Technivorm KBT-741 Versus Newco OCS-8 "Photo Face-off"
(Al Ruscelli -- March 2007)

Photographs Copyright Al Ruscelli Photography

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This is an initial set of photos comparing the Technivorm KBT-741 with the Newco OCS-8 coffeemakers. 

I will try to expand on the comparisons in the very near future with text and specific component comparisons, as well as a brief review of the how the two coffeemakers compare functionally.  But for an overall visual "look see," I have shot these two coffeemakers from enough angles to give someone a pretty good idea of how they compare visually.  It's overkill, but what they heck?

(Note:  My apologies for the backdrop I used in these photos.  It's more of a "people" backdrop, but since I already had it set up, I used it as a backdrop for the coffeemakers.  It kind of sucks as a "product" backdrop, but it was better than a cluttered kitchen counter.)

Click on Photos to See Larger Version

  

  

  

  

  

     

  

  

  

  

 

The "showerheads" compared. 

  

 

Both the Technivorm and the Newco have very simple on/off power switches and lights, but not much more.

  

 

OK, here's my comparison of the two as will be posted on www.coffeegeek.com:

Technivorm KBT-741 versus Newco OCS-8

 

Price:  It’s gonna vary, but here’s what I paid for each:

 

Technivorm KBT-741:  $205 from Boyd Coffee Company (no tax, but I added expedited shipping, so total cost to me was $215).

 

Newco OCS-8:  $69 direct from Newco with the Green Coffee Buyer’s Club (GCBC) group-buy discount (after tax – yes, tax even on an out-of-state purchase -- and shipping, total cost to me was $86).  Regular price on this coffeemaker is around $129, so after shipping and tax it would normally go for around $150 total. 

 

 

Strengths of Both

 

·        Both make very good coffee (my bottom line item).

·        Both are Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) approved.   

·        Both reach at least 200 deg. F for brewing (Technivorm achieves a slightly higher water temp with its 1475 watts than the Newco at 1400 watts, but they’re very close). 

·        Both have carafes that retain heat well (OCS-8 has very slight edge).  OCS-8 carafe loses about 4 deg. F per hour, KBT-741 loses about 5 deg. F per hour.  But, the Technivorm starts out with slightly hotter coffee by a couple of degrees or so.  Basically a wash if coffee is going to be consumed in the first couple of hours. Both will keep coffee over 160 deg. F for at least four hours (and drinkably hot for longer, depending on how long you’re willing to let coffee to sit in the carafe without drinking it). 

·        Both coffeemakers are simple and easy to operate. 

·        Both have very heavy-duty power cords (safety). 

 

 

Weaknesses of Both

 

·        Slow pour on both carafes, but better pour on OCS-8 because of the spout.  The fully rounded and spoutless lip of the KBT-741 “new style” carafe makes it prone to occasional sloppy pouring.

 

 

Strengths of Newco OCS-8 over Technivorm KBT-741

 

·        Current discounted price of $69 plus tax and shipping for the OCS-8 versus $205 plus shipping for the KBT-741. 

·        OCS-8 carafe with brew-through top is convenient and keeps contents hot -- slightly hotter for longer than the Technivorm by about 1 deg. F per hour less heat loss for the OCS-8. 

·        OCS-8 beeper alerts when coffee is ready (no beeper on KBT-741). 

·        OCS-8 automatically turns itself off (KBT-741 heating element switches off automatically, but lights stay on until manually switched off). 

·        OCS-8 carafe with lid is designed to fit under the coffeemaker (when stored or when in use).  KBT-741 carafe is not designed to fit under coffeemaker with lid attached (but it doesn’t have a brew-through lid, so this comparison might be apples versus oranges). The design on the KBT-741 carafe was likely purposeful on the part of Technivorm to prevent starting of coffeemaker brew process over a carafe with the lid on.)

·        OCS-8 available in plumbed-in version, if desired.

 

 

Strengths of Technivorm KBT-741 over Newco OCS-8

 

·        KBT-741 overall build (construction values, fit and finish) seem to be much better than the OCS-8.  (Does that mean it will last longer?  I can’t answer that now, but let’s talk again in 5-10 years.)

·        KBT-741 has a more stylish/stainless look compared to the plastic, utilitarian look of the OCS-8 (but neither will appeal to everyone).  A larger, higher-end OCS model with stainless carafe is available (at a higher price). 

·        The KBT-741 is easier to empty of excess water than the OCS-8.  Both retain some water.  The OCS-8 retains 3 oz water in the reservoir and a bit more in the plumbing, and emptying it is a bit unwieldy to empty compared to the KBT-741.  The KBT-741 retains 4 oz water in the plumbing but is very easy to tilt and empty (with virtually no water retained in the KBT-741 reservoir). 

·        KBT-741 stainless carafe is easier and safer to clean than the glass-lined OCS-8 carafe.  (Glass lined OCS-8 carafe more susceptible to damage than the Technivorm stainless steel and the carafe opening on the KBT-741 is slightly larger at 2 inches compared to 1.75 inches for the OCS-8.) 

·        KBT-741 carafe lid is more easily cleaned than the brew-through lid of the OCS-8.  The OCS-8 is likely more difficult to keep clean over the long run (due to it more complex design) than the Technivorm lid.

·        KBT-741 lid can be screwed down tight to allow no spilling of contents, OCS-8 cannot.

·        KBT-741 has a very easy On/Off switch compared to the pushbutton on the OCS-8 (wouldn’t want use the OCS-8 if I had arthritic fingers, which could be a concern for a small percentage of potential users).

·        KBT-741 shower head (and a few other parts) can be quickly and easily removed for cleaning (long-term and short-term cleaning likely much easier than the OCS-8). 

·        Cone-style filter basket/filters may offer some brewing advantages (extraction advantage, perhaps?). 

·        Cone-shaped filters seem easier to remove from the filter holder for disposal because of the “pouch” shape (slightly less opportunity to accidentally spill any wet grounds).

 

 

Miscellaneous Comparison Items/Notes

 

·        OCS-8 filter holder opening/closing a bit clunky with the “lift and pull to open” latch design. 

·        The KBT-741 metal spray head gets hot!  Don’t touch during brewing. 

·        KBT-741 filter basket switch has several levels of functions (slow, fast, and stop drip positions) for which the OCS-8 really doesn’t have a 1 to 1 equivalent (but the brew-through top of the OCS-8 has its own functionality that the KBT-741 doesn’t have).  

·        KBT-741 has see-through water reservoir with water level markings versus a cylindrical water level indicator for the OCS-8. 

 

A Few Notes on OCS-8 and KBT-741 Reservoir Water Capacities and Coffee Output. 

 

Everybody’s got to get used to the idiosyncrasies of their own coffeemaker.  But here are a few numbers associated with water capacities and coffee output of the OCS-8 and the KBT-741.

 

Newco OCS-8

 

“Cup” marks on OCS-8 are accurate, as long as you assume 3 ounces of water left in the reservoir from the previous brew cycle.  If you don’t have those three ounces remaining in the reservoir to start with, you need to add three ounces water to whatever number of “cups” you’re going to pour into the reservoir (or your output will come up three ounces short AND the water level gauge will seem to be reading wrong since it won’t match up with any external liquid measuring device you’re using).  

 

If you don’t premeasure your water and want to rely on the gauge on the OCS-8, you’ll do fine.  Just watch the cup marks on the gauge and your liquid output will match within about an ounce or so (minus whatever is left in the coffee grounds). 

 

If you’re someone who likes to premeasure water and pour it into the coffeemaker reservoir, you’ll need to take into account the three extra ounces that the coffeemaker leaves in the reservoir each time you go through a brew cycle.  If you start out with a completely empty reservoir, you’ll need to add three ounces to your measured water or you’ll come up three ounces short.  If there is already water in the reservoir from the last brew cycle (probably the three ounces left behind from the last cycle), just add however much you want as to end up in the carafe. 

 

In any case, if you don’t try to premeasure your water, and you fill the OCS-8 reservoir to the appropriate cup level, each cup marker will be true to 5 ounce cups.  But for people who want to premeasure, you have to take the presence or absence of water in the reservoir into account. 

 

The OCS-8 filled to the Maximum line in the reservoir has 45 ounces of water in the reservoir.  If the brew cycle is run with water filled to the Maximum line, output to the carafe will be 42 ounces (minus whatever amount of water remains in the coffee grounds).  Three ounces of water will remain in the reservoir. 

 

 

Technivorm KBT-741

 

“Cup” marks on the KBT-741 don’t measure a standard 5 oz or 8 oz, so they’re fairly useless as guides (until the user becomes accustomed to which fill level means what amount of actual coffee output).  A “cup” on the KBT-741 seems to mean roughly 4.2 ounces in US equivalent (one cup is actually 125 milliliters or 4.2268 cups).  I think Technivorm just got lazy trying to make a water level marker on the side of their reservoir that would use the same hash marks to measure liters, quarts, and cups – and it didn’t work.  There is a “1/1” mark on the side of the reservoir that I think means “1 Liter/1 Quart,” (despite the slight “real” differences between a liter and a quart) and right next to that hash mark there is an “8,” that I think is supposed to mean 8 cups.  And I might be wrong about what the “1/1” mark means on the reservoir. 

 

As I interpret it, the water level marks on the KBT-741 seem to be saying that “1 Liter = 1 Quart = 8 Cups.”  Hmmm.  The only mark that looks like it is accurate is the one that (I think) can be interpreted as 1 Liter (the first “1” in the “1/1” mark”).  And the cup marks are only accurate if you accept standard cups as 125 ml or 4.2 oz. 

 

So, despite the “cup” markings on the reservoir, you should probably measure your own water for this coffeemaker (until you get used to what the markings mean in relation to your own coffee-making habits). 

 

Four ounces of water always remain in the KBT-741 “plumbing” after the brew cycle is complete.  You will not see any water remaining in the reservoir, but it is there inside the coffeemaker.  That water must either be dumped or used in the next brew cycle.

 

If you add 40 ounces of water to the completely empty KBT-741, you will get 36 ounces of output in the carafe (minus whatever amount of water remains in the coffee grounds), since four ounces will stay in the coffeemaker.

 

If you add 40 ounces of water to the reservoir of the coffeemaker when it already contains four ounces of water from the previous brewing cycle, you will get exactly 40 ounces of output in the carafe (minus whatever amount of water remains in the coffee grounds). 

 

 

 

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