The Bottom Line
Bunn is the hero of those who want a simple automatic coffeemaker that can brew their coffee at the appropriate temperature. Certified by the SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America), the Bunn Phase Brew makes a good cup of coffee and is one of the most affordable on the SCAA list.
For the average brewer who wants a good cup of coffee without a great many bells and whistles, the Bunn HG Phase Brew 8-Cup Home Coffee Brewer is a sensible and affordable option.
At a Glance
• Brews up to 8 Cups
• Auto Shutoff
• Sprayhead for even water distribution
• Brews at optimal temperature
• Programmable Auto Start (if you aren’t sold on using freshly ground beans, this works well)
• Cleaning indicator
• Stainless steel grounds basket
• BPA Free
One of the Bunn Phase Brew’s features that makes it unique is the spray head, which allows for more even distribution of water over the coffee grounds in the basket.
This is unique, as most low-end coffee brewers will have a steady stream of water that shoots directly down and through the middle of the grounds, meaning the full flavor of the coffee grounds cannot be extracted.
Choose between the HG model with a glass carafe, and the HT model with stainless steel thermal carafe. The HG glass carafe model has a warmer that shuts off automatically after two hours. The thermal carafe will likely only keep coffee warm for about an hour (but really, after an hour you probably need to brew a new pot anyway!).
Unlike many automatic machines, the Bunn brews at around 200ºF, which is optimal for coffee. This particular unit does take about 6 minutes to heat to this temperature prior to brewing, but the benefit is that the water doesn’t have to be kept hot in the unit at all times.
The programmable auto start time is a convenient feature. But if you want the best possible cup of coffee, you really need to grind your coffee immediately prior to brewing.
After brewing for about three months, the Phase Brew will let you know that it’s time for a cleaning. If your water has a high mineral content, you’ll need to clean it more often, or use bottled or filtered water.
Height: 15.6 inches
Width: 9 inches
Depth: 10.5 inches
Weight: 9.5 pounds
• Fast brewing — 4 minutes (10 minutes total, including heating the water)
• Easy access water tank and filter basket
• Optimal temperature for best taste
• Auto shut-off
• Dishwasher safe carafe
• Easy to use controls
• 3-year warranty
• Programmable timer
• Slightly noisy brewing
• Potential rusting problems in the grounds basket
• Does not pause during brewing
• Does not sit well under cabinets (very tall and also steamy)
What Others Are Saying
For the most part, reviewers seem to like the Bunn HG Phase Brew. However, some quality control problems have been reported, including units that stop working after a short amount of time.
Thanks to the 3-year warranty, there is a significant safety zone if this happens. And the company is happy to replace faulty units.
Admittedly, the Bunn Phase Brew is not the top of the line among SCAA-certified brewers. And it is also a little bulky, taking up more counter space than other similar models. It doesn’t offer a significant number of high-end features either.
- Build Quality
- Temperature Control / 200 Degree Brewing
- Water Dispersion
- Advance Features
However, for an everyday model that can be purchased for a comparatively low price, it is still significantly better than a non-SCAA coffeemaker.
If you’re looking for a basic brewer, this one will do the job. However, it has just one temperature setting at 200ºF, which doesn’t let you adjust for your coffee variety.
If you want better temperature control and more advanced features (and a stainless reservoir) for just a little more of an initial investment, we suggest taking a look at the Behmor Brazen Plus.
About Julie Workman
As a freelance writer for over 15 years, Julie Workman has been published in various magazines, books, and online media. She holds a college degree in Home Economics which she uses every day in overseeing her household and making her home a happy place for her family.