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Bodum Bistro Coffee Brewer - 1st look

Postby EricBNC on Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:48 am

This Bodum Bistro brewer came in the mail today - since I am off from work and it's rainy here in my part of North Carolina the timing couldn't be better. Also, my wife just received a visitor so I have been dismissed to the coffee den while she catches up with her friend Christine - it's good time for me to play with this new toy! :D

The retail box:

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The brewer - the flat black looks better than this flash/washout photo presents:

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The gold filter:

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The filter holder:

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The shower head is very easy to remove and clean:

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She holds 40 fl oz of water:

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Which brews into this carafe:

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Inside of the carafe:

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What the wall sees:

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This part is interesting - nice heater:

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The grounds basket post brew:

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The last sip from a 0.6 liter (20 fl oz) pot - some sediment but the filter works well:

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The 20 fl oz pot brews in a little over 3 minutes - the temp in the unheated glass poured from the unheated carafe measures 160 degrees F - brew temps are up to spec's and the taste is pleasant - for $250 retail it should be, right? :D
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Postby Bak Ta Lo on Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:19 pm

Nice! Thanks for the photos, I had not seen this yet. The clear back cover is interesting, I love anything like that, it is an unexpected nice touch.

Does the shower head look to apply the water evenly over the coffee? Can you pre-infuse in the filter and control the release of the water before brewing starts?
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Postby EricBNC on Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:47 am

I will look more closely next pot - so far I only brewed 1/2 pot to make sure it works.
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Postby EricBNC on Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:39 pm

Bak Ta Lo wrote:Nice! Thanks for the photos, I had not seen this yet. The clear back cover is interesting, I love anything like that, it is an unexpected nice touch.

Does the shower head look to apply the water evenly over the coffee? Can you pre-infuse in the filter and control the release of the water before brewing starts?

The water flows very evenly from the shower head - many little streams. The machine is designed for pause and pour so that can be used to control flow in the filter. The water starts flowing 30 seconds after hitting the brew switch so no pre-infusion unless you turn it off and then turn it back on.
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Postby Bak Ta Lo on Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:39 pm

Hey, that is great, the pause and pour feature is prefect to re-purpose for blooming the grinds. So, how are the brews so far? I am eye-balling brew machines, I need to send someone a gift, and I know they need a new machine. Curious about this Bodum, the Bonavita, and now the "Brazen" too, the brew machine market is heating up after years of Technivorm being the only drip machine to lust after.
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Postby EricBNC on Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:34 pm

I think this one is worthy of mention with the others on your list.

I get water flowing from the shower head in to the 23 carat gold mesh filter basket thirty seconds after hitting the start button. The streams are distinct and plentiful so saturation will be satisfactory. I still like to drink what I brew fairly quickly (manual brew habit) so I have been making smaller pots than the machine is capable of brewing. I aim for 36g of ground coffee and 0.6 liter of water.

The last drips of water fall into the filter basket at the three minute fifteen second mark. It takes another fifteen seconds for the water to drip out of the filter basket so total dwell time is three minutes for this half pot of coffee. This is respectable and compares favorably with my Bonavita for speedy brewing. I use a Swiss Gold filter with my Bonavita more often than not so this is an apples to apples comparison.

I forgot to measure temps in the slurry (could not find my digital thermometer) but I did find my spare after a minute of searching for the main unit. I measured 193 - 194 F in the lightly pre-heated carafe (a quick warm water rinse before brewing) so the brewing temps (and times) are likely within the spec's for SCAA and Norwegian Coffee Association certification. Bodum has engineered a lot of things the right way with this brewer.

The filter does a good job keeping silt to a minimum too. The first photo shows the grounds used for brewing. The beans are of Rwandan origin and were roasted by Mountain Air Roasting located in Asheville, North Carolina. They do smell nice in the grinder. In about 10 seconds I have my 36g ground and ready to go (experimenting with my K30 as a drip grinder).

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The last photo shows the fines from the bottom of the last cup poured out of four. The other three were silt free so there was no need to take a photo. Paired with a decent grinder this Bodum Bistro brewer produces a very clean yet full bodied cup.

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Postby EricBNC on Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:09 am

Randy G. wrote:... The $250 Bodum drip brewer will be punted off the market ...

So far I like this brewer, but Randy G. must not be happy with his Bodum Bistro brewer. Hopefully he will post his impressions from his Bodum Bistro brewer review soon! :D
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Postby Capuchin Monk on Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:36 pm

I took a closer look at this machine at a store today. A lots of plastic and it may bother some people especially at its $249 price tag. I like the way the shower head is designed. Many holes throughout and its simple assembly and easy reach would make the clean up easy.

In older thread on this forum (Nice looking pour over), someone expressed it's inability to hold the brewed coffee in the basket and release when desired by the user. That's not true. All it takes is putting the carafe under it when desired. Then it releases the spring loaded plug at the bottom of the basket holder. It doesn't have the adjustable flow rate from the basket holder though. You can also stir the grounds while soaking. It just requires a gentle pull out of the basket holder to do it.

I see a lots of good features in this machine but not many reviews or discussions even though it's widely available and about $50 less than Technivorm. For those who make only one cup, wouldn't the cone shape filter work better than bowl shape filter (Behmor Brazen)? Anyone else tried this machine?
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Postby Randy G. on Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:31 pm

I saw this machine at the Portland SCAA show. I looked it over and I could not see where the $250 price tag was justified. It looks (appearance wise, only) like a nice $50-70 machine. Compare it to the Behmor Brazen which sells for $50 less which adds the following:
• adjustable preinfusion soak time
• electronic controlled, user-adjustable brew temperature
• stainless steel heating chamber
• stainless steel thermal carafe
• flat-bottom basket for even extraction throughout the coffee bed
• and the least important on the list, a brew timer for early AM coffee
Which would you choose?

I did recently review the Brazen, but have no other connection with the Behmor company. I was enamored by the machine, and it makes great coffee. I wonder if the Bodum is going to be submitted to be certified by the SCAA? The Brazen will be. There are currently four machines that have passed the certification process, but the criteria is being currently updated so certification is temporarily suspended.
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Postby EricBNC on Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:22 am

Capuchin Monk wrote:I took a closer look at this machine at a store today. A lots of plastic and it may bother some people especially at its $249 price tag. I like the way the shower head is designed. Many holes throughout and its simple assembly and easy reach would make the clean up easy.... I see a lots of good features in this machine but not many reviews or discussions even though it's widely available and about $50 less than Technivorm. For those who make only one cup, wouldn't the cone shape filter work better than bowl shape filter (Behmor Brazen)? Anyone else tried this machine?

I like the coffee it made, but the exterior does look cheap. The guts, however, are a different story. The gold filter is of exceptional quality - similar to the SwissGold design and superior to those cheap gold tone filters so common now days as toss in's to make a brewer look like it is fancy.

The heart of this machine is where the money went - when looking at that heater coil I see a similar version of what I see when I take the bottom cover off of a Technivorm:

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