The best cold brew coffee maker
You don't need to pay large sums of money for cold brew coffee from your local coffee shop. With the help of a cold brew coffee maker, you can make it at home in your fridge. Although it takes time to brew, the process is extremely simple.
Read on to learn how to choose the best cold brew coffee maker and to see our recommendations. We chose the Bassani Airtight Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker as our top pick. It's a practical choice that gives great results and is very reasonably priced, too.
Considerations when choosing cold brew coffee makers
Infuser vs. drip: The majority of cold brew coffee makers are either infusers or drip coffee makers. Infuser cold brew makers consist of a jug with a filter/infuser basket that sits inside. This produces a concentrated cold brew that should be diluted with dairy milk, plant milk, or water. Drip cold brew makers let the water very slowly drip through coffee grounds, a bit like a standard drip coffee maker but far slower. Many coffee aficionados believe this makes a better tasting cold brew, so some of these cold brew makers are very pricey. They produce weaker cold brew that should be enjoyed straight up.
Materials: The filter of a cold brew coffee maker tends to be made from stainless steel while the jug is usually made from either glass or plastic. Although glass is more fragile, it's nonporous, so it won't absorb the flavor of past brews. Plastic, on the other hand, may absorb some flavors over time.
Size: Check the capacity of your chosen cold brew maker, plus the external dimensions. It takes time to make cold brew, so if your cold brew coffee maker can only produce a couple of cups, it's hardly worth the effort. However, you don't want a cold brew maker so large it will take up half your fridge.
Look for a cold brew coffee maker with a nice spout so you can pour from it spill-free. Likewise, it's easier to pour from a cold brew coffee maker with a handle than one without. And you'll want a cold brew coffee maker with an airtight lid to keep the coffee inside fresher for longer.
Standard infuser cold brew coffee makers generally cost between $15 and $30. Drip-style options cost more -- usually between $30 and $100, but you can find some high-end options that cost more than $500.
Q. Will I need a coffee grinder to make cold brew coffee?
A. Ideally, yes. Not only will your cold brew coffee taste better when made from freshly ground beans, it's also easier to get the coarse grind necessary for cold brew coffee if you grind the beans yourself. If you absolutely don't want to grind your own beans, you shouldn't use a regular ground coffee, as the fine grind will give poor results. Instead, look for a coarse-ground option designed for making cold brew or purchase your beans from a store that will grind them for you to your desired level of coarseness.
Q. How long does it take to make cold brew coffee?
A. We'd recommend letting your cold brew coffee steep for between 12 and 24 hours. Some people allow just eight hours for brewing, which is fine but won't give you the strength and complex flavors of cold brew allowed to steep for longer. Anything left to brew for more than 24 hours can become bitter, so it's best to remove the coffee grounds after this time -- though you can keep the coffee in your fridge for longer.
Cold brew coffee makers we recommend
Best of the best: Bassani's Airtight Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker
Our take: Not only does this cold brew coffee maker look great, it performs exceptionally too.
What we like: Dishwasher safe for easy cleaning. Airtight lid keeps coffee fresh for longer. Fine mesh filter stops grounds from getting through. Can also be used for loose tea.
What we dislike: Fairly fragile.
Best bang for your buck: Takeya's Deluxe Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker
Our take: Considering its excellent customer feedback and ease of use, you get great value for money with this option.
What we like: Nice pouring action. Simple to use. Airtight lid. Available in one-quart and two-quart sizes.
What we dislike: Pitcher made from plastic, though it is BPA-free.
Choice 3: Osaka's Glass Cold Brew Coffee Maker
Our take: A quality glass cold brew maker with an airtight lid and airtight stopper for the spout.
What we like: Attractive design with nice handle and easy-pour spout. Can keep coffee fresh for as long as a week. Can also be used for hot beverages and for tea.
What we dislike: Lets some coffee grounds through if you don't use a coarse grind.
Lauren Corona is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.