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Ratio 8 - 5 stars
After messing around with a lot of coffee makers over the years, I have settled on pour over as the best approach for a clean, flavor filled cup of joe. Beyond the manual process of making a pour over, which is simple and inexpensive, there are a number of automated pour over machines. None comes close to the Ratio 8 in terms of producing what I find to be an authentic pour over.
I covered the various approaches I use to making coffee in my post How I Make Coffee. In that post I was still using the Wilfa Machine, and most recently I had reviewed a Chemex pour over machine which was disappointing.
I had been doing some research on the Ratio 8, which is made in Portland Oregon, and decided to order one. A few months later my Ratio arrived. We've had it since December.
I can't really capture the beautify and simplicity of this machine. It's unique in many dimensions.
I was torn on what color to get, I ended up with the Cobalt color.
It has a hand blown glass water reservoir, which is a first I think. No plastic reservoir.
It's made of solid metal and wood. The machine is heavy and substantial. It's not so much an appliance but a small piece of furniture
It's hand assembled and each and every machined stainless steel screw and detail reminds you of the fact that it's not mass produced
The carafe is simple, also all glass, with a nice cork base. There is a hidden magnet in the base that is required for the Ratio to activate when you press the on button
It has a bloom cycle, meaning it will add some water to your grounds and let them sit for a few min before starting the cycle
The water comes out at a perfect 202 degrees, and stays consistent through the whole brew cycle
The water is distributed by a stainless steel shower head - also no plastic
In addition, the people that stand behind it are great. Their customer service is really fantastic, something I cannot say for Chemex.
The only complaint I have, is that since the Ratio does not have a heating element, the coffee cools down rather quickly. However, Ratio has already funded a successful Kickstarter project to produce a matching thermal carafe for the Ratio which can also be used as a stand alone system for pour over.
The Ratio 8 is no doubt an expensive coffee machine. About half the cost of your super automatic espresso machine. Since I am a coffee drinker through and through, I appreciate the hand built, all metal, glass and wood bespoke machine.
This is not a product you will ever see in Williams-Sonoma. Like my Carbon Steel Pans made in Seattle, this product is build to last by people who are really proud of their craft.
I am making coffee with Chemex filters, which the Ratio 8 accepts. However, you can also order a custom Able Cone.
If you are looking for coffee beans that are really designed for a pour over like the Ratio, check out Blue Bottle Bella Donovan.
You can purchase a Ratio 8 direct from Ratio. Prices start at $470 for the white model, and they are currently offering $25 off.
Exceptional. A spectacular product.