- Brew Quality (50%)7.2/10
- Design (15%)9.2/10
- Ease of Use (35%)9.0/10
- Brew Quality (50%)9.1/10
- Design (15%)9.8/10
- Ease of Use (35%)8.7/10
The Aquach and Bodum both have their pros and cons, but the Bodum is by far the superior cold brew coffee maker. The Bodum produces one of the best cold brew concentrates that we have tested. The Aquach, on the other hand, produces a slightly below-par brew even for an immersion filter brewer.
Using the layered brewing method—adding in grounds and water in a gradual and staggered manner—brewing with the Bodum takes more effort. There’s no filter to lift out but it does require some effort to press down the plunge filter after brewing.
The Aquach, like any other immersion filter, simply requires you to fill the filter, insert it into the carafe, and add water. This brewer is made of glass and the filter stainless steel so it can double up as a hot beverage brewer. However, the Bodum’s plastic is much more durable than the somewhat delicate glass of the Aquach.
- Bouquet (10%)7.0/10
- Drinkability (70%)7.0/10
- Sediment (20%)8.0/10
- Bouquet (10%)9.0/10
- Drinkability (70%)8.8/10
- Sediment (20%)10/10
When testing the bouquet, we noted that the steel decanter lip provided the perfect chamber for sampling the coffee’s aroma. The concentrate had an understandably medium-strength bouquet. Notes were not harsh or even roasted. Instead, we detected a light chocolatey note with a sweetish overtone.
The bouquet of the concentrate the Bodum brewed was quite strong. There was a well-defined roasted note with a hint of underlying caramel. Although confident, the bouquet was not defined by complexity.
The final drink, diluted at a one-to-one ratio, was comparatively weak. That’s not to say that it was unsatisfying. It lacked a complex body, but had a sweet overtone. Without dilution, a roasted and nutty flavor came through, but still, the aftertaste was not so rounded.
If you prefer a weaker brew with a milder taste, the drinkability of the Aquach is not bad at all. The brew ratio would suggest the coffee should be drunk as it is and not diluted. You could brew using the hot blooming method, brew at room temperature and for a longer time, or add flavor enhancers for a more robust drink.
The Bodum produced a strong and hearty full-roasted flavor. We used a 1:2 dilution of cold brew concentrate to water, yet further dilution is recommended for a standard coffee strength. The brew was full-bodied with no bitter flavor and the finish was perfectly smooth. The brew, however, lacked complexity except for a slight roasted caramel undertone. To get this favorable result we did two brew tests using different techniques detailed in the ‘Brewing’ section below.
The Aquach, with its super-fine filter, produced little sediment with only fine granules. Although it didn’t measure up to our leading brewer with a bottom tap filter, it was pretty comparable. For an immersion filter, however, this suggested a lack of permeability contributing to a weak brew.
The sediment test result of this coffee maker was excellent. There was hardly any detectable sediment, even fine granules. Coupled with this, the filtration method is one of the easiest among the freestyle brewing devices we’ve tested.
- Stopper / Lid (30%)10/10
- Filter (40%)8.0/10
- Build Quality (30%)10/10
- Stopper / Lid (30%)9.5/10
- Filter (40%)10/10
- Build Quality (30%)10/10
In the Box
- Box WDH: 2.1 x 2.1 x 9.6 inches
- Fully assembled unit
- Brew guide & manual leaflet
The Aquach comes in a nice box with key parts labeled on the side.The box is double layered, but we felt the decanter was a little overpackaged with three layers of plastic bubble wrap. The brew guide and manual were inside the decanter, and there were instructions for brewing tea as well as cold brew coffee.
- Box WDH: 5.5 x 5.1 x 9.5 inches
- Decanter with airtight lid
- Plunge filter with lid
- Measuring spoon
- Multilingual instruction leaflet
Most of all, we loved how the Bodum was boxed. It has a simple two-sided cardboard jacket that neatly folds out with an opening for the spout. It’s minimal and there was an additional bubble plastic wrapping. The device came fully assembled. Since it’s made in Portugal, the small instruction leaflet is in multiple languages including Russian, Chinese, and Japanese.
- Heightwith Stopper Lid:8.5 in (215 mm|)
- Base Diameter:5.5 in (140 mm)
- Width:6.3 in (160 mm)
- Weight:borosilicate glass
- Material:18.5 oz (526 g)
One way in which a cold brew coffee maker can distinguish itself is with a stylish decanter. Aquach does pretty well here. On the side is a measurement scale in milliliters and cups. The base, however, is a little wide, so it may not fit some fridge doors.
The flattish handle is very nice to grip, and the stainless steel lip and stopper are also very pleasing. Although the black silicone seal looks like any others, it’s better quality than we’ve seen on most brewers.
- Heightwith Stopper Lid:7.7 in (195 mm)
- Base Diameter:5.1in (130 mm)
- Width:7.5 in (190 mm)
- Weight:16.3 oz (462 g)
- Material:Plastic, silicone
The Bodum brew decanter is made entirely of plastic. It holds up to 37 fl oz (1.5 L) when full, so a plastic body certainly lightens the load. Notwithstanding, it’s also very durable and dishwasher safe. A key feature is the wide and comfortable handle with a silicone grip.
Stopper / Lid
- Diameter:3.1 in (80 mm)
- Material:stainless steel & polyurethane
- Additional Features:silicone seal
The nice thing about this brew decanter is the filter which simply lifts out of the container and its resting base remains as it is. This means there’s little difference in how the stopper fits with or without the filter present. The silicone seal is better quality than what we’ve seen on other brewers.
- Diameter:4.4 in (125 mm)
- Additional Features:Silicone seal, plunge filter
There are actually two lids for the Bodum cold coffee maker, both having much the same diameter. The brew lid is the one without the plunger. It’s also airtight with a silicone seal and fits the brew vessel very neatly.
The lid with the plunge filter attached has a handy lever that opens and closes the spout for pouring and an airtight silicone seal. Depending on the quantity of coffee grounds, the height can increase up to 10 cm or more due to the raised plunger.
- Length:5.9 in (150 hmm)
- Diameter:2.6 in (65 mm)
- Material:fine stainless steel
- Additional Features:lifting handle
The Aquach filter design is quite unique. For one, the filter has a convenient handle. It rests on the stainless steel lip so you can simply lift it up. The filter is smooth with no sharp edges. There are also holes on the bottom of the filter.
What surprised us, however, is how finely it filters. The tiny laser-cut holes are arranged in small rectangles. Our brew tests showed that the high quality filter design was a little too fine to allow a good brew to develop.
- Length:7.9 in (200 mm)
- Diameter:6.9 in (175 mm)
- Material:Plastic, stainless steel
- Additional Features:Silicone seal
The filter of the Bodum functions of course much the same as a French press. This means that filtering is quick and easy. The filter is a double-ply stainless steel mesh constructed around a plastic frame. Our sediment test score showed that the filter is one of the best.
The Aquatch Cold Brew Coffee Maker is a really well-designed product. It looks very stylish, the handle is easy to grip, and the filter design is practical. The stainless steel lip and lid work well together and the silicone seals are of good quality too. We also loved that there are no plastic parts except for the knob on the lid. However, as our tests revealed, the fundamental flaw comes from the actual design of the filter rather than the overall quality of the build.
For the price, the Bodum has excellent build quality. The lids fit perfectly, the pour lever is a nice feature, and the silicone seals and handle grip are of good quality. Some may not like the plastic body, preferring glass, however, it’s very durable and the product is designed and manufactured in Portugal.
Ease of Use
- Brewing (45%)9.0/10
- Decanting (35%)9.0/10
- Cleaning and Storage (20%)9.0/10
- Brewing (45%)9.0/10
- Decanting (35%)8.5/10
- Cleaning and Storage (20%)8.5/10
The brew filter takes around 80 g of coarse-ground coffee (14-16 tablespoons). We had to weigh the grounds, but they filled the filter to about an inch from the top. First, however, you should fill the decanter with water to the 600 ml mark — a third of the way up. Then, you insert the filter filled with grounds and continue pouring water until the water rises to the ‘Max’ marking.
We found it best to pour slowly and to leave the filter handle up until the pour is complete. The base of the brew decanter may be a little wide for some refrigerator doors, but it fits well in a standard crisper box or on a roomier shelf.
The Bodum doesn’t come with any brewing instructions other than: spoon in the coffee, pour the water, seal the lid, and refrigerate. The instruction manual and the website do not recommend any brew ratio. This kind of freestyle brewing is much appreciated, but it would be nice if the brew vessel had measurement markings to perhaps indicate approximate ratios.
In our first brew test, we simply took one standard bag of coffee ground of 8 oz and tipped the lot into the brew decanter. Next, we carefully measured and poured in 40 fl oz or 1.2 liters of water - about an inch and a half from the top, and stirred the contents. This was of course a perfect ratio of 1:5 of grounds to water — a ratio often recommended for making a strong cold brew concentrate. This ratio is comparable to other non-immersion filter brewers we have tested such as the OXO and the Toddy.
In the first taste testing, we were not entirely satisfied with the results due to a slightly sour edge to the brew and a lack of complete smoothness. We, therefore, brewed again, but this time took our cue from the Toddy brewing method.
We kept the same ratio but did layered brewing. We put a third of the grounds in the bottom and poured in 400 ml (13.5 fl oz) or two glasses of filtered water. To even the flow of the water, we poured around the edges using a wooden spoon. This mixture was left to settle and bloom for seven minutes undisturbed.
Then, we poured another third of the grounds on top and another two glasses of water. We gently pressed the grounds into the water and did the same with the remaining quantities. We did not disturb the contents by stirring, but sealed the brewer and placed it in the refrigerator for 18 hours. The brew quality result was much improved.
As with any immersion filter brewer, decanting is as simple as removing the filter. The Aquach brewer has a really comfortable design. The high-grade stainless steel filter has a little flip-up handle so you can pull it out.
Not all immersion filters have holes on the bottom. We found this design quite favorable to brewing and faster at decanting. After decanting, you should rinse any grounds from the filter lip before inserting it again with the stopper.
Decanting entailed a couple of operations. The first step is to activate the plunger, but you must make sure the lid is locked in place. After plunging, you just press down the lever on the lid, the spout will open, and you can pour. If you use the layered brewing method, it requires a bit of force to push the plunger down.
It operates much the same as any French press, however, since you’re making a cold brew concentrate, the design does leave some choices to be made. The manufacturer’s intention seems to be that you would leave the plunger depressed and store again in the refrigerator. This means that the concentrate will brew further.
We decided, after plunging, to completely decant the contents in line with our testing parameters. After cleaning the brew vessel, we returned the concentrate, although the container was rather bulky for the yield volume. Therefore, you may prefer to decant it into a more suitable container. This is the only hassle with an otherwise excellent free brewing method.
The ease and speed of decanting exceed that of the similar freestyle OXO cold brew coffee maker, except that a separate decanter vessel is not provided. A 1:5 ratio yielded 25 fl oz or 750 ml of cold brew concentrate, which can easily be diluted at 1:2 or even 1:3 as you prefer.
Cleaning and Storage
The Aquach has a total of six parts. Including two silicone seals. The filter was a little long for hand cleaning, so we recommend a non-abrasive bottle brush. Because the filter is very fine, you’ll periodically need to descale it. This you can do by soaking it in a solution of water and baking soda, vinegar, or citric acid.
For the decanter, we were able to reach inside and hand wash it comfortably. However, all parts except the silicone seals can go in the dishwasher. It stores fully assembled, but check the complete dimensions to make sure you have space for it.
Bodum was perfectly easy to clean. The only things to be careful of are the two silicone seals. Because the grounds get quite compacted at the bottom, you will need a wooden spoon to level them out. We recommend hand-cleaning since it’s quick and easy.
The only inconvenience is a separate plunger lid and brewing lid. When storing, it's probably best to remove the silicone seal of the brewing lid and store it in the brew vessel for safe keeping. The brew lid needs to be stored separately.