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Primula Burke vs Willow & Everett 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%)8.4/10
- Design (15%)7.4/10
- Ease of Use (35%)8.3/10
The Primula Burke and Willow & Everett couldn’t be more different in the quality of the cold brew they produce. The Primula Burke, while quite commendable for its practical design and color range, produced some of the weakest and poorest tasting cold brew coffee in our tests.
The brew ratio of the Primula is not that different from other immersion filter brewers. The difference between these two brewers, however, lies in the design and concept of the filter. The plastic and nylon filter of the Primula Burke allowed for minimal cross flow and therefore an acceptable brew could not develop. Furthermore, its all-plastic design is not ideal for hot brewing other beverages so its practical use is limited.
The Willow & Everett is a good choice for a cold coffee maker if the quality of the brew is more important than design considerations. Not without its flaws, the tap doesn’t always work smoothly, the lid is poor quality, and the glass around the spigot is potentially fragile.
Primula Burke Cold Brew Coffee Maker
- Bouquet (10%)6.0/10
- Drinkability (70%)6.0/10
- Sediment (20%)9.0/10
- Bouquet (10%)8.5/10
- Drinkability (70%)8.5/10
- Sediment (20%)8.0/10
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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%)7.0/10
- Filter (40%)8.0/10
- Build Quality (30%)7.0/10
Primula Burke Cold Brew Coffee Maker In the Box
- 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.
- 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.
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:7.9
- Base Diameter:5.1
- Width:7.1" (18.0 cm)
- 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: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.
- 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:6.7 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: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.
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.
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.
Primula Burke Cold Brew Review
- Brewing (45%)9.0/10
- Decanting (35%)9.0/10
- Cleaning and Storage (20%)10/10
- Brewing (45%)9.0/10
- Decanting (35%)7.0/10
- Cleaning and Storage (20%)9.0/10
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.
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.
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.
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
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 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.