- Brew Quality (50%)7.2/10
- Design (15%)8.9/10
- Ease of Use (35%)9.2/10
- Brew Quality (50%)9.1/10
- Design (15%)9.8/10
- Ease of Use (35%)8.7/10
The Coffee Gator is a somewhat average-performing immersion filter brewer. However, it comes with a number of extras that seal the deal. These include a stainless steel measuring spoon, a handy silicone funnel for pouring in grounds and water, plus various promotional offers.
Despite these attractive extras, the Coffee Gator is no match for the Bodum. The Bodum is an adaptation of a French press design and it uses a freestyle brewing technique. The result is a full-strength cold brew coffee concentrate. The only advantage of the Coffee Gator is that it can fit the door bin of a small refrigerator.
- 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
The bouquet of the coffee gator was of a slightly medium strength. We detected a mild roasted note, as well as a definite woodiness. There was a slight hint of caramel. This suggested that the extraction was either average or a little under par.
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 Coffee Gator produced a mild to medium strength brew. It had a dominant roasted flavor, but no real complexity. The aftertaste had a very slight sourness with a watery finish. It’s a nice enough brew especially if you prefer a little sweetness added. We don’t recommend diluting it, but the addition of a little milk or mixed as a smoothie or protein drink would work fine. You may want to brew for longer than 18 hours.
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 decanting the brew, there was a moderate amount of fine granular sediment remaining. This was typical for the type of brewer and filter, or as good as one could expect. If you prefer, you can decant the brew a second time, but there is no grittiness to the final drink.
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%)9.0/10
- Stopper / Lid (30%)9.5/10
- Filter (40%)10/10
- Build Quality (30%)10/10
In the Box
- Box WDH: 7 x 5.1 x 12.2 inches
- Borosilicate glass jug brewer
- Stainless steel measuring spoon
- Silicone funnel
- Instruction and message card
Our first impressions of the Coffee Gator cold brew setup were very positive. The carafe has a solid look and feel, the black and white design is very catchy, and it’s not heavy to lift. The stainless steel spoon is something you won’t get with other brewers, and the silicone funnel for pouring in grounds was very thoughtful.
We liked the personalized message card and instruction card too. The box had a seal saying ‘This product is not dishwasher safe’. The box also says if you register for a Platinum Membership, you get an additional year’s warranty, priority access to new products, discount codes, and coffee masterclass brew videos. They have full social media profiles and you can view their videos on Youtube.
- 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:10.2 in (260 mm)
- Base Diameter:3.9 in (100 mm)
- Width:6.7 in (170 mm)
- Weight:19.3 oz (547 g)
- Material:borosilicate glass
The decanter is of excellent quality and the glass is quite thick, but not heavy. The full capacity is 1.2 liters. The plastic neck handle screws on tightly and the only fault is the handle. It’s a little short and uncomfortable while the grip is not so secure.
- 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:4.3 in (110 mm)
- Material:BPA-free plastic
- Additional Features:2 white silicone gaskets
We loved the design of the Coffee Gator lid. It’s made of clear see-through plastic with a silicone gasket around the inner rim. It fits very neatly into the hole of the screw-on handle rim. The rim handle has an additional silicone gasket for proper air-tight sealing. If you turn the lid slightly to one side, the spout opens up to pour.
The lid design is very practical, however, it’s practically identical to that of the Coffee Bear. Upon reaching out, we confirmed that there is no relationship between the two coffee brands.
- 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:7.8 in (200 mm)
- Diameter:2.5 in (65 mm)
- Material:White plastic & nylon mesh
- Additional Features:Detachable base
We loved the refreshing white design of the filter, and how it clips securely into the rim. The base of the filter unscrews and comes off for cleaning. Since the brew ratio is only 1:14, and the filter had a fair amount of solid plastic, we wondered how well it would actually brew. The mesh filter seemed porous enough on first inspection.
- 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 overall build quality is really good. The carafe is solid and the lid an excellent design. On the downside, the handle lacks a solid grip and feels uncomfortable. The silicone gaskets seem good quality, and the stainless steel measuring spoon and silicone funnel add excellent value to the product.
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%)9.5/10
- 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 addition of the silicone funnel and the measuring spoon made brewing practically effortless. The recommended amount of grounds is 75 g or 2.6 oz, however, we put in eight spoons to top off some of the space. One level spoon is 11 g, so the total weight was 88 g or 3.1 oz.
The silicone funnel was also perfect for pouring water around the edges so the flow was more gentle and gradual. If you pour too fast, liquid and grounds will move up the funnel, so be careful when you take the funnel out. You can use a teaspoon to push any grounds around the edges into the filter. The lid also made for a perfect air-tight fit.
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.
Like any immersion filter brew, decanting was effortless. All you need to do is pop off the lid and carefully twist loose the neck ring. We detached the filter immediately and left it to rest in a jar to collect the last few drips. After rinsing the screw-on neck ring, we immediately resealed the carafe to protect the flavor and aroma. We returned the brew to the refrigerator to await our brew score testing.
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
To clean the filter, you need to rinse out the grounds and then gently clean with a bottle brush and a small amount of liquid soap. We noticed a fair amount of coffee oil that required soap for cleaning. Also, the filter lost its pearly white appeal after the first brew. However, you can see the residue oil to wash off more easily than with a black-colored filter.
The carafe itself also cleans easily. We had no problem getting our hands inside, but larger hands may be a problem. You can put the glass carafe in a dishwasher, but Coffee Gator recommends hand washing.
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.