What We Like
Makes smooth, rich cold brew
Easy to use
Perfect size for the fridge
What We Don't Like
Makes cold brew coffee, not concentrate
Lid comes off easily
Some grounds seep into cold brew
Whether you like iced coffee year-round or only sip it in the summertime, a cold brew coffee maker can save you from running to the local cafe and spending $5 per cup. We decided to try out one of the most popular models on the market, the Ovalware RJ3 Cold Brew Maker, a glass carafe brewer that’s airtight for easy storing. Testing for flavor, design, capacity, and value, we brewed several batches and cleaned the container multiple times. See if the maker, which also works for tea (loose leaf and bags), is worth buying or not.
Performance: Smooth and flavorful, but not a concentrate
Cold brew coffee is supposed to taste nearly 70 percent less acidic than hot coffee, making it go down smoother. We found that the Ovalware RJ3 Cold Brew Maker delivers on this promise, brewing cold coffee with a smooth and rich flavor.
Though the cold brew does deliver on flavor, it fails to make very much cold brew.
This cold brewer was super easy to use and setup. We simply placed the steel filter into the glass vessel, added the recommended coffee grounds and room-temperature water, and left in the fridge to brew for 12 to 18 hours. The filter helps to extract the most flavor from the coffee grounds, enhancing the flavor profile. We did notice, however, that some grounds made it into the cold brew through the filter.
Though the cold brew does deliver on flavor, it fails to make very much cold brew. The model we got brews up to 1 liter, but there’s a larger size that makes 1.5 liters (for $35.99). The included instructions list a coffee-to-water ratio that is supposed to make a cold brew concentrate. The result, however, does not taste like concentrate in our opinion. If we were to add any more water to what this maker brewed, it would taste way too watered down. We ended up just drinking the cold brew straight from the vessel and added no water for dilution.
Design: Very sleek and perfect fridge height
The vessel itself is sleek and stylish. It very much mimics the style of the Chemex, a popular pour-over coffee maker. With what looks like a beaker that you’ll likely remember from chem class, Ovalware blends science and art to create a sleek, trendy-looking carafe.
What makes this cold brew coffee maker stand out against most others is its high-quality materials. The filter and cap are both made of medical-grade stainless steel, so we never have to worry about rust. The carafe consists of extra thick borosilicate glass, which is safe for the dishwasher.
We appreciate that we don’t have to rearrange our shelving system to squeeze it in the refrigerator—it’s already the perfect height.
The instructions do, however, warn you to handle the vessel carefully to prevent damaging the product. We noticed that it feels somewhat fragile, so you’ll want to treat it very gently (but note that customers can sign up for a one-year limited warranty on the Ovalware website).
At 4.6 x 4.6 x 8 inches, this compact cold brew coffee maker is also a great size. It was designed with convenience in mind, and we appreciate that we don’t have to rearrange our shelving system to squeeze it in the refrigerator—it’s already the perfect height.
Features: Works for tea, has an airtight seal and measure marks
If you’re not a coffee person, this product also works for iced tea. You can put a tea bag or tea leaves in the filter in place of coffee grounds to make a perfect batch of iced tea. It has a BPA-free airtight seal that keeps the flavor of the cold brew or tea fresh (and protects your brew from any gross fridge odors) for up to two weeks.
The only downside about the lid is that it doesn’t stay on perfectly. If you handle the vessel too aggressively or shake it (as some cold brew makers suggest before serving), there may be some leakage or the lid may come off completely.
We also like that it features a measurement label that allows us to fill with the proper amount of water, plus a pouring lip that works really well for serving and doesn’t drip.
Because you’re getting a flavorful cold brew and a long-lasting product that looks great in the kitchen, it’s really worth the price tag.
Price: Higher in price, but worth it
Considering the Ovalware brewer only makes about 1 liter of cold brew—not concentrate—it is somewhat more expensive (retails around $30) than other cold brew coffee makers offering larger batches (which start around $15 and go up from there). However, because you’re getting a flavorful cold brew and a long-lasting product that looks great in the kitchen, it’s really worth the price tag.
Ovalware RJ3 Cold Brew Maker vs. County Line Kitchen Cold Brew Coffee Maker
One of Ovalware’s top competitors is the mason jar-style cold brew maker from County Line Kitchen, which we also tested. Similar to the Ovalware brand, it features a stainless steel filter and a durable glass container with precise measurements. It’s also BPA-free and produces smooth, delicious cold brew.
They are both stylish but in their own way. County Line Kitchen’s cold brew coffee maker is made of a large Ball mason jar, fit for a rustic style, whereas Ovalware’s cold brew coffee maker is more modern. Another big difference is value. With Ovalware’s product, you’re able to make about 1 liter of cold brew each time for about $30. County Line Kitchen’s cold brew coffee maker allows you to make up to 1.5 quarts (approximately 1.42 liters) of brew for around $27. You’re essentially getting the same return for a lower price tag with County Line Kitchen.
- Product Name RJ3 Cold Brew Maker
- Product Brand Ovalware
- UPC 642872934337
- Price $29.99
- Product Dimensions 4.6 x 4.6 x 8 in.
- Capacity 1 L
- Warranty Sign up for 1 year limited