Alex has never been professionally involved into the world of coffee, however he knows much more than any average barista. Being an avid coffee lover, Alex is constantly searching for new tips, tools, and techniques to make his morning cup of java even more perfect.
Mary has been dealing with coffee almost all her life long: in her teenage years, she worked as a barista in a number of well-known coffeehouses, later developing her knowledge and skills while studying at the university as well. Several years after graduation, she managed to open her own small coffee bar.
Last updated: January 26, 2021
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If you’re looking for a cooler way to get your morning coffee, it’s worth giving cold brew a try. With the best cold brew coffee maker, you can create coffee concentrate that can then be used to make fresh, smooth-tasting coffee that lasts for weeks in the fridge.
We considered 18 of the top cold brew coffee makers on the market today to find the very best models. The Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System CP307 took our Editor’s Choice since it’s not just a cold brew maker, but a comprehensive coffee and tea brewer. This machine works for cold brew concentrate, iced coffee, regular coffee, and several types of teas. If that’s not enough for you, though, we also gathered up nine other cold brew coffee makers that we think are worth a closer look.
It wasn’t easy choosing the best iced coffee makers. We looked at the carafe capacity and dimensions, since you need to balance a need for plenty of coffee with fitting the machine in your kitchen. We also looked at filters, since these are at the heart of producing a good concentrate. Customer reviews and technical specifications were indispensable along the way, and you can find all 10 of our top cold brew coffee makers in the table below. Continue reading for detailed reviews of each machine, complete with pros and cons. Our buying guide covers everything you need to know about choosing the right cold brewer for you. Finally, we sum up our three overall favorite cold brew coffee makers.
The Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System is a do-it-all cold brew coffee machine. This brewer works for both coffee and tea, with two different filter systems for each so you don’t mix flavors. Better yet, the system automatically recognizes whether you’re using the coffee or tea filter, and gives you brew options for either type of drink.
When it comes to making coffee, you have five different options: Classic, Rich, Over Ice, Cold Brew, and Specialty. The Cold Brew option allows you to make cold brew coffee in just 15 to 20 minutes. Users found that the concentrate truly is concentrated, and most cut it by a 2:1 ratio of water to coffee. They also noted that it’s as sweet and lacking bitterness as any cold brew from a traditional cold brew coffee maker.
As if that weren’t enough, the carafe on this thermal coffee maker is a wonder in itself. It’s insulated so that if you do want hot coffee, it stays hot for up to two hours without need for a burner. That means your coffee won’t get a burned taste if you like to drink it over the course of a whole morning. You can also easily put the carafe in the fridge to store cold brew.
Users found almost nothing to dislike about this cold brew coffee machine other than the price. It should come as little surprise that this capable machine comes with a moderately high price tag, but for how much it does many users thought it was well worth it.
This small and simple traditional cold brew coffee maker from Gourmia is a customer favorite. It’s very inexpensive while still making up to 48 ounces of cold brew. The teardrop design isn’t the most stable sitting on the countertop, but it’s perfect for dropping into the door of your refrigerator. Better yet, users found that the thick borosilicate glass construction allows you to bang this brewer around without fear of breaking it.
The stainless-steel filter uses an extremely fine mesh, which is a plus for brew quality. One user noted that their unit had metal shards where the stainless steel wrapped around itself, but this seems to be an isolated complaint with a bad unit. The carafe is topped with a silicone seal that can be used with or without the filter inside. It’s fully airtight and users found that it holds up well to constant use.
This cold brew maker is also fairly adaptable. It can hold hot water for regular coffee, or you can use it to brew hot or iced tea. Unless 48 ounces isn’t enough cold brew for you, there’s a lot to like about this surprisingly cheap cold brew coffee maker.
This nifty automatic cold brew coffee machine from Dash includes two different carafes. You put water in coffee in one carafe and set your desired brew strength. Then, as cold brew is produced, it’s pumped into the other carafe through a built-in spigot. It’s a unique design that makes it fun to watch your coffee brew, and the whole process takes just 5 to 15 minutes.
Users think the results are pretty great, too. They found that a 10-minute brew produces cold brew concentrate that’s just as strong as what you would get in 20 or more hours with a traditional cold brew maker. The machine is limited to producing 42 ounces of cold brew at a time, but it’s easy to run it several times if you need more concentrate.
This is a BPA-free coffee maker – all of the parts are easy to rinse out in the sink or can be run through the dishwasher, including the plastic lids and components. Alternatively, you can clean out the system by running another brew with just water.
The only downside to this system is that since there are two carafes and an electric base, it does take up some counter space. It’s still fairly compact, but it’s something to consider if you’re tight on kitchen space.
This cold brew coffee maker kit from Craft Connections Co. is perfect for making your own cold brew or gifting to someone else. It comes with a half-gallon mason jar and stainless-steel filter.
Importantly, once you have the filter in hand, you can use it with any half-gallon mason jar that you’d get at the grocery store. That takes out all the worry of breaking your carafe and opens up possibilities for brewing more cold brew before your last batch runs out. The mason jar stainless steel cap is designed to be airtight, even with the filter installed underneath it.
As a fun addition, this cold brew coffee making system comes with a book of recipes for how you can make your cold brew even more exciting. The recipes are perfect to try out for party drinks, or you might just find a new way to enjoy your morning cold brew.
Of course, this cold brew system can also be used for tea or for hot coffee. Everything can be cleaned in the dishwasher, and it’s easy to get your hand into the carafe for a deeper cleaning.
What we liked:
Inexpensive cold brew maker
Works with any half-gallon mason jar
Airtight stainless-steel cap
Comes with cold brew recipe book
What could be better:
No real advantages over buying just a metal filter pouch
Users rave about this simple but effective traditional cold brew coffee maker from Bean Envy. The carafe is made of thick borosilicate glass, so it’s not nearly as prone to fracturing as similar models. On top of that, the base of the carafe is protected with a thick rubber gasket, which you can remove for cleaning. This rubber gasket is also non-slip, so you won’t accidentally knock over your coffee mid-brew.
The filter design is also somewhat ingenious. The stainless-steel filter ring uses microdot technology to create an extremely fine mesh, which gives you better flavor from your beans. When you’re brewing, there’s a special cap that ensures you can get an airtight seal even with the filter inside the carafe. For storing in the fridge, there’s another cork-like rubber cap to keep your cold brew from oxidizing. Having to keep track of two different caps is a little annoying, but most users didn’t seem to mind.
The only real downside to this cold brew coffee maker is that it’s small. That’s great if you’re tight on space in the fridge, but 34 ounces of cold brew concentrate may not be enough to last you through a whole week if you drink a lot of coffee. Thankfully, the Bean Envy brewer is also inexpensive enough that you can buy two of them if you need.
This home cold brew coffee maker from Original Grind Coffee Co. is perfect for anyone who drinks a lot of coffee. The mason jar-style carafe holds up to one gallon, or 128 ounces – that’s a ton of cold brew! It’s perfect if you have multiple people in the house and only want to brew once per week.
The design of this cold brew maker is simple and durable. It really is a mason jar, so it has the same thick borosilicate glass construction and is dishwasher safe. The lid is airtight even when you have the filter inside, and you can easily store this carafe in your fridge (although you’ll need a tall shelf). The stainless-steel filter isn’t quite as fine a mesh as what we’ve seen on other cold brewers, but users didn’t seem to notice the difference in brew strength and quality.
This carafe does have a tap, which is good and bad. It’s convenient, but every tap is prone to issues with leaking. This one is no different and there are plenty of complaints about leaks. However, Original Grind Coffee Co. seems to have thought ahead and designed the tap so it can be tightened easily with a wrench from the outside. In most cases, that seems to stop leaks.
Nitro cold brew, anyone? That’s the aim behind the Royal Brew cold brew coffee maker, which looks and functions more like a small beer keg than a cold brew maker.
It’s important to start out by noting that this isn’t a true cold brew coffee maker. You’ll need to add cold brew to the keg already made, and then it will dispense it over nitrogen to create a smooth, creamy texture like what you’d get at the coffee shop.
Using this nitro brewer can be a little confusing at first. It’s tempting to add too much cold brew – you should only fill the 64-ounce container halfway – or to be squeamish when screwing on the nitrogen cartridges since you’ll hear a gas hissing sound. However, users found that it was very simple once you get the hang of it.
The brewer requires that you wait at least one hour before dispensing your nitro cold brew, so keep in mind that this does add some time to your overall brew. After that, you can keep the keg in the fridge for up to three days – after that, the nitrogen will run out and the cold brew will take on a weird and unpleasant texture.
This keg works with most standard two-gram nitrogen canisters and uses two per brew. These are fairly inexpensive – about $2 per brew or less. It also comes with a tap plug so you can seal out leaks after you’ve dispensed coffee.
This traditional cold brew coffee machine from KitchenAid is a nice solution for making your coffee if you can handle a few flaws. To start, users loved that the carafe holds 28 ounces of cold brew concentrate (enough for 56 ounces of diluted cold brew coffee of more) even with the strainer inside. The carafe is made of thick glass, so you don’t have to worry about breaking as much as with other glass brewers.
The filter system itself is made of stainless steel and features an extremely fine mesh to improve the brewing process. The lid combines a rubber gasket with a stainless-steel cap, and it works both when you have the filter system inside the carafe and after you take it out. That means that you can easily store this carafe in your fridge and have it be airtight without need for an additional container.
The downsides primarily have to do with the tap that KitchenAid built into the carafe. Many users noted that it drips even when closed, so you need to put a paper towel or bowl underneath it when storing this carafe in your fridge. Because of this, a lot of people choose to forego the carafe and transfer cold brew to another container. The other issue is that since the tap inlet is above the base of the carafe, it’s hard to get the last cup or two of coffee out of the carafe.
On the whole, if you can live with the faulty tap, this is a great cold brew coffee maker. But, it would be nice to see KitchenAid improve the tap and eliminate annoying leaks.
This large and inexpensive brewer from Kitchentoolz is one of the best budget cold brew coffee makers. It’s highly similar to the brew maker from Original Grind Coffee Co., except without the brand name you can save some money. The carafe also looks a little bit less like a mason jar, so you miss out on some country style, but it uses the same thick borosilicate glass construction. Users found that this jar is reasonably durable and holds up well in the dishwasher.
One big difference is that the filter in this brewer isn’t stainless steel. Rather, it’s a fine mesh material that isn’t as durable and doesn’t do quite as good a job of keeping coffee grinds out of your coffee. Users report that you may need to strain your cold brew if you really want to be sure there are no coffee grounds floating around (or use as coarse a grind as possible).
The lid isn’t fully airtight, as is the case on more premium cold brew coffee makers. In addition, it’s plastic, so you may want to be careful about not filling up your jar all the way so the plastic doesn’t come into contact with your coffee.
Note also that the filter is slightly too small to work with a standard one-gallon mason jar. So, you have to use this carafe to make cold brew if you want to use the included filter.
This compact cold brew coffee maker from Ovalware is elegantly designed. It doesn’t make a ton of cold brew – the whole unit holds just 34 ounces of water – but the brew it does make is smooth and fresh. What gives this brewer an edge is that the cap is airtight, preventing your coffee from oxidizing as it’s brewing. The airtight cap is also a plus when you want to store the whole maker in the fridge, since it protects your coffee from picking up odors and strange tastes.
The stainless-steel filter is also a plus. Ovalware uses lasers to cut the mesh, so you get a really fine microfilter that maximizes flavor extraction from your coffee grounds. You never have to worry about this filter rusting, either, so users almost never found a need to replace it.
The glass, on the other hand, is nowhere near as durable. Many users found that the glass is thin and breaks easily. Even the bottom of the glass is thin, so you have to be careful when putting the brewer down on a hard surface. Ovalware rates the cold brew coffee maker as being dishwasher-safe, but users strongly recommend against trusting this glass in the dishwasher.
Some users actually recommend buying an Erlenmeyer flask and adapting it to use with the filter from this brewer. Ovalware doesn’t offer replacement carafes at this time.
What we liked:
Airtight cap keeps coffee from oxidizing
Laser-cut stainless-steel filter
Compact for storage
What could be better:
Very thin, breakable glass
Cannot be trusted in dishwasher
No replacement parts available
Things to Consider
Now that you’ve learned more about our 10 overall favorite cold brew coffee makers, how do you decide which one is best for you? It all starts with figuring out exactly what you need from your cold brewer. Our buying guide will walk you through everything you need to know when choosing an iced coffee maker as well as highlight some of the reasons cold brew coffee is a great alternative way to enjoy your daily cup of joe.
What are the advantages of cold brew coffee?
Cold brew has been steadily growing in popularity, especially during the summer months. And for good reason – cold brew coffee has a number of advantages over traditional hot coffee.
To start, brewing cold brew coffee simply couldn’t be easier. At the most basic, all you have to do is put coffee grounds and cold water in a jar together. If you have a cold brew coffee maker, there’s not even a big mess to worry about later. You can set the brew and forget about it, which makes it much less finicky than a hot coffee brew.
The next big benefit to cold brew is that the flavor is much more stable than hot coffee. It seems like you only need to leave hot coffee on the counter for a few minutes before it oxidizes and takes on an awful, acidic taste – forget about putting it in the fridge to drink a day or two later.
With cold brew, you can put it in the fridge for a week or more and the flavor will hardly budge. That frees you up to brew in larger batches, so you can prep an entire week’s worth of coffee ahead of time.
The biggest advantage of all for cold brew is that many coffee enthusiasts think it simply tastes better than hot coffee. The cold brewing process produces a smoother, less acidic coffee, so you can focus on the flavor of the beans rather than the stinging on your tongue. Plus, if you suffer from gastrointestinal issues, lower acidity cold brew will be easier on your insides than regular coffee.
Things to consider before you buy a cold brew coffee maker
Making cold brew coffee may be fast and easy, but that doesn’t mean all cold brew makers will work equally well for you. There are a handful of key elements to consider when choosing a cold brew coffee maker. Here, we’ll break those down to help you get the best iced coffee maker for your needs.
Type of coffee maker
When it comes to cold brew coffee makers, the first big decision you need to make is whether you want a traditional brewer or an automatic one.
Traditional brewers like the models from Gourmia, Craft Connections Co., Original Grind Coffee Co., Bean Envy, and others are simple manual brewers. You put coffee grinds inside a filter, add water, and let it steep. These cold brew coffee makers are straightforward, easy to clean, inexpensive, and they almost universally make perfect cold brew. The downside is that you need to be patient – cold brew the traditional way typically takes 12 to 24 hours to get it concentrated enough.
Automatic cold brew coffee makers like our Editor’s Choice Ninja maker and the Dash maker are significantly faster. The Dash allows you to make cold brew in as little as five minutes. But, these cold brew coffee makers are more expensive than their manual counterparts, and there’s often much more cleaning to do at the end of your brew.
Another thing to think about when choosing a cold brew coffee maker is whether it can also be used to brew hot coffee. Cold brew may sound great in the summer, but what about when the temperature drops? Many traditional cold brew makers can also take hot water, although there are some exceptions to this like the Royal Brew maker. Of the two automatic makers we looked at, the Ninja brewer can make hot coffee but the Dash coffee maker cannot. (Of course, you can always heat up your cold brew over the stove or in the microwave later.)
The capacity of your cold brew maker is important, especially if you drink a lot of coffee every day and want to brew a week’s worth of coffee at once. Most manual coffee makers are limited by the size of the carafe – and since this process takes a full day, you want to be sure you’re making enough coffee. The Airtight and Bean Envy models make just 34 ounces and 32 ounces of cold brew concentrate, respectively, while larger brewers like the Kitchentoolz brewer make up to one gallon.
Keep in mind that this measures cold brew concentrate – how much coffee that will yield depends on how strong you prefer your coffee.
Capacities for automatic cold brew makers are typically modest – around 40 to 50 ounces. But, since these only take a few minutes, it’s easy enough to run them multiple times if you need more cold brew concentrate.
Type of filter
The filter is at the heart of every cold brew coffee maker. It needs to be as fine as possible so that no coffee grinds get into your water, but water is trapped in the coffee grains and steeps the beans as much as possible.
The vast majority of cold brew coffee makers we looked at use stainless steel or ceramic filters. These are free of plastics and chemicals that could leach into your coffee, they’re reusable, and they’re easy to clean. While the Ninja and Dash automatic brewers do have plastic parts around the filters, the filters themselves are stainless steel mesh.
Materials and durability
In general, it’s a good idea to look for cold brew coffee machines that only put glass, stainless steel, or ceramic in contact with your coffee during the brewing process. That way, you can be sure there are no chemicals from plastics that can leach into your coffee during brewing. However, plastic does have a place – plastic lids are certainly easier to handle and clean that glass lids, for example. So, most cold brew makers use some plastic components as well.
The one thing you do want to watch out for is BPA. This nasty chemical won’t be found in any of the cold brewers that we reviewed, so you don’t have to worry.
It’s also important to think about durability. Cheaper cold brew coffee makers may be made of thin glass that can break easily. Borosilicate glass, like what the Gourmia model is made from, is much more durable, and other cold brew makers are designed to be run through the dishwasher without issues. Also check the filter to ensure it will last for years of brewing – and double-check that the company sells replacement filters in case yours gets clogged or damaged.
Ease of use
Simply put, if making cold brew isn’t easy, you won’t do it very often. Most traditional cold brew makers are designed to be as simple as possible. Some, like the KitchenAid, Royal Brew, and Original Grind brewers, come with taps so that you don’t even need to put your concentrate in another container and your coffee can keep steeping as it sits in the fridge.
Automatic cold brew makers are more complex by nature, although the Ninja and Dash models do a good job of keeping things simple. If you can handle spending some upfront time learning how to use these machines properly, you’ll probably save time down the road thanks to how fast they can brew.
Tips on making cold brew coffee
Start with quality beans. If you already have a favorite bean for hot coffee, that will work perfectly for making cold brew. Make sure you buy whole beans and grind them yourself, as that will prevent them from oxidizing before you brew. Ideally, you want coarsely ground beans about the texture of coarse sugar.
Use filtered water. Water is a big part of your cold brew coffee. Try using bottled water or get a filter for your tap water.
Get the ratio right. Typically, you want to use one cup of ground beans for every one cup of water to make a concentrate. You can always vary the dilution later depending on the strength of your concentrate.
Store it properly. Cold brew is super susceptible to odors and stale air in the fridge. Make sure your container is tightly sealed, and keep it closed whenever you’re not pouring coffee.
Cold brew coffee typically comes out as a “concentrate” that needs to be diluted. It’s way stronger than regular coffee, and you’re more than likely to end up with a stomach ache if you drink the concentrate. Typically, 1:1 water to concentrate is a good place to start, and you can add more water as needed.
Cold brew coffee will last up to two weeks in the fridge. However, beware that the flavor starts to become more bitter and acidic after about a week. Don’t add water to your concentrate until you’re ready to drink it, since that cuts the storage life to just three days.
Cold brew coffee is actually less acidic than regular coffee. That’s one of the major reasons that so many coffee enthusiasts prefer cold brew.
Our three overall favorite cold brew coffee makers on the market today are the Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System. The Gourmia GCM9850 Cold Brew Coffee Maker, and the Dash Rapid Cold Brewer. The Ninja and Dash systems are both automatic cold brew coffee machines that can output cold brew in as little as five minutes. Compare that to the 12 to 24 hours it takes to make cold brew with a traditional brewer, and it’s easy to see why users love these. The Gourmia model is our favorite traditional brewer thanks to its simple, fridge-friendly design and airtight silicone cap. We think the Ninja brewer is the overall best cold brew coffee machine because it has multiple settings for coffee and tea and produces cold brew concentrate that’s nearly indistinguishable from what you get with a lengthy traditional brew. It’s fairly expensive, but the elegant design and insulated carafe help put it over the top.