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Best Iced Coffee Makers | Buyer's Guide for 2019 | Espresso Perfecto

Best Iced Coffee Makers | Buyer’s Guide for 2019

best iced coffee maker

On a long, hot day, there’s nothing as thirst-quenching as a fresh iced coffee.

But not all iced coffee drinks are made equal! The very best iced coffee makers involve processes that maintain and extract full coffee flavor, yet are rich and cool enough to be totally satisfying. Iced coffees can be made in a number of ways by adding water, milk, ice and if desired, various sweeteners to the coffee of your choice.

New trends in cold coffee beverages have been gaining traction over the past few years. Ever heard of cold brew? Everyone from Stumptown Roasters to Starbucks has their own take on it.

I’m a huge fan of afternoon cold brews to get me through the last bit of work before I head out for the day. I love the concentration of flavor and I enjoy them almost as much as my morning espressos.

shot

The Final Shot: The OXO Good Grips Cold Brew Coffee Maker gets the top spot in this category. It provides the best end result using an actual cold brew method and edges out the Ovalware when it comes to ease of use.

But what is it and why is it so popular?  They avoid acidic flavors that can sometimes be found in heat extracted filter or espresso systems. It is the preferred method for those who enjoy milder flavored coffee.

Like the name suggests, selected coffee grinds are steeped in water in a special container in a refrigerator, for long periods of time, which allows the aromatic flavors of the coffee to release. The resulting concentrated brew stays fresh enough to drink for several days, so you can enjoy the result whenever you choose.

Cold brews are great, but a basic iced coffee doesn’t require nearly as much time to make. When it comes to making basic iced coffee, you essentially take a serving or two of your chosen brew and add a desired amount of ice, iced water or cold milk in a ratio of about 1:3 coffee to cold liquid. If you wish to sweeten it, you can add simple syrup, rather than sugar crystals for a better mix.

One of my favorite methods is to take a shot or two, 3-4 cubes of ice, 2/3 cup of ice cold milk, 1 tsp simple syrup and blend them all together before serving with piped cream around the rim of the cup which makes a rich smooth iced coffee/frappe mix.

Of course, any espresso or coffee maker will work for making iced coffee, but I have a few top picks for the best cold brew-specific machines and then a favorite all-purpose coffee maker that is a great choice for basic iced coffees.

Top Iced Coffee Makers

  • Airtight Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker and Tea Infuser with Spout
    Product Name
  • 4.5Rating
  • $Price
  • Cold BrewMachine Type
  • OXO Good Grips Cold Brew Coffee Maker
    Product Name
  • 4.5Rating
  • $Price
  • Cold BrewMachine Type
  • Hamilton Beach 49980A Single Serve Coffee Brewer and Full Pot Coffee Maker
    Product Name
  • 4.5Rating
  • $Price
  • DripMachine Type

#1 Choice – OXO Good Grips Cold Brew Coffee Maker

Coffee lovers who discover cold-brewed coffee often find they never want to return to heat extraction methods to make a cold coffee beverage again.  It’s sort of life-changing.

If this sounds like you, the Good Grips Cold Brew Coffee Maker is definitely worth a look. It produces smooth, delicious, low-acid coffees pretty handily. The beauty of having cold brewed coffee always on hand means you can easily make an iced coffee to your taste without needing to make a hot shot and cool or water it down with ice.

Using the OXO is as simple as following these steps:

  1. Fill the top container with a chosen measure of coarse ground coffee
  2. Add cold water pouring through the “rainmaker” to distribute all over the grinds. Stir gently if desired.
  3. Store in a cool place or refrigerate 12—24 hours.
  4. Start the draining process by releasing the “Brew-Release” switch. (This can be stopped to remove an amount for making a coffee then turned on again.)
  5. Allow to pour into the pitcher until completely drained.
  6. Use the concentrate as required.

To make any recipe, just use the concentrate as your usual coffee measure. What is great about the OXO is that it is designed to facilitate just this process and makes cold brew really streamlined and easy.

You don’t have to adapt an existing machine to achieve the results you are looking for. The storage carafe has a silicone seal to maintain freshness during refrigeration and the “rainmaker” feature is designed to distribute water evenly over the grounds to ensure maximum flavor is extracted. The simplicity of the design and the focus of the product just on cold brew makes it ideal for die-hard iced coffee drinkers.

The compact design also stores easily in the cupboard when not in use and is ridiculously easy to setup and use when needed. The most difficult thing about the cold brew method is planning ahead so that you have a brew available for the following day.

hotfeatures

OXO Cold Brew Coffee Maker Hot Features:
  • Brews smooth, low-acid coffee concentrate, which can be used to prepare hot or cold coffee
  • Perforated Rainmaker™ to distributes water evenly for optimal flavor extraction
  • Easy-to-access switch to activates filtration process while keeping hands clean
  • Ultra-fine, stainless steel mesh filter is reusable and easy to clean
  • Stopper with silicone seal keeps coffee fresh in the refrigerator
  • Borosilicate glass carafe with measurement markings
  • Small countertop footprint and dis-assembly for compact storage

#2 Choice –  Ovalware RJ3 Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker

I really love the look of this simple, but well-designed cold brew maker. The Ovalware is as compact as it gets and is designed for easy home use to make perfect cold brews and even infused teas, if you’re interested in other caffeinated beverages.

The container resembles a science lab beaker, which the geek in me really likes and is made with extra thick borosilicate glass that is strong enough to withstand dishwashing and frequent use.

The beaker is sealed with a leak-proof, BPA-free silicone, airtight seal to ensure brew flavors are kept in, while any unwanted fridge odors are kept out. The thicker glass also helps with temperature stability. Pouring is easy with the fitted handle and accurate measurements are easy with labeling directly on the carafe.

The Ovalware cold brew system is super easy to use. To start, you simply place 1 ⅛ cup of your chosen beans, coarse or medium grind, in the filter and insert it into the pitcher. Add room temperature drinking water to the “Maximum Fill” line. Stir the grinds to ensure they are all evenly soaked in water and place in your refrigerator for 12 -18 hours. When fully infused, you just remove the filter and dispose of the grinds (I compost mine for my blueberry bushes!). With the built in filter, there is no need for any straining. The coffee concentrate can be stored for up to 2 weeks in your fridge.

The Ovalware system is perfect for infusing either coffee or tea. I suggest if you like both beverages that you might like to purchase two, as it is not always possible to remove all traces of previous brews and you can choose each beverage as you like from the fridge. I find it to be most problematic when switching from coffee to tea.

hotfeatures

Airtight Cold Brew Coffee Maker Hot Features:
 
  • Dishwasher-safe glass
  • BPA-free silicon airtight seal
  • 18/8 stainless steel filter & cap for durability
  • Precise measurement label
  • Fitted handle
  • Ideal height for fridge shelf storage

#3 Choice – Hamilton Beach 49980A Single Serve Coffee Brewer and Full Pot Coffee Maker, 2-Way

The Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer is affordable, low maintenance coffee maker suitable for any home or small office. Keep in mind, this is not a cold-brew specific system. I recommend the HB for users who want the option to make either a regular pot of hot coffee or want to be able to use hot coffee to make an iced beverage.

The HB is a great pick for it’s versatility. It has dual brewing options, one for a single-serve coffee shot, the other for a full coffee pot for up to 12 cups, perfect for an early morning cup alone and later for the whole family.

The single-serve maker has adjustable height settings to fit small, standard and travel height mugs. The brew basket has a mesh filter for one shot of ground beans or you can use a single serve soft pod that fits snuggly in the basket.

A simple control panel and display is used to select various brew strengths from mild to strong. It is also equipped with a 24 hour programmable timer, so that you can wake up to brewed coffee every morning. The heated pad under the carafe has an automatic shut-off after with 2-hours so it’s not a big deal if you are rushing out the door and forget to switch it off.

So how do you make iced coffee with it? You add a measure of coarse ground roasted coffee to the filter for brewing as you would for hot coffee. A darker full bodied roast will give a richer flavor with the converse true with lighter milder beans. A good ratio to start with is 7:1 water to ground coffee so for instance use about 140/150g chosen coffee to 1 litre of water. You can vary this after some experimentation.

After brewing the coffee, add cold water or milk, as preferred, for an immediate iced coffee beverage. Unlike the cold brew machines, your coffee will not have infused for hours so the strength and taste is derived from the hot coffee you brewed.

hotfeatures

Hamilton Beach 49980A Hot Features:
  • Dual water reservoirs
  • 12-cup glass carafe included
  • Control panel and display
  • Height adjustable cup placement for single serve
  • Heat pad for carafe

Summary

Cold brew, and iced coffee in general, doesn’t have to mean a trip to the local coffee shop. With a little planning and either the OXO or Ovalware systems, you can easily make enough cold brewed coffee to store in your fridge for quick afternoon pick me ups.

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Chatting about coffee is my passion! Leave me a question in the comments, I answer each and every one and would love to get to know you better.

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About the Author Michael York

I am a die-hard espresso fan. I love every form of the drink from straight espresso shots to lattes and cappuccinos. I currently use a Breville BES870XL Barista, it is an awesome machine. BUT, my dream machine is definitely an Italian Quickmill Andreja. Those bad boys make badass espresso. I love answering your questions, leave a comment or question below!

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