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.
We unboxed the OXO Compact cold coffee brewer to see what came in such a neat and small package. The initial impression was a product that delights and excites.
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 OXO Compact is one of the easiest cold brew coffee makers to use. You simply measure your ingredients using the markings on its brew vessel and decanter. Decanting was fast and effortless, and cleaning straightward. It also stored very neatly, adding to its compact appeal. The only thing to be careful of is the sensitive decanting spring valve.
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.
Overall, the OXO Compact produced a smooth and full-bodied brew. It was very satisfying to drink with a simple dilution. However, the brew tended to lack sweeter flavor subtleties and the complexity one would expect from a cold brew.
Pros & Cons
- Brew quality
- Brew markers in cups and ml
- Silicone base pad
- Comfortable handle
- Ease of brewing
- Compact design
- Quality packaging
- Aesthetic decanter
- Easy measuring
- Pours very smoothly
- Quality and fit of silicone seals
- Additional decanting
- Narrow head for cleaning
- Stopper doesn’t fit tightly
- Sensitive decanter valve
- Brew not so complex
The Ovalware is one of our top choices for an immersion filter brewer. Its slender neck and wide base are well-suited for cold brew coffee making. The silicone base gives it a sturdy feel and the stopper works very well. It also has a handy measurement guide in both cups and milliliters.
The Ovalware, like similar glass carafe brewers, only brews to a ratio of 1:11 so while the brew is strong enough to drink as it is, it isn’t really a cold brew concentrate. If you prefer a real cold brew concentrate, then the OXO has a lot to offer.
The OXO has easy brew guide markings to follow on the brew vessel and decanting is quite effortless. For many, a cold brew concentrate is more versatile. Its espresso strength is great for mixing and can also be used in dessert preparations.
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.