Unlike traditional coffee makers, cold-brew coffee is made using cold or room-temperature water that slowly drips or soaks coffee grounds for 12 to 24 hours. The resulting product is a concentrated coffee with a high amount of caffeine and a lower level of acid for a smooth taste that perks you up while being gentle on your stomach. Just grab your favorite coffee mug, add ice and milk, and you’re good to go! Cold brew was once a phenomenon found only in cafés, but today you can make your own batch in the comfort of your home. Find the best cold-brew coffee maker on the market from this list of top picks.
- BEST OVERALL: OXO Good Grips Cold Brew Coffee Maker
- RUNNER-UP: Primula Burke Deluxe Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Takeya Patented Deluxe Cold Brew Coffee Maker
- BEST DESIGN: ovalware Cold Brew Coffee Maker and Tea Infuser
- BEST FOR FAST COLD BREW: Cuisinart DCB-10 Automatic Cold Brew Coffeemaker
- BEST NITRO COLD BREW: Royal Brew Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Maker Home Keg Kit
- BEST FOR BIG BATCHES: Willow & Everett Cold Brew Coffee Maker
- BEST PORTABLE: County Line Kitchen Cold Brew Mason Jar Coffee Maker
- HONORABLE MENTION: KitchenAid KCM5912SX Cold Brew Coffee Maker
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Cold Brew Coffee Maker
Cold-brew coffee makers come in different shapes and sizes and feature variouss methods of brewing. Here are a few of the top shopping considerations when searching for the best cold-brew coffee maker.
In general, most cold-brew coffee makers are made from glass, BPA-free plastic, and stainless steel. Higher-quality options will feature a glass canister or carafe, as it doesn’t carry the risk of leaching any plastic flavor or by-products into the coffee. However, more affordable options may rely on BPA-free plastic to hold the coffee, an excellent alternative that carries the added benefit of being shatterproof.
Cold brewing requires the use of a fine-mesh filter to keep coffee grounds separate from the coffee. The best type of filter is made from stainless steel, as it’s more durable and easy to wash. The exterior of cold-brew coffee makers is often made from durable plastic, stainless steel, or glass.
As with hot coffee brewing machines, cold brewers come in various sizes, and the recommended volume depends on your coffee-drinking preferences and needs. You can find sizes from single-serve cold brewers that make 18 ounces of coffee to multi-cup brewers that produce up to a gallon of coffee.
When shopping for the best cold-brew coffee maker, it’s important to know the various brew methods. Common cold-brew styles include immersion, slow drip, automatic, and nitro brew and can take 12 to 24 hours to brew.
Immersion brewing is the simplest way to make cold-brew coffee and is when coffee grounds are soaked in cold water for 12 or more hours before straining and serving. Immersion cold-brew coffee results in the most potent concentration of coffee and is the best process for making large batches.
Slow-drip cold-brew coffee is made using a technique that allows cold water to slowly drip over the coffee grounds, which then immediately drips into a carafe for a less concentrated but still strong and smooth coffee. This process takes less time, only about three to six hours, but requires careful attention to the drip rate of your machine, as well as the coarseness of your coffee grounds. Drip cold-brew makers need finer grains of coffee, so a quality coffee grinder is a must.
To meet the demands of busy consumers, there are also automatic cold brewers that make cold brew in an hour or less. The resulting coffee is not as concentrated as traditional cold brew, but it does produce the smoother and less acidic taste cold-brew enthusiasts love. There are also nitro brewers that inject nitrogen into cold-brew coffee to create a foamy head and bubbly consistency much like beer.
Most cold-brew coffee makers come with an ultrafine, food-safe stainless-steel mesh filter. The ultrafine holes ensure coffee grounds are kept out of the coffee, and the stainless-steel material is durable, easy to wash, and doesn’t affect the flavor.
Cold-brew coffee makers are generally straightforward machines that feature a filter, a coffee carafe, and a frame, but some do come with a few extras. Some extra accessories to look out for include removable filters, a carafe with a lid that can be used as a to-go bottle, and a pour spout for large batches.
The versatility of a cold-brew coffee maker is also important. Most are designed so you, the user, can dictate precisely how long you want your coffee brewed, which affects the strength of the taste. Some makers can be used to make iced tea. Many can also be used to make coffee with hot water, meaning it can double as a hot drip coffee maker.
Most cold-brew makers are made to be carried between the counter and the fridge for easy setup and brewing. Some cold brewers are even designed to make large batches and feature a pour spout and a handle for easy portability to large gatherings. However, some cold brewers are smaller in size and are designed to be more of an on-the-go single-serve carafe.
Our Top Picks
Now that you’ve read through the shopping essentials, here are top picks for the best cold-brew coffee makers.
OXO is a brand that makes coffee well, and OXO’s Good Grips Cold Brew Coffee Maker is an immersion-style brewer that is simple to use and dispense. It features a tank that holds water and a fine-mesh stainless-steel filter, with a rainmaker top that evenly distributes water over the coffee grounds. Once the coffee has finished brewing for at least 12 hours, just flick a switch to release the coffee into the handle-less borosilicate glass carafe.
For even more thorough filtration, you can use paper filters in conjunction with the stainless-steel mesh to catch even the tiniest of particles. In addition to the stainless-steel filters, this model includes 50 paper filters to add an extra layer of filtration. The carafe comes with a rubber stopper to keep the coffee fresh in the fridge and is a compact size that doesn’t take up precious counter real estate. It brews a total of 32 ounces and requires 1½ to 2 cups of very coarse grounds.
As a close runner-up, Primula Burke’s Deluxe Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker is another worthy of the best cold-brew coffee maker title. It brews up to 51 ounces of coffee from a recommended 16 tablespoons of coarse coffee grounds, which sit in the stainless-steel mesh filter and slowly steep into the cold water.
The carafe is made from a temperature-safe borosilicate glass held in place by a protective plastic holder with a comfy grip handle. It also features a nonslip silicone base and a tight-sealing lid for ultimate freshness. For best results, let coffee brew overnight.
In the name of affordability, Takeya’s Deluxe Cold Brew Coffee Maker substitutes glass for BPA-Free Tritan in its pitcher. Not only is Tritan plastic affordable, but it’s also stainproof, shatterproof, and can withstand cold and hot temperatures.
At the top of the carafe, a nonslip silicone handle makes pouring easy, and the lid ensures an airtight seal. This maker produces four servings or 32 ounces and can be stored in the fridge. The fine-mesh strainer fits 14 to 16 tablespoons of coarse-ground coffee and should be steeped no longer than 36 hours.
For coffee aficionados who appreciate style and function, ovalware’s cold-brew coffee maker is proof that the best of both worlds exists. The conical carafe and handle are made from strong borosilicate glass and are paired with a stainless-steel lid and strainer that’s rustproof and easy to clean. The cover has an airtight, BPA-free silicone seal for fresh coffee you can keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.
The carafe also features laser-cut measurements and comes with a nonslip rubber base. The standard brew time for this maker is 12 to 24 hours, and it requires about 1⅛ cup of coarse coffee grounds. This cold-brew maker’s trendy and minimalistic design looks fantastic on a coffee bar.
If you’re short on time but still appreciate the smooth taste of cold brew, Cuisinart’s Automatic Cold Brew Coffeemaker can make a mild batch in as little as 25 minutes. Featuring three settings of mild (25 minutes), medium (35 minutes), and bold (45 minutes) coffee, this electronic coffee machine allows you to customize your flavor profile.
In the upper portion of the machine, coffee grounds are immersed in water that is then lightly spun and rotated to release coffee from the grounds quicker. It then dispenses into the glass carafe on the bottom when the release lever is opened. The glass carafe is removable and comes with a lid for storage in the fridge.
Royal Brew Nitro’s at-home keg kit doesn’t make cold-brew coffee, but it does turn it into a smooth, full-bodied beverage with a foamy top. The matte black barrel is constructed from durable stainless steel and features a tap plug to stop drips, a durable nitrogen cartridge case, cleaning brushes, and a plastic hose. It can hold up to 64 ounces of cold brew and injects the coffee as it pours. The nitrogen capsules are sold separately.
For those seeking the best cold-brew coffee maker for large batches, Willow & Everett’s cold-brew maker is a great option. It holds up to 1 gallon, or 16 cups, of cold brew that can be stored for up to two weeks in the fridge. It also features a stainless-steel lid and an adjustable spout. The tap’s pouring speed can be changed to dispense as quickly or slowly as you’d like.
This maker is an immersion-style brewer and has a stainless-steel, fine-mesh filter that holds coarse coffee grounds without leaving residue in your cup of coffee. The company recommends steeping for at least 12 to 24 hours and a 4:1-cup ratio of water to coffee grounds for best results.
County Line Kitchen’s Cold Brew Mason Jar makes morning coffee simple and convenient. It’s designed with a stainless-steel, fine-mesh steeper in the center that holds coarse coffee grounds and slowly steeps overnight. The carafe is a heavy-duty Bell mason jar, a brand known for withstanding extreme temperatures.
The jar also comes with a BPA-free plastic lid with a flip cap for easy-pour or on-the-go drinking. With preparation before bed, simply wake up in the morning, add ice and milk, screw on the lid with the spout, and you’re ready to go.
KitchenAid’s Cold Brew Coffee Maker brews up to 38 ounces of coffee and features glass and stainless-steel components that come together to create a beautiful cold-brew coffee maker. It utilizes the immersion method of saturating coffee grounds with cold water that then should rest for at least 12 hours.
Coffee is filtered through a reusable stainless-steel steeper and poured through the stainless-steel tap for easy dispensing from the fridge. For best results, two cups of coffee grounds are recommended, but you can add more for a more intense flavor. This cold-brew coffee maker has a carrying handle for easy portability.
FAQs About Your New Cold-Brew Coffee Maker
Cold-brew coffee makers are a relatively new at-home product, so naturally, you may have a few questions. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
Q. How does cold-brew coffee work?
Cold-brew coffee is different from typical hot brews. It requires hours to make and uses cold water to leach coffee from the grounds, resulting in a smoother, less acidic taste with a higher concentration of caffeine.
Q. How do you make cold-brew coffee?
Cold-brew coffee uses room-temperature or cold water that brews the coffee slowly over an extended period ranging from a few hours to 24 hours or more. Coffee grounds are typically immersed and soaked in water overnight or may undergo a slow dripping process.
Q. Can you use regular coffee for cold brew?
Yes, you can use regular coffee for cold brew.
Q. Can you reuse coffee grounds for cold brew?
It is not recommended to reuse coffee grounds for cold brew, as the used grounds will no longer carry much flavor.
Q. How long does cold-brew coffee last?
When stored correctly in the fridge with an airtight seal, cold-brew coffee can last up to two weeks.