The Ovalware has a distinguished look, but for us, the most prominent feature was the detachable silicone base stand. It made handling the carafe very comfortable. The small lip poured very nicely, and the handle was easy to grip. The only drawback was the quality and fit of the silicone seal.
The Bodum cold brew coffee maker is an adaptation of a French press. It uses a similar fast and convenient plunge filter. Since it’s only meant for cold brewing, the entire body is made from plastic. This makes it light, convenient, and affordable. There’s a lid with a plunger attached for decanting and filtering, and a simple lid for brewing.
Both brewing and decanting required little effort. However, since it is better to decant the contents twice or use a paper filter, additional work may be required. The thin neck of the decanter and the long filter required a bottle brush for deep cleaning.
The Bodum doesn’t come with any ‘easy-to-use’ instructions. This means you have to decide your own brew ratio. We chose a 1:5 ratio of grounds to water, and everything else was straightforward. Decanting, however, can be a bit involved.
The brew quality of the Ovalware was quite in line with what one would expect from a good cold brew coffee maker. It did well in bringing out sweeter flavors, although the concentrate itself was not so strong. Brewing for longer than 18 hours may produce even better results.
We partly attributed the good brewing results to the carafe having a wide base, but narrow neck. This seems to accommodate the more favorable design of a lower-down brewing area. The filter is also permeable enough to produce a favorable brew.
Taking the brew method into account, the Bodum produces a high-quality, strong cold brew coffee concentrate. It’s beautifully smooth to drink and full-bodied, however, it didn’t capture the complexity that our leading brewer was capable of. The filtration method, however, was one of the best.
Pros & Cons
- Brew quality
- Brew markers in cups and ml
- Silicone base pad
- Comfortable handle
- Ease of brewing
- Light and durable
- Open/close spout
- Perfectly airtight
- Comfortable handle
- Freestyle brewing
- Made in Portugal
- Quality and fit of silicone seals
- Additional decanting
- Narrow head for cleaning
- Decanting can be tricky
- No measuring guides
The Ovalware cold brew coffee maker is one of our top selections for an immersion filter brewer. Using the freestyle brewing method, the Bodum is one of our overall favorite brewers. The choice between the two lies in brew strength quality and the extra work required by the Bodum.
Design-wise, the Ovalware is much the same as any stylish glass carafe brewer. It brews through a stainless steel filter with a brew ratio of 1:11. The slender neck and wide base also help in producing a good quality brew. Decanting is relatively simple, the stopper is airtight, and the silicone base is a plus.
For the Bodum, you have to choose your own brew ratio and quantity. The brew vessel is wider than the Ovalware ( 7.4 vs 4.7 inches). It’s a true French press design: using a plunge filter for after brewing. The filtration results are excellent, but if you wish to fully decant the brew, you need to provide your own decanter.
Behind the Comparison
Roger Shitaki is a writer, author, and editor. His niches are household appliances, health & wellness, and travel. He’s a freelance contributor to a Tokyo lifestyle website and a leading ophthalmology magazine in Asia.