Not everyone wants a hot, steaming cup of joe first thing in the morning. Sure, many people might gravitate to something that warms the soul as much as it does the body, but some people want to stick with what they’ve come to know and love over the last few years: Cold brew coffee. This smoother and equally-delicious version of java is good any time of the year.
- Best Overall: Oxo Cold Brew Coffee Maker
- Best Value: Hario Mizudashi Cold Brew Coffee Maker
- Best Quick Cold Brewer: Dash Rapid Cold Brew Coffee Maker
- Best Dispenser: KitchenAid Cold Brew Coffee Maker
- Best Nitro: Royal Brew Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Maker Kit System
- Best No-Fuss: County Line Kitchen Cold Brew Mason Jar Coffee Maker
- Best Compact: BOD Cold Brew Coffee System by BodyBrew
- Best Reusable Filters: Doppeltree Cotton Cold Brew Coffee Bags
- Best Convenient: Willow & Everett Cold Brew Coffee Maker
Cold brew coffee is also shockingly easy to make at home — some might say even simpler than making hot brews, which are very easy to over- or under-extract — provided that you have a good cold brew coffee maker. It will save you a lot of money, too, as it will minimize your trips to your local coffee shop. If your taste for cold brew has evolved beyond exchanging cold water for hot in your trusty French press, then read on: These are the best cold brew coffee makers to up your home barista game.
For the most flavorful and aromatic cold brew coffee made right at home, it simply doesn’t get much better than the Oxo cold brew system. For the quality results it puts out, the Oxo coffee maker is pretty easy to use, and it consistently makes full-bodied and full-flavored cold brew that is better than what the other systems we’ve tried can produce. This is due to its great design, which utilizes a steel mesh filter and a “rainmaker” top into which you pour your cold water, which ensures even water distribution over the grounds for full extraction of all those tasty flavor molecules.
The Oxo looks nice and has a small footprint on your countertop, which is also a plus. And, instead of any messy removable plug system, there’s a simple valve that you activate with a switch to dispense the finished cold brew into the 32-ounce glass carafe once it’s finished. There’s even a glass stopper so you can store your brew in the fridge for later. At $50, the Oxo is a little pricier than some of our other picks – but for a cheaper but also-great cold brew maker, read on.
For those who are strapped for cash, Japanese coffee icon Hario has you covered with a cold brew maker at an affordable price. A step above steeping coffee grounds in cold water in your French press, the Hario Mizudashi includes a filter core to siphon out particles that cause bad flavor (which also means you don’t have to purchase filters for its use). When your brew is done, you can pour it right from the pitcher, and the filter can also be used to make cold brew tea and fruit-flavored water infusions.
Its slim profile and silicone drip-proof gasket lid make it very compatible with high-traffic refrigerators (read: if you have a roommate). In addition to being dishwasher safe, the Hario Mizudashi is constructed in Japan, which is a good guarantee that it’s going to be well-made. Another value contender was thebut we found that the Mizudashi delivered better-tasting results for the same price. The Mizudashi’s glass carafe also looks and feels superior to the Takeya’s plastic.
Need your homemade cold brew yesterday? The Dash lives up to its name, cranking out 1.5 liters of cold coffee concentrate in 15 minutes or less. Just throw the grounds in the container, fill the carafe with water and turn the dial — your cold brew will be ready and chilling before you even get out of the shower. Don’t have time for a shower? The Dash can have a slightly-less-intense-but-still-effective cold brew ready for you in five.
It’s just as easy to clean by simply running plain water through the system one time. The brew isn’t as strong or quite as full-flavored as that of our top pick, but with a 42-ounce BPA-free carafe, reusable filter, and dishwasher-safe construction, the Dash will make you wonder why you would ever queue up at your local cafe for a $5 beverage that took 12 hours to make.
If you’re the type of planner who likes to make large batches of food and drinks in advance, then a dispenser like the KitchenAid cold brew coffee maker might be the one for you. Despite its sleek-looking brushed stainless design, this cold brew system is dead simple: A large stainless filter bowl (which is a nice sturdy steel pot instead of a chintzy mesh filter) sits inside a 28- or 38-ounce container attached to a tap that lets you dispense chilled coffee right into your glass. Add more coffee to make a concentrated brew which you add water, making your batch last even longer.
The trade-off for this convenience is that the KitchenAid cold brew maker doesn’t make coffee that’s quite as strong or as aromatic as our top pick, the Oxo cold brewer, but it’s less fussy to use. Also note that the overall capacity of the KitchenAid isn’t the full amount of coffee you’ll end up with due to the steeping bowl and coffee grounds naturally displacing some of the volume, so you may want to consider splurging for the 38-ounce model. When it comes to sheer convenience, though, the KitchenAid cold brew coffee dispenser is hard to beat.
As you can see, the cold brew maker market makes a steep jump from the $50 range to the $150-plus range. That extra margin buys you extra sophistication, superior taste, and in the case of the Royal Brew keg, a glorious beer-like head on your glass of ice-cold coffee. After all, you eat (or drink) with your eyes first. The Royal Brew’s food-grade stainless steel construction means more than just formidable looks; you can take this bad boy with you anywhere. Barbecues, tailgate parties, hiking, and camping — anywhere you don’t mind lugging a five-pound machine. Meanwhile, its surprisingly compact form still manages to fit into the refrigerator door shelf. Unlike other nitro-equipped cold brew makers, there are no long tubes or multi-part setups to worry about.
The advantage of the Royal brew over traditional cold brew maker models is that it uses nitro to produce a frothy, foamy head. Sure, it’s a little more complicated than your standard drip model, but it makes for a smooth, velvety mouthfeel that you won’t get anywhere else. (You know how Guinness is smooth? It’s just like that.) For those who value service as well as taste in their cold brew, this is the one for you. Better still: You can also use it for coffee beer.
Most of the time, the simple, the better. Simply put, if you want hassle-free mornings, you might as well go for a cold brew maker that is easy to use. County Line Kitchen’s cold brew maker is literally a mason jar. This means you can easily replace it and transfer contents without a problem. You can have one jar dedicated to storage and one for brewing for a consistent cycle. Your cold-brewing experience becomes more convenient since it’s also easy to store in any space in your home.
Aside from cold brewing, the carafe included can also serve as a storage unit for other ingredients. More importantly, the stainless steel mesh filter assures you that coffee grounds don’t get into the jar. They’re also durable and built to last. The flip cap lid included in this cold brew maker is also a great addition to make pouring coffee a breeze.
Do you want a cold brew that can last up to two weeks? Look no further than our compact pick, the BOD Cold Brew System. The cold brew maker that comes in three different colors has a spill-proof system for a smooth time brewing. The system can extract up to 24 ounces of coffee concentrate for a rich yet less acidic cold brew. To add a stronger flavor to the brew, all you need to do is flip it to decant.
This cold brew system is specially designed for travel so you can bring it anywhere and make cold brew with ease. To top it all off, it can make up to 8-12 servings of cold brew for that much-needed java fix. If you want a cold brew maker that is both easy to use and portable, you can’t go wrong with this one.
You’ve probably noticed that making cold brew coffee isn’t exactly as difficult as splitting the atom. All you need are coffee grounds, cold water, filtration, and time, with the main difference between hot and cold brewing being that cold extraction takes hours rather than minutes. You don’t need a complicated setup for this: If you only make cold brew occasionally, or if you’re just dipping your toes into the world of cold brew, then these reusable filter bags from Doppeltree are an easy and cheap way to give it a taste without buying unnecessary equipment.
The Doppeltree reusable filter bags are made from organic cotton and work much like cheesecloth, allowing the extraction of tasty oils from coffee grounds while filtering out the particulate sludge. Simply fill the bag with grounds to your desired strength, place it in a container of your choice, such as a Mason jar or pitcher, and enjoy fresh cold-brewed coffee in 12 to 24 hours (the longer the better). You may eventually want to upgrade to one of our other picks, but for $17 for a two-pack, these Doppeltree cotton filter bags are a great way to give cold brew a try.
Whether you’re inviting some friends over for coffee or you just want to store a cold brew in your fridge, the Willow & Everett Cold Brew Coffee Maker is a great option. Featuring a large-capacity, gallon-sized mason jar, it provides convenience that allows you to serve 16 mugs full of cold brew. This is also a great value if you like to save money, as it can hold up a bulk of cold brew to store in your fridge while still keeping each serving fresh (thanks to its airtight lid seals) for two weeks, reducing your visits to your local coffee shop.
This cold brew coffee maker is specifically designed for a hassle-free coffee experience with its adjustable stainless-steel spout for easy-access serving from your fridge shelf, and its custom-designed filter ensures that no coffee ground residue escapes from the filter. Whether you have been a coffee fan for years or are just starting to try cold brew coffee, this jar is perfect, as it is easy to clean and use.
Article originally published August 8, 2018. Last updated March 2021.
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