Ratio Brewer vs Manual methods?

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.
dsc106

#1: Post by dsc106 »

Now that the ratio has been in the wild for a while, does it live up to expectations not from a convenience perspective or design aesthetics perspective, but vs the cup quality of performing manual brewing in a chemex or Kalita wave or v60 etc?

Can it truly replace the manual methods, or is something of a "better than a traditional coffee machine, worse than a skilled manual pour over, but a good win for compromising between quality/convenience"? Or is there limited reason now to perform manual pour over at all if you can get your hands on a ratio?

Also, how does it compare/differ from what Decent is doing with their automated pour over on the new machines?

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TomC
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#2: Post by TomC »

I might have a unique perspective of value to this topic. I am the proud owner of two Ratio 8 brewers, so that should tell you something. One at work that is my workhorse, and one at home that sees much less use, since on my off-days at home, i'm usually more inclined to the occasional espresso based beverage.

I also have a Decent Espresso DE1PRO 1.3V.

For the most part, I'll exclude the DE1PRO from the impressions. But the Ratio 8 is still robust, reliable and consistent. Even though I wish I had temp adjustment capabilities or a way to program some sort of bloom without water passing down into the carafe, I still must confess that the brews that it makes are consistently great, with little fuss required to make them.

At work, all I have to do is grind my batch (Orphan Espresso Fixie Grinder) and give the filter cone a 180 turn halfway during the brew phase. That's it.

I use a Cone filter inside the ceramic cone, for easier clean up.

So, my answer is, it's incredibly convenient when you want convenience, but when you want to laser-focus in on a certain approach (time, temp, dwell time etc), you might want something else. It' also performs a bit better when targeted towards larger batches, with slightly coarser grinds.

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sbiller1

#3: Post by sbiller1 »

On my 2nd Ratio Eight now... my first was replaced under Ratio's generous warranty policy after a corrosion issue which resulted in a failure after 3+ years. I've recently upgraded my morning workflow with the addition of the Fellow Ode Grinder. I use a #5 setting and continue to use a Chemex type workflow with their filters. My favorite coffee right now is a Buddy Brew Sumatra organic medium roast. The coffee compares very well to my pour over setup.

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MB

#4: Post by MB »

I purchased the Ratio Six after Michael's mention of it in the 2020 Coffee Grinder Showdown videos. I use it with the insulated carafe as recommended and for temp control I skip placing the insulating ring on top of the basket when I brew something darker, like a Sumatra.

I'm not an expert with pour overs, but I had been doing a lot of them (Hoffman style) before the brewer. I have to say I get consistently good cups with the brewer when the grinder and dose are dialed in for the bean (and many are the same grind and dose). I have to fill it up to 4, which fills two regular coffee mugs, so if I want only one cup, then would do a V60. I don't sense a big difference when not side by side.
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fzman

#5: Post by fzman »

I've got a Ratio 8 and a 6, and use a Kalita wave for o=pour overs. I think there is no question that a painstakingly prepared, multi-stage pour over brew has a tatse that is quickly identifyable, and differs from other brewing methods. That said, it's also a bit of a PITA to do (or a relaxing zen experience - this is where things get mighty subjective).

I do morning batches of coffee in my Ratio 8, alternating between an Able metal cone, and the traditional round Chemex filter papers. Never had a bad cuppa this way, with just a bit of attention to dialing in the right grind size.

I do not have a Decent, so I cannot make that comparison. Given the above, I think the Ratio coffee simply tatses different than pour over, but it takes waaaaaay longer to make a cup, and you have to be there to do it. The Ratio is push the button, so to speak, and go. And it makes a bunch of coffee at once, which tatses quite good, but does not have that last few % of what pour overs do in terms of sweetness.

Hope that helps. In case anyone is wondering, I have not yet compared the 6 and the 8, but did check to see that the six's basket and carafe will fit the 8, but the shower head is not centered when you do that.

drH

#6: Post by drH »

Highly interested in this discussion.
I usually drink espresso but want a fast and brain-free brew for that first frantic cup of the day.
For about 6 months I had a technivorm cup-one, and I got some great coffee from it, but I could always do better with a Chemex, even on a bad day. But the convenience was excellent.

So I've been considering something else. Options are the Technivorm KBTS Select, which claims to do water distribution better, and the Ratio 6 or 8. For those of you who have used the 6 and the 8, are there any preferences?

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#7: Post by pizzaman383 »

drH wrote:Highly interested in this discussion.
I usually drink espresso but want a fast and brain-free brew for that first frantic cup of the day.
For about 6 months I had a technivorm cup-one, and I got some great coffee from it, but I could always do better with a Chemex, even on a bad day. But the convenience was excellent.
I use my Technivorm cup-one to feed a December dipper and I think it really works well because I can adjust the flow rate
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Shojin

#8: Post by Shojin »

drH wrote:Highly interested in this discussion.
I usually drink espresso but want a fast and brain-free brew for that first frantic cup of the day.
For about 6 months I had a technivorm cup-one, and I got some great coffee from it, but I could always do better with a Chemex, even on a bad day. But the convenience was excellent.

So I've been considering something else. Options are the Technivorm KBTS Select, which claims to do water distribution better, and the Ratio 6 or 8. For those of you who have used the 6 and the 8, are there any preferences?
I've got an order in on a Ratio 8, having also come to the conclusion that I think I can do better than the Cup-One. It's always fine, but the extreme well in the grinds makes me think there's just no way it's evenly extracting, and I find the cheap feel of the plastics is still a bit off-putting.

It was James Hoffmann's recent 'Why Cheap Coffee Makers Suck' video that put me over the edge: the Cup-One is by no means cheap and yet exhibits some of the issues he was talking about. Having found I am quite happy with drip/pourover at home, instead of managing an espresso machine, I'm now looking for the best version of that. Reading above it sounds like either Ratio will be an ideal balance between convenience and quality. I picked the 8 just because I prefer the look of it, like the build, and very dimly remember reading somewhere about some minor condensation issue on the 6 where water collects up top and feeds back in or collects on the lid or something.

Anyway, I'm now in the wait for the next batch to get built and shipped and haven't seen a better alternative.

mbbrew

#9: Post by mbbrew »

One thing I don't understand about the Ratio 8 and a lot of high end coffee makers is the lack of temperature control. I have coffees that taste best at 99C and coffees that taste best at 82C. Why can't a $500 machine offer something that should be a fundamental brew control. I do like the coffee I have gotten using the Hario Drip Assist which basically turns your kettle into a showerhead, so I would think an automated machine could make better coffee than most with a kettle, but not include this?

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#10: Post by coffeemmichael »

dsc106 wrote:Also, how does it compare/differ from what Decent is doing with their automated pour over on the new machines?
When I had DE1 & Ratio Six side-by-side I'd opt for the DE1 + pourover basket for single cups, as the Ratios tend to favor you using larger doses as Tom mentioned above