Some people believe that you should fight fire with fire; however, we don’t think that it’s a smart idea to combine hot days with hot coffee. You’re here right now, so that means that you have the right idea – you want the lowdown on the best cold brew coffee makers out there!
Cold brew coffee is the perfect cool and refreshing way to get your daily dose of caffeine, without making compromises when it comes to flavor. Oh and just to get this out of the way, we’re not talking about putting ice into coffee that has been brewed hot (a.k.a. iced coffee). These are devices that can help you to master the patient art of cold brew coffee making.
Top Pick – OXO BREW Cold Brew Coffee Maker ↗
Quality – 4/5
Pricing – 4.5/5
Capacity – 4/5
Ease of Use – 5/5
OXO has managed to create a coffee maker that will consistently give you a great cup of cold brew coffee, without breaking the bank.
Cold Brew vs Iced: Are We Cold Brew Coffee Snobs?
There’s a difference between cold brew coffee and iced coffee and we’ve already told you that we’re not going to be talking about the latter.
However, that doesn’t mean that we have anything against iced coffee – in fact if you recall, we’ve already talked about the coolest iced coffee makers.
In our opinion, cold brew coffee and iced coffee both have their merits. One is convenient because it’s quick and easy to make (iced coffee), while the other has richer flavors but it requires more patience (cold brew coffee).
What’s So Great About Cold Brew Coffee
Like we said before, one of the first things that you will notice is the richer flavors that you get from making coffee with this brewing method (especially compared to iced coffee). Iced coffee may be just as good at cooling you off; however, because you’re directly adding ice to hot coffee, you’re inevitably going to get a watered down taste.
- Cold brew coffee is smooth but other terms like “rich” and “chocolaty” are often thrown around when discussing it as well. While there is some amount of truth to this description, the reality is that cold brew coffee emphasizes the overall flavor notes of the beans. This can range from that iconic chocolaty taste to the more subdued fruity or floral flavors.
- Cold brew coffee has low acidity compared to traditional brewing methods. Coffee isn’t one of the most acidic beverages that you can drink; however, it can still be harmful to people with sensitive stomachs. As a result of the way that it is brewed, cold brew coffee has less than half of the acidity of the regular stuff.
- Cold brew coffee is easily prepared compared to many other types of coffee. Overall, coffee is not a particularly complex beverage to make but things like getting the perfect pour or using a French press can be difficult for beginners. Cold brew is a relatively hands off process, all you really need is time.
- Cold brew coffee lasts a long time compared to other types of coffee. You can easily make a batch of cold brew coffee over the weekend and then drink it periodically during the week. Cold brew coffee is generally good for anywhere between 7 and 14 days, as long as it is properly refrigerated.
The Best Cold Brew Coffee Makers of 2020 – 5 Top Picks
Cold Brew Maker & Price
County Line Kitchen Cold Brew Mason Jar Coffee Maker
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|Holds up to 2 quarts (64 ounces).|
Includes stainless steel filter.
Yama Glass Cold Brew Tower
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|Slow drip system.|
Relatively fast brew time.
Hand crafted apparatus.
High price range.
Takeya Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker
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1 quart and 2 quart models available.
Includes fine-mesh coffee filter.
Cuisinart Automatic Cold Brew Coffeemaker
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|Extremely fast for cold brew.|
Built-in strength selector (mild, medium, bold).
Parts are removable and easy to clean.
OXO BREW Cold Brew Coffee Maker
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|Rainmaker dispenser distributes water evenly over coffee.|
Has stainless steel mesh filter and also includes paper filters (10 shipped with coffee maker).
Easy to clean.
The Best Cold Brew Coffee Makers of 2020 – Detailed Reviews
Each of these devices has a specific reason (or reasons) why they’ve earned the right to be called one of the best cold brew coffee makers.
Let’s see which one matches up to your needs.
Best Cold Brew Coffee Maker for Large Batches – County Line Kitchen Cold Brew Mason Jar Coffee Maker
The County Line Kitchen Cold Brew Coffee Maker is clear proof that you really don’t need a ton of bells and whistles to produce great cold brew coffee. This coffee maker has more than a few positive characteristics but there are two primary reasons why it makes the cut as one of the best cold brew coffee makers – quantity and simplicity.
Not only is the mason jar design remarkably simplistic, County Line Kitchen has also managed to create a cold brew coffee maker that is easy to use. All you have to do is add your coffee, let it steep, and then pour yourself a drink. This simplicity is also reflected in the price, with this being one of the more affordable cold brew coffee makers on our list.
Irrespective of its affordability or its simplicity the Cold Brew Mason Jar Coffee Maker is extremely durable. Both the stainless steel filter mesh and the jar itself can easily stand up to whatever rigors you put it through on a day-to-day basis.
However, the reason why we consider it to be one of the best cold brew coffee devices, is because it manages to blend quality and quantity in an effortless manner. It is available in to sizes: 2 quarts (64 ounces) or 1 quart (32 ounces).
Best Cold Brew Coffee Maker for Enthusiasts – Yama Glass Cold Brew Tower
Even just based on first impressions alone, it should come as no surprise that the Yama Glass Cold Brew Tower is not for everyone.
If what you’re looking for is a way to just make a simple cup of cold brew coffee, then you should obviously look elsewhere. However, if you consider yourself to be a coffee enthusiast, then the Yama Glass Cold Brew Tower may be right up your alley.
Unlike a lot of its competitors, the Cold Brew Tower is configured to use a slow drip brewing method to create cold brew coffee. It has the potential to be a more hands on brewing experience, since you are able to tweak the rate of flow and other factors.
Still, one of the most notable things about this slow drip brewing method is the fact that it is faster than the usual method. The Yama Glass Cold Brew Tower will finish its brewing process in around 4 hours, considerably shorter than the 24 hour average of conventional cold brew coffee devices.
All in all, the price and intricate design of the Yama Glass Cold Brew Tower proves one thing; it is just as much a conversation piece as it is a cold brew coffee device.
Best Cold Brew Coffee Maker for Affordability – Takeya Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker
The Takeya Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker is the yin to the Yama Glass Cold Brew Tower’s yang. While it’s not the device on this list that is going to give you the best cup of coffee, it earns its spot because of its affordability and ease of use.
The Takeya Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker comes in two, more than adequate, sizes: 1 quart (32 ounces) and 2 quarts (64 ounces). However, because of its minimalist cylindrical design, it should be easy enough to find space for this device in any fridge.
Even though it’s the cheap option, it comes with the standard features that you’d want in your kitchenware to have. It’s BPA-free, it has an ergonomic handle, it is dishwasher safe, and it maintains its integrity under both hot and cold temperatures.
If you just want a simple and affordable way to make a good tasting cup of cold brew coffee, then this is the device for you.
Best Cold Brew Coffee Maker for Speed – Cuisinart Automatic Cold Brew Coffeemaker
Remember when we said that time is one of the primary factors that goes into making cold brew coffee? Well, the Cuisinart Automatic Cold Brew Coffeemaker takes that part of the equation and throws it out the window. Speed and ease of use are the primary reasons why we regard it as one of the best cold brew coffee machines.
As we said before, 24 hours is the average time that conventional devices will take to make cold brew coffee. So, how does the Usain Bolt of cold brew coffee makers stack up to this time? Well, depending on the strength that you want, the Cuisinart Cold Brew Coffeemaker is going to take anywhere between 25 and 45 minutes to complete its brewing process.
However, as you would expect, sacrifices obviously have to be made for such an incredibly fast brewing time. Make no mistake, the Cuisinart Cold Brew Coffeemaker is going to brew you some good cold brew coffee but it is not going to be on par with the rest of the devices on this list. In addition to this, it is worth noting that you’re going to have more sediment in the coffee.
Still, if time is the most important factor to you and you’re not too picky about the flavor of your coffee, you can’t go wrong with the Cuisinart Cold Brew Coffeemaker.
Best Cold Brew Coffee Maker: the Safe Pick – OXO BREW Cold Brew Coffee Maker
We like the OXO BREW Cold Brew Coffee Maker because it just manages to do everything right. While it may not be top of the class in any one category, it still manages to get A’s all across the board.
In terms of capacity, it has the ability to make 32 ounces of cold brew coffee, a brew size that will easily please most consumers. In terms of aesthetics, it is not as intricate as some options (like the Yama Glass Cold Brew Tower) but the design is a far stretch from being utilitarian or minimalist.
The OXO BREW Cold Brew Coffee Maker is also notable for having a reusable ultra fine, stainless steel mesh filter. However, an initial purchase also comes with 10 compatible paler filters as well.
What really sets this coffee maker apart from the competition is OXO’s unique Rainmaker lid. This helps to facilitate optimal flavor extraction by evenly (and consistently) distributing water over the coffee grounds.
Buyer’s Guide – How to Choose a Good Cold Brew Coffee Maker
When we were deciding on the best cold brew coffee makers, there were several features and factors that had to be taken into account. No single feature or factor existed in a vacuum, it had to be weighed against the other pros and cons that the coffee maker presented.
If you’re going to be doing some comparing and contrasting when you’re shopping around for your cold brew coffee maker, here are some important factors that you should consider.
Is small suitable or is bigger better? This is one of the first questions that you’re going to have to ask when you’re choosing a cold brew coffee maker. Generally speaking, because the cold brew process takes such a long time, you’re going to want to get a coffee maker that is on the larger side.
Are you the only coffee drinker in your home or are you going to be making cold brew coffee for multiple people? Are you a heavy coffee drinker or are you going to be drinking your cold brew coffee intermittently?
How big you go is definitely a personal preference. Yes, you’re going to have to find space for your cold brew coffee maker on your kitchen counter but more importantly, it is going to need to fit in your fridge.
In addition to this, take note of the overall shape and dimensions of the coffee maker. Would something tall like the Takeya Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker be better for your fridge or would you prefer something short and stout?
Simple or Complex
When it comes to cold brew coffee, your brewing experience can be as simple or as complex as you desire.
You can have a good cup of cold brew coffee by just combining three things: coffee, water, and time. This type of brewing appeals to many people and there are countless brewing devices out there that accommodate this mindset.
However, if you are a coffee connoisseur or somewhat of a perfectionist, then you might want a more involved approach. To make proper use of some of the more complex cold brew coffee machines, you’re going to need to consider things like consistency (of your grind), bloom, and agitation.
Stainless Steel or Paper Filter
This choice is going to ultimately come down to how much you care about sediment passing through.
Stainless steel filters are great because they are reusable and less prone to failure. However, they are going to let more sediment pass through compared to paper filters.
On the other hand, you’re going to need to throw away paper filters after using them and they are more prone to failure compared to stainless steel filters. However, you are also going to have little to no sediment passing through.
If you’ve finally chosen the perfect cold brew coffee maker for your needs, then you’re ready for the next step. Don’t worry, we have you covered, we’ve already got a step-by-step guide on how to make cold brew coffee at home.