Nov 08, 2023

Best cold brew coffee maker 2023: tested by experts

Discover the best cold brew coffee makers on the market. I tested each one, so you could enjoy barista-approved, smooth, sweet coffee at home.

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The best cold brew coffee makers will deliver a smooth, sweet cup of coffee and they shouldn't cost you more than about $50. Considering the average cold brew costs $5 in a café, you could start saving almost instantly.

Cold brew is popular with people who don't even like normal coffee. It's a versatile drink which you can serve hot or cold, plain or with milk, or with tonic water and a slice of grapefruit. The flavor opportunities are pretty much endless.

There are lots of ways to make cold brew at home. As a barista, I've tried lots of different methods. While the usual method is just using a French press, I thought it was only fair to try specialist cold brew coffee makers to find out whether I could get better results.

From KitchenAid to OXO and Bodum, I made cold brew in a number of different ways. Some methods took only minutes, whereas others took 24 hours. Some used one filter, some used three. Every cold brew coffee maker in this guide is good enough to earn my barista's seal of approval. Now, it's up to you and your coffee needs to pick the best one.

Our expert review:

The reason this is number one is obvious. It made the best cold brew I've ever had, including brews from other professional baristas.

Some of the simplest cold brew coffee makers are pitchers or brewing containers. They're convenient, easy to use, and relatively inexpensive. OXO's sleek model, the Good Grips, is both smart and straightforward. It infuses your coffee grounds in water for 12-24 hours and then filters your cold brew into an elegant glass carafe.

This pitcher is one of the more expensive models on the market, but it's packed with well-considered features. The premium glass carafe has measuring marks on the side, so that you can use it to fill your brewing container all the way up to the 14-serving maximum mark. Once you've filtered out your cold brew concentrate, the airtight glass carafe doubles-up as a jug, which you can keep in the refrigerator.

You can also choose to use single-use paper filters, the integrated re-usable metal filter, or both.

You can read more in my OXO Good Grips Cold Brew Coffee Maker review.

Our expert review:

With over sixty years' experience, it's no wonder the Toddy Cold Brew System is one of the best cold brew coffee makers on the market. The pitcher system is easy to use and each lid, filter, and container slots neatly into place. Even though some of the plastic parts feel cheap, the way each piece works together proves that this is an expertly refined process.

You can choose between three different filtration methods: paper, felt filters, or both. Each made a wonderfully smooth cold brew, but I would recommend using both for the best results. It requires an 18-24 hour brew time, which means you'll have to display this somewhat ugly container on your countertop for a while. However, it's worth the eyesore, because this cold brew almost rivalled the OXO's in taste.

At around $30, you will have covered the costs of your barista-made cold brew by the time you've made six servings. That's less than one batch brew in the Toddy. Money-wise, it's a no-brainer. It certainly doesn't feel or look as premium as the OXO Good Grips, but if you want good cold brew for cheap, that's exactly what the Toddy System offers.

You can read more in my Toddy Cold Brew Coffee Maker review.

Our expert review:

If you love cold brew, but you're the only one in your household who would drink it, you probably won't want a big pitcher or loud machine. That's why OXO designed the Brew Compact. it's not identical to their Good Grips, but it's pretty similar.

Perfect for small kitchens, this compact cold brew maker can still pack a caffeine punch. I made enough cold brew concentrate to last seven days. The Brew Compact still needs 12-24 hours before you can drink your coffee, but it's worth the wait. Smooth and sweet, it's a petite coffee drinker's dream come true.

Crafting small-batch cold brew with perfection and charm, this feels premium in every aspect. At $30, it's expensive for its size. However, when it comes to small kitchens, you sometimes need to invest a little more to save on space.

I'm testing this in my home right now. A full review will be coming shortly.

Our expert review:

If there is one thing which will put people off cold brew coffee it's the brew time. 24 hours is a long time to wait for a cup of coffee, even if it is mind-blowingly tasty. Shine's Rapid Cold Brew Coffee Maker ends all that, because the electric vacuum can make a cold brew in just 10 minutes.

Aside from being ultra speedy, this is compact and easy to use. The glass carafe is a little thinner than other models, but it's easy to store in the refrigerator, keeping your coffee cool until you need it again.

The cold brew flavors are on the acidic side for the average cold brew, but it's a worthy compromise for the speed. The re-usable filter means that you won't have any ongoing costs, so once you've bought this, you'll only need a good grinder and some coffee beans.

The biggest downside to this cold brew coffee maker is the noise. It's only for 10-20 minutes, but when the vacuum is extracting cold brew it makes a very loud noise, It's up to you if you can put up with the noise.

You can read more in my Shine Rapid Cold Brew Coffee Maker review.

Our expert review:

This single-serve coffee machine isn't a cold brew specialist, but if you buy Nespresso's cold brew coffee pods, it'll change your cold brew game. These are compatible with all Nespresso Vertuo coffee machines. In theory, you could buy the Nespresso Vertuo Next for less money and still make the same cold brew, but I like the Creatista for its sensitivity, versatility, and performance.

When I tested this, it made some really tasty cold brew coffee. It wasn't as aromatic as the pitchers, which could take freshly ground coffee, but it was still really good. The Creatista only took about five minutes to make my cold brew, so I didn't need to endure a 24 hour waiting time for a caffeine hit either.

When you're not making cold brew, you can easily froth milk in this machine and make some delicious hot coffees. It's beautiful and extremely capable. However, it is made from stainless steel, making it quite heavy and big too. If you're happy to indulge a little, this is worth the money.

You can read more in my Breville Nespresso Vertuo Creatista Coffee Maker review.

Historically, KitchenAid has impressed us with their coffee makers, even if their name doesn't spring to mind when you think of coffee. The results speak for themselves. This is an extremely popular model, which will make a smooth and cool cup of coffee and it looks good while doing it too.

With a useful handle on top, this stylish machine is one of the most portable options on the market. Lift the handle and you can place it on your refrigerator shelf. Using the tap, you can pour directly from the refrigerator into your cup. You could take it on a picnic, or place it almost anywhere in the house, since this machine is smaller than it looks.

The ultra-fine stainless steel filter makes a naturally sweet and bold brew. You won't need to buy any single-use paper, but I would recommend investing in a re-usable filter. It'll stop you from finding any sediment at the bottom of your brew, ensuring every cup is as smooth and sweet as the next.

However, the spout is the unsung hero of this cold brew coffee maker. Your coffee won't drip or overflow, and instead pour smoothly.

This coffee maker is currently on its way to our test kitchen. For now, I've researched other customer and professional reviews so that you know everything that you need to. Once I've done my own review, I will update you here.

This works exactly like a French press, so it's one of the simplest methods to follow. It comes with a plunger lid, for filtering the coffee, and a silicone lid that will preserve the tastes and aromas of your coffee whilst it is in the refrigerator.

You still have to wait for 12-24 hours for it to make your cold brew, but it's worth it. The filter works remarkably well, so you'll get a smooth cup of coffee without any ongoing costs or excessive waste. This straightforward process is easy to clean up after, too, as unlike some of these coffee makers, everything can go in the dishwasher.

This has a smart locking system, so if you knock the French press it won't spill. If you want some bright colors, this comes in a range which will make it pop.

I haven't tested this cold brew coffee maker yet, so have researched other customer and professional reviews, so that you know everything that you need to. Once I've done my own review, I will update you here.

If you find yourself deliberating between cold brews, Americanos, lattes, matchas, hot chocolates, and teas at the coffee shop, you've met your perfect partner. The multiple functions, brew sizes, and settings have the potential to overwhelm casual coffee drinkers, but if you're looking for versatility, this is perfect.

Attractive, modern, and compact, this machine is kitted out with features that make it even more space-saving. For example, the milk frother neatly tucks into the machine, so it has a simple rectangular silhouette, easy to slot into the corner of a countertop. The Ninja can make a cold brew in just ten minutes, but it's not perfect. The notes are more bitter and it lacks depth and flavor overall. You also can't adjust the strength and flavors of your cold brew like you might on the OXO or KitchenAid. If you're not fussy about flavors and you want a quick cold brew (with plenty of other coffee options), this is a brilliant option.

I haven't tested this cold brew coffee maker yet, so have researched other customer and professional reviews, so that you know everything that you need to. Once I've done my own review, I will update you here.

Testing old brew in the Nespresso Vertuo Creatista

As a former barista, I take my coffee testing pretty seriously. Unlike with the best coffee makers, I can't make espresso, Americanos, and cappuccinos with these, but I still do several tests.

I trial lots of different styles of roast beans and weights of grounds. I use multiple different filters to see how these affect the taste. I try the resulting coffee form each machine hot, cold, black, with dairy milk and with milk alternatives.

That's on top of all our usual tests for ease of use, seeing how straightforward it is to use each coffee maker and how easy it is to clean once I'm done.

Honestly, it depends. If you already own a French press, I would start using that to make cold brew first. You could even use a simple bottle to make cold brew, so you don't have to spend a lot of money to make basic cold brew.

However, if you want to start getting technical with your cold brews, you should invest in a cold brew coffee maker. You can control filtration and flavors with a lot more precision. The flavor differences are more acute the deeper and geekier you get with coffee, but to people like me, they make big differences.

It depends on how you use them. If you make a big batch and you want an easy cold brew, tap cold brew makers are brilliant. These are often attached to pitchers, so they tend to be relatively inexpensive too.

However, single-serve coffee makers are really great if you're happy to wait for a machine each time. In short, the type of cold brew coffee maker that you choose will depend on your needs.

When you use a pitcher or French press you make cold brew concentrate. This is extremely strong and you need to dilute it - trust me. I've tried it un-diluted and it was disgusting. Cold brew, once diluted, is no stronger or weaker than normal coffee.

In general, cold brew suits medium to dark roast coffee beans. These tend to be richer and more intense. These flavors come alive when they are extracted under cold brew conditions, especially when you grind your coffee beans as coarsely as possible.

There are lots of brilliant cold brew coffee makers on the market. You can go all-in and use an OXO or Toddy system. These will make super smooth, incredible cold brew. However, if you're new to this type of coffee, you probably won't taste much difference from a basic French press. I would always recommend starting with what you have at home. Whether that's a French press or a kilner jar, you'll establish how you like to drink your cold brew. This means that when you come to spend $50-150 on a cold brew coffee maker, you'll know that it's money well-spent.

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Laura is our eCommerce editor. Before Homes & Gardens she studied English at Oxford University. Alongside her studies, she qualified as a barista and trained as a master perfumer. This makes her our certified expert for all things coffee, candles, and fragrance. She has passed our five-step tests to become a certified Customer Advisor, making her our resident expert. Laura has worked for luxury retail brands, reinforcing the importance of quality and style over quantity and fads. She looks for products which have been designed with thoughtful finishes.

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