Yes, there’s something about piping hot coffee and a couple shots of espresso that helps wake you up early in the morning. Once the latter hours of the day rolls around, though, there’s something about the cold and refreshing taste of iced coffee that makes it just much more tempting to grab. This is especially true in warmer weather, when hot coffee can feel too heavy a drink when combined with the toasty temperatures. Plus, you can make cold brew coffee in big batches that you can keep in the fridge, ready to be poured any time you get the hankering for a glass, making it a heck of a lot more convenient than having to get something brewing each time out.
If you like iced coffee and want to keep a pitcher of the good stuff always on the ready, these handy cold brew and iced coffee makers should have you covered.
Like iced coffee, don’t have the patience to wait the half a day necessary to steep coffee grounds properly? Use this unique coffee mug, which has narrow chambers designed to be filled with water and placed in the freezer when not in use. Once you’re ready for some iced coffee, simply take it out of the freezer and pour freshly-brewed hot coffee in it. Put the lid back on and swirl it for 60 seconds, which will automatically chill the coffee to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. From there, just pack on the ice, pour some milk, and enjoy. Once you’re done, clean it up, replace the water, and put it back in the freezer, so it’s ready the next time you hanker for some iced goodness.
This single serve iced coffee maker lets you make cold caffeinated concoctions with the convenience of good, old drip coffee maker. Just open the top compartment, put in your grounds, and add water. Similar to drip coffee brewers, it will use heat to quickly brew the coffee, although it also comes with an integrated rapid chilling technology that can quicklycool it down before dispensing. Let it drip to a tumbler or mug full of ice and you’ve got yourself the beginnings of a delicious icy drink – just add milk and whatever other flavors you enjoy.
We love the simplicity of this cold brew coffee maker, which consists of a plastic bucket that you place on top of the included glass decanter. To use, you simply put the reusable filter inside the reservoir, pour ground coffee (they recommend a coarse ground), and steep it in water for 12 to 24 hours. When you’ve steeped the grounds long enough, you simply pull out the plug at the bottom of the bucket and let the coffee pour down to the decanter.
While the overall setup is simple, we found it’s not as easy to use as some other options in this list, as we’ve hit a couple of snags trying to get a good brew. Once you get the hang of it, though, it gets easier to dial in, allowing you to whip up a clean, smooth, and nuanced brew each time out. Do note, it uses a reusable filter that can be cleaned, but will need to be replaced after every 10 brews.
We’re impressed with the way this erstwhile simple-looking contraption is able to extract flavor out of every type of coffee grounds we tried. It doesn’t look like it does much, but it consistently produces a strong, bold batch of cold brew coffee each timeout. It comes with a reusable metal mesh filter that you can use on its own or with an additional paper filter, although we prefer ditching the paper, as doing so seems to bring out a lot more of the flavor.
To use the brewer, you simply fill the reservoir with your ground coffee of choice and pour water into the perforated lid. The outfit recommends 40 ounces of water to 10 ounces of grounds, although you can do your own recipe if you have a preferred one. With the water being strained through the lid, your grounds are saturated slowly and evenly, which would allow the coffee to bubble up and bloom to really enhance the taste. You can steep the grounds anywhere from 12 to 24 hours, after which you can slip the included carafe underneath (the reservoir is held on a stand) for stashing in the fridge. The entire thing comes apart for easy cleaning.
It looks a little more complicated than your typical cold brew coffee setup, which makes it quite the interesting sight to find in anyone’s kitchen counter. Seriously, it’s the kind of thing your mom will look at quizzically when she visits. Instead of steeping your coffee for a long time and pouring them all in one go, this cold brew coffee maker takes its time, making it quite fascinating to watch through its transparent glass walls.
To use, you start by adding ground coffee to the middle container and a small amount of water to bloom the grounds. You then put water with ice on the top container and adjust the valve, which will slowly drip water towards the coffee at a painstakingly slow rate of one drip per second. Seriously. The steeped water then makes it way through the pile of ground before settling down to the glass carafe at the bottom. It performs this hypnotic dance for around six hours each standard batch, so this can make for quite the distracting sideshow wherever you put this in. According to the outfit, this slow drip methodology allows it to eliminate any risk of over-extraction, ensuring the brew is never laced with too much bitterness or other unwanted flavors.
We love the adorable looks of this cold brew coffee maker, which gives you a box-shaped glass jar with a metal base and a metal lid. Instead of steeping the coffee in a separate container like other setups, this one uses a steel steeping bucket that you fill with coffee grounds and put inside the glass jar. From there, you simply store the whole thing in the fridge for up to 24 hours, remove the steeping bucket, and get yourself some delicious iced coffee. It comes with a tap, so you can draw coffee without having to take it out of the fridge shelf, as well as a large handle you can use to move it from the fridge to the counter and back. Granted, the results aren’t quite as elevated as some of the best cold coffee brewers in this list (it’s a little gritty), but it does make a good enough brew in a convenient package that’s downright fun to keep in the fridge. It comes in two sizes: 28oz and 38oz.