After now using the Ratio Six for a few months, I thought it was due for a review.
Full disclosure, Ratio has sent me this machine (along with the help of Eight Ounce Coffee) to use and review.
Let's start with an overview
The Ratio Six is an 8 cup automatic coffee maker and is a more compact machine if compared to the Ratio Eight. The Ratio Six retails for $345USD ($489CAD) and it comes with the thermal carafe, filter basket, heat guard and drip catcher. You can purchase the additional glass carafe for $45USD ($65CAD). This glass carafe can be used with either Chemex filters or the Able Kone $39.50USD ($60CAD).
The chassis of the Six is stainless steel available in silver, matte black or matte white. The water tank is made out of a BPA-free copolymer and the water lines that transport the hot water are made from laboratory grade handblown borosilicate glass. The heating element is die-cast aluminum and the shower head is stainless steel. This machine is a single button one touch operation with lights indicating its status.
As soon as you take it out of the box you can tell that you've gotten exactly what you've paid for. This machine has a weight and look that reflects quality. Speaking of as soon as it comes out of the box... it's ready to use right away. You can literally take it out of the box, fill it up and start it; there is zero setup required.
It heats up the water extremely quick. Within seconds of pressing the button it gets to work, heating and starting it's bloom phase. Oh yea, that's another thing I like... it blooms your coffee! Most automatic machines will just do a single long shower until it's water tank is empty. The Ratio sets aside a portion of water for the bloom phase and then pauses to allow the coffee to fully saturate and degas before it continues with the main portion of the brew. One of the three lights on the front indicate when it is in it's bloom phase. When it moves to the main portion of its brewing, the "brew" light switches on. Subsequently when the main brew portion is done, it switches the "ready" light on. It doesn't get much easier than that!
While the heating element is doing it's thing the hot water never touches plastic, it makes its way through the handblown borosilicate glass tube thus minimizing the chance of any sort of plastic leaching into your water. This being said, even the water tank is made of a BPA-free copolymer plastic. Once it get's through the tube, it exits through the stainless steel shower head maintaining an optimal brew temperature. The Ratio isn't like other coffee makers where the brew basket is attached to the shower head... the brew basket actually sits right on top of the carafe similar to if you were brewing it by hand. In order to minimize heat from escaping from your slurry, Ratio includes a heat guard that can be placed on top of your filter basket. This basically fills the space between the shower head and your filter basket with a silicone stopper. This can increase the temperature of your slurry by 5 degrees! I will say that when you have the heat guard on, you miss being able to watch the magic of the machine.
One practical thing that I really like is that you don't need to use specific Ratio filters for it (although you can for an optimal experience). You can use standard flat bottom basket filters that you find at your local grocery store and can still expect a delicious cup of coffee. In case you want to prewet your filters and preheat your carafe before brewing (and you do), just over fill past the desired volume a bit and then turn the machine on and let it run until you lower the water level to your desired brew volume. Voila, you have now prerinsed and preheated your equipment! Don't forget to dump the rinse water!
The carafe is a stainless steel double wall vacuum sealed carafe and it's going to keep your coffee hot for hours! You can tell that Ratio thought this one through, the opening on the carafe is large enough for you to get your hand into for cleaning. How great is that? I haven't had the need to scrub out my carafe yet as I often rinse it out with hot water as soon as I've finished the coffee from in it. As mentioned earlier you can optionally also purchase the Ratio Glass Carafe which is designed similar to a Chemex brewer. Because it's designed so similarly, you can use the Chemex filters that you already have in your cupboard or the reusable mesh Able Kone filter! By doing this you will get a brew similar to a Chemex rather than a flat bottom basket brewer! There's also something special about seeing the coffee brew into that glass carafe. Serving from the glass carafe is also a dream! The glass carafe is not insulated in any way so it will not retain the heat as long as the thermal carafe will. One thing to note is that this machine does not have a carafe heater like other machines do, but I honestly don't think it needs it. If you're brewing into the thermal carafe, there is no way you're going to need an additional heater to keep your coffee warm. If you're brewing into the glass carafe, it's probably because you like the way a Chemex brews and when you brew a Chemex you don't typically put it on a warmer either.
If you're looking for a machine that is extremely easy to use, provides cafe quality batch brews and looks gorgeous in your kitchen...then this is the machine for you!
It's extremely easy to clean; just rinse your equipment out after each use. It's extremely easy to use; single button touch operation. The thermal carafe will keep your coffee hot for hours. This machine is so gorgeous that you'll be the talk of the town! If it's worth anything, I have used this machine everyday since I received it, not because I feel an obligation to, but because it makes my life easier and crafts delicious coffee.