The OXO Compact cold brew coffee maker is one of the simplest brewers to use. We’re impressed with its fast decanting and convenient inbuilt measurements. It stores really neatly too.
The OXO ‘rainshower’ water dispersal system is unique. And, while it brews a strong and smooth concentrate, the brew tends to lack a more complex profile. If you’re fine with that, it’s the perfect cold brew coffee maker for a smaller living situation, singles or couples, or even a motorhome.
Things We Like
- Compact design
- Quality packaging
- Aesthetic decanter
- Easy measuring
- Pours very smoothly
Things We Don’t Like
- Stopper doesn’t fit tightly
- Sensitive decanter valve
- Brew not so complex
- Updated Jun 22, 2022:
The OXO brand has long been a top choice among cold brew coffee enthusiasts. As a ‘compact brewer,’ this OXO unit can produce 16 oz or around 450 ml of cold brew coffee concentrate. This is enough for 5 to 7 drinks depending on dilution.
We unboxed the OXO Compact to see what you get in such a neat package. We also tested the OXO to see if it measured up to our expectations.
Oxo Cold Brew Compact Coffee Maker In-depth Review
Brew QualityHow We Tested
Overall, the OXO Compact produced a smooth and full-bodied brew. It was very satisfying to drink with a simple dilution. However, the brew tended to lack sweeter flavor subtleties and the complexity one would expect from a cold brew.
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.
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.
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.
DesignHow We Rated
We unboxed the OXO Compact cold coffee brewer to see what came in such a neat and small package. The initial impression was a product that delights and excites.
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.
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.
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.
9.0Stopper / Lid
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.
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.
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.
Ease of UseHow We Rated
The OXO Compact is one of the easiest cold brew coffee makers to use. You simply measure your ingredients using the markings on its brew vessel and decanter. Decanting was fast and effortless, and cleaning straightward. It also stored very neatly, adding to its compact appeal. The only thing to be careful of is the sensitive decanting spring valve.
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.
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.
8.5Cleaning 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.
Compared to Other Cold Brew Coffee Makers
The best comparison to the OXO Compact which we tested is the Bodum French press cold brew coffee maker. Both produce a strong and defined cold brew concentrate. The Bodum, however, does not have a separate carafe for easily decanting the entire brew. Out of the free-style brewers, the Toddy Cold Brew System produces the largest volume and brews the most complex flavor.
For other cold brew coffee makers, our full length reviews also highlight the best carafe style brewers with an immersion filter. These have a fixed brew ratio and do not produce a full-strength cold brew coffee concentrate.