You wouldn’t know it judging by how expensive it is at cafes, but cold-brewed iced coffee is actually very easy to make. Cold brew, as the name suggests, is brewed in cold or room temperature water instead of hot water. Since cold water reacts in a less volatile way with the grounds, cold brew has to be steeped for a lot longer. This results in a uniquely flavored iced coffee that’s strong, while also being smooth and slightly sweet.
The main problem with cold brew is time — while you may only take five or so minutes with a pour-over, drip machine or French press, cold brewing coffee can take 12 to 24 hours, depending on the recipe you’re using. But most of that time is idle — all you have to do is mix the coffee grounds in cold water and leave it until it’s ready. Many people use a French press or even a mason jar for brew cold brew. These methods work pretty well, but there are two main problems. Measuring the right amount of coffee can be tricky. Another problem is filtering. It can be difficult (and pretty messy) to filter out the coffee, and you can end up with an unwanted amount of grounds in your drink.
That’s where cold brew coffee makers come in. They typically consist of a carafe with a removable filter in the middle. This filter is then filled with (preferably coarsely ground) coffee and left to infuse with the water. The removable filter makes cold brew makers easy to clean and easy to measure. You can pour the cold brew directly out of the carafe into a serving glass. These are some of the best cold brew coffee makers you can get right now. Plus, many of these can easily be used for loose leaf tea as well.
1. Takeya Patented Deluxe Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker
Takeya’s simple and affordable cold brew maker is a great option for those who are committed to cold brew but don’t have a ton of counter or fridge space. The Tritan-plastic container holds 1 quart of liquid, and it’s slim enough to fit into most fridge doors. It has a large handle with a silicone grip for easy pouring, and the twist-off top houses the fine mesh filter which is easy to fill, set and remove. The mesh filter is designed to be fine enough to be used with finely ground coffee with minimal seeping.
Pros: Affordable. The slim design is easy to store in the fridge. Intuitive and easy to use design.
Cons: 1-quart size is somewhat small.
2. OXO BREW Cold Brew Coffee Maker
If countertop space isn’t as much of an issue, this unique cold brew brewer has a separate brewing chamber and carafe that’s designed to sit on your counter. The brewing container is first filled with ground coffee, and then water is poured over the slotted “rainmaker” lid to slowly and evenly distribute the water over the grounds. When the coffee is ready, you push the button down and the coffee flows into the carafe. The container is easy to clean, but since it’s separate from the carafe, you don’t have to clean it right away, and you can put the carafe in the fridge.
Pros: Innovative design from a trusted brand. Easy to use, separate carafe with included lid makes serving easier. “Rainmaker” lid allows for more even brewing.
Cons: Tends to drain slowly.
3. ovalware Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker
This stylish glass cold brew maker is from Ovalware, and it has several features that make for convenient brewing and tastier cold brew. The stainless steel lid has a rubber gasket that makes for an airtight fit while brewing and storing. This helps prevent oxygen and fridge odors from messing with the flavor. Attached to the lid is the removable metal filter. The side of the carafe has a milliliter and cup measurements for easily fine-tuning your preferred recipe. Plus, the carafe comes with a non-slip rubber base to protect the glass.
Pros: Stylish pyramid shape. Glass carafe has markings on the side for easier measuring. Lid forms an airtight seal for freshest results.
Cons: Glass is somewhat fragile and will need to be handled carefully.
4. Primula Burke Deluxe Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker
This simple and intuitive and cold brew maker is made from sturdy borosilicate glass with a protective plastic base and lid. It has a simple twist-top design that allows you to access the removable filter. The curved spout and oversized handle make it easy to grip and pour, and it’s designed to be small enough to fit in most fridge doors. Arguably the best feature is the removable bottom on the brew filter, making it far easier to clean. It has a full capacity of 1.6 quarts.
Pros: Removable filter has a detachable bottom for easy cleaning. Large handle makes for easy gripping and pouring.
Cons: Small size, especially considering that you can’t fill it all the way.
5. Cold Brew Mason Jar Coffee Maker by County Line Kitchen
This clever option includes a 1-quart Ball mason jar, a fine mesh metal filter and a plastic twist lid with a flip-top spout. The mesh filter is easily removable, so you can take it out once the coffee is done steeping. The great thing about this system is that since Ball mason jars are readily available, you can easily replace the included one with another wide-mouth mason jar should the original break.
Pros: Since this system uses a standard Ball mason jar, it can be swapped out in case the included one breaks without having to replace the entire unit.
Cons: Somewhat expensive considering how inexpensive Ball mason jars are.