MyMac Holiday Gift Guide v2018.4 – Cold Brew Coffee Maker

MyMac Holiday Gift Guide v2018.4

Asobu Coldbrew Insulated Portable Brewer

$50 U.S.

This Asobu portable coffee maker is perfect for the cold brew aficionado. The appeal of coffee that is brewed or steeped cold is its smoothness and lack of bitterness. After the coffee has steeped for 12 ~ 24 hours, a press of the unit’s only button transfers the coffee down into the stainless steel double-walled thermal carafe. It stores in the fridge and once chilled, the coffee will remain cold for hours. 

One of the problems with cold brew is the muddy sediment that often remains after steeping. The Asobu’s stainless micro-mesh filter traps nearly all of the fine, powdery grounds that makes cold brew cloudy. The unit is 13” (33 cm) tall when assembled for brewing on the kitchen counter but the carafe is a manageable 7” (18 cm) for fridge storage afterward. I’m thoroughly enjoying the clear, smooth coffee that the Asobu insulated portable cold brewer makes.

Note: Our reviews editor, John Nemo, asked another coffee drinker to evaluate the stylish Asobu. Here is Donna’s guest report with comments from her personal experience.

The visual design was very appealing, but the product under-performed.
The written information was straightforward enough for assembly. The brewing instructions left me confused. I wasn’t exactly sure how much coffee I needed to use when brewing the coffee. The guide said I needed 2-3 oz/60-90 gm medium-coarse ground coffee and 3 cups of cold-filtered water. Seemed clear, but then I needed to divide my coffee grounds by three so that I would be using 0.6-1.0 oz into the mesh filter, followed by 1 cup of water and so on until all the grounds and water were in the filter for brewing.
I tightly closed the brewing carafe, closed the air hole in the lid and walked away. Fortunately, I came back to check on the process. When I did all of the water was on my counter, not in the clear brewing carafe. Maybe I hadn’t properly assembled or closed the brewing carafe. I played with different ways to assemble the brewing system and tried the process again.
Again, when I returned, there was water all over my counter. Not to be outdone by a brewing system, I re-assembled the system and pushed all the components together as tightly as possible. Put in my coffee again, but put the brewer in a bowl, so I would have less to mop up, if it leaked again. This time, I left it on the counter overnight and went to bed.
In the morning, I checked on the brewer and there was no leakage. I opened the air hole and pushed on the grip band button to release the coffee into the carafe. The coffee was looking good and there were no grounds in the carafe. The flavor was good, not bitter, but a bit weak for my taste. This would make sense since I used about 2 oz. of coffee. Next time I would make it stronger.
Directions for cleaning the brewer and all the parts required them to be hand washed. This seemed unusual our modern on-the-go life style.
In conclusion, ignoring the leaking issue, I do not recommend this product because it seemed unduly complicated to me. This is not a simple product to use. I don’t recall ever measuring out my coffee grounds by the ounce. I do not enjoy hand washing a coffee maker and its parts. The coffee was good, but the process was cumbersome.
If you are okay with the items that concerned Donna, the Asobu is worth considering for your anytime coffee pleasure.

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