Before the rise of the internet, cold brew coffee was only available at specialized coffee shops or to individuals who spent hours poring over web forums to improve their own homemade batches. When I was initially introduced to cold brew, I was shocked since it seemed to go against everything I knew about coffee. Even attempting to explain it to another person made it sound ridiculous. You put the coffee grinds in cold water and just...let it sit there?" It was simple to dismiss cold brew when it first appeared as a passing craze in its early days.
Now that the popularity of cold brew has been established, there are countless tools on the market that claim to help you produce the perfect cup of cold brew at home. As a result of extensive research, brewing, and sampling, I've narrowed down my top picks for cold brewers so that you can enjoy the best cup of coffee in the comfort of your own home.
1 Gallon Cold Brew Coffee Maker | Easy Pour Stainless Steel Spigot Tap, Removable Fine Mesh Filter | Extra Thick Glass Cold Brew Pitcher Brewing System Iced Coffee Maker | Refrigerator SafeView on Amazon
- BrandOriginal Grind Co.
Coffee Bear – Cold Brew Coffee Maker and Ice Tea Brewer, Borosilicate Glass Pitcher with Mesh Filter, 1.3L (44oz)View on Amazon
- BrandCOFFEE BEAR
Bean Envy Cold Brew Coffee Maker - 32 oz Glass Iced Tea & Coffee Cold Brew Maker and Pitcher w/ Silicone Cap & BaseView on Amazon
- BrandBean Envy
Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System, Auto-iQ Tea and Coffee Maker with 6 Brew Sizes, 5 Brew Styles, Frother, Coffee & Tea Baskets with Glass Carafe (CP301)View on Amazon
1 Gallon Cold Brew Coffee Maker with EXTRA-THICK Glass Carafe & Stainless Steel Mesh Filter - Premium Iced Coffee Maker, Cold Brew Pitcher & Tea Infuser - by Zulay KitchenView on Amazon
- BrandZulay Kitchen
Primula Burke Deluxe Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker, Comfort Grip Handle, Durable Glass Carafe, Removable Mesh Filter, Perfect 6 Cup Size, Dishwasher Safe, 1.6 qt, BlackView on Amazon
Mueller Cold Brew Coffee Maker, 2-Quart Heavy-Duty Tritan Pitcher, Iced Coffee Maker and Tea Brewer with Easy to Clean Reusable Mesh FilterView on Amazon
- BrandMUELLER HOME
Mr. Coffee Iced Coffee Maker, Single Serve Machine with 22-Ounce Tumbler and Reusable Coffee Filter, BlackView on Amazon
- BrandMr. Coffee
Coffee Gator Cold Brew Coffee Maker - 47 oz Iced Tea and Iced Coffee Maker and Pitcher w/ Glass Carafe, Filter, Funnel & Measuring Scoop - BlackView on Amazon
- BrandCoffee Gator
1 Gallon Cold Brew Coffee Maker, with 3rd Generation Mesh Filter & Stainless Steel Spigot, Extra Thick Large Glass Mason Jar Drink Dispenser Carafe, Iced Coffee Maker & Sun Tea Pitcher with Infuser.View on Amazon
Last update on 2023-09-29 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API
The taste of the coffee it makes is perhaps the most important consideration when selecting a cold brew coffee machine.
Victoria Ratermanis, a barista at Edy's Grocer in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, says, "If your first inclination when you taste it is to pull back, it's definitely overly sour, but if you're enjoying exploring the flavor of it, then it has a decent body."
In addition, Ratermanis notes that just because your final cold brew has a bold flavor doesn't mean it has a correspondingly high caffeine content. Follow the manufacturer's guidelines for the amount of coffee grinds to water and the length of time to brew, but play around with it until you achieve the taste you like.
Not only does a strong cold brew concentration allow you to get the most out of your coffee beans, but it also provides you with a delicious beverage that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. You can use a traditional method of dilution, such as water or milk, but you can also experiment.
Our baristas advocated using cold brew in a wide variety of cocktails and ice cubes, as well as in baking and experimenting with the flavor in various kitchen applications.
The cold brew at Gertie in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is concentrated so that customers may "play around" with it, according to barista Jovanni Luna. "You don't want an already diluted coffee because that will dilute your cocktail if you're making a cocktail [with cold brew]."
According to Amanda Miserocchi, a barista at Blue Bottle Coffee on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, a mellow flavor is just as important as a high caffeine content.
"Something stronger and more concentrated is what I seek out while searching for the ideal cold brew, and the drink's smoothness is also important. The whole objective of cold brew is that it's not as acidic or bitter as regular coffee."
It's important to give the grounds plenty of room to expand while steeping in water overnight for a good at-home cold brew. This implies that machines like the Toddy and the Oxo, which are both wider and taller, produce a smoother final product than their narrower and shorter counterparts. With greater room for the coffee grounds to expand and steep throughout the night, the resulting coffee has a stronger body and is more consistent from cup to cup when brewed in a larger vessel.
There are two main methods that a cold brew maker can use: immersion or slow drip. The standard method, known as immersion, is soaking the coffee grounds for 12 to 24 hours in cold water. The resulting brew is typically so concentrated that it's best enjoyed after being diluted with milk or water. The slow drip method of brewing coffee uses a cold water trickle through a bed of coffee grounds and is also known as the Kyoto or Dutch-style method. Compared to the time required for immersion, this method only takes about half as long, and no water is required. Even automatic cold brew makers, which are not necessarily limited to these two processes, will produce drinkable coffee.
Filter or Infuser
A few cold brew coffee machines include paper filters like a regular drip machine, but others employ mesh infusers made of stainless steel. The distinction may appear insignificant, yet it has a significant impact on the convenience of usage and cleanup. A paper filter has the advantage of being easily discarded once the brewing process is complete. However, paper filters are expensive to maintain and can make a mess if they are accidentally dropped. Long-term cost savings from using a metal infuser. A poor quality infuser could let loose grinds into your coffee, so be sure to read reviews in advance.
When compared to conventional coffee makers, cold brew units tend to be extremely portable. Many are the size of an iced tea pitcher or Mason jar in order to fit inside a refrigerator. However, there are some solutions that are quite enormous and cumbersome and could not work well in your kitchen. Cold brew brewers also differ in their total capacity. Spend the extra money for a bigger choice if you like to brew a lot at once and have it on hand for a few weeks' worth of drinking. If you only want to brew a few cups at a time, you have even more variety to pick from.
We sampled the cold brew from each machine right after the brewing cycle was finished, on its own, with ice, with added cold water, with various milks, and a day later. We ranked the breweries by how much we enjoyed their cold brew and how acidic it seemed to be.
We evaluated the ease of use of each brewer, considering both the inexperienced and the seasoned cold brew drinker. We took note of how quickly and easily each brewer could be assembled, how closely the instructions required to be read (if at all), how clear the device's markings were, and how simple or challenging it was to use. We looked at how simple it was to make cold brew all the way from opening the brewer box to drinking the finished product with each machine.
We considered how the brewer's capacity (in ounces or liters) would affect the user's entire experience, taking into account factors like whether or not a higher batch size would be desirable and whether or not a smaller batch size would suffice for the user.
Ease of assembly
We kept track of how long it took to remove each item from its packaging, how long it took to assemble, and if any more steps were required beyond cleaning the components in warm, soapy water.
Ease of cleanup
The time and energy expended in cleaning the filter or brew basket, the carafe, and any other components after each cold brew was recorded, as well as the space required to store those components that weren't re-used.
How do you use a cold brew coffee maker?
Making a tasty cold brew begins with selecting the correct beans and grinding them coarsely. Of course, it's important to follow the directions for your particular coffee maker. Slowly add water to the grounds in the pot until they are completely saturated, keeping in mind the recommended amount of grounds. After the recommended amount of time has passed (for more on this, see below), take out the filter containing the grounds and serve. Water down the cold brew concentrate to your desired strength.
How long does it take to make cold brew coffee?
A quick cold brew doesn't exist, argues Ratermanis. "The unique flavor and concentrated flavor of cold brew is the result of a timed thing," which distinguishes it from other methods of preparing coffee.
For the best flavor, we found that steeping the grounds for 12 to 24 hours was recommended by all of the cold brew machines we tried. After brewing a few batches, you'll find the ideal time for you.
How is cold brew different from iced coffee?
Both the method of preparation and the final flavor of cold brew are distinctive from that of iced coffee. In order to create the classic iced coffee, hot coffee is brewed first, and then the beverage is cooled with ice. However, cold brew is prepared by steeping coffee beans in cold water alone for a number of hours. In comparison to iced coffee, the flavor of cold brew is more mellow and subtle, and it retains its freshness for a longer amount of time.
What is cold brew coffee concentrate?
There are two main types of cold brew. In the case of one variety, you can pour a glass as soon as the brewing process is complete. Cold brew concentrate, the other type, is so potent that it needs to be diluted with milk or water. Most devices designed to brew cold coffee can make either. It is dependent upon the proportion of coffee grinds to water. Commonly used ratios for cold brew concentration include 1 part coffee grounds to 4 parts water (1:4), while a 1:8 ratio should be ready to drink as soon as it has done steeping.
In a market with several options, we hope that our reviews and shopping advice have helped you zero in on the finest cold brew coffee maker for your needs.