- Brew Quality (50%)7.8/10
- Design (15%)9.0/10
- Ease of Use (35%)9.3/10
- Brew Quality (50%)8.4/10
- Design (15%)7.4/10
- Ease of Use (35%)8.3/10
While the Ovalware is built to look great on your kitchen table, the Willow & Everett is designed to dispense the brew straight from the refrigerator shelf. Both brewers come in smaller and larger sizes as well.
The Ovalware, however, pays more attention to the overall design quality, whereas the Willow & Everett excels in the quality and strength of its brew. The lid of the Willow & Everett is rather tinny and does not have an inner gasket. The filter is roughly sewn together, and the tap or spigot doesn’t always work smoothly.
Both brewers are ideal for hot brewing since they are both glass, using a stainless steel and mesh gauze filter respectively. The Willow & Everett, however, is a nice design for serving summer favorites such as lemonades or whole fruit teas.
In terms of the actual quality of the cold brew coffee produced, the Willow & Everett is a step ahead of the Ovalware. This is partly because it has a more favorable brew ratio of 1:9 whereas the Ovalware’s is 1:11, but the brew is still relatively good.
- Bouquet (10%)7.5/10
- Drinkability (70%)8.0/10
- Sediment (20%)7.5/10
- Bouquet (10%)8.5/10
- Drinkability (70%)8.5/10
- Sediment (20%)8.0/10
The Oval produced a somewhat surprising bouquet, but its medium strength was more or less in line with the brew ratio. The bouquet had distinctly herbie and somewhat earthy, chocolatey notes, and we were keen to see what kind of flavor it produced.
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.
With a one-to-one dilution, the Ovalware cold brew had a mildly roasted and surprisingly sweet taste. It also felt rounded and smooth, but lacked the rich complexity that our top brewer was able to produce. There was a slight bitterness, but overall the taste was very satisfying and not watery at all.
We would recommend less dilution for a more robust flavor - maybe two thirds coffee to a third of water. It may also be worth brewing for longer than our standard 18 hours.
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.
We brewed the Ovalware undisturbed for 18 hours in a refrigerator. After allowing the contents to settle, we decanted the brew and the sediment left behind was quite substantial. Decanting the contents a second time, or even filtering through a paper filter, would probably be the best solution. However, we felt the good quality of the brew concentrate was a reasonable compromise on the filter.
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.
- Stopper / Lid (30%)9.0/10
- Filter (40%)9.0/10
- Build Quality (30%)9.0/10
- Stopper / Lid (30%)7.0/10
- Filter (40%)8.0/10
- Build Quality (30%)7.0/10
In the Box
- Box WHD: 5.5 x 9.5 x 5.5 inches
- Assembled brewer
- Promotional card
- User manual and warranty
The Ovalware comes neatly packaged in a custom box, but a little over packaged with plastic bubble wrap. The user manual was inside the carafe which is common but annoying because it bends. You should register your warranty on their website and there’s a handy QR code link for non-English instructions in most major languages.
- Box WDH: 9 x 7.3 x 10.2 inches
- 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.
- Heightwith Stopper Lid:8 in (205 mm)
- Base Diameter:4.7 in (120 mm)
- Width:5.5 in (140 mm)
- Weight:17.3 oz (490 g)
- Material:borosilicate glass
The decanter is very attractive and the markings in cups and milliliters are very useful. The handle was comfortable and the flat edge easy to grip. The carafe poured well with the small lip, a nice feature that means less chance of accidental chipping.
We particularly liked the base’s silicone stand. There’s a hole to let out air and you can easily hook it off for cleaning. Overall, the carafe design is excellent.
- Heightwith Stopper Lid:7.9 in (200 mm)
- Base Diameter:5.1 in (130 mm)
- Width:7.1 in (180 mm)
- 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 in (75 mm)
- Material:stainless steel
- Additional Features:silicone seal
The stainless steel stopper is a nice complement to the glass design. Our only qualm was the quality and fit of the silicone seal. Without the filter, the stopper was not so tight and required a little turning to get a more airtight fit.
- Diameter:4.3 in (110 mm)
- 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:6.9 in (175 mm)
- Diameter:2.7 in (70 mm)
- Material:lasered stainless steel
- Additional Features:silicone seal
The filter appeared well-made and there were no sharp edges. We noticed the holes on the bottom seemed finer than on the sides. The silicone seal for the filter, and for the stopper, was not the best quality. In our testing, we have come across better quality designs, so this was a little disappointing considering the Ovalware brand status. Our brew quality test showed that the paucity of the filter allowed for a good brew to develop.
- Length:6.9 in (175 mm)
- Diameter:4.1 in (105 mm)
- 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.
Except for the compromise on the silicone stoppers, the overall design quality of the Ovalware is excellent. The filter is well-machined and the silicone cushion is an extra that you don’t often find on other cold brew coffee makers.
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.
Ease of Use
- Brewing (45%)10/10
- Decanting (35%)9.0/10
- Cleaning and Storage (20%)8.5/10
- Brewing (45%)9.0/10
- Decanting (35%)7.0/10
- Cleaning and Storage (20%)9.0/10
Brewing steps are clearly outlined in the manual. They recommend weighing 85 g (3 oz) of medium to coarse ground coffee which is a little more than 80% of the filter volume. Then pour room temperature filtered water slowly over the grounds. You should stir and mix the grounds a little. Like any immersion brewer, we found brewing simple and effortless.
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.
Like brewing, decanting was straightforward. As with any immersion filter, you simply lift it out of the carafe and place it in a small cup to catch the remaining liquid. The holes on the bottom of the filter make decanting fast and effortless. After decanting, we rinsed off the stopper even though there were no granules present.
Due to the amount of sediment left behind, we recommend a second decanting at the expense of a little extra work. The more health conscious may want to use a paper filter at the same time.
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
The shape of the Ovalware carafe means that you need to clean it with a bottle brush. Although slightly more effort is needed than other brewers, it’s a small compromise on a design that works comparatively well. The filter requires a bottle brush too, however, all parts can go in the dishwasher.
The Ovalware cold brew coffee maker simply stores as it is. We noted that the silicone base is an excellent design feature for safer storage. The glass doesn’t bang and the sides are protected from scratching.
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.