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Primula Burke vs Ovalware Side-by-Side Comparison
- Brew Quality (50%)6.6/10
- Design (15%)8.1/10
- Ease of Use (35%)9.2/10
- Brew Quality (50%)7.8/10
- Design (15%)9.0/10
- Ease of Use (35%)9.3/10
The Primula Burke is a cold coffee brewer that pays a lot of attention to design. The lid has a perfect twist-to-pour design and, by removing the inner lid, you can easily stir the contents or pour in water when brewing. The filter is really sturdy and the bottom removes for easy cleaning.
The only problem with the Primula Burke is that the filter is too fine and the lack of cross-flow means it only produces a very mediocre brew. One is left to wonder if the product was even tested for brewing or if the designers knew anything at all about making cold brew coffee.
The Ovalware, by contrast, is a product of a dedicated coffeeware manufacturer. It doesn’t have the most favorable brew ratio (1:11 ratio and not 1:9) for an immersion brewer, but it makes a brew good enough to drink as it is. The stainless steel and glass design means it can also be used for tea or hot brewing beverages.
Primula Burke Cold Brew Coffee Maker
- Bouquet (10%)6.0/10
- Drinkability (70%)6.0/10
- Sediment (20%)9.0/10
- Bouquet (10%)7.5/10
- Drinkability (70%)8.0/10
- Sediment (20%)7.5/10
The bouquet of the Primula was decidedly on the weaker side. It was light and sweet but our testers did, however, pick up a faint roasted note. This indicated that the brew was probably sub standard.
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.
With a typical one-to-one dilution, the final drink was very light, watery, and somewhat sweet. In fact, even without dilution, it was still watery with little complexity. There was a slightly sour aftertaste, so not so satisfying. Although the brew is drinkable without dilution, it lacks excitement or complexity, which also means that the Primula is uneconomical for the amount of coffee ground used.
With the Primula, we would suggest a longer brewing period or brewing at room temperature. Either that, or using the hot blooming method to get a more substantial and richer brew.
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.
Having to filter a large quantity of liquid means cold brewing can be time consuming. Convenience, however, comes at a price. Our repeated testing has found that the permeability of an immersion filter is key to producing a quality brew.
The Primula recorded very little sediment, which at the same time betrayed its fundamental flaw. The filter, as good as it was, lacked the permeability to produce a worthwhile cold brew coffee concentrate. In this case, the cost of a perfectly filtered brew was the quality of the brew itself.
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.
Primula Burke Deluxe Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker
- Stopper / Lid (30%)10/10
- Filter (40%)6.0/10
- Build Quality (30%)9.0/10
- Stopper / Lid (30%)9.0/10
- Filter (40%)9.0/10
- Build Quality (30%)9.0/10
Primula Burke Cold Brew Coffee Maker In the Box
- Box WHD: 7.9 x 9 x 7 inches
- Fully assembled unit
- Multilingual user manual leaflet
The Primula comes securely boxed with place holders and minimal plastic, but the package is nothing fancy. The unit comes fully assembled with a user manual inside that unfolds with instructions in English, French, and Spanish. Brew instructions, product care, and a few suggested recipes are included.
- 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.
Primula Burke Deluxe Cold Brew Decanter
- Height With Stopper Lid:7.9
- Base Diameter:4.7
- Width:7.4" (18.8 cm)
- Weight:19.5 oz (553 g)
- Material:borosilicate glass & plastic
The decanter or brew carafe is made of thick borosilicate glass and enclosed in a plastic jacket. The jacket doesn’t detach and also forms a base cushion. While cleaning, we noticed that there is an additional silicone seal on the base of the decanter.
- Height With Stopper Lid:8
- Base Diameter:4.7
- Width:5.5" (14.0 cm)
- 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.
Stopper / Lid
- Diameter:4.9 in (125 mm)
- Additional Features:open/close function, silicone seal
The lid comes in three parts. The outer section has a silicone seal for an airtight fit. The filter attaches to the bottom and you simply press it into the carafe. With the inner lid removed, you can easily pour in the water and then seal the carafe for brewing. When storing decanted coffee, you can open this lid to stir the contents before pouring. To pour, you turn the lid handle to the open spout position.
- 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.
- Length:6.7 in (170 mm)
- Material:polypropylene and nylon mesh
- Additional Features:detachable base
The filter is solid and well-made. In terms of design for a cold brew coffee maker, the plastic jacket appears to be limiting. It is uncertain how much permeability this kind of filter design will allow for proper brewing. In test brewing, we found the filter design to be fundamentally flawed.
- Length:6.9" (17.5 cm)
- 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.
Overall we love the high quality of the materials and the convenient design. The mid-range 1.6 qt capacity is also very convenient, and we like how the brewer is wider rather than taller. The only fault is not so much the build quality, but rather the ill-conceived design of the filter.
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.
Primula Burke Cold Brew Review
- Brewing (45%)9.0/10
- Decanting (35%)9.0/10
- Cleaning and Storage (20%)10/10
- Brewing (45%)10/10
- Decanting (35%)9.0/10
- Cleaning and Storage (20%)8.5/10
The Primula filter takes around 3.5 oz / 100g of coffee grounds, which means about an inch to a half below the filter rim. After securing the filter onto the outer lid, you insert both into the decanter. Next, pour enough water to wet the grounds. After a couple of minutes, you slowly continue pouring water until the rising water hits just below the top of the plastic jacket. That’s about 40 fl.oz (1.2 L) or 6 measuring cups. Finally, screw in the top lid so that the spout is also closed.
The brew decanter can sit in the door of your average 33- or 36-inch refrigerator but may be too big for an apartment-sized refrigerator. Brewing was relatively straightforward except for the lack of markers on the vessel. We also found the full carafe to be a little heavy. It weighed 4 lbs or 1.8 kg, so make sure to grip it firmly and avoid letting children handle it.
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.
We found that decanting worked best by simply lifting up the outer lid with the filter attached. Because the base of the filter is not permeable, it’s best to let the filter stand in a dish as quite a bit of extra brew still trickled out.
You can immediately remove the filter from the lid. We found a few granules of coffee had gathered around the edges so it’s best to completely rinse off the lid before putting it back. Once again, make sure the spout is closed to prevent coffee odors building up in your refrigerator.
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.
Cleaning and Storage
Cleaning the Primula is effortless all round. It separates into seven parts. The filter parts and the lid can go on the top rack of a dishwasher while the decanter on the lower rack. It’s probably best to just rinse off the silicone seals. While cleaning, we discovered an additional seal at the base of the decanter. The plastic padding on the base gives a comfortable feeling when placing on the table, and peace of mind when storing away. We loved the quality of the decanter, except that it can be heavy for some when full, but the grip and pour is good.
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.