Made of stainless steel and glass with a tap for easy dispensing. Steel steeper has fill level marks. Attractive and well made. Easy to use and clean. Makes up to 14 servings at a time. Very sturdy.
Takes 12 to 24 hours to brew. More expensive than other options. Some owners report leakage around the spout.
One- and two-quart size options. Container is BPA-free with a nonslip silicone handle and leak-proof lid. Inexpensive and dishwasher safe. Brewed coffee stays fresh up to two weeks.
Some sediment gets past the filter. Airtight seal can break easily, and the spout could be better (spills some).
Makes undiluted iced coffee in 60 seconds. Simple premise: just freeze it and pour coffee into it. Deep lid makes for easy pouring. Can also be used for tea, wine, and other beverages. Dishwasher safe.
Very small, so you can't make much at one time, and you must refreeze it between servings. Initial freeze takes up to 12 hours.
Easy to use and created with borosilicate glass. Keeps beverages fresh for up to two weeks. Contains a mesh coffee filter to keep grounds out of your coffee and has a nonslip silicone base to help prevent undesirable mess. Dishwasher safe with a removable brew filter.
Consumer complaints about glass breaking easily.
Airtight seal and 18/8 rust-free, laser-cut stainless steel filter and lid cap. Created from borosilicate glass and BPA-free. Non-slip rubber base. Can be used to make iced coffee, tea, and hot tea. Easy to use.
Somewhat fragile. Consumer complaints about lid not being airtight.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
When temperatures start to heat up, the last thing anyone wants to do is grab a hot cup of coffee. Iced coffee is the perfect refresher for those summer mornings when you just can’t go without a hit of caffeine. With the right iced coffee maker, you can create a delicious, strong, cold brew to get you through the day.
The long steeping process helps to draw out complex coffee flavors without any bitter aftertaste. Making iced coffee at home is easy and less expensive than hitting up your local cafe. A tight seal keeps your brew fresh for a couple of weeks in the fridge, and the liquid stays flavorful a lot longer than hot coffee.
Creating tasty iced coffee requires more than dropping a few ice cubes into a glass of hot joe. Our iced coffee maker guide includes everything you need to know to purchase the right cold brew maker for your fridge, along with tips on how to get the most flavor out of your purchased grounds. We’ve included some of our favorite iced coffee makers, too.
Add ice cubes to hot coffee and all you’ll do is dilute your cup of joe. Your beverage will taste more like watery coffee than a bold iced concoction. The right way to make iced coffee involves steeping grounds to extract a strong coffee flavor. The resulting concentrate is potent enough that adding a few cubes of ice won’t ruin it and leave you with a weak-tasting brew.
An iced coffee maker is essentially a sturdy pitcher with a filter that allows for steeping. Iced coffee makers also have a lid with an airtight seal to preserve the freshness of your iced coffee concentrate. When shopping for an iced coffee maker, consider the following:
Iced coffee makers come in different sizes, but one-liter models are the most widely available. A few brands sell extra-large units with spouts for dispensing the liquid. Oversized coffee makers are ideal for those who drink iced coffee frequently or for serving guests at a gathering. A little dose of coffee concentrate goes a long way, however. You only need a small amount of strong-tasting concentrate to create a tasty iced coffee, so consider this when choosing your unit.
Be forewarned that making iced coffee requires a bit of patience (the steeping takes at least 24 hours), but once you have coffee concentrate ready, the process is a breeze. Use the brew too early and you’ll experience a weak-tasting iced coffee without much flavor. Be sure to store the liquid appropriately and you’ll have concentrate at the ready.
If purchasing whole beans, you’ll need to buy a grinder. If you’re a coffee lover, a grinder is a crucial piece of equipment to have in your arsenal. Freshly ground coffee beans result in a better tasting brew.
Material: You can choose from iced coffee makers made of plastic or glass. If you’re at all prone to dropping things in the kitchen, opt for plastic. The pitcher, whether it’s glass or plastic, should have thick walls. When buying a plastic iced coffee maker, verify that it’s BPA-free to prevent chemicals from leaching into your concentrate.
Filter: Nearly all iced coffee makers have a mesh filter, though there are a few options that require paper filters for steeping coffee grounds. Filters are typically made of sturdy plastic or stainless steel. A fine mesh ensures that grounds are appropriately steeped, allowing them to leach into your brew without leaving behind sediment. While paper filters allow for a quick, easy cleanup, you’ll need to buy new ones regularly, so they’re not as environmentally friendly or economical as a mesh filter.
Maintenance: Don’t forget to read the care instructions for your iced coffee maker. Not all parts may be dishwasher safe, and you might need to wash certain components by hand. For convenience, choose a model you can put in the dishwasher.
Spout: A spout is convenient for pouring out your iced coffee concentrate, but the lid should fit tightly on the pitcher and create a seal that keeps air from getting inside. Why is this important? Your iced coffee brew will stay fresher a lot longer if there’s a tight seal.
Design: Choose from a variety of pitcher designs, including sleek vessels stylish enough to display and simple, no-nonsense practical options for serving a crowd.
Machine: Not interested in sacrificing fridge space? Don’t want to manually measure out coffee grounds for your cold concentrate? Choose an automatic coffee maker that also features an iced coffee option. Keep in mind that machines are much more expensive than simple pitchers.
Inexpensive: Regular iced coffee pitchers won’t set you back more than $20. Basic designs made of sturdy plastic can be found at this price point. Portable options for on-the-go single-serving iced coffee goodness are also available in this price range.
Mid-range: Pay between $20 and $50 for a supersized iced coffee maker designed to hold several liters of iced coffee concentrate. You’ll also find stylish pitcher designs made of glass in this price range.
Expensive: Stainless steel pitchers, brand-name carafes, large-capacity units, and machines with an iced coffee function cost $50 and up.
Q. Can I brew anything else in my iced coffee maker?
A. Sure! Use your iced coffee maker to steep loose-leaf tea. Whether you prefer black tea or fruity white tea, it’s possible to use your pitcher to brew a tea-based concentrate. Experiment with water temperatures and steeping times. You may find it takes less time to steep tea than coffee. Leaving tea to steep too long in water that’s too hot may leave behind a bitter aftertaste.
Q. How do I grind coffee beans for use in my iced coffee maker?
A. Avoid grinding beans too fine. A fine grind is more likely to pass through a pitcher’s mesh filter and leave behind sediment. Notice sludge at the bottom of your pitcher? You’re likely grinding the beans too much. Opt for a coarse grind instead.
Q. Should I buy already ground or whole coffee beans for making iced coffee?
A. If you plan on using ground coffee beans straight away, go right ahead and buy them. Once opened, however, pre-ground coffee begins to go stale quickly. Freshly ground coffee beans are the best choice for a delicious tasting brew.
Q. How much caffeine is in a cup of iced coffee?
A. There’s more caffeine in a cup of iced coffee concentrate than in a cup of brewed hot coffee, but once diluted, most iced coffees have about the same amount of caffeine as a regular cup of coffee.