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Bunn trifecta MB home brewer now available (with review)

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Re: Bunn trifecta MB home brewer to be released 2/24

Postby EricBNC » Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:40 am

I got a chance to meet Amanda from Bunn, who is active on this board, and to play with the Bunn Trifecta MB over the weekend. here is what I found after a quick look:

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Sample #1
When using the softest agitation setting this coffee starts with a bright fruity acidity I could pick up on with ease and the long finish was caramel sweet. The mouth feel is soft but not tea like with respectable body. Awesome cup.

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Sample #2
When using the most agressive agitation setting this coffee presents sweet fruit at first but jumps quickly into a caramel middle and a roasted nut finish. The mouth feel is creamy with plenty of body. Awesome cup.

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Both samples are from Intelligentsia and both are the roaster’s Anjilanaka Organic Bolivia. Same coffee but two very different cups. In the morning if you want a bright eye opener, then go with soft agitation. After dinner if you want a desert cup then crank up the volume. This machine delivers.

Here are the tasting notes from Intelligentsia - "Silky and smooth on the palate, this year's Anjilanaka brings a balanced and steady character. White grape, honey and apple skin notes give dimension without sacrificing delicacy. Burnt caramel and hazelnut notes mark the finish."

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I was picking out these flavors like an old pro - before reading the description - along with a lady trying the machine out at the same time too. Amanda said she had not tried this one so she sampled with us, noting the smokiness in the finish too. The Trifecta separated the flavors with the precision of a surgeon's scalpel adding intensity to the initial white grape acidity in sample one while making the burnt caramel and hazelnut jump in the second cup.
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Re: Bunn trifecta MB home brewer to be released 2/24

Postby jbviau » Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:50 pm

Thanks for the post, Eric. And way to fan the flames of machine lust! Sounds promising. By the way, how would you characterize the sediment you get at the bottom of the cup from the MB? More or less than a French press?
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Re: Bunn trifecta MB home brewer to be released 2/24

Postby sweaner » Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:38 pm

I am very interested in this machine. I wonder if there are any plans for retailers? Before spending $500, I would need to see the machine in person and get a good demo.
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Re: Bunn trifecta MB home brewer now available (with review)

Postby smity » Mon Feb 27, 2012 6:18 pm

If you were considering between this machine and first decent espresso heat exchanger machine, which would you get? I have a French press. :roll:
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Re: Bunn trifecta MB home brewer now available (with review)

Postby GmanJenks » Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:27 pm

I have to ask, was agitation really the only variable in the cups? No change to grind or contact/extraction time? That just seems incredible to me.
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Re: Bunn trifecta MB home brewer now available (with review)

Postby hh83917 » Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:56 pm

GmanJenks wrote:I have to ask, was agitation really the only variable in the cups? No change to grind or contact/extraction time? That just seems incredible to me.


Grind size, water level, infusion time, turbulence (agitation) are the variables offered in the Trifecta MB. They are all variables the user can play with, but I believe agitation is the primary variable that alters the perceived taste of the coffee most.

Of course, I believe one can imitate the function of the Trifecta with a stopwatch, aeropress, and a straw to blow bubbles with, but I think it'll be tedious and hard to reproduce the same flavored coffee in every brew.

I'm still pondering on whether to go for the $500 machine. For a good espresso machine that may seem like a mid-level price, but it's just a bit much for a coffee brewer... I'd love to read more reviews before I make up my mind on this one. :?
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Re: Bunn trifecta MB home brewer now available (with review)

Postby EricBNC » Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:25 am

jbviau wrote:Thanks for the post, Eric. And way to fan the flames of machine lust! Sounds promising. By the way, how would you characterize the sediment you get at the bottom of the cup from the MB? More or less than a French press?

The grounds looked very even - our manual brewing class room was supplied with a New Baratza Virtuoso ( Preciso burrs - I checked! :D ) but I am not sure what Bunn was using in the lab - it looked something like setting 20 to 24 on my Preciso. The mesh in the filter is fine so the sediment was minimal - similar to what my Kaffeeologie fine mesh filter leaves behind - you do not complain of fines in your Eva Solo cup so maybe the Trifecta filter material is similar.

smity wrote:If you were considering between this machine and first decent espresso heat exchanger machine, which would you get? I have a French press. :roll:

You would have a hard time finding a decent HX for $500. If you love your espresso but don't have a machine now then fill the hole - if you have an adequate espresso machine and love brewed coffee then this splurge is worth considering if you have a decent grinder already.

GmanJenks wrote:I have to ask, was agitation really the only variable in the cups? No change to grind or contact/extraction time? That just seems incredible to me.

Bunn product specs speak of 25 settings (5 Agitations X 5 Pre Set Times = 25 Settings) but for coffee only 15 apply (the 2:00 and 3:00 times are for tea). of the 15 remaining I think the agitation is more important that time - the :45 time vs :50 time does less to the cup that the increase in agitation from mild to maximum.

For practical purposes if you use only 3 of the 5 settings for agitation (think mild, med, or max) along with :45 seconds of time one of the three possible cups will uncover the recipe that tastes best for a given coffee and palate. After that a tweak of time and agitation can fine tune what you like but the difference will be more subtle.

A decent grinder is a must for a machine like this since it uses a mesh filter - a Virtuoso and Trifecta combo is a big chunk (around $700) for brewed coffee, very tasty brewed coffee...
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Re: Bunn trifecta MB home brewer now available (with review)

Postby smity » Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:44 pm

How does the machine avoid dispensing the grounds when it dispenses the coffee? Is the trifecta easy to clean?
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Re: Bunn trifecta MB home brewer now available (with review)

Postby JeffPersson » Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:21 pm

EricBNC wrote:A decent grinder is a must for a machine like this since it uses a mesh filter - a Virtuoso and Trifecta combo is a big chunk (around $700) for brewed coffee, very tasty brewed coffee...

I ordered the trifecta MB on Sunday and a Virtuoso Preciso (refurb) last night to go with it. I'll be ordering the Esatto for the grinder tonight and I should be set. Granted that is a fair sum for brewed coffee, but is it any more out of line than $2k for an espresso machine?
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Re: Bunn trifecta MB home brewer now available (with review)

Postby JeffPersson » Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:23 pm

smity wrote:How does the machine avoid dispensing the grounds when it dispenses the coffee? Is the trifecta easy to clean?


It dispenses the coffee by using air to push the coffee through the grounds and out threw a fine mesh screen at the bottom of the brew chamber.
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Re: Bunn trifecta MB home brewer now available (with review)

Postby jbviau » Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:33 am

Awesome, Jeff. I hope you'll let us know what you think of the MB once it arrives! Speaking of, I gather from your post on CG that your machine hasn't shipped yet. Any news on when it might go out?
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Re: Bunn trifecta MB home brewer now available (with review)

Postby JeffPersson » Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:48 pm

My last status on the Bunn site shows 02/27/12 - Shipment Pending

Now I did opt for the "Free Standard Shipping" and suspect their priority was to get the orders with expedited shipping done first, but that being said I did think it would have shipped within three days of my order date, but it doesn't look like it. I'm hoping their status is just behind in updating.

In the end I wonder how much faster the $30 UPS Ground option would have gotten here.
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Re: Bunn trifecta MB home brewer now available (with review)

Postby jbviau » Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:40 pm

Hmm. Did you call? Here's the contact info. for our local Bunn rep. in case you need it: member5674.html
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Re: Bunn trifecta MB home brewer now available (with review)

Postby JeffPersson » Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:59 pm

No I have not called yet. Lisa@BUNN (posts on CG) had mentioned she saw my order in the system so I was hoping she might be able to provide insight into the shipping times in response to my question. I suspect they're all really busy right now.
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Re: Bunn trifecta MB home brewer now available (with review)

Postby deandome » Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:14 am

God blessya if you have the wherewithal to get this.

But the fact is, it's the antithesis of everything a home-use, single serve coffee maker is supposed to be.

-Pre-measured, pre-ground, sealed 'units' so you don't need to worry about large quantities of beans going stale? NO
-One-button convenience? NO (well...if you don't count grinding beans every day...cleaning the grinder, etc...I guess once it's cleaned & loaded it's 'one-button' :roll: )
-Can brew cup after cup without cleaning up in between (and/or change varieties each cup)? NO
-EASY CLEAN UP? Oh...my...god...NO!!!! You gotta clean a ground-filled brew chamber for EVERY CUP (and you know it'll sometime wait until late in the day when it's caked-up)...you gotta clean the grinder

I know some people here get really (scarily?) obtuse about their coffee, but usually that's with regards to espresso-based drinks. But you could brew a full/half pot of freshly-ground beans in a Technivorm...and throw half of it away...for 10 years & still be ahead of the game, financially, vs. getting this machine. And even if you say "this is about quality, not convenience" (as someone actually did say)...that doesn't really fly. Because quality at this level is based largely upon top-quality beans being freshly ground before they've been sitting around 2-3 days.

But if you crack open a 1/2 lb. of Jamaican Blue beans...and brew them in your SINGLE SERVE wunder-machine at the rate of 1-4 cups a day...by the time you're halfway thru your bag of beans, it's past it's prime.
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