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Bean Envy vs Coffee Bear Side-by-Side Comparison
- Brew Quality (50%)7.9/10
- Design (15%)9.3/10
- Ease of Use (35%)9.1/10
- Brew Quality (50%)7.2/10
- Design (15%)8.8/10
- Ease of Use (35%)8.7/10
The Bean Envy is one of our top tested cold brew coffee makers. The glass carafe with a wide base and slender neck is well-designed for brewing. Furthermore, the stainless steel filter is permeable enough to produce a good brew. The Bean Envy also comes with a special silicone stopper for superior airtightness and easy pouring after brewing.
The Coffee Bear brewer is a little different. It’s a jug-type design with a plastic and nylon filter. The twist-to-pour lid is very nice, but the filter does not work so well. The brew quality is less than the Bean Envy and the only advantage is that it’s a better fit for a refrigerator door bin.
Bean Envy Cold Brew Coffee Maker
- Bouquet (10%)8.0/10
- Drinkability (70%)8.0/10
- Sediment (20%)7.5/10
- Bouquet (10%)7.0/10
- Drinkability (70%)7.0/10
- Sediment (20%)8.0/10
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 Coffee Bear produced a somewhat medium-strength bouquet. It had a slight roasted note and a hint of woodiness. It had none of the complexity that you would get from a brewer that makes a real cold brew concentrate.
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 Coffee Bear brew was reasonable. It was of medium strength and we felt it was best to drink undiluted. There was a slight sweetness to the aftertaste, but overall it was not so full-bodied. There was little discernible difference between this brew and that of the almost identical product, the Coffee Gator.
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.
After allowing the brew to settle and decanting a second time, there was a moderate amount of fine sediment left behind. This was in line with the quality and design of the brewer, but you may want to decant the brew a second time yourself for a smoother drink.
Bean Envy Cold Brew
- Stopper / Lid (30%)9.5/10
- Filter (40%)9.0/10
- Build Quality (30%)9.5/10
- Stopper / Lid (30%)10/10
- Filter (40%)8.0/10
- Build Quality (30%)8.5/10
Bean Envy Cold Brew Coffee Maker 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: 6.7 x 4.7 x 9.2 inches
- Assembled glass brewer
- Instruction leaflet in Brewer
- Product message card
Coffee Bear is a good-looking cold brew coffee maker. We liked its handy size and solid design. The design, as well as the box packaging, is almost identical to Coffee Gator. There are no other extras in the package except the brew guide and care manual all on one leaflet. The greeting card by ‘the founders’ seemed a little contrived.
Bean Envy Glass Cold Brew Decanter
- Height With Stopper Lid:7.9
- Base Diameter:4.7
- Width:5.9" (15.0 cm)
- Weight:16.5 oz (468 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.
- Height With Stopper Lid:10
- Base Diameter:3.9
- Width:6.7" (17.0 cm)
- Weight:30.0 oz (850 g)
- Material:borosilicate glass, silicone
The brew decanter is quite solid and appears well-made. The silicone base, although non-slip, was not the most perfectly level. On careful examination, the Coffee Bear carafe, without the silicone base, is slightly shorter than the Coffee Gator.
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:4.3 in (110 mm)
- Material:BPA-free plastic
- Additional Features:2 white silicone gaskets
The screw-on plastic rim and lid are a very practical design. There are two silicone gaskets, but in comparison, it doesn’t screw on as easily as the Coffee Gator’s. The handle is likewise somewhat small and uncomfortable to grip.
- 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:7.5 in (190 mm)
- Diameter:2.5 in (65 mm)
- Material:Black plastic, nylon mesh
- Additional Features:Detachable base
The detachable base of the filter is not unique since we’ve encountered this design before. One drawback is it takes time to drain out all the liquid. Furthermore, a permeable base could possibly help in developing a better brew quality. We were eager to see what our test results would bring.
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.
Overall we were satisfied with the build quality. The silicone base, however, seemed less than the best. Compared to the almost identical Coffee Gator, the thread quality of the lid seemed not as good nor the filter assembly as smooth. Zoopolitics aside, we felt that the build quality of the Coffee Bear was not quite up to that of the contending Coffee Gator. Not a lion’s roar of a difference, but Coffee Bear also has fewer value-added extras.
Bean Envy Glass Cold Brew Review
- Brewing (45%)9.5/10
- Decanting (35%)9.0/10
- Cleaning and Storage (20%)8.5/10
- Brewing (45%)8.5/10
- Decanting (35%)9.0/10
- 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.
Brewing was a simple process of attaching the filter to the ring neck and then pouring in the grounds. The recommended amount of grounds is 95 g (3.3 oz) which is just below the mesh line.
You can pour in the grounds, but the last few inches may require a spoon. We used the silicon funnel and stainless steel measuring spoon from the similar Coffee Gator brewer. It was a lot easier but the Coffee Bear does not come with these useful little extras.
We also found that for a small refrigerator, we had to remove the silicone base for the Coffee Bear to fit in the door. Furthermore, the base is cumbersome to reattach especially if the carafe is full.
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.
We experienced no issues with decanting. After slowly removing the neck ring, we checked the filter and it was still securely attached. It’s best to detach the filter immediately and leave the remaining liquid to drain into another container. We rinsed the neck ring, resealed the carafe, and refrigerated again. Our next step was to do our brew score testing for bouquet, drinkability, and sediment.
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.
Cleaning is about as straightforward as decanting. We detached the base of the filter, shook out the grounds, and rinsed thoroughly. Afterward, we gently cleaned inside with a bottle brush and outside with a non-abrasive sponge. The black plastic containing the mesh filter makes it hard to see where the coffee oils are. The carafe can be cleaned by hand, but larger hands may not fit inside.
The instructions say all parts are dishwasher friendly. We, however, disagree, feeling only the glass carafe should be put in a dishwasher.