BUNN’s been around as a company for more than 150 years, and has been making incredible coffee machines for decades now.
They’re one of my favorite drip coffee manufacturers. Although they lack many of the features you’ll find on other machines, these things make good coffee, seriously fast.
In our guide to the best Bunn coffee makers on the market today, I’ve picked out four of the best. I’m quite sure there’s one here that will suit you!
(Looking for something else for your morning cup? I have a massive coffee brewing archive that has more to explore!)
In this article we’re going to review the following BUNN coffee makers:
- BUNN GRB Velocity Brew 10-Cup
- BUNN BT Velocity Brew 10-Cup Thermal Carafe
- BUNN NHS Velocity Brew 10-Cup
- BUNN Speed Brew Coffee Maker
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Things to consider
When you’re researching this sort of machine, there are a few buying factors that are worth considering.
Before we get to the actual machines, this is what you should have in mind while you’re shopping around.
How often do you drink coffee?
Most BUNN coffee machines specialise in brewing high quality coffee extremely quickly. Part of that speed comes from a tank that’s continuously heated.
That’s obviously not great for your power bills – or the environment – and you’ll need to remember to turn the thing off before you go away for any period of time.
If, on the other hand, you’re getting through coffee like there’s no tomorrow you’ll be very glad of this kind of feature!
It’s also very useful if you have a household or office full of constant coffee guzzlers, or you have a lot of guests over.
On that last subject, there’s nothing better than being able to brew up a full pot of coffee in lightning speed after everyone’s finished eating. In those circumstances, this kind of feature is a real godsend.
Hot plate or thermal carafe?
Coffee that sits on a hot plate – typically in a glass carafe – will stay warm for as long as the machine’s on.
Over time though, you will notice a deterioration in the quality of the coffee though. In terms of flavor, it’s just not meant stew continuously like this.
The other alternative is to buy a BUNN machine that comes with a thermal carafe.
The coffee won’t stay long for nearly as long (maybe two hours), but they’re generally pretty well designed.
Go with this option and you’ll have better tasting coffee, albeit across a shorter window of opportunity.
Although not the priciest machines on the market, many BUNN machines do typically cost a little more than equivalent machines from other manufacturers.
If speed of brewing isn’t your primary concern, you may want to look at an alternative maker instead.
Having said that, BUNN’s range does a really good job of making unusually good drip coffee and at lightning speed. Personally I think those two factors make the investment worthwhile.
Coffee on the go
If you can’t start the commute without a generous brew in your backpack, look for a machine that can accommodate your travel mug.
Some coffee makers – including those in the BUNN range – have a serving size that’s dedicated for filling a travel mug. Just check the quantity made vs the capacity of your travel mug first.
Because of the speed these machines operate at, you won’t find any fancy programming features on them.
There’s no Auto On, for example, which means you can’t prepare your coffee the night before.
This, of course, is compensated for by the extremely fast brewing time. Only the most impatient – or decaffeinated – will find this a major problem.
More importantly though, you don’t get any options for tweaking brew strength. All you can do to control the strength is pour less water in.
BUNN Coffee Maker Reviews
BUNN’s Velocity line of coffee makers have some common features. Before looking at individual machines, it’s worth pointing out the pros and cons overall:
- Incredibly fast coffee brewing. Three minutes is pretty standard!
- The coffee brews much stronger compared to the average drip coffee maker.
- A product line that’s been refined and improved for years.
- The water is heated continuously, so you’re never far away from another cup.
- Cleaning these machines can take a bit longer as you have to wait for the water to cool down.
- No programmable settings. The machines are either on or off!
- If you don’t use BUNN’s branded, tall filters you’ll run into problems with the filter overflowing.
The GRB is a very popular Velocity machine. As we’ve said, these things are all about extremely rapid brewing.
Part of that speed is accomplished thanks to a system that keeps the water hot at all times. The flipside is that you’re paying to heat the water at all times, which isn’t great for the environment.
The large pot, quick brewing is handy but you can make less than that though! If you just need a few cups to keep you going, then you can set a 20oz minimum. That’s good enough for around four cups of coffee, which I think is a nice amount to set up the morning’s work with.
The carafe is quite cleverly designed to avoid mess too. As you pour the coffee, it arcs over the edge of the spout and straight into the cup. I’ve owned my share of messy coffeemakers over the years, and this is a very welcome design element.
Although the brewing is super-fast, it doesn’t appear to affect the quality of the coffee.
There are multiple elements to the spray head, which means the coffee grounds are soaked evenly. The funnel design also helps to keep the water and the grounds in close contact for longer.
The BT Velocity Brew comes supplied with a thermal carafe, which will prove useful if you’re going to drink its contents relatively quickly, and don’t want it stewing on a hot plate all morning.
Like the GRB Velocity, the machine has a three minute brew time and can make between four and ten cups in a single setting. The same brewing technology is present and correct here, with a multi-head spray head that coats the coffee very evenly.
To help with that brewing quality, the stainless steel water tank maintains the water at a consistent 200F. That’s the sort of temperature you want to see for drip coffee, and it means you can expect the same results every time.
The carafe is the main selling point here, of course.
It’s double-walled and vacuum-insulated, and BUNN claims it’s good to keep coffee warm for up to two hours. That should do nicely for breakfast and the Sunday papers.
Another bonus though is the size of the thing. Once assembled on your countertop it’s a fair bit smaller than the GRB Velocity Brew. That’ll be something worth considering if you have a modestly sized kitchen.
The NHS edition of the Velocity line shares all of the features we’ve covered so far in terms of brew capacity, technology and overall quality.
I won’t cover the same ground again, so instead I’ll cover what’s actually different here.
The real difference with the NHS Velocity is the flat-bottom filter and the design of the funnel.
Both of these work to force a much better extraction from the coffee grounds you use. If knock-out flavor is of paramount importance, I would consider this to be the superior machine.
From a general usage point of view, the Bunn NHS brewer also differs from the other two machines by featuring a swivel lid instead of a flip up lid.
That means you can fit it under a kitchen cabinet more easily.
Despite the arrival of the Speed Brew range, the Velocity machines are still incredibly popular. It’s worth looking at the leading product in this other range though.
The flagship Speed Brew machine shares much of the technology from the Velocity range, but has a slight twist on the serving sizes.
If you’re one to fill a travel mug before hitting the commute, the minimum serving on this thing is 20oz. I think that should be enough to fill the average mug just fine.
This is likely the best option if you’re looking for coffee on the go.
For larger brews, you have a pretty generous 50oz maximum carafe size to play with. Unless you’re hosting huge gatherings I think that should be ample.
The supplied carafe is glass, rather than thermal and it has the same anti-drip tech featured in the Velocity range.
Likewise, the brewing quality is up there with the other machines, and – crucially – it also features a lime-tolerant spray head. That will be of particular interest to anyone living in a hard water area.
Out of the box, you also get a starter pack of around two dozen coffee filters. Not the biggest plus in the world, but every little helps when you’re getting started!
All of the BUNN home coffee makers I’ve looked at for this round-up do a really good job of getting great coffee inside you, quicker than just about any other drip machine on the market.
That said, my top pick of the lot is the Speed Brew Coffee Maker. It shares all the positives of the other machines (minus the NHS Velocity’s filter shape), but also accommodates travel mug servings.
It just provides more versatility, without sacrificing much along the way. As one of BUNN’s newer machines, it’s also likely to enjoy longer support if anything goes wrong.
Click here to find out more about the machine, and read more reviews.