The popularity of drip coffee machines among American consumers shows no signs of waning. Indeed, in 2020, 41% of US coffee drinks favored drip machines for their past-day consumption.
Previously, the builds of drip coffee machines tended to use cheap plastic, which tarnished their reputation among coffee experts. However, that is no longer the case. Nowadays, there are many examples of drip coffee machines that use some of the highest-quality materials and brew delicious coffee.
Ratio Coffee is one manufacturer of such premium drip coffee machines. This review concentrates on the company’s Ratio Six coffee machine, which we’ll compare against the older Ratio Eight. If you’re unfamiliar with these products, we think you’ll have a different, more positive impression of the previously maligned brewing method by the end of the review.
About Ratio Coffee
Ratio Coffee is a US-based manufacturer. From its inception in 2012, the company has committed to building premium coffee makers that look gorgeous and produce beautiful coffee. Those high standards are evident in the company’s flagship automatic coffee maker, Ratio Eight, which launched in 2015.
Ratio’s machines only use premium-quality materials, including stainless steel, aluminum, handblown glass, and hardwood. Because of this, the machines stand out from other machines on the market both aesthetically and in build quality.
To further accentuate this commitment to the highest possible standards, the Ratio Eight and Ratio Six come with five-year warranties. Warranties of this length are a rarity, which speaks to Ratio’s supreme confidence in the quality of its products. Indeed, the only other coffee maker we can think of that offers such a long warranty is the Technivorm Moccamaster.
The Ratio Six has many of the attributes of the older Ratio Eight. However, there are some significant differences between the two machines, while the newer model is also less expensive. Let’s examine the Ratio Six in detail to determine whether it’s a good option for you.
Ratio Six Coffee Maker Review
Ratio Six Coffee Maker Summary
- One touch operation
- Built to last quality with a 5-year warranty
- Bloom and brew phases minic the professional pourover process
- SCA certified coffee maker – Great cup of coffee
- A premium drip coffee machine with higher price tag
Design And Build Quality
The Ratio Six has a similar build and functionality to its predecessor. The exterior uses precision-formed stainless steel. Meanwhile, you can choose a stainless steel finish of sleek matte black or white, depending on your taste preferences and kitchen décor.
Smooth curves and cylindrical geometry dominate the aesthetic of the Ratio Six, giving it a contemporary and appealingly sleek appearance. Meanwhile, the minimalist design ensures the Ratio Six is three inches narrower than the Ratio Eight, making it suitable for people with limited countertop space.
The entire machine only uses one capacitative touch button at the front. Meanwhile, a pulsing backlit indicator light denotes the stage of the brewing process.
The water reservoir uses BPA-free plastic and has convenient water markings. Meanwhile, inside is a handblown borosilicate glass tube that delivers water to the shower head and heating elements. The fact the tube is made of glass is significant too – and not just aesthetically – because it is less liable to absorb and leach flavor than the cheaper rubber tubes of lesser coffee machines.
The Ratio Six has a stainless steel double-wall thermal carafe and a flat-bottom filter basket that combines beautifully with the rest of the machine. They also have handles for easy gripping and movement.
Finally, as if to highlight the attention to detail afforded to the coffee machine’s build, even the water reservoir’s lid uses precision-stamped stainless steel.
In short, this is a beautiful coffee maker that is not only built to last but looks stunning.
The Ratio Six may have a premium build, look beautiful and benefit from its simplicity, but can it brew a more amazing cup of coffee? After all, it’s one thing for a machine to look the part, but we’re interested in coffee makers that offer both style and substance.
The machine is an SCA-certified coffee brewer. This is significant because it means that the machine meets the coffee brewing standards set by the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) for coffee brewers designed for domestic use. The requirements to receive SCA certification are rigorous, assuring the user that the Ratio Six makes incredible coffee to other machines.
Meanwhile, the Ratio Six has excellent features that consistently ensure superior coffee taste.
Flat Bottom Filter
The machine has a regular Malita flat-bottom filter instead of the Ratio Eight’s conical Chemex paper filter.
Flat-bottom filters are ideal for more evenly extracted grounds, and you’ll notice the difference if you compare it with the coffee from a conical filter. It will also produce good coffee regardless of grind sizes and roast, offering plenty of leeway for inexperienced domestic brewers. Indeed, it’s quite difficult to brew poor coffee with the Ratio Six.
Many manufacturers try to build coffee machines that replicate skilled barista pourover process. For example, you’ve probably witnessed a professional barista carefully pouring hot water from a gooseneck kettle in a circular motion. The Ratio Six attempts to mimic that process in an automated way.
After you press the start button, the machine enters two brew phases – Bloom and Brew.
To brew beautiful coffee with pour-over, baristas pour a little water to wet the grounds. The bubbly interaction is known as bloom. The Ratio Six blooms the coffee grounds by pouring around 250ml of hot water into the brew basket for a full carafe. The machine automatically uses less water for a smaller batch. Not only that, but it will stop once it has done so and allow the ground coffee to soak up the water for about 30 seconds.
Once blooming is complete, the machine will brew using a precisely metering water flow to ensure the flavors are extracted as well as possible. Meanwhile, a flashing blue light on the front panel indicates which brewing phase is taking place.
The Ratio Six coffee maker is preset to consistently deliver water over 200F (93C) throughout the whole brew, which meets the SCA’s recommended ideal extraction temperature.
Meanwhile, a small silicone gasket on top of the filter puts a seal between the shower stream and basket. This unique heat shield catcher stabilizes the water temperature and helps the machine produce hotter brewed coffee.
The Ratio Six brews a full coffee pot in around eight minutes. The water flows evenly from the boiler to the filter basket at a consistent pace throughout the brewing cycle.
The large stainless steel shower head covers 50% of the diameter of the brew basket. This ensures that the water is always distributed evenly across the grounds, ensuring even extraction.
The machine brews up to 40oz of coffee or eight 5oz cups per batch. Meanwhile, the Ratio Six has an insulated thermal carafe built from stainless steel inside and out with a sealing lid. This ensures your coffee will stay hot for hours after brewing.
If you prefer, the Ratio Six is also compatible with the Ratio Eight’s glass carafe, which you can buy separately.
Ease Of Use
Many machines either offer beautiful coffee that involves a learning curve or a hassle-free experience with a compromised drink quality. However, Ratio coffee brewers let you enjoy world-class coffee at the touch of a button. Therefore, if you can’t devote a lot of time to your coffee routine, the Ratio Six is well worth considering.
As we mentioned earlier, the machine has only one button. So, you just need to pour in the water and add your coffee grounds. Then, press the button, and the machine takes care of the rest. You don’t need any specialist barista techniques, but the machine produces a professional-level cup of coffee.
You can also stop the brew whenever you like, either by lifting the carafe or pressing the button for a few seconds.
Cleaning the machine is just as straightforward as making a cup of coffee. After brewing, empty the brew basket’s used grounds and rinse it under the tap. Meanwhile, the carafe also has a large opening, making it easy to get inside to give it a proper clean.
Every six months, you should descale the Ratio Six, which will maintain the boiler and hot water lines for the best performance.
How To Brew Perfect Coffee With The Ratio Six
To get started, pour clean filtered water into the reservoir.
Give the paper filter a rinse before adding the grounds to the filter basket. This will help remove the papery taste and prepares the filter by sticking it to the basket.
If you are making a full carafe, pour water to the 1.3-liter mark on the water tank. Grind 75g of coffee in a medium-coarse setting. Put the grounds in the filter basket, and ensure they settle evenly.
Add the heat shield to the filter basket and hold it against the shower head. Then take your carafe and slide it underneath.
The heat shield helps prevent the water from flowing from the boiler and inside the basket and reduces the potential for heat loss while brewing.
Push the one-touch button on the front of the machine, and the brewing cycle will begin. Then, you just need to wait until all the coffee is in the carafe.
When brewing is complete, the light will flash above “ready.” Now, you can lift the filter basket and place it onto the drip tray, and remove the carafe.
Value For Money
Not surprisingly, considering the ease of use, build quality, and superior coffee it dispenses, the Ratio Six is not a cheap coffee maker. Indeed, it costs more than many other SCA-certified drip coffee makers and approximately the same as the more established Technivorm Moccamaster machines.
Of course, as we’ve mentioned, the Ratio Six is a very well-built coffee maker that’s intended to work well for years. Therefore, even though it is relatively expensive, this is a coffee maker that you shouldn’t need to worry about breaking down any time soon. The five-year warranty adds some extra peace of mind, too.
Despite its high price, the Ratio Six is still better value for money than the Ratio Eight. There’s also a sizable price gap between the Ratio Eight thermal carafe version of the Ratio Eight and the glass carafe version. However, with the Ratio Six, you get a similar design and build quality with a thermal carafe for half the price.
Ratio Six vs Ratio Eight
The Ratio Eight launched in 2015, five years before the Ratio Six. The two machines share many similarities. However, they differ in some key areas.
Design And Build Quality
Both have sleek and elegant designs. The Ratio Six is a little slimmer and lighter than the Ratio Eight, but it has the same depth and height. However, the Ratio Eight has more wooden elements, lending it a more high-end, stylish aesthetic than the Ratio Six.
The Ratio Six and Ratio Eight use robust metal materials. Meanwhile, each machine has a glass water supply line in its water tanks. There are also a high-wattage heating element in both machines.
Finally, the two machines have the same brewing capacity with a 40oz reservoir.
Both machines use the blooming cycle, consistent brewing temperature, and ideal brewing time that replicates manual pour-over to produce excellent coffee. However, their filters are different.
As we mentioned earlier, the Ratio Six has a flat-bottom filter similar to the Kalita Wave dripper. In contrast, the Ratio Eight uses conical-shaped filters that you’d find in the Hario V60 or Chemex.
Like manual pour-over methods, it isn’t easy to judge which filter provides the best results. Both have advantages and disadvantages, but they each make great coffee with the correct brewing parameters.
Another significant difference between the two coffee makers is the carafe that comes with purchasing. The Ratio Six comes with a double-wall stainless steel thermal carafe, while the Ratio Eight comes with either the thermal carafe or a borosilicate glass carafe at different prices. However, you can buy either carafe separately, and they are compatible with both coffee makers.
As we mentioned earlier, the Ratio Six is less expensive than the Ratio Eight with the glass carafe. However, the Ratio Eight with the thermal carafe is by far the most expensive option. Another thing to consider is that the machines are only compatible with carafes provided by Ratio, as the coffee makers only work with the carafe in place.
Ratio Six Coffee Maker Alternatives
Technivorm Moccamaster KBT
|Technivorm Moccamaster 79112 KBT Coffee Brewer, 40...||2,462 Reviews||See on Amazon|
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The Technivorm Moccamaster KBT is more established than the Ratio Six and is in a similar price range. But how do the two machines compare?
Both machines are SCA-certified and use predominantly metal materials. Meanwhile, their brew capacities are identical, they each have a thermal carafe and have one-touch designs.
Perhaps the most significant difference between the machines is the filter basket. The Technivorm Moccamaster KBT uses number four V-shaped filters, while the Ratio Six uses the flat-bottom filter. Also, the Moccamaster is most adept at brewing small to medium-sized batches. However, the Ratio Six is better for larger batches.
Some people also point to the length of time the Technivorm Moccamaster has been on the market as an advantage over the Ratio Six. After all, it is a tried and trusted machine well-loved by many coffee enthusiasts. In addition, the machine is built in the Netherlands to a high standard. Generally, it’s well worth looking at if your budget is around $300.Check out our Technivorm Moccamaster buying guide for more details
Breville BDC450BSS Precision Brewer
|Breville Precision Brewer Glass Coffee Maker, 60...||714 Reviews||See on Amazon|
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The Breville Precision brewer is an excellent machine to consider if you like more options and flexible brewing. Like the Ratio Six and Technivorm Moccamaster, the machine is SCA-certified with plenty of customizable brew options and presets.
Also, thanks to the PID (proportional, integral, derivative) temperature control, you can change the precise brewing temperature, brewing times, and flow rates. Overall, the Breville Precision is one of the most customizable drip coffee machines around. Meanwhile, you can choose between thermal and glass carafe versions.
For many years, drip coffee machines were frowned upon in the coffee community due to factors including lack of sophistication and their cheap builds. However, despite this, they have remained popular among US consumers.
It was perhaps inevitable, then, that eventually higher-quality drip coffee machines would come onto the market, and the Ratio Six sits firmly in this category.
Frankly, it has almost everything you could need of a premium coffee machine, including a beautiful, thoughtful design using robust materials, hassle-free brewing experience, and gorgeous finished beverages.
The machine is expensive, but if you want beautiful, professional barista-level coffee without requiring the expertise to achieve it, it’s well worth the money and will serve you well for many years to come.
Overall, the perception and quality of drip coffee makers have improved greatly in recent years, and machines like the Ratio Six – and Ratio Eight before it – are at the forefront of this very welcome revolution.
Ratio Coffee Brewers FAQ
The Ratio Eight is designed and manufactured in the USA, while the Ratio Six originates in China. China-built products can put some consumers off because there’s sometimes an assumption that the product may have inferior materials or not be as well built. However, we haven’t noticed any drop in quality because of this.