At just under $100, the Brawn Brew Sense is an excellent buy for anyone who wants good tasting coffee on a budget, especially if you don't have the time or desire to tinker with a wide range of settings. That's not to say it doesn't have a few nifty tricks up its sleeve, but its primary objective is to simply brew a smooth cup of coffee.
Plus, it's not terribly bulky so it should fit nicely on any countertop. This combination of affordability and compact design also suits college students or post-grads moving into their first apartment.
In fact, we've placed the Braun KF6050WH Brew Sense at the top of our list of the best coffee makers. After a couple of weeks of careful testing (and plenty of caffeine), we're here to share our thoughts on why this highly-acclaimed coffee maker is deserving of its number one spot.
Braun Brew Sense KF6050WH: Price
The Braun Brew Sense KF6050WH was released in 2018 with an MSRP of $120.95. Today, it's available at Amazon for $89.95. It's among the least expensive Brew Sense drip coffee makers available – the cheapest being the Braun KF7000BK for $15 less. Aside from its all-black finish, the KF7000BK is otherwise identical in functionality to the KF6050WH.
A permanent gold-tone filter is included to help cut back on recurring costs, although you can use #4 paper filters if you prefer. Just remember to wash the reusable filter well after each use to avoid sediment in your drinks (it's dishwasher-safe).
Cup capacity: 10 cups (40 oz)
Size: 7.9 x 7.9 x 14.2 inches
Features: programmable timer, brew pause
Warranty: 3 years
Braun Brew Sense: Features
The Braun Brew Sense is a relatively straightforward coffee maker. It can brew enough coffee for up to 12 cups at 5 oz apiece, or a single 11-oz travel mug.
There's a 24-hour programmable timer, should you want to wake up to a fresh pot of coffee in the morning. If you don't need a full carafe, the 1-4 cup setting will allow you to make up to four cups of coffee – ideal for solo drinkers (such as myself, most mornings) or couples.
The machine will automatically turn off after two hours, but you can program the shut-off time in 5-minute increments if you need to keep your coffee warmer longer. I appreciated this feature whenever I had company or wanted to space out my morning cups of coffee.
The Brew Pause feature will let you pour a cup of coffee at any point during the brew cycle, if you must have your caffeine fix ASAP. The coffee machine will stop working when the carafe is removed from the base for up to 20 seconds, so you'll have to make it a quick pour.
A 'clean' warning will appear when it's time to descale the coffee maker from calcium buildup. Pressing the 'clean' button will activate the descaling process, which takes about 45 minutes. Holding the 'clean' button will allow you to set the water hardness level.
A couple of notable omissions from the Braun KF6050WH that I personally miss are a brew strength selector and temperature controls for the hot plate. However, those features are present in the slightly pricier Braun Brew Sense KF7150BK drip coffee maker.
Braun Brew Sense KF6050WH: Design
The Braun KF6050WH Brew Sense measures 7.9 x 7.9 x 14.2 inches. Its small footprint makes it perfect for kitchens with limited counter space but it'll also suit an office break room or a college dorm. A coffee scoop is included, but you'll need to provide your own storage for it.
The 60-oz non-removable water reservoir is hidden from plain view, which gives the KF6050WH a sharp, seamless profile. Atop the coffee maker is a stainless steel lid that lifts up to reveal a removable brew basket, a gold-tone permanent filter, and the reservoir – complete with a charcoal water filter and unmissable neon green water level indicators.
The Braun KF6050WH Brew Sense fit perfectly on my countertop, and although there was plenty of clearance underneath my cabinet, I did have to pull the appliance forward to add coffee and water – a minor inconvenience, really, but an inconvenience, nonetheless.
The front of the Braun Brew Sense KF6050WH hosts the control panel, which includes an on/off button and seven buttons corresponding to various functions. Above the control panel is a digital display that shows the time. Unfortunately, this is quite small and not backlit, which makes it difficult to read in low or intense lighting. This may be troublesome for those with poorer vision, such as myself.
At the base is a warming plate, which holds a 60-oz glass carafe. The carafe is dishwasher-safe and has a plastic lid that I found difficult to snap back into place at times.
Braun Brew Sense KF6050WH: Ease of use
Setting up the Braun KF6050WH Brew Sense takes at least 20 minutes if you install the included charcoal filter, which must be soaked before use. This step is optional, but recommended if you use tap water or simply want your water to be as pure as possible for optimal brewing. (The filter will have to be replaced every two months.)
Beyond that, operating the Braun KF6050WH is fairly simple. Just turn it on, fill the water reservoir, add your coffee grounds (I found medium grind to work best), and press the 'brew' button. Braun recommends adding one tablespoon for each cup you'll brew, adjusting to suit your taste. Anything beyond 15 tablespoons will cause the brew basket to overflow.
It takes about eight-and-a-half minutes to brew eight cups of coffee, which is a much slower pace than the premium Technivorm Moccamaster KBGV Select and closer to the Ninja Specialty's 'classic' setting. There's no alarm to indicate when the Braun KF6050WH is finished brewing but the loud popping sound at the end of the brew cycle is an obvious tell.
There are a couple of caveats to note here. First, filling up the non-removable water tank can be a cumbersome process, especially if you rely on a tethered water source. Also, the 1-4 cup setting is a convenience I would have liked to take advantage of, especially since I was only making coffee for myself most mornings. However, there was no way for me to select just how many cups I wanted brewed, so I merely filled the reservoir with enough water for what I wanted that morning.
Braun Brew Sense: Performance
For a sub-$100 drip machine, the Braun Brew Sense KF6050WH makes some tasty coffee. Of course, it's not on Moccamaster's level, but with the right grind consistency and a properly-cleaned permanent filter, my coffee was balanced and flavorful, whether it was a nutty-and-fruity light roast or a bolder roast with hints of dark chocolate.
The hot plate does an excellent job of keeping coffee warm, even after several hours. There were mornings when I had a significant gap between my first and second cups of coffee – and the latter cup was as warm as the one that was poured immediately after brewing.
The night before an early-morning wake up call, I set the programmable timer for the KF6050WH's auto-brew function. This feature worked without a hitch, and I was greeted with a fresh pot of coffee as soon as I got out of bed.
The Brew Pause feature worked quite well, as I was able to pour myself a cup of coffee midway through the brewing process without anything dripping onto the hot plate. I did have to be mindful of the 20-second window to prevent the machine from resuming the brewing process without the carafe back in place, though.
It should be noted that the Brew Sense KF6050WH does make a fair bit of noise throughout the brewing process, with a prominent popping sound at the end of the cycle. (In lieu of a proper alarm, listening for this popping sound will help remind you when your coffee's ready.)
What We Didn't Like
For anyone with poor vision (including myself), the Braun KF6050WH's LCD can be difficult to read unless you're in a decently-lit room. A larger display or a backlight would have been nice to include here, as seen on the more expensive Braun Brew Sense KF7170SI drip coffee maker.
The Braun KF6050WH Brew Sense isn't terribly difficult to operate, but some of the directions are vague and it takes a bit of self-sufficiency to get it right. As noted earlier, there's little explanation included on how to properly program the 1-4 cup setting, a feature I was really looking forward to trying since I can get by with one or two cups of coffee most days.
While the seamless design of the Braun Brew Sense KF6050WH drip coffee maker is sharp, the trade-off is a water reservoir that's difficult to access. This is a universal – and justified – complaint most associated with this machine.
Should You Buy the Braun KF6050WH Brew Sense?
The Braun Brew Sense KF6050WH is one the best drip coffee makers you can buy if you need a basic, budget-friendly coffee maker. Its attractive design and small footprint means it'll fit in anywhere, from a tiny apartment kitchen to a cramped college dorm room. But the Braun Brew Sense is more than its good looks – it's capable of brewing a delicious, balanced cup of coffee, too.
This will appeal to people who don't want to be inundated with myriad features, like the barista-level Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System. If you're keen to overlook its few flaws and you're willing to exercise a little patience, the Braun Brew Sense KF6050WH will provide you with tremendous value.
The consistency of your coffee grounds will make or break your flavor experience. Check out our list of the best coffee grinders so you can produce the perfect grinds at home. Meanwhile, see what the best Cuisinart coffee makers have to offer, or peep our guide to the best espresso machines if you want to make cafe-quality brews in the comfort of your kitchen.