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.