- Brew Quality (50%)7.9/10
- Design (15%)9.3/10
- Ease of Use (35%)9.1/10
- Brew Quality (50%)9.1/10
- Design (15%)9.8/10
- Ease of Use (35%)8.7/10
The Bean Envy and the Bodum French press are both top contenders in their respective genres. The Bean Envy is a stylish glass carafe with a stainless steel immersion filter, while the Bodum is an all-plastic freestyle brewer based on a French press design.
The Bean Envy has a special silicone stopper for post-brew decanting, while the Bodum has a lid with an attached plunge filter and a levered spout opening.
The Bean Envy is more versatile for additional hot brewing but with the Bodum, you can customize the brew strength and the brew quality. If you prefer a high-quality and full-strength cold brew concentrate, the Bodum is the better choice.
- Bouquet (10%)8.0/10
- Drinkability (70%)8.0/10
- Sediment (20%)7.5/10
- Bouquet (10%)9.0/10
- Drinkability (70%)8.8/10
- Sediment (20%)10/10
The Bean Envy produced a medium to strong bouquet. It had a distinctive roasted note, but there was some complexity to it. We also detected woody and herby notes, with a slight underlying hint of chocolate.
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.
Bean Envy presented a strong roasted flavor with a semi-full-bodied experience. Overall, the brew was a little bitter with not so much of a sweet aftertaste. We liked it as it was, but you could even dilute it a little. All things considered, it was a good brew for mixing. We have found that a brewer with a thin neck and wider base tends to get better results, and Bean Envy fits this design.
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.
After allowing the brew to settle, we decanted the contents to see how much sediment remained at the bottom. The Bean Envy produced a moderate amount of sediment as a fine sludge. Considering that it’s best to stir the brew before pouring to drink, we would recommend a second decanting. The sediment produced, however, was a good compromise for the quality of the 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%)9.5/10
- Filter (40%)9.0/10
- Build Quality (30%)9.5/10
- Stopper / Lid (30%)9.5/10
- Filter (40%)10/10
- Build Quality (30%)10/10
In the Box
- Box WDH: 5.3 x 5.1 x 8.7 inches
- Assembled brew carafe
- Extra silicone lid
- Brew guide and manual
- Warranty tag and promotional card
Bean Envy is a high-quality craft product. The first thing you see in the box is the VIP card which invites you to scan the QR code to register your warranty, gain exclusive offers, and more — except our code didn’t work. Their only website is on Amazon and there’s no way to find the registration page. There is, however, a tag with a warranty on any broken glass, a support email, and toll-free number.
Unperturbed, we unpacked the rest of the box. The side of the box promises a microdot precision laser fitter, a silicone base, and an extra strong borosilicate glass decanter. This product comes with two lids: one for brewing and one for post-decanting. The final item was a very high-quality product booklet, brew guide, and care manual all in one.
- 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:7.9 in (200 mm)
- Base Diameter:4.7 in (120 mm)
- Width:5.9 in (150 mm)
- Weight:16.5 oz (470 g)
- Material:Borosilicate glass, stainless steel, silicone
The decanter is well-made and specifically, we liked the thick rim. The extended and rounded handle is also very easy to grip. Likewise, the silicone base is neither too thick nor too thin and effortlessly slips on and off. This is something that not every brewer using a silicone base gets right. The base of the glass carafe is actually slightly indented for the fit and Bean Envy are awaiting patent approval for this design.
- 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:3.3 & 2.7 in (85 & 70 mm)
- Material:Stainless steel, silicone
- Additional Features:Silicone seal
The Bean Envy doesn’t stop with its unique carafe design. The stainless steel brew lid is quite similar to other designs, however, the additional all-silicone lid for post-decanting is quite unique.
This lid makes up for the disparity between the fit of the lid with the filter and that without. Not only that, the silicone lid has a unique pop function. You just lift the lid slightly to pour from two different open positions, or you can twist the lid to a sealed position. However, we found the carafe doesn’t pour so well with the silicone lid extended.
- 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:6.9 in (175 mm)
- Diameter:2.7 in (70 mm)
- Material:Lasered stainless steel
- Additional Features:Silicone seal
The Bean Envy filter is well-machined and made from fine laser-cut stainless steel. There are no sharp edges, but unfortunately, the bottom of the filter is solid. We have found that the presence of holes at the bottom makes it easier for decanting all the liquid, and may contribute to developing a better brew.
Also, from our extensive testing experience, fine-cut laser filters tend not to be the best. This is because they lack sufficient permeability for a good brew to develop. The Bean Envy filter, on the other hand, proved not to be the case as the brew quality was relatively good — also evidenced by the amount of sediment produced.
- 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.
Overall, we were very satisfied with the quality of the Bean Envy cold coffee brewer. The extra thought put into the base and lid designs was much appreciated. The only improvement would be with an upgrade to the filter and the pour with the silicone stopper.
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.
- Brewing (45%)9.5/10
- Decanting (35%)9.0/10
- Cleaning and Storage (20%)8.5/10
- Brewing (45%)9.0/10
- Decanting (35%)8.5/10
- Cleaning and Storage (20%)8.5/10
The nice thing about Bean Envy is their included brew guide. First, they recommend freshly ground beans, and as coarse as you can grind them. They also pay due attention to brew ratio, which other manufacturers don’t generally do.
They recommend a typical 1:4 ratio. In their instructions, they speak of 8 tablespoons of grounds to 32 fl oz (1 L) of water. We carefully measured both water and grounds for testing. The Bean Envy filter takes 3 oz (typical for its size) or 85 g of grounds. The volume of water needed to completely soak the grounds was 1.1 L or 38 fl. oz. This is a typical ratio of 1:12 which matches with a number of other similar brewers.
Because of the type of filter, it took quite some time for the water to pass through. Therefore, you may want to start with at least 20 fl oz (600 ml) of water already added to the carafe.
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 most similar immersion filter brewers, decanting requires very little work. It took a little force to pry the filter out because it was tightly bonded—which was not a bad thing. Decanting would be easier though if the filter base had holes for all the liquid to flow out more easily. After decanting, you simply place on the silicone lid, which, apart from creating a different look, was also a very good fit.
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
We found it best to clean the brewer by hand, but the glass carafe and filter can easily go into a dishwasher. Both the filter and the carafe required the use of a bottle brush. The silicone base is very secure, yet you can slip it off easily and it’s also one of the best designs we have seen. Because there are two lids, you should make sure not to misplace one or the other while in storage.
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.