Oxo has a new cold brew coffee gadget in the works. The $30 Oxo Compact Cold Brew Coffee Maker creates batches of sweet concentrated java on your kitchen counter. (That price converts to approximately £22 or AU$39.) It's part of a slew of appliances and accessories expected to debut at the International Home + Housewares Show this weekend in Chicago.
So far the beauty of Oxo's approach to cold brew has been its product's simple drainage procedure. You just flip a switch to separate brewed liquid from spent coffee grounds. Brewed coffee then drains into the carafe waiting below. Other cold brewers, such as the Filtron and Toddy, require you to remove a small stopper. It's an awkward and often messy affair. That's especially so if you don't have the carafe in position and ready.
The Compact Cold Brew is a follow-up to the company's previous cold brew gizmo. Oxo says this updated brewer will be even easier to use than the original. The largest component is a brewing container, where your coffee grounds and water go to steep. The container rests on a glass carafe, but only when it's time to drain your grounds. With the carafe in place, drainage happens automatically, no switch needed. A stainless steel mesh filter connects the two parts. The filter locks onto the bottom of the brewing container. You can remove the filter though to clean it.
The first cold brew device was quite tall. It largest section, the brewing chamber, towered at a full 11.3 inches ( 288 mm). This time around, the product eats up less space. While the entire contraption won't fit easily in the fridge, its individual parts are designed to do just that. The new brewing container is shorter than the original, standing at a height 6.9 inches ( 175 mm). That means it'll slide under cabinets with less drama, too.
You can make cold brew in just about any container (a French press, mason jar, even a bucket will work), so you might not want to spend $30 for the Compact Cold Brew if you're willing to work with materials you already have. Oxo's straining system, however, is less of a headache than doing it yourself.
It's hard to judge how hassle-free the Compact Cold Brew actually is until I see it in action. I plan to do just that at the Housewares 2018 show shortly.