We like the OXO On Barista Brain Coffee Maker because it ranked 3rd overall in our coffee taste test, and it is also the only SCAA certified home brewer we tested that is programmable. Although it is expensive, we found this to be a well-designed machine constructed with high-quality materials.
The OXO On Barista Brain 9-Cup Coffee Maker is SCAA certified and designed to produce a barista-style coffee in your home kitchen. This OXO model can brew between 2 and 9 cups, and you can choose from two quantity settings on the LED screen - 2 to 4 cups or 5 to 9 cups. This model utilizes several brew cycles, including a short first cycle that allows the coffee to "bloom" and ensures full flavor extraction. This machine is programmable and brews within the optimal temperature and time according to the SCAA. A full pot is ready in no more than 12 minutes. Features include a brew pause, freshness timer, and automatic off. The OXO also utilizes a cone-shaped brew basket, a "rainmaker" showerhead, and an "internal mixing tube," that all help keep the flavor and quality of your coffee optimal.
The OXO On Barista Brain uses pour-over and drip brew technology. This machine includes a pre-infusion function and utilizes a disposable paper filter, cone-shaped brew basket, and wide showerhead to ensure full saturation and ideal flavor extraction. In some customer reviews, we saw complaints of partially dry grounds, but during all of our tests we noted that the coffee grounds in the brew basket were completely saturated after brewing. We also verified that the brewing temperature and time were within the SCAA recommendations. At mid-cycle, the brew temperature was 198°F. It took 7 minutes and 45 seconds to empty the water tank and the filter was drained by the 11-minute mark. After brewing, the coffee temperature in the carafe was 177°F, and after an hour it was 167°F. The temperature retention of this thermal carafe was slightly above average among the carafes we tested.
The OXO On Barista Brain ranked 3rd overall in our coffee taste test. We conducted a blind taste test with 31 coffee drinkers to rate samples of black coffee on overall taste, flavor, body, acidity, and color. Being an SCAA certified brewer, we weren't surprised that the OXO had an above average performance during this test. To learn more about how we tested the Barista Brain against other coffee makers, please read our How We Test section.
We felt that the OXO was well designed and its pieces fit together smoothly. It did feel slightly more flimsy than other coffee makers in this price point, but we still think that it is solidly made. The thermal carafe is also well designed. It didn't drip and had good heat retention.Ease of Set Up and Clean Up
We found the Barista Brain to be easy to set up and clean up. It is a typical automatic drip coffee maker that doesn't require much assembly. In terms of cleaning, you have to wash the pot by hand, and then it just requires normal descaling maintenance.Bonus Features
The OXO 9-Cup Coffee Maker offers many of the bells and whistles of contemporary coffee brewers. It is programmable and allows you to select when to brew and how much to brew. It turns off automatically, and it also features a brew pause so you can sneak a cup of coffee before the cycle has completed. Lastly, it has a "freshness timer" that will let you know exactly how long your coffee has been sitting since you brewed it.
The OXO On Barista Brain is excellent for coffee connoisseurs who want a superb daily coffee experience with a programmable machine.Value
At $200, this is an expensive machine, but it is competitive with other SCAA certified brewers, and we love the fact that it is programmable. Its 2-year limited warranty is somewhat average for brewers in this price point.Conclusion
Overall, we loved the OXO and felt it delivered an excellent cup of coffee. Despite the price tag, for a coffee lover who is interested in a programmable SCAA certified brewer, we felt like this was a winner. The two machines that ranked above the OXO in our taste tests, the Moccamaster and the Bonavita, are not programmable. We also appreciated the attention to detail that this machine was designed with. It's straightforward to set up, clean up, and program. It is a bit tall and bulky on the countertop, so keep that in mind if you choose this brewer. If you'd like something a bit more compact in the same price point, we'd suggest the Bonavita. If you like something cheaper, we'd recommend our Best Buy Award Winner, the Mr. Coffee.
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