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Danielle Abraham

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

Bruvi coffee machine.

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 actually 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 handy waste bin for used B-Pods—which are similar in size 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 to brew from your phone. Though, I found it mostly pointless since it's so simple and quick just to do it on the touch screen. And when I say quick, I mean it. A fresh cup of coffee was ready in under two minutes, and you don’t even 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. 

When it comes to 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 Keurig machines I’ve tried, while even its espresso brew keeps up with the best Nespresso 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. 

Bruvi BV-03 Black Coffee Brewer: Product specifications

Bruvi BV-03 Black Coffee Brewer: price and availability

The Bruvi BV-03 Black Coffee Brewer has a list price of $373.00 and is available to buy only from Bruvi. 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 come in limited varieties currently. A pack of 60 Mulholland Roasters Columbia Coffee B-Pods can be bought from Amazon with prices starting from $69.30, whereas a pack of 60 Wonderland Coffee De La Case Medium-Dark Roast Coffee is slightly more affordable with prices 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 yourself some money with this option since the Bruvi BV-01 Brewer is bundled with 20 B-Pods on Amazon where it is often discounted. At the time of writing it could be yours for $350.24. 

Bruvi BV-03 Black Coffee Brewer: first impressions

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 used in the packaging; there was virtually none other than some tape to keep different parts of the device from coming 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 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 the majority of that time was spent waiting for the filter bag to finish soaking in water. Afterward, it was simple to snap in 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 decided to rinse out the water tank before brewing as well, 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 a total of about 15 minutes. 

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. 

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’s easy to move and fits well on the countertop. Part of why it’s bigger is thanks to the waste bin that holds up to six B-Pods and a 70oz removable water tank, so you don’t have to do too much before making the majority of your brews.  

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. But after a bit of research, I learned that the pods actually 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 be able to make specialty drinks like a latte or cappuccino, especially since it brews espresso. I usually stick to black coffee and Americanos, so that wasn’t a big deal to me. Luckily, milk frothers are pretty inexpensive if you're looking 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 and every brew, the variety of brew sizes and style options, and the ease of use. 

When brewing coffee in the Bruvi, all I needed to do was 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.  

(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 is like your normal coffee, but it brews at a lower temperature for less ice dilution, and cold brew makes 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 of a 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 around for the machine to warm up, either. The Bruvi is also incredibly quiet, measuring just 60dB, and 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. 

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.

There are two other B-Pod types 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 honestly just 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, the only setting available on the Bruvi is hot water. The maximum temperature the water reached was about 170°F, but you can still use it for oatmeal or some 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. When the coffee maker is connected to Wi-Fi, you can make a brew from your phone. 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 when it takes under 2 minutes for a fresh cup of coffee, why even bother scheduling it? 

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, no matter if you’re brewing from your phone or the machine. I liked keeping track of my family and my own 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 on several occasions for brewing coffee without telling me and letting me taste-test it. 

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

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 on several occasions, I didn’t pay close enough attention and overfilled the bin. It actually 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. Plus, 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 an espresso to prevent drippage. 

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

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

Emptying the waste bin, rinsing the drip tray, and filling the water tank are the biggest and 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 right 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.

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

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

Bruvi BV-03 Black Coffee Brewer review: taste test

Perhaps most important is how the coffee tastes, and I’m happy to say it’s absolutely delicious. When using pod machines, a lot 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— which included 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 literally 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 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 immediately drink, 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, on the low acid setting, some of the flavor got lost. 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. When I threw some ice cubes in and drank it, the coffee was still rich and flavorful. 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 espresso-type brews that are terrible. 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 in it. 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. 

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 then hot water is added. It tasted rich and flavorful. But, 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 full of flavor, 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 I buy the Bruvi BV-03 Black Coffee Brewer?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

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, the Keurig K-Supreme SMART Coffee Maker is a solid pick. 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. Speaking of K-cups, they 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. It’s even possible to choose between the traditional coffee ground and filter method or pods. 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, and it’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 per day, ensuring the machine maintained peak performance after moderate use. 

Luckily, I didn’t need to make any changes to my home or routine when using the Bruvi. In fact, it made my morning coffee routine easier.  And 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

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