The Brazen Plus Coffee Brew System is #1 on our:
Top 10 – Best Drip Coffee Maker
Top 10 – Best Drip Coffee Maker
Brazen Plus Coffee Brew System
With the release of Behmor’s high-end Brazen Coffee Maker, drip enthusiasts are beginning to agree with what espresso experts knew all along; temperature is king.
Traditional coffee wisdom dictates that the ideal coffee brewing temperature rests somewhere between 195° and 205° F. If temperature is so vital to the quality of your coffee, is there a difference between a cup brewed at, for example, 198° F, and one brewed at 204° F?
Up until recently, only espresso aficionados would have answered “yes,” recognizing that the difference of a single degree could drastically impact the expression of a coffee’s flavor profile.
Features of the Brazen Coffee Maker
Of the many incredible and innovative features introduced by Behmor, Variable Temperature Control is arguably the most important. Not only does the Brazen Coffee Maker brew within the optimal range, it gives you precise control over the temperature. Want to brew your coffee at 196° F? 201° F? 205° F? No problem!
Why does this matter?
Slight differences in water temperature can have major implications on flavor expression. For example, an Ethiopian blend brewed at 204° F may exhibit a fuller body and muted subtleties. The same coffee, brewed at 198° F, will express brighter notes of berries and citrus, with a milder body. As a general guideline, lighter roasts of coffee become brightest and most vibrant when brewed at 195°-199°. Darker roasts, on the other hand, only achieve their full body above the 200° F mark. This all comes down to personal preference, however, and the Brazen Plus coffee maker is the only brewer that can get it just right. It is no surprise that the Behmor Brazen is featured in our Top 5 of High End Coffee Makers.
Another innovative feature, also borrowed from established espresso brewing practices, is Brazen’s presoak functionality.
Exactly as it sounds, the presoak feature soaks your grinds in water prior to brewing. This inhibits the biggest obstacles to optimal coffee extraction, primarily: clumping and “blooming.” Using the machine’s simple interface, you can set the presoak duration from 15 seconds to 4 minutes.
The last unique innovation of the Brazen Plus coffee maker is its Direct Brew/Manual Water Release feature.
Recognizing that a precise water boiler could have applications beyond drip coffee, Behmor designed their Brazen coffee maker with native water dispensing capabilities. The Direct Brew feature can turn your favorite manual brewer into an automatic drip machine, by simply sliding the pour-over basket underneath the Brazen. The Manual Water Release allows you to dispense water for just about any purpose, including brewing the perfect cup of tea.
If that wasn’t enough, Behmor has packed their new flagship product with an astounding amount of “standard” features.
Unlike Technivorm and Bonavita machines, the Behmor Brazen Plus is fully programmable, and can brew coffee automatically, for any preset time. Its backlit LED screen is bright, and easy to read. Its controls are simple and intuitive. Its onboard memory ensures that all of your preferences are saved, even if the machine is unplugged. Its stainless steel water reservoir does not impact the flavor of your coffee like a plastic reservoir would. Its full dispersion “sprayhead” is larger, and produces a more uniform extraction than competing brewers. Its large permanent gold tone filter is ideal for European style drip coffee. Finally, its stainless steel thermal carafe keeps your coffee hot for hours.
Two disadvantages keep the Brazen coffee maker from being perfect:
1. The Brazen Plus can only brew 8 cups of coffee at once, compared to the standard 12 of most batch brewers.
2. The machine is slow to brew, sometimes taking as long as 10 minutes per batch (not including presoak times).
While minor, these issues can result in some frustration, especially if you’re brewing coffee for a large party.
AestheticsAbandoning all conventions of coffee machine design, Behmor has tapped into something unique, almost alien, with the design of their Brazen coffee maker. Indeed, suspended by three “legs,” the machine most closely resembles an infant version of the tripod aliens from War of the Worlds. It’s not a particularly attractive design, but it makes perfect sense once you use it; the tripod design is ideal for Brazen’s Direct Brew feature, allowing containers and manual brewers of almost any shape to fit beneath the boiler.
The Brazen’s main body is reminiscent of a Sci-Fi space marine helmet. While not exactly pleasing to the eye, the 1960s futurist space-age vibe is intriguing and unique. The staggered design of the Brazen’s control panel is questionable, however, and only serves to take away from aesthetic appeal.
The Brazen Plus coffee maker is not likely to win any design awards, but it is sure to become a conversation piece amongst your dinner guests.
With an enclosure built almost entirely from plastic, and with nothing more than a trio of thin legs supporting its hefty boiler, the Brazen coffee maker is not the sturdiest brewer on the market. It does, however, use stainless steel for its most important components, including the water reservoir, the brewing platform, and the carafe.
While the previous version of the Brazen Plus had several major issues, they have all been addressed in the most recent build of the device. Given the relative novelty of the recent Brazen Plus coffee maker, there isn’t a lot of available information on potential issues. Most owners are quite happy with their purchase, and claim that the machine works as advertised. Several isolated reports, however, have cited issues with temperature calibration, leaking, and software errors.
Potential issues aside, Behmor are a relatively young startup with much to prove. Their customer service is excellent, and their employees are eager to keep you happy with your purchase. Joe Behm, the brains behind Behmor, often lurks on specialty coffee forums like CoffeeGeek, answering questions, offering advice, and even putting customers in touch with specialists from the proper departments.
Ultimately, you can be confident in knowing that, as the owner of a Brazen coffee maker, Behmor will take good care of you.
Brazen Plus Coffee Maker – Pros vs. Cons
- Variable temperature control (195°-205° F)
- Manual calibration
- Adjustable presoak of grinds
- Compatible with most manual/pour over brewers
- Functions as an ultra-precise hot water dispenser
- Programmable brew times
- Excellent showerhead
- Stainless steel water reservoir
- Long brew times (up to 10 minutes)
- Small carafe capacity (8 cups/1.2 L)
How Much Does The Brazen Coffee Maker Cost?
We partnered up with Amazon to provide you the lowest price for the Brazen Plus Coffee Brew System.