After stumbling upon the OCS-8 while looking for consumer reviews that were not only high and in my budget, I also needed to find something that had more than 1 person reviewing the product. The Newco OCS-8 is indeed a hidden gem of a machine if you are looking for a reasonable priced drip machine that will make a great cup of coffee. After experiences with a Bunn BT-10 for many years that was never quite right after it was repaired by Bunn for a product recall, I had been on the hunt for something else that wouldn't break the bank, and make a great pot of brew. The OCS-8 is one of 3 machines in the OCS series. The OCS-8 is a pourover brewer which features a 40 oz vacuum glass lined carafe. The other machines in the series are the OCS-12, and the OCS-12A, with those models featuring a slightly more attractive 12- cup stainless steel adorned carafe, and the latter including the ability to be fully plumbed with the option to use as a pourover brewer when desired.
This machine brews at the proper 195-205 brew temperature, thanks to the 1400W heater that Newco designed this model with. It should be noted that Newco machines are classified as commercial machines, and are not available in typical consumer channels. The machine has no bells and whistles, and is designed for one thing, which it does well – brew a good pot of coffee. The OCS series is designed to be used in an office environment (the OCS designation standing for “Office Coffee System”), with each person in the office having their own personal carafe to brew into. Additional carafes are available from Newco for a very reasonable $10.99 for a black carafe (a grey carafe is available for $9.99).
After receiving my OCS-8, setup and unpacking was easy and straightforward. The packaging consists of the main brewing unit, the thermal carafe, a vacuum sealed carafe lid, a starter package of paper filters, the owners manual, and a quick reference card with instructions for brewing. As instructed, I ran one pot of water through the unit before my first pot of coffee. The OCS-8 sounds a single audible beep at the beginning of the cycle, and after its done chugging away with your pot of heaven, it sounds 4 beeps to indicate completion. Brewing time is fairly quick, and provides ample time in the brew basket for good extraction. Earlier reviews indicated that the filter basket required an awkward lift & pull action to open – the lift portion of that process appears to have been removed, and the filter basket is held closed with a magnetic latch that requires just a simple pull. Pour rate is a little slow due to the vacuum lock design of the carafe lid, but definitely not a dealbreaker. The design of the carafe lid however is very well thought out, and uses a series of vacuum sealing balls that automatically open when the carafe is being poured, sealing heat inside the carafe. This design also allows the user to keep the carafe lid in one position at all times, unlike the Capresso MT-500, which requires you to turn the lid to the 'serve' position and back to the 'closed' position each time you pour a cup of coffee. The design also features a pause feature to remove the carafe in the middle of a cycle to pour an early cup -- for those that are that impatient.
The machine I received was black – and from what I understand, is also available in grey. The black model looks better than the picture of the grey one indicated on these reviews, but the machine is certainly not going to win any aesthetics awards. Cleanup was fairly easy, but could be a little better.. The filter basket is easily removed off its post for cleaning, but the opening of the carafe is small, and will require a tool if you want to scrub the inside at any point (the opening is about the same size as most thermos bottles).
In regards to the filters used for the OCS-8, Newco supplies about 30 of them in the box. The filters Newco supplies are larger than typical filters available locally for home drip pots. The Bunn 20116 filters are a perfect fit for the filter basket, and I ordered 1000 of them (minimum quantity available) from foodservicedirect.com for $11.55, with shipping it came to $18.93.
Overall, I have been extremely pleased with the OCS-8, and it has produced great pots of 4, 6, and 8 cups for me since I received it. If you are looking for a no-nonsense drip maker that produces a great cup of coffee, this SCAA-approved machine is the way to go without breaking the bank.