What is the best iced coffee maker? When searching for the best iced coffee maker, many people opt for a cold-brew system to create a strong, low-acidity coffee concentrate. These brewing methods take a bit longer than most other methods of coffee preparation, but the resulting drink is smoother, less acidic, and highly concentrated – making it a perfect choice for the entire family. Simply brew your coffee for a few hours (overnight is usually best) and then dilute with water in the morning. Adding frozen cream-and-sugar cubes can help customize the drink without any additional effort on your part. We looked at four of the highest-rated cold brew coffee makers and put them through our review process in order to answer the key question, what is the best iced coffee maker?
Cold brew systems might take longer but you get a strong low acidity drink that can be customized to the whole family
Toddy Cold Brew
Espresso Cappuccino Maker
- Smooth Coffee
- Great price
- Easy to use
Our Top Pick
- Top of the range
- Smooth Drink
- Low acidity
- 6-8 Cup capacity
- Great Coffee
Filtron Cold brewer
Classic Espresso Machine
- Established Brand
- Effective design
- 1.5L per brew
Toddy Cold Brew Coffee Maker
Toddy is one of the leaders in entry-level cold brew coffee makers, and for good reason. This machine gives you a nice, smooth coffee flavor with less fuss than high-end devices. It does take a little time to adjust, particularly if you’ve never used a cold brew system before, but with the lower price point, it’s worth learning on a less expensive unit. For the price, the Toddy Cold Brew is the best choice.
This unit is built for convenience, and can brew a full pound of grounds in a single cycle. Of course, this cycle should be left to steep for at least 12 hours (but not more than 24). Here is where the biggest problem with the Toddy lies: It’s a bit top-heavy while steeping, due to the plastic grounds tank sitting on top of a glass carafe. The coffee tank also doesn’t come with a lid, so we recommend you cover it with something. Be sure that the cover you choose isn’t too heavy, or you’ll increase the chances of your unit tipping over.
Filtron Cold Water Coffee Concentrate Brewer
One of the oldest names in the cold brew game, Filtron Cold Water Coffee Concentrate Brewer is a simple, effective design that helps to resolve some of the design flaws seen with the Toddy. The price isn’t that much higher, either – roughly $10 difference at the time of this review (although prices are subject to change due to factors outside of our control). This unit is designed to make 1.5 liters of cold coffee concentrate, which will keep fresh in the included carafe for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.
As with most cold-brewers, the design of the Filtron is a bit top-heavy while brewing, and you will need to exercise care when moving the unit. They did include a handle to make the brewer easier to move, but this handle is known to be unreliable, and it doesn’t seem like Filtron has any plans to change it (at least, not that we’ve heard). Truthfully, this handle is just an unnecessary bonus, and we recommend carefully holding your machine with two hands whenever you need to move it (and, ideally, moving it as little as possible).
Cold Bruer Drip Coffee Maker B1
If you’re looking for a design that is a bit more stable than the Filtron or the Toddy, without sacrificing that wonderful cold-brew coffee flavor, the Cold Bruer Drip Coffee Maker was a crowdfunded invention that solves many of the problems of the predecessors. It’s quite a bit more expensive than the previous contenders, and only produces 20 oz. of coffee after a full brew cycle, but the brew cycle is also significantly shorter – about 4 hours, as opposed to 12-24. This particular unit isn’t designed for strong coffee concentrates like you’d get with the other brewers, but it can be safely kept in the refrigerator while brewing.
As this is a drip-style brewer, you will need to experiment with fine grounds and the drip valve in order to get your drips to the right frequency. To start, you’ll want about a drip per second, but over time that will slow down due to the lower water level in the water tank. You can help keep consistency by using distilled-water ice cubes and pure distilled water in the top tank, and ensuring that your grind is within the recommended range. The medium setting on your burr grinder is a great place to start, and you may not need to adjust it at all!
Yama Glass 6-8 Cup Cold Drip Maker (Our best iced coffee maker)
Now that we’ve covered all the low-to-mid-range cold brewers that passed our test, it’s time for the top of the line: The Yama Glass Cold Drip Maker. This unit looks and feels like a piece of scientific precision, and the resulting drink is smooth, acid-free, and good for up to a week when refrigerated. As this is a dripper, like the Cold Bruer, you won’t be getting the strong coffee concentrate that you would through immersion methods, but you will get an attractive conversation piece that happens to make the most incredible coffee you’ve ever tasted.
The biggest downside to this specific coffee maker is the high price for a low-tech device, but true coffee aficionados (or just those who enjoy a great decorator piece) will love playing with their new Yama Glass Cold Drip Maker and figuring out exactly how to craft the best cup of coffee imaginable. Just in case 6-8 cups isn’t enough for you, they do offer a 25-cup version as well, although it is large and pricy (as can be expected). [ASIN for 25-cup version: B004EBUZ2E]