Ratio Six - The Best Coffee Brewer for Home?
Filter coffee makers come in different shapes and sizes and now there's a new kid in the block; Ratio Six. Ratio Six by Ratio Coffee promises modern brewing techniques without any big hassle so that you can concentrate on enjoying your cup of delicious filter coffee. Let's see if Ratio Six can keep its promises and what is Ratio Six all about!
Well one thing is set in stone; Ratio Six looks absolutely awesome. I love its pure and minimalistic design, especially the white version which I had to test out. Ratio Six comes in three different colors; white, black and stainless steel. I also like how well the different moving parts go together and how well built they are. Ratio Six basically consist of three parts; the brewer itself, a dripper where you put the ground coffee and filter paper and a thermos where the coffee ends up. I really like that they have went with the thermos; no worries if you put the brewer on and forget the coffee for 30mins as it's waiting for you in the thermos fresh and hot. Hot plate and glass pot would in this case ruin the coffee making it taste bitter and you should either a) drink bad coffee b) throw it away, brew a new batch and forget it again.
Above the on-off button you have three "lights" indicating which phase of brewing is going on; bloom, brew or ready. Nice and easy.
Ratio have also clearly thought about the practical side as you will have an additional "plate" where you can place the dripper once your brew is ready and you don't want any coffee dripping to the counter top from the dripper.
I only had one thing to complain about the design; the on-off button. It looks cool but I'm not so sure about the functionality. I once pushed it accidentally with water ready in the tank but no coffee in the dripper and I didn't know how to turn it off. So I had to unplug electric plug just to make sure it doesn't start brewing yet. But it's really small detail which doesn't really matter.
How does it brew?
In my opinion there are two main things that make Ratio Six brew excellent coffee; the blooming function and the shower head. Let's dig deeper into those two.
When ground coffee comes in touch with water for the first time, it releases carbon dioxide and creates foam, bubbles and often expands. The fresher your roast is, the more and longer this will happen. How this will then affect your brew? As the coffee grounds bubble they create channels to the coffee bed where water is easier to pass and the water isn't extracting flavours from the coffee grounds as we want to be happening. So starting your coffee brewing with blooming helps you extract more from the coffee and get more flavour to your cup. Blooming is usually done by wetting all of the coffee grounds and letting them to bubble for 30-60 sec before adding more water to the coffee bed. I personally usually bloom my coffee with amount of 3 x my ground coffee dose - with 15g dose I would use 45g of water to bloom.
I'm not actually sure how does the Ratio Six bloom.
Then is the shower head. More than often filter coffee brewers have a shower head that has only one or a few holes distributing the water to the coffee. What this makes is that the water is distributed only to the center of the coffee bed creating a large hole to the middle of the coffee bed and most of the brewing water will be running through the middle. In other words in these cases the middle of the coffee bed will be more extracted and the sides less extracted. With Ratio Six's multiple holes in the shower head the water is distributed really evenly and thus creating more even extraction throughout the coffee bed.
I tried out brewing with different coffee doses from 15 grams to 75 grams and the results were impressive; every time the coffee bed was incredibly flat after the brew.
Does it brew delicious coffee?
Short answer to that question; Ratio Six brews delicious coffee.
In my opinion Ratio Six has solved some of the problems that most of the traditional filter coffee brewers have and to say the least it makes brewing delicious coffee easier and chances are that you are going to brew better coffee with Ratio Six. I'm not saying that Ratio Six is will always make the perfect brew - you will also need a quality grinder for that but in my opinion Ratio Six if definitely one of the best filter coffee brewers in the market.
Would I recommend Ratio Six for you? Yes I would, especially if you are a coffee nerd like me. It comes with higher price than its competitors - 370 euros here in Finland so I leave it to you if you want to spend the extra money for the sleek design and extra functions. I would.
I timed a few brews and it took 3,5mins for Ratio Six to brew a 30g dose, 500g water and 8mins to brew a full batch of 75g dose and 1250g water. To my knowledge that seems appropriate brew times for filter coffee.
I had only one problem with Ratio Six when I was testing it out for 2 weeks; the first brew that I did, there was left some water in the tank and it didn't brew all of the water that was meant to. This didn't happen again and I think it just a "bug" because the brewer wasn't used for a while.
Pros and cons
+ it looks sexy
+ it brews good coffee
+ thermos pot
+ steady built quality
+ blooming at least should make your coffee taste better
- it's a bit more expensive than it's rivals