Ratio Eight Coffee Maker
Automatic drip coffee makers have always been an unfortunate compromise, sacrificing the quality of coffee for efficiency and time. We have seen many improvements in brewers over the past 14 years and every step along the way has brought better coffee to our homes. I've spent the past few years looking for the greatest brewer on the market to date, scouring the internet, the Specialty Coffee trade show, and buying a few to try at home over the course of time. And this is it. I'll tell you why... The Ratio Eight brews straight into a glass carafe, much like a Chemex. The benefit of this over having a brew basket attached is that you can use as much coffee as you want in the filter. The ratios I like to brew with are much higher than auto-drip brewers are made for - this brewer can hold as much ground coffee as I care to use. I've also found, for some reason, that cone filters make better coffee than flat bottom filters. It's counter-intuitive to me, but that's my conclusion thus far. Second, most brewers have a small shower head that disperses water onto one part of the coffee grounds, but the Ratio Eight has a large dispersion and saturates the bed of coffee evenly. That's a big deal. Third, it's designed to brew coffee like I make pourovers. It disperses a small amount of water and then it pauses for 35 seconds before resuming the brew cycle. This allows the coffee to bloom in the filter and to fully saturate the bed of grounds, providing a more even extraction throughout brewing. (If your coffee doesn't puff up when water hits it, that means it is stale. You should throw it out and buy fresh roasted DoubleShot Coffee.) Ok, fourth, the water temperature coming out of the shower head is just over 200 degrees. This is a good temp for proper extraction. I'd recommend making your grind size just a tiny bit coarser than you would for a V60, but using a similar ratio of coffee to water. It has markings on the side of the water reservoir, but I prefer to weigh the water before I pour it in, just like I do the coffee - that way I know it's just what I want. The last two things that make this a great brewer are it's simplicity and elegance. There are no settings to fool with, so you just push a button and it does what it's supposed to. And the quality of design on this is excellent. It's like a work of art. I like the way it looks very much. This brewer is "oyster" colored, which is a slightly greyish white, with mahogany wood trim. You will not be disappointed in this brewer. And it comes with a 5 year warranty, which is absurdly long. So you never have to worry about its durability.