Best Cold Brew Coffee Makers Of 2017

This guide will help you decide which elements are most important so you can make a great purchase the next time you are considering cold brew coffee makers.

Patience is a tough attribute to come by in a time where everything is based in instant satisfaction. Information, social updates, even our thoughts are posted at the snap of a finger. Cold Brew coffee is a great way to build patience – and the payoff is worth it. Potent coffee concentrate that can be used however you’d like. Here’s some of our top picks on how to get it for yourselves!

How does it work?

​Cold brew works pretty much exactly as its name entails. You’ll be brewing your coffee in cold water as opposed to hot water. That means that you are going to be waiting quite a bit longer to have your coffee in hand, and I mean hours longer.

There are a few different methods that fall under the now-broad cold brew umbrella; but they end up with a similar result.

For one, there's the submerged filter cold brew. This method is probably the easiest, as you will fill the filter with your desired type of coffee ground, and drop it into your container of water.

This is the kind of brewing you’ll be doing if you have a pitcher-style brewer. You may find yourself stirring the grounds through the top to make sure that all the grounds are soaked through and doing their part.

Another is the method you’ll be practicing with one of the more scientific flask-looking brewers. Like the submerged brew, you’ll place your filter inside the container, but instead of the water being inside it already, you’ll be pouring the water directly into the filter. Best practice is to stir your grounds while pouring the water over them.​

This is usually the way to go if your container or brewer has the thin neck; because I'd hate to put my filter in and watch the water spill everywhere.

Lastly, at least for what's represented here, is the cold brew drip method. This is easily the slowest method of them all, but it's a very thorough​ brew you’ll be doing. The key is really, cold water. Throw some ice in there, too. You’ll fill a separate tank with water, and it will drop a single drop at a time into the grounds, which will then drop a single drop of brewed coffee into your container.

Either way you choose, you’ll be waiting hours, maybe days until your container is good to go. However, you can brew often large quantities at a time, which is a nice tradeoff.​

How strong is the coffee?

Here's the thing, cold brew coffee deserves to have quotation marks around the word “coffee”. That's because you're making a coffee concentrate, when you cold brew! Cold water maintains all the oils and flavors that the coffee beans carry from their roast, and the water traveling through the grounds for the extended period is essentially like steeping your tea for days.

When you're dispensing your coffee, you're welcome to drink a full cup of concentrate; but you’ll have a LOT of caffeine in your system after that.

Instead, pour your concentrate over ice and add cream or milk to have a nice iced coffee. Or, add one part concentrate to two parts boiling water and have yourself a cold brewed hot coffee!

Some also add a bit of their concentrate into protein shakes for an extra kick of flavor.

.....so yeah, it's strong; like you've heard.

Glass or Plastic?

If you drink your cold brew and avoid letting it sit for too long, it shouldn't matter. Glass is the usual choice for cold brew, because there's just less questions and variables about it. Plastic, however, is easier to transport, less worrisome in motion, and a bit lighter in most cases.

If you choose to go plastic, ensure that your product is made BPA free, and that if you choose to carry the container around, you don't leave it in the sun. Just like plastic water bottles, your coffee can get that weird plastic taste if you're not careful.

Of course, make sure to pay attention to how your containers need to be cleaned and maintained, and play by those rules! I'm personally a huge fan of glass, because it feels a lot more professional, the weight makes me feel confident in the product, and I feel like glass just works better for cold brew.

Why not just purchase cold brew from elsewhere?

In every honesty, unless you're a coffee aficionado and can taste the difference,your store bought cold brew could very well just be iced coffee. But that's beside the point. Brewing your own iced coffee allows you to enjoy it fresh, as soon as it's completed steeping. You also have the added benefit of a full container of cold brew concentrate, so you can enjoy the flexibility of creating whatever kind of coffee you like with it!

Plus, you can sweeten it to your liking – always use simple syrup if you're drinking cold. Sugar won't dissolve that well in an iced beverage.

I really enjoy having the choice to make whatever coffee fits my mood; and not having to use too much of it, if I don't want to. If I need a hot cup in the morning, I've got it. If I need something cool on a hot day, easy! And I don't have to pay that much for it. The investment in one of these cold brewers is well worth it

What are the best 7 cold brew coffee makers?

1. Ovalware Airtight Cold Brew

Ovalware has a cool look with their airtight cold brew flask. It's got a nice design – good, thick glass, dishwasher safe, and really easy to use. The flask is the brewer and the container, so you've only got two parts to think about: the filter, and the flask. That makes this one a pretty good choice for those of you who haven't brewed coffee before.

The flask itself provides a pretty good yield volume. You’ll find you can get a full 34 ounces out of this one. That's a whole liter! Naturally, it's quite a big flask. It will fit your fridge, but it's tall; and it takes up a lot of space, considering the base is the widest part, and the handle goes beyond that. That makes this a bit of a rough pick for those that may not have full size refrigerators.

The best part of this design is the airtight lid that you get with your investment. As part of the product title, it is great to see that this part functions as promised. You get a nice silicone and stainless steel lid that seals in your coffee for unobstructed brewing.

An important part of the brewing process is allowing very little air in; and this airtight lid does that and more. Seeing as you’ll be keeping your coffee in the fridge, you’ll want to keep any weird odors and flavors out of your coffee.

This is a great starting point for cold brewers! If you need a good looking, easy to use product – think about the Ovalware option!

PROS
  • Cool design; science flask
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Thick, sturdy
  • Easy to use
CONS
  • Will fit fridge; but it’s tall
  • Handle seems a bit thin for the volume; be careful when pouring!

See how it looks and works down here:

2. OXO Good Grips Coffee Maker

Good grips is a unique take on the cold brew system, as it’s almost like a middle ground between submerged brewing and drip. If you're familiar with tea brewing, this has a really similar feel to a rainmaker. You place your grounds inside and allow the water to steep in it; then turn it upside down when you're done. The pressure pushes up the bottom of the rainmaker to allow the filtered coffee to drop into the basin. This means you can brew tea, too!

That's what you're getting when purchasing the OXO Good Grips. The rainmaker, a stand to elevate it, and a flask as your basin. These three pieces work together well in every sense of the word, too. You’ll find that if you're dripping coffee into the flask, and you take the basin out, the rainmaker will stop the flow to avoid wasting coffee. Your flask holds more than the rainmaker, too; so overflow isn't a problem.

You'll need mesh filters for this one, and the rainmaker can sometimes be tough to clean. Make sure you're using the coarse grounds, and you get a consistent grind, too. The finely ground beans will get stuck in the rainmaker, and probably drop into your coffee, too.

Once you've got everything clean, a cool feature of the OXO is that it all stacks together. It takes up very little space in a cupboard, and the flask is easy to tuck into the fridge too. Just remember to pop on the silicone seal!

This is a nice choice for those that bounce between coffee and tea, and need something space-efficient!

PROS
  • Container and brewer are separate
  • Can brew hot or cold
  • Silicone seal
  • Stacks together for easy storage
CONS
  • Needs mesh filters
  • Brewer can be tough to clean

See how it looks and works down here:

3. Takeya Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker

Takeya’s take on cold brew has a bit more of a traditional look. You’ll be buying what looks like a pitcher for lemonade or iced tea...because it is.

This brewer is a filter and pitcher, where you use the submerged filter style to brew your beverage. The lid seals airtight, and has a handle where you can pour directly from the pitcher your coffee has brewed in.

It's a plastic build, and BPA free; but it's a strong representative of plastic containers as it is designed to be leakproof.

The filter connects to the lid, but it is easily removable so you won't have to worry about over-brewing, so long as you're paying attention to it! The lid is so airtight, that you can hold it by the handle and shake it around to bustle up the grounds. Of course, I wouldn't recommend getting too crazy with it, but the Takeya is built to survive.

The filter is pretty thin and long – it almost reaches the very bottom of the pitcher. Where this is great for an even brew, it makes for a little bit of difficulty in cleaning it.

Still, so long as you're using the right grounds, cleaning shouldn't be too tough, and the pitcher itself is easy to clean too. As it's plastic, I encourage you to wash these by hand as opposed to tossing them in the dishwasher.

They won't take up too much space either, because you're making just a quart’s worth of coffee concentrate. And since it's a pitcher, you can carry it on-the-go and take it where you'd like.

PROS
  • BPA free
  • Pitcher look and utility
  • Airtight/Leakproof
CONS
  • Plastic build
  • Filter will need thorough cleaning

See how it looks and works down here:

4. Willow & Everette Sealing Cold Brew Coffee Maker

The Willow & Everett is an aesthetically pleasing flask-style brewer. It's taller and thinner than the other flasks here, which makes me sometimes worry that it's more fragile than it is. Despite the fragile look, the glass is built to be shatterproof which is comforting because you’ll be pouring and dispensing your concentrate from the flask.

This coffee maker is meant to have the dry grounds placed inside, and then for water to be poured over them so they soak through before being submerged. Once you've got the water to an appropriate fill, you’ll affix the lid to seal off the top.

Sealing your cold brew is important because that airtight seal keeps in the flavor, and keeps out everything else. The Willow & Everett lid seals the opening well enough, but the spout remains uncovered.

I'm a particularly big fan of the look of this flask. The filter is entirely stainless steel, which looks amazing through the marked glass flask. It's delightfully minimalist, gives just enough concentrate to use in a short period of time so you can start your next batch quickly.

Coffee making is a science, and if you're like me and want to look the part - here's your option!

PROS
  • Shatterproof
  • Specific pouring style; all water travels through filter, instead of filter submerging
  • Handle, easy spout
CONS
  • Takes a bit more patience to start your brew
  • Tall and thin; feels more fragile than it is

See how it looks and works down here:

5. Coffee Panda Cold Brew Coffee Maker

The Coffee Panda looks and feels really great, with a personalized feel thanks to its size, and a sleek look. It's made of glass, but heavy-duty shatterproof glass – so you don't have to worry at all if you choose to take your coffee on the go. It's got an elusively large volume that it can produce, and it's safe for hot coffee brewing if you'd like.

It also comes with a silicone base attached, so you will never have to worry about slippage! Your coffee will stand proud, so long as you're not too clumsy.

Just because it can't slip doesn't mean you can be reckless, though. The lid doesn't go exactly airtight, so you may want to make sure it remains upright.

That also comes into play because the spout is rather large, and leaves your coffee exposed to air. You can brew your coffee out on the countertop if you'd like, but if you want it cooled and completely pure; then you may want to look to another option.

What sets the Coffee Panda apart is that it comes with a huge e-book that is full of recipes and suggestions to use your cold brew for. They've got all the portions laid out for you, the ingredients you may need, and plenty more.

It's a nice addition to make sure that your coffee isn't the only thing fresh, but your perspective is, too. It's a modern coffee-drinker’s dream!

PROS
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Large capacity
  • Safe for Hot coffee
  • Recipe E-book
  • Silicon Base, no slip
CONS
  • Lid doesn’t go airtight
  • Spout leaves large gap; exposes coffee to air

6. Yama Glass Maker Straight Black

The Yama is our representative of a single drip brewer, and man, is it cool. You're looking at a tall stack of black wood, with three different levels, each with a glass component for filter and brew your coffee.

Its unique look is nothing short of artistic, and it's built with the highest quality of glass, wood, and ceramic. You may be wondering where the ceramic comes in - it's the filter! Your coffee is brewed through a longer process, but it is worth the wait.

This coffee maker was made with tea brewing in mind as well, so you get that attention to detail, as the water slowly travels through your grounds. It's also fun to see it work, too.

Yeah, it's slow; so, you've got to have the patience necessary to wait it out. It is nice, however, knowing that your coffee is brewing while you're doing other things; it almost feels like you've earned your cup of cold brew.

Of course, the elegance comes with some level of shortcomings. You're looking at a big investment here, one that has a lot of fragile, removable parts.

You've got to be careful when handling your Yama.

Some of the pieces will be tough to clean, as well. Even though the possibly challenging pieces are mainly for water travel, you still want to keep it all clean.

If you're willing to invest in an art piece that has function, then give this one some serious thought! It's a great piece to look at, if you've got the patience to let it brew.

PROS
  • Contemporary design; unique look
  • Ultra-potent build, single drip style brew
  • Made with tea brewing in mind as well
  • Ceramic filter; permanent!
CONS
  • Takes a bit more patience to start your brew
  • Difficult to clean some pieces
  • Single drip brew – will take time. (But cool to watch!)

See how it looks and works down here:

7. KitchenAid KCM4212SX

The KitchenAid is a unique choice from this list, because it's built almost exactly like the cubic water purifiers. So, you can expect to fit this inside your fridge while your coffee is brewing, and you don't even have to move it when it's done.

It has a tap on the front so you can just pull a lever and dispense your coffee concentrate. It's also got a handle on top so you can carry it around if you need to.

The funny thing about this one is it is deceptively tiny. You've got a pretty good size brewer; it weighs in at almost 7 pounds. Yet, you’ll find yourself left wanting when you find it makes only 24 ounces of coffee concentrate. That is the biggest trade off for the convenience you get to enjoy with the KitchenAid cold brew machine.

My biggest issue, however is that the tap, although convenient, can get a little inconvenient as well. Naturally, the tap is on the side of the container, so when the Coffee level drops below that, you’ll have to tip your KitchenAid to get the rest out. Plus; the tap is always going to be annoying to clean and reattach without any worry of leaking coffee.

PROS
  • Equipped with a tap for easy dispensing
  • Made to fit in a fridge (cubic shape)
  • Mobile, thanks to carrying handle
CONS
  • Yields surprisingly little; large filter cabin
  • With tap, there will be leftover coffee at the bottom to be poured out

See how it looks and works down here:

Conclusion

Looking at the bigger picture, cold brew is easy to make and handle. Yeah, there are a few different ways to go about it, but it all comes down to your personal preferences. For me, it's style, utility, and structure. Considering that, my top pick is conclusively the….

Willow & Everette

This one looks cool, feels good, and does its job well. It's simple enough for anybody to pick it up and start brewing, but it's got that extra step of pouring over and mixing the grounds that makes you feel professional. It's glass, so it's my personal taste, not to mention it's tiny enough to save some space in my fridge.

Cold brew is fun, and it tastes great too. Either way you swing, be patient, brew well, and try new things! I'm gonna sit back with this iced coffee and vanilla cream.