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Why You Should Stop Buying Starbucks - And Get This Instead

April 21, 2017
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Hario's Filter-In Coffee Bottle is a good starter cold-brew maker for casual drinkers, but its less fragrant taste (and longer waiting time) might put off those who prefer a strong, relatively instant coffee fix.

Coffee Brewer with Hario

Known for its smooth, less astringent taste, cold-brews have since moved from hipster coffeehouses to everyday homes. Using a simple process of steeping coffee powder in cold water, many DIY cold-brew makers have popped up in recent times, giving people the chance to live their inner barista dreams (without spending a ton on cafes).

But, can a DIY cold brew beat going to your local Starbucks or Coffee Bean? We decided to give one of Lazada's most popular cold-brew makers, Hario's Filter-In Bottle a go to see if it lives up to the hype.


What is it?

Coffee Brewer with Hario

Aptly named, Hario Filter-In Coffee Bottle's exterior isn't a mistake - shaped after a wine bottle, the product is (according to its product site) specially designed so that coffee drinkers can emulate the same refined experience as wine tasting.

Another major highlight is the bottle's built-in mesh filter. Used to place coffee grains, it's ultra fine surface allows the coffee to infuse with water without contaminating it with particles.


Design

Coffee Brewer with Hario

HARIO Filter-In Coffee Bottle's clean-cut design makes it a huge standout against other more cumbersome, lab-instrument looking cold-brew models, like MOICA's Cold Brew Dutch Coffee Maker. We particularly love it's neutral, matte brown finish, which allows it to blend well with all types of interior styles.

Standing at 300mm tall, it's long, cylindrical shape is also highly practical - it can be easily gripped on one hand, and placed comfortably in a refrigerator. An added bonus? It's large capacity of 700ml is enough to make 5 cups of coffee, compared to other models at about 450ml.


Using The Product

Coffee Brewer with Hario

One of the best things about Hario's Filter-In Coffee Bottle was its ease of use. Steps to brewing was short, simple and clearly set out thanks to the product's foolproof instruction manual. It also helped that the cold-brew maker was only made up of these four main pieces:

  • the silicon rubber removable bottle spout
  • stopper
  • fine filter strainer
  • glass body.

It was a good move on their part to make the bottle spout in rubber; attaching the strainer and glass body back merely required a simple push and turn.

Coffee Brewer with Hario

However, there were still some concerns. We couldn't risk holding the bottle by it's rubber spout, as it looked and felt like the glass bottle could give way beneath it. Likewise, we also had problems figuring out the right ratio of coffee to water. While the manual did mention 55 grams of coffee, how much is it - in tablespoons or teaspoons? In the end,we had to use a weighing machine to get the exact amount.


Taste Test

Coffee Brewer with Hario

For the taste test, we used Cafe Direct's Moreish Medium Roast ($8.60). According to the product manual, a minimum of 8 hours was needed for the coffee to steep in. This was significantly shorter than most cold-brew models, which usually range from 10 to 12 hours.

Coffee Brewer with Hario

Playing it safe, we left the bottle to brew overnight for 10 hours. While the infused cold-brew looked dark and murky, the coffee still tasted watery and sour. Only after leaving it to brew for another 6 - 8 hours did we manage to hit the right spot with a thicker, less acidic taste.

Cost Breakdown

Coffee Brewer with Hario

The answer's obvious - making your own cold-brew is definitely cheaper than buying a cuppa at $7 a pop, as long as your coffee grind isn't something ridiculously expensive. Here, we did a cost comparison between a DIY cold brew versus a store bought one.

Store Bought Coffee:

Chye Seng Huat's Black Coffee: $7 (250 ml)

Cost per 100 ml coffee: $7/250 ml X 100 = approx. $2.80

DIY Hario's Filter-In Coffee Bottle

Medium Roasted Coffee grains (1/3 packet): $8.60/3 = $2.86

Cost per 100 ml coffee: $2.86/7 = approx. $0.41


Cleanup

Coffee Brewer with Hario

Cleanup was surprisingly fuss free - We were expecting the worst with the bottle's ultra fine filter - but the bigger coffee bits were taken out easily under a running tap, same for whatever dirt or grime sticking on the bottle nozzle.

However, don't ask for squeaky clean - while the particles came off easily enough, there were still microscopic amounts of coffee powder stuck on the strainer filter, staining it.


In Conclusion

Coffee Brewer with Hario

Overall, Hario's Filter-In Coffee Bottle is a good starter model
for casual drinkers who aren't fussy about tastes or technicality. It's simply designed, easy to use and doesn't require a lot of skill or preparation work. Plus, it's affordable - at $47, it is much cheaper than similar cold-brew models, which can cost up till $300.

A major drawback was the lack of controls. Finding the right thickness and taste took a lot of guesswork, and the recommended minimum time of 8 hours seemed barely enough.

Coffee Brewer with Hario

Pros:

  • Easy to use and clean
  • Relatively affordable compared to other cold-brew makers
  • Clean, aesthetically pleasing design
  • Saves you a lot of money, compared to buying coffee from a cafe.

Cons:

  • Mesh filter stains easily after multiple use
  • Coffee takes longer than expected to brew
  • Bottle's lid feels loose, and might have a risk of dropping.

Best For: Casual coffee drinkers who want something different from the normal hot brews. Or, DIY enthusiasts that enjoy simple hands-on work.

Check out more product information about Hario's Filter-In Coffee Bottle here.


Disclaimer: We receive affiliate dollars from Lazada for all links listed in our product reviews.


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