I used to think that my usual black drip coffee with a squeeze of honey was a super-easy drink that I could make with my eyes closed. But after speaking with five coffee experts including enthusiasts, baristas, and brand founders, I'm convinced that cold brew is the quickest, easiest way to get that jolt of caffeine.
I know many people like to head out to their favorite coffee shop and pick up their usual order, but for me, my first cup of the day always has to be at home simply for the fact that I want my caffeine and I want it fast. While my black drip coffee doesn't take long to make in the morning, cold brew is made overnight, so there's nothing to do when you're bleary-eyed and tired. Instead, coarse grounds are steeped in cold water for at least eight hours and the result is a smooth concentrate that you can jazz up with ice, honey, or whatever you'd like.
For all you cold-brew lovers, we have your back with recs for the best cold brew makers. Here are five amazing cold brew makers straight from the pros.
1. Hario Cold Brew Coffee Bottle, $34
This easy-to-use brewer is perfect for those who want to put in the least effort as possible. The system is low maintenance: just put coarse grounds in the filter basket, add water, and let it brew for eight hours in the fridge. The result? A strong concentrate that makes five cups of delicious cold brew. Drink it as is, or add some water, sugar, milk—whatever your heart desires. The glass bottle takes up little space and looks chic on your kitchen table or countertop, plus when you’re all done, you can throw the entire thing in the dishwasher.
This bottle is beloved by our community and experts alike. Home cook and cold-brew lover Jacob Berk says, “I got this cold brew maker as a gift from a friend. At first, I thought it would be too small, but it makes amazing cold brew concentrate. All I have to do is add some to iced water and boom, an unbelievably tasty glass of cold brew!”
2. Toddy Cold Brew System, $39.50
Don’t let looks deceive you. While the Toddy Cold Brew System may look a bit clunky, it was thoughtfully designed by a chemical engineer to produce a super smooth and rich batch of cold brew concentrate after 12 to 24 hours. With a simple cold water filtration process and several layers of filtration, the Toddy extracts all the flavors from your favorite beans without the acidity that often makes your brews bitter and the grit that's just unpleasant to drink.
“Toddy is pretty much the industry standard for making cold brew, especially on a large scale setting using its bigger version. I’ve worked in many NYC cafés throughout the years and Toddy was always the method of choice. It’s very easy to use. The paper filter bag plus the mesh plus the additional filter always results in a super-clean cold brew,” says César Pérez, barista and private chef. “Another perk is that if you buy a 12-ounce bag of coffee, that’s the exact amount needed to make a batch.”
Hannah Mendoza, founder and CEO of Clevr Blends, adds, “The Toddy Cold Brew System is my fave because it's perfect for making bulk batches to sip on throughout the week. Before we launched our just-add-water blends, we would use this at our pop-up coffee bar to make New Orleans style cold brew—we'd steep coffee with chicory and whole spices, then serve over maple syrup and oat milk. Summer decadence!”
3. Takeya Cold Brew Coffee Maker, $27.99+
Another low-maintenance, easy-to-use pick that’s perfect for busy lifestyles is the Takeya Cold Brew Coffee Maker, which market editor Jada Wong loves and has been using for years. It's similar to the Hario in that you just pour grounds into a filter basket and steep overnight. Once you’re done, remove the basket and your cold brew will stay fresh in the carafe for up to two weeks—the perfect set-it-and-forget-it type of tool.
Brewery manager at Joyride Coffee Chris Korman also says, “This was given to me by a family member—I've had it for about five or six years and I love it! It made a pretty damn good cup of cold brew coffee without having to be too precise. Loved that it was reusable—you had only the one coffee filter to clean by dishwasher or by hand.” Korman recommends experimenting with coffee maker since it's quite versatile, too. “Add spices to the grounds, or make flavored waters by adding fresh fruit,” he suggests.
4. OXO Cold Brew Coffee Maker, $51.99
While certainly the largest and priciest coffee maker here, if you have the counter space and budget to spare, this OXO machine is amazing for making all the cold brew. It requires some extra patience to set up and clean, but it yields about 28 ounces of concentrate—or about 12 drinks once you doctor it up with water, milk, or whatever your heart desires.
“I'm a huge fan of the OXO Cold Brew Maker. It's simple to use and just works. It makes enough concentrate to last you a week so you're not constantly needing to make more. Also, it looks sleek so I don't mind having it out on the counter for a couple days. It's easy to set up and clean, while the rainmaker top means you just pour the water in and let it sit. No need to stir to make sure all the grounds get wet,” says coffee connoisseur Andrew Bennett.
5. Bodum Chambord French Press,
We never thought of using a French press to make cold brew until we spoke to Sahra Nguyen, founder of Nguyen Coffee Supply. “This is my preferred way to make cold brew at home because it's very easy to use with no disposable filters needed, and we double up the function so we save space at home,” Nguyen says. For small spaces, this is a smart way to help you amp up the versatility of coffee gear you might already have.
Nguyen continues, “This French press makes 8 cups of coffee, so if we increase the ratio of coffee to water with a cold brew method, we can create a concentrate that could potentially become 16 to 24 servings depending on how strong you like your coffee. After cold brewing in the French press overnight, remember to [separate] the concentrate from the grounds.”
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