Crew Comparison: Bonavita 8-Cup Coffee Maker vs OXO Barista Brain 9-Cup

How Does It Compare?

We’re all about making great coffee you love at home and that includes the infamous drip brewer—they don’t have to be so infamous! The Bonavita 8-Cup Coffee Maker and OXO Barista Brain 9-Cup Coffee Maker brew at the ideal temperature (197.6 to 204.8 degrees F) earning their spot as an SCAA certified product, AKA these drip brewers deliver excellent coffee. To add some perspective, the SCAA (Speciality Coffee Association of America) has decades of knowledge, research and experience developing standards for coffee makers, so you can be sure you’re getting the best coffee at home.

Bonavita8_Full The Bonavita Brewer 8-Cup features the updated stainless steel-lined carafe.

Drip coffee has never been easier than with these machines. The Bonavita 8-Cup sticks to the basics with simple manual controls, while the OXO Barista Brain—as the name implies—features programmable settings for advanced convenience. For those convenience seekers, the OXO Barista Brain features auto-on for instant morning coffee—need we say more? Let’s dive into the brews and brains of these two SCAA-approved drip brewers.

The OXO Barista Brain 9-Cup Coffee Maker is an SCAA certified drip brewer. The OXO Barista Brain 9-Cup Coffee Maker is an SCAA certified drip brewer.

Brew

The Bonavita 8-Cup Coffee Maker (model BV1900TS) brews up a flavorful cup of coffee thanks to the U-shaped filter basket. The U-shaped design works to fully saturate grounds and when we pulled the basket out to check, we saw even water distribution from the sides to the center. The OXO Barista Brain 9-Cup Coffee Maker differs with a cone-shaped filter, so we saw more saturation in the middle. As we know, drip coffee makers, including the hybrid drip and pour over automatics like the Chemex Ottomatic, can have a tough time evenly extracting coffee, so we were more than pleased with the Bonavita 8-Cup’s performance.

The Bonavita features a U-shaped filter basket that improve saturating grounds. The Bonavita features a U-shaped filter basket that improves saturating grounds.

These brewers are named for their cup size, but in the coffee world, cup size is a tricky animal. When we talk about cups, we’re using the US coffee cup standard of 6-ounces. In the baking world, 8 ounces equals a cup (and, to be thorough, a European cup of coffee is 4.25 ounces). Bonavita and OXO, however, use 5-ounces for a cup of coffee. That’s why we’ll provide ounce measurements on our website. The Bonavita 8-Cup has a 40-ounce reservoir and the OXO Barista Brain has a 45-ounce reservoir. So if size matters, you’ll have one more cup of joe with the OXO.

The OXO's 45-ounce reservoir makes enough coffee for the whole family. The OXO's 45-ounce reservoir makes enough coffee for the whole family.

Brains

The OXO Barista Brain 9-Cup earned its name! The programmable auto-on feature is—going out on a limb, here—the highlight of any home brewer’s morning. It’s also not a hassle to program; to set the auto-on time, simply press and hold, then use the dial to spin to the time of your choice. You can also set the clock and change the number of cups you brew between 2 to 4 or 5 to 9 cups. Since the OXO Barista Brain comes with a stainless steel thermal carafe, there isn’t a heating element. But it’s not missed, the thermal carafe will keep your coffee toasty for about an hour.

With the OXO, you can program the clock, set the auto-on or change the number of cups you're brewing. With the OXO, you can program the clock, set the auto-on or change the number of cups you're brewing.

Another brainy feature on the OXO Barista Brian is the pause and pour. Remove the carafe and the brewing process stops so you can pour yourself a glass midway—yes, please. Although, we did notice that there was a considerable amount of dripping coffee after removing the carafe. When you’re done pouring, make sure to place it back within 60 seconds to resume brewing or you’ll start the process all over. And, while this isn’t super brainy, we’ll add that OXO added a silicone mixing tube that channels the coffee from the carafe opening down to the bottom of the pot to thoroughly mix the brew.

The OXO's pause and pour feature allows you to get a cup mid-brew. The OXO's pause and pour feature allows you to get a cup mid-brew.

The Bonavita 8-Cup Coffee Maker, while built with basic controls, features something the OXO doesn’t have: pre-infusion! What we love about pre-infusion is it’ll create more consistent and even flavor extraction, thus giving you that bright, flavorful cup of coffee you deserve in the morning. See, drip coffee doesn’t have to be terrible. The pre-infusion needs to be manually started and then it will go into the brewing process. That’s to be expected since the Bonavita 8-Cup doesn’t feature an auto-on function. In all honesty, it’s not difficult to start, but it’s more involved than pressing the pot on and letting it brew. If you have 30 seconds in the morning—come on, we know you do—we think you’ll be able to use this feature.

Use this button to turn on and activate the pre-infusion. Use this button to turn on and activate the pre-infusion.

Beauty

The Bonavita 8-Cup Coffee Maker’s brushed stainless steel casing sports matte black accents, creating a timeless looking coffee maker. And we enjoy the matching stainless steel lined thermal carafe, which will keep your coffee warm for about an hour. Bonavita no longer offers the glass-lined carafe’s and we haven't noticed any difference in the quality of the coffee. The only beef we’ve heard about the carafe is that it doesn’t pour out all the coffee. Fortunately, coffee friends, we tested it out for you and it only left 0.75 ounces in the carafe. Our solution was to tilt the carafe about 45 degrees over the cup to get the majority of coffee out.

The Bonavita's new stainless steel-lined carafe keeps coffee warm for about an hour. The Bonavita's new stainless steel-lined carafe keeps coffee warm for about an hour.

The OXO Barista Brain 9-Cup Coffee Maker has similar looks to the Bonavita with stainless steel casing and a glossy black body. However, the design feels robotic with the clear reservoir and sleek shape. The OXO’s digital display adds modern flair with convenient technology we see on products today. The best feature for the caffeine-deprived is the pause and pour—that’s luxury at its finest. As we mentioned, the only downside is that it’ll drip a little, but with no heating element to burn the coffee, clean up is a breeze.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for impressive drip coffee, then look no further than the Bonavita 8-Cup Coffee Maker or the OXO Barista Brain 9-Cup Coffee Maker. Both are SCAA-approved, which means they’re guaranteed to deliver hot and flavorful coffee. If you’re looking for more features and convenience, however, then we’d recommend checking out the OXO Barista Brain to fuel your mornings. The Bonavita 8-Cup is simple to use and features pre-infusion for those who want a little extra control. What do you think—if you had to pick between two SCAA brewers, which would you take home? Let us know in the comments!

6 thoughts on “Crew Comparison: Bonavita 8-Cup Coffee Maker vs OXO Barista Brain 9-Cup”

  • anjuli

    Bonavita 1900TD has the auto start feature now. It is programmable and does pre-infusion. So, would you recommend the Bonavita over Oxo Barista - if the programmable & pre-infusion is the only features it seems different? Or are they both comparable? Does pre-infusion make that much of a difference? Thanks.

    Reply
    • Felicia Kloewer
      Felicia Kloewer July 1, 2016 at 5:15 am

      If you're looking at the BV1900TD, you're right, it's pretty comparable to the OXO! The way we think about pre-infusion is a helper for coffee flavor; it helps evenly extract flavor by saturating the grounds, allowing it to swell and create even density before the brew. It's definitely a personal preference and there are coffee makers that brew just fine without it. Another consideration is the basket shape. Both models, BV1900TD and BV1900TS (the model we're talking about in this post), have the U-shaped baskets that evenly wet grounds from the sides to the center and the OXO's cone-shaped extracted more from the center. That tells us we're wetting all the grounds and extracting more flavor, but honestly, both brewers are comparable in our taste tests.

      Hopefully that helps narrow down your decision!
      Cheers,
      Felicia

      Reply
  • John Martinelli
    John Martinelli July 1, 2016 at 7:09 am

    I've had both, but hands down the Bonavita makes better coffee! I've had Ratio, Technivorm, Chemex Ottomatic, and Oxo, and the only one better than the Bonavita is the Wilfa Precision. However, not available in the US any longer!

    I also believe that metal carafes impart a "taste" that affects the flavor of the coffee...GOOD NEWS!!! The Bonavita 1900 now has a thermal-walled, glass carafe with a ring you attach to the filter holder...Now it makes their brew even better!

    Reply
  • Russ Callahan
    Russ Callahan July 2, 2016 at 11:41 am

    We like to grind the coffee right before brewing, so can't take advantage of autoset that OXO uses. It only takes about 4 minutes to weigh, grind and brew coffee anyway. The pre soak feature is a good one on the Bonavita. We would use that. Bonavita carafes have never poured very well if poured fast. Maybe this new one is better in that respect. I do like the idea of the glass lining for heat retention.

    Reply
  • Taylor

    You say that the pre-infusion process of the Bonavita must be started and stopped manually, but this is not the case. The pre-infusion mode is activated by holding down the switch. Once activated, the brewer uses a two step process: it will release a small amount of water onto grounds, pause briefly to allow pre-infusion, then continue the brewing process as normal. The brewer stays in this mode of operation for subsequent uses unless it is deactivated by again holding down the switch. The process is completely automatic.

    Reply
    • Felicia Kloewer
      Felicia Kloewer July 5, 2016 at 1:21 am

      Thanks for pointing that out. We've updated the wording to be more accurate.

      Cheers,
      Felicia

      Reply
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