Which cold brew makers are best?
If you’re a dedicated coffee lover who enjoys sipping on a satisfying cold brew during warmer weather, you’ll definitely want to invest in an at-home cold brew coffee maker. Not only will it save you money, but it will also allow you to cater your coffee to your specific taste and strength preferences.
Before choosing the best cold brew maker for your lifestyle, you’ll first want to look at a few essential features, such as size, design, materials and brewing time. As one of the top choices, the KitchenAid Cold Brew XL Coffee Maker is large enough for multiple servings and has an easy-dispensing spout.
What to know before you buy a cold brew maker
Iced coffee vs. cold brew
Though sometimes used interchangeably, iced coffee and cold brew have significant differences.
In most cases, iced coffee is simply brewed coffee cooled and poured over ice. This style of brewing is best when consumed within a day or two. It can occasionally produce a slightly bitter or acidic tasting drink.
The biggest difference with cold brew is the fact that it is never heated. The cold brewing process soaks coffee grounds in cold water over longer periods to create a smooth flavor and strong taste. You can then drain the resulting to remove any grounds or sediment. While cold brew can be more expensive when purchased at a cafe, it has a longer shelf life.
Cold brew coffee makers come in various sizes, from portable single-serve brewers to larger countertop models. Depending on how often you plan on making cold brews, you’ll want to choose the most practical model.
Compared to hot coffee, which you can brew in minutes, cold brew takes several hours to achieve the best tasting result. The best cold brew takes 12 to 24 hours, depending on desired strength and flavor profile. Since cold brew coffee is stronger than regular coffee, you likely won’t need to use as much as you can be dilute it with water, milk or milk alternative.
What to look for in a quality cold brew maker
The two most common materials for cold brew makers include glass and plastic.
Glass may look and feel more elegant, but there is a greater risk of cracking or shattering. Glass cold brew makers are less likely to form stains and discolorations or hold onto any lasting odors.
Plastic cold brew makers are more durable in the long run, as they are resistant to shattering if dropped. BPA-free plastics also ensure that you won’t have to deal with any chemicals seeping into your daily cup of joe.
There isn’t any universal design for cold brew makers, with some resembling a french press, pitcher, carafe or classic coffee maker. No design is necessarily better than the other, so the best cold brew maker is the one that is easy to clean and most convenient for your lifestyle.
Once you have your cold brew ready to serve, it is essential to have an efficient way to pour it. The spout should not affect the airtight seal needed during the brewing process but should allow for a smooth flow when serving the coffee. Some cold brew makers may even sport a tap dispenser for convenient access throughout the week or serving guests.
If your coffee maker features a metal filter or steeper, it is best if the holes are fine enough to prevent any coffee grounds from escaping into the final product. Metal filters are reusable and highly durable.
Paper filters make for quick cleanup but can occasionally rip and need replacing before each brew.
How much you can expect to spend on a cold brew maker
The least expensive cold brew makers can be purchased for less than $20, though most are within the $20-$50 price range. Larger and more advanced options can cost over $100.
Cold brew maker FAQ
How long will cold brew last in the fridge?
A. Unlike hot coffee, which is best when served fresh, cold brew coffee can typically last for 7-10 days in the fridge. If your cold brew accumulates a strange scent or loses its flavor, it is best to brew a new batch.
Does cold brew contain more caffeine than a regular cup of coffee?
A. Cold brew contains more caffeine than a comparable cup of standard drip coffee. Because it is highly concentrated, most people choose to dilute their cold brew.
What’s the best cold brew maker to buy?
Top cold brew maker
What you need to know: This KitchenAid cold brew maker is designed for true coffee connoisseurs and features a convenient tap dispenser.
What you’ll love: The 38-ounce capacity is enough to make up to 19 servings of cold brew when diluted with water, milk or ice. The stainless steel and glass design is easy to clean, and the streamlined appearance will complement any kitchen.
What you should consider: It is significantly more expensive than many other cold brew makers.
Top cold brew maker for the money
What you need to know: This budget-friendly cold brew maker can hold up to 51 ounces of coffee.
What you’ll love: The dishwasher-safe design makes cleanup and maintenance a breeze, while the double-lid feature prevents spills and keeps the coffee fresh for longer. All components of this cold brew maker use BPA-free plastic.
What you should consider: The lid isn’t the easiest to remove for some users.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: As a small option, this model is great for those with limited space.
What you’ll love: The unique design of this cold brew maker produces flavorful and high-quality coffee. When the top brewer is attached to the carafe, it will automatically drain the cold brew for easy serving.
What you should consider: If you’re looking for a large capacity brewer, this may not be the ideal choice.
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Matthew Young writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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