Everybody loves cold-brew iced coffee: The chocolatey, smooth flavor; its versatility as an ingredient in coffee mocktails, cocktails, or baking; and the "low acid" that has made it famous as an alternative to traditional iced coffee beverages is only a portion of why this brewing method has caught on like a flash. The other main reason is that it's so easy to prepare: Simply add cool water and coarse-ground coffee and let the magic happen—just try to find a brewing method that's... as set-it-and-forget-it as cold brew.
That said, there are myriad makers and products on the market today that attempt to capitalize on the trend: We waded through what's available to find the very best in several categories, from high-end to portable to the simply cheap. One thing's for certain, however: Our love of cold-brewed iced coffee is definitely not going to fade any time soon, so why not have a few different ways to make it on-hand?
01 of 09
There's no beating the classic, and Todd Simpson's "TODDY" brewer is arguably the maker that started it all: While cold-brewed coffee has been made for who knows how long simply by soaking ground coffee in water, the Toddy brewer revolutionized the process for easy and convenient home use, and essentially reinvented the wheel of iced coffee brewing in 1964.
While it's made almost completely from plastic, the reusable filter makes up for the environmental impact a little, and... the glass decanter is one of the most durable out there, and pretty enough to use as a serving vessel. Todd Simpson is undoubtedly the father of modern cold brew, and it should come as no surprise that it took a coffee-loving chemical engineer to devise the perfect brewer to eliminate coffee acid and produce a heavy, smooth, silky iced coffee with almost no hassle.
02 of 09
This big brewer might be a counter hog, but it brews some mighty fine cold-brew concentrate, and is so easy even a tea-drinker could use it. The OXO "Rainmaker" water dispersion technology keeps the extraction even while also allowing the user to "set it and forget it," which is pretty much the whole point of cold-brew iced coffee. The glass carafe into which the concentrate is brewed feels very delicate, but the clear markings and silicone-sealed top make it a lovely and... functional vessel (while it lasts). Optional paper filters can contribute even more clarity to the finished product, but the built-in metal mesh is an ecofriendly element to the contraption. Dispension is easy, and there's even a measuring cup to help you properly dilute the concentrate.
03 of 09
Have jar, will brew: This cold-brew kit easily adapts to fit into quart and half-gallon size canning jars, which means that you can brew multiple batches one after the other, depending on how many of Grandma's old canning supplies you've got laying around. The bamboo lid is more aesthetically pleasing than a lot of the plastic that many other cold-brew units feature, and the metal mesh filter offers clarity in the coffee while also being reusable and easier to clean than cloth. Consider... brewing batches and giving them away to friends, rather than simply hoarding them: Though this coffee ends up in a canning jar, it's still only good for about 2 weeks when totally airtight-sealed in the refrigerator.
04 of 09
Cold-brew coffee is already one of the least fussy ways to get caffeinated, but this no-frills little number from Japanese coffee giant Hario couldn't be simpler. Coffee goes into the reusable mesh basket–no cloth or paper filters to futz around with—and is submerged into cool or room-temperature water. All it takes is time to do the rest of the work: The coffee will steep for 12–24 hours, after which you simply lift the grounds in the basket out of the finished liquid. While metal mesh can... be somewhat tricky to scrub completely clean, it still beats the soaking and rinsing of cloth filters, and it creates far less waste than paper. Hario is a manufacturer that knows its stuff when it comes to coffee, and this little inexpensive brewer is where it's at.Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09
The incredible theater of this brewer is only part of its appeal—the other part is that it makes a lovely, smooth, chocolaty iced coffee that can't be beat. Simply add water and ice to the top-most container, and allow the liquid to drip slowly through the bed of ground coffee below. Three hours later, the ice water will have created a silky-smooth brew that's unlike hot coffee in both flavor and texture. The Yama has a permanent ceramic filter, and while the whole contraption is... delicate and relatively difficult to clean, it is a beautiful appliance and a centerpiece that makes coffee with articulate, sweet, light flavors. And that might just be worth the hassle.
06 of 09
If you want to make cold brew coffee on the go, this 1-quart brewer can go with you. It makes 4 servings of coffee and has an airtight, leakproof lid, so you can take it along without worry about spilling.
The container is made from BPA-free plastic that won’t shatter, and all parts are dishwasher safe. For home use, the container is sized to fit in most refrigerator doors. Brewing can be done overnight, or let the grounds steep for up to 36 hours in the refrigerator.
Since this is a larger... container, it doesn’t double as a to-go mug, but it’s ideal if you’re sharing your cold brew.
07 of 09
If you’re not one to drink multiple cups of coffee per day, you could definitely benefit from the Ovalware Airtight Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker and Tea Infuser, which is perfect for storing your homemade cold brew for several days. This affordable product includes a glass carafe and stainless steel filter that will help you make great coffee every time.
The Ovalware Airtight Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker holds up to 4 cups of coffee, and thanks to its airtight seal, it will keep your java fresh for... up to two weeks! This is ideal if you don’t want to make a new batch of cold brew during the week. The product’s steel filter is made of superfine mesh, and both pieces are dishwasher safe for easy cleanup. Reviewers say they love the look of the glass carafe and that the brewer fits comfortably in the fridge.
According to users, the one downside of this product is that fine particles of coffee sometimes seep through the filter into the cold brew. However, most people say these particles sink to the bottom, so as long as you’re careful pouring, they won’t get into your cup.
08 of 09
If you have rustic or country style and want a cold brew maker that reflects your aesthetic, the County Line Kitchen Cold Brew Coffee Maker definitely fits the bill. This compact coffee maker uses a mason jar to make cold brew, and it’ll look great on your counter or in the fridge.
Not only is this cold brew maker stylish, it’s also highly rated, with over 1,500 5-star reviews! It’s a simple, foolproof system: Just put coffee into the stainless steel filter, then add water and allow it to steep... overnight. The jar can hold up to 2 quarts of coffee, and the silicone seal makes sure the lid stays on tightly. Reviewers say the filter successfully keeps coffee grinds out of the liquid and that both the steeper and jar are incredibly durable.
While it may have a simple design, the County Line Kitchen Cold Brew Coffee Maker is durable, efficient and makes great coffee. If you like the look of mason jars, you simply can’t go wrong with this product!Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09
Want to make a big batch of cold brew for your next party? Then you need the KitchenAid Cold Brew Coffee Maker, which can hold up to 14 servings of coffee and has a convenient tap for pouring.
This sleek cold brew maker is made of stainless steel and glass for a sophisticated design. Simply put coffee and water into the machine, then place the whole thing into the fridge to steep. Once you’re ready to serve, you can press the included tap to dispense the right amount of coffee into your cup.... Since it’s a bigger brewer, the stainless steel steeper includes measurement marks in case you just want to make a few servings.
Reviewers say the KitchenAid Cold Brew Coffee Maker makes great coffee and is perfect for when you’re having guests over. While this product is more expensive than many comparable cold brew machines, it’s worth the price if you drink a lot of coffee or frequently host parties.
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