Bruer

6.4

Price

5.0/10

Coffee Quality

9.5/10

Coffee Maker Quality

9.0/10

Ease of Use

5.5/10

Cleaning Ease

8.5/10

Durability

3.5/10

Appearance

9.5/10

Brew Speed

5.0/10

Versatility

2.0/10

Pros

  • Beautiful coffeemaker
  • Transparent and entertaining - watch the entire brew cycle if you want (it takes 6 hours though)
  • One of the only consumer slow drip cold brewers on the market
  • Low acidity, low bitterness, amazing taste
  • Coffee concentrate can be kept in your fridge for long periods

Cons

  • Thin glass/very fragile
  • Very hands on, has a steeper learning curve than most coffeemakers
  • Loose lid
  • Drip rate is difficult to adjust
  • Drip rate changes mid brew
  • Condensation build-up...requires a coaster underneath

It’s been awhile since I’ve put out any new coffee maker reviews, but the hiatus is coming to a big halt with a coffee maker that I think will blow you away. This slow drip cold brewer began as a Kickstarter project that I unfortunately showed up a little bit too late for.

The good news is that I was able to pre-order the Bruer early in the game, and it got here just in time for the Summer.

Unboxing

I put together a quick video of the unboxing so you can briefly see what comes in the box.

The Review

So what is Bruer…and how does it differ from other iced coffee makers on the market? Well, let’s get one thing straight right off the bat. The Bruer isn’t an “iced coffeemaker” per se. It’s actually just a different way to brew coffee than most of us are used to.

The two key characteristics of the brew process are:

1) The water drips very slowly, creating a very prolonged brew cycle

2) The water is cold or room temperature

The second point is huge because we’ve been led to believe that coffee must be brewed with hot water. Well, turns out this isn’t true. And boy, I tell you, you will be surprised with the results.

Impatient? Look elsewhere

Bruer is only for the serious coffee fan. You have to be someone who enjoys the ritual of making coffee. If you’re looking for the quickest way to make iced coffee, you’d probably be better off brewing a normal pot and then putting it in your fridge. But this would mean you didn’t care as much for taste, so it really boils down to what you value more: taste and ritual or caffeine and convenience?

Clumsy? Tread carefully.

If I were a clumsy person who depended heavily on my dishwasher, I wouldn’t buy the Bruer. Yes, it claims to be dishwasher safe, but I wouldn’t ever put this in a dishwasher given how incredibly thin the glass is. Similarly, if you are the type who stacks up his/her drying rack with all of your dishes, I wouldn’t bother with the Bruer. This guy is way too expensive to not be treating like a baby.

If you’re a Chemex owner and haven’t broken it yet, you’ll probably do just fine with the Bruer.

How is the Bruer different from the Toddy?

Ah, that’s the big question. Aside from the superficial things (price, construction, etc.), the Toddy and Bruer differ in their respective brew processes.

The Toddy creates cold brew concentrate from immersion, usually over the course of 24 hours. This means that the coffee is steeping in the cold water for an extended period of time.

The Bruer however, brews through a slow drip, about 1 drip per second. The drops of water saturate the ground coffee before eventually passing through to the carafe. So basically slow drip coffee doesn’t have as long of a steeping period.

Final thoughts

While the Bruer isn’t perfect, I still give it my full endorsement. Maybe I’m biased, but I think next to espresso slow drip cold brew is the best way to brew coffee.

But don’t take my word for it. Before spending $65 on the Bruer I would make sure you give slow drip cold brew a try at your local coffee shop. It still hasn’t caught on in many places, but if you’re lucky enough to find a slow drip cold brewer in a cafe, it will likely look something like this:

Slow Drip Cold Brewer

If you like what you taste, the Bruer is 100% the way to go. It would be totally impractical to have something like the brewer above sitting in your kitchen.

To learn more about the Bruer and/or make a purchase, click the button below.

Update 6/24/14

Well, I’ve been using the Bruer for more than a month now and I’m still really enjoying it. Unfortunately, there are some things that have left me with a bad taste in my mouth, particularly in terms of customer service.

I ordered a Bruer for my dad for Father’s Day. Coincidentally, it arrived on the day I had arrived in Massachusetts to visit him. Upon opening it, we found that the carafe was shattered at the bottom due to a shipping mistake the guys at¬†Bruer made.

It took them about 4 days to finally respond to my inquiry. They agreed to send a replacement carafe at no cost to me, which was great. However, they screwed up and assumed I wanted it sent to my home address in San Francisco, even though the order clearly was for a MA shipping address.

I informed them about this, but it was too late, the replacement carafe was on its way to SF.

I expressed my disappointment to them about a) having to re-route the package myself and b) having to pay for it, but I was offered nothing in return. Not even a reimbursement.

I understand these guys are just starting out, but this was a very bad move on their part.