Kitchen & Cooking

This innovative coffee maker uses air to make cold brew

VacOne air brewer is the coffee gadget you didn’t know you needed.

A VacOne Air Brewer coffee maker is in the center of the image. Right next to it, a person is pouring coffee into a glass half-filled with ice cubes. Credit: VacOne

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As a kitchen product reviewer, I rarely spend money at coffee shops because of the arsenal of coffee gadgets that have slowly occupied half of my kitchen space. However, cold brew is an exception for me as I have no patience for making it, but still crave this refreshing, silky beverage on hot summer days. When I discovered the VacOne Air Brewer, the portable coffee maker that promises cold brew and hot coffee within minutes, I knew I had to try it.

What is the VacOne Air Brewer?

What is VacOne
Credit: VacOne

The VacOne coffee maker uses vacuum technology to brew coffee quickly.

The VacOne Air Brewer uses vacuum technology to pull water through its filter in order to extract the coffee. It’s made of two parts: a vacuum pump and a borosilicate glass carafe. The package also includes a scoop and a stirring wand.

The top part looks similar to a mini version of the larger, non-portable Toddy cold brew maker from La Colombe, the brand behind one of our favorite coffee subscriptions. The vacuum pump helps speed up the brewing process so you’ll get a balanced, sweet cup of coffee within minutes.

How does the VacOne Air Brewer work?

How does a VacOne work?
Credit: VacOne

The VacOne is easy to use.

To start brewing, you’ll need to make sure the carafe and the top are attached properly to create an airtight seal. Then, fill the top bucket with four to five scoops of finely ground coffee. There are three water lines that correspond to the strength of the coffee: Strong, Medium, and Light. The recommended line for cold brew is the lowest one, which brews the strongest cup (don’t worry, you can dilute it later if you want).

Add water to the line of your preference and soak the grinds for a few minutes. Then, turn on the vacuum to pump out the air in the carafe so the coffee water will start flowing down.

The VacOne comes with a charging cable. It takes about two hours to charge and makes 100 servings per full charge.

What’s it like to use the VacOne Air Brewer?

What's like to use a VacOne
Credit: VacOne

The borosilicate glass carafe can sustain high heat.

At first, the VacOne seemed similar to an Aeropress, which involves air pressure to make coffee. However, I noticed a major difference between the two during testing.

When making coffee in an Aeropress, you’ll notice a brownish foam that forms on top of the grinds, which makes the coffee oily and bitter. French presses produce a similar result, and both devices fail to keep this foam out entirely, resulting in a bitter taste in the coffee.

In the VacOne coffee maker, the foam actually rests on top of the coffee bed, which means less grittiness and acidity in the coffee.

What I like

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Credit: VacOne

The VacOne can make a sediment-free cup of coffee quickly.

I like the VacOne coffee maker because it’s simple and easy to use for people who want a quick brew. Whether hot coffee or cold brew, I was able to set it and forget it and expect a smooth, vibrant cup of coffee a few minutes later.

It brews a sweet, full-bodied cup at a fraction of the time typically required to make coffee of the same quality. I also took note that a finer grind (I used the setting close to espresso on my grinder) will generate a more sediment-free and smooth cup of coffee than a typical pour-over grind size.

Another advantage of the VacOne is its brewing volume. It can brew a maximum of 14 ounces of coffee in one brew, which is about a cup and half. While this may not sound like much, it’s important to remember that this cold brew is a concentrate, meaning you’ll want to add water and ice to make it less strong.

What I don’t like

Though I liked many aspects of this coffee tool during testing, cleaning it wasn’t my favorite. The top part is an odd shape. I couldn’t comfortably scoop out the grinds using a spoon, because a spoon can’t reach the bottom of the narrow channel, and I was unable to dump the grinds right away because they kept clinging onto the plastic walls.

I was finally able to clean the VacOne by rinsing the top part repeatedly. Due to the cleaning difficulty, we don’t recommend the VacOne for camping trips, even though it’s very portable and lightweight.

Should you buy a VacOne coffee maker?

Should you get it?
Credit: VacOne

The VacOne is a great tool to have if you like cold brew.

If one or two cups of coffee is your daily limit, the VacOne Air Brewer could be a great gadget for you. It’s convenient to use and brews a tasty cup at a much lower cost than an automatic coffee maker.

If the cleaning process sounds like too much of a hassle and you’d like a manual pour-over coffee maker instead, we like the Hario V60—it’s lightweight and portable.

Get the VacOne Air Brewer Coffee Maker on Amazon for $89

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