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Published Jun. 9, 2021

If you love the taste of cold brew coffee but have a hard time swallowing the cost of a daily cup, it might be time to introduce a cold brew system into your kitchen. Cold brew—not to be confused with iced coffee—is made with low heat, which creates lower acidity for a smoother, sweeter taste. The best cold brew coffee makers not only treat you to this luxurious flavor in the comfort of your own home, but they are also simple to use. From a quick brew to a nitro cold brew at home, we’ve rounded up the best cold brew coffee maker models so you can play barista without the hassle of waiting in line behind any cranky customers. 

What to consider when shopping for the best cold brew coffee maker

When selecting the best cold brew coffee maker for your home, it’s a good idea to take into account factors such as how much counter space you have, if you want a quick or a more time-consuming brew time, what flavors you prefer, and if you want to make a variety of beverages with your system. Once you narrow down exactly what you’re looking for, you’ll have no problem selecting the best addition to your kitchen. 

Related: Drinking a lot of coffee? Here’s how to remove stains from your mugs.

How much counter space do you have to spare? 

Kitchen counter space can be hard to come by, which is why we are very thoughtful about what gets displayed. If you have plenty of space to spare, then you’ll have few limitations when it comes to picking your cold brew coffee maker. However, if space is limited in your home, a smaller system is best, especially since you’ll likely be using this machine every day. However, if you plan on making your brew for the week and keeping it in the fridge, then you can probably get away with selecting a bigger coffee maker that you can store in a cabinet or on top of the fridge. 

Do you prefer to plan out your day the night before?

If you’re the type of person who likes to plan ahead and prepare your meals and even beverages in advance, then you might enjoy a cold brew maker that requires 12 to 24 hours to steep. This is the more traditional method of making cold brew, because you are using low heat to filter out the flavor from the coffee grounds. Just remember to flip the switch at night in order to get that flavor you crave in the morning. 

Do you want a cold brew maker with a quick start?

Some people enjoy waking up in the morning and making their coffee to start off the day. If this resonates with you, then there’s no reason you should miss out on this daily ritual. There are plenty of systems that can brew your favorite coffee varietal in just five to 15 minutes. This is especially great if snoozing is your M.O., but you still want to make your coffee and be out the door in under 30 minutes. 

Is saving electricity important to you? 

When shopping for the best cold brew coffee maker, electricity use is something to consider. While many products on the market are automatic, there are plenty that are cord-free, battery-operated or portable without needing a plug-in. Similar to French presses, these cold brew coffee makers are just as easy to use and can be stored more readily without wires to wrangle. 

Do you want a nitro cold brew maker instead? 

Nitro cold brew coffee is a fan favorite for a few reasons: its smooth, creamy flavor and its health effects, as nitro renders away unnecessary sugars while the desirable texture remains. The cost of these frothy beverages may deter you from purchasing a cup every day, but with the addition of a nitro cold brew maker to your kitchen, there’s no reason to deprive yourself. 

Do you drink more than just cold brew coffee?

Cold brew coffee is delicious but sometimes you want a little variety in life. When investing in a cold brew maker, having the option of making regular coffee or tea for yourself or guests is an added bonus.

Coffee beans or grounds? 

Cold brew connoisseurs recommend coarse coffee grounds when making cold brew because it makes for a less bitter and acidic flavor. If that’s the case, then using coffee beans will create an even smoother flavor. If you find it easier to purchase whole coffee beans or simply prefer grinding your own beans, seek out a system that caters to whole-bean use.

The best cold brew coffee makers

With cold brew becoming a top contender for iced caffeinated beverages in the past few years, there is certainly no shortage of in-home cold brew coffee makers. Deciding what matters most when it comes to your brew preference—from a more hands-on approach to a particular type of coffee to the fastest possible process—will help narrow down the scope. 

Best cold brew coffee maker with nitro: GrowlerWerks uKeg Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Maker

Putting “Fun” in Functional

This all-in-one system brews and infuses nitro gas into your cold brew.
GrowlerWerks

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The GrowlerWerks uKeg brings your dream of nitro cold brew at home to your kitchen. Made from durable stainless steel, the vessel’s double wall vacuum keeps your coffee cold all day. Should you want to store or enjoy your coffee for future days and weeks, the regulator cap keeps your coffee fresh by automatically maintaining the pressure. Due to the nitrotap technology, you can rest assured the creamy and delicious texture you love about nitro coffee will be dispensed for all 12 cups (capacity). Note: nitro gas chargers are not included but can be easily purchased separately. 

Best for mornings on-the-go: Dash Cold Brew Coffee Maker

Five Minute Brew

Turn the dial and choose to brew your beverage for light, medium, or dark. DASH

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Gone are the days of having to wait 24 hours for your cold brew to steep. With the BPA-free Dash Cold Brew Coffee Maker, you can sip on your coffee in as little as 5 minutes. Simply fill the coffee container with your favorite grounds, add water to the carafe, turn the dial to your selected time depending on how intense you want your coffee flavor profile to be, and get your chilled glass ready. To clean the carafe, just run the system again with water. If you want to prepare for the week ahead, your cold brew (up to 42 ounces) will stay fresh for up to 10 days in the fridge. The Dash Cold Brew Coffee Maker includes a 1-year manufacturer warranty should you need to replace any of the parts. 

Best cold brew coffee system for smooth flavor: Toddy Cold Brew System

Less Acid, Better Concentrate

This cold brew system uses coffee beans to deliver a super smooth coffee concentrate.
Toddy

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By using regular coffee beans, the Toddy Cold Brew System brews coffee concentrate with 67-percent-less acid than coffee made with other brewing methods, no electricity necessary. With the extraction of the bitter acid and oils, the concentrate is much easier on those with stomach sensitivities. Without losing any of the delicious flavor, you can store the coffee concentrate for up to two weeks. This system also works well for making hot and cold tea, if you want to switch things up every once in a while. While the package comes with two filters and two silicone stoppers, you will eventually have to replace them.

Best hot and cold brew coffee maker: Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System

Smart System

With both coffee and tea brew settings, you no longer have to pick favorites.
Ninja

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The Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System offers options and we all like options. For cold brew and iced tea lovers, you can rest easy knowing your beverage of choice will brew over ice at a lower temperature ensuring a smooth flavor in just 10 to 15 minutes. So you don’t have to clean out the basket after each use, there are two baskets—one to brew coffee and one to brew tea. Plus, the system recognizes which basket is in use and automatically offers coffee or tea options. Whether you’re making coffee for yourself or a group, you can choose from up to six brew sizes. 

Best budget system: OXO Good Grips Cold Brew Coffee Maker

Wallet-Friendly Flavor

The perforated rainmaker top evenly distributes water over the coffee grounds to bring out the utmost flavor.
OXO

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Sold for just $50, the 32-ounce OXO Good Grips Cold Brew Coffee Maker will not only bring delicious cold brew into your mug, but will also save you money and trips to your local coffee shop. Just add your favorite coffee grounds to the brewing container, fill the rainmaker top with water, and flip the switch. The stainless steel mesh filter is easy to clean and reusable, plus your purchase comes with ten paper filters. The only potential downside here is that you need to plan ahead if you want your coffee in the morning, as brew time takes about 12 to 24 hours. 

FAQs

Q: What’s the difference between cold brew and iced coffee? 

The difference between iced coffee and cold brew is the method used. Iced coffee is basically what it sounds like: cold coffee. You brew your coffee normally and then pour it over ice or keep it in the refrigerator. With cold brew, the process can take a bit longer, depending on your system. You take your coarsely ground coffee and steep it in cold water. (Filtered water is better, as your coffee will be sitting in water for quite some time and you want the purest coffee taste.) Once it’s done, the grounds are filtered out, leaving you with a delicious concentrate that can be mixed with milk or water. Due to this method of using time instead of heat, cold brew is typically less acidic and less bitter than iced coffee. 

Q: How does a cold brew maker work? 

Exactly how your cold brew coffee maker works all depends on the system you choose. If you purchase an automatic cold brew coffee maker, then generally all you have to do is add your favorite coffee grounds along with cold, filtered water and press the “on” button. The machine will then steep the coffee grounds in the water, leaving you with a tasty concentrate. If you prefer using a French press, the process is quite similar. You combine your coffee grounds with cold, filtered water and let it steep for 14 to 16 hours. Once the time has passed, you press down to separate the grounds from the concentrate and pour over ice. 

Q: Can I use regular coffee for cold brew?

Yes, you can use your favorite regular coffee for cold brew. The only potential difference in using your regular coffee is the texture. Using coarsely ground coffee is the best option for cold brew because it makes for an easier filtration process and your coffee will taste less bitter. Finely ground coffee, commonly used for regular coffee, often creates a harsher flavor because the grinds are over-extracted. 

Related: Coffee not your cup of, well, tea? Here are accessories for the other caffeinated cuppa.

The final word on shopping for the best cold brew coffee maker

Choosing the best cold brew coffee maker is a personal choice. Your lifestyle, routine, palette, and/or desire for variety will determine which system makes the most sense to purchase for your kitchen. With options that offer quick brew times to nitro cold brew at home, there’s a coffee maker for everyone. Once these factors are taken into consideration, you’ll get a clearer idea of exactly what model you need to enjoy a nice, cold brew from the comfort of your own couch, kitchen, home office, or porch this summer.

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