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Category: Product Review (Page 1 of 7)

Need a New Coffee Maker?- OXO 8 Cup Coffee Maker Review

When OXO approached me about sending me their new 8 cup coffee maker for review, I was a little leery. This is a manual brewing blog after all and I have been championing manual brewing methods for the last six years. After some deliberation, I decided a sponsored OXO 8 cup coffee maker review could be fun. The auto drip coffee maker scene has seen some changes since I last visited the subject in 2014. Let’s see what this new wave of automatic brewers is all about. 

OXO 8 Cup Coffee Maker Pros and Cons

The OXO 8 Cup Coffee Maker is a lovely looking coffee machine. I had the brief (fleeting) fancy to shoot an unboxing video on my YouTube channel when it arrived but I abstained. The branding and the machine itself are beautiful, a nice appearance upgrade to many of the automatic coffee makers out there. 

I spent a month or so testing this brewer and evaluating it. I made coffee for the office* with it, I made lazy Saturday morning coffee with it and I made one and two cup batches with it. My overall impression is that it is a well made and thoughtfully designed machine. 

I did not prefer coffee brewed with the OXO 8 Cup Coffee Maker to my usual pour-over ritual but if you are looking for an automatic coffee maker, this one should be seriously considered. Here are the pros and cons of this automatic brewer:


  • Looks great- As I mentioned above, this coffee maker is beautifully designed and doesn’t need to be hidden in your kitchen’s appliance garage (if you have one of those). 
  • Can brew a single cup (it is pretty good too)– This is a very nice feature. The achilles heel of many “golden cup” automatic coffee makers is that they brew their best coffee with a full batch. The OXO 8 Cup Coffee Maker makes a great single cup of coffee. 
  • SCA certified brewer- I will talk a little more about this feature later but this basically means it has been tested by the Specialty Coffee Association and it meets their standards.
  • Thermal Carafe (no heat plate)– Sitting on a heat plate is bad for coffee, this coffee maker includes a thermal carafe that keeps your coffee warm without scorching it and ruining the taste. 
  • Good size (not overly large)- Compared to some of the coffee makers in it’s class, the OXO 8 Cup Coffee Maker is a reasonable size (14.8″L x 9″W x 16.125”H). It fits neatly under upper cabinets and leaves space on the counter for other things. 
  • Reasonably priced (compared to other SCA brewers)- While the price of this coffee maker will vary, this coffee maker is on the lower end of the price scale for SCA certified brewers. (You can check the current price here).
  • More convenient than manual brewing- If you are looking for convenience, brewing with an automatic coffee maker like the OXO 8 cup coffee maker is certainly a little less time consuming and intense than manual coffee brewing. 
  • Can brew good coffee at full capacity- This coffee maker brews a good cup of coffee at full capacity with golden ratio (1:16.6 coffee to water ratio) dosages. This is important because a common automatic coffee maker “hack” is to brew at about 75% capacity so you can fit all the coffee grounds in the brewing basket without it overflowing. 


  • Small capacity- The OXO 8 cup coffee maker maxes out at eight 5 fluid ounce cups of coffee or about 1183 mL of coffee. This is an amount that can be reasonably brewed in a large Chemex
  • Limited filter options- This coffee maker is a flat bottom brewer. It also comes with an insert to brew smaller batches with a Kalita 185 filter. It would be really neat if they made a v60 insert that could be sold separately. I was able to use my Bairro Alto Air with the filter basket removed (it took a little finagling). 

What filters does the OXO 8 Cup Coffee Maker use? The OXO 8 Cup Coffee Maker uses standard sized flat bottom filters for larger batches and Kalita 185 filters for smaller batches. For large filters, I recommend using Melitta’s white coffee basket filters

  • Not a manual brewer- It can be hard to give up the control and ritual of manual brewing for the consistency and ease of an automatic coffee maker. I enjoy coffee brewed manually over coffee brewed with this machine. 
  • Needs a little intervention to brew the best cup- I found this coffee maker brews its best coffee when I stir the coffee bed in between the bloom cycle and the brew cycle. (Maybe that is just the manual brewer in me wanting to participate). This is quite common with automatic drip coffee makers and manual brewers alike.
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Book Review- The Philosophy of Coffee By Brian Williams

Over a year ago, a fellow coffee blogger and friend of mine, Brian Williams, sent me a copy of his book, The Philosophy of Coffee. It was my intention to read it and feature it in a post before the book became available in the U.S. (September 2018) but, alas, time does have a way of slipping through one’s grasp. Here we are, mid April 2019, and I wanted to let my readers know about the book and, if you have not found his blog yet, Brian himself. 

Brian Williams, author of the blog Brian’s Coffee Spot, published a book with The British Library early last year. The Philosophy of Coffee is a concise volume giving an overview and introduction to coffee. 

The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom. They boast a collection of over 150 million items in all sorts of mediums. You can check out their website to browse their digital collection. You can also find a few books of a similar breadth and format from the British Library such as The Philosophy of Beards.

The Philosophy of Coffee is a handsome, baby blue hardcover book, featuring a Moka Pot on the font and the spine (it looks quite charming sitting on the shelf next to my other coffee literature). It is very reasonably priced and would make a great gift, especially with the addition of a bag of quality craft coffee.  

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Third Wave Instant Coffee-Sudden Coffee Review

A few months ago, Sudden Coffee reached out to sponsor a post and sent me a care package for review. This was really great timing as a few days after I received my samples, I was off to the hospital with my wife for the birth of our fourth child. 

I was able to put this fancy instant coffee through the paces (and to good use) as I spent some time in places where having a good cup of coffee usually means bringing an Aeropress or American Press, a grinder, coffee and maybe even a hot water source. 

Overview of Sudden Coffee

Since 2015, Sudden Coffee has been leading the charge to change the way the craft coffee industry and it’s consumers view instant coffee.

Instant coffee has a pretty poor reputation in the industry. The stigma goes back to days of mass produced, burnt and processed instant coffee made from the cheapest components manufacturers could procure (this instant coffee still exists today). Sudden Coffee is not like these traditional instant coffees, they take a very different approach. 

Sudden Coffee is made from single-origin, quality coffee. The process that they use is proprietary and not readily available information but it is distinctly different from traditional methods. It is engineered to capture the qualities of a deliciously crafted manually brewed cup of coffee in a convenient drink-anywhere form. The shelf life is reported at greater than six months— you really can’t beat that.

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