Oomph Coffee Maker Review
There are so many ways to make coffee at home, and the options are ever increasing all the time.
Obviously you’ve got all of the wonderful (and expensive) machines, like pod coffee machines and filter coffee machines for the people at the forefront of technology. You’ve got cafetieres and french presses for the more traditional connoisseurs and of course you’ve got instant coffee for those that are in a rush and can’t taste the difference.
There are always new ways being created though, and today we will be looking at one of the most exciting (and budget friendly) in recent years – the Oomph Coffee Maker.
If the name rings a bell, it may be because this product featured on Dragon’s Den, and was impressive enough to secure investment from one of the Dragons, Jenny Campbell – she considers this to have been her best decision on the show.
In a similar way to an Aeropress, the Oomph is a self-contained coffee maker, with no need for electricity or any specialist equipment. It just uses a series of chambers to brew your coffee.
It’s one thing convincing the Dragons, of course, but we have a very rigorous reviewing process and incredibly high standards, so how did the Oomph Coffee maker stand up to our tests. Let’s find out as we lead you through our full Oomph coffee maker review.
Oomph Coffee Maker Specifications
First things first – let’s have a quick moment to discuss how this looks. It looks good. The sleek and stylish design is definitely a real draw. The fact that this doubles up as a travel mug means the aesthetics are a bit more important than with other coffee makers – you’re going to be seen out and about with this one! Rest assured, this is a coffee maker to take out into the wider world with pride.
Another key feature when you take into account its ability to be used ‘on the go’ is the size. It’s very compact, measuring just 8.3cm x 8.3cm x 23 cm, and is easy to carry around with you, weighing 618g when complete. This is easy to throw in your bag if you’re heading out to the office, or even further afield.
While it is small, you can still make a 14oz coffee with it, so you can make coffee to share with others. To put that in to perspective, a ‘normal’ cup of coffee is usually around 4-6oz.
Now on to how it works – it all comes down to pressure. It is designed with a traditional espresso machine in mind, generating high levels of pressure to force hot water through the coffee grounds at an accelerated rate.
This is done using the chambers within the maker. When you push down on the chamber, it creates a turbine effect, which stirs the grounds and mixes it up. The benefit of this is that more of the coffee interacts with the water, meaning more coffee is extracted.
There is an integrated filter, so you don’t need to worry about buying paper filters, and there is no other equipment required. Not only is this cheaper, it also reduces the amount of waste that you use, compared to say, a pod coffee machine.
If you are using the Oomph as your travel mug, there is an Anti-Bitterness Lock at the base. This traps in the coffee grounds, so when you’re out and about, your coffee isn’t still extracting more strength (and bitterness) from the grounds – your flavour has been locked in.
The beauty of machines like this is that they don’t require many features. There is very little that can go wrong, and very little that you need to maintain. It is completely dishwasher safe, so cleaning is not a concern at all. It’s also BPA free, if that is something that concerns you.
What It’s Like To Use The Oomph
Oh, apparently my editor wants a little more detail here, which I guess is fair enough. It might actually be helpful to walk you through the process, so here goes:
First of all, you measure out your coffee grounds – we’d recommend about 2 tablespoons if you’re making a full Oomph’s worth – and place inside. You will probably want to experiment with this over time, and test out different amounts of different coffees, but as a starting point, this is a good guide.
Next, you add your water. There are helpful markings down the side of the contraption to help you with this, including a Max Fill line. As with any coffee made from grounds, the optimal temperature of the water you use is 96 degrees Celsius. This is so you don’t burn the coffee and affect the taste, so something to keep in mind.
At this point you leave it to stand for about two minutes.
This is where it gets fun. Once you have waited, you push down on the top chamber, to force the water down at speed. The water mixes with the coffee grounds and starts the extraction process.
Like your coffee a little stronger? Well, this is where it gets clever – you can re-brew! Just twist the catch, pull up the top chamber and repeat the process above by pressing down again – the water then goes in for another extraction session, getting more coffee out of your grounds.
As far as I am aware there isn’t another product on the market that offers you the ability of a re-brew in this way. As someone that likes their coffee strong, this is a revelation!
It also gives you the chance to experiment with different coffees and amounts of brews – you might buy a strong coffee and feel one ‘brew’ is enough, whereas some delicious but slightly weaker coffees might be enhanced with a re-brew.
Once you are satisfied with the strength of your coffee you have options. You can either pour the coffee out into a cup, or two if you are sharing, or you can flip the lid on and use it as a travel cup. Off you go!
If any of that is too complicated for you to follow, there is also a comically dramatic video that Oomph have provided – I would heartily recommend you give it a watch.
As I mentioned in the section above, the beauty of products like this is in the simplicity – there really isn’t anything involved in this process that is more complicated than making any other form of coffee – all the thinking has been done in the manufacturing process.
On top of all this, cleaning the Oomph is just as easy – even if you don’t have a dishwasher. All of the components come apart easily, can be cleaned with a decent rinse and then put back together. Or just put in the dishwasher…
Oomph Coffee Maker Taste Test
As I mentioned above, I really like strong coffee. A lovely black filter coffee is my dream drink. (I’m a simple man, with simple tastes)
With that in mind the Oomph ticks all of my boxes. You get a really smooth taste when you use this maker – the Anti-Bitterness Lock really does exactly what it suggests. The flavour is locked in as soon as the extraction process is halted.
Obviously, a huge selling point for the Oomph, particularly for people that like their coffee like I do, is the control that you have over the strength of your drink. Being able to go in for another plunge, having tasted the drink, is genuinely revolutionary, and it’s not just a gimmick – it really works.
At this point it is also prudent to mention the quality of the coffee that you use to make your drink. Obviously, no matter how you are actually making the drink, your coffee will only taste as good as the actual coffee you are using to make it.
Fortunately, good coffee is becoming more and more readily available. From your supermarket, to farmer’s markets, coffee shops – even direct from the roasters on the internet, you’re never far away from a good quality coffee, and you don’t need to break the bank for a decent one either. There really is no excuse these days for drinking a substandard coffee.
I am very passionate when it comes to coffee, and as such, have more ways of making a cup of coffee that I am comfortable making public. (I have enough trouble justifying it to my wife, I don’t need you all on my case as well…)
I really didn’t think I would ever need another – until I tried the Oomph.
It really just ticks all of my boxes. Being able to make a really nice coffee as strong as I like it, is such a revelation to me. I found that an extra brew could really enhance the taste of coffees that I haven’t particularly enjoyed using other makers.
Why would I try coffee that I hadn’t enjoyed? Well, that’s part of the fun with the Oomph – the experimenting. Trying different amounts of different coffees with different amounts of ‘brews’ – just playing around with the flavours to get the optimal taste.
I appreciate that this is all a bit nerdy, and you might not be as interested in this aspect of making coffee. Well the good news is, the Oomph is also incredibly convenient and versatile. I have one for when I’m rushing out the door and want a good coffee for my commute.
However, this is equally useful for people that work away from home a lot, and can’t stand the awful little coffee sachets you get in hotel rooms. Or people that go camping and want a decent drink when they wake up in the morning. Or even hikers, that like a coffee up a mountain – all you need is the coffee and hot water and you can make a delicious drink anywhere.
I will say, that if you mainly drink the fancier milk drinks (cappuccino, latte etc), then this might not be the device for you – there is no way to froth the milk, so producing those drinks is pretty much impossible with this maker.
If you like a decent filter coffee though, then this is worth serious consideration. For the price, I don’t think you will find anything that can beat it.