While there’s a lot to be said for a steaming hot cup of delicious coffee, the best makers can make a very welcome addition to the kitchen for those who prefer things a little cooler.
Indeed, a good or quality pour over kettle may make a nice up to warm you up on a winter’s morning, but if it’s warm out, if you live in a hot climate, or if you simply prefer the taste of , then simply isn’t going to cut it.
Still, let’s be honest:
There’s a seemingly infinite number of makers out there, and finding the right one can be a bit of a daunting task, especially if you’re not entirely sure what you’re looking for. That’s why I put this complete guide together, explaining everything you need to know to find the perfect product for you, as well as offering my pick of the five very best makers money can buy right now.
What is a ?
A is a simple yet effective piece of equipment for making the easy way. Rather than using as you would with a traditional or Moka pot, makers involve combining and coarse , then allowing them to seep -very slowly- through a filter for somewhere between 12 and 24 hours.
This not only results in a richer, more flavorsome but also means you can easily start your in the evening and have it fresh and ready to pour by the time you wake up the following morning.
Who Needs a ?
Technically speaking, you don’t really need any special equipment to make . As long as you’ve got the two ingredients ( and coffee), a vessel to contain your , and some way to filter it (a sieve or mesh strainer works fine), you’re good to go.
That said, up this way is often trickier, more time-consuming, and more hassle, not to mention messier.
Since makers are designed specifically for this purpose, they take all that hassle and mess out of the equation, simplifying the whole process and ensuring the only time-consuming part is waiting for your coffee to .
As such, if you love your may well be the right investment for you., but you hate the process involved, a
Makers Buyer’s Guide
The reviews you’ll find below feature a broad cross-section of different coffee makers, from relatively basic, low-cost models to premium-priced, high-tech devices. While that does give you many options to choose from, I understand that it can make picking just one product to purchase a little tricky.
That’s why I’ve put together the following buyer’s guide, detailing the main factors you’ll want to consider when making a buying decision of your own.
Though it goes without saying, the more you want to drink in the morning, the more capacity you’re going to have to look for in your . Most will come with at least 34oz/1 liter capacity, though there are some larger models out there if you truly need them.
Size and Footprint
Just because a boasts a large capacity doesn’t mean it has to take up a huge amount of space on your kitchen counter. In fact, if counter space is limited anyway, this is going to be the last thing you’ll need.
The same goes for your refrigerator too. If you’re planning to store coffee in the fridge after it’s brewed, it’s important to check that it’s not too tall to fit on the shelves.
Paper vs Stainless Steel Filters
Different makers use different types of filters. Some will require paper filters that are better for keeping coffee sediment out of your cup but are generally messier to deal with and impact the taste as some of the coffee oil gets absorbed by the paper.
Meanwhile, the best stainless steel coffee filters result in a richer-tasting and are easier to clean and better for the environment but may lead to some sediment spilling through if you don’t pick one with super-fine mesh.
Ease of Use
I really can’t stress how important this factor is. If all you want is a great tasting , then look for a model that takes a “set-it-and-forget-it” approach where you’ll spend a few minutes getting things ready and then basically be able to ignore your coffee until it’s brewed.
If you’re super passionate about coffee and really want to get to grips with the intricacies of the perfect cup, then those models that are a little more technical may hold plenty of appeal.
It’s important to let you know that, as the writer of this guide, I’m the only person involved in picking the top five featured. Neither myself nor Whisk and Mix was paid by any brand to feature their products here, nor are we in the business of selling makers of our own.
This allows me to make my choices fairly and impartially, based only on what I truly believe to be the very best products around, and using the following criteria to help me choose.
As I already mentioned above, the biggest benefit of is that they simplify the .
With that in mind, I gave serious consideration to exactly how simple each one was to use and gave the most points to those that achieved the product’s primary purpose better than others.
With few exceptions, most makers aren’t exactly incredibly expensive, to begin with. Still, it felt important to look at options with multiple price points so that you get a better idea of which product is best suited to your particular budget.
Whether you’re buying coffee makers, coffee pod organizers, or just about any other kitchen product, it always pays to consider the opinions of those who already own and use those products.
As such, while I’ve relied a lot on my own knowledge for these reviews, I also looked at feedback from genuine customer reviews, paying attention to what they liked and -perhaps more importantly- what they didn’t like to help me reach my decision.
Top 5 Best Makers
It took a lot of deliberation to determine the single all-round best cold- because it really does tick all of the right boxes the average fan could ask for. , but time and time again, I found myself drawn back to the County Line Kitchen –
First of all, it’s relatively affordable, clocking in at just a few dollars higher than my best budget pick (more of which later), which makes it great value for money, especially when you consider the size.
The low cost provides you with a sizable 64 oz (1.81 liters) style glass that’s more than sufficient to hold plenty of the good stuff.
The jar itself is capped off with a heavy-duty, leak-proof lid that flips up to ensure effortless pouring with zero spillage.
Finally, I’m a big fan of the stainless steel filter, which not only avoids the cost and environmental damage of paying for paper filters but also comes with a tightly woven mesh design to prevent rogue from leaking into your cup.
Combine all these factors, and you’re really not going to get a better for the money.
- Doubles up for tea and infusions
- is made from thick, soda-lime glass to ensure optimum durability
- Very simple, two-step process with little clean-up.
- The filter may be too small to create extra-strong coffee
- Several users complain that the jar would be easier to use if it had a handle.
My last pick may not have been costly as far as coffee makers go, but if you’re really looking to spend as little money as possible, then the Takeya Patented Deluxe may prove to be a better alternative.
My pick of the best budget , the Takeya model, may be low on cost, but it’s certainly not low on quality.
Functioning similar to a standard , the main pitcher is made from leak-proof, stain-proof, and cloud-proof BPA-free Tritan to ensure a substantial-quality that can hold its own against both cold and boil , while the fine-mesh filter keeps those nasty bits of sediment from leaking into your coffee.
Finally, I like that this is taller than it is wider means it takes up far less space on your kitchen counter, making it perfect for smaller rooms.
- Features no-slip grip handle for easy pouring
- Includes leak-proof lid
- Available in 1 or 2-quart options.
- A taller design may mean that it doesn’t fit in the fridge
- It lacks a fill-line which would have taken the guesswork out of making coffee.
Right at the opposite end of the pricing scale, the KitchenAid KCM5912SX is by far the most expensive option on this list, but if you ask me, it’s worth every penny.
It’s not just the remarkably cool stainless steel design that’s appealing (though it will make an attractive addition to any modern kitchen space), nor is it the impeccably high construction quality that ensures it’s going to serve you for years to come.
No, the best thing about this is that it’s an absolute breeze to use.
Add in 2 ounces of coffee for every 6 ounces of liquid, set to steep, and leave it to .
When it’s ready, you simply need to place your glass under the handy tap and dispense, an approach that practically guarantees zero spills or mess.
- Features carry handle for easy portability
- Designed to keep coffee fresh for up to 2 weeks
- Stainless steel steeper comes with fill-line indicators to eliminate guesswork.
- Large size will take up a lot of room in your kitchen
- Limited capacity of 38 oz.
Available in either a 34 oz (1 ltr) or 51 oz (1.5 ltr) model, the Aquach is a smart, simple, and sophisticated piece of equipment that is so straight-forward to use that you’ll be able to make great-tasting even if you’ve never done it before.
One of the best beginner-friendly coffee makers around right now, this one combines a strong, damage-proof, borosilicate glass pitcher with a durable, stainless steel filter made with double-layer fine mesh and airtight lid, all of which takes no time and no hassle to set up.
In other words, if it’s your first time making your own , you’ll be good to go in minutes, though if you do struggle, the straightforward instructions will help to make your life that much easier.
- Built with an airtight silicone ring to block circulation and keep coffee fresh
- It can be used to make iced tea
- Dishwasher safe.
- Some users were unhappy that it didn’t make a strong enough
- A wide base takes up a good amount of counter space.
Last but not least, the Airtight is very similar in size, design, and set-up to the Aquach model we just looked at, though if you ask me, the larger-than-average size may make it an awkward fit in your refrigerator or on a smaller countertop.
That little niggle aside, the quality of this one is very impressive indeed. The extra-thick borosilicate glass keeps this one free from scratches and other damages and ensures that it won’t crack if you put it in the fridge or freezer, or even if you pour boiling water in it to make tea.
Elsewhere, the laser-cut, medical-grade stainless steel filter features a super-fine mesh to keep debris from dropping into your cup, while the airtight seal keeps your favorite tasting fresher for longer.
- Dishwasher safe
- It comes with a non-slip rubber cushion base for stability and support
- Comes with a 30-day, 100% money-back guarantee.
- More expensive than similar models
- It takes longer than average to fill up.
Which is the Best Cold Brew Coffee Maker Option for You?
So, you’ve seen what I consider to be the five very best cold brew coffee makers around, but which one is the right one to spend your hard-earned money on? If you’ve read those reviews carefully, you might have noticed that it all depends on exactly what you’re looking for.