In the past decade, we saw an explosion in the variety of coffee brewing devices available to the average consumer. No longer did Mr. Coffee reign supreme over the kitchen counter; finally a rebirth of domicile coffee experimentation began. Now in this present day of June, you can find not only the different methods like (filter-based, immersion, etc.) but tons of different takes on each, such as the many different approaches to pourover.
But some people still like their old school means of brewing coffee. The automated method made famous by giants like Bunn and Cuisinart still appeals to a large populace who want to fill their coffee pot water reservoir, add the grinds and press a button. To this market, there are the usual suspects, some new players (like Bonavita) and some entities back from the grave, such as the once common name of Brim. Revamped after some years off the grid, Brim has returned now touting a low cost coffee maker with some added advanced features for additional convenience. Curious of this coffeemaker, I took the recent opportunity from the folks at Brim to try it out in my house.
My first impression was that this coffee machine looked a lot like most of its brethren. It’s got the basic construction of questionable grade plastic (I fear leeching so I avoid plastic when I can), a shower head spout (a feature becoming more common, thank God), a filter basket with an included reusable mesh filter, and a basic water reservoir. Some of the bonus features are as follows:
- Two separate buttons for either a pot of coffee (activates the hot plate) or a cup of coffee (keeps the hot plate off)
- A retractable stand for said coffee cup option that pops downs from the back stalk of the coffee maker
- A “bold” setting that allows the water to steep longer in the basket before draining
Taking it for a spin, I brewed coffee both in the coffee pot via the coffee pot button, as well as in a coffee mug via the coffee mug button. Additionally, I used the mesh filter as well as just a paper filter. As far as the finer parameters, I couldn’t really pinpoint the water temperature at the point of brew (and I didn’t want to risk injury in interrupting the brew process to find out) and my grind size was about a medium grind. The infusions all in all came out tasting fairly flavorful, with no real aftertaste or defect (though, like all similar plastic coffee pots, the real test would be in the coming months after regular use). The cup setting seemed to take a bit longer than the pot setting to drain the coffee, which scared me off from using the “bold” setting (plus, I try not to use things that will make my coffee adventurous).
In conclusion, while the Brim Coffee Maker performed a bit better than its department store counterparts, it didn't really light anything aflame in me (figuratively of course). The things I don’t really like about the average coffee maker (the hot plate, the low-grade plastic, the hard to clean heating element, etc) were still present in Brim. Moreover, the bonus features were not features that tremendously improved the experience (i.e. brewing right into my cup is not all that big of a deal). Conversely, it should be noted that I am a person that will spend the extra minutes brewing my coffee if it means a better cup, so if you’re a person looking for a basic coffee maker with a hot plate that you can bypass, or a button that will allow you the option to steep your coffee longer, this might be the option for you.
note: coffee station was provided free of charge and the above review is objective feedback.