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Ovalware Cold Brew Coffee Maker In-depth Review
In our comprehensive tests, the Ovalware held to its reputation as one of the better cold brew coffee makers. It produced a quality brew and did well to bring out sweeter flavors. The compromise is that the brew may need to be decanted a second time or put through a paper filter to remove excess sediment. Likewise, the thin decanter neck required more effort to clean, but the design works well for brewing. The silicone seals, on the other hand, could be of better quality.
Things We Like
- Brew quality
- Brew markers in cups and ml
- Silicone base pad
- Comfortable handle
- Ease of brewing
Things We Don’t Like
- Quality and fit of silicone seals
- Additional decanting
- Narrow head for cleaning
- Updated Jul 15, 2022:
Ovalware has been a long time favorite among cold coffee brewers. Their brew decanters come in 34 oz and 51 oz sizes. The new design has a non-slip, silicone cushion for better durability and stability. We purchased the 34 oz brewer, at our own expense, to see how it would rank against other cold brew coffee makers.
Ovalware Cold Brew Coffee Maker: Brew Quality
The brew quality of the Ovalware was quite in line with what one would expect from a good cold brew coffee maker. It did well in bringing out sweeter flavors, although the concentrate itself was not so strong. Brewing for longer than 18 hours may produce even better results.
We partly attributed the good brewing results to the carafe having a wide base, but narrow neck. This seems to accommodate the more favorable design of a lower-down brewing area. The filter is also permeable enough to produce a favorable brew.
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 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 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.
Ovalware rj3 Cold Brew Coffee Maker: Design
The Ovalware has a distinguished look, but for us, the most prominent feature was the detachable silicone base stand. It made handling the carafe very comfortable. The small lip poured very nicely, and the handle was easy to grip. The only drawback was the quality and fit of the silicone seal.
Ovalware Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker 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.
Ovalware rj3 Cold Brew Decanter
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.
9.0Stopper / Lid
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.
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.
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.
Ovalware Cold Brew Review: Ease of Use
Both brewing and decanting required little effort. However, since it is better to decant the contents twice or use a paper filter, additional work may be required. The thin neck of the decanter and the long filter required a bottle brush for deep cleaning.
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.
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.
8.5Cleaning 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.
Compared to Other Cold Brew Coffee Makers
For a stylish glass carafe with a stopper, the best contender to the Ovalware is the Bean Envy cold brew coffee maker. Bean Envy tends to produce a slightly more bitter brew.
The key design difference is the more slender appeal of the Ovalware and the Bean Envy has a two-stopper design — one for while brewing and a pop-up silicone stopper for pouring after decanting the filter. Its silicone base is also an easier fit.
For similar immersion filter brewers, see our complete reviews of the best cold brew coffee makers. These include mason jar brewers and jug type brewers that will more easily fit into any refrigerator door.
About your guide
Roger Shitaki is a writer, author, and editor. His niches are household appliances, health & wellness, and travel. Roger's interest in home technologies was sparked by time spent at companies like Sharp, Panasonic, and Mitsubishi. Previously, his job was prepping Japanese engineers to work abroad. Editorial work has included document editing and email screening for a large beverage maker.