Best Iced Coffee Maker: Enjoy Iced Coffee at Home
Enjoying the best tasting ice coffee involves far more than just waiting for a pot of coffee to cool down and then pouring over ice. This often leads to a watered down acidic brew that can leave a bitter taste in the mouth. The best iced coffee makers actually use a cold brew process that ensures all of the coffee flavors and oils are fully extracted from the ground coffee beans all of which is done at room temperature over a 12 to 24-hour period.
If you are unsure of exactly what cold coffee brewing is then keep on reading because in this article I have researched and handpicked some of the best iced coffee makers out there. I have found machines and devices that can allow you to make iced coffee the old traditional way which can be a long and tedious process. Along with some new coffee makers that surprisingly let you make iced coffee with little to no effort at all with their dedicated cold coffee brewing functions. Let’s take a closer look at some iced coffee brewing methods.
Which Iced Coffee Makers Do I Recommend?
When it comes to brewing iced coffee I must admit that I am a little bit lazy and either use the iced coffee settings on my Cuisinart Brew Central or I use my French Press. I guess it’s a combination of not having the time to wait a couple of days for the cold brew coffee to finish and always forgetting to set it up in advance.
The Cuisinart single serve brewing system is the machine I use when I want iced coffee quickly, it’s as simple as inserting a coffee pod and pressing the button. To be honest it’s not a bad tasting brew but obviously not as good quality as the slower cold coffee brew method. When I purchased the Cuisinart brewing system there was a deal on which included a pack of different flavored coffee pods, so it might be worth checking to see if you can get this offer which amounts to around $20 in savings. Plus, you can try the different coffee flavors so you can find a favorite when you need to top up the pods.
If I’m feeling a bit more venturous I like to use my Bodum French Press to make iced coffee. This process is a bit longer but if you plan ahead you get a great tasting cold cup of coffee. The process involves brewing the coffee in the French Press for around 12 hours and then filtering the coffee. I will go into more detail further down in this article if this seems like something you want to try. (Also make sure to check out my best French Press reviews article for some of my handpicked favorites).
If money isn’t an issue and you want to best iced coffee maker that is specifically made just for iced coffee, then I recommend the Yama Glass cold drip coffee maker. I warn it isn’t cheap and it kind of looks like a science excrement gone wrong than a coffee brewing device. But as they old saying goes “you get what you pay for”, right?
Cold Brew Coffee Makers a Few More Options
Your choices are not limited to expensive iced coffee makers like the Yama Glass cold drip I mentioned above. There are a few other cold brew coffee makers that are worth mentioning at a fraction of the cost. The Toddy T2N cold brew system is the best iced coffee maker for under $50, it really is a steel. Its super easy to use and is essentially the same process as the more expensive Yama Glass cold drip. The Toddy T2N cuts out the need for test tubes, and Pyrex jars as used in the Yama Glass cold drip, but the end result is the same.
If you’re on a super-tight budget and don’t really want to part with any money, then the Takeya cold brew iced coffee maker could be just what you are looking for. It basically used the same process as the Toddy T2N but at a fraction of the cost. Definitely one to check out if you are new to cold brew coffee.
Using A French Press for Cold Brew
Ok as promised, I will tell you how to use a Bodum for cold brew coffee (my preferred cold brew method). I will try and explain to process the best I can, if you have any questions feel free to drop me a message in the comments.
What You Need:
✓ Coffee: cold brew works best with coffee that has a deep sweetness. I love the Tiny Footprint Coffee Organic Cold Press Elixir Coffee, it tastes great and is perfect for cold brewing.
✓ French Press: obviously you’ll need a French press, my go-to is the Bodum. They come in in varied colors from vibrant green to charcoal black.
✓ Coffee Grinder: there are many types of grinders to choose from, there are manual and electric. However, I have been using the Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Coffee Grinder for a couple of years now without any issue so I definitely recommend that as an option if you don’t already own one.
Step 1: Grind the Coffee
Most cold brew coffee recipes call for a 7:1 water to coffee ratio. So basically, for every liter of water you’re going to use about 140 grams of your chosen coffee. On your coffee grinder you need to set it for a coarse grind. If you are unsure refer to the manual for the best grind setting for a French Press.
Step 2: Add Room Temperature Water
When you are making regular French Press coffee I always recommend using filtered water but when making cold brew coffee you can cheat a bit and regular tap water is totally fine. Make sure the water is at room temperature, it doesn’t have to be hot.
Step 3: Stir
Slowly stir the coffee in the press making sure that all of the coffee grounds are fully immersed in the water.
Step 4: The Waiting Game
This is the hardest part of making cold brew coffee, waiting. For coarse ground coffee expect to leave it “marinating” for 12 hours.
Step 5: Decant
The final part of this cold coffee brew method is the decanting. You need to pour your coffee into a coffee filter so that is filters through into a jar or container. I typically set up a mason jar with a funnel on top where I place a coffee filter.