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Cafe Du Chateau vs Willow & Everett Side-by-Side Comparison
- Brew Quality (50%)7.3/10
- Design (15%)7.6/10
- Ease of Use (35%)8.3/10
- Brew Quality (50%)8.4/10
- Design (15%)7.4/10
- Ease of Use (35%)8.3/10
The Cafe Du Chateau is an attempt to make a modified French press design work as a cold brew coffee maker. While the brew quality is average, the all round design is flawed. The Carafe is top heavy and badly weighted for pouring. Additionally, the stopper is too tight while brewing and too loose when pouring.
Willow & Everett, on the other hand, is an adaptation of a mason jar. The dispenser tap is a great idea except that 20% of the brew must still be dispensed from the top. The tap or spigot, unfortunately, is not of the best quality and often doesn’t pour well. Furthermore, the glass around the tap is quite fragile. All in all, the one gallon jar is a much better proposition than the half gallon one.
Because of its excellent brew quality, the Willow & Everett is still a brewer that we recommend. However, the Cafe Du Chateau is on our list as a brewer to avoid.
Cafe du Chateau Cold Brew Coffee Maker
- Bouquet (10%)6.0/10
- Drinkability (70%)7.0/10
- Sediment (20%)9.0/10
- Bouquet (10%)8.5/10
- Drinkability (70%)8.5/10
- Sediment (20%)8.0/10
After 18 hours of brewing, the Cafe du Chateau produced a noticeably weak bouquet despite a reasonable brew ratio of 1:8. The bouquet did, however, have a distinctively earthy note. Overall, there was very little complexity and sweet notes were indiscernible.
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.
Considering the brew ratio, we diluted the concentrate with one part water to one part coffee. The final serving was smooth to drink, but the aftertaste was neither rounded nor satisfying. It had a defined roasted and somewhat earthy flavor, but lacked character. Overall, the Cafe du Chateau produced an average to reasonably good brew, but it didn’t excite.
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.
After allowing the concentrate to settle, we decanted the contents of the Cafe du Chateau. The filter, made of laser-cut 304 stainless steel, did a good job overall. There was not much sediment and it was mostly fine with some powdery grains. All considered, the filter seemed not porous enough to produce a high quality 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.
Cafe du Chateau Cold Brew Design
- Stopper / Lid (30%)7.0/10
- Filter (40%)8.5/10
- Build Quality (30%)7.0/10
- Stopper / Lid (30%)7.0/10
- Filter (40%)8.0/10
- Build Quality (30%)7.0/10
Cafe du Chateau Cold Brew Maker In the Box
- Fully assembled unit
- Use manual and brew guide
The Cafe du Chateau was one of the few cold coffee brewers we bought that came with styrofoam packaging. It’s very secure and comes fully assembled. The user manual and brewing guide come together as a high-quality glossy booklet. Both the box and booklet feature a convenient QR code for the customer support email. They promise hassle free replacement for any damaged product. In terms of first impressions, we were well satisfied.
- 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.
Cafe du Chateau Cold Brew Decanter
- Height With Stopper Lid:9
- Base Diameter:5
- Width:6.5" (16.5 cm)
- Weight:29.5 oz (836 g)
- Material:borosilicate glass & stainless steel
The brew decanter has the look and feel of a solid and durable product. However, on closer inspection it’s not without its flaws. For one, we found it a bit on the heavy side even when empty. We filled the decanter with water to test pour it, and it poured rather heavily. It also felt unbalanced and the grip was somewhat slippery. The manual says the glass decanter can detach from the stainless steel sleeve, but it was difficult to do, so we left this for the cleaning stage.
- 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:3.9 in (100 mm)
- Material:stainless steel
- Additional Features:silicone seal
The stopper has an airtight when brewing, but is rather loose with the filter attachment removed. Furthermore, the silicone seal is very rubbery, deforms easily, and is overall not the best quality.
- 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:6.7" (17.0 cm)
- Material:laser-cut 304 stainless steel
- Additional Features:silicone seal
The filter is made from laser-cut 304 grade stainless steel and comes with a ‘lifetime warranty’. It appeared well-machined and the edges were not sharp. However, like the decanter lid, the silicone seal around the filter top was not such great quality. The filter, however, did allow for a relatively decent brew to develop and the sediment produced didn’t require additional decanting.
- 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 materials used, except for the silicone seals, are generally good quality, however, the design is not well executed. The brewer is all-round cumbersome to handle, the lid and seals are poorly designed, and it is weighted badly for pouring. Overall, this has been one of our least favorite cold coffee brewers to work with and will probably gather dust on the shelf.
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.
Cafe du Chateau Cold Brew
- Brewing (45%)9.0/10
- Decanting (35%)8.0/10
- Cleaning and Storage (20%)7.0/10
- Brewing (45%)9.0/10
- Decanting (35%)7.0/10
- Cleaning and Storage (20%)9.0/10
Like its design, brewing with the Cafe du Chateau has its unique points. No measuring is required because you just fill the filter with grounds to about 1 cm (less than ½ inch) below the top.
Then, you gradually pour water through the grounds but you don’t push the filter completely in. The filter has an upper chamber which makes pouring water very easy. The filter itself is very fine so you must wait for water to seep through. The last 200 ml of water takes a little time to pour.
Once the water is just below the 1-liter mark, you push the filter unit completely in and do the same for the lid. Despite the cumbersome design of the silicone seals, they do a pretty good job. Most air is completely compressed out of the brew decanter. All in all, the brewing method seemed very sound and we looked forward to the brewing results.
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 all similar immersion brew filters, all we had to do was remove the filter and place it in a glass to catch the remaining liquid. The stopper comes off with the filter attached. To separate the stopper, you’ll need to hold the filter tight, twist and pull forcefully.
Additionally, the decanter lid doesn’t fit so snugly when the filter unit is removed.This means that your fridge may become contaminated with coffee odors and the concentrate may oxidize and spoil faster.
Once the filter and grounds are removed, you should have around 700 ml of cold brew coffee concentrate. The overall volume is 900 ml (30 fl oz) with the difference being taken up by the filter and grounds while brewing.
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
Cleaning the Cafe du Chateau filter is easy enough. Use a standard non-abrasive sponge. You can reach to the bottom of the filter and the edges are not sharp. The decanter itself is easy to reach inside.
The user manual states the glass decanter is fully removable from the stainless steel jacket. Even after running under hot water, however, we were unable to remove the decanter. We didn’t want to exert too much force and break the glass, nor injure ourselves, so we didn’t succeed in separating the parts.
All components except for the silicone seals can go into the dishwasher.
Once dried, the brewer can be stored fully assembled. It looks nice on a counter and should easily fit in a standard cupboard or a shelf space. The filter also stands well on its own for storage when the decanter is in use.
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.