While most of us have a go-to coffee making routine for day-to-day, it’s also nice to have manual methods to mix up your brew routine from time to time. Many people enjoy an iced coffee alternative from hot coffee, especially with the scorching summer temperatures in many parts of Australia.
For those looking for a cool, and refreshing beverage with a concentrated kick of caffeine, a manual cold brew coffeemaker is the kitchen addition you need.
With so many different models and cold brew makers on the market, it can be overwhelming to narrow your search, much less select the optimal cold brew coffee maker for you. This buying guide seeks to highlight some of the best cold brew coffee makers on the market, and better help you find the perfect coffee maker for you!
The Hario Mizudashi cold brew puts an ergonomic spin on a manual cold brew coffee pot. Its tall, narrow design allows it to perfectly fit on the door of any refrigerator. The Mizudashi is constructed of high-quality, heatproof glass and designed with a slender spout for pouring. It is easy to use and minimizes spilling while in use. With a reusable filter, users cut replacement filters out of their budget.
Likewise, the Mizudashi is dishwasher safe. This manual cold brew coffee maker comes in three different colours (red, black, and brown) and comes in a 600ml and 1000ml size. The Mizudashi brews approximately 4-4.5 cups of coffee at a time, which is perfect for a small household or sole coffee drinker.
Simply place 80g of your favourite coffee grounds within the basket, and fill the carafe with water. Stir until all grounds have been saturated, and refrigerate overnight (or for at least 8 hours). Users will be able to enjoy sweet, full-bodied cold brew poured right from the pitcher!
While the filter design is a great innovation to this coffee pot, users have mentioned the mesh is not fine enough to eliminate sediment from seeping into the carafe. This can produce a thick and grainy consistency to the cold brew produced. Likewise, the tall and narrow design may not store well in all refrigerator types.
- Brews between 4-4.5 cups of coffee
- Dishwasher safe
- Reusable filter
- Ergonomic spout design for controlled pouring
- Tall, narrow design may not fit every fridge
- Filter doesn’t eliminate sediment
The Dripster cold brew maker is a unique manual device that creates flavorful cold brew without the typical full-immersion approach most cold brew makers take. Constructed entirely of BPA-Free plastic and Pyrex branded glass, this manual coffee maker is functional, durable, and easy to clean.
Unlike full-immersion cold coffee makers, the Dripster uses a cold-drip style approach to make a Dutch-style cold brew. This process is much faster than its full-immersion competitors, and the brewed result is sweet, fruity, and sediment-free cold brew.
With this cold brew coffee brewing process, more coffee oils are dissolved and less of the bitter-tasting acids. Using cold water or ice to brew versus hot water, more aromas are dissolved. Users can also use the Dripster cold brew dripper to brew tea. The drip valve allows for an exact adjustment of the dripping speed. Likewise, the inclusion of an extra-fine stainless steel mesh filter ensures no sediment from the coffee grounds enters the coffee container.
While this is a faster cold brew process than full-immersion cold brew coffee makers, this is not a coffeemaker that steeps cold brew overnight, which can make it less convenient of a method for those who want to set it and forget it. This is a more costly model than a full-immersion cold brew system, and some users have discussed some difficulty with having to consistently adjust to brew valve to their ideal cold-drip coffee speed.
- Cold-drip method creates a less acidic brew
- Compact design stores well in a fridge
- Makes up to 4 cups of coffee
- BPA free Plastic and Pyrex branded glass
- Sediment-free cold brew
- On the higher end of the price spectrum
- Difficulty with the drip valve
- Cannot use it to brew coffee overnight
The Bruer drip coffee maker is another alternative to the full-immersion brew process. This device incorporates a clean and functional design while maintaining the quality of the cold brewing process. Constructed of quality glass, stainless steel, and silicone, the Bruer is simple to clean, dishwasher safe, and lasts for years.
This cold drip coffee maker includes an adjustable valve for users to experiment with and find their ideal drip speed. Likewise, the Bruer includes paper filters but also works with steel and mesh filters to ensure a smooth cold brew without sediment build-up at the bottom. Another benefit for those who like to mix up their brewing routine is the Bruer can store brewed coffee in the fridge for up to two weeks!
Users can brew coffee on one occasion, and sip it throughout the week! The slow drip cold brew process eliminates the risk of over-extraction that comes with immersion coffee makers. Your cold brew is guaranteed to be sweet, flavourful, and absent of bitter notes.
While the Bruer is guaranteed to provide delicious iced coffee drinks, it is not a great match for those looking to drink cold brew all the time. Making only 2 cups of cold-brewed coffee at a time, the process can be tedious for those consuming a large quantity of coffee. This manual coffee maker does cost more than a full-immersion maker as well.
- Dishwasher safe
- Multiple filters to reduce sediment
- Eliminates risk of over-extraction
- Brewed coffee stores up to 2 weeks in the fridge
- Produces only 2 cups of cold brew at a time
- Higher-end of the price spectrum
The Hario Shizuku cold drip coffee maker is known for its simplicity and efficiency. This manual model consists of four main parts: the upper water chamber, the dripper, the coffee holder and filter, and the glass carafe. Together, they produce 600ml of smooth cold brew coffee in a 1-2 hours time!
Constructed with Hario’s signature glass, stainless steel, silicone, and polypropylene, the Shizuku is durable, reliable, and simple to clean. The coffee carafe is meant to separate from the other pieces of the unit to store in the fridge. Users can conveniently clean all brewing tools in preparation for the next use! While most cold-drip coffee makers require you to adjust the dripping rate over time, this brewer always drips at the perfect rate, with no adjustments necessary.
The Shizuku unit recommends using a medium-fine grind for optimal extraction and suggests grinding 70g of coffee at a time. Users can pour coffee grounds into the metal filter, and top with the paper filter. This results in a smooth, sediment-free coffee. Like other slow-drip coffee makers, the Shizuku produces a small quantity at a time. For regular cold brew drinkers, a larger coffee maker may be a better fit. Likewise, the quality of this product is reflected in its price.
For those looking for a reliable and simple to use cold brew coffee maker though, the Shizuku is a good value for its price.
- 1-2 hour brew time
- Uses multiple filters
- No drip adjustments needed
- Glass carafe can be stored in the fridge
- Only brews 2.5 cups at a time
- Quality of product is reflected in its cost
The Sambangan cold brew coffee maker is perfect for people looking to brew a large quantity of coffee at once. This full-immersion iced coffee maker comes equipped with a glass decanter that holds up to 1 litre of coffee. This coffee maker is simple to use and built with quality features with durability and functionality in mind. While the size of the Sambangan is bigger than most manual cold brew makers, it does fit perfectly on the door of a refrigerator.
The Sambangan is built with quality materials, setting it apart from its competition. With a 304 double mesh stainless steel filter, 100% airtight seal cap, and BPA free silicone rings, users can ensure quality coffee that won’t spill or leak from its container. Likewise, this manual coffee maker comes with a versatile decanter made of borosilicate. Outside of making and storing iced coffee, the Sambangan can be used for hot tea, hot coffee, a juice filter, or plain water carafe.
While this cold brew coffee maker is great in terms of affordability and producing cold brew in mass quantities, its large size can be a breaking point for users with minimal refrigerator space. With its litre capacity and glass construction, the device can be heavy as well. Users also have mentioned that in order to ensure there are no coffee grounds in your cup, the filter needs to be removed.
- 1-litre carafe capacity
- Double-layer mesh stainless steel filter to prevent sediment
- 100% airtight structure
- Versatile carafe
- Large in size doesn’t work for all fridge spaces
- Need to remove the filter to pour coffee
The Toddy T2N cold brew system has a lengthy history in creating flavourful cold brew concentrate, as well as a superior-tasting cup of hot coffee. Based on a developed brew technology invented by Todd Simpson, a chemical engineer, the Toddy produces coffee with 67% less acidity than coffee made by hot brewing methods.
This cold brew coffee maker comes equipped with a glass decanter with a lid, a plastic container with a handle, 2 reusable filters, a rubber stopper, and a recipe guide. While the Toddy has perfected its cold coffee making process, this brewing method is ideal for making tea.
This device is easy to use and easy to clean. Simply add coarsely ground coffee beans to the container, add cold or room temperature water, steep for 12-24 hours, and separate cold brew concentrate into the decanter. Since this brewing system features cold brew concentrate, users can dilute it, and add hot water or cold water to create their ideal beverage.
While this versatile cold brew coffee maker is a great value for your money, its longer steep requirement for optimal coffee extraction may not fit everyone’s timeline. Users looking for a quicker cold brew system may invest in a cold-drip coffee maker instead. While the device is constructed mostly of plastic, its glass decanter has been known to break easily.
- 1.1 Litre capacity
- Concentrate stays fresh for up to 2 weeks
- Versatility in preparing coffee for hot and iced drinks
- Includes sample paper filters
- Great value for money
- 12-24 hour steep time
- Glass decanter is more fragile than plastic brew system
The OXO cold brew coffee maker takes convenient and quality brewing to the next level. This affordable, easy to use, and easy to store device is one of the best cold brew coffee makers for your money’s worth. The OXO brews low acid coffee concentrate that can be used to prepare cold or hot coffee, and its nesting brew features allow for easy storage on countertops and in refrigerators.
The OXO cold brewer uses a rainmaker-top brewing device to evenly distribute water over coffee grounds in the stainless steel mesh basket. The easy to use approach allows users to add coarse-ground beans, water, and steep from 12-24 hours. The draining starts automatically when the cold brewer is placed on the carafe and the lid keeps the coffee maker covered while brewing. While the size of this cold brew coffee maker can be deceiving, the OXO will produce enough concentrate to last a week.
While this cold brew coffee maker has perfected the implementation of its filtration system, many users have noticed the cold brewer capacity is larger than the collecting carafe. If left unattended, or if the bottom and top of the cold brew coffee maker are not properly aligned, users will return to a mess if leaving the OXO unattended. For those looking for a quick cold brew, the longer brew time may not work in your favour.
- Brews enough coffee concentrate to last a week
- Rainmaker-style top
- Nesting parts make for easy storage
- Excellent customer service
- Carafe size doesn’t correlate with max brewer capacity
- Messy results if left unattended
- Longer brew time
While Hario has a wide variety of cold brew coffee makers on the market, the cold brew coffee bottle is one of its most unique. This cold brew device doubles as a travel bottle for users on the go. Constructed entirely of durable glass and a silicone bottle top, users can brew 5 cups of coffee in a span of 12-24 hours.
This immersion cold coffee maker is easy to use and easy to prep. Simply add your favourite coffee into the mesh, double-walled chamber, fill the bottle with water, twist the filter basket to the silicone lid, and store it in the fridge. The silicone seal on the Hario coffee bottle is designed to allow users to store this device vertically and horizontally without fear of spilling. To maximize the extraction process, Hario recommends users shake the bottle before storing it in the fridge.
While the silicone bottle top is great for sealing the basket and easy cleaning, the bottle top does not often cooperate for an accurate coffee pour. If users aren’t using the bottle itself to drink from, spilling while pouring is common. While the filter in this device is reusable and convenient, it does not make for an easy part to clean. This manual maker is great for a single coffee drinker, it is not the best cold brew coffee maker for an entire household.
- 5 cups capacity
- Compact bottle shape for easy storage
- Brewing chamber doubles as a travel bottle
- Silicone bottle top makes for a messy pour
- Filter isn’t as easy to clean as others
Cold Brew Coffee Maker Buying Guide
With so many manual cold brew coffee makers and styles on the market, choosing the right device can be an overwhelming challenge. Outside of thinking about choosing a maker that brews your ideal quantity of cold-brewed coffee, one has to consider brew time, brew approach, and overall cost.
In this buying guide, we’ve provided some additional context behind factors to consider in hopes to help you better navigate the manual cold brew market to find the best maker for you.
Grind Size and Water Temperature
When thinking about the cold coffee making process water temperature and grind size are need-to-know factors. Both of these change depending on the style of cold brew you’re seeking to prepare.
Since this coffee-making process is prepared entirely without heat, users will only be using cold or room temperature water.
For users using the immersion brew style, using coarse coffee grounds is essential to optimal extraction. Since this method designs coffee to steep between 8-24 hours, having a smaller surface area of coffee bean exposed to water prevents over-extraction during the longer steep time.
Furthermore, the coarse grind size also eliminates sediment seeping through the mesh basket. Since immersion devices will store in the refrigerator while steeping, users can use room temperature or chilled water.
The Cold-drip coffee making approach, on the other hand, has a shorter steep time of 1-4 hours depending on the device. As a result, users need to adjust the grind size of the beans to accommodate. Cold-drip brewers require a medium-fine grind and operate best with chilled water or ice.
Most cold-drip makers come equipped with paper filters to pair with the mesh basket to eliminate the presence of sediment.
Immersion Brewing vs. Cold-Drip Coffee:
As mentioned in the previous section, cold brew can typically be prepared using immersion or cold-drip brew methods. While there are different caveats to either method, it is an important decision in the process of picking a maker that works best for you.
Immersion cold brew makers are more widely available and affordable of the two models. The process consists of combining coarse-ground coffee with water and steeping it in the fridge for 8-24 hours at a time.
While the overnight steep feature is convenient for those who like to set up a coffee device and forget about it, the longer steep time may not work for those used to a quick brewing system.
The longer steep time does add some risk of over-extracting the coffee as well. Users will need to experiment with the grind size and steep time in order to find what works best.
Cold-drip systems, on the other hand, are a faster alternative to cold-brewed coffee. Instead of immersing the coffee grounds in water for a long period of time, this system works by exposing the beans to dripping cold water over the span of a few hours. This method achieves the same, less acidic flavour profile as immersion coffee without the added time.
These systems tend to cost more than your average immersion system, and cannot steep overnight like their counterparts. But these do make a great addition to a kitchen for those craving quality cold brew but don’t want to wait for 8 hours to taste it.
Concentrate: Rethinking the coffee to water ratio
Most cold brew coffee makers come equipped with a recommendation for the coffee and water ratio when using their system. Depending on the device, these ratios could be measured for making a balanced brew, or a potent concentrate. Depending on your cold brew preferences and quantity consumed, this could be a deal-breaker.
Cold brew concentrate is just an extremely condensed version of regular coffee that users dilute with cold water and ice to reach the ideal flavour and caffeine level. For those looking to brew coffee once, and have it last the entire week, brewing concentrate instead of already diluted cold brew can be a benefit.
If your cold brew maker doesn’t include a ratio for ideal concentrate, you may need to experiment with different ratios to find what grounds and water combination works. For regular cold brewers, making concentrate eliminates the need for a large cold brew system.
Cold Brew FAQ
Can you make cold brew with a French Press?
While it is possible to French press coffee, and serve over ice, this manual brewing tool is not capable of producing the quality of the cold brew. For curious coffee drinkers looking to experiment, it is possible to fill a French press carafe with water and coffee grounds, and steep it in the fridge overnight. However, the French press method is designed for a shorter steep time, which could lead to over-extracted coffee.
Likewise, the filtration method will lead to a sediment-filled cup of iced coffee. Users could use their French press to brew hot coffee and cool the brewed result over ice, but even using the press this way will lead to a heavy, potentially bitter coffee.
What is the difference between iced coffee and cold brew?
The primary difference between both styles of cold coffee lies in the steep time and presence of heat in the process. Cold brew coffee is produced entirely without heat and can have a steep time from 1-2 hours with a cold-drip system, up to 24 hours with an immersion system.
Iced coffee is prepared much like its hot counterpart. Iced coffee is typically brewed hot at double strength, cooled, and then sweetened to taste. With the absence of heat in the making process, cold brew coffee has a naturally sweeter flavour profile, as well as higher caffeine content.
Does cold brew coffee have more caffeine than regular coffee?
In preparing any type of coffee, the beans to coffee ratio determine the overall caffeine content brewed into your cup. Cold-brewed coffee is known for having a higher caffeine content simply because more coffee beans are used in the making process.
If hot brewed coffee using the same coffee to water ratio in the process, the caffeine levels would be higher in a hot brew method. Since caffeine’s solubility is temperature-driven, more caffeine would dissolve at a warmer temperature. For coffee lovers users looking to control their caffeine intake, one can dilute their measured concentrate with cold water, or increase their concentrate to water ratio for a stronger caffeine kick.