Categories
Reviews

Review: Oxo 9-Cup Coffee Maker

TL;DR: This OXO coffee maker was sent to us to review for free & our family has been using a Zojirushi coffee maker up until this showed up. Read this review with all that in mind.

Background

I don’t remember how, but some time ago, I registered for the OXO Insider Program. They’ve sent me a couple things to evaluate in our kitchen over the last year in exchange for a written review of the items. We’ve enjoyed a silicon pressure cooker rack and a citrus prep, peeler, and zester tool. I was shocked when I got an email last month that indicated their 9-Cup Coffee Maker was available to review. I jumped on the chance and after a shipping delay, I was stoked to find one sitting at my door.

The other thing you ought to know before reading this review, I’m comparing this to the Zojirushi 10-Cup coffee maker we’ve been using for the last year or so. We’ve been very happy w/ the Zojirushi unit. The following is a look at how well the Oxo unit works.

Appearance & Build Quality

Oxo 9-Cup Coffee Maker on counter next to Oxo Burr Grinder

I’ve gotta say – one of the first things I noticed about this coffee maker is that it looks really nice. It’s got a wonderfully clean look to it. And it matches their burr grinder really well.

The doors are easy to open and the carafe slides in and out of its spot easily enough. One minor thing that bugged me is the control dial. While it does what it needs to – it does feel a little on the chintzy side.

Control dial on Oxo 9-Cup Coffee Maker

Brewing Experience

While this brewer has a setting to make 1-4 cups in a pot, we always brew w/ the 5-9 cups setting. We’ve found that the “9 cups” is about enough for my wife and I to have a cup of coffee before work, and both take a to-go cup on the road.

Since this machine only has a knob and a button, figuring out how they worked was a little bit of an adventure. Thankfully, the instructions are clear enough to follow. The buttons on the Zojirushi were easier to intuit meaning, but I’ll be the first to admit they have a ‘truck stop coffee maker’ look to them. That said, it’s pretty simple to just brew a pot or set it up to start brewing at a specific time the next morning.

We’ve been very surprised at the speed and lack of noise this machine brings to the table. A brewing cycle finishes in about 6 minutes and still produces a robust, flavorful cup. And it barely makes a sound during the process. We could hear our old brewer across the house churning away at its 15-minute cycle – granted, it was a sound full of hope every morning. But we’ve really come to appreciate how quiet this machine is. It simply makes great coffee w/o yelling at your about it. We also really like that the maker tells you how long it’s been since it finished the brew cycle. That’s slick.

Pouring from the carafe

We’re very happy with the results we’re getting with this maker. Every pot has been wonderfully smooth and just the right temp.

Cleaning

I’ve been impressed with how modular most of the product is. It’s really easy to quickly disassemble parts of the machine in order to give them a cleaning. It seems like everything water or coffee would flow through is easily removable for cleaning.

Our previous coffee maker did not offer this much flexibility… and I’m starting to feel a little uncomfortable about the lid to that unit’s carafe.

Overall

The Oxo 9-Cup Coffee Maker retails for $199.99. Though, I’ve seen it available at a discount from time to time at various places. Based on our experiences with it over the last couple weeks – I can wholeheartedly recommend you pick one up if you’re in the market for a coffee maker w/ a timer.

Categories
Uncategorized

Todoist template: MCU Movie Marathon before The Avengers: Endgame

If you have a fairly geeky family like mine, you might be considering attempting to marathon through all the MCU movies – chronologically – up to this point in order to prepare for The Avengers: Endgame at the end of this month. We’ve done this for some of the Avengers movies in the past, so I figured it was time to make a reusable checklist for us.

MCU chronological order - Todoist template
Todoist Templates

Thankfully, Todoist has support for templates. So, I figured I’d make a template for this ‘project’ and share it up for anyone else that might want to do the same.

Todoist templates just .csv files. So, it’s pretty simple to make your own. Here’s how to import a template into a Todoist project. Here’s a guide to formatting your .csv files for Todoist.

Difficulty

Given the number of films at this point, this marathon is getting harder to do. I’m not sure my family will pull off this challenge this time around. I think we might have started a little too late in April. We’ll see.

Categories
Uncategorized

Fix for ‘error establishing a database connection’ after homebrew update

I build WordPress websites in a local development environment powered by Laravel Valet. I’ve been using this setup for a couple years now. It’s fast, light weight, and it’s been awesome – until it isn’t. 😉

This has happened to me twice in the last 6 months.

I run an alias for a few homebrew update commands…

brew update; brew upgrade; brew cleanup; brew doctor;

At the end of the summary of what’s been updated, sometimes a little advisory pops up and advises me to run brew prune to remove unneeded files.

brew prune

All of the sudden, my local development sites start failing to find their associated local database.

The first time it happened, I couldn’t find a good solution and ended up losing some data and starting over–completely rebuilding my development environment.

When it happened again yesterday…

https://twitter.com/bishless/status/1042132117285527552

I hunted for a solution for a little longer. I did not want go through that again.

Turns out there’s a really simple fix.

Apparently, when brew prune gets run, a temp directory gets removed. I figured I’d write this down to save myself a headache next time this happens.

Recreating that directory and restarting MariaDB or MySQL will restore access to your local databases.

mkdir /usr/local/etc/my.cnf.d
brew services restart mariadb

BINGO!

Categories
Uncategorized

Leathering No More

I figured I should probably explain why the Leathering posts just stopped in November.

The iPhone 8 Plus I got back in September was provided by my employer. To make a long story short, that cell phone reimbursement/provision benefit has ended.

So, I had to purchase a new phone and plan of my own… ended up going with a different phone that doesn't fit that beautiful leather case. As much as I liked that gorgeous, enormous screen and the portrait photo mode, the Plus is just too big in my book. I decided to go back to something similar in size to the 6s I recently replaced.

I debated just deleting all the leathering posts since I didn't do a very good job keeping lighting conditions consistent for the photos… but, I think I'll just leave them. They tell a good short story about how the leather case can change over several weeks. Who knows… maybe I'll eventually get a leather case for the new phone? If I do, I'll certainly apply what I've learned about lighting mistakes when I document the changes.

Categories
Uncategorized

Tokaido makes The Wirecutter’s 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Tokaido is in The Wirecutter's 2017 Holiday Gift Guide.

I saw this the other day and grinned. This headline is pretty much how I introduce new players to this game at Dice & Decks game nights.

Why we like it: Tokaido is a board game with beautiful art and a relaxing concept: Whoever has the chillest vacation wins. You and your companions journey through Japan, staying at inns, eating delicious food, taking baths, buying trinkets, admiring art, and visiting temples along the way. Many competitive board games encourage cutthroat tactics, but Tokaido’s simple concept and peaceful atmosphere make for a wholly pleasant group activity.

The Wirecutter
Whoever has the chillest vacation wins - Tokaido sits on a table
Tokaido is a beautiful experience.

If you feel like picking up a copy, here's an Amazon referral link. Do what you will. And be chill about it.

Categories
Uncategorized

Leathering – week 8

51 days in.

I'm realizing that while my location and time of day have been fairly consistent for these photos. The lighting conditions have varied drastically… might have to setup a rudimentary light box in the garage or something.

Categories
Uncategorized

Leathering – week 7

44 days in.

Categories
Uncategorized

Leathering – week 6

37 days in.

This photo may look a little different… I got delayed by an event and wasn’t able to take the picture at the same time of day. In addition, we had a beautifully cloudy day that affected the lighting for sure.

That said, the case looks great; I’m still really happy with it.

Categories
Uncategorized

Leathering – week 5

30 days in. I think – when comparing this to some of my earlier photos – I’m starting to see a little more character emerge.  I'll admit the idea of being able to charge my phone wirelessly was one of the reasons I felt compelled to upgrade from my 6s. Earlier this week, I picked up an Anker wireless charger for my iPhone 8 Plus. I was a little hesitant to order one because I was worried I'd have to remove the case every time. Turns out I don't. It works great. I can just drop it on the pad and it starts charging away.  I'm thrilled.
Categories
Uncategorized

Leathering – week 4

23 days in.

Still really happy with this case. Feels really nice in my hand.