December 3, 2023

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I’m a Coffee Expert, and This Is the Best Coffee Pod Machine

I’m a Coffee Expert, and This Is the Best Coffee Pod Machine

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No, it’s not a Keurig

The Spruce Eats / Derek Rose

Our reviewer was sent a sample of the Bruvi Coffee Brewer to the test in their kitchen. Keep reading for our product review.

To me, there’s no such thing as bad coffee. Sure, some coffee tastes bad, but I appreciate its existence on the basis that it’s coffee.

However, I will admit I’m often skeptical of coffee that comes from a pod. The flavor tends to be weaker and the consistency thinner than a cup that comes from freshly ground beans. My skepticism melted when I tried coffee from the Bruvi Brewer. It was strong instead of watery and intricate enough that different notes stood out.

While the great taste is the most important reason I recommend this coffee maker, there are many other bright spots I’ve come across after several months of using it. Read on to learn about all the pros, and even a few cons, of the Bruvi Coffee Brewer.

Bruvi coffee is the best pod-based coffee I’ve ever had.

Bruvi Brewer BV-01

What We Like

What We Don’t Like

#1 What it Brews, How it Tastes

<p>The Spruce Eats / Derek Rose</p>

The Spruce Eats / Derek Rose

There are seven drink settings to choose from: coffee, espresso, Americano, cold brew, iced coffee, infused coffee/matcha latte, and hot water. My go-to is regular coffee, followed by an Americano if I’m using one of Bruvi’s espresso B-Pods. I’m able to make a better cup of coffee using a Chemex—another brewing device I reviewed—but Bruvi coffee compares reasonably well and is the best pod-based coffee I’ve ever had.

I think there are two main reasons for this. First, B-Pods contain more coffee grounds than other pods. Bruvi says its pods have up to 40 percent more coffee than competitors, and I found this to be accurate after weighing a B-Pod and a K-Cup. Second, the Bruvi Brewer has an “Auto Optimized Brewing” system that scans B-Pods and automatically adjusts key brewing details like water temperature and extraction time to best suit the specific pod you use. It’s becoming increasingly common for coffee makers to be equipped with similar pod-reading systems (Keurig introduced BrewID in 2021, for instance), but it’s far from universal. Bruvi’s Auto Optimized Brewing appears more advanced than other systems, too, adjusting seven total brewing details.

<p>The Spruce Eats / Derek Rose</p>

The Spruce Eats / Derek Rose

I also appreciate all the ways I can customize the coffee, one of which is with a “Hotter” brew setting that raises drink temperature from around 155 to 165 degrees. There’s also a unique “Low Acid” setting that uses cooler water when brewing. I personally don’t notice a difference in taste with this setting, which is a good thing because it means the coffee quality isn’t compromised.

The last area I want to touch on are the machine’s two cold coffee settings. There’s a standard iced coffee setting, as well as a cold brew setting for a stronger beverage made with cooler water (once again meaning less acidity). It takes only four minutes for a cup of cold brew as opposed to an entire day of letting it steep like with regular cold brew makers.

To sum it up, Bruvi coffee is consistent, customizable, and tasty. While I don’t use this coffee maker every single day, I’ve yet to tire of it.

#2 The Look and Feel

<p>The Spruce Eats / Derek Rose</p>

The Spruce Eats / Derek Rose

With most coffee makers, you have two design choices: black or stainless steel. These options match everything, but they’re a little austere. They lack personality. That’s not the case with the Bruvi Brewer. The white exterior with bamboo accents is bright, cheery, and has character. Even the blue power cord is a nice touch that shows the brand’s intention toward a certain aesthetic.

Purely based on appearances, I was impressed the minute I opened the box. Then I quickly found the brewer to be user-friendly, too—the other main aspect of product design.

I couldn’t ask for much more in a coffee maker that’s this convenient and high-performing.

Bruvi has an app that lets you schedule and control the brewing process from your phone; it also tracks how many cups of coffee you make, what pods you use, and lets you re-order pods with the touch of a button. I only tested the app in preparation for writing this review. Otherwise, it’s easy enough to pop in a pod and make selections on the machine’s large touchscreen. If you do want to use the app, though, I think the UX is great, and I didn’t encounter any bugs in about 10 uses.

<p>The Spruce Eats / Derek Rose</p>

The Spruce Eats / Derek Rose

There are three last little notes on the design worth mentioning:

  • You have to press the lid down very hard after inserting a pod. I thought I broke the machine on my first use, but it was just the crunch of the plastic B-Pod, which I’ve since gotten used to.

  • Only short travel mugs fit under the drip spout. Anything over 6.75 inches is too tall, even with the drip tray removed.

  • I’m a sucker for a removable water tank, like the one on this machine. It’s much easier to fill, and there’s less risk of spilling water everywhere.

#3 The Price Tag

<p>The Spruce Eats / Derek Rose</p>

The Spruce Eats / Derek Rose

At the time of writing this review, the Bruvi Brewer costs $350. That’s more than most pod coffee makers and drip coffee makers, as well. On top of that, B-Pods are, on average, more expensive per serving than other pod alternatives. If the brewer does fall within your budget, however, the question then becomes: Is it worth it?

I think it has lived up to the price and expectations in my four-plus months of using it. I would rather spend the extra money on this machine than, say, a $150 option that brews inferior coffee. One of the Bruvi Brewer’s few shortcomings is that it doesn’t have milk-frothing capabilities like some pod-based coffee makers in this price range; although, the espresso is strong enough to make suitable lattes and cappuccinos if you own a separate milk frother. Other than that, I couldn’t ask for much more in a coffee maker that’s this convenient and high-performing.

If you are interested in purchasing the Bruvi Brewer, it’s currently sold as part of the Bruvi Bundle, not individually. The bundle includes a large tote bag, a water filter, and a variety pack of 20 B-Pods to get you started.

One final note…

B-Pods are made with enzyme-infused plastic to help them biodegrade faster than standard coffee pods. As a result, B-Pods are designed to be tossed in the trash instead of the recycling bin. This is to combat how only a portion of discarded plastic, coffee pods included, is recycled. While B-Pods aren’t zero waste, they’re currently more sustainable than the average coffee pod.

Buy this if you want better pod-based coffee.

The Bruvi Brewer makes better drip-style coffee than any pod-based brewing device I’ve used. It also looks great in the kitchen and has worked flawlessly after several months of frequent use.

Dimensions: 12.6 x 10.2 x 11.5 inches (height with lid open is 17.2 inches)

Weight: 13.2 pounds

Drink capacity: 1 to 12 ounces

Water tank capacity: 70 ounces

Pod holder: Up to 6 used pods

Wattage: 1,550 watts

Voltage: 120V/60Hz

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

Derek Rose has been the Coffee and Tea Expert for The Spruce Eats since 2019. He has tested multiple pod coffee makers and interviewed experts for their insight on pod coffee. Derek received an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University and a BA in Communications from Marist College.

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