drawer in response to the recent cappucino/latte pods? If not, IS there a decent cappucino pod for single serve brewers (not espresso machines)?


Posted by: Hillary at December 29, 2005 10:32 AM

I just got the replacement one from Amazon unpacked .The seal was open, but everything was inside and it was brand new !!, I called Bunnn to ask them about all this and the guy was very polite, he said sometimes the Bosses walk down the assmbly line and pick out one or two finished items to check for defects , if they find any ie. a fitting that could have been tighter , a screw too loose, they will pull all the units made on that day and check them as well, tightening the screws/fittings etc. He said they don't sell any refurbished stuff to Amazon, and as far as Amazon goees, they are not equipped to take a return from someone, clean it up and send it back out to another customer, it's alot easier to put it on a pallet, ship them back to Bunn for new replacements. The first one was misssing a pod holder which was already sent out to me by Bunn, but while it was enroute to me ,I decided to ask Amazon for a replacement which they sent out next day air to me.The second one I got was over 3000 serial numbers newewer than the original one!, It is about half as loud as the original one as well,when heating and dispensing the water , came with 2 differnet color screens in the pod holders to diffrentiate between the 2 pod holders if you want to use one for coffee and one for tea.The Bunn My Cafe is fantastic !!, makes a great cup of coffee and about half as loud as my Old Senseo machine which decided to lock up and never open again, and did this exactly 2 days after the warranty was up and the same week as the one in my office locked up as well, they were bought a week apart last November .I replaced my office machine with the Krups 1010 and while it's a nice machine and great for my office, splashes a little too much when making coffee and takes up too much counterspace in my home, the Bunn machine is much nicer and has a great look to it , nice smaller footprint on your countertop, commercial construction quality , and great results, as far as people complaining of inconsistency with the Bunn's dispensing, in the owner's manual it clearly states , differnet pods absorb more ater than others and might brew differnet amounts, I've tested mine with the same pods and it's right on the money .And , NO I don't work for Bunn.(otherwise I wouldn't spent $175 form Amazon !!)


Posted by: Dov at December 18, 2005 7:40 AM

I just got the replacement one from Amazon unpacked .The seal was open, but everything was inside and it was brand new !!, I called Bunnn to ask them about all this and the guy was very polite, he said sometimes the Bosses walk down the assmbly line and pick out one or two finished items to check for defects , if they find any ie. a fitting that could have been tighter , a screw too loose, they will pull all the units made on that day and check them as well, tightening the screws/fittings etc. He said they don't sell any refurbished stuff to Amazon, and as far as Amazon goees, they are not equipped to take a return from someone, clean it up and send it back out to another customer, it's alot easier to put it on a pallet, ship them back to Bunn for new replacements. The first one was misssing a pod holder which was already sent out to me by Bunn, but while it was enroute to me ,I decided to ask Amazon for a replacement which they sent out next day air to me.The second one I got was over 3000 serial numbers newewer than the original one!, It is about half as loud as the original one as well,when heating and dispensing the water , came with 2 differnet color screens in the pod holders to diffrentiate between the 2 pod holders if you want to use one for coffee and one for tea.The Bunn My Cafe is fantastic !!, makes a great cup of coffee and about half as loud as my Old Senseo machine which decided to lock up and never open again, and did this exactly 2 days after the warranty was up and the same week as the one in my office locked up as well, they were bought a week apart last November .I replaced my office machine with the Krups 1010 and while it's a nice machine and great for my office, splashes a little too much when making coffee and takes up too much counterspace in my home, the Bunn machine is much nicer and has a great look to it , nice smaller footprint on your countertop, commercial construction quality , and great results, as far as people complaining of inconsistency with the Bunn's dispensing, in the owner's manual it clearly states , differnet pods absorb more ater than others and might brew differnet amounts, I've tested mine with the same pods and it's right on the money .And , NO I don't work for Bunn.(otherwise I wouldn't spent $175 form Amazon !!)


Posted by: Dov at December 18, 2005 7:39 AM

I just got the replacement one from Amazon unpacked .The seal was open, but everything was inside and it was brand new !!, I called Bunnn to ask them about all this and the guy was very polite, he said sometimes the Bosses walk down the assmbly line and pick out one or two finished items to check for defects , if they find any ie. a fitting that could have been tighter , a screw too loose, they will pull all the units made on that day and check them as well, tightening the screws/fittings etc. He said they don't sell any refurbished stuff to Amazon, and as far as Amazon goees, they are not equipped to take a return from someone, clean it up and send it back out to another customer, it's alot easier to put it on a pallet, ship them back to Bunn for new replacements. The first one was misssing a pod holder which was already sent out to me by Bunn, but while it was enroute to me ,I decided to ask Amazon for a replacement which they sent out next day air to me.The second one I got was over 3000 serial numbers newewer than the original one!, It is about half as loud as the original one as well,when heating and dispensing the water , came with 2 differnet color screens in the pod holders to diffrentiate between the 2 pod holders if you want to use one for coffee and one for tea.The Bunn My Cafe is fantastic !!, makes a great cup of coffee and about half as loud as my Old Senseo machine which decided to lock up and never open again, and did this exactly 2 days after the warranty was up and the same week as the one in my office locked up as well, they were bought a week apart last November .I replaced my office machine with the Krups 1010 and while it's a nice machine and great for my office, splashes a little too much when making coffee and takes up too much counterspace in my home, the Bunn machine is much nicer and has a great look to it , nice smaller footprint on your countertop, commercial construction quality , and great results, as far as people complaining of inconsistency with the Bunn's dispensing, in the owner's manual it clearly states , differnet pods absorb more ater than others and might brew differnet amounts, I've tested mine with the same pods and it's right on the money .And , NO I don't work for Bunn.(otherwise I wouldn't spent $175 form Amazon !!)


Posted by: Dov at December 18, 2005 7:39 AM

I also got an opened box of the Bunn My Cafe from Amazon, I sent them an email, they sent me another one next day shipping, due to arrive tomorrow .If it's opened, I'm gonna return it and buy it form one of the guys on here .Is coolbeanpods.com in NJ ?? I want to save the tax .


Posted by: Dov at December 15, 2005 11:38 PM

EL, I forgot to mention that to my knowledge Bunn does not sell refurbished pod brewers at this time. I wonder if Amazon has had some returned and they tested them and are sending them back out as new?? That might explain the missing manual and the condition of the first brewer you received.


Posted by: chris at December 15, 2005 4:55 PM

El, Olivia is correct in saying Bunn has an excellent customer service department. I have worked with the Bunn product for years and have also purchased several pod brewers. They will stand behind the full two-year warranty that comes with the pod machine and if you have any questions about the machine they will be able to get you the answers you need. I have never seen any brewers that say Bunn has tested them, although they do 100% test and inspect the brewers to insure quality. As far as the blinking light goes this is most likely due to the espresso pods you are using in the machine. The machine will shut down if the unit brews to slow because of the pressure build up from the pod. You shouldn't have this issue with pods intended for use with single cup pod brewers. Hope this helps.


Posted by: chris at December 15, 2005 4:46 PM

My other question is, I wonder if it's Amazon buying the refurbished models at a discounted price from Bunn, & then turning around and selling it for full price?


Posted by: Olivia at December 14, 2005 10:20 AM

Wow El, that's disappointing. As for me, I scoured the internet looking for a way to buy the Bunn from a store if I needed to return it. The closest I could come was to order it on-line from Ace Hardware with a direct ship to store. That way I could return it to store without hassle of shipping. I received a shiny, brand new model, that, yes, makes fabulous coffee! You deserve too as well, given that you paid full price. Refurbished models belong on overstock.com or other such discounted sites. Bunn has excellent customer service. Why don't you give them a call directly & ask for a new model.


Posted by: Olivia at December 14, 2005 10:17 AM

I ordered my Bunn MCP from Amazon.com. The first Bunn MCP I ordered came with a note from Bunn saying that it has been tested by Bunn, and it certainly felt like it had been "used", with small water stains, tearing in the original packaging, all of the attachements inside of a simple vanilla envelope, and no users manual to be found. I contacted Amazon, because I felt like I deserved a brand new model with a users manual, and Amazon was great and sent me a new one with one day shipping. Of course, the replacement also came with the same note about being tested by Bunn, but it didn't have the water stains and did have the user manual, so I decided to give it a try.

When the model was working, the coffee it made was excellent (I used Starbucks Espresso), but by the 4th or 5th cup, the Bunn light would blink and it would shut down without making a full cup. Incidentally, there is no mention of a "blinking" light in the troubleshooting section of the users guide, so I can only assume it is defective. I have now returned it and asked Amazon for another replacement, because even though it is a hassle, I am convinced that it makes a great cup of coffee. However, Amazon has sent me an e-mail saying that the problems with this product are "widespread" and that they will refund me the money but will not send another replacement.

So perhaps I have been unlucky, but my biggest criticism is this: Bunn should not be sending out "tested" models to consumers spending $199. They should make sure that production is working well and then send out shiny, brand new models like every other company does. Is that too much to ask?


Posted by: El at December 12, 2005 10:55 PM

Not in their own category - but it is a different method of preparation. For example someone who uses a french press versus someone who using an espresso machine. Radically different.

The Bunn and the Senseo use two different methods of preparationa and they result in very different coffee extraction and taste. I like them both.


Posted by: Jay Brewer at August 13, 2005 7:24 AM

Jay says, "this is the best cup of coffee we've had from a non-pressure brew pod brewer." Just curious if that implies that pressure brewers are in their own category?


Posted by: LarryH at August 12, 2005 8:54 PM

Jenn & Dean:
Thanks for your responses. Yes, I will have to run two cycles when using the Folger's pods. From your experience, who markets the biggest pods? I want to brew the strongest 12 oz. cup I can in a single cycle.

Regards...JL


Posted by: JimL at April 22, 2005 1:06 PM

I've used Millstone, Java Podz, Cool Beans, Archer Farms and Baronet. I usually brew 8oz and that seems to be just right - not too light & not too strong. So if you want to go lighter, I'd suggest 9oz and if you want stronger, I'd try 7oz or maybe even 6oz.

Hope this helps!


Posted by: Jenn at April 21, 2005 6:35 PM

Not many people use two pods anymore, though I thought/think the Bunn can handle two of the single-sized Senseo pods.

Seems that most pod makers (including Senseo!) have gone to making bigger pods, thus eliminating the need to double up!! 8-11 gram pods are now the norm (podhead/cool beans/JavaOne, etc), which is usually enough for a 8-12 oz. cup of moderate strength. I like Podheads best...great selection/service & good prices, but the JavaOnes we got from sams are great too! I'll probby try the Wolfgang Pucks soon, from that new Coffee Whiz site that's highlighted on this site (news/homepage). I checked, they're supposed to be 8-9 grams each, and the fact that they're only $0.30 each (!!!!) is icing on the cake!! My god, that's as cheap as anything I've seen...has anyone tried them yet? http://www.coffeewhiz.com/SearchResult.aspx?CategoryID=103

Back to Jim....if you need 12-16oz "big gulp" cups, or until you deplete your Folgers stock, you'll hafta do two cycles.

Sorry, I can't break out the pathos cuz you're forced to spend an extra 60 seconds a day for a few weeks ;-). I'm sure you'll work through your pain!! ;-)


Posted by: Dean Smith at April 21, 2005 3:41 PM

Thanks Jenn. There is no way I can fit two Folger's coffee pods into the pod tray, so I will need brew two pods separately into a single cup. Just curious: What coffee do you use and how many oz. of water per pod? I like my coffee mild-strong. I am still trying to find that perfect combination.

Regards....JL


Posted by: JimL at April 21, 2005 11:33 AM

Jim,

I can't answer your 2 pod questions but I can answer your other question.

I only turn the power off and empty the water resevoir if I know that I will not be using the My Cafe for more than 2 days. I was told by the service rep at Bunn that if you won't be using the MY Cafe for about a week or more (if you go on vacation or something) definitely turn the power off and drain the water resevoir. When you go back to using it, run 1 or 2 cups "clear" brew before putting a pod in it.


Posted by: Jenn at April 21, 2005 7:16 AM

Another question about the BUNN: Do any owners turn there brewers off after the last use of the day? I am using the brewer at home and would like some feedback on leaving it turned on all the time.

TIA.....JL


Posted by: JimL at April 20, 2005 7:56 PM

Hi. This is my first posting on this site, but I have been using a B&D Home Cafe since October 2004 with mixed results. I just received a BUNN My Cafe and I am very impressed by it's design. I have many leftover Folger's coffee pods and want to use them up before moving on to something else. One problem: The BUNN pod holder cannot hold two (2) of these pods. Any ideas other than doing two brewings? Also, can someone recommend a pod brand/size that I can use two pods at the same time in the BUNN?

TIA....JL


Posted by: JimL at April 20, 2005 6:03 PM

I purchased the BUNN a few days ago and Its been great! Fast, steaming hot and measures out perfect on any size cup I set it to. Im glad I waited to make a purchase of one of these machines because they seem to have only gotten better with time. I also like the smaller footprint of this machine (compared to the Keurig) BUNN is the best! :)


Posted by: Sarah at April 19, 2005 4:29 PM

Dan, of the two machines, if you're concerned about coffee strength I think you'll find you have more control over that with the Bunn, and also probably an ability to get the coffee stronger than the Keurig. This is for two reasons--first, you can adjust the brew volume in once ounce increments all the way down to 1 oz; with the Keurig you just have two settings for this. Also, with the Bunn you can put two pods in the holder to double the strength. No way to do that with the Keurig.

If you want more like espresso strength, you might look at a Nespresso machine. This uses capsules like the Keurig and the machine operates exactly the same way, but it brews espressos withe real crema. I'll have an opportunity soon to try one of these. Reviews on the net are quite positive, and price range for the machines is anywhere from about where the Bunn is, up to $500 for the fanciest model. The drawback is the capsules are a bit more expensive than coffee pods (about 50 cents each), and there are only 12 varieties available.

Darryl


Posted by: Darryl at April 10, 2005 8:20 PM

Lora,

Thank you for returning this thread back to comments/questions about the Bunn My Cafe Brewer! After all, this particular thread is about the review of this machine. Any Keurig or Senseo thoughts/tips/comments should probably be posted to that particular machine's review thread.


Posted by: Jenn at April 10, 2005 6:51 AM

Just received my bunn My Cafe from amazon.com this weekend, with the $25.00 off special deal. I have a Senseo that I use at the office; the Bunn is for home. It seems to be very well built machine, feels solid and hopefully will last a long time like other Bunn coffee makers. Unfortunately the Aloha kona coffee pods I ordered at the same time have not arrived, so my first cup with the Bunn was Senseo's dark roast. The flavor was good with the Bunn. The crema was absent, and although it may be "fake" as others have mentioned, somehow it does add to the smoothness of the cup, while the Bunn's cup was more like a regular drip brew.The Bunn is extremely easy to use, and will be great for the ability to change strength and quantity with the controls up front. I've very happy with it!


Posted by: Lora at April 9, 2005 11:47 PM

Hi Hwan,

Thanks for the suggestion; in fact, I've been using the 10g pods in the double-pod holder, so perhaps that explains it. On the other hand, I get the same problem when using two 7g pods in the double-holder, or even a 7g pod in the single holder. The water isn't perfectly clear, more like a very light brown. It's as if the water is going through the pod but has not reached a sufficient temperature to brew the coffee.

And yet I've had the water run very weak like this at the *end* of the cycle as well (which I find really baffling), or on a second brew cycle, so I doubt that heat is the issue.

I have not tried adjusting the water meter yet, but when I can't even get a strong cup of coffee using the single setting with two pods, I have to wonder if this will help.

Dan


Posted by: Dan at April 9, 2005 6:42 PM

Dan, if you're getting clear water run out first then you're doing something wrong. The Senseo must seal the pod in place, otherwise the water will go AROUND the pod and not thru it, which clear water is the first sympton that the water is not going thru the POD. You must use a single 10g POD in the single POD holder. Have you tried adjusting the water meter that is under the senseo?


Posted by: Hwan Valdeez at April 9, 2005 12:05 PM

Thanks for all of the thoughtful reviews on the Keurig and Bunn units posted here. Like many of you, I'm still searching for the holy grail of coffee makers.

The trouble I have with my Senseo is that it inevitably brews a weak cup of coffee. I always use the single cup button with two 7-gram pods or one 10-gram pod in the double holder, and my coffee still comes out weak! It seems that half the time the first several seconds of brew produces a nearly clear stream of hot water; the other half of the time this happens in the final few seconds rather than the first (?).

I've tried all the tricks: wetting the pads, brewing an initial cup of hot water to warm up the unit, heating up the cup with some milk in the m-wave first, using different brands of pods (I own virtually all of them)... and nine times out of ten I still get weak coffee (the tenth time must be due to some favorable planetary alignment).

So now I'm looking at other units and considering stepping up to an espresso machine. The cost rises (in both dollars and time/energy) as you move up the quality scale from pod machines to espresso makers, grinders, and roasting your own beans. It's always a matter of trade-offs between quality, cost and convenience.

The price of a good super-automatic espresso machine is astronomical when compared to these single-serve home brewers (at least $1k), so I might just try the Bunn or Keurig before giving up. And I must have over a year's supply of 62mm pods in my collection now!

Dan


Posted by: Dan at April 9, 2005 8:41 AM

Hi Dean, about refilling K-cups, I meant to add- you're correct, once inserted into the machine the K-cups end up with a small hole in the top for injecting water, and a small hold in the bottom, where the brew drops out to the cup.

Darryl


Posted by: Darryl at April 5, 2005 6:26 PM

Dean, I think it would be tricky to reuse a K-cup if your goal is to use your own ground coffee. There are two reasons for that which I'll hit below. However- I do think it would work to put a coffee pod in an empty K-cup (or an empty tea bag for that matter). I haven't tried this but might at some point.

The problems with putting your own grounds in a K-cup are:

1. K-cups are lined with a filter. To reuse you'd need to peel out the old filter and line the K-cup with fresh filter material. Probably not easy to do given the small size and curved shape of the K-cup.

2. K-cups have a foil seal on top. It looks like this serves a purpose in brewing. The water injector head consists of a sharp water nozzle that pokes through a rubber gasket. It looks like the gasket is designed to seal against the foil covering of the K-cup. This undoubtedly confines the injected water to the interior of the K-cup so that all brewing occurs in there and so that grounds don't escape. To make your own K-cup you'd need to apply your own seal, possibly using tin foil and some kind of food-safe adhesive. It might also work to oversize the tin foil covering a bit so that you could secure it with a small rubber band--it's a question of just how much pressure develops inside the K-cup.

That being said, it looks to me that it might work to just dump a coffee pod or tea bag into an empty K-cup, or possibly into the K-cup holder itself. Being already wrapped in a filter, you wouldn't have a problem with grounds escaping. If indeed the seal against nozzle gasket is important for proper brewing (for example, to maintain proper brew pressure) then it would probably work to put the pod in an empty K-cup and apply a tin foil seal as suggested above; in this case though you probably wouldn't need to glue it, since a little escaping water probably wouldn't be much of a problem--the fluid would just end up in the cup; no grounds would go with it.

Anyhow, it would be an interesting experiment to try.

Darryl


Posted by: Darryl at April 5, 2005 6:22 PM

Are K-cups reusable/refillible???

Just looking at them, they seem like they're perfeclty suited to rinsing them out & dumping in some of your own coffee

But I don't really know how they work. I see paper on the top...I'm assuming it is pierced by a water-dispensing pipe, but will it work if the paper is GONE?

What about the bottom, is there just a little hole where the coffee comes out?

Seems to me that it'd be amazingly easy to create a refillible cup. Youd have an open top & then put a lil' filter disc to cover the bottom hole. Dump in your favorite roast & you're set!! I know this flies in the face of the pod/cup concept, but it's a nice alternative, and one that many pod-people seem keen on experimenting with.

Dean


Posted by: Dean Smith at April 5, 2005 5:14 PM

I would like to thank Darryl for a very good and unbiased view of the two machines. I think it all comes down to personal preference. I have also owned both the B50 and My Cafe, I kept the B50. I didn't get rid of the My Cafe because it was bad, I just prefered the B50 for it's convience and a good rich cup of coffee.

Doug


Posted by: Doug at April 5, 2005 10:48 AM

Hi all, I thought I'd post a bit more info I came across for people wondering about how well supported Keurig's machine is with coffees. It turns out that one of the roasters who makes K-cups, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, actually owns a chunk of Keurig. Here's the quote from a recent press release about Green Mountain's expanding their line to include pods; the press release also mentions their K-cup business and says this:

"Green Mountain Coffee Roasters is the leader in single-cup specialty coffee offerings. The Company owns 42% of Keurig, Inc., manufacturer of the Keurig(R) Single-Cup Brewer"

Green Mountain is apparently one of the larger roasters and they also sell beans as well as pods. Of the K-cups I've tried, theirs seem generally to be among the better ones. The press release also mentioned that Green Mountain is the supplier of the Celestial seasonings teas that are available in K-cups.

The other four roasters doing K-cups are Diedrich, Timothy's, Gloria Jean's, and Van Houtte. Diedrich I know from my interest in roasting--they're a well-respected manufacturer of commercial coffee roastering machines(their coffee selling biz is a subsidiary).

None of this proves whether Keurig's machine will survive long term in the market, however it does tell you that at least two of the companies have significant resources to stay alive and continue selling K-cups as long as a market for them exists. I'm not as familiar with the other 3 roasters.

I'll post more comments another time on how the two machines compare when brewing the same coffee. This will be possible to do now that I know that Green Mountain makes pods as well as K-cups. I'll adjust the Bunn to match the brew volume of the Keurig, so that the comparison of machines has as many variables controlled as possible.

Darryl


Posted by: Darryl at April 5, 2005 4:09 AM

Hi Darryl,
Thank you, very much, for your detailed comparative comments. It's nice to hear from someone who owns both exact models of coffee brewers that I'm choosing between. I appreciate your objective approach.

Jenn, thanks again!

And thanks, Jay, for this great site, where one can "meet" and get great help from nice folks!


Posted by: Geoff Y at April 5, 2005 12:26 AM

I don't wish to start an argument on how many people make and sell K-cups, I'll merely reiterate what I know as an owner who has bought the machine and also K-cups. There are 5 coffee roasters who make coffee in K-cup form. I don't know for sure if they package the coffee into K-cups at their plants or if they send coffee to Keurig to package. I would think it likely that Keurig simply licenses their packing machines to the roasters since otherwise all the cross shipping of coffee beans or grounds and the final product would be quite inefficient and require extra labor on both ends.

In any event, no matter how this is all handled, there are five sources of different varieties of coffees and teas. Is this as diverse a number as for pod makers? No. Is it small enough to pose a concern? Only each buyer can decide. Would the supply of K-cups eventually dry up if Keurig went under? Probably. I personally am not concerned.

As for outfits that sell K-cups, there are MANY. I do not buy my K-cups from Keurig. Try a Google search on "Keurig" or just look at some of the sponsors of this site.

Darryl


Posted by: Darryl Rubin at April 4, 2005 7:19 PM

The Bunn CAN use two pods...normal single Senseo pods, maybe melitas.

I'd guess the cutoff to be about 7-8 grams, but I haven't checked on anything other than Senseo pods.

Podheads, Aloha, etc...the big pods are designed to be "doubles" ,which obviously work & are a better deal, $$ wise. Even DE make double pods (on big one). And NO machine is gonna handle double big pods (podheads, double DEs)

And there Are NOT 5 brands of K-cups or 5 companies making them.

They are ALL made/sold/wholesaled through Keurig!! Sure, they've selected 5 different COFFEE companies to supply raw product for THEM to make cups. But that ain't the same thing..K-coups are MADE and SOLD (direct & through retailers) by Keurig....ONLY Keurig!!

And it's not that others have chosen not to make their own k-cups...they CAN'T!! It's patented, and unless someone pays hefty licensing fees (which would probably make the price more than Keurig's!!), Keurig isn't looking to give away their biggest profit-maker. Even if they did, manufacturing those little molded plastic cups is a big undertaking, unlike pods where the machinery would be a LOT cheaper!!.

Dean


Posted by: Dean Smith at April 4, 2005 12:38 PM

One limitation with the Bunn unit is that it cannot use two pods at once. There are times when I mix decaf and regular pods to reduce my total caffeine intake or to blend different coffee pods. One also cannot use homemade pods (see Dr. Horowitz's method) without the double pod holder capability. I was strongly tempted to purchase the Bunn machine until I talked with the people at the Bunn support center about the pod holder.


Posted by: Ron Quick at April 4, 2005 10:36 AM

Another small correction and a couple additions to my preceding Bunn/Keurig comparison:

1. There are actually 5 makers of K-cups, not 4.

2. I forgot to mention that if you don't want to try tea bags in the Keurig, they do make K-cups with tea in them. The selection of teas is fairly modest at present though. I still think that for tea either machine is better applied as a hot water dispenser for brewing tea in the traditional way, in the cup.

3. In the list of choosing points at the end, I should have mentioned that cost can also be a reason to go one way or the other. The Keurig is $50 less, so it wins if you're price sensitive or if the other machine distinctions don't matter to you.

Darryl

Darryl


Posted by: Darryl at April 4, 2005 1:12 AM

I want to correct a couple of the typos in my preceding post that may otherwise be confusing.

1. Where I commented on using espresso pods on the Bunn, I meant to see that the result of the successful extraction was "bitter", not better!

2. Where I talked about coffee selection, I meant to say that there are a lot of "places" that sell K-cups. It's also worth adding that there are several makers of K-cups, not just Keurig (though this number is still just a handful, currently 4 I think).

Darryl


Posted by: Darryl at April 3, 2005 7:56 PM

I have both a Keurig B50 and a Bunn My Cafe and can share some comments. I feel both units are of quite comparable build quality. I certainly wouldn't rank one above the other in that regard. I'll mention what I think are the high and low points of each machine but in the end I think both machines are good--the choice for you comes down to some fine points that probably only you can answer for yourself, though I'll describe what I think those points for comparison are.

Let's start with the Keurig. The Keurig has a very nice mechanism for loading/unloading its K-cups--you just lift on the handle which pops the holder tray open at an angle. You then just pull out the spent K-cup and put in a new one. There's no tray to remove or put back. It's mainly an aesthetic advantage, but has one small practical side effect. I've never found a spent K-cup to drip when I remove it. Sometimes, maybe depending on the pod, the tray from they Bunn can drip a couple times when removed. You can solve that by leaving the pod holder in place long enough to be sure the last of the drips is gone.

A previous poster thought that it's a disadvantage for the Keurig that it doesn't have a separate pod holder. I don't really agree since in the Keurig all brewing occurs inside the K-cup, which is discarded. There's hardly any liquid path at all between the bottom of the K-cup and the drip spout. That's easily flushed just by running a brew cycle with no K-cup (this dispenses just hot water into the cup, flushing that little bit of path).

The K-cup holder is nevertheless removable, though you should never really need to remove it and from the way it snaps into place I'd guess Keurig only did this to make it replaceable in the unlikely event that would need to be done. If you want to be an ultimate purist about the water path in your machine, I guess this also lets you clean it separately from the machine without needing to run a descaling cycle. I'm sure you could also buy a second of the holders if you want a separate one for coffee and tea, though in truth I can't believe contamination of flavors will happen when using just the one (at least there's been none for me so far).

Some people have commented that the Bunn has an advantage of a more adjustable brew volume. The Bunn let's you adjust from 4 to 12 oz in 1 oz steps; very nice. The Keurig has two selectable brew volumes (I haven't checked what the doses are but it'll be either 4 or 6 oz for small and either 6 or 8 oz for large).

Technically the Bunn easily wins on volume adjustability, however it's a minimal advantage for two reasons. First, if you brew at higher water doses (more than 8 oz) all you're doing is flusing bitters out of an already spent pod. I feel your better off either brewing two pods at 8oz or less, or else brewing one pod at 8oz, then running a brew cycle with no pod to full up with additonal water (which you can do with either machine).

Second, if you nevertheless prefer the taste of one pod brewed with lots more water, you can do that with the Keurig too. Just run two brew cycles with the same K-cup; with two brew size selections this gives you 3 possible total water doses. You don't get the same ounce by ounce adjustability as with the Kuerig as you do with the Bunn, but for all practical purposes it does the job.

Note that for both machines, running lots of water through one pod makes for a weaker cup of coffee, not a stronger one. If you want stronger coffee, brew with less water and use more pods/K-cups if needed for the amount you drink.

Speaking of water--both machines have removable water resevoirs that you can also fill without removing. The Bunn is a little easier to fill in place, since you just slide back a cover on top of the machine and pour in the water. On the Keurig you lift the lid off the resevoir and pour. The Keurig wins a little in a couple different respects. First, you can see the fill level from the front of the machine, versus on the Bunn where you need to bend around to see the side of the machine. This is because the Keurig's resevoir is on the side of the machine with the thin edge facing front. On the Bunn it's on the back of the machine with the thin edge facing sideways. The side-mounted position on the Keurig gives it its second water-related advantage--it's easier to remove and reposition the tank, especially if you have your coffee maker under a counter.

Regardless of these differences, I don't find either machine inconvenient regarding water water filling. I'd put the differences more in the aesthetic category.

The Keurig is quite a bit quieter and also a little faster than the Bunn at brewing. Not a big deal to me but some people seem to mention the noise that some brewers make so maybe this is a concern to someone. I don't find the Bunn to be objectionably loud, just quite a bit louder than the Keurig which is very quiet. The Bunn is also loader when heating water, though again not objectionable.

Both machines produce a hot cup of coffee--hot enough for me and I like fairly hot coffee. I haven't tried to compare which if either is hotter.

The Keurig has a nicer user interface than the Bunn--it has an LCD panel that let's you program a clock and control when it should turn the machine on. The message about when to add water shows up there as well.

The Bunn has a few advantages over the Keurig. For one you can put tea bags in the pod holder. This may work in the Keurig too--the pod holder will certainly accommodate a tea bag--but I haven't tried it. The Keurig has a rubber gasket that seals on the top of the K-cup and I'm not sure if it would be a problem to brew without this seal occuring. However I have run brew cycles with water only (no K-cup) and that's caused no problem, so mostly likley running a tea bag would be no different.

Even if you can do tea in the Keurig, as I think you can, the Bunn still has an advantage in having a pulse brew cycle. I've tried this--it works pretty well. It does do a better job infusing the tea than the non-pulsed cycle, mainly because it lets the bag infuse for about a second between each pulse. A cycle is about 3-4 pulses, depending on how much water you dispense. The infusion time is obviously lots shorter than the way you'd normally brew the tea, so you won't get quite as strong a brew as a normal infusion, and it's possible you won't get quite as full a flavor development. I haven't yet tried comparing the same tea bag brewed both ways so I don't know if the Bunn suffers much in this regard or not; I've only tried about 3 tea cycles so far but in each case I liked the tea well enough. You do need to be careful that you arrange the tea bag and distribute the grounds somewhat so that water will infuse evenly and won't run around the bag and straight to the filter holes.

Overall I don't think that tea brewability on either machine is much of an advantage, or that either machine wins in this category. It's easy enough to use either machine to just drop some hot water and let the tea bag sit for 3 minutes in the cup. That's probably the best way to brew tea anyhow. This is especially true for herbal teas, some of which need to infuse for as long as 10 minutes.

I haven't owned the Bunn long enough to decide if one machine or the other wins in the taste department. For the few comparisons I've made, there have been coffees I liked better on one machine or the other. I've seen some commenters complain that the Keurig produces weak cups. This depends a lot on the variety of K-cup you choose and your own taste. So far I've found some K-cups to brew stonger, some weaker, but the same is true for pods in the Bunn. I haven't tried enough yet to decide if the there's a clear trend for either machine. Since I don't like super strong coffee I haven't found any pod or K-cup that was weaker than I like--some I even dilute. If strength is a problem the Bunn does win over the Keuring in one way here-- you can always brew on the Bunn at a very small dose (as low as 1 oz) and run as many pods as it takes.

The Bunn has another advantage related to strength control--you can find pods on the market with different coffee doses. This typically runs in the range of 7-10 grams of coffee per pod, and some makers sell even larger pods. K-cups all come in the same dose so your only control is whether to brew one K-cup or two.

One possible problem with the Bunn worth noting regarding pod compatibility--they claim the unit will work with pods as small as 45mm. Pods this size are mostly meant for espresso brewing and are made for espresso machines. The grind is very fine (finer than is used for drip coffee). I have run a couple of these pods so far with mixed results. The first didn't brew at all--barely tinted water just came out. This is because the Bunn, surprisingly, does not include any kind of gasket or separate pod holder that really fits this size pod, so water can easily find its way around the edge of the pod and straight under to the filter holds. Water takes the path of least resistance and a finely ground espresso puck has pretty high resistance. I happen to have a rubber gasket that's just the right size (45mm inner diameter) so inserted this into the holder with my next try. It's not really thick enough to provide a seal to the shower screen, but it may have helped as my second try did result in an extraction, though not what I'd call a good one. I found the coffee to be a little better. The same pod brewed on an espresso machine is great, so it wasn't the pod. It's probably premature to say that the Bunn is useless for espresso pods, it may just take a little more experimenting. But will it be anything like such a pod brewed on an espresso machine--nope. Think of the Bunn as probably most suited for Senseo-type pods. I haven't yet tried a Melitta pod in the unit but I do have some that I'll try.

Regarding coffee selection and price--I find the price per cup similar when pods and K-cups are bought at the low price sellers on the web. There are lots of vendors of both pods and K-cups (just do a Google search or check the sponsors of this site), with most discounters selling around 40 cents per pod or K-cup. For example, lots of prices sell K-cups at a little under $10 for a box of 25. You can certainly buy pods somewhat cheaper (into the 30's of cents) if you buy large volumes at a time (100+ of a single variety).

Variety probably favors pods, at least in terms of number of makers. But almost everyone sells the same basic flavors. If you compare actual number of coffee varieties and flavors, the difference is less compelling. There are more flavors and coffee varieties available in K-cups than I'm ever likely to try. There are 4 or 5 different vendors currently producing K-cups, and that number may grow now that a consumer-class machine is now in the market.

Anyhow, coffee price and selection is a toss up for all practical purposes in my opinion, though if you want to go strictly by the numbers the Bunn would win in this department.

If you're concerned with which machine makes more "crema", the answer in my experience is "neither". At least, for the K-cups and pods I've tried, neither machine produced any. I'm fine with that, because the "crema" people are talking about when they talk about Senseo machines is nothing more than air bubbles in the coffee. It's not at all the crema you get from an espresso machine, which is an emulsion of water and coffee oils. No pod machine in the Senseo class (and this includes the Bunn) can extract a meaningful amount of coffee oils--only an espresso machine will do that. If you want the fake crema from the Bunn or Keurig, get one of those handheld foamers for 10 bucks. I haven't tried them on black coffee but they'd probably work. (They do work great on milk.)

Overall I like both machines and don't really feel either has serious disadvantages. If you're trying to choose between them, in my view you're best focusing on these factors:

1. Which one you like the looks of better
2. Whether you need the machine to be as quiet as possible (Keurig wins on this)
3. Whether you feel most comfortable with a machine where coffee pods are offered by the most makers (Bunn wins on this).
4. Which tastes better. This to me would be the most important question, but it is one you can only answer for yourself by trying both, each with a reasonable sampling of alternative coffees. Unfortunately you can't do that unless you already own both--and I wouldn't rely on someone else's opinion on this score since tastes differ so much.
5. If you like the very strongest coffee, get the Bunn and use pods with the largest dose (more than the standard size pod).

Darryl


Posted by: Darryl at April 3, 2005 7:45 PM

Jenn, I don't think they will monopolize the POD market. I remember reading back and commenting a few months ago that DE were trying to bully a bit about staking a claim on their POD size, and if you go back and read my comment I said I'd drop their machine in the dumpster faster than a hot pod. I meant it. Competition is great, as you can see the variety is growing, both machines and PODS, which is really great.


Posted by: Hwan Valdeez at April 3, 2005 11:18 AM

Hwan, I appreciate your honesty. Even though Senseo is the "Grandfather" of all pod machines, I hope that they don't get to monopolize the pod market as I read a few weeks ago on here that they are trying. That would really suck!

Jay, did you ever find out how the permanent filter works on the My Cafe? Thanks!


Posted by: Jenn at April 3, 2005 12:02 AM

Not a problem Geoff! I was making a simiar decision not too long ago. :)

I don't think one is more "solidly" built than the other, I think it's more a matter of personal taste.

The My Cafe has a smaller footprint and takes up less space than the B50, it has 2 pod drawers vs. 1 cup holder on the Keurig, you can use tea bags on the My Cafe, have to use a tea k-cup on the Keurig. I have found that the body on the My Cafe to be solid, to easily clean and set up. No repouring the water back in the brewer during the set up process like I had to do with my Keurig B100.


The B50 has a programmable clock but I find that I don't need to program 1 cup of coffee ahead of time since that 1 cup of coffee doesn't even take a whole minute to brew. Now if you're still using an old-fashioned 10-12 cup coffee pot maker, than a programmable clock is a necessity. Although I could see the convenience of a programmable clock on a single cup brewer if you're mostly using it to fill your 14+ oz travel mug. Again, you have to think about how you will mostly be using the brewer and what do you want live with.


Posted by: Jenn at April 2, 2005 11:42 PM

Thanks a lot for your comments, Jenn! That helps me out a lot! I like options and flexibility too, and with all of the different pods available now(and it's only gonna get better with more roasters joining in producing them), and with My Cafe's ability to give you up to 14(?) ozs in a brew, the My Cafe's looking better and better.

Jenn, you mentioned that the B50 didn't seem as solidly made as the B100...how would you say its build quality stacked up against that of the My Cafe? I've seen some of Bunn's other coffee makers, both commercial and home models...and they do seem to be well made, for durability and reliability. If My Cafe's made anywhere near as well as them, then I should have no worries. I do like the sleek lines of the B50, but haven't been able to get to a Williams Sonoma to check it out in person.

Thanks again, Jenn! I appreciate your help!


Posted by: Geoff Y. at April 2, 2005 11:01 PM

Geoff, I owned the B100 brewer for a couple of weeks before reselling it. I did notice that it was reviewed less favorably on this site than the B50 model but that in now way influenced my decision. I honestly liked the looks of the B100 brewer over the B50 and I can see why the B100 is more expensive than the B50. I have seen the B50 in person at a William Sonoma store and I honestly think it is more cheaply built than the B100 even though the B50 has a clock. I think the My Cafe is sleeker looking than the B50 (but not necessarily better than the B100) because of the metal back splash and I like the ease of refilling the My Cafe than the Keurig.

The main reason I returned the B100 was that I was limited to only 8oz of coffee. There are times when I want a stronger and maybe even a weaker cup - I LOVE options. Speaking of options, the k-cup has a lack of them. True there are a few coffee brands (mostly made by Green Mountain) but there is still more variety
in pods and pods are cheaper than k-cups. As far as taste...not much difference between the My Cafe and the Keurig although I saw more of a ring or a thin layer of crema on the My Cafe brews and saw none on the Keurig.

There isn't a small kitchen appliance out there that is totally perfect. On the My Cafe, I wish the power cord was retractable so you could hide it in case you don't need the whole length - I don't. I also wish the coffee/tea buttons had a little bit more cushion to them. The Keurig B100's button was perfect! Sometimes you have to push a little hard on the My Cafe to get the brew cycle started. I asked the nice rep at Bunn about that and he said the buttons were made to not be easily pushed just in case you didn't mean to push them - makes sense I guess and it's not a really a point deduction. Just wanted to put it out there.

As far as making a decision on which brewer, you have to think what is more important: looks, price, features, price to use/maintain, etc. I'm sure you'll be happy in the choice you make.

Hope this helps!


Posted by: Jenn at April 2, 2005 10:40 PM

err, I meant to say I CAN list all sorts of faults with the Senseo


Posted by: Hwan Valdeez at April 2, 2005 7:37 PM

Jenn, praise is good, he don't have to sound like a Ron Popiel infomercial. Senseo gets lots of praise because it's popular, inexpensive, and it is the grandfather of POD machines. Does that mean it's the best, nope. I can't list all sorts of faults with it. I trust Jay's review, that the Bunn makes a better cup of coffee. But, I will stick with my Senseo.


Posted by: Hwan Valdeez at April 2, 2005 7:21 PM

I just read that Green Mountain, which owns something like 42% of Keurig, and which produces the majority of K-cups available for the Keurig brewers, is now producing and marketing PODS(I've just seen them at CoffeeWhiz.com), as well as their K-cups...very interesting....


Posted by: Geoff Y. at April 2, 2005 3:18 PM

Dean,
Thanks for the clarification. When I read your lengthy first comment, I just thought that you were wildly happy about your Bunn...then, when you posted your second entry about how Keurig is the machine that Bunn "walks over", red flags started popping, so I re-read your long entry and figured that you were comment spamming...thanks for your follow-up comments. I am glad that you're enjoying your Bunn as much as you are. And thanks for the "heads-up" on the heater tank and its sleeper mode....

Jenn,
I'd be interested in hearing your comments on why you didn't like your Keurig(my absolute first choice, until Jay's review of the My Cafe came out!). Did you own a B50 or the B100? How would you compare the build quality of the Keurig to that of the My Cafe? Taste of their resulting brews? Any negatives on the My Cafe? I've got both a B50 and a My Cafe on their way to my house from Amazon.com, and I'm going to refuse one of them at point of delivery(so that I won't have to pay for the return shipping, or go through the hassle of getting return authorization from Amazon). While I REALLY like the K-cup concept(and Keurig's ability to better manage quality control over them), like Dean, I'm not crazy about any system that's proprietary. Proprietary(to me) means limitations as to how many roasters are willing to do K-cups(which restricts variety potential), relatively higher pricing per cup than pods, and concerns about its future, if not enough consumers subscribe to the concept. Plus, it seems that there is serious emerging interest on the part of roasters to enter the coffee POD fold. As more and more roasters/companies(like Wolfgang Puck, Baronet, and Aloha Island) join in on producing and marketing top quality pods, the selection gets larger and larger, for pod brewers that can accept the different sizes of pods(like My Cafe).

After reading what I just wrote, you would think that I've already decided on which brewer to keep...but I still REALLY like the looks and absolute ease in operation of the Keurig B50 and its K-cups....

I would LOVE to hear from any Keurig owners who can offer any other comments that they may have about their machines and the coffee they make....thanks very much!


Posted by: Geoff Y. at April 2, 2005 3:11 PM

I for one am glad that someone is singing the praises of a brewer besides Senseo on this site. I didn't choose Seneseo because of the cup size and brew size limitation. I had a Keurig brewer but didn't like it and resold it. I bought a Bunn My Cafe (Amazon.com deal) about a month ago and am very pleased at the variety of pods, the brew variety. I also agree that there were many more positive features that could've been included in this review as good as it was. Now before anyone starts attacking me, I am NOT a Bunn employee, and no one paid me to praise this machine. The Grindmaster consumer pod machine was also one of my choices but it still isn't available yet - they lost out on making potential buyers wait so long.


Posted by: Jenn at April 2, 2005 2:09 PM

geez dean, how much did Bunn pay you? I'm glad you like your machine, but you make it sound like the second coming. I'd might pick one up if it was closer to $100.


Posted by: Hwan Valdeez at April 2, 2005 12:54 PM

I'm not a shill...I swear!!

Hell, if the grindmaster was ready in October like they told me (I called them at least 3 times), I would be singing it's praises!! If it's all they say it is (wide pod compatibility, adjustible volume) for $100, it's gonna be great.

But I couldn't wait...maybe I'm being so effusive so to justify spending so much. But the "water dispenser" angle is a big plus..and it's just a cool machine.

One thing that isn't really a negative, but must be considered, is that the Bunn is pretty much always "on" (you're TOLD not to turn it off unless you're gonna be gone for a month or more), and there is ALWAYS water in the 20 oz (or so)internal heater tank. It goes into a temporary sleep mode after 6 hours of non-use (touch any button & it revs up in a minute or two), and some kind of deep sleep after two weeks.

Once you start it, the tank will NEVER empty...it stops itself if the reservoir level gets too low to feed the internal tank. So if you do let it sit for more than a few days, you should cycle a 12oz cup a few times to clear the old water. This makes for a bad machine for you summer home/ cottage...normally a place where a pod machine would have a lot of advantages. Put your Bunn on the shelf for 6 months, and that water will just sit there...sure you can clean it, but it really is best when used a LOT.

This also means you're gonna need to clean/descale it a lot more regularly than other machines (monthly?), something most people don't do at all. You can't see inside the tank, but cuz it's on so much, you know it's gonna get grungy more quickly than those where the water is heated cup by cup.

And the other 'shill alert' you might be surmising is my semi-slam of Keurig. Sorry..I know the coffee is supposed to be great, but I really have an aversion to ANYTHYING that is so "proprietary" re. supplies. Would you by a CD recorder where you could ONLY use a special Sony disc? Didn't think so, and I think it's fair to say that Keurig isn't gonna be giving away licenses to make it's cups..it likes having TOTAL control of the coffee supplies, which is why I DON'T like it.

I'm pretty sure this figures in to the Senseo/Black & Decker/Melita machines to a point in that the machines are probably sold at close to zero margin & the companies plan on making all their profit in PODS....they ALL either produce or contol pods under their own umbrellas. They aren't thrilled w/cross compatiblilty, but it's kinda too late. Bunn & Grindmaster do not/will not produce their own coffees, so they made their machines able to work with everyone elses coffee. which I think is a huge plus

I seem to remember reading something about Senseo trying to put their "dibs" on the basic pod design & stop aftermarketers. It seemed far-fetched, but now that others are going to be making their own proprietary setups (some "T" shaped pod machine I read about), I feel even more strongly about companies & machines that go the other way & offer FLEXIBILITY.

Dean


Posted by: Dean Smith at April 2, 2005 12:55 AM

Wow, Dean, your comments sound an awful lot like a COMMERCIAL ENDORSEMENT! :>O

'Glad that you're enjoying your Bunn so much....


Posted by: Geoff Y. at April 1, 2005 11:25 PM

OOPS...

I guess I have sports cars on the brain...Koenig is a big porsche/ferrari modifier.

KEURIG is the machine the Bunn walks all over

;-)

Dean


Posted by: Dean Smith at April 1, 2005 4:45 PM

Good review of a great machine, but you missed a few things.

I've had my Bunn for about a month, and nothing on the market matches the incredible FLEXIBILITY of this machine. Not just the pod sizes, but the ability to accurately change cup sizes in one oz. increments (I checked!) COMBINED with the choice of two brewing methods...regular (coffee) and the pulse-brew setting (tea).

By fiddling around with those two settings, you can achieve EVERY possible strength/taste/size option you might have, i.e pulse-brew creates a stronger brew, so you can increase the cup size a few notches. As Bunn sez, the tea setting is NOT just for tea, but can & should be used w/coffee when you want to achieve certain results w/certain pods (i.e, squeezing out a bigger cup out of a smaller pod).

You didn't really highlight the build quality...it's amazing, truly a commercial machine!!

Also, the temperature (185 deg.??) is perfect, consistant & higher than most pod brewers.

THIS ALSO MAKES THIS MACHINE AN AMAZINGLY CONVENIENT & FAST HOT-WATER DISPENSER!! Need 8 oz of hot water for soup? BAM, it's ready in 20 seconds. Because it's accurately measured, it's even MORE convenient than those undersink hot water machines, as you don't need to measure anything!! This is a good use for the second tray...I don't mind using one for coffee & tea, but when you want hot water, it's nice to not have to worry if it'll taste a bit like coffee/tea.

I haven't tried the Koenig system, but for me the choice is a no-brainer simply because there is ONE SOURCE for K-cups...Koenig, whereas you can get pods from dozens of sources/brands.

Sure, there are many varieties & "sub-brands" of K-Cups, but they are all made & sold by Koenig! Do a little shopping..retailers who sell k-cups do so at the std. retail price pretty much all the time.

We all know you can get pods almost ANYWHERE in a huge range of flavors, price-points & brands. I got a buncha podhead pods (GREAT), I just picked up some Java Ones from Sams Club (their selection of roasts & flavors grows each week!!) & I plan on trying all the rest.

Lastly, Amazon sells the My Cafe for $200 but there's no tax or shipping (for most of us!!)...AND they're knocking $25 off your order w/a special Housewares promotion (the same one's been running for 3 months now!!). $175 still is a lot, but it makes it a lot closer to the Koenig!

I was also looking at the grindmaster Refyne machine (the home one...the commercial one's too much $$ & too big). It too has pod and cup size flexibility, and it's also from a top name in commmercial machines. But I first learned about it online LAST JULY, and they keep having delay after delay..it's STILL not available!!

Maybe it'll eventually be a great machine for a lot less than the Bunn (it'll be about $100)....but I for one am thrilled to have a machine that will last FOREVER and is, IMO the best pod machine you can get...PERIOD!!


Posted by: Dean Smith at April 1, 2005 4:36 PM

I will try this tonight and send some pics using a standard filter and a cafe filter - great idea.

Hopefully I won't end up in a burn unit.


Posted by: Jay Brewer at March 30, 2005 4:01 PM

It will be interesting to see how the reusable pod holders fare in the Bunn unit (the pod-sized metal mesh filters that let you use your own ground coffee). If they work--and no reason why they shouldn't--this might be the best single-serve solution so far. Otherwise, I'm inclined to stick with pre-packed pods and my Senseo.

Dan


Posted by: Dan at March 30, 2005 3:43 PM

I would say the Keurig and the Bunn make about the same quality cup of coffee. However - the K-Cups are more expensive so in the long run you'll make up that $50 bucks in savings. I do like the way the Keurig looks a little better.


Posted by: Jay Brewer at March 30, 2005 6:49 AM

looks nice, but I do agree the price is really a disappointment.

oh, and the Senseo is still the sexiest machine :)

the keurig looks like a trash compactor


Posted by: Hwan Valdeez at March 29, 2005 11:44 PM

Another great review, Jay! But I was hoping that this review would make it EASIER for me to decide on whether to get the My Cafe, or the Keurig B50...and it appears that they're BOTH WINNERS! I guess my decision really comes down to which brewer I find more aesthetically pleasing, and whether I want to go with the K-cup format, or the pod....?

Jay, you mentioned in this review that My Cafe made the best cup of POD coffee of the pod coffee brewers that you've evaluated...how would you compare My Cafe's brewed cup of pod coffee to the Keurig B50's brewed K-cup?

Aesthetically, I think both My Cafe and the B50 look great...but I find myself leaning more towards the B50's elegant euro lines and beautiful machined aluminum trim, over My Cafe's sleek Jetson's futuristic-yet-industrial black plastic and stainless steel look.

I have a feeling that, whichever one I choose, I'm going to be a winner!


Posted by: Geoff Y. at March 29, 2005 7:01 PM
Post a comment









Remember personal info?




Please enter the letter "m" in the field below:
Please press Post only once. Submission of comments takes up to 20 seconds because of Spam Filtering.

Join the Mailing List Mailing List
Enter your Email

Subscribe - RSS

facebook_badge.jpg twitter_badge.jpg

Recent Reviews
Recent Comments
James: EVIL COMPANY hates the environment and wants to make as read more
Hank: I have been using this machine for 2 months using read more
AO: I just took apart the Keurig we have here at read more
Thomas Davie: Perhaps because there is no need for this? 1) Rip read more
SH: There won't be any issues with "flavor remnants" transferring between read more
SSC Forums

FoodPire

KCup_Ambassador_2.0_Badge-02.jpg

This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Visit our other properties at Blogpire.com!

All items Copyright © 1999-2014 Blogpire Productions. Please read our Disclaimer and Privacy Policy