Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
Initially being an engineering specialist, Tom has never stopped learning and acquiring other knowledge and skills. Now he’s involved in technical support for a well-known household appliances manufacturer, so no wonder he knows everything about almost everything you buy for your home.
Last updated: May 31, 2021
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There’s nothing better than a cup of coffee in the morning, right? Or is there? If you haven’t tried cold brew coffee yet, you’re missing out and we’re reviewing the best cold brew coffee maker devices on the 2020 market so you can have your fill.
Thanks to many coffee lovers falling in love with this version of their favorite brew, the market now has automatic models as well as traditional ones where you don’t even need electricity. Coffee drinkers appreciate the great taste thanks to the fact that the brewing method doesn’t draw out harsh oils from the grounds. Thanks to these unique steeping methods, you can enjoy flavors that a regular coffee maker can’t produce. So this is worth a try.
To help you pick your new favorite kitchen appliance we discuss 2020’s winning models below, of which the Dash DCBCM550BK Cold Brew Coffee Maker took first prize. You’ll learn about each one’s capacity, as well as well as filter types and dimensions, so you don’t clutter your counter just for iced coffee. There are enough options to pick from, so select wisely.
Of course we’re not all coffee aficionados, so we called in the help of the experts to help you. A few experienced baristas tested out the coffee makers, gave their feedback and along with consumer reviews we compiled our list of winners, which we reviewed in detail. To help you shop like the pros do, scroll down to the buying guide at the end of our article. There you can read up about all the important features so you can make an informed decision on which one you’ll purchase.
How will you make your coffee tomorrow morning? Let’s find out.
This iced coffee maker ranks at the top of our list because of many unique features. For starters it’s super-fast compared to many others as you only have to wait five minutes to get a high quality cold brew.
Unlike some other models you also have multiple options in terms of the type of brew you get. Here you can adjust the intensity of the flavor, so you can cater for those who prefer a lighter or darker brew. There are three settings, with each one taking a different time (five, 10 or 15 minutes). This is a much easier method than manually monitoring the strength of your coffee as some traditional models below require you to.
You’re also given a user-friendly design but some users do say there is some leaking when you pour. This only happens with older units if the connection points get dislodged though. Apart from that, the spout makes pouring easy and you can place the container in the fridge—no need to decant it into another jug. As only BPA-free plastic is used you even heat it up if you’re in the mood for a hot cup.
It’s an electric system, so you can’t use this unless you’re near a power outlet, but that’s not a deal breaker for most consumers.
Users love it for the quick steeping process as well as how easy it is to clean afterwards.
From Ninja you get one of the best hot and cold coffee brew maker models that looks as great as it works.
This silver and black design will instantly make any kitchen look fabulous, and it’s ultra-modern with the digital screen and one touch buttons. The user-friendly panel is easily accessible on the front. Here you can select among many options and this is where this coffee maker excels: versatility. Firstly you can do both hot and cold drinks & this design even caters for teas. Also, whether you have loose leaf, ground or bagged types, this machine can handle them all. The high tech unit can even recognize whether you’re using the coffee or tea basket, so some settings are registered automatically.
For those who opt for hot brews from time to time: there’s a frother hidden on the side. Can you see how many options this small machine gives you?
You can cater for the whole family or simply make a cup for yourself. This is done by picking a brew size.
It’s slightly more expensive than some other similar models but since you can pick various types of coffees (even specialty types), it’s well worth the money for most consumers.
Some want the brand to make cleaning easier, but for so many options it’s acceptable to put in some effort from time to time.
Here is an excellent example of the interesting ways in which people have made cold brew coffees. And the good news is that this one gives you a drink in record time once again; just one more reason why it ranks so high on our list. It does require you to leave the keg in the refrigerator for at least an hour after filling it, but this is still a much shorter period than some cold brewing processes require.
With this one you’re using the Nitrogen or Nitrous Oxide cartridges to produce a flavorful brew. The pressure from the cartridge pushes the brew into your cup or glass and you end up with delicious foam which adds some character to a cold brew coffee.
The brand is very clear about the fact that performance is determined by how full you make the keg. Preferably you should fill it with coffee only to 50%, but 75% is also acceptable. If yours doesn’t want to work it could be that it’s simply too full.
For such a unique design it’s good news that cleaning is a breeze.
One thing to plan for is the size: make sure it fits in your fridge. If not, you won’t be able to use it as often and then a counter-based unit is a better buy.
The brand produces both black and silver versions, so you can match it to other appliances’ aesthetics.
This is a cold brew coffee maker for the science lovers. But anyone will find this process interesting. Though it takes a little longer than the models we reviewed above, the four hour waiting time is still acceptable when compared to some traditional steeping methods.
Don’t you instantly fall in love with the classic wood work?
One of the best features is that you have a good compromise between timeline and quality. The process produces low acidic cold brews without taking an entire day to produce eight cups of quality coffee.
The one benefit of opting for this system that only uses glass components is that there is no chance of odors or chemicals spoiling your brew.
The simple system has some impressive features as you can determine the strength of your brew by simply setting the drip frequency, using other grind sizes or trying out different beans.
The designers thought of everything so you even get a lid for the decanter. You can place it in the fridge and your cold brew will be ready when you’re thirsty without any chance of food odors spoiling the perfect brew.
Some experts get even better results by wetting the grounds before adding them to the system so they’re all evenly wet.
Yes, it’s expensive, but you can’t put a price on style and quality, can you?
Here’s how you can make cold brew coffee just about anywhere you travel: simply take this simple but effective product with you. It incorporates a glass jar which is easy to pack and is strong enough to add to your picnic luggage. The glass is certified as food safe and won’t crack when placed in the fridge.
Part of its efficacy is the mesh filter made of stainless steel. This keeps the grounds out of your coffee and in the absence of plastic there won’t be odors or chemicals spoiling your brew. There is also a high quality seal incorporated into the design so no food odors will creep into your coffee, even if it stays in the fridge for a week or two.
This is also a smart investment for any household as you can use the container to infuse water with fruit and create other refreshing drinks.
Note that not all components in the lid are of stainless steel. They may rust over time.
Some consumers complain that the spigot starts leaking, but many solve this problem by tightening it with a wrench.
Apart from this, it’s one of the easiest and most effortless ways of making a cold brew. Just be prepared to wait a while as this one takes long to steep. Luckily you get a large amount of brew at a time, so you can make enough for a few days and simply keep it cold, ready to drink.
Here’s another one to love for its portability and simple design. This one doesn’t make as much as the previous model, but the smaller design is ideal for taking with on trips. We also love the modern design with the same benefits of strong Borosilicate glass as the Original Grind coffee jug reviewed above.
With this one you’ll appreciate the lid. It’s leakproof and won’t let anything in or out. That makes it safe to leave your cold brew in the fridge for up to three weeks.
Once again this traditional method doesn’t use power of course, but that means you’ll have to wait about a day—or longer if you like coffee really strong—for the liquid to steep. Some users who prefer coffee less strong can try steeping for eight to 12 hours.
The method is pretty easy and some may prefer the pouring to the spigot installed in the glass jar above. There’s less chance of leaking. There’s even a funnel so you don’t mess while adding the ingredients.
The brand makes it easy to get the ratio just right by providing a measuring scoop.
With this one the filter is made of very fine mesh and covers a large space in the center of the jug. Unfortunately, some grounds in the center often don’t get as saturated so you may miss out on some flavor. It’s also a bit messy to scrape out all the grounds from such a deep filter.
Our budget pick not only shows how easy it is to make great tasting cold coffee, but also comes with a few nifty extras.
Firstly, you get a very sturdy design and it’s very compact. The size makes it practical to carry with you or keep on hand in the car as a refreshing drink while on the road. What makes it so practical is the flip cap top: super easy to take a sip and quickly seal afterwards to keep the flavor safe inside.
The design is also very strong and well made, so there’s not much risk of the cap coming off or the jug breaking. Even the filter has been tested for its strength so it will last you a long time. The mesh will keep its form so it effectively filters the flavor from the grounds, giving you optimal brews without any of the ground particles ending up in your coffee.
This one works well if you shake it well after adding the coffee and screwing on the top. Once again, the high quality lid with its effective seal comes in handy here. Then leave it for hours—usually 24—before it’s ready. It’s a long time to wait, but worth it. One improvement the brand should think of is adding some grip to the exterior of the jug. This will make it easier to get the lid air tight, as your hands may slip if the glass is wet.
Of course you don’t get as much coffee as with the larger jugs shown above, but for the price and as a portable accessory, this makes sense for many consumers.
What are our favorite features?
Flip top cap makes for easy drinking
What could be better?
Difficult to screw lid on tight because glass slips
This may seem like a simple design but is showcases some genius engineering in the Rainmaker design found at the top of the unit. By distributing water over a large area more grinds are saturated. When the coffee is wet evenly you get better flavor extraction and you have a better chance of getting similar brews each time. So find a coffee-to-water ratio you like and repeat again & again.
Note that this one does take a while to steep as you’ll have to wait 12 to 24 hours depending on your flavor preferences.
The components are of high quality but this is still a budget buy so almost any household can enjoy ice cold coffee. It’s also simple to use and doesn’t require electricity so it’s safe to teach the kids how to make your new favorite drink. We also appreciate that it doesn’t take up too much space and the components are mostly easy to clean.
Although the unit is specifically designed for making cold brews you can always enjoy a hot drink by adding hot water to the extracted liquid.
A nifty feature is the brew release valve. This is used to decant the liquid into the glass jar, but it also makes for practical use. If you want to taste the brew so long but don’t want everything to be exposed to air, just allow a small amount to drip into your cup or glass.
Good news is that the brand is also focused on giving quality customer service, so if you have problems they’re likely to help you find a solution.
What are our favorite features?
No power required
Release valve makes it easy to use
What could be better?
Takes long to steep
Can’t regulate brew strength
Things to Consider
Cold brew coffee makers aren’t as common in households as regular coffee makers are. To help you realize what you’re missing out on, we compiled a short buying guide. Learn what’s important about this niche of kitchenware so you can gauge which model above should be in your home.
What makes cold brew coffee so great
For starters, you may not know why this is one of the best investments you’ll make this year—or why it’s the best gift you can give. Cold brew coffee carries some interesting benefits, making your purchase a worthwhile investment:
As mentioned above, the taste tends to differ from regular coffee because fewer harsh oils are extracted. This is thanks to the unique process, making it more than 60% less acidic than many other brews.
Lower acidity affects taste, but is also less likely to cause heartburn.
A cold brew comes across smoother and even sweeter. Many coffee drinkers add less sweetener and cream to their cold brews, so it ends up being healthier too.
Most of the cold brew coffee makers limit waste as you can make one cup at a time according to the drinker’s preferences. You don’t have to throw out a whole brew as with regular coffee makers where you get an entire carafe of coffee of a certain strength. This makes some of these models wiser investments—for your budget as well as for limiting waste—compared to a French Press or some other coffee machines.
Some cold brew coffee makers can also be used for a hot cup of coffee, so they’re versatile appliances.
Making cold brews is relatively easy so you don’t have to acquire a pouring technique or read up on difficult instructions to get a quality cup.
Features to consider when choosing a cold brew coffee maker
Now that you know you need one of these, it’s time to identify your ideal buy. We summarized the important facts about noteworthy features to help you understand the market better. Compile your checklist before you start shopping.
Type of coffee maker
Get ready to have a range of different items to pick from as cold brew coffee makers come in all shapes and sizes.
Yes, some are of the automatic type you’ll plug in and that can even give you hot coffee if you want. But some still give you a quality drink after using simple, traditional methods. This is like the Original Grind Coffee Co. Cold Brew Coffee Maker that doesn’t require electricity so you can use it anywhere.
Just note that with the traditional methods you often won’t have control over the strength of the brew—there are sometime no switches as on the coffee machines you’re used to. But innovative designs such as the YAMA Glass model will allow adjustments via the drip frequency.
There is no best when it comes to capacity: you simply have to decide which size will work best for your lifestyle. Some cold brew coffee makers can make a few ounces of coffee while others will provide you with brews on a large scale. The latter is ideal if your entire family or office enjoys the same strength of coffee. You can also make large batches to last you the entire week.
When you know you and your partner have different preferences, each one can brew their own unique cup.
Type of filter
In this category as well you have a lot to pick from.
As can be seen in the County Line Kitchen Cold Brew Coffee Maker some have reusable filters while others need to be replaced each time. For eco friendliness, reusable units are preferred by some consumers. As with other coffee machines you can pick between steel, ceramic, mesh and paper filters.
When you pick your filters, make sure you pick the type that aligns with the quality you want your coffee to be. For the ideal cold coffee brew the experts advise you use finer filters for optimum flavor extraction. Knowing this, many manufacturers produce micro filters. If you’re particular about the taste of your coffee, make sure these types are compatible with your new appliance.
Also consider how user-friendly your choice is. Paper filters tear easily and can end up messing all over the counter, while mesh metal filters clean easily. But the latter my leave sediment in the brew. You need to decide what’s most important to you.
Material(s) and durability
It goes without saying that you want your new investment to be long-lasting. But think beyond that when purchasing your coffee maker. You can pick between metal, glass, ceramic and plastic types. The first three types are best, but plastic ones work well too. Just make sure your plastic unit is BPA-free as it will come in contact with hot liquid and this can cause those particles to affect how healthy your brew is.
Also consider the durability of the filter components. Most of them don’t last long, so be prepared to replace them often and work that into your budget.
Durability should also be considered when you’re considering how much you want to spend. A lower end model may be affordable, but they’re bound to break easily and you’ll simply end up purchasing another one. Rather invest in a slightly more expensive one and know you’ll enjoy it for months or even years to come, like the Dash DCBCM550BK with its 1-year warranty.
How to make the perfect cup of cold brew coffee
To make a cold brew you will steep coffee grounds in cold water instead of hot water. The steeping process takes longer in the absence of heat, but draws out different flavors. The result is a tasty concentrate which you can drink as is or mix with water or milk to taste. You’ll see from our diverse list of cold brew coffee makers that you can follow many different techniques to obtain great tasting cold coffee. But a few factors will always have an influence on your final result.
Firstly, consider the grounds you’re using. The quality of the beans always determines the outcome of a brew.
Also, remember your timelines as cold brews won’t last forever. After a few days it’s time to throw it away, as it may start to taste different.
Plan ahead so there’s enough time for the coffee to steep. It could take a few hours or even a full day—24 hours—so don’t be impatient.
Most people’s cold brews taste stronger than regular cups of coffee because the ratio of coffee to water is so much different, thanks to the unique brewing method. But that doesn’t mean you’ll get more caffeine than with your normal morning cuppa. Due to lower temperature ranges less caffeine is extracted and it’s often diluted with milk which will also affect how much caffeine you get from each cup.
This is one challenge of cold brews: it’s not a quick process. It can take eight and even up to 24 hours to make a proper cold brew. This is much longer than making an espresso within minutes, but the idea is to whip up a batch and then store it in the fridge for when you’re ready for that cool drink. With modern electrical machines as shown above though, you can also enjoy a cup within minutes as long as you don’t want it extra strong.
A freshly brewed cup is the winner, unless you prefer the unique taste of cold brewed coffee. You can turn a cold brew into a hot drink by placing it in the microwave or adding boiling water. The ideal ratio is 3:1.
So, why did we award the Dash DCBCM550BK model first prize? How can we not, with its exceptional look, record steeping time and innovative design? For that it gets 9.8 from our panel, but close behind with a score of 9.6 is the Ninja Hot and Cold System. This is of course a winner because it offers so many different options. For those who like tech gadgets AND coffee, this will be the ideal buy.
At number 3 on our list of the best cold brew coffee maker options for 2020 the Royal Brew Nitro Cold Brew Kit earned 9.5 out of 10. You’ll love if for the unique approach to making coffee in a keg, but also for the rich froth that adds something extra to your glass.
But that’s what we liked the best. Which one did you buy and what is your feedback? Please leave comments below to help other coffee lovers make the right decision.