- Brew Quality (50%)9.0/10
- Design (15%)9.0/10
- Ease of Use (35%)8.9/10
- Brew Quality (50%)8.4/10
- Design (15%)7.4/10
- Ease of Use (35%)8.3/10
The OXO Compact is one of the smallest brewers using the free-style brewing method. It produces 16 fl.oz (470 ml) of high strength concentrate (1:4 ratio) that can be diluted up to three parts.
The Willow & Everett, on the other hand, comes in a half as well as full gallon size. Its brew ratio is 1:9 and the design of the filter allows for quite a good brew to develop. The brew quality and strength is one of the best for an immersion filter brewer, and it can be further diluted up to a 1:1 part ratio.
If you’re looking to brew quantity and quality the Willow & Everett is a good choice. The one gallon container, however, can be cumbersome while pouring out the last 20% of the liquid from the top, as the tap is slightly above the base.
For the Willow & Everett, the build quality is not that great - especially the lid - and the tap doesn’t work so easily at first. The OXO Compact, on the other hand, is one of the easiest brewers to use, and decanting is swift and effortless.
- Bouquet (10%)9.0/10
- Drinkability (70%)9.0/10
- Sediment (20%)9.0/10
- Bouquet (10%)8.5/10
- Drinkability (70%)8.5/10
- Sediment (20%)8.0/10
A cold brew coffee bouquet is always a good measure of the brewer’s performance. In repeated testing, we found the bouquet of the OXO Compact concentrate was quite strong. It tended towards deeper chocolate, earthy, or nutty notes. Sweet notes were less noticeable.
At first, we were surprised by the overall results of the OXO compact. Therefore, we did a second brewing for 14 hours and not 18 hours as per our standard testing procedure. Even so, the OXO Compact failed to bring out sweeter notes. Its ‘rainshower’ drip-and-leave brew method seems to be the key determining factor.
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.
We diluted the OXO concentrate at a 1:2 ratio with filtered water. The final drink had a smooth texture to it, and was only slightly sour. Chocolate, earthy, and nutty flavors were dominant. The brew tended to lack sweet or fruity flavors that other brewers were better at producing. While quite satisfying, it lacked overall excitement and complexity.
We thought this concentrate to be a good choice for ice cubes, using in deserts, or mixing with things like protein shakes. If you love a strong brew, we highly recommend the OXO Compact. One thing to consider with the OXO is brewing with less grounds to water, or brewing for a shorter time.
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.
The OXO Compact uses a simple reusable mesh filter. It didn’t clog the brewer and the decanting was quite swift and effortless. The sediment was very fine, but with some noticeable granules. While not the most thorough of filters, it was effective and speedy.
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 WDH: 8.5 x 5.2 x 5.2 inches
- Decanter with stopper
- Brew vessel with mesh filter
- Rainshower and lid
The contents were well packaged and secure with the decanter neatly placed inside the brew vessel. The ‘rainshower’ dripper was on top. All key components are neatly labeled on the side of the box, so you know exactly what you’re getting. Overall, however, we felt that there was too much disposable plastic in the packaging.
- 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 Lid:7 in (180 mm)
- Base Diameter:4.3 in (110 mm)
- Width:5.1 in (130 mm)
- Weight:8.5 oz (241 g)
- Material:polypropylene plastic
- Additional Features:BPA-free
The brew vessel appeared well-made and is easy to handle. Its translucent black coloring makes it attractive but also inconspicuous on the countertop. It may be a little tall for some refrigerators, especially those smaller than 90 L, without removing a shelf. However, you may be able to place it in the crisper box.
- Rainmaker: AS resin
- Lid: polypropylene plastic
The custom ‘rainmaker’ is designed to distribute water evenly over the coffee grounds. The rainmaker comes off very easily, and the lid is also solid, creating an airtight brewing environment.
- Heightwith Stopper Lid:5.5 in (140 mm)
- Base Diameter:3.74 in (95 mm)
- Weight:7.0 oz (198 g)
- Material:borosilicate glass
The glass decanter has a neat aesthetic design with a simple logo and a measuring dot. It did, however, feel somewhat delicate, so we handled it with care.
- 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:2 in (52 mm)
- Additional Features:silicone seal
The silicone seal completely covers the cork stopper making it non-porous. However, the fit of the cork in the decanter is not so tight. The cork slips off easily so you should grip the decanter firmly with your hand.
- 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.
- Diameter:2.7 in (60 mm)
- Material:polypropylene plastic & stainless steel
- Additional Features:red silicone gasket, spring valve
The detachable base of the OXO Compact is basically the filtration unit. The base is tight, yet easy to unscrew, and sports convenient alignment markers. The mesh filter fits snugly into the base.
Our concern here is the care needed in looking after parts — especially the red gasket. The filter seems durable enough, but it’s hard to judge the durability of the metal spring valve. Most cold brew coffee makers have simpler components.
- 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.
The OXO Compact is a very well-built product. It’s stylish, high quality, and all parts are certified safe. There are more parts to deal with compared to other cold coffee brewers. Additionally, only time can tell the longevity of the red gasket and the spring decanting valve. The carafe, while attractive, is somewhat delicate and the stopper is not the best.
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%)9.0/10
- 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 with the OXO Compact was completely effortless. One reason for this is convenient markings. The base is also very secure and leak proof. Simply align the bar markings on its parts and you’re ready to go.
For grounds, you fill the brew vessel up to the bean icon — that equates to around 6 oz (170 g) Then, fill the decanter with 12 fl oz (355 ml) of water (marked by a dot). Next, you simply put the ‘rainmaker’ in place, slowly pour the water around, attach the lid, and allow your coffee to brew.
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.
Decanting the OXO Compact requires you to place the brew vessel over the small decanter. It fitted perfectly without toppling off. As soon as pressure was applied to the spring valve, the concentrate started decanting.
Decanting took less than 5 minutes, but you can extract a little more if you leave it for longer. The mesh filter worked well, or comparable to a nylon filter.
One issue was the sensitivity of the decanting valve. We had to be careful not to accidentally touch it while moving the brew vessel because liquid spilled out very easily.
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 OXO Compact has more separable parts than most cold coffee makers. The carafe appeared somewhat delicate, but cleaning it was mostly a matter of rinsing or soaking in hot water. You can clean inside using two fingers, but it can also go in a dishwasher for a deep clean.
The silicone seal is easy enough from the cork stopper for cleaning. The brew vessel is wide, so it was easy to clean. However, you should be careful not to misplace the red gasket on the bottom.
For storage, the OXO Compact is really well thought out. The carafe sits in the brew vessel. Then, if you rest the lid and carafe stopper at an angle, the ‘rainmaker’ inverts for use as a lid for storage.
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.