Oxo 8 Cup Coffee Maker: We Tested It So You Don’t Have To
A few years ago, I went on an epic quest to find a coffee machine that would replace my entire brewing setup as I had it. I went through hundreds of machines to try and find the perfect one. Yet, with no luck.
With all that knowledge, I’d like to present the Oxo 8 Cup Coffee Maker to you. It’s a workhorse, and it’s a classic design. It’s got all the features of fancier coffee makers at a much more reasonable price. It makes single cups, and it makes up to 8 cups.
So, keep reading, and let me prove it to you.
Summary: The Oxo 8-cup Coffee Maker
- Rainmaker showerhead means each brew is evenly extracted
- BetterBrew Precision system controls the water brewing temperature and brewing time
- Switching from whole carafe brewing to single-cup brewing is just pressing a button
It is beautiful, makes the fastest pot of coffee (1min per cup), is easy to clean, and so aesthetically pleasing.– DanielleRRae, Oxo Customer
The Full Oxo 8 Cup Coffee Maker Review
Oxo set out to create an entry-level daily brewing machine that can handle single cups up through an entire 8-cup carafe.
But is this machine all it’s cracked up to be? Let’s dive into the details of this machine and pick apart each aspect.
Design – 4/5
To get the most important bits out of the way first: the Oxo coffee maker is made with stainless steel and BPA-free high-quality plastic. That’s pretty much the industry standard at this point, so it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
The Oxo 8 cup machine has a pretty classic and timeless design.
The squared-off edges are sleek and the black accents give the machine depth. But a part of me can only think of diner-style coffee makers when I look at this Oxo machine. Something about so much stainless steel in the square design. It’s not for everyone, but it’s undoubtedly a classic design if you like it.
The carafe that comes standard is my favorite part. It’s a double wall, vacuum-insulated thermal carafe, and the rounded bottom helps to break up some of the squareness of the machine. Once again, it’s a pretty classic-looking carafe, and you can’t go wrong with a classic.
There aren’t that many removable parts with this machine. And I prefer having as few removable parts as possible on my machines. That’s just because I don’t want to risk anything getting lost or breaking. There are two filter baskets for brewing single cups, whole carafes, and the carafe lid. That’s it, and that’s a major plus.
Another big upside is the small footprint. At only 10.5x7x13.5 inches, this machine is designed to fit under your cabinets. That’s huge for smaller or crowded kitchens, and this brewer will tuck away nicely into whichever nook you need it to.
The last thing to mention is that this is an SCA-certified home brewer (1). That means that it holds up to the rigorous testing of the Specialty Coffee Association. But that means that you’ll end up with high-quality and consistent coffee every time you brew.
While it might have a simple design, it has plenty of features to rank highly among some SCA Golden Cup coffee machines.
Features – 5/5
Automated drip coffee makers often run into the same set of problems:
- They don’t always wet the coffee grounds evenly, leading to uneven extraction and a funky-tasting cup of joe.
- They don’t take into account water temperature or pressure when brewing.
- They usually don’t work so well when you only want a little bit of coffee instead of a whole carafe.
Luckily for us, the Oxo coffee maker solves all of these problems.
Rainmaker bloom cycle
This machine has what Oxo calls the Rainmaker bloom cycle. The bloom of a coffee is when you pour a little water over the grounds to ensure that all the grounds are wet and off-gassed (2). This allows the rest of the water poured through the coffee grounds to extract your coffee and help it taste amazingly evenly.
The Rainmaker bloom cycle means that this machine starts pouring water over your grounds and then stops to allow the coffee to get wet off the gas. Only then does it continue to brew. The result is a much more even and delicious cup of coffee that you would otherwise get with a more basic brewing system.
What’s more, the Rainmaker showerhead doesn’t have just one spout for water; it has a handful spread over the entire head. That ensures that the water is coming into contact with more than just some of the coffee. Again, that means a more even extraction.
Oxo coffee maker also features a BetterBrew precision. The BetterBrew system is Oxo’s internal brewing component that controls time and temperature based on the amount of coffee and water you put into the machine.
BetterBrew keeps the water temperature between 195 and 205 degrees. That’s important because it’s the temperature range where coffee extracts the best (3).
I might sound like a broken record, but the BetterBrew system is meant to provide a better and more consistent extraction. And it does. I’m a big fan of showerhead systems and temperature-controlled machines.
Small amounts of coffee
Now for our last problem: what happens when you only want a little coffee instead of a whole carafe? This machine has you covered.
That’s the name of the game with this machine: even extraction every time.
Instead of brewing a whole carafe, the Oxo brewer works well down to only 2 cups of coffee. Only put enough water and grounds for 2 cups of coffee into the machine and you’ll get the same results as if you were brewing a whole carafe. But it doesn’t stop there.
An optional attachment allows you to brew a single cup of coffee at a time. Now, this feature is one of my favorites because it means that this machine can replace your entire coffee brewing setup. If you want it to.
But the best part? You don’t actually have to brew single cups into the carafe. Part of the optional single serve accessory is that you can brew straight into your favorite mug, or even travel mug. And for me, that puts the features category over the edge for full marks. This machine proves that it has an answer for every problem at every turn. It is possibly the best brew coffee maker that can still brew a single cup.
The last feature I want to highlight is the thermal carafe instead of a glass carafe with a heating element in the machine. I’m glad that a recent trend in coffee makers has been away from heating elements. Think about it: if you leave your coffee in a glass carafe for a while on a hot plate, what will get hot? Only the coffee at the bottom.
The solution? A vacuum insulated thermal carafes. A thermal carafe is great for two reasons, they keep your coffee hot and they keep your coffee from going flat (4). The slower coffee cools down, the better it tastes. That’s not to say that a thermal carafe will keep your coffee hot forever, but it will slow down the cooling process enough for you to enjoy a few cups before your coffee gets too cold.
The only feature I would’ve liked to see is a programmable setting. But that’s frivolous and not exactly necessary.
Ease Of Use – 4/5
So, is the Oxo coffee maker easy to use?
You’ll be happy to hear that it’s super easy to use. Whether you’re brewing a whole carafe or a single mug, your steps don’t change, and the results don’t change, either.
When you’re brewing in the carafe, you must ensure the basket is switched to the carafe. Then you add your filter and coffee to the brew basket and ensure it’s securely attached to the machine. Then add the amount of water you need to the water tank, press the power button, and then the brew button to brew!
When you’re brewing into a single mug, you must ensure the basket is set to a mug rather than a carafe. And make sure there’s actually a mug underneath the basket to catch your coffee.
What about the maintenance?
But here’s the thing about ease of use, using a coffee machine gets harder if you don’t keep up with maintenance and cleaning. So, I always check out how easy it is to clean and maintain the machines I’m considering buying.
The good news is that descaling this machine is simple. Oxo recommends that you descale your machine after every 90 brewing cycles. But that can change depending on the hardness of your water.
You can also clean your drip coffee maker without a descaling solution for a quicker clean. And this Oxo brewer makes it super easy. All you have to do is fill the water tank to the max, switch the brew basket to the carafe, and hit the “clean” button on the front of the machine. You should run another full water tank regular brew cycle afterward as a rinse.
And one quick thing to note about cleaning: all the removable parts are dishwasher safe. That includes the brew basket, the carafe lid, and all the accessories. The only piece you have to hand wash is the carafe itself.
The only reason the Oxo 8-cup coffee maker doesn’t get full marks from me in the ease of use category is that there is no indication as to how much coffee or water to put in the water tank to get the best results. And while every coffee will have slightly different recipes for the best flavors, it would still be nice for beginners to have some indication as to where to start.
Value For Money – 5/5
Oxo 8-cup is more than worth it; it’s actually an excellent deal. It’s at a lower price point than almost every other Specialty Coffee Association-certified home brewer. But that does not mean that it’s cheap or not worth it. On the contrary, it scores higher for me.
This machine comes at a lower price point than other certified home brewers, so it’s simple. There aren’t many frills or extras involved, which means that all your money goes towards tasty coffee and nothing extra.
On top of that, this is a machine that can just about replace your entire coffee setup. It brews any coffee from single cups to whole 8-cup carafes. And it’s small enough to fit in any size kitchen regardless of how much counter space you have.
It’s a daily brewer that will save you money in the long run.
Things We Liked:
- Rainmaker integrated bloom cycle gives you even extraction
- Sleek, minimalist design
- Double-walled and vacuum insulated carafe
- Single-cup optional accessory
Things We Didn’t Like
- Not programmable
- Not much control over brewing variables
Do Not Buy the Oxo 8 Cup Coffee Maker If…
You don’t want a preinfusion cycle: Preinfusion or the bloom does get you an even extraction and a better-tasting cup of coffee. But let’s be honest, not everyone needs a preinfusion cycle. For example, if you put a lot of cream and a couple of spoonfuls of sugar into your coffee every morning, you don’t need a bloom cycle. A passable cup of coffee will work just fine. For that, I recommend the Bonavita Connoisseur Coffee Maker. It has an option preinfusion cycle that will save you time when it’s turned off.
You want a super unique design: The bottom line is that the Oxo 8 cup coffee maker isn’t anything special in the design. It’s a classic look, but it could also be seen as dated. Sometimes buying a machine with a super unique or special design gives us a more classic or timeless feeling. Therefore, I recommend the science project-looking Technivorm Moccamaster KBT 741 for your eccentric kitchen.
You want a programmable coffee maker: Programmable coffee makers are incredible for setting up the night before and waking up to a fresh coffee without having to brew. But the Oxo 8 cup coffee maker isn’t programmable. While that’s not the end of the world for me, it might be for you. Instead, I recommend stepping up to the Oxo 9 Cup Coffee Maker. It has all the same features as the smaller version but with a programmable function.
The Oxo 8 Cup Coffee Maker is an excellent machine, and it’s not every day the SCA hands out a home brewer certification. And while it might be easy to pass this off as just another sticker on the packaging, it’s worth considering. As a coffee professional, I will tell you that it’s a sticker that means something.
- Certified Home Brewers. Specialty Coffee Association. (n.d.). Retrieved February 27, 2023, from https://sca.coffee/certified-home-brewer
- What’s a coffee bloom? Fellow. (n.d.). Retrieved February 27, 2023, from https://fellowproducts.com/blogs/learn/what-s-a-coffee-bloom
- How to brew coffee. NCA. (n.d.). Retrieved February 27, 2023, from https://www.ncausa.org/About-Coffee/How-to-Brew-Coffee
- Thermal carafes. Coffee.org. (n.d.). Retrieved February 27, 2023, from https://coffee.org/pages/thermal-carafes