If you’re looking for a brewer that will make a delicious cup of Joe at home, you could sift through endless spec sheets and reviews, or you could just look at the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s (SCAA) list of certified coffee makers. Currently only 10 brewers meet their rigorous standards for nine aspects of the brewing cycle, including brewing temperature, brew clarity and uniformity of coffee extraction. The OXO On Barista Brain 12-Cup Brewer is the latest and largest maker on the list.
The key component of the Barista Brain’s brewing process is a microprocessor that controls the brewing time, temperature and volume. There’s an integrated scale that automatically knows how much water is in the kettle, so when you choose how many cups you want to make, the machine does the rest, monitoring the temperature between the ideal 197.6-to-204.8-degree-Fahrenheit temperature range. The coffee is then brewed in cycles, including a pre-soak that allows the grounds to bloom. An internal mixing tube mixes the cycles for a balanced brew. The machine also allows you to choose how many cups you want for coffee and how many cups of hot water you want to set aside for tea or oatmeal. And the entire thing is controlled with one dial.
Naturally, all these features make the machine rather large, but it wears its size well, with a shapely glass kettle for the water and a sleek, stainless steel carafe for the brewed coffee. But even without the looks, the OXO Barista Brain packs tons of features in an effortless package that delivers copious amounts of perfect coffee every damn time. oxo.com
Capacity: 12 cups
Certification: Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA)
Brewing Temperature: 197.6°F to 204.8°F
Interface: Backlit LED
Materials: Borosilicate glass kettle, stainless steel carafe