Not because it'll deliver a cup of coffee that'll murder what your favorite barista's tattooed arms wring out of a really delicious coffee from Honduras with a fancy water kettle and ceramic dripper, or even Starbucks' secret pourover bot, but because Bodum speaks truth when it asks, "Has there ever been a coffee system in more dire need of re-invention than the drip system?"
The problem with the automatic dripper machine that is probably sitting on your counter—or least one of the problems—is that except for perhaps Technivorm's machines, most don't deliver water that's hot enough to correctly brew coffee, and the temperature is about as stable as Ron Paul's mental condition. Which is what makes Bistro interesting: It promises water "over" 194 degrees—195-205 is the magic range—along with a spiral heating element that minimizes heat loss for a more stable brew temperature.
The other key thing it promises is an even distribution of water over the coffee bed—necessary for an even extraction. (Check the spent coffee grounds in your brewer; if they're sloped or angled weirdly, your machine probably isn't distributing the water evenly.)
If it manages to evenly distribute water at the correct temperature and keep it stable, then yeah, it's going to kill whatever machine you have on your counter. The only real ding I have is that it uses a titanium-plated stainless steel filter instead of paper, so you're going to wind up with more body than clarity, but that's a personal preference. Oh, and it's $250. But this could well be the best home drip machine on the market right now, outside of the Technivorm. It's certainly prettier. And good taste isn't cheap. I'm certainly planning on taking a look, and I shunned automatic drippers a long, long time ago. [Bodum via Mike White]
Update: Also of note if you're looking to upgrade your automatic drip game for less—Bonavita's machines are Specialty Coffee Association of America-approved, and run around $130.
P.S. Coffee nerds: My suspicion is that this year we might see a swing back toward more automation/machinery/techno-wizardry as we look for more consistency in coffee, after the last couple years of post-Clover wild and crazy haze of manual techniques that often produce delicious coffee, but not often very consistently. Yes/no?