Did you know Americans spend an average of $1,100 per year on coffee?Best Cold Brew Coffee Makers. Now, think about all the times your iced coffee order has been a gritty, watered-down disappointment. You may not be able to change your past, but once you’ve finished pouring one out for all the cold brews gone too soon, you can change your future by investing in a quality cold brew coffee maker. But what coffee machines make the best cold brew? If you’re wondering how to get started, we’ve got all the intel.
Also love your coffee piping hot? Check out our recommendations for the best single-serve and drip coffee makers.
How we picked these products
To find the best at-home cold brew coffee makers, we consulted our friends at the Good Housekeeping Institute. Their team of on-staff experts—which includes all types: engineers! data analysts! registered dietitians!—rigorously put everyday products to the test (and then more and more tests) in their New York City-based labs to determine which ones you can trust. For these cold brew coffee makers, they tested performance, design, yield, taste of cold brew, leftover sediment, ease of use and assembly, and even filtration options. Based on their findings, we identified the makers that will have you asking “Where have you bean all my life?!”
Did you hear Tina Turner dedicated her song “Simply the Best” to the OXO Good Grips Cold Brew Maker? Okay, we didn’t either, but given its ability to make a cup of what the Good Housekeeping Institute called “smooth, balanced, chocolatey” java, it wouldn’t be a surprise. After adding your favorite ground coffee, just pour water through the perforated Rainmaker lid, which is designed to evenly distribute water over the grounds with minimal effort.
The hardest part about using this cold brew maker is waiting the 12 to 24 hours it takes to yield up to 13 cups of coffee concentrate—even cleaning and storage are a breeze! It’s good to note, though, that this 32-ounce model requires paper filters and lacks a lid for the brewing reservoir.
Brewing on a budget? Proof not to judge a book by its cover: the slightly bulky plastic Toddy Cold Brew System offers two brewing methods (classic and dual filtration) to produce a strong, bold concentrate with hardly any sediment. Though it’s not as easy to use as other options on this list, it’s still pretty straight-forward: Slowly pour water over the coffee grounds, wait 5 mins, add the remaining coffee, and slowly add remaining water. Then wait 12 to 24 hours and voilà, about six cups worth of coffee concentrate await!
It’s worth noting that if you do use a filter (which isn’t necessary), this machine can only use Toddy filters, which typically cost about $1 each (and you do get two with your purchase). Why use one? The Good Housekeeping Institute’s kitchen tech experts found it helped create “a quicker extraction, a smoother brew, and most importantly, easy clean-up” since it can be rinsed and reused about ten times, or for up to three months. Best of all, they allow for easy clean-up—just dispose of them with your leftover grounds.
There are plenty of 3-in-1 combinations you should avoid—like that shampoo/conditioner/body wash combo you have in your shower— but the Chef’n 3-in-1 Craft Coffee Brewing Set is definitely not one of them. This dynamic trio boasts big Russian nesting doll energy thanks to its compact design, so you can maximize your space and beverage options. Seriously, the only thing that’s bulky about this set is the handle, which the Good Housekeeping Institute’s lab testers noted “requires a little more room for storing.”
With pour over, French press, and cold brew coffee-making capabilities, this is our recommendation if you’re struggling to rationalize spending a chunk of change on a single-use kitchen tool or if you’re the only one in your household who even likes cold brew.
Like the Good Grips Cold Brew Maker, OXO’s Compact Cold Brew Maker is “just as effective and easy to clean as its bigger sister,” according to the Good Housekeeping Institute, making it a perfect option if you’re low on fridge and storage space or don’t want to deal with filters. Boasting a 24-ounce brewing container, elegant glass storage jar, and cork lid, this model requires minimal effort to pour and store small batches of cold brew.
As with the larger version, simply add ground beans and pour water into the Rainmaker top to evenly distribute water over the grounds. Then set it and forget it for either 12 to 24 hours if you’re brewing on your counter or 20 to 24 hours if you’re leaving it in your fridge. When it’s done, you’ll be left with about five cups worth of bold, rich coffee concentrate—and no gritty sediment.
Is your home the go-to brunch spot? Whether you’re one of many cold brew drinkers in your house or you’re used to serving a crowd, the Brim Smart Valve Coffee Maker has you covered with its 2.5-liter brewing container, 1.5-liter glass decanter, and accompanying lids. For best results, the Good Housekeeping Institute recommends users “[follow] the guide for preparing the coffee, which is a little more involved than other models.” Like the super-popular Chemex, this gadget takes a similar approach to pour-over brewing to ensure your grounds properly “bloom”, which means they release carbon dioxide and expand. The end result is five cups of coffee concentrate with strong, robust flavor and very little sediment.
Though the brewing method is a bit more complicated than other models, the wide-angled head allows for plenty of water dispersal, and the carafe’s tapered design keeps your coffee fresher longer. The Smart Valve does require reusable filters (which need to be replaced every dozen uses), but two come included and you can use any of the readily-available generic brands.
What’s the difference between iced coffee and cold brew?-Best Cold Brew Coffee Makers
Whether you have difficulty stomaching the acidity of regular coffee or you want to kick your watery java to the curb, you might find that cold brew is the solution to your caffeine woes. So what does a cold brew coffee maker do, exactly? As the name might suggest, cold brew is made from coffee grounds that are steeped in cold water instead of hot water over an extended period of time (usually about 12-24 hours). We get it—why wait up to a whole day for coffee when you can just press a button and get some in minutes? Patience, young grasshoppers.
Though it might seem contradictory, this slower, gentler method results in a deeply-flavored, stronger, and bolder coffee concentrate, which you can pour over ice or mix with hot water. Plus, cold brew is less acidic, which is ideal for those with gastrointestinal issues like IBS or people on low-FODMAP diets, and some studies show it can even boost your immunity. Don’t get us wrong, we love our coffee in all forms, but if you’re looking for a richer, sweeter, and smoother cup that can last for weeks in your fridge, you might be interested in giving cold brew a try.
What should I look for in a cold brew coffee maker?
Glad you asked! Whether you’re new to the cold brew scene or a seasoned pro, here are some factors you should always consider when shopping for a cold brew coffee maker:
Filtration: You know what’s worse than a weak cup of coffee? A gritty cup of coffee. There are three general types of filtration systems that can be utilized by cold brew coffee makers: Mesh, metal, and paper. While it might seem counterintuitive, paper filters are the best at keeping extra sediment out while yielding a robust concentrate. Mesh filters tend to weaken your coffee, while stainless steel options tend to let some grounds slip through the cracks.
Size: Making cold brew is a lot like life: It’s all about balance. Many makers can produce more than just a single cup of joe at a time, but knowing what size you’ll need involves taking a look at your lifestyle. As we mentioned before, some cold brew batches can last up to two weeks, so if you like to have a lot of coffee at your disposal or you do a lot of entertaining, a maker with a greater yield might be a better option for you. That being said, if it’s just you or you live in a smaller household, it’s fine to want a maker that will produce enough java to last you a few days or even a week, but not so much that it goes to waste.
Automatic vs. Manual: Yes, we know we’ve been going on and on about patience being an integral part of the cold brew making process, and now here we are to tell you there is such a thing as a faster way to get cold brew—besides, you know, ordering one at Starbucks. Automatic models do yield a faster cold brew, but unless you’re really short on time, we don’t recommend them. Compared to manual models, they’re harder to clean (because they have more parts) and are less consistent, but they’re an option if convenience and speed are more important to you than a smooth, robust flavor.