Best Cold Brew Coffee Makers

Updated January 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 20 Models Considered
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 342 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best cold brew coffee makers

    Last Updated January 2019

    A hot cup of coffee doesn’t quite hit the spot when temperatures are skyrocketing in the middle of the summer. Cold brew is a refreshing alternative and incredibly easy to make if you have the right coffee maker. The brew is concentrated, so it contains more caffeine than regular java, and the taste isn’t bitter, thanks to the long extraction process. Making your own cold brew at home is simple and more economical than stopping by the local coffee shop. And when properly sealed, a single pitcher of concentrate lasts up to two weeks. Finally, cold brew doesn’t lose its flavor as quickly as hot coffee.

    But cold brew is more than a matter of adding ice cubes to your morning mug of joe. You just won’t achieve the same results. The coffee isn’t concentrated enough, and melted ice just dilutes it further. Cold brew involves steeping coffee grounds for an extended period to get a strong coffee concentrate. You can then dilute the concentrate with ice or milk without losing flavor.

    If you’re looking for a cold brew coffee maker, this shopping guide will steer you in the right direction. And your top picks will help make your decision even easier.

    A cold brew coffee maker can sometimes be used to make a hot concentrate, but check the manufacturer’s guidelines to be sure the unit is safe for use with hot liquids.

    Key considerations

    Most cold brew coffee makers look like a pitcher with a filter inside for steeping coffee grounds or loose tea. Before settling on a model for your kitchen, consider the following:

    Size

    Cold brew coffee makers vary in size, but one liter is the most common. You can also find larger containers, which are great for serving a crowd or storing brew for use throughout the week. Remember, because the concentrate is very strong, you don’t need a lot for a single serving. If you opt for a larger model, consider the amount of real estate required to store the container inside your refrigerator.

    Time

    You’re probably excited to start drinking those refreshing iced lattes, but be aware that cold brew requires a long period of steeping. At least 24 hours will provide you with a robust and flavorful coffee concentrate. A little planning is needed, but once you’ve prepared your concentrate, it can be used throughout the week if stored correctly.

    Supplies

    For a true DIY cold brew experience, you’ll need to grind whole coffee beans, and for this you’ll need a coffee grinder. A grinder is a useful accessory for a coffee lover to have on hand. Grinding beans as you need them brews a fresher cup of coffee.

    Elegant functionality

    The Bassani coffee maker and tea infuser is an elegant option for brewing up to one liter of tea or cold brew coffee. It features an airtight BPA-free seal for keeping the concentrate fresh, and despite its delicate glass construction, the pitcher is dishwasher safe. It’s also backed by an impressive warranty.

    Cold brew coffee maker features

    Material: You’ll find cold brew coffee makers made of glass or plastic. Both are solid options, though plastic is more durable since it won’t shatter as easily if it’s accidentally dropped. Regardless of which material you choose, it should be thick. Are you browsing for a plastic model but concerned about chemicals leaching into your brew? Opt for one made of BPA-free plastic.

    Filter: There are two main filter options available: mesh and paper. Mesh filters, the most common, are made of either stainless steel or durable plastic. The mesh should be fine enough to prevent sediment from infiltrating your concentrate while still allowing the coffee grounds to be thoroughly soaked. Paper filters are easier to clean up, but you’ll continually need to purchase new filters.

    Maintenance: Read the manufacturer’s guidelines carefully. Even if a particular model is dishwasher safe, you might not be able to put all the parts in the dishwasher. A coffee maker that can go in the dishwasher will make your life easier in the long run.

    Spout: Take a close look at the spout on the models you’re considering. It should allow for the liquid to pour easily but be airtight when the lid is on. An airtight seal keeps the concentrate fresh longer.

    Design: There are many different styles of cold brew maker, from modern stainless steel vessels designed to fit in the fridge to elegant carafes perfect for serving guests.

    Automatic: If you’re not interested in manually brewing cold coffee concentrate, you can purchase an automatic machine instead. Many also double as regular coffee makers. Automatic models are extremely pricey, however.

    EXPERT TIP

    An airtight seal is important. The tighter the seal, the longer your concentrate will stay fresh. Without a tight seal, the coffee will lose its flavor quickly and may absorb other flavors in your fridge.


    Staff  | BestReviews
    EXPERT TIP

    If there are coffee grounds at the bottom of the pitcher, either the grounds are too fine or the filter is faulty.


    Staff  | BestReviews
    EXPERT TIP

    A stainless steel filter is super durable and easy to clean.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Cold brew coffee maker prices

    Inexpensive

    Budget models that cost $20 or less include simple pitchers, often made of plastic, capable of holding at least a liter of concentrated brew. Expect to find basic no-frills designs in this price range. You may also encounter low-cost, portable, single-serve models.

    Mid-range

    At $20 to $50 you’ll find larger-capacity cold brew coffee makers made of higher-quality materials in more stylish designs.

    Expensive

    Premium options that cost $50 and more include models made of stainless steel, brand-name selections, large-capacity carafes, devices with automatic operation, and unique specialty models.

    Hot and cold convenience

    This popular Takeya cold brew coffee maker is a budget-friendly model with high-quality construction. The one-quart vessel’s thick plastic body is easy to clean and BPA-free. The plastic is also sturdy enough to handle hot water. The lid seals very tightly, so the concentrate remains fresh and you don’t have to worry about leaks.

    Tips

    Here are some tips to help you make the best possible cup of cold brew coffee:

    • Grind the beans. Choose good-quality medium- or dark-roast coffee beans. Grind them right before steeping for the best-tasting cold brew.

    • Add grounds to filter. Measure out the correct ratio of coffee and water. Your cold brew coffee maker should come with instructions for achieving the correct ratio of coffee to water.

    • Add water. Different water temperatures bring out different flavors in the coffee. Experiment to find what suits your taste buds.

    • Steep the grounds for at least 24 hours.

    • Remove the filter and empty the grounds.

    • Enjoy! The resulting concentrate will be very strong. If you don’t want to add dairy, you might want to dilute the brew with cold water or ice cubes.

    Other products we considered

    There are countless cold brew coffee makers available on the market, and it was difficult to narrow down our top choices. We’d like to mention a few notable runners-up. The Asobu Coldbrew Insulated Portable Brewer is a portable single-serve model that’s insulated and leak-proof. It’s the perfect choice for enjoying cold brew on the go. The Kolob Cold Brew Coffee Maker is an ultra-simple mason jar model with an airtight lid. We love its minimalist design for coffee drinkers on a budget. For large quantities of concentrate, try the KitchenAid Cold Brew Coffee Maker. Its durable and attractive stainless steel construction looks great, and It has a convenient spout so you can serve yourself without pulling the unit out of the fridge. Finally, for the user seeking a premium cold brew option, the SharkNinja Ninja Coffee Maker is a multitasking machine that brews hot and cold java. It’s the ultimate choice for the coffee connoisseur or someone who loves cold brew concentrate but doesn’t want to spend time making it.

    If you’re worried about having enough room in your fridge, find a cold brew carafe that fits snugly in the fridge door.

    FAQ

    Q. Can I use my cold brew coffee maker for anything other than coffee?

    A. Absolutely. Your coffee maker’s filter is likely compatible with loose leaf tea. You might need to adjust the steeping time to keep the tea concentrate from tasting bitter, however. Wash your filter thoroughly between uses to avoid any transfer of flavors.

    Q. How finely should I grind my coffee beans for use in a cold brew maker?

    A. Cold brew requires a coarse grind. It allows for the extraction of flavor without letting sediment seep through the filter into the water. If you notice residue at the bottom of your cold brew carafe or pitcher, you could be grinding the beans too finely, or you might have a poor-quality or defective filter on your hands.

    Q. Will it make a difference if I purchase ground coffee instead of whole beans?

    A. Ground coffee should be used immediately once the package is opened because it loses freshness quickly. Your cold brew flavor will taste better if it’s made with freshly ground beans.

    Q. Is there more caffeine in cold brew coffee?

    A. Yes. The resulting brew is concentrated, so it has more caffeine.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Bronwyn
      Bronwyn
      Editor
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Katie
      Katie
      Editorial Director
    • Steph
      Steph
      Writer

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