Braun BrewSense Review: Why this Machine Overpowers the Competition
While specialty coffee makers, home espresso brewers, and industrial burr grinders may be all the rage recently, for many of us, nothing quite beats the convenience of a drip coffee maker. There's something special about having a reliable, compact, and high-performance machine that serves a delicious cup of joe whenever we want.
Yes, there's certainly room for a large cappuccino maker in some of our kitchens. Yet, the desire for a well-made drip machine remains ever-present. The Braun BrewSense stands near the top of the list for people on the lookout for an excellent cup of drip coffee, that delivers a tasty cup of Joe every day without breaking the bank.
In this Braun coffee maker review, we will take a deep dive into the details behind this device, primarily the BrewSense 12 cup machine. Along the way, we hope to cover all the features, weigh the pros and cons, and answer any lingering questions about drip coffee makers.
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Braun Coffee Maker Reviews
Braun has a long history of designing top-flight machines that appeal to a wide range of coffee drinkers. They've been successful in blending sophisticated German design elements with quality materials. And here's the key: they've kept up their commitment to producing reasonably-priced products from the beginning.
The BrewSense line of drip coffee makers has changed a little over the years, but what matters to our review is the current KF7170 model. We believe it outperforms all the prior versions as well as most competitors' machines in the same price range.
Before we start to talk about what distinguishes this unit from all the rest, let's get all the specifications out of the way.
- Width: 7.9 inches
- Depth: 7.9 inches
- Height: 14.2 inches
- Water tank capacity: 12 cups
- Materials: Stainless Steel, Plastic
- Weight: 7.1 lbs
Braun Coffee Maker Features
To get into a little more detail, we'd like to briefly run down the selling points for this model. We want to give you a clear general idea of what to expect from the BrewSense before you decide to buy.
✅ Brews both bold and regular drip coffee types
✅ Large LED display and easy-to-read buttons aid with accessibility
✅ Dishwasher safe internal parts (place them on the top shelf)
✅ Fully Programmable on/off mode
✅ Generous 12 cup brewing capacity great for guests and visitors
🚫 Relatively slow brewing time
🚫 Water reservoir may be difficult to access
Braun Company Background
Though Braun has been around since 1921, it wasn't until the '50s when they forayed into kitchen appliances and eventually drip coffee machines. Throughout the mid-century, the company nearly dominated the market as the face of innovative designs combined with cost-effective end prices.
Around 1972 marks the year Braun revolutionized drip coffee machines. From then on, Braun coffee makers have led the industry. In the last few years, their line of BrewSense units grew in popularity where now they are one of the most desired drip machines on the market.
Known for their simple profile, low cost, mix of plastic and stainless steel structure, and reliable LED screen, it's easy to see why Braun stands above the competition like Mr. Coffee, Atomi, Cuisinart, and even Bunn.
Braun BrewSense Drip Coffee Maker Review
With the basic breakdown of Braun's features, pros and cons, and specifications in the background, let's proceed to the review.
We like to keep our reviews streamlined, intuitive, and easy to understand. So, we've adopted a simple five-point scale to quantify our ratings in a few categories. One being the lowest rating, five the highest.
In the course of our review, we always keep in mind the needs and requirements of our readers. Our key principles for judging a product come from personal experience. With that, let's get started!
Design/Build Quality 4.5/5
As you may see from the specs, this machine is quite compact and will easily fit on a medium-sized kitchen counter. The low weight keeps it squarely in the lightweight category. The design makes it easy to move or transport to other locations.
The primary material on the outside is brushed stainless steel, while molded plastic makes up most of the interior. All in all, it's a handsome machine with a sleek and stylish look.
Holding the coffee maker up with our hands, it gives an impression of a solid, dense build. It's heavy enough to stand firmly on the counter without any movement during brewing. The stainless steel shell is mostly responsible for that.
Another aspect of the machine's design that we liked was its symmetrical shape. The base is virtually square, a design feature that should make it appealing to homeowners with a symmetrical eye for interior design.
Generally, we could call the design minimalistic, industrial, but inviting. It still has all the hallmarks of coffee makers from twenty years ago--a large upper reservoir, central space for the thermal carafe, and a nice large display.
To be honest, the BrewSense drip coffee maker doesn't have the modern shape of Ninja models or uber-popular Keurigs. It's a decidedly reserved and conservative automatic coffee maker. So, keep in mind that there are plenty of cutting-edge other coffee makers that may look more striking than the Braun.
Several elements have to go together for a drip machine to make your morning coffee tasty. The machine has to perform well every day and deliver consistently delicious cups.
With the BrewSense, you get the option to select regular or bold strengths. Many models in this price range don't include that, so you're already ahead of the performance coming from single-strength brews.
Of course, everyone enjoys their coffee in their special way. But your average coffee drinker likes to have their cup of joe be consistent from morning to morning. The BrewSense drip coffee maker has a few features that will ensure your brewed coffee retains its flavor for hours.
The glass carafe has a specially-designed airtight lid that seals in flavor for at least five hours. No need for careful pouring--the seal protects the skin from any excess coffee drip.
Additionally, the machine allows users to pour a fresh cup while the machine is still in mid-brew without dripping. This mechanism minimizes air exposure for the brew and keeps the drip from releasing aroma and flavor until the moment you're ready for a cup.
Lastly, we rate the performance high because of the Braun gold-tone filter basket. Unlike paper filters, the included reusable metallic filter allows essential oils to reach your cup.
There's also a charcoal filter that purifies your water source, giving the ground coffee an extra dimension of crispness and a clean taste.
The only drawback that the BrewSense drip coffee maker has is a lack of SCAA certification. While many machines also lack this distinction, some connoisseurs may find a reason to think twice about this model.
Ease of Use 4/5
The coffee quality that the BrewSense provides is excellent and customizable to your tastes. It looks professional, compact, and durable. But what good is an excellent drip coffee machine if it's impossible to use? On the whole, this unit checks off most of our requirements for ease of use.
First, let's start with our gripes. The primary problem area is the coffee maker's reservoir. Sometimes we had a hard time accessing it and measuring how many cups of water we still needed to supply to fill it. The demarcations for the water level are inside the machine. If there were an area on the outside, it would be easier to see.
Another minor quibble we had was about cleaning. The thermal carafe is more difficult than it should be to scrub and wash. Keeping the carafe clean every day easily solves the issue, but sometimes we forget to empty the coffee at the end of the day. As a result, we saw stains and burn marks on the carafe which were somewhat hard to clean.
Our two main problems are not deal-breakers by any means. Simply use the demarcations on the carafe to measure water, and wash it every day.
Overall, the machine is easy to clean. A simple damp rag will remove any stains, and the carafe is dishwasher safe. Most of the parts are BPA-free too, which makes them safe for storing liquids in.
We want to add a note about the BrewSense's LED display and the selection buttons. Compared to some multi-function espresso machines and even the best coffee maker models with higher price tags, the Braun is straightforward and easy to read. The plate will keep coffee warm and coffee hot for hours.
The control panel has ten buttons arranged horizontally under the monitor. From the panel, users can easily set up the clock and the 24-hour programmable timer. Who doesn't like having an option to customize when the machine starts brewing in the morning well before wake-up time.
We give the Braun BrewSense a 4/5 for ease of use, lauding its legible display and easy clean-up.
When we decide to purchase a new drip coffee maker, there are certain features that we expect to come standard in the box. A quality power cable, carafe, drip trays, and measuring scoops. The Braun BrewSense drip coffee maker includes all these features and then some.
The first stand-out accessory included with the drip coffee maker is its state-of-the-art permanent gold-tone coffee filter. This unit delivers extra essential oils, aromas, and complex flavors to the drip coffee which traditional paper filters leave behind in the grounds.
Of course, users are welcome to substitute paper filters for the gold-tone filter. Just keep in mind that this model requires No. 4 cone-style filters.
Another feature that makes this Braun coffee maker unique is the charcoal water filter that comes standard for deep cleans. This component is responsible for delivering superior water composition compared to competitors. Just apply the charcoal during scheduled cleaning sessions, and the drip coffee will remain clean and fresh.
The anti drip system also distinguishes the Braun BrewSense from other coffee makers. Hot coffee is ready as soon as the brewing process has begun. We don’t have to wait five minutes for the reservoir to empty. This feature nearly eliminates the risk of burning skin if one reaches for a quick cup. It also seals in the drip coffee, minimizing exposure to the air.
Lastly, the 24-hour programmable timer improves the ease of use and makes it much easier to keep a hands-off approach to preparing drip coffee if you're busy in the mornings (like most of us!). Type in the desired hour and minute, and the drip coffee maker will begin to brew.
Value For Money 4.5/5
The Braun BrewSense is available for purchase from a variety of online vendors, including Amazon, Walmart, and Crate & Barrel. Customers can also buy the machine directly from the manufacturer. On average, the cost of this model remains consistent regardless of the site.
We should also keep in mind the generous three-year warranty that comes along with it. Braun stands alone in its commitment to long-term relationships with its customers. They also extend a phone line for customers at (888) 977-3578 which has a staff of representatives available Mon-Friday from 9 am-8 pm to answer any maintenance or service questions.
Combining the customer service, long customer warranty, and widely accessible online presence, we believe that Braun gives, in its own right, excellent value for customers. The BrewSense could be considered something of a bargain when compared to machines that make fresh brewed coffee in the same price range.
The only glaring features that the Braun coffee maker lacks are a quicker brew time (it averages four and a half minutes) and a certification from the SCAA. When we take these downsides and weigh them against its strengths and cost, we're confident that the BrewSense is an excellent value.
Next up in our review, we'd like to discuss some of the pressing issues that any drip coffee enthusiast might have before buying a new coffee machine. Our goal with this buying guide is to clear up any last questions or comments on the Braun BrewSense drip coffee maker.
How Does One Use the Braun BrewSense?
It's a pretty basic question, but one that can make or break any purchase. Regardless of the drip coffee machine brand, we find that most units share a few common elements that make it easy to use and fun to program. The BrewSense keeps it simple.
First, fill the water reservoir to your desired portion. As we stated above, the measuring lines in this Braun coffee maker are located inside the unit. On dark mornings it can be a challenge to measure appropriately. We recommend using the lines on the glass carafe for accurate portions.
Next, add the coffee grounds directly to the gold-tone filter on the top of the machine. Replace the glass carafe under the brewer, tap in your brew strength, then press Brew.
Keep in mind, there's a separate button on the display that indicates brewing a smaller portion of coffee hot if you only plan on making one to four cups. With that, the brew will begin. If you want a cup as the coffee is dripping, just remove the carafe. The anti drip system will automatically stop the flow.
Who Should Buy This Coffee Maker?
Braun has done a terrific job in marketing the BrewSense coffee maker to a wide range of coffee drinkers. With a sturdy design and relatively few extra features that might drive the price tag up, this coffee maker takes up a solid space in the middle range of available options.
We recommend the Braun BrewSense primarily for those who want to take the next step from an entry-level coffee maker and explore the midrange's other features, a better warming plate, and programmable timers.
Another group of buyers who will be excited for the Braun BrewSense coffee maker are design-centric homeowners. The Braun model fits in with a clean, modern stainless steel look. The tiny LCD screen that used to define the Braun coffee maker look has been replaced with an illuminated digital clock. The reusable filter adds a touch of simplicity, too.
Finally, we agree that coffee dorks of all stripes will appreciate the coffee makers’ blend of function and style. We give 5 stars to the hot plate, variable brew strength, the machine's cleaning cycle, and the ease with which coffee starts brewing from the first cup to the last.
We also don't want to forget Braun's Pureflavor technology--an added feature that keeps a fresh pot tasty thanks to the keep warm setting.
Why The Braun BrewSense May Not Be Right For You
For every consumer group who might be attracted to the Braun BrewSense's reliable coffee brewing, there are others for whom the coffee maker isn't a good fit. Though we can't stress enough how wide-ranging the BrewSense's appeal can be, there are a few groups of people who might not like it.
For a coffee maker half the price of the Braun, buyers could easily find a machine that makes a similarly good cup of coffee. If one is willing to go without the charcoal water filter, thermal carafe, reliable brew cycle, and the compact profile on one's counter space, then one could save some money. If one's on a budget, these added features aren't strictly necessary.
The Braun Brew Sense is certainly different from the mechanics of a French press or a middle coffee maker that allows you to control the brewing process firsthand. For people craving the coffee flavor that comes from a pour-over where you control the brewing time directly, then we wouldn't recommend this coffee maker.
Verdict: Both Models Rock
The Braun BrewSense drip coffee maker occupies a position in the coffee maker market right between pour-over manual makers and pricier multi-function machines. If customers are looking for a hot cup of coffee quickly made with a quality filter basket, it's hard to find a better coffee maker at this price point.
Likewise, Braun doesn't skimp from offering a full pot of coffee with enough customizable options to satisfy drip coffee maker fans. Its sizable water tank and gold-tone filter basket reward careful users with a brew immediately tastier than rival makers.
We hope that we've provided our readers with all the ins and outs behind this drip coffee maker! The BrewSense drip coffee maker is a great all-in-one product at an optimal price point that should serve the majority of coffee lovers for years and years.
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