ISSUE 21  |  Modest Modern

A Coffee Maker Designed by a Portland Brewer

May 27, 2014 1:00 PM

BY Janet Hall

The Ratio Coffee Brewer came about when Mark Hellwig, founder of Clive Coffee (Portland’s best source for coffee-making tools and beans) saw a need in the market for a coffee maker of high quality and elegant design. “After listening to customers complain about flimsy plastic parts, complicated programming steps, and overall inelegance, I decided to build a new company devoted entirely to coffee machines of unmatched beauty and quality,” he says. His first product, the Ratio Coffee Brewer, offers the precision of a pour-over with the ease of a one-button operation.

Images via Ratio Coffee.

Above: Handmade in Portland, Oregon, the first batch of Ratio Coffee Brewers sold out in early 2014. Orders are now being taken for the next batch of 500 machines that will ship in July of 2014; $480 through Clive Coffee.  

Above: The Ratio Coffee Brewer is made with only four materials: nickel-plated aluminum (base and top), Oregon black walnut (support arms), borosicilate glass (water tank, supply lines, and carafe), and cork (base and carafe bottom lining and the carafe stopper). 

Above: The engineering of the machine is simplified to a one-button operation. It has a three-step brew cycle–bloom, brew, and ready–indicated by subtle white lights on the base. “You shouldn’t have to be a trained barista to make great coffee and you shouldn’t have to be an engineer to clean your coffee maker,” says Hellwig.

 Above: Hot water poured over coffee causes a bubbly interaction called a “bloom.” The Ratio’s control board allows the bloom to settle down before delivering the rest of the hot water. 

Above: The Ratio Coffee Brewer‘s brew cycle is precisely controlled to deliver water at the ideal temperature (200 degrees) over the ideal time span (six minutes). The water shower head is designed to uniformly saturate the coffee grounds, similar to the manual brewing of pour-over kettles.

Above: The supply lines are made of borosicilate glass.

Above: Cantilevered support arms are made from Oregon black walnut.

Above: The Ratio Coffee Brewer uses either Chemex Pre-Folded Paper Filters ($8 for a box of 100) or the Able Kone Coffee Filter, made of laser-welded stainless steel ($60) at Clive Coffee. (For a limited time, a Ratio Coffee Brewer purchase includes a custom Able Kone filter.)

Prefer to brew a single cup? Alexa found 10 Artful Coffee Drippers, while Sarah looked across the Pacific for Pour Over Coffee–Aussie Style. And don’t miss 7 Secrets: Tips to Make a Perfect Cup of Coffee on Gardenista.