As the weather gets hotter, my hot coffee consumption decreases markedly. While I love hot coffee as much as the next person, on a 90°f day, hot coffee is just not the refreshing beverage choice I’m looking for. While turning hot coffee into iced coffee is a great option for some, to me it tastes stale and less pleasant when chilled. Personally, when I’m drinking coffee in the summer months, I turn to cold brew.
With so many different options for great cold brew coffee makers available it’s easy to get lost in the varying claims and reviews. I’ve compiled a list of some of the best cold brew coffee makers available on the market today.
Whether you’re looking for a top-of-the-line, Yama-style cold brew maker or a simple steeping bag to help keep the coffee grounds contained, this list has an option that will fit your life and coffee drinking needs.
8 Best Cold Brew Coffee Makers for 2021:
As you probably already know, cold brew coffee is achieved by steeping ground coffee beans in cool water for a long time, usually overnight. The resulting brew is a rich, flavorful cup of cold coffee, that is fruity, lightly acidic, and delicious over ice.
While cold brew coffee isn’t hard to make, purchasing a purpose-built accessory can help make producing cold brew coffee even easier. Luckily there are a ton of options for all budgets and needs. Whether you’re looking to make 1-2 cups of cold brew just for yourself, big batches for a group, or even looking for a pro-level Yama tower for a super-powered cold brew experience, there is an option that will be perfect for your kitchen.
1. Best Cold Brew Coffee Maker For Beginners: Takeya Cold Brew Coffee Maker
The Takeya Cold Brew Coffee Maker is a sleek, cylinder, immersion-style coffee maker. With a fine mesh insert to keep grounds and sediment out of the coffee, you can easily create the perfect glass of iced coffee, over and over with no waste except the coffee grounds.
- Easy to use
- Dishwasher Safe
- Can be used hot or cold
- Produces 4 servings at once, if you drink a lot you’ll want a larger system.
- Plastic construction may pick up food odors or stain over time.
Using the Takeya Cold Brew Coffee Maker:
Producing quality cold brew in the Takeya Coffee Maker is a relativity straightforward process, and if you’re at all familiar with cold brew it should be pretty intuitive.
To start you’ll need coarse ground coffee beans. While you can use whatever coffee you have in your cupboard, a coarser grind results in lighter, fruitier coffee, with less bitter sediment in the bottom.
Next, fill up the carafe with 2 quarts of water and insert the infusing cone. Fill the infuser with the appropriate amount of coffee and snap the lid in place.
Place the coffee maker in the refrigerator for ~24 hours before removing the coffee infuser. At this point, you can serve your cold brew in whatever style you desire. I love using sweetened condensed milk in my iced coffee, but you can dress it up however you like.
The Takeya Cold Brew Coffee Maker is a great all-around cold brew setup. With a medium/large carafe, dishwasher safe construction, and a super easy to use design, this cold brew coffee maker is appropriate for the beginner cold brew enthusiast, or the experienced connoisseur.
While I would have loved to see a stainless steel insert, the fine mesh strainer screen is more than adequate to keeping sediment out of your morning brew.
2. Best Cold Brew Coffee Maker Overall: Toddy Cold Brew Coffee Maker System
The Toddy Cold Brew Coffee System is one of my favorite cold brew coffee makers for a reason, and that is, this coffee system makes consistently delicious cold brew time after time. Using a time-tested method, of steeping coffee and allowing it to slowly filter down over the grounds into a carafe, the Toddy Cold Brew Coffee System can create one of the tastiest homemade cold brews I’ve ever had.
- Great for batch brewing.
- Easy to use.
- The glass carafe doesn’t pick up odors over time.
- A smaller version of the professional systems used in coffee shops worldwide.
- Slightly top-heavy when filled initially.
- Clean-up can be a mess.
- Paper filters need to be purchased regularly.
Using the Toddy Cold Brew Coffee Maker System:
Unlike immersion brewing cold brew setups, a toddy system is a little more complicated to use. First, you will need to load the washable wool filter and paper filter into the Toddy Cold Brew System coffee maker portion.
Next, you add your ground coffee beans and fill it with cool water. At this point, you can carefully transfer the coffee maker to a cool spot on your countertop or your refrigerator if you have space.
As the coffee sits in the Toddy system it infuses and when ready you can filter it by removing the rubber stopper from the bottom of the Toddy System and positioning it over the glass carafe to collect your sweet sweet cold brew coffee.
Cleanup can be a bit of a pain, due to the paper bag and the reusable felt filter. Combined with a larger amount of larger pieces than many cold brew systems, it takes a lot more effort to get the Toddy Cold Brew Coffee Maker clean.
Despite its size, and the fact that it can be a bit tougher to clean, the Toddy Cold Brew System took first place on this list for several reasons. The most important one is that it definitely produces the best cold brew coffee overall. The Toddy System allows coffee to steep, then filters it cleanly through both the paper filter bag and the felt filter pad. This increased filtration yields smooth, rich, low acidity cold brew coffee concentrate that will make your summer mornings incredibly refreshing.
If you are looking for the best cup of cold brew, and a little extra cleanup doesn’t turn you off, this is absolutely the cold brew coffee maker for you.
3. Runner Up: County Line Mason Jar Cold Brew Coffee Maker
I am a huge fan of recycling and repurposing. I am also a huge fan of mason jars. I just love that mason/jelly jar aesthetic and considering the huge amount of them I have lying around from various projects or experiments, being able to reuse them around the house is a huge plus for me.
Enter the County Line Mason Jar Cold Brew, Coffee Maker.
Designed to turn a 2 or 1-quart mason jar into a complete cold brew coffee system, the County Line Cold Brew Coffee Maker is definitely one of my favorite cold brew options.
The 1-quart version is perfect for a personal cold brew every morning. It’s super easy to brew and then prepare your coffee directly in the mason jar, for a quick, on-the-go cold brew experience.
If you are looking for a larger batch of cold brew then the 2-quart model will work better for your purposes. With a handle/lid attachment that allows you to brew directly in the mason jar and then serve from the mason jar after removing the infusing strainer, this is perfect for folks who are low on space or want a minimalist design.
- Comes in 2 sizes.
- Can fit almost any mason jar, allowing for multiple brewing and storing options.
- Brew and store in the same container.
- Small profile for easy storage.
- Stainless steel filter insert may allow sediment in the coffee.
Using the County Line Cold Brew Coffee Maker:
Making coffee in the Count Line Cold Brew Coffee Maker is really easy. To begin I prepared my coffee grounds and filled the mason jar that comes with the coffee maker with cold water.
Next, I inserted the infusing strainer insert and poured in the appropriate amount of ground coffee. Then, I fastened the lid in place and put the mason jar set up into my fridge to brew for 12 hours.
After 12 hours had elapsed I removed the coffee strainer and allowed it to drain for a minute or so before pouring a cup of cold brew. While I enjoyed my delicious cold brew iced coffee, I disposed of the grounds and rinsed the infusing insert before allowing it to air dry.
I really love this coffee maker. While the stainless steel insert doesn’t offer quite the filtration capability of the Toddy system, it does a pretty good job, and there was relatively little sediment residue from the coffee grounds.
My favorite part about this coffee maker, outside of the delicious cold brew it produces, is the ability to swap the lid/infuser onto other mason jars. By adding another mason jar to the system you can brew cold brew more often, and use the other mason jar for storing any excess you might have.
Overall, if you’re looking for a great cold brew coffee maker, and you like using mason jars or have a few lying around, then the County Line Cold Brew Coffee Maker should be at the top of your list.
4. Honorable Mention: Ovalware RJ3 1.0 L Coldbrew Maker
I love the Ovalware RJ3 for two reasons, first, it makes a really tasty cup of cold brew, second, because it looks really cool while doing it.
I’m a sucker for fun design, and with a shape reminiscent of a chemistry lab, the Ovalware RJ3 can add a fun design element to your daily coffee routine. Besides its great looks, the RJ3 1.0L Coldbrew Maker does make a great cold brew. Though the batch size is smaller than I’d love, the ability to make and pour from the same container is convenient, especially for the space-conscious consumer.
- Fun “scientific” design.
- Airtight lid for cleaner brewing
- Brew and serve from the same container
- Glass container won’t stain or absorb flavors.
- Smaller batch size.
Using the Ovalware RJ3:
Like with the Takeya model and the County Line Mason Jar Coffee Maker, the Ovalware RJ3 is a self-contained cold brew coffee maker. This means you make coffee in the same vessel you serve it from using an immersion strainer/infuser. After your done infusing the coffee, you remove the strainer insert and serve coffee directly from the RJ3 carafe.
To brew cold brew in the Ovalware R3 fill the glass carafe with cool water, making sure not to overfill it and allowing room for the coffee grounds and strainer insert.
Next place the stainless steel straining insert into the glass carafe and fill it with ground coffee. Secure the air-tight lid in place and set the Ovalware RJ3 cold brew maker in a shady spot on your counter or in the refrigerator for 8-12 hours.
Once the cold brew is finished brewing you can remove the stainless steel insert and discard the coffee grounds. You can serve your cold brew directly from the carafe, or transfer it to another container so you can brew another batch immediately.
Despite its smaller size, the Ovalware RJ3 definitely makes an acceptable cup of cold brew. With a fun, funky, scientific design, this is a great coffee maker for anyone who values a unique aesthetic and a sleek form factor.
This coffee maker is perfect for 1-2 people, which is great if your just brewing for yourself or a friend as well. Sometimes having a lot of cold brew on hand can be great especially if you are entertaining guests, but if you’re looking for a cold brew maker that can make enough for your morning cup of joe, then the Ovalware RJ3 is a really good choice.
5. Yama Style Cold Brew Coffee Maker: Yama Glass Cold Brew Maker
Yama or ice brewed cold brew, is a Japanese method of preparing iced coffee made with a coffee tower device. Ice brewed cold brew is for the most part smoother and more rounded than immersion brewed coffee, with less acidity overall. It also has the added benefit of brewing faster, in 2-3 hours as opposed to the normal 12 it takes to brew the immersion-style cold brew.
This Yama Glass Cold Brew Maker is a lot of fun to use and produces an absolutely incredible iced coffee, as long as you have space and budget to accommodate it. The space needs for a Yama Cold Brew Maker are much greater than for any of the other options on this list and with all-glass construction, this is a tool you don’t want to move around a lot.
While all cold brew coffee takes some tinkering to get just right, the Yama Cold Brew Maker and slow drip cold brew definitely take a lot more work to “dial” in. Once you understand how best to operate the Yama it is easy to recreate results day after day, but it definitely has a steeper learning curve than many other cold brew methods.
- Great tasting cold brew coffee in less time.
- Beautiful design.
- Used by professional baristas worldwide.
- Large space requirement.
- Lots of parts to clean.
Using the Yama Cold Brew Coffee Maker:
Using the Yama is a little more complicated than the other options on this list. To begin, the Yama cold brew coffee maker looks like a science experiment and you’ll need to ensure it’s properly assembled.
First, fill the water chamber with ice and cold water, then fill the ground coffee vessel with the appropriate amount of coarsely ground coffee for your batch size.
Next, set the collection carafe under the spiral condenser and set the water vessel to the appropriate drip speed. As the water drips over the coffee grinds and filters through the base and then the condensing spiral, the Yama slow drip cold brew maker creates incredible, flavorful, low acid cold brew in a fraction of the time it takes to make a normal batch.
You should be able to finish brewing your cold brew in 3-4 hours depending on the drip rate and the batch size you are attempting to brew. The drip rate is where the Yama cold brew coffee maker begins to get complicated. I highly recommend searching for information on ideal drip rates, there are a lot of video tutorials available that will run you through the benefits of using different drip rates and the effect it will have on the flavor of your finished product.
If you’re looking for the best tasting cold brew, and budget is not an issue then the Yama Cold Brew Coffee Maker is absolutely the choice for you.
While the Yama is more complicated than all the other cold brew makers on this list, it absolutely produces pound for pound the best coffee possible. It definitely takes up its share of counter space compared to other models on this list, but it is a stunning kitchen accessory that will draw lots of questions from guests and visitors.
At the end of the day, the Yama Cold Brew Coffee Makers are definitely not for everyone and there are far easier ways to make cold brew at home, but for the coffee aficionados out there, this is a really great option.
6. Best Cold Brew Steeping Bag: DoppleGanger Goods Reusable Cold Brew Bag
When I started making cold brew I used a setup similar to the DoppleGanger Goods Reusable Brew Bag. I would pour ground coffee into a straining bag I had purchased from a homebrew store and then submerge the bag into a pitcher of cold water and allow it to steep overnight.
The is Reusable Cold Brew Bag is a lot like that straining bag I got from the homebrew store, it’s just a lot nicer. Made from washable organic cotton, with a tight enclosure and drawstring, the DoppleGanger Goods Reusable Cold Brew Bag is a great option for anyone who wants to make cold brew coffee but also doesn’t want to add a bulky new appliance to their kitchen.
One really nice feature about this cold brew bag/filter is it can be used in conjunction with the Toddy Cold Brew System. This reusable cold brew bag can replace the paper filter and felt/wool filter in the toddy system altogether!
- low cost
- can be used by itself or with the toddy system
- carafe/jar not included
- If not tied properly grounds can get out into the coffee
Using the DoppleGanger Good Reusable Cold Brew Coffee Bag:
Using this reusable cold brew coffee maker bag is really incredibly simple. Simply fill a pitcher or a jar with cool water, and fill the filter bag with ground coffee.
Tie the coffee bag shut with the nylon drawstring and then immerse the bag in the pitcher. The coffee will float at first but you can punch it down with a spoon or utensil to help get it fully immersed.
Once the cold brew coffee bag is fully immersed in the water, you can cover the jar or pitcher and place it in a shady spot on our counter or in the refrigerator. After ~12 hours have elapsed carefully pull the coffee bag out of the pitcher. Give it a squeeze to remove as much delicious cold brew from the grounds as possible before emptying it into the trash can.
To clean the DoppleGanger Goods Reusable Cold Brew Coffee Bag turn the bag inside out and rinse with warm water over your sink. Once you have thoroughly rinsed the bag and no coffee grounds remain, wring the excess water out of the bag and allow it to air dry.
If you are looking for the least complicated cold brew coffee setup, you can’t get much more low-fi than a cloth bag filled with coffee. Even though the DoppleGanger Goods Reusable Cold Brew Coffee Bag isn’t a very complicated approach to cold brew coffee, it does make an absolutely delicious batch of coffee.
Cleanup can be a little messy, and if you don’t tie the bag tightly enough you may end up with grounds in your coffee, but overall the DoppleGanger Goods Cold Brew Coffee Bag is a great option for making cold brew at home, especially if you’re not interested in a bulky cold brew maker. If you want to turn a pitcher you have at home into your cold brew carafe, this Cold Brew Bag will make it super easy to create world-class cold brew coffee at home!
7. Best French Press Coffee Maker: Veken Kitchen French Press Coffee Maker
Using a french press like the Veken Kitchen French Press Coffee Maker to make cold brew concentrate is one of the best life hacks I’ve ever found. I love drinking french press coffee, especially on colder winter mornings when I have time to enjoy a few cups while I read the paper or listen to a podcast.
Come the warmer months I normally put my french press away as I drink more iced coffee/cold brew, but recently I’ve been using my french press year-round. By filling your french press with ground coffee, and cold water, then allowing it to steep in the fridge or a shady spot on your counter, you can easily make a great cold brew concentrate at home.
While most french presses tend to have a smaller capacity, it’s easy to make a supercharged cold brew coffee concentrate by using equal parts coffee and water, then straining it and diluting it down either with water or your favorite milk option. You can make easy lattes this way with your cold brew by frothing milk and blending it with your coffee before pouring it over ice.
- You may already have a french press at home.
- Easily brews hot or cold coffee.
- The batch size is smaller.
- You need to store the coffee in a separate container.
Using the Veken Kitchen French Press Coffee Maker to Make Cold Brew:
Using the Veken Kitchen French Press Coffee Maker to make cold brew is not a lot different from using this french press to make hot coffee.
To begin, fill the Veken Kitchen French Press with coffee grounds and then fill it with the appropriate amount of water for your recipe. Once filled transport the coffee pot to your refrigerator. You can attach the lid/straining plunger to the french press but don’t strain the grounds just yet, make sure to allow. the coffee ~12 hours to brew before straining to ensure proper extraction.
After the coffee has brewed, simply depress the plunger carefully and pour off the cold brew coffee. If you want you can rinse the french press and start a new batch right away!
Once you pour off the cold brew coffee concentrate make sure to dilute it with water, or your choice of dairy or nondairy milk, I like to froth skim milk with a milk frother and make iced cold brew lattes. However, you choose to dilute your coffee concentrate and mix the coffee in a 50/50 ratio. Concentrated cold brew can be really strong and give you the jitters if you aren’t used to it.
If you don’t already have a french press at home you should absolutely consider getting one, and the Veken Kitchen French Press Coffee Maker is a great example of the category.
With a high-quality metal frame, dishwasher-safe glass carafe, extra filter screens, and a well-made plunger, the Veken Kitchen French Press makes a really good cup of coffee, both hot and cold-brewed. Available in 3 sizes, 12, 21, and 34 oz, you can make almost a quart of cold brew coffee concentrate at one time with the larger model.
Final Thoughts on Cold Brew Coffee Makers.
Crafting delicious cold brew coffee at home is one of the easiest ways to save money while still enjoying high-quality, barista-style coffee drinks every morning. Compared to other types of coffee brewing, cold brew coffee takes the least amount of work and consistently gets incredible results even with less expensive equipment.
For the best results, you’ll want to use coffee that is best suited for making cold brews. While you can absolutely use pre-ground coffee and still get great results, using a coffee grinder and grinding your own coffee beans at home is going to really step up the flavor level of your coffee.
As you experiment and refine your cold brew approach at home you’ll notice that steeping the coffee for different amounts of time will result in varying flavor levels. A shorter steep will result in lighter-bodied, less flavorful coffee, while longer extraction builds a deep coffee flavor but also allows some of the more bitter elements of the coffee to shine through.
Beyond cold brew coffee, there is a world of infusions and extracted teas you can make in the same way using your cold brew coffee maker. Sun tea is one of my favorite summer treats, and it’s a lot of fun to make if you have young ones at home who will love watching the tea infuse in a sunny window!
No matter what your budget or experience level is, all the options on this list will help you make incredible cold brew coffee batch after batch. Whether you are looking for a pro-level yama style coffee brewer, a new cold brew carafe for beginners, or want to repurpose a french press if you love cold brew coffee, any one of these options will help get you your morning coffee fix!