Forget Waiting Overnight—The VacOne Air Brewer Can Make Cold Brew in Just 4 Minutes
Cold brew is so worth getting out of bed for in the morning. It’s smooth, sweet and perks us up like a charm. The only downside? It takes hours to steep, and if we don’t make it ourselves, we have to pay a pretty penny to get our fix at the local café. Well, fellow java lovers, that’s about to change. Meet the VacOne Air Brewer, a revolutionary appliance that can make ready-to-drink cold brew in just four minutes (and a cup of hot joe in 30 seconds).
- Value: 18/20
- Functionality: 19/20
- Ease of Use: 20/20
- Aesthetics: 20/20
- Taste: 19/20
We know what you’re thinking: Um, how is this possible?! Let us explain. VacOne is an electric vacuum brewer that uses air (and the company’s proprietary tech) to extract maximum flavor from ground coffee in minimal time. After you fill the reusable filter with coffee grounds, they need to steep in water—hot for hot coffee or room temperature for cold brew. The filter on top is vacuum sealed to the glass carafe underneath. Once the grounds have steeped for the proper length of time (30 seconds for hot coffee and 4 minutes for cold), all you have to do is give them a stir and press the button to brew. Negative pressure built up from the vacuum then pulls the water through the bed of grounds straight into the carafe, accelerating the extraction time.
We were already impressed that the device could make up to 14 ounces of hot and cold coffee in one shot—typically, most brewers are only designed to do one or the other. We were even more excited about the permanent metal mesh filter, which eliminates the need for wasteful paper filters. The air pressure also separates the bloom (aka the yellow layer of bubbles that’s a result of carbon dioxide being released from the grounds) from the coffee, which is where most of its bitterness lies. VacOne claims the process of filtering out the bloom reduces the coffee’s bitterness and acidity and maximizes its flavor in record time, so we put it to the test.
How Does It Taste?
Pretty darn delicious. It was beyond easy to use, and both the hot and cold coffees tasted just like something we’d get from our favorite barista. The cold brew was especially tasty; our hot batch tasted a bit more acidic than expected. The VacOne could really change your mornings if you don’t own a coffee machine, often only make coffee for one or are looking to cut down on your Starbucks cold brew runs.
Ideally, you should grind your own beans for the VacOne with a burr grinder on a fine setting for cold brew, or a medium-fine setting for hot. Knowing that tons of coffee drinkers don’t grind their own beans, we tested it out with a finely pre-ground espresso blend. The main cons are that the VacOne requires a lot of grounds for every cup, and you can only make one batch at a time. You’ll need four scoops (about 25 grams) to make hot coffee and five scoops (about 32 grams) for cold brew. Cold brew always requires more grounds than hot for the same amount of java, but we definitely used more than we would with a drip machine for both.
The VacOne also doesn’t heat water autonomously, but you can easily heat a kettle or mug on the stove or in the microwave while you scoop the coffee. For hot coffee, the water should be about 200°F…but we totally see how using a kitchen thermometer early in the morning can be a tall order. Luckily, cold brew only requires room temperature water.
We love how compact and portable the VacOne is: As long as it’s charged, you can make a cup of cold brew lickity-split just about anywhere. It’s also a total cinch to clean, since all the parts are waterproof (you don’t even need to remove the filter to wash it). The VacOne comes with a 16-month warranty and includes the brewer, glass carafe, mesh filter, a USB charging cable (two hours of charging should last you more than 100 cups of joe), measuring spoon, stirring stick and silicone coaster. Replacement filters and carafes are available online, too. The VacOne may seem expensive at first, but we figure we’d spend the same on about 12 to 17 cold brew coffees from a café in about two weeks (yeah, we might have a bit of a java problem). If you drink it on the reg like us, the VacOne is well worth the investment.
The PureWow100 is a scale our editors use to vet new products and services, so you know what’s worth the spend—and what’s total hype. Learn more about our process here.