Bunn coffee makers have been around for a really long time, and their classic cupcake-style coffee filters have been around for even longer. Did you know they invented those things?
You don’t have to be a Bernie Sanders supporter in the current American presidential race to FEEL THE BUNN! My apologies, I had to mention Bernie in order to justify my terrible pun. Whether you Feel the Bern, Feel the Bunn, or just feel so tired you need chug a pot of coffee, all that really matters is coffee! Finally, something we can all rally around.
The purpose of this article is to do something Bernie would never approve of: salute a big corporation. If you’ve been drinking coffee for a while, chances are you’ve already experienced coffee from a Bunn coffee maker even if you don’t own one. Bunn, you see, is a really old company. Bunn coffee makers have been a mainstay in the restaurant business for decades and, to this day, they still maintain a pretty dominant presence in 24-hour diners pretty much anywhere you go. Bunn coffee is often poured from those coffee makers that can keep two or three coffee pots warm at a time, which Bunn invented. Coffee purists will argue that having even one warming plate on a coffee maker is an unforgivable sin, but those purists probably aren’t sitting in a diner where the waitress knows everyone by name and refills coffee cups all day long. The next time you’re drinking coffee in a restaurant or diner, try to take a peek at where the coffee is coming from. There’s a good chance it’s coming from a Bunn coffee maker.
So does this mean that Bunn coffee is something you should associate with lousy coffee? Absolutely not. Bunn has really stepped up their game over the years and they now produce some of the best coffee makers on the market. Their equipment isn’t designed to compete with high-end coffee makers like Bonavita, Behmor, or Technivorm, but that was never their intention. Bunn’s coffee identity over the years has remained largely unchanged: machines that produce quality coffee in as little time as possible. That’s what Bunn coffee makers do in restaurants all over the world, and that’s what their machines do in homes all across America and beyond. Good, fast coffee is what Bunn produces in their line of Velocity Brew coffee makers, and the fact that their company’s history is so intertwined with coffee culture is one of the reasons the brand still endures today.
Just how big a part of the coffee universe is Bunn? Take a moment to think about the coffee filters you currently use. Are those coffee filters flat-bottomed, a.k.a. “cupcake” style? That’s another Bunn coffee innovation. Back in the 50s, a man named George Bunn came up with this filter design in an effort to produce coffee with a smoother taste. The idea was simply that cone-shaped filters will result in hot water passing through the bottom-most grounds more than they do the coffee grounds at the top of the filter, so therefore the cone filter could be improved upon. If you think about it, it’s pretty obvious; this is the same reason that the shaved ice at the bottom of a sno-cone always has a stronger flavor than the top part. It’s all about gravity, and the cone-shaped coffee filters that are still in use today are at least somewhat subject to this principle. Bunn’s cupcake filter with the flat bottom is less prone to having the bottom grounds being over-saturated, and that’s why the filter remains so popular. This is not to say you can’t get good coffee out of a cone filter…you most certainly can…but Bunn’s flat-bottomed filter is a different approach that many still prefer.
I could have chosen to write about any other coffee machine maker out there in the market today, and there are plenty. Mr. Coffee and Hamilton Beach, for example, are two of the most prolific coffee machine makers in the world but their products aren’t exactly the stuff of legend. Mr. Coffee does produce some decent units (considering the low price point) and their name has some history behind it as well, but nobody brags that they have a Mr. Coffee sitting on their kitchen counter. People do, indeed, brag about owning a Bunn. As for Hamilton Beach, well, they know where their market is. It’s basically the same market as Mr. Coffee (the cheap coffee maker market, that is), but Hamilton Beach is famous for dressing up their very mediocre products in attractive product design which lures in new buyers but attracts few repeat customers. Bunn coffee makers, even the Velocity Brew line, are not perfect by any means, but even the most expensive high-end coffee makers are going to be flawed in some respect no matter who manufactures them. That’s just how the world is when you pour water into an electronic device. The thing about Bunn is that they have been, and continue to be, very consistent in what they want to give consumers. Whether it’s a commercial-grade Bunn coffee maker that serves a restaurant or a perpetually-heated Bunn coffee maker on your granite countertop, their goal remains serving coffee that is both hot and fast. An added bonus is that Bunn’s customer service reputation is generally very positive, and if you ever have a coffee maker crisis you will understand immediately how important that reputation is.
In conclusion, Bunn is a company that has made its mark in the world of coffee as an innovator and as a provider of quality products. Maybe you came here looking for a reason to buy a Bunn coffee maker, or maybe you came here looking for Bunn coffee maker complaints. Or maybe you’re just incredibly bored. Regardless, I hope you have a slightly better understanding of Bunn coffee products. They have stood the test of time because they’re great at what they do.