I have been a supporter of Bonavita since discovering last year the company was finally introducing the Melitta Aroma to the North American market. Melitta dropped the ball IMHO by not bringing it over long ago. I do own one of their BV-1800 coffee makers and their original electric kettle and have been happy with both.
After an exchange of pleasant emails the Bonavita VP of Business Development sent me this new electric kettle with programmable temperature controls in exchange for my impressions of the product. Mine is an engineering sample so things could change between now and when these become available for retail sale.
Outside of the popular Pino electric kettle, this market segment is a wasteland so a decent competing product should be welcomed. I have used this PID kettle for over a week for my pour over coffee. While this is not long enough to make predictions about long term durability, this kettle gives the impression it will hold up.
Here is a photo of the Bonavita PID Kettle next to my new Eva Solo Cafe Solo:
The capacity is one liter - same as my original kettle. In fact the PID kettle looks and pours like my original Bonavita electric kettle except the red "ready" light and auto shut off lever are missing. The post underneath this new kettle is larger than the original so the kettles are not compatible to transfer from base to base. Another thing I notice is a three-prong plug on the programmable model - maybe a cafe demand directed product here?
Temperature presets on this sample include 140, 176, 185, 190, 205, and 212 F, but the plus and minus buttons let the user pick the target temp, so full variability. I checked the accuracy and it is spot on with my thermometer. Once heated to 205, the kettle went as low as 203 and as high as 206 so the variability while idling is minimal.
Speed to 205 this morning is slower than with the original by a minute or two since it coasts into the target preset without over shooting. The original runs full bore to boiling so the electronics here must be throttling power as it closes in on the setting. For example, 50 degree water in a 71 degree room takes 6 minutes to hit 195, but it takes another minute and a half to hit the 205 preset.
The auto shut off is set for one hour on this model - long enough to go through a liter of water for some pour over coffee without having to add any water for me. I considered a Zojirushi water tower after using one at CoffeeCon 2012 (might still get one for the kitchen - they are nice) but the compactness of this design is appealing. Considering I still need a pouring kettle with the water tower, this Bonavita PID Kettle does simplify things.