The Bonavita Electric Kettle

Front of the Banavita electric kettle

Last year I purchased a Bonavita electric kettle as part of my kit for brewing with the Clever Coffee Dripper at my desk.  I have now used this setup to brew well over 200 cups of coffee, and thought that I would pass along some thoughts on the Bonavita.  Read on to find out you what I like, and what I think could be improved on this kettle.

To me, the Bonavita bears somewhat similar aesthetics to a certain beeping, twirling robot from the 70’s…

When I first decided that I wanted an electric kettle, I did a lot of research; the geek in my would except nothing less.  The amount of available electric kettles on the market is a bit overwhelming, but as I sifted through the list of options, the Bonavita was often well reviewed and had all the features that I was after.

Before I start on my “dislikes”, let me say this: I use the Bonavita electric kettle a lot. It works great, and does exactly what it’s supposed to do. Consider the points below more “areas for improvement”, than real complaints. Sort of like the solid B student that does a good job, but would need to do some more work to become an A student.

The Looks
This one is totally subjective. For you, this might be the best looking kettle on the market. To me, the Bonavita bears somewhat similar aesthetics to a certain beeping, twirling robot from the 70’s… which is fine for robots, but maybe a little less desirable for kettles.

The Cord
The base has a very short cord. I have to assume this was done as a safety measure, but if the Bonavita is not placed right next to an outlet, you will have 2 choices: (1) use an extension cord, or (2) move the kettle.

The Lid


As someone who generally prefers to minimize plastic on just about anything, this is definitely a function before style comment: The lid could use more plastic to protect your hand when pulling the top off a hot pot. I find it pretty difficult to not touch the metal when prying the lid off the kettle.

The Weight
The Bonavita is a light weight kettle, almost to the point of feeling a little flimsy. This doesn’t hinder it’s performance, but it is noticeable when comparing it some more solidly built models.

The Protective Cover
The Bonavita electric kettle comes with a plastic cover, labeled: “Cover is provided for additional protection from water if used frequently or in a Commercial Setting”. If the unit needs such a cover, then I’m glad it’s included. Yet, the plastic cover doesn’t evoke confidence. Why is the cover necessary? Shouldn’t the design and build quality be sufficient? And what is considered frequent? The plastic cover also takes away from the attractiveness of the setup. It almost looks like the base is wearing a condom… something that fortunately none of my coworkers have noticed.

…and one more thing
While it has not been an issue, I notice that the top of the base is always a little warm. I’ve made it a habit to unplug the kettle over the weekend, but I don’t like that even when off, something inside the base is churning with enough electricity to generate warmth.


…a great kettle for pretty much anything that you need to heat water for.

Variable Temperature
My Bonavita electric kettle is a variable temperature model. This means that you can select the exact temperature you want, rather than taking a guess or measuring the temperature. Being able to set the temperature makes the brewing process simpler and more efficient.

Temperature Memory
With some variable temperature electric kettles, you have to set your desired temperature every time you turn the kettle on. While it isn’t a huge deal, it is nice that the Bonavita remembers your last used temperature setting. This holds true even when the unit has been unplugged.

Hold Button
Another nice feature is that you can “hold” the water temperature for up to an hour. This is great for those times that you can’t sit waiting for your kettle to get hot. When I’m working, I start the kettle, and just spin my chair back around when I hit a breaking point.

Because the Clever Dripper doesn’t necessarily require a super precise pour, I had originally planned to skip the goose-neck feature. However, when Charles made the point that having the goose-neck leaves the option to brew more traditional pour-overs, I acquiesced and decided that it was a feature worth investing in. It really makes pouring smooth and easy, which is especially nice when brewing a cup of coffee in a cubicle.

I work in a very quiet, cubical setting. I fact, I can hear a coworker typing right now, and she sits 2 cubes away! While there are quieter electric kettles on the market, the Bonavita electric kettle really doesn’t draw a lot of attention in the office. Sure, I can hear it bringing water to temperature at my desk, but when I stand up and walk 1 cube away, it’s not very noticeable. Beyond that, you’ve really got to listen for it.

The Wrap-Up
All-in-all, I really do like the Bonavita electric kettle.  The variable temperature and goose-neck make it extremely well suited for pour-over coffee.  Actually, it’s a great kettle for pretty much anything that you need to heat water for.


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