cold brew coffee maker taste test
Credit: Erica Snyder

The Best Cold Brew Coffee Makers, According to Our Tests

We put 10 machines through their paces, asking baristas to blind taste-test each batch.
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

If you're in the habit of picking up a cold brew on your way to work, you know how expensive that little morning routine can be. With prices inching upwards (I recently paid $7 for a cold brew in Miami), there has never been a better time to purchase a cold brew coffee maker for your home.

Making the perfect cold brew is more complicated than you might think. You have to get the right kind of coffee grounds (coarse), steep them overnight, and filter them appropriately in the morning. And who better to comment on the art form of cold brew making than professional coffee artisans?

We put ten popular cold brew coffee makers to the test, then asked three Brooklyn baristas to do a blind taste test of the cold brew we made in our studio to get their feedback on color, taste, concentration, and overall experience. They found that the best option for classic cold brew was the easy-to-use Oxo Cold Brew Coffee Maker, as well as the versatile Toddy Cold Brew System that can create both concentrate and full-size carafes. Read on for all the details on the best cold brew coffee makers, according to our experts.

Our Top Picks

Best Cold Brew Coffee Makers Buying Guide
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best Overall: Oxo Cold Brew Coffee Maker

View at Amazon ($50)

Also available at Oxo.

Pros: The rainmaker pouring feature ensures a smooth, consistent brew, and the small paper filter guarantees that no grounds will seep through. The carafe top also doubles as a measuring cup.
Cons: The release switch was a little challenging to use (we had to steady the brewer with one hand while strongly pushing down on the release lever with the other).

While all three of these cold brew coffee makers produce a great brew, this one was a favorite due to its ease of use, potent concentrate, and smooth body. The top of the brewing system has perforated holes, so when you pour the water over the grounds, it falls on them like rain. According to our barista testers, this effect doesn't just feel meditative; it also ensures a balanced saturation of the coffee grounds.

The process of brewing with this maker starts with placing a small circular paper filter (the machine comes with a pack of 10) at the bottom of the brewing container. Then, after using the stopper to measure out your coffee grounds, place the perforated rainmaker lid on the carafe and slowly pour the water in a circular motion. Let it sit for 12 to 24 hours, and when you're ready, press down on the release switch, and the brew filters into the carafe.

  • Capacity: 32 ounces
  • Dimensions: 9.5 x 9.5 x 14.7 inches
  • Accessories included: glass carafe with measurement markings and stopper
  • Price at time of publish: $50
cold brew coffee maker taste test
Credit: Erica Snyder
Best Cold Brew Coffee Makers Buying Guide
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Most Versatile: Toddy Cold Brew System

View at Amazon ($40)

Pros: It makes a strong, smooth concentrate in large quantities, and the brewing process is separate from the serving carafe.
Cons: It takes up a good amount of countertop space and requires the purchase of paper filters.

The Toddy was the bulkiest of the cold brew coffee makers we tested, but the result is worth the countertop space it takes up. There are a few different parts to this brewing system (a carafe, stopper, brewing container, and filters), but it's still easy to use. Place a large paper filter in the brewing container, add the coffee and water, place the lid on the container, and let it sit for 12 to 24 hours, depending on your preference. Once the desired time has passed, remove the paper filter and stopper, then let the coffee drip into the carafe.

The paper filter and the small reusable felt filter between the brewing container and the carafe ensured that no grounds escaped into the carafe during testing. Also, the large area that the coffee grounds steeped in overnight made for a consistently strong and smooth cold brew concentrate. 

Our baristas loved that the Toddy system approach allows flexibility with your coffee making. You could make a large amount of cold brew concentrate for an event,  a more potent batch for cocktail ingredients, or a weaker brew for cold brew ice cubes. 

  • Capacity: 33 ounces
  • Dimensions: 7.25 x 7.25 x 12.5 inches
  • Accessories included: two reusable felt filters, rubber stopper, recipe guide
  • Price at time of publish: $40
KitchenAid KCM4212SX Cold Brew Coffee Maker-Brushed Stainless Steel
Credit: Amazon

Best Tap Format: KitchenAid Cold Brew Coffee Maker

View at Amazon ($100)

Also available at Bed Bath & Beyond and KitchenAid.

Pros: It produces a strong cold brew concentrate, and the tap makes for easy pouring.
Cons: It's heavy (six and a half pounds when empty) and doesn't come with a stand, so it needs to be kept on a top shelf in the refrigerator.

This cold brew coffee maker had the most detailed instructions, but it was straightforward to use. To prepare, add coffee grounds to the circular filter and slowly pour water over the grounds, then let them sit for 12 to 24 hours. After the desired time has passed, remove the filter and grounds before pouring from the tap. 

The KitchenAid was the only cold brew coffee maker recommended by our baristas that didn't include a paper filter of some kind, and that was apparent since some grounds slipped into the poured coffee samples. However, our baristas loved the intense flavor and suggested adding a paper filter for a smoother experience.

  • Capacity: 28 ounces
  • Dimensions: 10 x 9.1 x 10.3 inches
  • Accessories included: Reusable stainless steel steeper
  • Price at time of publish: $100

Conclusion

Ultimately the cold brew coffee maker that yielded the highest quality results while being easiest to operate was the Oxo Cold Brew Coffee Maker. Other great options include both the Toddy Cold Brew System, which can function as a cold brew concentrate maker as well as a standard cold brew device, and the large format KitchenAid Cold Brew Coffee Maker, which keeps cold brew on tap in the fridge.

The Tests

cold brew coffee maker taste test
Credit: Erica Snyder

We identified ten popular cold brew coffee makers to create our product set. Using coarse coffee grounds, we carefully followed the instructions and coffee-to-water ratios for each model and let them sit for their recommended brew time (between 12 and 24 hours). 

Then, we performed a blind taste test with three Brooklyn baristas who are intimately familiar with the cold brew-making process. (Editor's Note: These are their personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of their employers.) For each sample, they identified the clarity of the flavors that came through, as well as the brew strength, smoothness, and consistency of the body, and whether or not they would serve this to a friend. 

Factors to Consider

cold brew coffee maker taste test
Credit: Erica Snyder

If you're looking to make cold brew at home, there are a few things to keep in mind when selecting the right cold brew coffee maker for you. Since the process is more time-consuming than a simple iced coffee preparation, you want to make sure the pay-off is worth it.

Taste

Perhaps the most crucial factor when picking a cold brew coffee maker: you should love the taste of the coffee it produces.

"If your first instinct when you taste it is to pull back, it's probably too sour, but if you're enjoying discovering the flavor of it, then it has a good body," says Victoria Ratermanis, a barista at Edy's Grocer in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

An intense flavor doesn't necessarily mean that your finished cold brew contains a higher amount of caffeine, adds Ratermanis. So whichever cold brew coffee maker you choose, follow the instructions for your coffee grounds to water ratio and brewing time, but then adjust it until you get the flavor you prefer.

Strong Concentration

A robust cold brew concentrate is not only ideal for taste but also ensures that you're getting the most out of your coffee beans and gives you the flexibility to do something different with your coffee. If you like to dilute with water or milk, go for it, but you could also get creative.

Our baristas suggested making cocktails or ice cubes with cold brew, baking with cold brew, and discovering how to use the flavor in other places around your kitchen.

"You want your cold brew concentrated so you can play around with it," says Jovanni Luna, barista at Gertie in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. "If you're making a cocktail [with cold brew], you don't want an already diluted coffee, because then your cocktail will be diluted."

Smooth Body

Amanda Miserocchi, barista at Blue Bottle Coffee in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, says that, besides an intense concentration, a smooth taste is vital.

"When looking for the perfect cold brew, I look for something more concentrated, and smoothness is a huge factor. That's the whole point of drinking cold brew—for it to lack the sourness or the bitterness of hot coffee."

When making an at-home cold brew, the grounds must have enough space to steep in water overnight properly, which will create a smooth and consistent taste. That means most small and narrow at-home cold brew makers don't deliver as smooth a taste as larger ones from brands like Toddy or the Oxo. A larger vessel allows the coffee grounds more area to steep overnight, so the body of the coffee is stronger and more consistent between cups.

Proper Filtration

Like regular coffee makers, no coffee grounds should get through the filter into the finished brew. Our testing found that both metal and stainless steel filters allowed some grounds to escape, while mesh filters resulted in weak coffee. The cold brew makers we tested that used paper filters produced sediment-free coffee.

Coffee Yield

Some cold brew makers promise to keep your brew fresh for up to two weeks, so you can make a large batch without worrying about waste. While you don't want your cold brew sitting in the refrigerator for too long, you also don't want to repeat the brewing process every night. Finding a cold brew coffee maker that allows you to make enough for your weekly morning coffee or yields enough volume to serve at a brunch with friends is ideal.

What Didn't Make the List

cold brew coffee maker taste test
Credit: Erica Snyder

These cold brew coffee makers didn't make our top three, but depending on what you're looking for in a cold brew maker, they could still be a good choice. 

Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Takeya Cold Brew Coffee Maker

View at Amazon ($18, originally $25)

While this cold brew coffee maker was the easiest to use, the coffee was the least robust. It was also the only cold brew maker with instructions that didn't direct us to pour water directly over the grounds, and this lack of interaction resulted in more of a diluted iced coffee flavor. Still, if you like a lighter brew, this could be an easy-to-use option.

Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Primula Burke Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker

View at Amazon ($15)

Like the Takeya, the Primula looks like a large French press, and it was effortless to use. To our disappointment, it produced some of the weakest batches of cold brew during our tests. But, again, if you prefer a lighter iced coffee flavor, this is an easy and affordable option.

Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Ovalware Airtight Cold Brew Maker

View at Amazon ($33)

While the baristas agreed that this coffee (and tea) maker looked great, the consistency of the coffee wasn't up to par, as some coffee grounds made their way through the metal filter and into the finished cold brew.

Credit: Courtesy of Crate and Barrel

Asobu Portable Cold Brew Coffee Maker

View at Crate & Barrel ($40)

A sleek option, this device is portable and comes in a variety of colors, including midnight marble and mint green. Unfortunately, it did not make a satisfying cold brew. Also, the insulated tumbler worked so well that the coffee stayed at its brewing room temperature, even after sitting in the refrigerator for hours.

Credit: Courtesy of Williams Sonoma

De'Longhi 3-in-1 Specialty Brewer

View at Williams Sonoma ($160)

We wanted to try an instant cold brew option, but our baristas pointed out that cold brewing is a process that can't be rushed. Not surprisingly, this instant option produced a watered-down iced coffee far from the cold brew concentrate we were looking for.

Pro Panel Q+A

cold brew coffee maker taste test
Credit: Erica Snyder

How do you use a cold brew coffee maker?

It's essential to follow the instructions for your specific coffee maker, but in general, making a flavorful cold brew starts with choosing the right beans and grinding them coarsely. Pour in the suggested amount of grounds, then slowly add the water to saturate them evenly. Let it sit for the allotted time (see below for more on that), then remove the filter with the grounds before serving. Depending on your preference, dilute the cold brew concentrate to your taste.

How long does it take to make cold brew coffee?

"There's no such thing as instant cold brew," says Ratermanis. "The beauty of the flavor and concentrate of cold brew is a timed thing, and that's what makes it different, both in its process and flavor."

Each cold brew maker we tested suggested for the grounds to steep anywhere from 12 to 24 hours. You'll get a sense of your preferred brewing time once you make a few batches.

What's the difference between iced coffee and cold brew?

Iced coffee is regular brewed coffee served over ice. Making cold brew is a more complicated process that involves steeping grounds in water overnight. This slow process allows for the creation of a concentrate and is considered to be less acidic than regular coffee.

How do you clean your cold brew coffee maker?

Follow the instructions for your coffee maker, but for most, remove the coffee grounds and compost them or repurpose them into an exfoliating face scrub or deep cleaning solution. Then either hand-wash the components or place them in your dishwasher.

Our Expertise

Erin Johnson is a Commerce Editor who previously worked as a Senior Product Reviews writer covering household products. She's an experienced product reviews writer and contributed on a regular basis for the Home Projects and DIY section of Apartment Therapy and Kitchn. Our expert panel included three professional baristas from local Brooklyn coffee shops including Amanda Miserocchi from Blue Bottle Coffee, Jovanni Luna from Gertie, and Victoria Ratermanis from Edy's Grocer.