Yup, that Bunn. The same company that literally every truck stop, diner, restaurant, and convenience store is legally required to buy their coffee makers from, is now making home equipment.
Before you laugh, consider this: Bunn knows their stuff. Since the 1960s, they’ve been making some seriously heavy-duty brewers. Their gear takes whatever abuse the real world throws at it and keeps going, because nobody wants a world without coffee. In the commercial world, Bunn is synonymous for “that coffee maker we bought 40 years ago that refuses to die”.
In fact, there are really only two things Bunn is bad at: naming the products and marketing to consumers.
Meet the Bunn HB
Bunn has had home coffeemakers on the market for many years now. You don’t see them very often, because apparently Bunn just isn’t very good at marketing to consumers. But they’re out there, and the HB is top of the line.
The Bunn HB meets the basic criteria of the test, and that’s about it. It’s programmable, it has an auto-off function, and it’s SCAA-certified. Nobody is going to accuse Bunn of feature creep, but let’s be honest: if it makes great coffee reliably and is easy to use, do you really NEED any other features?
The Bunn HB has a modern, semi-commercial design. It doesn’t look like any other coffeemaker. And it’s got more than a few sensible features.
Take a look at the water reservoir, for example. The stepped water level indicators officially make this the easiest-to-fill coffeemaker ever. While it doesn’t have the selectable cup size of the KitchenAid KCM0802, you’d be hard pressed to get the wrong amount of water in here.
And look at the carafe. Specifically, the lid. It’s got a unique flapper design to cut back on dribbling. Bunn claims this completely eliminates rogue drips, and in my first two days of use, they’re correct. It’s actually hard to make this dribble.
And then there’s the control panel. Five membrane buttons adorn the front, next to the large backlit display. The buttons are backlit with colored rings to indicate operational status (such as “on” or “programmed”). Unfortunately, the rings aren’t very bright, and are difficult to see in daylight. On the flip side, these dedicated buttons make the unit’s sole feature — delay start — incredibly easy to use.
As with the other coffeemakers I tested, all the high-use removable parts — the brew basket, the carafe, and the lid — are dishwasher safe. Ongoing care and maintenance is a snap.
Simple and Direct
There’s not much else that can be said about it: it’s a machine with exactly one task, built by a company with a very long reputation for doing that task extremely well.
Sometimes simplicity is a good thing!
Over the next week I’m going to use the Bunn HB as my daily driver. It’s going to make two cups of coffee for our morning commute, a pot of decaf in the afternoon, and some assorted brews on weekends. Since this series is called “everyday coffee”, I’m going to focus on subjective review points things like final taste, brew time, and ease of use.