PROS / This drip coffee maker produced the hottest coffee we tested.
CONS / This coffee ranked the worst tasting of the coffee makers we tested.
VERDICT / This coffee maker employs a unique brewing process and it offers all the features that would produce great coffee, but the coffee strength did not pass muster with our taste testing panel.
The Behmor Brazen Plus is a large and sleek-looking brushed metal and black coffee maker with an insulated thermal carafe, a cool resting spot under the brew basket instead of a hot plate, and some rather unique settings.
You can alter such things as the water brewing temperature and make the machine's extra-large showerhead perform a pre-soak of the coffee grounds before brewing the full pot. This is designed to extract the fullest aroma and strength from the pre-moistened grounds.
However, the pre-soaking interval, the water heating process and a brewing procedure that involves pulsating intervals of hot water being released all take time, and it will be a while before you can get a full pot of coffee. In our testing it took 10:40 minutes to brew a full pot of coffee, which is the longest interval of any coffee maker we tested. You can adjust settings like the pre-soak to make the brewing time shorter but the programming capabilities are somewhat confusing and took some effort to master before we got them right.
With this 8-cup coffeemaker, the heated water temperature can range between 190 degrees F and 210 degrees F. Rather unusually, you can also plug in the elevation above sea level where you happen to be making coffee with this machine to ensure water temperatures precisely the way you want within 1 degree of accuracy.
The water temperature features certainly work well: This coffee maker produced the hottest coffee of any brand we tested, with coffee in the carafe measuring 183 degrees F and then measuring 180 degrees F after the carafe had been sitting for 15 minutes.
You can use the permanent mesh filter that comes with the machine or use paper filters if you choose. If your power goes out, you are in luck since this machine is equipped with a memory save function that preserves the settings you have programmed. You also get the ability to program this drip coffee maker in advance so you can wake up to the fragrance of freshly brewed coffee, and if you are impatient during the brewing process, you can make use of its brew pause function to grab a quick cup without any messy spills.
The Behmor Brazen Plus has received a rare honor in the world of coffee makers, namely recognition from the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) for its standards. Only two other products we reviewed, the Bonavita 8-Cup coffee maker and the OXO Barista Brain, earned this honor.
However, that was not the case with our taste testing panel. In a surprising turn of events, the majority of our panel members ranked this as the worst-tasting coffee of the coffee makers we tested, with some noting that it seemed weak and watery. One panel member praised the "great aroma," but the overall ranking was low.
Cleaning this coffee maker requires citric acid, which you can buy at any drugstore. The manufacturer strongly recommends that you do not use white vinegar for cleaning the interior of the machine, which is unlike most other coffee maker brands. You clean the steel carafe with soap and water, and wipe down the spray head area where the hot water emerges with a soft, damp cloth.
You can get some piping hot java with the Behmor Brazen Plus coffee maker and it has received recognition from the SCAA, but it took a long time to brew the coffee and nearly everyone on our taste testing panel found the result to be too weak for their palates.