The Cafe du Chateau is a cold brew coffee maker with a difference. We liked the French-press styling and the high quality of the materials. However, flaws in the design such its unbalanced weight, poor grip, and problematic silicone seal left much to be desired. Furthermore, although it produced a strong enough brew, the flavor lacked excitement and complexity. If you’re looking for the best cold brew coffee maker, there are better alternatives for the price than the Cafe du Chateau.
Things We Like
- No plastics used
- Airtight brewing
- Well-machined filter
Things We Don’t Like
- Weighty and unbalanced
- Lid stopper tough to remove
- Loose decanter lid
- Cumbersome silicone seals
The Cafe du Chateau is a cold brew coffee maker that looks like a French press. It’s completely airtight and all parts are plastic-free. Instead, the materials are borosilicate glass, stainless steel, and silicone. To see if the Cafe du Chateau could live up to its fancy name, we put it through our cold brew coffee testing procedures. See for yourself how it performed.
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Compared to Other Cold Brew Coffee Makers
7.3 Brew Quality
The Cafe du Chateau produced a medium-strength brew. While smooth to drink and well-filtered, it lacks complex flavor and the aftertaste is not very rounded.
After 18 hours of brewing, the Cafe du Chateau produced a noticeably weak bouquet despite a reasonable brew ratio of 1:8. The bouquet did, however, have a distinctively earthy note. Overall, there was very little complexity and sweet notes were indiscernible.
Considering the brew ratio, we diluted the concentrate with one part water to one part coffee. The final serving was smooth to drink, but the aftertaste was neither rounded nor satisfying. It had a defined roasted and somewhat earthy flavor, but lacked character. Overall, the Cafe du Chateau produced an average to reasonably good brew, but it didn’t excite.
After allowing the concentrate to settle, we decanted the contents of the Cafe du Chateau. The filter, made of laser-cut 304 stainless steel, did a good job overall. There was not much sediment and it was mostly fine with some powdery grains. All considered, the filter seemed not porous enough to produce a high quality brew.
The Cafe du Chateau is an attractive, durable product made from high grade materials. There are no plastics whatsoever, though the product arrived in a styrofoam jacket in the box. We were, however, not so thrilled with the overall design.
In the Box
- Fully assembled unit
- Use manual and brew guide
The Cafe du Chateau was one of the few cold coffee brewers we bought that came with styrofoam packaging. It’s very secure and comes fully assembled. The user manual and brewing guide come together as a high-quality glossy booklet. Both the box and booklet feature a convenient QR code for the customer support email. They promise hassle free replacement for any damaged product. In terms of first impressions, we were well satisfied.
The brew decanter has the look and feel of a solid and durable product. However, on closer inspection it’s not without its flaws. For one, we found it a bit on the heavy side even when empty. We filled the decanter with water to test pour it, and it poured rather heavily. It also felt unbalanced and the grip was somewhat slippery. The manual says the glass decanter can detach from the stainless steel sleeve, but it was difficult to do, so we left this for the cleaning stage.
7.0 Stopper / Lid
The stopper has an airtight when brewing, but is rather loose with the filter attachment removed. Furthermore, the silicone seal is very rubbery, deforms easily, and is overall not the best quality.
The filter is made from laser-cut 304 grade stainless steel and comes with a ‘lifetime warranty’. It appeared well-machined and the edges were not sharp. However, like the decanter lid, the silicone seal around the filter top was not such great quality. The filter, however, did allow for a relatively decent brew to develop and the sediment produced didn’t require additional decanting.
7.0 Build Quality
The materials used, except for the silicone seals, are generally good quality, however, the design is not well executed. The brewer is all-round cumbersome to handle, the lid and seals are poorly designed, and it is weighted badly for pouring. Overall, this has been one of our least favorite cold coffee brewers to work with and will probably gather dust on the shelf.
8.3 Ease of Use
Brewing was the easiest part of using the Cafe du Chateau cold brew coffee maker. Decanting was straightforward except that removing the filter required some effort. However, the cumbersome silicone seals were a hindrance, and the brew decanter did not separate from the stainless steel jacket as advertised.
Like its design, brewing with the Cafe du Chateau has its unique points. No measuring is required because you just fill the filter with grounds to about 1 cm (less than ½ inch) below the top.
Then, you gradually pour water through the grounds but you don’t push the filter completely in. The filter has an upper chamber which makes pouring water very easy. The filter itself is very fine so you must wait for water to seep through. The last 200 ml of water takes a little time to pour.
Once the water is just below the 1-liter mark, you push the filter unit completely in and do the same for the lid. Despite the cumbersome design of the silicone seals, they do a pretty good job. Most air is completely compressed out of the brew decanter. All in all, the brewing method seemed very sound and we looked forward to the brewing results.
As with all similar immersion brew filters, all we had to do was remove the filter and place it in a glass to catch the remaining liquid. The stopper comes off with the filter attached. To separate the stopper, you’ll need to hold the filter tight, twist and pull forcefully.
Additionally, the decanter lid doesn’t fit so snugly when the filter unit is removed.This means that your fridge may become contaminated with coffee odors and the concentrate may oxidize and spoil faster.
Once the filter and grounds are removed, you should have around 700 ml of cold brew coffee concentrate. The overall volume is 900 ml (30 fl oz) with the difference being taken up by the filter and grounds while brewing.
7.0 Cleaning and Storage
Cleaning the Cafe du Chateau filter is easy enough. Use a standard non-abrasive sponge. You can reach to the bottom of the filter and the edges are not sharp. The decanter itself is easy to reach inside.
The user manual states the glass decanter is fully removable from the stainless steel jacket. Even after running under hot water, however, we were unable to remove the decanter. We didn’t want to exert too much force and break the glass, nor injure ourselves, so we didn’t succeed in separating the parts.
All components except for the silicone seals can go into the dishwasher.
Once dried, the brewer can be stored fully assembled. It looks nice on a counter and should easily fit in a standard cupboard or a shelf space. The filter also stands well on its own for storage when the decanter is in use.
Compared to Other Cold Brew Coffee Makers
Cafe Du Chateau is not a cold brew coffee maker that we actually recommend, but there are plenty of other options. If you want to experience true French press cold brew coffee making, we highly recommend the Bodum. It brews a full-strength cold brew concentrate using a free-style brewing method.
Behind the review
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.