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When Loving Life = Loving Coffee: The OXO Coffee Maker

When Loving Coffee = Loving Life

Our journey to good coffee and a better life…

coffee

 We love coffee, it is our “life liquid” 

Seriously, we love coffee.  We take it like medicine every morning, and we are a bit snobbish about it.  That wasn’t always true, let me take you on our journey, and then give you a little review of our new favorite coffee maker.

Once upon a time…. In a land without coffee…

Years ago, like before kids, I didn’t even drink coffee. Gasp I know.  Then it became warmth,  just something to wake me up, but nothing special.  Then it became a want, I want to be a grown up and grown ups drink coffee. Then it became a need, I mean by then I had 4 kiddos and morning comes early, with little sleep, when you are a mom.  Then, it became and obsession, seriously, recently, I began to enjoy coffee.  The snobbishness started with fresh ground beans and a french press and now, I’m truly an addict.

My husband has been a coffee drinker from his preteen years. Black, straight, bitter coffee, he just drank it because he needed to wake up.  He never really knew there was much difference in coffees, he just liked it strong. Bitter, harsh, biting, it didn’t matter, just make sure he had coffee every morning. He could drink kerosene if it was on the menu, so to him, a good old drip maker or gas station fare, it was all the same as Starbucks to him.

Coffee done right…

So coffee was our lifeline, it wasn’t anything special, and we had no idea why all our friends were such coffee snobs, we assumed they were just addicted to the “lifestyle”. (Sorry friends, we thought it was a status thing)  But then, then, we found fresh beans and a french press.  Our friend Missy,  over at Blessed Simplicity, had us over one evening and she introduced us to fresh beans and a french press.  For me it was too strong, but even strong and black, (mind you I only drank coffee with TONS of sugar or hot chocolate mixed in before this) it wasn’t bitter and it wasn’t biting it was actually tolerable.   The hubby, he LOVED it, kept on and on about the “body” and the “thickness”.  So the search began, I mean I needed to give up sugar and he wanted some of this “good” coffee.

First stop, Amazon of course. 😉  I found a coffee grinder as the deal of the day, and then I proceeded to find an amazing french press that was available for review.  WIN!!

They arrived and we were in love. I experimented some with different beans and different amounts and found the perfect blend that suited both of us.  We were loving it.  No matter what we tried, we could not replicate this flavor in a regular drip maker. So there we were, coffee snobs.

Insert snobbishness…

Yep, we were hooked. Fresh ground beans and a fresh pot every morning.  Sure it was a tad more work, but hey, this was coffee worth drinking.  We became critics of all kinds of coffee, and regular, drip coffee, was almost unbearable.

We critiqued coffee at every turn, we began making and drinking our “special” coffee even in the evenings.  The old drip maker was just collecting dust.

Insert kids & glass…

Yep, we all know how that ends… 3 carafes later we finally gave up and just went back to the old drip pot, I was going to shop for a sturdier french press.  Then, behold, the old drip maker begins leaking. 🙁 I guess years of non-use had taken their toll on the gaskets.

Behold Influenster

I have been with Influenster for a long time, and typically I get a voxbox of awesome goodies to try. I apply every time they send me a survey and thus far I have loved all my samples.  So when I asked to take the coffee survey, I assumed it would be a box full of coffee samples.  Imagine my surprise, when, with perfect timing, I had the chance to test out a new drip coffee maker.  The OXO Barista!! How blessed could a Mama be. I mean it wasn’t a french press, but hey, it was a free coffee maker in exchange for an honest review.

The Review…

 Opening the box…

First impressions are big, and OXO made the right one.  The design was so sleek, so simple, and so classy looking. It was also so thin and compact. It was exciting to have something MUCH smaller for my limited counter space.  Now let’s see how this baby works..

The first pot:

It was a bit difficult to figure out the programming, however I then decided to read the instructions. It isn’t really that hard with the instruction manual. It is a bit touchy. Example: The alarm bell light, that lets you know you have coffee for morning, will NOT come on until the water tank has water in it and the carafe is in place. I tried to set the timer first and thought something was wrong with the maker. The instructions do NOT tell you this little secret. So if you remove the carafe after programming, it will turn off the programming and you will have to set it again. So just go ahead and add water and coffee, place the carafe on the plate, and THEN set the programming.

The pros…

It is FAST:

It brews fast. It takes only a few minutes to brew a full pot. It says that is a 9 cup maker, but filled to the max line it is more like 10 or 11 cups (CUPS NOT MUGS). So I was able to get close to the 12 cups we were use to having every morning for the 3 coffee drinkers in the house. This was huge since I did not want to brew coffee twice a day.

It doesn’t get hot; well at least not the machine:

Yes the coffee is SMOKING HOT!! However, there are no hot parts. This was SHOCKING to me the first morning, because I assumed that it had a hot plate under the carafe. I grabbed the carafe to feel the warmth and it was COLD! Seriously thought something was wrong with it.

Then I was a bit worried my coffee would be cold. I set the maker to brew at 4:30 am so my hubby has coffee when he leaves at 5am, then I get up and have my coffee around 7. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find the coffee is still steaming hot at 7am and again at 9am. The thermal carafe really holds the heat in. It does start to get a little cooler after about 5 hours but still very warm.

This means coffee stays very warm without loosing flavor or cooking and scorching.

This is a great feature; especially if you have a 2-year-old that is capable of climbing a counter.

Less coffee used…

I am using less grounds. Seriously, we like our coffee strong, but this little machine has a knack for getting the most out of very little.

The instructions came with a huge scoop, double the size of the scoop we used in our old drip maker. In our old maker I used 6 of my scoops for 12 cups. This one said use 1 of their scoops per cup, I was thinking OH NO!! We’ll be going through coffee like crazy since we like it strong.

The first morning I did exactly what the instructions said and we almost threw the coffee out, it was so strong and bitter. The next morning I cut that in half and it was still pretty strong. Eventually I got the measurement correct and started using 3 of their scoops for a full pot. I’m not sure what about this particular maker that makes it stronger, but I’m not complaining,  I love saving coffee. 😉

By the way, I am still grinding my fresh beans in my coffee grinder, they are just more finely ground than if using a french press. The flavor comes out very similar to that of a french press.  The filter lets the oils and true coffee flavor right on through.

Space saving design…

Slim and compact. This maker sits in a small space on the counter. It is slim so it doesn’t stick out far from the wall, and with the tank being on top of the maker and shower head to the side, it takes up very little counter space. Nice when you have limited space.

Cons… (yeah there is always at least one)

There is no reason to set the number of cups..

It doesn’t do anything.  Seriously, nothing changes. It just brews until the water tank is empty.

The programming does NOT set the number of cups. If you set it to 2-4 cups but fill the tank to 9 cups, it will brew the entire tank. So I am not sure why that is even a choice on the settings. Just put in the amount of water for the number of cups you want, put in the proper amount of grounds and hit start or set the timer.

I was a little disappointed in this because I really wanted it to brew the first 2 -4 cups for my hubby at 5am and then have water left in the tank to brew my 2-4 cups after I got up. However, since it stays hot for so long this really isn’t an issue.

The dial…

Making selections on the dial when setting the time or alarm is a little tricky until you get use to it. It isn’t impossible, but I prefer buttons.  This is a simple design, and probably more efficient, but getting to what you want takes a little more time.  Having to turn the dial through 24 hours just to get to the hour you want it to brew is also a bit of a pain.

The FINAL take:

Overall this is a great drip maker that makes great coffee. It isn’t extra special, it doesn’t really do anything fancy. It just makes great coffee.

I’m not sure what the difference is in the way it brews, but it does come out tasting more like french press brew. In some fashion the oils make it through the filter, giving it that bold, thick, full body flavor.

If you are looking for a slim, easy to use, drip maker, without much fuss, then this is the one for you. If you want something fancy, with lots of choices and functions, then you might want to look for something else.

I received this item free, from Influenster and OXO in exchange for a fair and honest blog post review. My review is my own opinion and is in no way reflect the views of the manufacturer or influenster.com .

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