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: November 10, 2021
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On a hot day, you’ll likely be favoring cold drinks to beat the heat. Of course, coffee lovers may not want to sacrifice their morning brew. So, what’s the solution? Having one of the best iced coffee makers on hand is a good place to start.
Iced coffee makers are handy machines that give you a strong cup of cold coffee whenever you like. There are several brands to choose from, offering varying sizes of brew to give you a single cup or enough for the whole day. They also offer brew strength adjustment to meet everyone’s preferences. For more information on iced coffee makers, check out our reviews below.
This model is more than just a Ninja iced coffee machine. It has 5 brew options to choose from, including classic, rich, cold brew, specialty, and over ice, so you get the exact beverage you want. It includes separate coffee and tea baskets, with smart basket recognition for the right drink selections for each basket. The iced coffee brews at double strength for the perfect flavor without a watery consistency.
Ninja is one of the top names in the kitchen appliance market, so it’s no wonder they created such an amazing coffee maker. This model includes a thermal carafe, which replaced the glass carafe of other models. This carafe retains the temperature, reducing the need for a warming plate for hot coffee, plus it keeps your cold brews chilly for longer.
What makes it stand out?
We loved that this iced coffee brewer has 6 size selections, so you can use a variety of regular or travel mugs, plus you can brew a full or half carafe, so you get the exact amount of coffee you want. It also includes a fold-away frother that lets you make hot or cold milk to pair with any of your favorite brews to make some tasty cappuccinos, lattes, or flat whites.
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
Though this likely won’t be an issue for iced coffee, there is no warming plate for the carafe when making a pot of hot coffee. We also noticed that selecting the Delay Brew options resets the mug size to the travel mug size, so if you only want a smaller cup of brew, this needs to be adjusted before starting the machine or you may be dealing with a mess.
The Keurig C K-Elite coffee maker allows you to use your favorite blend of K-cups or their reusable cups to make perfect cups of coffee whenever you like. You can choose multiple cup sizes, including large travel mugs, thanks to the removable cup tray. This model also includes a strong brew button for more intense flavor, especially when adding a mug full of ice below the spout for iced coffee.
This model is a single-serve machine, so it is best for those who prefer to make their coffee one cup at a time rather than brewing a whole pot. It heats fast, so you can have a cup ready to go in only a minute.
Why did it make our list?
We liked that the K-Elite model has a few customizable features, including the temperature control, programmable on and off times, and the strong brew or iced coffee buttons for the perfect full flavor for every brew. This Keurig iced coffee maker also has a hot water button for teas, oatmeal, soup, or anything else you have in mind. The hot water heats as fast as the water for your hot coffee for added convenience.
What is not ideal about it?
The main flaw with the Keurig C K-Elite is the design of the water reservoir. Older models had a hinged lid that could be opened easily to refill the tank. This model lacks that feature, so you need to lift the lid off completely to add more water. It is also hard to see the tank to monitor the water level, though an indicator light on the machine’s top tells you when it is empty.
The Cuisinart DCB-10 is a 7-cup cold brew coffee machine, with a clear brewing chamber and water tank. This model also features a strength selector that adjusts brewing time for mild, medium, and bold coffee flavor without the bitterness of hot brews. An indicator light tells you when the coffee is ready and the release lever opens the nozzle between the tank and the carafe.
This is the best home iced coffee maker for those who prefer using cold brew instead of hot coffee for their drinks. It makes up to 7 cups in the refrigerator-friendly carafe. The removable parts are dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup.
Why did it make our list?
Our favorite feature for this cold brew iced coffee maker is the fast brewing speed. Other cold brew machines take up to 24 hours to cold brew coffee, while this one has a pot ready to drink in about 40 minutes. It also makes about 7 cups of cold brew, which you can drink as is or pour over ice as you see fit, plus it can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
What is not ideal about it?
Though the Cuisinart DCB-10 is a decent cold brew machine, it has a few flaws. First, it is made of mostly plastic, so you need to be careful, especially with the filter screen, to avoid cracks or dents during use and cleaning. Replacement filters are also a bit pricey, so avoiding this cost is a must. The filter basket is tricky to clean, which takes a bit of extra effort.
If you’re looking for the best coffee maker for iced coffee and tea but don’t want to spend a fortune, the Brentwood KT-2150BK is a good model to check out. This model is easy to use, with simple controls and a shower head design that brews up to 8 cups of coffee or tea for your iced beverages. It also features a 3-position lid, an auto-shutoff, and a reusable filter basket for less waste.
This iced coffee maker is a fantastic option for those looking to save money on their coffee machine without sacrificing flavor. It brews hot coffee and tea, so you can enjoy them as is or add ice to the pitcher for cold brews.
What are our favorite features?
The Brentwood KT-2150BK is one of the cheapest iced coffee machines available, so it is perfect for those on a budget. It also has extremely simple controls, including the brew button to get the machine started and the slider on the front of the machine that allows you to adjust the strength of the coffee you’re brewing. Cleaning up when you’re done brewing and drinking your pitcher of iced coffee is also a breeze.
What could be better?
The downside of buying this cheap iced coffee maker is that the pitcher is made of thin plastic. Though it is BPA-free and relatively safe to use, it isn’t the most durable piece there is due to the thinness of the material. We’ve found that using the pitcher to brew the coffee or tea and then transferring it to a separate glass pitcher is best to prevent any damage to the included pitcher.
The De’Longhi ECAM35020B is a fantastic machine that allows you to make a variety of delicious beverages. It features an Italian 15 bar pump, a built-in steel burr grinder, an adjustable manual frother, and a removable brew group. It allows you to make a variety of hot beverages, plus it brews at a lower temperature and infuses the coffee over ice during brewing for some tasty iced coffee as well.
This coffee machine that makes iced coffee is best for those who want barista-quality beverages at home. It is a high-end machine made of quality materials that should last for years. It can also make a variety of beverages, including espresso, cappuccinos, lattes, as well as iced coffee.
Why is it special?
There is a lot to love with the De'Longhi ECAM35020B. At about 40 seconds, it has one of the fastest heat-up times of the machines that we’ve found. It is also extremely easy to clean, thanks to the removable brew group and dishwasher-safe drip tray. It features a burr grinder with 15 settings for the perfect grind, no matter who’s doing the brewing, and an integrated frother for milky beverages.
What are the flaws?
The De'Longhi ECAM35020B is extremely expensive at over $1000, which may be out of the budget of many iced coffee lovers. It does have a lot of great features, but it can be finicky as well, so you need to be sure that the water tank and grounds containers are fully in place for the machine to brew your coffee. The included ice cube tray is also quite small, so an extra is needed for iced beverages.
The Mr. Coffee Iced Coffee Maker is a handy machine that is designed to brew the perfect strength of coffee for each serving to avoid the watery flavor you’d get from other machines. It is simple to use, with specific directions for the grounds, water, and ice, leaving little room for error. You can also customize your drinks by adding more grounds for a bolder flavor.
This single-cup iced coffee maker brews hot coffee with a stronger flavor than a regular coffee maker, so you don’t end up with watered-down brews, even after the ice melts a bit. It brews in about 4 minutes, so it’s also great for those who hate waiting for their drinks.
What makes it special?
We loved how easy this single-serve iced coffee maker was to use. It comes with everything you need, including the coffee maker, filter, measuring spoon, plus a tumbler with a lid and straw. You use the included items to measure out the coffee grounds and water, making the perfect cup of iced coffee every time you turn it on. You can also customize your brews as you see fit with extra grounds, milk, or flavored creamer.
What cons did we find?
The main issue that we’ve found with this machine is that it needs to be cleaned right after brewing before you can enjoy your iced coffee. If not, the grounds, basket, and lid will all retain the moisture and start to drip, making a mess beneath the machine. This likely won’t deter too many buyers, though, especially since it is quite easy to clean, but it is worth noting.
This coffee machine comes with 7 different programmable brew sizes and 3 different intensities, making it a great option for those looking for versatility.
If you make a varied amount of coffee drinks on a daily basis, this is a great option for you. With this machine, you can brew up to 7 different coffee sizes, from single mugs all the way to large carafes for whole groups. And with a bunch of different intensity settings, you get full control over your coffee’s strength and flavor.
Our favorite characteristic of this machine is its versatility. With its Specialty Coffee Association certification, you’re assured of top-quality drip coffee every single time you make a batch! Since you can program different brew sizes, it’s perfect if you have friends over and need to make a large batch or if you’re alone and need a single cup to start your day. We also enjoyed the great flavor that comes from this machine.
One of the problems we encountered with this machine was brew time. It’s a fairly slow coffee maker, whether you’re making a large hot batch of coffee or a single serving that you’ll cool down with ice. Another con to this coffee maker is that it’s fairly expensive. While it does come with some premium features, some customers complained that the price was pretty high considering what you’re getting.
What are its best features?
We enjoyed the fact that you can brew a bunch of different sizes with this machine. This makes it one of the most versatile options out there, allowing you to brew a whole carafe for sharing or small one-cup servings for a quick kick in the morning.
What could be improved?
This coffee maker is one of the slower ones on the market. It can take more than a couple of minutes to brew a full carafe, and even the single-cup brewing time is fairly slow. So, make sure to start brewing ahead of time with this machine to stay on schedule.
This next machine uses advanced technology to get you a smooth and strong cold brew in a matter of minutes, one of the fastest machines out there.
If you enjoy cold brew coffee but don’t like waiting 12 hours or more just to make a single serving, then you will love this machine. This machine doesn’t require hot water. Instead, it uses a spinner to infuse the grounds into your coffee in a matter of minutes instead of waiting overnight like you would with regular cold brew coffee.
Aside from the speed, one of our favorite features of this machine was its simplicity and ease of use. Unlike other coffee machines, this model only has a single dial. This allows you to program the speed of the whirlpool, which has a significant effect on the coffee’s taste, strength, and brewing time. With this machine, all you have to do is load in the coffee, turn it on, and after 15 or so minutes, you’ll have a top-quality cold brew that’s smooth and strong.
One downside to this machine is that it can only brew 1.4 ounces at a time. That means it’s a great single-serve option, but if you’re making more than one cup of coffee, you’re in for a fairly long wait. Since it takes around 15 minutes per batch, brewing multiple cups is not ideal. On top of that, there’s a fair amount of splatter when you spin the coffee, so make sure to prepare a wide area when brewing your drinks.
What stands out?
This option is much different from just about any other iced coffee maker out there. It uses a unique technology to create whirlpools to infuse the coffee grounds into your coffee, giving you quality cold brew in a matter of minutes. This is a great machine for single-serve coffee and drastically reduces its time to achieve a top-quality cold brew.
What cons did we manage to find?
This is not a coffee machine for large batches. It can only make around 1.4oz at a time, and since a single serving takes about 15-minutes, you’re in for an incredibly long wait if you’re brewing multiple cups of coffee.
Things to Consider
As you can see from our product reviews, there are a lot of iced coffee makers on the market. Choosing the right one can seem daunting unless you know what to look for. Our detailed buying guide may be able to help you with this decision.
What’s The Difference Between Iced Coffee And Cold Brew?
For iced coffee you want hot brew to be poured on a significant amount of ice cubes to make the strong beverage cool and refreshing
You may think that iced coffee and cold brew are the same things but there is a distinct difference between these two beverages. Iced coffee is brewed hot like regular coffee, then poured over ice where it cools quickly for a cold drink. This dilutes the coffee, so it is necessary to add more grounds before brewing for the proper intensity.
Cold brew coffee is different since the coffee isn’t brewed hot. Instead, it is brewed using cold water for 12 hours or more, with longer time frames brewing stronger coffee. There are also cold brew coffee machines, like the Cuisinart DCB-10, which function the same but at a faster speed. The result is a concentrated coffee that you can mix with ice, water, or milk.
How to Use Iced Coffee Maker
Iced coffee makers function the same as other coffee makers. You add the water and grounds to the machine, then brew it as directed by the instruction manual. Some machines brew the coffee like usual, while others have a special iced coffee function, like the one on the Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System CP307. The main difference is that the mug or cup you’re using to catch the coffee that’s brewed should be filled with ice before the brewing starts.
How to Pick the Best Iced Coffee Maker
When picking the best iced coffee maker for your home, there are a few features you may want to consider. This will ensure that you’re getting the right machine to suit your needs and preferences.
There are two main types in our reviews, most of which are coffee makers. There is also the Brentwood KT-2150BK, which is a pitcher brewer. They all have similar functions, which is the ability to brew a specific amount of coffee to be used as iced coffee. A few of the models in our reviews also brew other beverages, like cappuccino, lattes, espresso, and even hot tea, so if you prefer a bit more variety, one of these may be a better option for you.
Almost all of the coffee machines in our reviews brew hot coffee, except for the Cuisinart DCB-10, which makes cold brew. This machine uses cold water and steeps longer for less bitterness without losing the robust flavor of the coffee you’re using. It is also an option to consider for your iced coffee needs.
Modern coffee makers feature a great variety of brew amount to choose from, even if you want a single espresso shot on a few ice cubes
The brew volume refers to how much water the machine can hold to brew with before you need to refill it. Some models, like the Keurig C K-Elite, have huge capacities, so you can make several single cups of coffee before adding more water. Other models use the entire water capacity to brew one large carafe or pitcher, so you need to refill them each time you want to brew some iced coffee.
Some people like their coffee a bit weak while others need the full bodied intensity of a strong brew. Luckily, many of the coffee makers in our reviews include adjustable strengths, so you can set it to meet your specific tastes each time you turn it on to give everyone the flavor they want.
Coffee machines need to be cleaned daily to ensure that there is no buildup of coffee residue or moisture that could lead to the growth of bacteria or mold. How easy these machines are to clean varies, depending on the internal workings of the machine and how many removable parts there are. The easier it is, the more you’ll enjoy using it, so be sure to check this out before purchasing one.
These machines vary greatly in price, from the $35 Brentwood KT-2150BK to over $1200 for a De’Longhi ECAM35020B. They also vary in features, so if you want a modern machine with multiple brewing functions, you may be willing to pay for those extras. Those on a budget should stick to the simplistic models.
Learn how to make your coffee taste differently by using filters and measuring different amounts of grind
The accessories included vary, depending on the machine you buy. For the most part, these machines include a reusable filter or basket and a ground measuring spoon, but they may also include a pitcher, carafe, or cup for the brewing process.
The warranty varies on iced coffee machines, so it is a good idea to take a look at the coverage before purchasing. Half of the machines in our reviews have a 1-year limited warranty, while a couple have a 2-year limited warranty. The Cuisinart DCB-10 has the most coverage with their 3-year limited warranty, which gives you a bit more peace of mind when spending your hard-earned money on one of these models.
When purchasing a new iced coffee machine, there are a few extras offered from some machines, though they aren’t available for all the models in our reviews. These include multiple beverage options, several cup sizes, hot water brewing, strength adjustment, auto-shutoff, tank refill indicator lights, and removable water tanks.
To clean an iced coffee maker, remove any parts possible, including the filter or basket for the grounds, drip tray, or brew group. Wash them with warm, soapy water, wiping them with a cloth, and using a cleaning brush to get into any hard-to-reach areas. Wipe down the rest of the machine as well. Dry the parts by hand or let them air dry before putting them back together.
If you store it in the fridge right away, iced coffee can be kept for up to three days before you drink it. If you leave it out for a while first or add milk or other flavored extras to it, it is best not to save it for more than a few hours in the fridge. If you make your iced coffee from cold brew, the brew can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, providing no creamer, milk, or sugar are added to it.
With so many iced coffee makers on the market, it can be hard to pick a favorite, though we do have a few we’d recommend.
Our top choice is the Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System CP307. This model has a 50-fluid ounce capacity, coffee and tea baskets with smart recognition, a fold-away frother, and a thermal carafe. It also has 5 beverage options and 5 cup sizes to choose from, making it one of the best iced coffee makers around.
The Keurig C K-Elite uses K-cups or reusable cups, heats up in 60 seconds, and includes temperature control and a strong brew function. The removable drip tray makes it easy to use varying cups for your brews.
For the budget-conscious, the Brentwood KT-2150BK is a low-cost pitcher brewer, featuring a reusable filter basket, 7 strength options, simple controls, and an auto-shutoff.