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Bonavita Immersion Dripper review: Bonavita's Immersion makes devilishly delicious drip coffee

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The Good The Bonavita Immersion Dripper makes rich, intensely delicious cups of coffee. It's one single unit that's easy to clean by hand and dishwasher safe. Its filter cone is constructed from porcelain that feels more luxurious than plastic. It has a physical lever to turn the flow of coffee on and off.

The Bad It takes some practice to use this coffee maker properly. For the best and most consistent results you'll need to use it with a quality coffee grinder, accurate scale and electric kettle with variable temperature settings. It's more expensive than other single-cup pour over brewers.

The Bottom Line Buy the Bonavita Immersion Dripper for single cups of excellent coffee but stay away if you're unwilling to work a little.

7.9 Overall
  • Performance 9
  • Design 7
  • Features 6.5
  • Maintenance 8

You might know of Bonavita purely by way of its superb BV1900TS automatic coffee maker, but the company's $40 Immersion Dripper can whip up outstanding joe too. While this gadget is relatively simple and has few moving parts, it has the power to brew cup after cup of intensely flavorful coffee.

The Immersion Dripper looks like what it is, a large cone-shaped filter basket. Its circular mouth tapers down to a triangular funnel that connects to a wide base. At the foot of the base is a switch to open and close a small valve. This valve controls the flow of water (or brewed coffee) through the filter.

Essentially the Bonavita Immersion Dripper is a simple pour-over cone.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Aficionados of pour-over style brewing will appreciate that the Bonavita Immersion's filter basket is made from porcelain and not plastic. The ceramic is preferred for its ability to retain heat, unlike the thin plastic found in a similar product, the Oxo Good Grips Pour-Over.

Another significant difference between these two coffee makers is how easy (or not) they are to use. The Oxo's water tank, for example, is marked with volume labels, so you don't need to weigh out your brewing water. By contrast the Immersion Dripper is completely manual and much more involved to operate.

Use coarsely ground coffee and a type #4 paper filter.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Assuming you have coarsely ground coffee (hopefully processed through a burr grinder), first drop a type #4 paper filter into the funnel and add your grounds. Next, set your coffee cup on a kitchen scale and then place the Immersion Dripper over it. Now pour in hot water just off the boil (with the filter switch closed) to match the amount of coffee grounds you'll brew -- use the scale to measure.

I recommend an electric kettle with adjustable temperature settings to heat your brewing water. According to the SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America), water for brewing shouldn't exceed 205 degrees Fahrenheit. I also used 23 grams of coffee to 12 ounces of water, the ratio as instructed by the manual.

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