True Drip: The 7 Best Cold Brew Coffee Makers

Aug 15, 2015

Category: Food

Coffee is a staple of life. Like whiskey, it was handed down from on high to help you get through the day without madness setting in. It’s a part of our morning ritual, our lunch ritual, our afternoon ritual, and our tomorrow-is-the-deadline-oh-god-no ritual. Though it is a great pleasure, there are times when a steaming hot cup of Joe isn’t right. The hotter the weather, the harder it is to slurp down your favorite coffee. For those sweltering days and steamy nights, you need a cold brew coffee maker.

Cold brew or cold press coffee is (pardon the pun) hot right now. There’s never been a better time to get a cold brewing machine that does more than just soak your grounds overnight. The advantage to cold brewing is that you don’t get as many harmful acids or or oils in your coffee. The brewer allow gravity to pull the rich, flavorful coffee out with a few refinements attached to each that give your roast different flavors and textures. When you’re ready to cool off, it’s time for one of 7 best cold brew coffee makers.

Toddy T2N

Toddy T2N

Pro: Inexpensive
Con: No stand

Keep It Simple: This isn’t an enormous improvement over a DIY cold brew coffee maker as it consists of a bucket for grounds and water which fits over a glass decanter. It takes up the bare minimum of counter and storage space required so it’s better for those in smaller quarters or hoarders without an inch to spare. You can either use the carafe provided or choose your own should you need a different size or shape. The design is completely idiot-proof, though you’ll still need to read the instructions and take some time with your mix to make sure it doesn’t come out watery. Be careful where you place this since it’s about as sturdy as a Jenga tower. [Purchase: $35]

Primula Cold Brew Glass Carafe

Primula Cold Brew Glass Carafe

Pro: Can be used with Primula’s flavor infuser
Con: Grounds and carafe are not separate

Pitch In: This is the one-stop-shop when it comes to cold brew coffee makers. Put in the grounds, put in the water, leave it alone. It sits in your fridge just like a filtered water pitcher or iced-tea maker so that you have concentrated coffee whenever you want it. Whip it out and you can pour right from the carafe with the included spout lid which limits mess when transferring containers. The carafe itself is borosilicate glass that is resistant to temperature changes and short drops. It also fits with Primula’s other products so you can swap out your filter for a flavor infusion system to change the entire taste of your brew. Everything is totally dishwasher safe so you can clean it easily which will greatly expand the life of the filter and the time you spend scrubbing it out. If you enjoy the design but want something even cheaper, Hario makes a similar carafe for just $16. [Purchase: $42]

OXO Good Grips Cold Brew Coffee Maker

OXO Good Grips

Pro: Even water distribution
Con: Can clog with find grounds

Modern Make: This can easily replace your standard Mr. Coffee machine or single-cup coffee maker without missing a beat. It’s designed with basic functionality in mind. The upper reservoir uses a rainmaker system which distributes water evenly over the grounds for a richer, stronger flavor that uses every pulverized bean and is never diluted. An automatic sensor stops dripping the minute you remove the flask from the bottom so that you can grab a cup faster than other cold brewers. BPA free plastics and simple felt filters make this easy to use, easy to clean, and good for your health. Filtration is started and stopped with just the flip of a switch. Measurement markings on the carafe allows for one-step setup and a silicone stopper makes storage easy. We found this superior in every way to the Bruer and the Filtron cold brew coffee makers, but those offer a similar design if you fancy them. [Purchase: $50]

SterlingPro Coffee and Espresso Maker

SterlingPro Coffee & Espresso Maker

Pro: Works for hot and cold coffee
Con: Grounds are likely to leak through

Double Duty: Yes, this is just a French Press coffee maker rather than a true cold brew machine. The truth is that you don’t really need a lot of gear to make a cold press, so this can do the job just fine. Simply put in your grounds along with cold or room temperature water, stir, press it down, and let it sit for a day or two. You’ll get more oils than with a true cold brew coffee machine, but the french press can work cold or hot. The compact nature also allows you to refrigerate it without sucking up space in your icebox. We preferred the Sterling Pro because the stainless steel plunger won’t easily corrode sitting in the acids from the coffee and the glass sides let you know if grounds are getting through. Long lasting and little breakdown over time. [Purchase: $53]

Yama Glass

Yama Glass Cold Drip Maker

Pro: Brews quickly
Con: Difficult to clean

Evil Genius: Originally part of our foray into drip coffee makers, the Yama Glass is a lovely addition to any household. Inside is a permanent ceramic filter that limits adulterants, grounds, and cuts acid down to almost nothing. The frame comes in wood or bamboo depending on the model so it will blend with the most modern or the most quaint decor. With the multiple chambers, the process that the Yama goes through is slightly faster than most requiring only 3-8 hours to give you a cup of silky smooth coffee. Though truly lovely in a mad scientist kind of way, the spirals of glass and narrow apertures make cleaning this agonizing. Yields about 1,500 mL. [Purchase: $271]

Dutch Lab Gothicism

Dutch Lab Gothicism

Pro: Gorgeous
Con: Expensive

Beautiful Distillation: In a time of post-modern minimalism, Dutch Labs prefers to worship at the altar of maximalism. This gothic, steampunk work of art stands at approximately 3.5 feet tall and has three different reservoirs allowing you to make several different blends at the same time for a total volume of 3,000 mL (1,000 x 3). Multiple water tanks help you to choose the strength of your coffee while the borosilicate glass tubing throughout lets you monitor the inner workings at each stage. Much of the glass is hand blown, each of the needle valves is striking brass, and the rest of the body is anodized aluminum that has been laser cut and fitted together seamlessly. If the price takes your breath away, consider one of their more modest coffee makers which start at $280 and skyrocket into the stratosphere. [Purchase: $7,300]

BodyBrew BOD Cold Brew Coffee Maker

BodyBrew BOD

Pro: Modular
Con: Filter can become impenetrably clogged

Coming Soon: Won’t spill, won’t shatter, won’t leak, and can go just about anywhere, the new BOD from BodyBrew is an up-and-coming wonder. While most makers on the market tend to lack portability or use outdated brewing systems, this is a state of the art device that could very easily work as a camping coffee maker. Inside is a stainless steel filter that won’t corrode and lets nothing but the flavor come through for a healthier cup of coffee low in cafestol and tannic acid which makes it easier on your heart, stomach, and teeth. Self-sealing twist and pour openings let you move with the carafe even when it’s full while included canteens let you seal up your favorite brew for the office or the car. Excellent for tea and even making cocktails. [Purchase: $79]

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