With summer heat around the corner, we will soon see branded plastic cups full of iced coffee all over. If you want to save some summer cash, you can make your own cold brew from your home kitchen. Takeya and Bodum are strong brands in the kitchen, but which one has the better cold brew maker?
Based in southern California, Takeya USA is an active fitness brand specializing in insulated water bottles. Still, its lesser-known product line is brewing and serving pitchers, including one designed for making cold brew coffee.
It’s simple in its design and comes in two sizes: 1 quart or 2 quarts. That makes pricing simple. Depending on the retailer, these range from $18-$35.
There’s a lot to like about Takeya’s cold brew maker. It features an airtight, leak-proof lid that makes shaking easy and spills few and far between. It’s also has a no-slip grip handle and a durable pitcher body made of BPA-free Tritan plastic, which helps foolproof your cold brew maker. The ultra-fine mesh in the brew basket keeps coffee grounds out of your finished product, so feel free to experiment with different grind sizes for your coffee. Best of all, the entire brewer is dishwasher safe.
The biggest issue with the Takeya cold brew maker is that there are only two products, the only differences being size and volume. This limits their capability for making smaller servings, especially since there are no measurement markings on the pitcher. Its design makes it difficult to fully immerse the grounds unless you brew with the pitcher on its side, which is not much of an issue thanks to the airtight lid.
However, leaving it on its side to brew means that it takes up more space, which may be tricky for some users. It may be challenging loading ground coffee into the brew basket without making a bit of a mess. Also, there have been a few complaints about the mesh filter letting in too many grounds.
Unlike Takeya, Bodum is known primarily for its wide variety of kitchen coffee products. The Swiss and Danish company is familiar to shoppers for its French presses, coffee grinders and electric water kettles. With the growing popularity of iced coffee, it has introduced a cold brew maker, the Bean, based on the same design as its signature presses. It comes in a single size, 1.5 liters, and retails for about $27.
Bodum Bean’s immediate advantages over the Takeya brewer are its omission of a brew basket, which is replaced by the same press and pour filter technology used in Bodum’s French press. Bodum’s press is easier to take apart and clean than trying to reach all the crevices of a conical basket. It’s available in several fun colors to match anybody’s style. It’s also made of BPA-free plastic, dishwasher-safe and doesn’t require a paper or cloth filter. As a bonus, it comes with a separate lid for refrigerator storage.
The Bean only comes in one size, so if you commit to one, you’ll be brewing 1.5-liter batches all summer. Also, like the Takeya model, there are no measurement lines on the pitcher, making it harder to be precise when making a smaller batch. There have been several complaints about the hard suction of the press, making it difficult to remove the plunger without causing frustration or damage.
One of the biggest problems lies in the design or lack thereof since the Bean is simply a larger French press made slightly more like a traditional cold beverage pitcher. Also, in practice, the mesh filter is not as easy to clean as one would expect, and it’s challenging to remove the wet grounds without rinsing and leaving a bit of water behind.
Finally, since there is no filter to remove, your grounds will continue to brew if you don’t decant the whole pitcher, leaving over-extracted and bitter coffee.
If you’re looking for a kitchen addition that is strictly for making cold brew, Takeya is your best bet. With its removable basket, sleek appearance and slim footprint, the Takeya Deluxe Cold Brew Coffee Maker is superior to Bodum’s cold brewer. If you’re a Bodum loyalist, stick to the French press, which is better-made and more versatile.
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Matt Fleming writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.