Reviews - Cold Brew Coffee Makers

Cold brew coffee makers produce a low acid coffee concentrate that keeps for weeks in the refrigerator. Simply dilute the concentrate with hot water or pour over ice for a tasty coffee beverage.

The cold brew method can be done using kitchen instruments you probably already have.

But most owners agree that investing in a cold brew coffee maker is worth it. Relatively affordable, they offer the convenience of having exactly the right equipment, all in one place, with much easier clean-up.

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Reviews - Cold Brew Coffee Makers

Filtron Coffee Maker Filtron Cold Brew Coffee Maker coffee maker reviews
Consumer Rating: rating 4.7 out of 5 4.7 out of 5
Overall Opinion: Green Check Mark Owners like it
Price Range: cheap coffee maker Under $50
Toddy Cold Coffee Maker Cold Brew Toddy Coffee Maker coffee maker reviews
Consumer Rating: 4.4 out of 5 4.4 out of 5
Overall Opinion: green check mark Owners like it
Price Range: coffee maker review Under $50
Bodum Cold Press Coffee Maker Bodum Bean "Ice" Cold Press Coffee Maker coffee maker reviews
Consumer Rating: rating 4.4 out of 5 4.4 out of 5
Overall Opinion: Green check Owners like it
Price Range: coffee maker price Under $50
Ronco Coffeetime Ronco Coffeetime Cold Brew System coffee maker reviews
Consumer Rating: 4.1 out of 5 4.1 out of 5
Overall Opinion: green check mark Owners like it
Price Range: coffee maker review Under $50
Hourglass Coffee Maker Hourglass Cold Brewed Coffee Maker coffee maker reviews
Consumer Rating: rating 3.4 out of 5 3.4 out of 5
Overall Opinion: Green check Owners like it
Price Range: coffee maker price Under $50

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What is Cold Brew Coffee?

Cold brewing (or cold pressing) is a method of brewing coffee where the extraction of solubles is achieved by a lengthy contact time between the ground coffee and cool water.

In this method, time replaces heat. What results is a coffee concentrate, or coffee essence, that you dilute with hot water or pour over ice.

Specialty coffee shops frequently use cold brewed coffee as the base for their iced coffee beverages. The concentrate stands up well to ice, creamers and flavorings.

Caffeine in Cold Brewed Coffee

The cold brew method is thought to reduce caffeine content by about 33%. This will vary, of course, by the dilution ratio of the finished beverage.

For at-home brewing, people who use this method are attracted to the smooth taste and low-acid brew. Both of these characteristics come about because of the absence of heat in the brew process.

Heat extracts not only the great taste and aroma of coffee, but undesirable elements too - bitter acids and fatty oils. Since these undesirable elements are only soluble at high temperatures, cold brewing leaves them behind in the grounds.

With a cold brew, almost all of the flavor elements come through, while most of the bitterness and acidity is left behind.

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How do Cold Brew Coffee Makers Work?

Most cold brew coffee makers involve a brewing chamber with a stopper and filter in the bottom. The coarse-ground coffee and water are placed in the brew chamber and left to soak at room temperature for 24 hours or more.


Most cold brew coffee makers use re-usable cloth filters. Depending on the grind used, and how the coffee settles, filtering can take up to an hour.

After brewing, you remove the stopper and place the brew chamber over a carafe. The coffee concentrate runs through the filter into the carafe.

The carafe can be used to store the concentrate in the refrigerator for two weeks or more.

The Bodum Ice Coffee Press uses the same cold brewing concepts, but differs from other cold brew coffee makers in that ground coffee is filtered out by pressing to the bottom of the beaker.

To drink, dilute the concentrate with hot water, cold water, ice, dairy, soy etc. Dilution ratios vary with the user's preference, but 1 part concentrate to 2 parts water is a good place to start.

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Cold Brew Coffee Pros and Cons

green arrow One of the primary benefits of the cold brew method is that it creates a low-acid coffee. Lab tests show that it is 67% - 70% less acidic than heat-brewed coffee.
  bullet Those with acid indigestion or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) sometimes find themselves unable to drink coffee at all because of the high-acid content. Cold brewed coffee is reduced in acid enough to bring this beverage back into the diets of many who suffer these ailments.
  bullet Some health experts make a case for reducing the acidity in our diets so the body can more easily maintain its natural slightly alkaline pH level. Heat-brewed coffee is often too acidic for people concerned with body pH. Cold brewed coffee's reduced acid is more acceptable.
  bullet Beverages high in acid can contribute to the weakening of tooth enamel.
  bullet Coffee beans themselves can be grown and roasted in a way that reduces their natural acidity by about 25%. But those who try low-acid beans are frequently dissatisfied with the taste. Cold brewing "regular" beans achieves a greater reduction in acidity along with a great tasting brew.
green arrow Though not all agree, most are enamored with the taste of cold brewed coffee. The cold brew process prevents bitter elements from entering the brew, making it super-smooth. Sweet flavor notes are more apparent. The majority of people who try cold brew prefer the taste to heat-brewed coffee.
green arrow The concentrate produced by cold brew coffee makers can be used in a variety of ways.
  bullet The same concentrate makes hot or cold coffee drinks.
  bullet One brew cycle typically makes over 20 servings, and so can be used to serve a large group.
  bullet Because it is a concentrate, cold brewed coffee works well as a flavoring in recipes or on ice cream.
  bullet Within a single batch, it is easy to vary coffee strength by changing the dilution ratio. Good for households where coffee strength preferences differ.
green arrow Most find using a cold brew coffee maker very convenient.
  bullet Since the concentrate stays fresh for two weeks or more, you can brew once every few days or weeks.
  bullet Since you don't use it every day, a cold brew coffee maker can be stored away, reducing countertop clutter.
  bullet The concentrate is very easily portable. You can bring it to work, camping, and travelling. Anywhere you can get hot water, you can make coffee.
  bullet Brewing does not require electricity or a heat source.


green arrow The taste of cold brewed coffee is a little bit different that heat-brewed coffee. Most love it, but some find it lacking in body and complexity.
green arrow Many argue that purchasing a special cold brew coffee maker is completely unnecessary. The same brew method can be achieved with household items: glass jars, a strainer, cheesecloth, and a funnel.

"Hillbilly" Cold Brew

Using regular kitchen items to cold brew your coffee is sometimes referred to as "Hillbilly" brewing. Though the same results can be achieved, most owners agree that purchasing a brewing system for cold brew coffee is a good value for the convenience and easier clean-up alone.

green arrow Cold brew coffee takes 24 or more hours to brew. You have to plan ahead.
green arrow Most cold brew coffee makers call for coarse-ground coffee. Pre-ground coffee is generally ground too finely for this method. This means you must grind it yourself at home or in the grocery store, or purchase your coffee at a specialty coffee shop that grinds it to your specifications.
green arrow Before finding the "sweet spot," some have to do a bit of experimentation with brew time, the brew ratio of ground coffee to water, and dilution ratio of concentrate to hot water.
green arrow Several owners noted that flavored coffee beans do not do well in a cold brew coffee maker.
green arrow Yield varies, but cold brewing generally produces fewer servings per pound of coffee than heat-brew methods.
green arrow Most cold brew coffee makers make use of a reusable filter. The filter must be cleaned and stored, and periodically replaced.

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