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Tag: product review (Page 1 of 3)

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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Atlas Coffee Club Review- Exploring and Tasting Coffee Origins

Last month, Atlas Coffee Club sent me some samples of their geography inspired coffee subscription program for feedback and as a possible blog post topic. I found their program and mission statement to be interesting and thought it might be something my readership would enjoy.

Since I started roasting my own coffee, the impact of geography on nearly every aspect of how a coffee tastes has fascinated me. Many consumers have a tendency to overlook the importance of coffee origin on the final product.  Climate, altitude, available facilities, local traditions and access to water are all part of the coffee story. These geographical factors (and many more) have a significant influence. Coffee travels a great distance and is touched by many hands before it ends up in your coffee mug. 

Atlas Coffee Club is on a mission to change how consumers think about coffee by spotlighting the coffee-geography link.

What is Atlas Coffee Club?

Atlas Coffee Club is a monthly coffee subscription service with an emphasis on the places where coffee grows. This company is hoping to move coffee lovers away from buying coffee at the grocery store and introduce them to single origin coffees from some of the fifty plus countries where coffee is grown.

They source their coffee through direct relationships with farmers and specialty coffee importers. So far the company has featured over twenty different countries including some pretty unique origins— Myanmar, Zambia, Ecuador, Malawi. Atlas coffee club cups over 300 specialty coffees a year and only shares their 12 favorites.

The coffee of the month subscription box is designed to feature a single country every month. They are self proclaimed  “coffee tour guides” desiring to showcase coffee destinations. Each month you’ll get the opportunity to explore a coffee region by sampling high quality coffee. These coffees are sourced with seasonality in mind and to highlight the qualities each locale has to offer. 

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Bean Box Coffee Subscription Review

If I were to ask what comes to mind when you think of Seattle, coffee would no doubt be one of the top responses (along with rain and grunge music?). Seattle is renown for it’s coffee. Bean Box, a subscription company that focuses on Seattle area coffee roasters, sent me a sample of their subscription service (and more goodies- keep reading). I enjoy experiencing different coffee subscriptions and was excited to try out the service. Here are my thoughts on the Bean Box subscription service as well as their one time purchase “World Coffee Tour” which they also sent me. 

What is Bean Box?

As I mentioned above, Bean Box is a coffee subscription service that ships out Seattle (and Portland) area coffee on a monthly basis. You select a roast preference, a size preference (Four 1.8 oz tastes or one 12 oz bag) and receive coffee that is a scant few days out of the roaster. 

The site also features quite a few one-time coffee purchase options. These coffee bundles range from one-time small sampler tastings to the impressive World Coffee Tour Box, which features 16 coffees from around the world. 

Bean box boast a line up of 27 coffee roasters. Some of my favorites that they represent are Roseline, Kuma and Slate. There are also many other notable names like Coava, Dapper and Wise, Blue Beard… (you can find the entire list about halfway down their homepage).

Having a large pool of roasters to draw from creates a chance for the consumer to experience variety and different takes on coffee roasting. They even offer a Seattle Coffee Tour which, similar to the World Coffee Tour, features coffee from 16 different Seattle roasters. 

While there are quite a few companies that curate coffees and have them shipped to you super fresh, Bean Box’s subscription model gives them a leg up on delivery speed and personal touch. Because all of the coffees they ship are sourced locally, they can personally ship the coffee to you. With whole bags of coffee, this isn’t a huge difference but with the sample packs this means you may be getting your coffee several days to a week sooner than a company that has roasted coffee shipped to them, then repackages it and sends it out. 

If you are looking for a subscription company that delivers coffee quickly after it is roasted and like getting a variety of small samples, Bean Box should peak your interest. 

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