The sun is shining today and we’re dying for a nice cold drink – that’s an excuse to review a whole range of cold brew coffee makers, right?
Our top picks for the best cold brew coffee makers are personal favorites of our team and the most highly rated brewers from our loyal fans. We put them all to the test and waited as patiently as we could (which wasn’t that patient…) for our cups of cold brew to be ready for tasting!
Why Cold Brew?
Cold brew coffee has been brewed at a cold temperature. Rather than brewing coffee with hot water and pouring over ice (making iced coffee), the cold brew method is slow and, obviously, cold.
Coarse coffee grinds are brewed in room temperature or fridge temperature water for 12+ hours. This long extraction creates a concentrated coffee brew that you then dilute with ice, water or cream, to taste.
So, at the end of the extraction, you’re left with a cold coffee with ice… or are you? Cold brew coffee is better than hot coffee, whether it’s iced or not. Here’s why:
- Cold brew has lower acidity levels. The heat when you brew coffee hot creates bitter, astringent notes where acidity is pulled out of the beans. Cold brew doesn’t draw out that acidity.
- Cold brew is sweeter and smoother. Without that bitter acidity, you’ll notice the natural flavors of the coffee more. Those chocolate and nutty notes you read about that go over your head? Cold brew is the best option if you want to really taste them.
- It’s very easy to make. As you’ll see from our individual reviews, cold brew is as simple as adding grinds and water… then waiting.
- Cold brew has a long shelf life. If by some immense willpower, you manage to leave a half-drunk decanter of cold brew in the fridge, it can last up to 2 weeks before it starts to go off. Make sure it’s sealed airtight to stop whatever’s lingering in your fridge from flavoring your coffee.
- Cold brew has time for better extraction. The long extraction allows time for all of those flavors to extract, giving it a better depth compared to hot brewed coffee.
And hey, if you decide after all that you like your coffee hot, there’s nothing stopping you from heating up your cold brew! It will still have that rich, smooth depth without the bitterness of acidity.
The most important considerations are:
- Size – does it make enough and is it easy to fit into your fridge? Remember that the coffee these brewers make is concentrated and will be tripled in volume at least once you add ice, water, and milk.
- Materials – do you need light, portable and sturdy? Or are you more concerned with keeping your coffee cold in thermal or borosilicate glass that won’t leach flavor? Glass might not be suitable for your heavy-handed colleagues at work.
- Filter(s) – paper filters aren’t going to last 24 hours, so you’re left with stainless-steel and plastic filters. Plastic is generally easier to replace if it breaks, while stainless-steel adds to the cost. Both can be highly effective so long as the mesh is fine.
- Cost – only you know your budget, just make sure you’re buying a reliable brewer by choosing one from our list. Otherwise, you might end up replacing a cheaper brewer far more often.
A standard cold brewer consists of a brewing carafe with a filter inside to hold the coffee grinds submerged in water. Once it’s finished brewing, remove the filter to discard of the coffee grinds and you’re left with a carafe full of concentrated cold brew coffee.
There are a few other variations for manual coffee cold brewers. Some will brew in one chamber without a filter, then drop it through into a second chamber catching the grinds as it falls.
Then there’s the other end of the spectrum.
The automatic cold brewer does everything just like a hot coffee brewer. Add the grinds, add the water to the reservoir, set it to cold brew and let it work away. Most auto cold brewers will brew at a carefully monitored lukewarm temperature and gently stir the grinds to aid extractions, ensuring that silky smooth, low-acidity brew in a faster time.
8 Best Cold Brew Coffee Makers
Our top 8 were meticulously ranked by our team to select the best overall, best budget, best portable and best automatic cold brewer on the market. Any of these 8 cold brewers is an excellent choice.
OXO Good Grip Review
- Plastic and Glass
- 4-Cup Capacity (32oz)
- Stainless-Steel Mesh & Paper Filters
- 9.5 x 9.5 x 14.7 inches
- 3.97 pounds
The key feature that brought the Oxo Cold Brewer to the top of the list is the rainmaker. After you’ve filled the top component with your grinds, you add water and watch it disperse evenly. We found that the key was to spread them evenly, so the process is almost like brewing an espresso. For an even extraction, the rainmaker is unbeatable.
Once it’s brewed efficiently (approximately 24 hours in the fridge, 12 hours on the countertop) flick the switch and it will drain down into the glass decanter. We liked that it simply slides under the brewing chamber frame – it means you can just switch it for your favorite mug or travel carafe.
The materials aren’t the highest quality, we usually prefer glass over plastic, but they were functional, sturdy and worked without faults. Ultimately, performance is what matters and the Oxo Good Grip has the best performance of all cold brewers on our list.
If you want a simple but exceptional cold brew that’s sweet with low acidity and perfectly extracted, we recommend this cold brewer.
Hario “Mizudashi” Cold Brew Coffee Pot
- Hario Heat-Resistance Glass
- 4-Cup Capacity (33oz)
- Reusable Plastic Mesh Filter
- 11.8 x 4.7 x 4.3 inches
- 1.2 pounds
Our best cheap cold brew coffee pot is from Hario. You’ve got the high-quality strength of Hario’s heat-resistance glass (not borosilicate though), with the simplicity and low price of a budget brewer. All components are dishwasher safe, it fits comfortably in the door of your fridge, and actually, it’s nearly impossible to go wrong!
It holds 1 liter of concentrated coffee (4-5 cups) which can be diluted down into 12-15 cups with ice, water, and milk.
We’re not too keen on the brown handle. If it was black it would instantly feel just a little more quality.
The filter doesn’t reach down right to the bottom of the very tall carafe, so we recommend giving it a stir every 12 hours or so if you’re brewing in the fridge (up to 48 hours). Make sure you saturate those grinds good!
Considering how similar it is to the Toddy, Takeya and Bean Envy, the price is unbeatable. This should definitely be considered by first-time cold brewers who aren’t ready to spend a considerable amount but still need quality.
Ninja Hot and Cold Brew System
- Stainless-Steel and BPA-Free Plastics
- 10-Cup Capacity (50oz Carafe)
- Plastic Brew Basket Filter
- 11.8 x 10 x 15 inches
- 17 pounds
The Ninja Hot and Cold brewer could, potentially, be your permanent coffee maker. Combining a hot and cold brewer in one can save you both space and money… however, if it breaks, you’re left coffee-less!
Focusing on the cold brew features, you can brew an entire 10 cups (50oz) into the stainless-steel thermal carafe in just 15 minutes. It brews at 110°F and uses advanced thermal flavor extraction technology to ensure a smooth, sweet brew even with the speedy brewing.
Ninja recommend you dispense the cold brew into a carafe or mug that’s already filled with ice, just to ensure that it’s properly chilled and icy.
You have all the options you’d expect with a permanent coffee brewer, rather than a simple fridge cold brew carafe. Select from 6 different cup sizes and you could even use the frothing arm if you wanted some frothy milk over your cold brew.
Performance is steady, and you can also comfortably cold brew tea as well. We liked that you can switch baskets to turn this from a coffee brewer to a tea brewer, rather than mixing up the two.
Asobu Coldbrew Portable Cold Brew Coffee Maker
- BPA-Free Plastic and Vacuum-Sealed Stainless-Steel
- 5 Cup Capacity (40oz)
- Stainless-Steel Fine Mesh Cone Filter
- 4.8 x 4.8 x 12.2 inches
- 2.5 pounds
The Asobu our is our favorite portable coffee brewer for cold brews. Although just how portable it is, we’re unsure. You still need to leave it for 12 hours to brew!
The brewing top part is BPA-free Tritan plastic, so you can monitor the strength of your brew, and features a fine mesh stainless-steel filter. Set this up on your desk before you leave work for the day and it should be brewed perfectly when you get in the next morning.
The real portable element is the spill-proof carafe type container underneath, made of a vacuum-sealed double-walled stainless-steel. Once your coffee has brewed for 12 hours, there’s a button to press so that it drains down into the carafe, which has a large 40oz capacity so you can add water, ice and milk to taste. It does stay cold all day, whether you take the train or leave it on a sunny windowsill.
It also works with tea leaves, but we wouldn’t recommend switching it up as the flavors can linger. Use it for tea OR coffee, not both.
Takeya 10310 Patented Deluxe Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker
- BPA-Free Plastic
- 4 Cup Capacity (32 ounces)
- Plastic Mesh Filter
- 5 x 7.5 x 9.5 inches
- 12.8 ounces
Take us back to the 90s! This looks like the cold brew maker you’d find at IKEA. Minimalist, sleek, clear and just the right size to fit in your fridge door. It holds 32oz, making approximately 12 cups of cold brew coffee once diluted to taste.
It’s also nearly 100% plastic, albeit BPA-Free Tritan plastic. Normally we wouldn’t consider plastic to be a match for glass, but the Tritan bucks the trend. It can withstand hot temperatures, making it dishwasher proof, and it’s also shatterproof even if it does miraculously break. It’s also air-tight sealed once the lid is on in the fridge, so your coffee won’t be absorbing any food flavors.
We did note that unlike glass, it doesn’t hold onto the cold of the fridge very well. Once you take it out to pour a cup, make sure you put it back quickly!
The filter is good, but not perfect. It’s plastic like the outer container and although it’s dishwasher safe we’d recommend handwashing to prolong the life. Pour your cold brew through a paper filter just to be safe!
Bean Envy Cold Brew Coffee Maker
- Borosilicate Glass
- 4 Cup (32oz) Capacity
- Stainless-Steel Microdot Laser Cut Filter
- 8 x 5 x 5 inches
- 1 pound
The Bean Envy cold brewer has that modern, scientific beaker feel like the Coffee Gator line – we love it!
But looks aren’t everything. In terms of materials, this is a good, high-quality cold brewer with borosilicate glass, stainless steel, and BPA-free silicone lid and attachable base to stop it slipping. Great, but nothing you can’t find elsewhere on this list.
The small size is perfect for fitting in the fridge (the base is 4.5 inches wide) but does limit you on cups. It holds 32oz that when diluted down can make around 12 cups.
It’s simple to use and clean. The Microdot Laser Cut Filter is highly effective – it actually reminded us of a tea infuser, with an extremely fine mesh to stop any grinds falling through.
One of feature worth noting is the pouring lip/spout. Small detail but it poured a steady stream with no drips or wasted coffee. The price is low, but considering the size and simplicity of the design, we felt it could have been a little cheaper.
Toddy Cold Brew System
- Glass and Plastic
- 7 Cup Capacity (21 cups when diluted)
- Dual Paper and Felt Filters
- 2 x 7.2 x 12.5 inches
- 1.48 pounds
The Toddy Cold Brew System is almost like using a pour over! Add the coffee and water to the plastic brewer (inside a paper filter) and leave it for 24 hours. Then place the brewer onto of the glass decanter, and let the coffee drain through the felt filters to fill it up, much like your Chemex works.
The decanter has a 7-cup capacity for a concentrated cold brew. On a ratio of 1 third coffee, 2 thirds water, you can make 21 cups from this brewer. It depends on the strength you like and the size of your cup, of course.
Unfortunately, the Toddy Cold Brewer materials are as frail as they look. For making a cold brew every now and then we felt comfortable using, but for those that like to have a cold brew on tap, you might need to replace it fairly quickly!
Nonetheless, it is a good and practical budget cold brew system. The benefits of brewing in a filter are reduced clean-up, plus both the decanter and brewer are dishwasher safe.
KitchenAid KCM4212SX Cold Brew Coffee Maker
- Glass and Stainless Steel
- 28oz Capacity (14 2oz concentrated servings)
- Stainless-Steel Filter
- 8 x 7 x 6.9 inches
- 5.5 pounds
The Kitchen Aid Cold Brew Coffee Maker creates a concentrated cold brew that you can quickly dilute to make a cold brew coffee.
It holds 28oz of concentrated coffee. Dispense 2oz via the in-built stainless-steel tap and dilute with water or milk up to a full cup.
The unit is made of glass and stainless-steel components, including the filter “steeper”. Fill this steeper with your coffee grounds, fill the unit with water, and let it brew. It takes a full 24 hours to brew in the fridge.
Once the brew has finished, you can remove the central steeper to get rid of the coffee grinds and keep the cold brew concentrate in the fridge for up to a week.
We found it beautifully simple to use and is a very well-made brewer. The material quality and brew it delivers is superb. However, is it anything special? Could we make the exact same concentrated cold brew with a French press filled with grinds and water then placed in the fridge for a fraction of the cost?
The answer is yes.
Anthony is a professional barista in the city of Chicago. He has written for many online publications on various topics related to coffee.