Disclosure: This is a sponsored review. As always though, all opinions are 100% my own.
About the OXO 8 Cup Coffee Maker
The 8 Cup Coffee Maker from OXO is an automated coffee machine that has been certified by the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA). It can brew anywhere from two to eight cups into a single mug or the accompanying carafe.
First Impressions and Unboxing of the OXO 8 Cup Coffee Maker
The coffee maker comes packaged in a hefty box that is well designed and covered with the various features of the product. The unboxing process was clearly thought through because from the moment you open the first flap, they provide helpful information on how to get started (see image below).
The product comes securely packaged within the box and includes the coffee maker, the brew basket (including a single-serve accessory), the stainless steel carafe, the coffee scoop, batch brew filters, single-serve Kalita Wave 185 filters and the instruction manual.
I was immediately impressed with the simple elegance of the product. The stainless steel chrome paired with the black plastic creates a really nice look. I was also impressed with how easy it appeared it would be to toggle back and forth between batch and single-serve brews.
The OXO 8 Cup Coffee Maker retails for $169.95 and is available on Amazon, OXO’s site and a variety of other retailers. Automated coffee makers range from $20-2,000, so there is quite a range in pricing. When compared to other SCA Certified home brewers in a similar product space, the OXO 8 Cup Coffee Maker is one of the most affordable options. Here are some other comparable brewers and their price points:
- Breville Precision Brewer – $299.95
- Bonavita BV1900TS 8-Cup Digital Coffee Brewer – $153.54
- Cuisinart PurePrecision 8 Cup Pour-Over Coffee Brewer – $199.95
The OXO 8 Cup Coffee Maker sits comfortably in the mid-tier to premium brewer category. The SCA Golden Cup standard certification means the way it the coffee maker brews the coffee (water temperature, brew cycles, etc.) aligns more with a typical pour over vs. your standard automated coffee pot. I’ll discuss more of these brewing benefits below, but it does mean this product is intended for a different market than your lower-end coffee pot. As such, I think in that market, the OXO 8 Cup Coffee Maker is quite competitive when it comes to price.
The OXO 8 Cup Coffee Maker is made from a mix of plastic and stainless steel. While plastic is a primary component in the product, it all is quite sturdy and looks surprisingly elegant. Even with the way the coffee maker is used on a daily basis, given the simplicity of the product design, the lack of moving parts and ease of cleaning, I could see the product lasting for a very long time. OXO also backs the product with a two-year warranty from the date of purchase for any manufacturing defects in materials.
Ease of Use
The OXO 8 Cup Coffee Maker did not take long to understand and use. Their instruction manual is only 13 pages and much of that includes required safety information, cleaning and their guarantee. The information on actually brewing with the coffee maker only takes up two pages—that’s how simple it is. After adding water to the tank and adding your filter and ground coffee to the brew basket, the only thing left to do is toggle between single serve or batch brew and then click the appropriate brew method (there’s a reason they call it an automated brewer!).
Part of the “Ease of Use” score also involves cleaning, which is an important component of any brewer. Many of the components of the brewer (brew basket, spoon, tray and shower head) are all top-rack dishwasher safe. The carafe and lid do need to be hand washed. The machine itself has a “clean” mode that allows you to descale the water tank and interior components.
A final component to the “Ease of Use” score is the documentation. The instruction manual is clearly written, easy to follow and includes helpful illustrations. I’ve used many products where this wasn’t the case and it makes the initial learning curve for a product much steeper.
The OXO 8 Cup Coffee Maker is quite durable. While many of the components are plastic, they are extremely sturdy and thick. The components are well assembled and unless you decide to drop the machine, I find it hard to see where it would break outside of normal wear and tear. Furthermore, many of the components are dishwasher-safe, which implies an additional layer of durability.
Another thing to keep in mind with this product is it is a counter product that likely won’t be moved often, if at all. Besides a few of the removable parts (brew basket, carafe, etc.), the main machine will likely sit on your counter unmoved through its lifespan. With this being the case, the durability doesn’t need to be at the level of a product you plan to move around or travel with.
The coffee maker is sleek, elegant and well-designed. As with all signature OXO products, it is incredibly ergonomic and unified in appearance. The black and chrome integration creates a stunning combination that would look good in and help elevate the appearance of almost any kitchen.
The primary value the OXO 8 Cup Coffee Maker offers is automation while not sacrificing the quality you can get in a pour over coffee. If you are someone who appreciates the quality you can get from a pour over coffee, you’ll see immense value in this machine for maintaining most of that quality while costing you a fraction of the time a pour over coffee takes to make.
Another element that I think plays nicely into the OXO 8 Cup Coffee Maker’s value is its high marks in all of the areas above. Having a machine that is easy to use, durable and looks great on your counter increases its value a great deal.
Brewing with the OXO 8 Cup Coffee Maker
The next four areas focus on the actual brewing process with the OXO 8 Cup Coffee Maker and the quality of the final result—the coffee that you drink. Below is an overview of the brewing instructions for the OXO 8 Cup Coffee Maker (per OXO’s instruction manual):
- Adjust to mug or carafe mode appropriately.
- Lock in brew basket and add filter. For single serve brews, include the single serve brew basket within the larger brew basket.
- Add water to the water tank. Fill the water tank between the minimum and maximum fill lines. Only use the amount of water you plan to brew with.
- Press the power button and start to brew. Select between 2-4 cups or 5-8 cups depending on your brew size.
- Enjoy! The coffee maker will chime when brewing is complete.
The setup for the brew takes only a minute or two and involves filling the water tank and the brew basket with your coffee grounds. Ideally you would add only the amount of water you want to brew, so you may want to take an extra minute to measure out the water. (I simply filled the vessel I planned to brew into (whether a mug or the carafe) with water and dumped that into the water tank.)
Once you press the brew button on the machine, the brewing process takes between 3 to 6 minutes depending on the amount of coffee you are making. This is about the same amount of time as making pour over coffee yourself (one of the highlights of this machine is that it follows the cadence and timing of a hand-poured pour over). The difference is the brew time for the OXO 8 Cup Coffee Maker is passive and you do not need to be there as it is brewing.
The quality of the coffee the OXO 8 Cup Coffee Maker can make really depends on the input you provide. If you grind freshly roasted coffee on demand and measure out the coffee and water to achieve the correct ratio, I think the quality you can achieve is very similar to the quality you’d get from manual pour over. The machine uses the ideal water temperature for brewing (200 – 205° F) and follows the Specialty Coffee Association’s Golden Cup standard for its brew cycle. It includes a bloom stage and a similar brew cadence to a hand poured pour over.
All this said, it isn’t a magic brewer. If you use pre-ground coffee, guess at your coffee to water ratios or don’t grind the coffee to the appropriate fineness, there is a good chance the quality won’t be to the level possible.
The OXO 8 Cup Coffee Maker is among around 30 SCA Certified Home Brewers. It is one of the higher quality automated brewers available, while still staying within a reasonable budget. It kept its feature set fairly basic to focus on brewing a quality cup of coffee in a variety of brew sizes. I think the OXO coffee maker has positioned itself nicely between the low-range economy coffee makers and the higher-end, super premium machines that cost two or three times what the OXO costs.
The OXO 8 Cup Coffee Maker gives you flexibility in the following areas:
- Quantity: You can make anywhere from 2 to 8 cups of coffee at a given time (a cup being 5-6 fluid ounces of coffee)
- Strength: You have complete control over the water to coffee ratio, so you can adjust the coffee based on your personal preferences.
The OXO 8 Cup Coffee Maker doesn’t have a lot of flexibility when it comes to the type of coffee it makes though. It only offers a standard pour over style coffee using a single brew cycle setting.
A Few Nitpicks
In any review, I try to be as impartial as possible. While in general I believe the OXO 8 Cup Coffee Maker is a great, high-quality, automated machine, there were a few nit-picky items I didn’t love when brewing with it:
- The last of the water or coffee did not easily pour out of the carafe. Because of the way the thermos-style lid works on the carafe, it is very difficult to get the last of the coffee or water out of the carafe. This wasn’t an issue for the coffee as much, but when using the carafe to fill the water tank, it became burdensome to empty completely.
- There was some splatter when brewing into the single serve. I liked that the taller real-estate allowed for a variety of mugs and thermoses to be used for the single serve brewing. It did mean that more traditional-sized mugs that are a bit shorter did have a little splatter if filled to the top.
A Few Highlights
There were also a variety of product highlights I enjoyed a lot that didn’t make it into other areas of the review. These include:
- The double-walled vacuum insulated carafe. While my primary use for the machine is the single-serve option, The larger carafe will be an excellent choice when brewing for a larger group. The insulation means the coffee will stay warm for hours without needing a heating element (which can ruin the taste of the coffee).
- Reversible tray. The tray at the bottom flips from a flat base for the carafe to a raised pedestal for the single serve option. This raised tray helps eliminate some of the splatter I mentioned above.
The OXO 8 Cup Coffee Maker is a high-quality, competitively priced automated coffee maker. When provided with quality coffee, it delivers an excellent cup of coffee that is one of the best I’ve received from an automated machine. It is well-designed, high-quality and easy to use. If you are familiar with speciality coffee, enjoy a good pour over and are looking for a more automated way to receive those results each morning, this OXO coffee maker is a great option. It gives you the benefits of a more automated brew method without sacrificing the quality you’ve come to expect in a pour over style coffee.