The Oxo Barista Brain 9-Cup Coffee Maker Review
You no longer have to drink terrible coffee every day to survive. You now have the opportunity to start your day with the best coffee, even at home.
The Oxo On Barista Brain 9 Cup Coffee Maker will change the way you brew coffee. It uses technical wizardry to produce a fantastic coffee cup that tastes like it was hand-crafted by a trained barista.
Keep reading to find out if the Oxo Barista Brain is for you.
Summary: The Oxo On Barista Brain Coffee Maker
- SCAA-certified for high-quality brews
- Sleek, minimalist design
- Replicates a pour-over by distributing water in timed cycles
Designed to regulate brew time, water temperature and volume; the three variables that can make or break a pot of coffee.– OXO Design team
The Oxo Barista Brain Review
We fully expect this SCAA-certified brewer to make excellent coffee. But how does it perform in other areas like design, convenience features, ease of use, and value for money? Read on for our detailed review, but here are our scores for now.
Design – 4.5/5
If you are looking to consistently brew excellent coffee with a sleek, modern coffee machine, then look no further. Its body is mostly brushed stainless steel accented by black plastic that looks modern. Its looks are the complete opposite of the Smeg drip coffee machine. And with a cool digital display integrated into the glossy black plastic housing, this coffee brewer looks like it was made in the 21st century.
You have to make some space for it in your kitchen, though. Measuring 38.1 x 33 x 16.5 cm, it’s not one of the most compact drip coffee makers. Remember, you’ll need to lift the water tank and filter basket lids, so you’ll need extra headroom for that. It also weighs in at 4.8 kg without water, so it’s not light either. It has a minimal, modern design that can go with just about anything. You will be proud to show off this Oxo coffee maker.
Features – 4/5
The Oxo Barista Brain is a 9-cup coffee maker, which means nine 150-ml cups. It has markings on the transparent water reservoir to show you the amount of water you’ve filled. This coffee maker lets you choose between brewing 2-4 cups or 5-9 cups, using the selector dial and Oxo button. Unfortunately, there’s no single serve option. However, you can remove the carafe mid-brew, thanks to the drip-stop valve under the brew basket. The machine will pause the brew cycle for 60 seconds. If the carafe isn’t replaced in 60 seconds, the Barista Brain will cancel the brewing process.
The stainless steel double-walled thermal carafe will keep your coffee hot for quite some time. It also comes with a brew-through lid and a silicone mixing tube to ensure proper temperature distribution in your brewed coffee. Another nifty touch is that the display will let you know if the carafe is not in its proper position. Have we mentioned that this product is included in our list of the best thermal carafe coffee makers?
When this coffee maker has finished brewing, it will flash a ‘coffee ready’ icon and start a timer so that you can check the freshness of the coffee.
The timer only counts up to the 60-minute mark, though, after which, the machine turns itself off. You can also program this machine to turn itself on at any time within a 24-hr period. That can be quite handy if you want a pot of coffee to be ready when you walk into the kitchen in the morning.
Ease Of Use – 4.5/5
This drip coffee maker’s brew basket will accept a #4 cone filter. Combined with a ‘Rainmaker’ shower head, the Oxo Barista Brain ensures an even dispersion of hot water over the coffee grounds.
The Oxo Barista Brain has a microprocessor-controlled brew cycle, which means it will produce the same amount of coffee in the same amount of time, every single time.
Even though it doesn’t have a pre-infusion mode, it mimics a pour-over by distributing hot water in timed cycles to ensure proper extraction of the coffee grounds.
You can use the selector dial and Oxo button to choose between brewing 2-4 cups or 5-9 cups. But you have to manually fill water according to that, as the machine will use up all the water in the reservoir every time it brews coffee. But it produces great tasting coffee, and you can expect the same, high-quality cup of coffee every time. It is also quite fast, brewing a full pot of coffee in about 6 minutes, which is within the ideal contact time according to SCAA: (1)
The hot water should be in contact with the coffee for between 4-6 minutes, depending on the brewing method.
The Oxo Barista Brain’s LED ring (encircling the Oxo button) lights up white to indicate that you need to descale the machine, which approximately after every 90 cycles. All the removable parts are top-rack dishwasher safe, which makes cleanup easy. The stainless steel carafe and its lid need to be hand-washed, though. Also, remember to clean the area under the removable filter basket, as debris tends to accumulate there.
Value For Money – 4/5
As far as drip coffee makers go, this Oxo coffee maker is pricey. But there’s a reason for that: SCAA certification. It’s one of the few automatic coffee machines certified by the Specialty Coffee Association of America, which is the voice of high-quality coffee.
The Oxo Barista Brain produces excellent coffee, for a price. And we think it’s a price worth paying.
The SCAA certification means that this Oxo coffee maker regulates brew time, water temperature, and volume as per SCAA’s strict standards (2). The manufacturer must also submit multiple machines that are put through a series of rigorous tests before SCAA hands out the certification. All of this guarantees that this coffee maker is going to produce consistently great coffee every time.
Don't Buy The Oxo On Barista Brain Coffee Maker If…
You want to control every aspect of your brew – This Oxo coffee maker is SCAA certified, but other than choosing how many cups you want to brew, there are no customization options. You could certainly play around with the coffee-to-water ratio (3), but that’s about it. The Breville Precision Brewer, on the other hand, lets you customize the pre-infusion, brewing time, and even the water flow rate. It also has a built-in cold brew mode. However, the Breville costs significantly more than the Oxo. You can read more about the Breville’s capabilities in our full review.
You don't want to spend a lot of money – We know it’s just a drip coffee machine, so why would you want to spend so much on it? Oxo has another home brewer that’s been certified by the SCA. The Oxo Brew 8-cup coffee maker features a rainmaker shower head that makes sure your coffee is evenly extracted. It’s more reasonably priced than the Barista Brain, but there’s a catch — it is not programmable. Learn more in Home Grounds’ full Oxo Brew 8-cup coffee maker review.
The folks at Bonavita were thinking along the same lines when they made the Bonavita BV1900TS. Just like the Oxo coffee maker, the BV1900TS has an SCAA certification and offers you the convenience of one button brewing. It also has an optional pre-infusion mode for optimum flavour extraction. The best part is that it costs nearly half as much as the Oxo. Our review of the Bonavita drip coffee maker is a great resource to find out more about it.
You're a coffee geek – By no means are we saying that the Oxo Barista Brain is a bad coffee machine. It’s the opposite, in fact. We love the Oxo. However, our favourite drip coffee machine is the Technivorm Moccamaster. It was designed in the '60s and still retains the traits of its original design. Just like the Oxo, you get one-button brewing, no electronics or settings to complicate your life, and it is SCAA certified. The Moccamaster is hand built in the Netherlands, comes with a 5-year warranty. You can also read our full review of the Moccamaster here.
If you want to drink coffee that tastes like it has been prepared by a professional barista, with the convenience of one-button brewing, then the Oxo Barista Brain coffee maker is perfect for you. It may not have a dedicated single serve option, but you can make one by adjusting the coffee grounds and water volume.
Its sleek, modern look will enhance your kitchen’s aesthetics, and your guests will be raving about how good your coffee is. The Oxo Barista Brain may be on the expensive side, but you’ll be delighted once you’ve tasted the coffee it makes. Ready to pick up your Oxo On 9 Cup Coffee Maker? Check it out here.
You can set the clock on your Oxo coffee maker by pressing and holding the Oxo button until the display flashes “12 hr” or “24 hr.” Then turn the dial to select 12-hr or 24-hr format and press the Oxo button. Then the display will show the time, which you can adjust by rotating the dial and then set it by pressing the Oxo button.
You can clean an Oxo Barista Brain with a damp cloth, then wiping it dry. You can clean the thermal carafe and lid by soaking them overnight in mild detergent solution and then rinsing. The coffee maker will warn you when you need to descale the machine, and you can find the detailed instructions in this video:
- Sage, E. (2014, December 11). A Coffee Maker for Everyone: Accessibility in the Age of Specialty Coffee. Retrieved from https://web.archive.org/web/20210624070745/https://scanews.coffee/2014/12/11/a-coffee-maker-for-everyone-accessibility-in-the-age-of-specialty-coffee/
- Specialty Coffee Association Of America (2014, January). Recognizing Excellence In Brewed Coffee. Retrieved from https://www.scaa.org/PDF/SCAA_Certification_Req_Home_Brewer.pdf
- McPhee, H. (2019, February 01). The Golden Ratio For Brewing Coffee. Retrieved from https://fellowproducts.com/blogs/learn/the-golden-ratio-for-brewing-coffee