Bruvi BV-03 Black Coffee Brewer review: a better single-serve pod coffee maker

Great-tasting coffee and espresso in an easy-to-use machine that gives Keurig and Nespresso a run for their money

Bruvi coffee machine
(Image: © Future)

Top Ten Reviews Verdict

The Bruvi BV-03 Black Coffee Brewer is a versatile, sleek pod machine that optimizes the brew based on the interested pod while still letting you customize your brew size and type, making everything from a bold cold brew to a smooth espresso. On the machine is a waste bin and water tank to simplify the brewing process, and the touch screen with light-up icons allows for easy customizations. Each drink I brewed was delicious, flavorful, and ready quickly with minimal effort. There’s also a companion app, but it doesn’t add much value to the Bruvi, and at the moment, there is a limited selection of pods available for it.

Pros

  • +

    Makes great tasting, flavorful coffee quickly

  • +

    Variety of sizes and brew styles, including espresso and cold brew

  • +

    Easy to make and customize brews with auto pod optimization

  • +

    Sleek, stylish design

Cons

  • -

    Limited selection of B-Pods

  • -

    No milk steamer or frother

Why you can trust Top Ten Reviews Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Keurig and Nespresso machines have a chokehold on the single-serve pod coffee machine world. But Bruvi, a newcomer to the market, is here to shake things up. Bruvi promises a tastier, more hygienic brew in an easy-to-use machine, and I was lucky enough to test it out to see if it delivers. 

I received the sleek Bruvi BV-03 Black Coffee Brewer model for testing. It’s pricier than many single-serve pod machines, retailing for $373. But this machine is well-built, with a sturdy handle, a unique touch screen featuring light-up icons, a large water tank, and a handy waste bin for used B-Pods—similar to K-Cups. I quickly realized this machine offers tons of variety in how you brew, and it can be overwhelming. However, the Bruvi automatically recognizes inserted B-Pods, optimizing settings and limiting your brew customizations and size options. Beyond a regular cup of coffee, other styles include hotter, lower acid, iced, cold brew, and more. It even pulls a commendable espresso shot with a lovely golden crema. 

The Bruvi BV-03 doesn’t limit you to using only the touchscreen on the machine, as it also has an app for brewing from your phone. However, I found it mostly pointless since it's so simple and quick to do it on the touch screen. And when I say quick, I mean it. A fresh cup of coffee is ready in under two minutes, and you don’t need to wait for the machine to warm up. 

Without fail, each brew was delicious every time, no matter the brew type I chose, as I was able to test almost every setting over several weeks. The only place you can fault the Bruvi is the lack of B-Pod options and availability. But, as the popularity of the machine inevitably grows, I imagine the pod variety will too. 

Regarding the best coffee makers, the Bruvi BV-03 is the best single-serve pod machine out there. The quality and taste of the coffee outshine some of the best single-serve coffee makers I’ve tried, while even its espresso brew keeps up with the best espresso machines. Plus, it’s hard to beat the simplicity of making each brew—just pop in the pod, customize your brew, press start, and you’re good to go. 

Danielle Abraham profile photograph on Top Ten Reviews
Danielle Abraham

Danielle is a coffee fiend and can’t go a day without it; she's tested out all types of coffee makers, concentrates, and even powders. For her everyday cup of coffee, Danielle prefers it to be black—no cream or sugar required—unless the coffee is not the best quality. As for specialty drinks, her go-to is always an iced vanilla latte, and she’ll usually splurge on one to two a week at local coffee shops. 

When Danielle began using the Bruvi, she was pleasantly surprised by how great the coffee tasted and how easy it was to use. She ended up testing for several weeks while home for the holidays. Her father and brother also enjoyed different brews from the machine. 

Bruvi BV-03 Black Coffee Brewer: Key specs

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Row 0 - Cell 0 Row 0 - Cell 1
TypePod
Brew time10oz~1.5 minutes
Brew size options6oz, 8oz, 10oz, 12oz (coffee)/ 1oz, 2oz, 3oz, 4oz (espresso)
Capacity70 ounces
Average noise level60dB
DimensionsH11.5 x W10.2 x D12.6 inches

Bruvi BV-03 Black Coffee Brewer: Price & availability

The Bruvi BV-03 Black Coffee Brewer is available only from Bruvi and has a list price of $373.00. It is pricier than most single-cup coffee makers, though you can often find it on sale for much less. 

It’s important to note that the B-Pods, the only pods you can use with the Bruvi, are pricey and currently come in limited varieties. A pack of 60 Mulholland Roasters Columbia Coffee B-Pods can be bought from Amazon for $69.30, whereas a pack of 60 Wonderland Coffee De La Case Medium-Dark Roast Coffee is slightly more affordable, starting from $58.40 on Amazon.

The single-serve coffee maker is also available to buy direct from Bruvi or Amazon in a cream and sugar color, known as the Bruvi BV-01Brewer, for a list price $373. Aside from the sleek black with stainless finishes and a frosted smoke water tank, the coffee brewers are the same. You could save some money with this option since the Bruvi BV-01 Brewer is bundled with 20 B-Pods on Amazon, which is often discounted. At the time of writing, it could be yours for $350.24. 

Bruvi BV-03 Black Coffee Brewer: Setup

The Bruvi BV-03 arrived in a large but manageable cardboard box. Upon opening, there was another cardboard box, adding an extra layer of protection, and inside, you’ll find all the coffee maker’s components. I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of plastic in the packaging; there was virtually none other than some tape to keep different parts of the device from falling apart during shipping. The machine even came wrapped in a reusable Japanese knot bag rather than your typical bubble wrap or plastic—a nice touch. 

Bruvi coffee maker

Bruvi unboxing (Image credit: Future)

Out of the box, the Bruvi was almost fully assembled. The only component not installed was the water filter. It took an additional seven minutes to install it, and most of that time was spent waiting for the filter bag to finish soaking in water. Afterward, it was simple to snap and place in the water tank. You get an additional filter bag with the water filter kit, and the filter should be replaced every 60 days. That should help with hard water, though it’s also recommended to use filtered water when filling the water tank. 

I also decided to rinse out the water tank before brewing, though it’s not necessary. After that, you’re pretty much good to go. You have to do an initial rinse cycle before your first brew, but there are clear instructions for what to do, and the machine also prompts you when it turns on. The process takes about 1 minute. From there, you can make the first brew. So, from opening to the first cup, it was about 15 minutes. 

Bruvi coffee machine

Removable water tank on Bruvi (Image credit: Future)

Bruvi BV-03 Black Coffee Brewer: Design

Design-wise, the Bruvi BV-03 Black Coffee Brewer is sleek with an all-black finish except for the durable die-cast zinc alloy handle used for inserting the B-Pods. You can also find it in a lovely “sugar and cream” finish. It’s shocking just how sturdy that handle feels, and it has the cute phrase “Good morning sunshine” engraved on it, which is visible when you lift it to insert the pod. The rest of the machine is made mostly of plastic but feels well-made and likely to last a long while. There’s also a removable and adjustable drip tray to fit different cup sizes, and you can even raise the drip tray for espresso brews. 

A standout feature of the coffee maker is its touchscreen control panel with bright, illuminated LED icons. There appear to be an overwhelming amount of options for brews. Luckily, the brewer has a unique feature that scans each pod when inserted, optimizing settings and significantly limiting your options based on the type of pod: coffee, espresso, tea, or infused, making it easier to understand than expected. When in sleep mode, which automatically happens after 10 minutes of inactivity, only the Start/Stop button will illuminate. There’s also a companion app that’s quick and simple to install, which I discuss further in the user experience section. 

Bruvi coffee machine

Touch screen control panel on the Bruvi (Image credit: Future)

The coffee machine itself is slightly larger than the average drip coffee maker but on par with larger Keurig or espresso machines, at 11.5 x 10.2 x 12.6in (h x w x d) and weighing 13.2 pounds. Most will find it easy to move and fits well on the countertop. Part of why it’s bigger is the waste bin that holds up to six B-Pods and a 70-oz removable water tank, so you don’t have to do too much before making the majority of your brews.  

Bruvi coffee machine

Bruvi's B-Pod (Image credit: Future)

As for the B-Pods themselves, they are around the same size as the K-Cups you typically use with Keurigs. They are plastic, something I wasn’t a fan of at first. However, after some research, I learned that the pods break down quickly and don’t leave microplastics behind. You can just toss them in your garbage. However, as I mentioned, they’re pricey, and options are limited. 

One glaring omission from the Bruvi is a milk frother or steamer. Given the higher price, it would’ve been a nice addition to make specialty drinks like a latte or cappuccino, especially since it brews espresso. I usually stick to black coffee and Americanos, which wasn’t a big deal. Luckimaking specialty drinks like a latte or cappuccino would be a nice addition; milk frothers are inexpensive if you want to add some foamy milk to your beverage.

Bruvi BV-03 Black Coffee Brewer: Performance

I used the Bruvi BV-03 Black Coffee Brewer for several weeks, and it was an absolute joy. Thanks to the quality of each brew, the variety of brew sizes and style options, and the ease of use, it was a pleasure to use. 

When brewing coffee in the Bruvi, I only needed to insert a coffee B-Pod. The machine automatically optimizes settings and limits brew size options between 6 to 12oz. You can select a few other customizations for your optimal brew by choosing the hotter, low acid, stronger, iced, or cold brew icons.  

Bruvi coffee machine

(Image credit: Future)

The hotter icon—given the name—makes your drink 3° to 9°F hotter. Low-acid brews your drink with less acidity and caffeine, while stronger increases the concentration of coffee. Iced coffee is like your normal coffee, but it brews at a lower temperature for less ice dilution, and cold brew keeps the coffee at a lower temperature for a longer time. 

I tested all the different coffee customization options for this coffee maker and decided to use the 10oz size option for each brew. Starting with the classic brew, it took about 1.5 minutes to finish brewing and was 175°F directly after. I noticed that there wasn’t much temperature difference when using the hotter setting. The low acid and stronger settings also took about 1.5 minutes to brew, with a similar temperature. 

The brew time was surprisingly short, especially compared to using a Keurig machine with K-cups, which generally takes at least 3 minutes. You don’t have to wait for the machine to warm up. The Bruvi is also incredibly quiet, measuring just 60dB. A slightly louder indicator will ding when the coffee is done. You can always mute the indicator sound if you prefer. 

The iced and cold brew options had slightly different results from the others but were just as easy. Iced took about 1.25 minutes to brew and had a lower temperature of 140°F, and you could only brew up 6oz—I assume that was to make up for the dilution that would happen when ice is added. Cold brew took much longer, at around 5 minutes for 6oz. However, it was only 95°F after finishing. 

Bruvi coffee machine

Coffee customization options (Image credit: Future)

Beyond coffee, the Bruvi pulls espresso shots from special espresso B-Pods. It has a 15-bar pressure system to ensure a true espresso versus a highly concentrated dose of coffee. You can choose between 1oz to 3oz size options with 2oz-–or a double shot—being the default. It’s quick and much easier to do than when using a typical espresso machine. You can even use many of the same coffee settings, including hotter, low acid, stronger, or iced. There’s also an Americano option—an espresso shot with hot water—my go-to beverage on the daily. I tested a few settings, including the regular double-shot espresso and Americano, with excellent results.

Two other B-Pod types are available with this machine: Tea and Infused. I didn’t test these two types of pods, but they have similar customization options to the coffee and espresso B-pods. 

Given all these different customization options and settings, you might be overwhelmed by the machine at first, but it takes time and testing to figure out the optimal settings for your brew. It’s easy to incorporate the Bruvi into your daily routine thanks to the quick brew times, and you get plenty of versatility, so each person in your household or even small office can customize the brew to their optimal settings. It’s hard to complain. However, if you’re looking to make carafes of coffee, you may want to grab a coffee maker capable of brewing larger than 12oz sizes. 

If you don’t want to use B-Pods, hot water is the only setting available on the Bruvi. The maximum temperature the water reached was about 170°F, but you can still use it for oatmeal or tea varieties. It takes about 1.25 minutes for a 10oz mug of hot water to be ready, so quicker than heating water on the stove. The water line is also separate from where the coffee is brewed, helping to prevent cross-contamination. 

You aren’t limited to controlling the Bruvi using only the touchscreen control panel, as it comes with a companion app. You can make a brew from your phone when the coffee maker is connected to Wi-Fi. It offers the same customization options as the touchscreen control panel. However, in my opinion, it’s unnecessary. No matter what, you’ll need to insert a B-Pod into the machine, so why not just quickly use the touchscreen? Even when you want to schedule a brew to have it ready when you walk downstairs in the morning, you’ll need the pod inserted to get the option to schedule a brew. I tested this feature, and it works great. But why even bother scheduling it when it takes under 2 minutes for a fresh cup of coffee? 

Bruvi coffee maker

Bruvi app  (Image credit: Future)

The app doesn’t do too much beyond that. You can purchase more B-Pods or other gear for the Bruvi. It also keeps track of when and the type of B-Pods you’ve used, whether you’re brewing from your phone or the machine. I liked keeping track of my family and my drinking habits. I opted to receive notifications when each brew was ready, and without fail, every time, I received a phone notification immediately after it finished. This feature was handy, as I had to yell at my father several times for brewing coffee without telling me and letting me taste-test it. 

Usually, after 5 or 6 brews, I hear a soft ding on the coffee maker, and a small icon in the corner lights up, indicating the water tank is low on water. That water tank is easy to remove and fill up. As soon as I return the full water tank to the proper location, the icon disappears. 

Unlike the water tank, there is no indicator for when the waste bin for the used B-Pods is full. There’s a small peephole to see how full the bin is, but I didn’t pay close enough attention on several occasions and overfilled the bin. It caused the new B-Pod I had inserted to get stuck in the machine, leaving me to fish it out. So, be sure to pay attention to the fullness of the waste bin. Luckily, it usually holds six pods, and you won’t need to empty it often. Emptying the bin is simple; it just pulls right out for you to dump in the trash. Just don’t accidentally toss out the drip tray in the process.

Speaking of the drip tray. I’ve never had to empty it, as I didn’t have problems with dripping after finishing a brew. That drip tray is easily removable should you need to empty it or if you want to fit a travel mug in the machine. You can also insert it higher up for an espresso cup when brewing it to prevent drippage. 

Bruvi coffee machine

Drip tray raised for espresso cup (Image credit: Future)

I never had issues with drippage after a brew during testing. Occasionally, during the brewing process, I’d notice small drops of coffee appear on the counter and the machine. The drop size usually depended on the size of my mug, and it was a slight annoyance to have to clean up afterward. 

Emptying the waste bin, rinsing the drip tray, and filling the water tank are the most frequent maintenance requirements. Luckily, doing all three should take less than two minutes and will only need to be done a couple of times per week, depending on how often you’re brewing. You’ll also need to wipe down the machine weekly, paying special attention to the touchscreen control panel, as it attracts fingerprints. Descaling is another task, and icons on the machine indicate when. I haven’t had to do it yet, but the process should take about 10 minutes. 

Though the Bruvi doesn’t rinse itself after a brew, the way the machine brews is more hygienic. Coffee never actually touches the inside of the brewer. Instead, it goes through the B-Pod to the cup, making extra rinsing unnecessary. It also helps with cross-contamination, so there is no coffee flavor in your water or tea.

The Bruvi BV-03 is an impressive coffee maker and the best pod machine I’ve ever tested. 

Bruvi coffee machine

Bruvi's removable waste bin (Image credit: Future)

Bruvi BV-03 Black Coffee Brewer: taste test

Perhaps most important is how the coffee tastes; I’m happy to say it’s delicious. When using pod machines, much of the guesswork is done for you. The coffee is premeasured, and in the case of the Bruvi, the machine is optimized for each of the inserted pods, so it’s a lot harder to mess up your brew. 

As I mentioned, you can only use Bruvi’s B-Pods with the Bruvi BV-03. For testing, I was sent a variety pack of B-Pods, including four espresso pods, and a pack of Equator Blend from Equator Coffee. I preferred the Equator Blend more than anything in the variety pack, but it was more of a personal taste preference than anything else. All the pods produced rich, flavorful brews. However, if you’re looking for a big selection of pods, this isn’t the machine for you. There are under 15 different regular coffee B-Pods, only one decaf option, and four espresso pods. The Bruvi also makes tea, and there’s only one pod option: an intriguing matcha latte.  

I taste-tested the coffee using every one of the settings available: regular, hotter, low acid, stronger, iced, or cold brew. I’m a black coffee drinker, so that’s how I drank my coffee for each of the different settings I tested. 

Admittedly, I didn’t notice a difference in taste between the regular, hotter, and stronger settings. Each brew came out just slightly too hot to drink immediately, and after a minute, it was usually good to go. All the brews had an almost identical flavor profile, with slight acidity and sweetness that went down easy. There was no burned taste, something I thought would be the case for the hotter setting. 

However, some of the flavors got lost on the low-acid setting. It was more watery, and some of the nutty sweetness I tasted in other brews was gone. I’m not too surprised, as this setting reduces acidity and caffeine. The other two settings, iced and cold brew, faired better than the low acid setting. The iced brew came out slightly cooler than the others. The coffee was still rich and flavorful when I threw some ice cubes in and drank it. The cold brew setting brewed the coffee significantly colder over a longer period. After adding ice cubes, I noticed it tasted much stronger with more prominent fruity notes than the iced brew. 

I was hesitant about how the espresso B-Pods would taste, as I’ve seen plenty of coffee machines that advertise terrible espresso-type brews. Luckily, the Bruvi didn’t disappoint. It produced a lovely espresso that was slightly bitter and strong. It had a light golden crema on top that held sugar but didn’t reform when I put the thermometer. Still, the espresso had a thicker body than the coffee brews and went down smoothly. I’d say it’s on par with the espresso produced in Nespresso machines. 

bruvi coffee maker

Pouring coffee into a mug using the Dual Brew carafe (Image credit: Future)

You can also brew Americanos with the espresso B-Pods, where the espresso is brewed and hot water is added. It tasted rich and flavorful. Unfortunately, almost all the golden crema was gone before it finished brewing. An Americano is one of my go-to coffee drinks, and the Bruvi’s was on par with some coffee shops I frequent. 

The coffee brewed on the Bruvi is top-notch and flavorful, putting most Kuerigs to shame. You also can’t beat espresso B-Pods, which taste great and are insanely easy to use. If you want the best-tasting coffee in the convenience of a pod machine, the Bruvi is the coffee maker for you

Should you buy the Bruvi BV-03 Black Coffee Brewer?

Buy it if...

You want great-tasting coffee and espresso.

The Bruvi brews rich, flavorful, and high-quality coffee from its B-Pods that rivals coffee shops, while the espresso is strong and smooth with a golden crema, making it perfect on its own or in a specialty drink. 

You want a quick, easy-to-use coffee maker. 

This single-serve pod coffee maker automatically optimizes settings based on the B-Pod inserted, delivering a fresh cup of coffee in under two minutes. The touchscreen and app also allow you to customize your brew further. 

You want a sleek, stylish machine. 

Though bulkier than some coffee makers, the Bruvi feels well-built, features a handy touch screen with unique icons for control, and a sturdy aluminum alloy handle rounds out its look. 

Don't buy it if...

You want a variety of choices in pods. 

Bruvi is a relatively new single-serve pod machine, so unlike Keurig or Nespresso, there are only a limited number of B-Pods currently available. If a particular coffee brand is your go-to, reusable B-Pods are available for purchase. 

You want larger coffee brews. 

You can’t brew a coffee larger than 12oz, so if you want carafes for larger households or offices, you may want to seek another option. 

You want a milk steamer.

Even though the Bruvi does offer delicious espresso, it doesn’t come with a steamer to make specialty coffee house drinks like lattes or cappuccinos.  

How does the Bruvi BV-03 Black Coffee Brewer compare?

The Bruvi is hands down one of the best single-serve coffee makers available, but it is pricey, and there’s a limited selection of B-Pods. For a similar option, that’s about half the cost. With it, you can select different brew strengths and temperatures, and it even has a special BrewID feature similar to the Bruvi that recognizes K-cups and optimizes the brew. However, you must connect the machine to Wi-Fi to access that feature. K-cups are cheaper, come in a massive variety, and are much easier to find, which currently can’t be said for B-Pods.

Maybe you want to brew more than just single cups of coffee. The Ninja Dual Brew Pro should be right up your alley, as you can brew coffee between 4oz and 55 oz. Choosing between the traditional coffee ground and filter method or pods is possible. There are also various ways to brew similar to the Bruvi, including a rich and over-ice option. A milk frother is included to make specialty drinks, though you’ll find the specialty brew, which is supposed to be similar to an espresso, lacks in many ways. But that can be forgiven, as you can find this machine for $100 less than the Bruvi. 

The Bruvi can pull a great espresso. But it doesn’t offer a milk steamer to make coffee house drinks like a cappuccino or latte. A pod machine that gets that done well is the Nespresso Vertuo Creatista. It uses Nespresso capsules, which are easier to come by than B-Pods and are equally as delicious. Beyond that, the machine offers an easy-to-use milk steamer to make warm, frothy drinks at home. However, you can only brew espresso with the Nespresso, which’ll set you back a couple hundred more than the Bruvi. 

How I tested the Bruvi BV-03 Black Coffee Brewer

  • Tested for several weeks, using the machine daily
  • Replaced the Ninja Dual Brew/Casabrews espresso machine
  • Used almost every setting available 

I tested this coffee maker for several weeks over the holidays, so I also had my family try out the Bruvi and its drinks. I used almost every setting available on the machine, including all styles when brewing with coffee B-Pods and some styles when using espresso B-Pods. I would have at least one cup of coffee daily, ensuring the machine maintained peak performance after moderate use. 

Luckily, using the Bruvi didn’t require me to change my home or routine. It made my morning coffee routine easier. During testing, I used a food thermometer and sound meter on my phone to take measurements.

Read more about how we test.

  • First reviewed: January 2024
Danielle Abraham
Contributor

Danielle Abraham is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles who spends most of her time covering all things tech. When she’s not writing, you’ll probably find her obsessively reading, watching documentaries, listening to podcasts, or scouring the web for anything related to music history.