Comparing the Ratio Eight and Six
The Ratio Six has earned the SCA Gold Cup Certification. The Eight hasn’t.
Why? Is the Six a better coffee brewing machine?
Of course not. But the two machines have a slightly different approach to brewing coffee.
Inspired by Pour Over
Every Ratio machine is inspired by the beautiful ritual of manual brewing, often called pour over. So what’s a pour over? It’s exactly what it sounds like: coffee brewed manually, affording complete control to the brewer: you decide what temperature the water should be, how fast or how slow to pour it. You choose how balanced the flavor is, how strong the brew.
Many of us love the taste of pour over but not the attention to detail and precision required for a consistent result (especially at 7am when you desperately need coffee.).
In 2015, we launched with the Ratio Eight, our elegant flagship, which uses a handblown glass carafe that is conical in shape and open at the top, so you can watch the magic happen.
The Eight was designed to automate many of the variables that can make the pour over process tedious, while still celebrating the kinesthetic experience of watching, hearing and absorbing the beautiful aromas of coffee as it’s brewing.
In early 2020, we released the Six, designed to offer the one-button convenience of its bigger sibling with a leaner form and lighter price. It’s a totally enclosed, flat-bottom filter system, which offers a bit more consistency than a cone-shaped brewer and a more even extraction. That’s not to say it’s any better than the conical method. It isn’t. It’s just another option. We like options.
The Six and the Eight are different machines at different price points, and with a slightly different approach to brewing.
The Eight’s conical filter and open design is more akin to a manual pour over. You see, hear, and smell the coffee as it’s brewing, and the thick Chemex paper filter absorbs some oils out of the coffee, producing a clean and subtle brew. Like a rich cup of coffee but still want an open design? The permanent Ratio Kone will let more oils through than the Chemex paper filter.
The Six is more like a scaled down commercial batch brewer, with a completely enclosed brewing chamber that will trap more heat. If you’re the type that prefers really hot coffee and high extractions, this is the brewer for you.
By adjusting the dose of coffee (more coffee for a heavier “mouth feel”) and the grind setting (coarser if coffee is tasting bitter, finer if it’s tasting sour), you can dial in the taste of the coffee you’re after on either machine.
You like the size and price of the Six but the conical filter shape of the Eight? Easy. Swap out the included thermal carafe for the Ratio glass carafe or the Eight Thermal Carafe, and use either a Chemex paper filter or the reusable Ratio Kone. Best. Of. Both. Worlds.
So back to the SCA certification of the Six. The current testing standards of the SCA program require a closed brewing chamber (like on the Six), and they have heat retention requirements after the brewing process that require either a hot plate or a thermal carafe. Like the illustrious Chemex carafe, the Ratio Eight glass carafe is intended to keep the coffee hot for just 10 minutes or so. Get it in the cup!
Comparing the Eight and Six Technical Features.
Both models share a lot in common, and then there are a few differences that will matter more to some people than others.
What’s the same:
Bloom Cycle. Each model delivers a steady bloom time of 30 seconds with a 30 second rest to allow the coffee to breathe before delivering the rest of the water.
Glass supply lines. You’ll watch the hot water bubble up through the glass supply line that runs through the water tank.
Wide showerhead. Both the Eight and Six showerheads feature a Fibonacci spiral pattern to evenly distribute the water across the bed of ground coffee.
Ideal brew time. The brew time will be just under 8 minutes for a full batch of coffee.
Powerful heating element. Both machines use a high wattage heating element that sends hot water to the shower head typically within 15 to 20 seconds after you hit the start button. It maintains a steady temperature during the brewing process.
5 year warranty. Both machines carry a 5 year warranty in the USA. We build our machines to last and to be serviceable even beyond the warranty period.
— The Ratio glass carafe or Eight Thermal Carafe uses a Chemex paper filter or Able Kone stainless filter, similar to pour over. The Eight Thermal Carafe uses a ceramic conical Dripper.
— The Six filter basket is made of BPA-free plastic and uses a flat bottom paper filter, similar to the Melitta 8-12 cup filters carried in most grocery stores.
— The Eight has an open design so that you can see, smell, and interact with the brewing process. The slightly cooler brewing temperature will emulate a manually brewed cup of coffee.
— The Six has a heat shield that completely surrounds the shower head, retaining heat during the brew process and mimicking the higher-temperature brewing found in commercial batch brewers in cafes around the world.
Need all the details? See technical specs side by side.