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Aquach vs Willow & Everett Side-by-Side Comparison
- Brew Quality (50%)7.2/10
- Design (15%)9.2/10
- Ease of Use (35%)9.0/10
- Brew Quality (50%)8.4/10
- Design (15%)7.4/10
- Ease of Use (35%)8.3/10
Aquach is a beautifully designed cold brew coffee maker with a unique easy-to-lift filter and an airtight stopper. Its only flaw is the fine stainless steel lasered filter which is not porous enough for producing a high quality brew. Also, the glass carafe is delicate.
On the plus side, there are three sizes: the 34 oz and 51 oz brewers can both fit a gallon-sized door bin, whereas the 68 oz one is tall and slender and can easily fit into any refrigerator door.
The Willow & Everett, on the other hand, is meant for brewing and dispensing from a refrigerator shelf. The brew quality is about the best you can get for an immersion filter brewer, and this makes it an all round better proposition than the Aquach.
The Willow & Everett, however, is not without its flaws. Dispensing through the tap can be temperamental and often not so smooth. The last 20% of the brew has to be poured out from the top, which is an inconvenience. There’s not much of a comparison to be drawn between these two since the Aquach is a closer match to similar carafe style brewers.
- Bouquet (10%)7.0/10
- Drinkability (70%)7.0/10
- Sediment (20%)8.0/10
- Bouquet (10%)8.5/10
- Drinkability (70%)8.5/10
- Sediment (20%)8.0/10
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 Willow & Everett’s coffee presented a strong aroma with a degree of complexity. The bouquet was defined by a deep roasted note and a distinct herby edge. There was also a light underlying chocolatey or caramel note.
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.
We first tasted the brew without diluting and it was quite strong. It had a bold character and trended more towards a deep-roasted to bitter flavor with a sweetish aftertaste. When diluted, it was a lot smoother to drink. We were quite impressed with the strength and quality of the brew.
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.
Given the design of the Willow and Everett, we did two sediment tests. First, we decanted the contents into a separate vessel via the tap. We noted what sediment remained behind in the main vessel. We again allowed the decanted liquid to settle before decanting back into the original vessel so we could evaluate how much sediment ended up in the decanted brew.
A moderate amount of sediment, mostly a fine sludge, was left behind in the brew jug. The amount was comparable to what we got with the similar County Line filter as well as the laser-cut stainless steel filters of some of our top ranking brewers. Very little sediment ended up in the decanted brew.
- Stopper / Lid (30%)10/10
- Filter (40%)8.0/10
- Build Quality (30%)10/10
- Stopper / Lid (30%)7.0/10
- Filter (40%)8.0/10
- Build Quality (30%)7.0/10
In the Box
- 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.
- Assembled brewer only
The first brewer we received was broken when it arrived. The package had styrofoam packing at the bottom and top, but the glass around the tap was completely broken — thus indicating a clear weak point. At the very least, we think this product needs better packaging. However, we promptly received a replacement via Amazon at no extra cost to us.
- Height With 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.
- Height With Stopper Lid:7.9
- Base Diameter:5.1
- Width:7.1" (18.0 cm)
- Weight:NaN lbs (NaN kg)
- Material:Glass and stainless steel
The glass of the decanter is quite thick. However, as detailed in the unboxing section, we remain concerned by its fragility around the spout. Initially, the tap’s valve was rather tight, but once you run some water through, it loosens up. There’s a screw on the top if you need to adjust it at any point.
We recommend caution when turning the valve. Since the lever started out tight, we worried that applying too much pressure might break the glass.
Also of note is the wire handle, which is practical, easy to grip, and gives the unit a down-home, country feel.
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.
- Additional Features:None
The Willow & Everett brewer is similar to a mason jar. The lid appears to be aluminum and is somewhat cheaply made with low-quality threads. More to the point, it doesn’t even have a silicone seal. Also, we noticed rust-like markings that refused to come off even after cleaning. The lid fitted tightly enough, though.
- 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:6.9" (17.5 cm)
- Material:Stainless steel
- Additional Features:Additional tap filter
The filter is quite different from others we have tested. It is made of a flexible gauze-like type of mesh. During cleaning and on closer inspection, we noticed that the cut of the mesh is rough and uneven, and the seam is haphazard. You could easily prick your finger if you’re not careful.
The filter’s flexibility, however, allows it to easily bend and fit behind the tap at the base. And in terms of brew quality and sediment containment, we were very happy with the filter’s performance.
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.
Overall, we were not too satisfied with the build quality of the Willow & Everett cold coffee maker. The lid is poor in both design and material quality. Additionally, the filter is roughly constructed and could cause slight injury. The tap doesn’t pour very well and is difficult to operate at first. Since the packaging was inadequate, and the first item arrived damaged, we can’t vouch for the long term durability of the glass around the tap outlet. Given that at least 20% of the liquid doesn’t drain through the tap, additional hand pouring and decanting just adds extra inconvenience.
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%)7.0/10
- Cleaning and Storage (20%)9.0/10
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.
Initially, we poured around one liter of water into the glass brew jug and then lowered the filter, filled with grounds, into position. We drew on our experience with numerous other brewers and left an inch of unfilled space at the top of the filter. This worked out to be a perfect 7 oz (200 g) of coffee grounds.
The rest of the water we poured over the grounds cup by cup to measure how much water the brewer could take. After each pour we waited a couple of minutes for the water to soak through the grounds and level out.
The final water volume was 63.5 fl.oz, or 1,850 ml — a brew ratio of approximately 1:9. The final weight was 105 oz (2,976 g). The full capacity of the jug without the filter and grounds was 68 fl.oz, or 2 liters.
We then sealed the lid and placed it in the refrigerator to brew for 18 hours. Since the soft and bendable mesh filter was a first for us, and considering the favorable brew ratio of 1:9, we were excited about the impending results. It’s worth noting that the County Line cold coffee brewer, a similar type of mason jar design, has the same brew ratio.
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.
We decanted the brew by opening the tap and draining the liquid into another container. Once again, it proved difficult to turn the tap with one hand. After some liquid had flowed through, it loosened up again. We also noticed that it flowed out in a splattery manner until we fully opened the tap.
Given the tap’s position, it's obvious that a good 20% of the liquid remains below the tap line. This means that ultimately you will need to pour the brew out the top of the vessel. This just adds additional inconvenience. As nice as this brewer appears, and as good as its brew tastes, the design is not well executed.
Lastly, the filter is quite large so when you take it out you should allow it to drain into a dish. We left it for 30 min and collected an additional 50 ml of liquid coffee.
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.
The Willow & Everett brewer is quite easy to clean. Both the filter and the glass brew jug are big enough for any hand to reach inside. We also recommend cleaning the spout by running clean water through it. We worry that coffee oils might clog the mechanism over time but haven’t run it through enough cycles yet to say.
While cleaning, we noticed the inside of the mesh filter is a little rough at the seam, so you have to be selective about the kind of sponge you use. Also, take care to avoid pricking your finger while you work with it.
Because there are minimal parts, everything fits together easily as one unit for storage. Take care not to lose the small filter that plugs the rear of the tap assembly.