The Willow & Everett device produced one of the highest-quality brews of any immersion cold brew coffee maker that we’ve tested. The brew was bold, flavorful, and also smooth to drink. On the other hand, the design and build quality left much to be desired. Furthermore, its packaging was inadequate considering the fragile glass around the tap. Additionally, the tap didn't work so well and decanting was not near as straightforward as it should have been. If you’re okay making some compromises in order to get a good brew, it's not a bad choice.
Things We Like
- Funky design
- Brew ratio
- Brew quality
- Tap dispenser
Things We Don’t Like
- Lid design
- Weak glass around tap
- Tap is temperamental
- No literature
Since carafe-style cold brew coffee makers are a dime a dozen, we really appreciate an original and fun design. However, there are a number of similar or identical contraptions around, so this brewer is still somewhat generic. The product came with no literature, but some basic brewing information is listed on their Amazon storefront page. The Willow & Everett brand produces a number of tea and coffee makers, kettles, and a small range of other kitchen paraphernalia.
Where to Buy Price at publication $32.70
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Compared to Other Cold Brew Coffee Makers
8.4 Brew Quality
The Willow & Everett produced a relatively strong and delicious brew. In fact, it was one of the best brews we got out of any immersion-filter cold brew coffee maker. Overall, the taste was defined by a deep roasted flavor and an almost bitter aftertaste. If you enjoy a strong coffee, or are looking for a quality cold brew concentrate to mix into something else, this is one of the better choices.
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.
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.
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.
Although the Willow & Everett looks neat and handy, the build quality and design didn’t quite match our expectations. The lid and filter, in particular, are poorly made and the tap mechanism is not well thought out. Cleaning is straightforward, and as long as you handle the jar carefully, you may be perfectly happy with this product.
In the Box
- 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.
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.
7.0 Stopper / Lid
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.
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.
7.0 Build Quality
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.
8.3 Ease of Use
Brewing with the Willow & Everett is very straightforward, as is cleaning and storage. Unfortunately, the design makes decanting somewhat cumbersome. The tap does not work so well and leaves about 20% of the liquid behind. That means you must decant it into a smaller vessel, largely negating the value of a tap in the first place.
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 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.
9.0 Cleaning and Storage
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.
Compared to Other Cold Brew Coffee Makers
In terms of mason jar designs, the best match to the Willow & Everett are the County Line Kitchen cold brew coffee makers. County Line Kitchen brewers come in 1-quart and 2-quart sizes and are more robust than the Willow & Everett. They can brew in the door of a refrigerator, however, the brew quality of Willow & Everett is much better.
For a full-strength cold brew concentrate, you should consider the Toddy Cold Brew System, the OXO compact, or the Bodum French press. For more comparable immersion filter brewers, see our full listing of the best cold brew coffee makers.
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.