- Brew Quality (50%)7.8/10
- Design (15%)9.6/10
- 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 County Line Kitchen and Bodum are two different types of cold brew coffee makers. The County Line Kitchen is an immersion filter brewer with a fixed brew ration. The Bodum is a free-style French press brewer so you can adjust the brew ratio and brew quantity.
The Bodum will give a full-strength cold brew concentrate. The County Line Kitchen produces a weaker brew but one that can still be diluted. Brewing with the Bodum takes a little more time and effort but its filter works the best.
The County Line Kitchen can fit into the door bin of a small refrigerator and lay on its side after the filter is removed. It’s also made of glass and stainless steel so is versatile enough for hot beverage brewing. The Bodum features an all-plastic design and must brew standing on a shelf.
- Bouquet (10%)7.5/10
- Drinkability (70%)8.0/10
- Sediment (20%)7.0/10
- Bouquet (10%)9.0/10
- Drinkability (70%)8.8/10
- Sediment (20%)10/10
The County Line Kitchen mason jar brewer produced, at a best, a medium-strength bouquet. We detected a slight nuttiness as well as more subtle sweet notes. The results were not as good as we had hoped for, but promising nonetheless.
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.
We diluted the concentrate with one part coffee to one part filtered water. It had a dominant roasted flavor, but with a slight sweet aftertaste. The drink lacked nutty and fruity flavors that our top brewers were more successful at producing. Although smooth to drink, it lacked body and was not as satisfying as a cold brew can be.
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.
We brewed according to the County Line Kitchen manual’s instructions. This means we did not shake the vessel before putting it in the refrigerator. After allowing the brew to settle and then decanting, we were surprised to see a relatively significant amount of sediment.
The filter is a rough mesh rather than a laser-cut stainless steel filter as seen in other types of brewers. Although this brewer did better than average in producing a sweeter brew, we suggest additional decanting to remove excess sediment. Either that, or run the coffee through a paper filter.
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%)9.0/10
- Build Quality (30%)10/10
- Stopper / Lid (30%)9.5/10
- Filter (40%)10/10
- Build Quality (30%)10/10
In the Box
- Box WHD: 8.3 x 4.5 in x 6.3 inches
- Assembled unit
- Warranty card
- User brochure manual
The County Line Kitchen 1-quart cold brew coffee maker comes in a really neat box. There’s no superfluous packaging and zero disposable plastics. The brewer comes fully assembled and the brochure outlines six easy steps to brewing and three suggested serving recipes. The warranty card directs you to their website to register your product, after which they provide a sales support email. There’s no QR code, so you have to do it the old-fashioned way.
- 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:7.7 in (195 mm)
- Base Diameter:3.5 in (90 mm)
- Width:6.3 (160 mm)
- Weight:17.0 oz (482 g)
The brew decanter is just as robust as any mason jar. The inner lid has a silicone gasket for a perfect seal. A handy notch lets you easily pluck the gasket out for cleaning. When sealed, even if you shake the jar around, no liquid spills and the flip cap stays secure too.
- 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:6 in incl.handle (150 mm)
- Material:polypropylene plastic
- Additional Features:silicone gasket
The lid of the County Line consists of three parts. The handle is molded onto the crew-top lid. The handle is easy to grip with an inner thumb groove. To pour the liquid, you simply clip the flip-lid open which also detaches for easy cleaning. Inside the lid is also a gasket for airtight sealing. Although the handle is convenient, you can also opt for a simple screw top without a handle for a more compact option.
- 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:5.5 in (140 mm)
- Diameter:3.2 in (82 mm)
- Material:stainless steel
- Additional Features:silicone seal
Compared to other stainless steel filters we’ve examined, the County Line Kitchen’s looks and feels heavier. It matches the sturdy solidity of the mason jar and adds to its old-fashioned country feel. Although a fair bit of sediment is produced, our tests revealed that the brew produced is relatively good quality.
- 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.
It’s difficult not to like the design of the County Line Kitchen cold brew coffee maker. If you like the solid practicality of a mason jar, it fits the bill. The part count is minimal and all components fit well. We also appreciate the option of buying a lid with or without a handle.
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%)10/10
- Decanting (35%)8.5/10
- Cleaning and Storage (20%)8.5/10
- Brewing (45%)9.0/10
- Decanting (35%)8.5/10
- Cleaning and Storage (20%)8.5/10
Brewing follows six easy steps. Simply load the filter with coffee grounds — one cup per quart (reaching about one inch from the top) — and place the filter in the jar. Then, you slowly add water until the grounds are completely covered and the water level nears the top of the filter.
Allow to stand for a few minutes while the water makes its way through the grounds. Top up with water as needed, screw on the lid, and place in the fridge to brew. We found this process completely effortless with no need for weighing or measuring.
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.
We found the screwable cap may require a little force to remove depending on how tightly you put it on. The filter, though, is easy to grip and remove without any grounds dropping into the vessel. Like similar long-funnel filters, you can always place it in a cup to catch the last few drops. It’s best to rinse the lid of any grounds before replacing and putting the finished brew in your fridge. Because of the amount of sediment produced, we recommend recanting for a second time once the brew has been allowed to settle.
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
For deep cleaning, you need to remove the flip cap and the lid’s inner gasket. The silicone ring seal for the filter simply slides off. The filter rinses out easily and you can use a gentle bottle brush if you wish. We found the small 1-quart jar a little narrow for hand cleaning, so we used a bottle brush there too.
All parts are dishwasher friendly, but it’s probably better to just rinse off the silicone filter seal and lid gasket. You’ll periodically need to soak the filter in a mixture of water and baking soda, vinegar, or citric acid to unclog coffee oils and remove odors.
After brewing, you will need a small space to store the filter. You should place it upside down so the silicone seal stays safe. When you are not using the jar, everything conveniently stores as a single unit.
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.