Bonavita Immersion Coffee Dripper Review – My New Daily Grind

7 Posted by - Coffee, Food & Recipes, Reviews & Buyers Guides

Updated 140312: A Facebook friend asked about my upside-down inverted Aeropress coffee brewing method, so I made a video and added it below.


Just when I published Our Daily Grind Coffee article I got wind of a new coffee maker that gave our previous favourite morning brewing method a run for its money.

Murphy’s Law strikes again!

We’ve made loooots of coffee over the past year and you can bet our scales were out A/B testing this new kid on the block against our previous favourite, the Clever Coffee Dripper.

First off, an unboxing video of the new Bonavita Immersion Coffee Dripper.

Why it’s better

It’s hard not to notice the similarity in shape and size between the Clever Coffee and Bonavita Immersion Dripper.  But the Bonavita solves several issues I had previously brought up with regards to the Clever Coffee.

Porcelain vs Plastic

Most notably the Bonavita is made of high-quality porcelain.  I hate to be alarmist, but recent reports suggest even “BPA-free” plastics leach harmful estrogenlike chemicals.

Advantage: Bonavita.

The porcelain has proven to be a robust and easy-to-clean option. Even so, the artist in me would love to see a glass version of the Bonavita made …. a guy can dream, right?

Auto vs Manual Drip Control

No doubt the Clever is more clever, but with age it becomes prone to leaking.  The Bonavita’s manual lever also leaks, but you can brew the Bonavita a top your cup to catch the contents instead of making a mess of your counter.

Advantage: Bonavita.

Below is a video review and comparison of the Bonavita Immersion Dripper, Clever Coffee Dripper and Aeropress.

Tips for Brewing Great coffee with the Bonavita Immersion Dripper

I’ve already written about how we make our daily coffee here. There are, however, just a few things we’ve tweaked when brewing with the Bonavita.

1. Coarser grind required.  I find the smaller drip hole of the Bonavita takes quite a bit longer to drain than the Clever Coffee. This risks over-extraction of your immersed beans.  Thankfully, choosing a coarser grind will fix this.  How coarse?   Aim for the brewed coffee to drip in no more than 2 to 3 minutes.

2. Bloom for 30sec, then bust the crust. I’ve become even lazier and don’t want to dirty a chopstick-as-stir-stick.  I first add just enough water to cover the grinds, then start my timer and wait 30 seconds.  This allows the ground coffee to “bloom” (aka de-gass … aka fart).   After 30 seconds, I add the rest of my hot water, making sure to add it gently and slowly to submerg the entire top-layer crust.  When the timer hits 3 minutes, I open the valve and await my wonderful brew.

Enjoy and repeat. 

That’s it! No mess no fuss.

Update: A Facebook friend asked about my inverted Aeropress method, so I made this quick video during the making of today’s fourth cup.

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Thanks for reading and if you’re planning on making a purchase, please use the links below to support this site.  Happy brewing!


11 Comments

  • Kelly December 12, 2013 - 9:02 am

    What is the verdict on the Clever Coffee Dripper vs. Bonavita Immersion Coffee Brewer?

    • Dave December 12, 2013 - 10:11 am

      Hi Kelly. Both make a great cup of coffee but have caveats: both have a tendency to drip (especially when making a second cup). Personally, we’ve been using the Bonavita (not brewing in plastic = win) for the past year and like it, but recommend brewing on top of a cup since it has a tendency to leak. Because it’s porcelain, over a cup it’s pretty top-heavy, but with care it’s just fine (was honestly expecting to break mine by now!). Hope this helps 🙂

      • Kelly December 14, 2013 - 6:37 pm

        Thanks for the reply! I’m not a coffee drinker but my husband is and I’m looking for a coffee brewer gift for him. Any idea how these brewers compare to an Aeropress? Thanks!

        • Dave December 14, 2013 - 7:42 pm

          You’re very welcome Kelly 🙂 Re: Bonavita/Clever vs Aeropress. Both will make excellent coffee but it really depends how anal your hubby is. The very best coffee I’ve made out of the Aeropress involves using it upside-down so you can steep the grinds in how water before it leaves the chamber. This creates the problem of possible leakage and pouring hot water all over yourself when you flip to plunge. The Bonavita/Clever are easy-peasy: just add water, stir and put over cup or turn a lever. Bonavita is the maker we use everyday. If I’m in a rush and literally can’t wait for the coffee to drip, I’ll use the Aeropress to save 3minutes . Hope this helps 🙂

  • Kelly December 16, 2013 - 7:45 am

    Thanks for your help! I read your “About Us” page; thank you for your testimony of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in your lives! May people during this Christmas season understand the reason we celebrate; He was born to die so we might live! May people who check out your web page see their need of Jesus, the Perfect Gift! Blessing to you and your family!

    • Dave December 16, 2013 - 9:50 am

      Thank you Kelly! Blessings back atcha and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! 🙂

  • […] already shared my daily brew method, so why bother with the Aeropress at […]

  • robert February 2, 2015 - 2:50 pm

    Thanks for your informative site Dave. i come here from a different perspective which is the crossing over from a raised vs book learned,herbalist to prepping coffee.I was not a freq coffee user,however,after studying it’s roots,etc.,I found I had been deceived all these yrs with stale coffee.I now enjoy roasting my own, Hario hand grinding,which does make a diff bet blade chopping,& the steeping process. As with herbs,I know it is important to extract the ‘medicine’ & with coffee it’s the antioxidant oils. The science sez 3-5 cups per day will keep alzsheimer,etc., away,however,this depends on diet if contributing to oxidation of fats,etc.I found from personal preference,the screen mesh in the aeropress allows the oils through versus the paper filter trapping the oils.Without proper lab equip,I don’t know how much is missing,if at all & maybe it’s just my taste for the bold. When making herbal preps,I don’t use paper but rather a manual hydro press for tinctures. Some folks use muslin or even a cotton sock to squeeze out the liquid.I don’t recommend this for coffee of course. I spent 8yrs w/ a native medicine person & we had tea together one time & she popped some blueberries in her tea & asked if I wanted some.That was delicious & exciting! Nice to open up to other possibilites! I love experimenting in my ‘lab’ & encourage everyone to explore the possibilities w/anything especially that which has become concretized in dogma,i.e.,another persons opinion. What if the gov’t dropped ecstacy instead of bombs? Hugs versus slugs,kisses versus hisses. Thanks for letting me riff on my arabica.

    • Dave February 2, 2015 - 7:45 pm

      Hi Robert! Glad you found us 🙂 “Coffee user” heh heh … Yes: I’m an addict! LOL! Thanks for sharing your perspective! One of the joys of home-roasting and brewing is the wide variations we get to play with and the continual refining of results. Blueberries in tea sounds amazing! If you’re ever wanting to explore more fruity notes in your coffee, try sourcing dry-processed Ethiopian green beans and roasting just past first crack .. Currently my favourite morning brew 🙂 Cheers and happy brewing!

  • robert February 3, 2015 - 12:22 am

    Xclnt Dave! I’ve been hooked since roasting beans.My fave & free sample was Bali Org Blue Moon,my luck they were out when I tried to order. The Ethiopian sounds great & will look for it,thx for the tip,Ive read about dry process tasting better.
    Cheers!

  • Robert April 2, 2015 - 7:03 pm

    Is your Bonavita immersion dripper edge is round or sharp? Mine is sharp.