Friday, September 23, 2016

Review - OXO Barista Brain 12- Cup Coffee Brewing System

Rating: 2.5/5 stars

Coffee. There is nothing like it. Well... GOOD coffee. I have to admit, I am really picky about my coffee. I don't even like Dunkin Donuts coffee unless it's flavor is masked by a sweet, artificial flavor swirl and milk. I usually drink my coffee black. I rarely buy a cup of coffee. I prefer to make it at home. There is nothing like starting the day with a pot of coffee waiting for me on the counter. 

Which is why I bought the OXO Barista Brain coffee pot. Which is why I have a love/hate relationship with it. 

I was looking for a coffee pot that uses the pour over method instead of a traditional drip method. I also needed a thermal pot. And an absolute must for me is an automatic timer. I NEED to wake up to the coffee already made.

The OXO Barista Brain has all of the things I was looking for. And I do have to admit, it makes a good cup of coffee. The one button interface takes a little getting used to, but it is easy to use once you get the hang of it. The carafe keeps the coffee hot for a long time. Plus, you can use the kettle separately to boil water for tea. 

BUT. The thing requires CONSTANT descaling. For those of you who aren't into coffee, when you descale a coffee pot you run a cycle through with half water and half vinegar to rid the machine of any residue that interferes with the purity and flavor of your coffee. Once you run the vinegar and water solution through a cycle, you have to run one or two cycles of plain water through the machine to get rid of any lingering vinegar. It does make for a "cleaner" cup of coffee. BUT....

Back to the point. Most normal coffee pots have some kind of warning light. A light that says, hey human, descale me soon, like within the next couple of weeks. But not the OXO Barista Brain. It just doesn't work. At all. So you prepare the coffee the night before as usual, but when you wake up, (cue dramatic music) THERE IS NO COFFEE! And you can't use it until you descale the pot. 

Well, I prefer a little warning in my life. Waking up to no coffee is really not pleasant for me. I have a little cone pour over thing that I use camping or when the power goes out:

But it is a whole extra step and takes time. Time which is even more valuable in the morning. And this last time the Barista Brain decided not to work and I had to pour over, I burnt my hand. Badly. And it hurts. Which is what prompted this review.

Bottom Line: I will continue to use it until it breaks, but I would never buy it again. It was expensive and should warn me when it isn't going to have coffee ready for me in the morning.