In a coffee loving society, brew methods abound, and each one has their dedicated disciples who wouldn’t dream of using any other. You will hear the virtues extolled of the pour over, the french press, and the percolator– and rightly so! But it would be a mistake to neglect the cold brewer. There are so many reasons to love cold brew coffee; as a manual method it saves on energy, the extraction process creates a brew that is better for your health than possibly any other, the concentrate lasts for weeks, and it is among the most convenient for a fast cup of joe. It is no question why so many people love this efficient, easy brew method.
For space saving, mess free brewing, the Hario Mizudashi shines. Where others of its ilk brew in one container and then drain into another, the Mizudashi steeps the grounds in an immersion brew cone which lifts free when the concentrate is ready, leaving behind a delicious concoction that can be diluted with water, or drunk straight for those who like their java to put hair where hair did not used to be. The Mizudashi does not brew the high volume concentrates of others, but if you don’t mind starting a fresh pot every day or two, it makes a fine cup of coffee.
The Hario Coffee Bottle makes easy cold brew that serves beautifully. Add grounds to the internal strainer and then fill the bottle slowly with water. After approximately eight hours of refrigeration, you will have a chilled ambrosia at your fingertips. The bottle itself holds approximately 22 oz, and is easy to handle and a breeze to store. The slighter size does create a higher effort to payoff ratio, and the smaller parts are a little more challenging to clean appropriately, but especially if yours is coffee for one, or even two, this brewer is a fantastic choice.
The Toddy Maker has long been beloved by cold extraction evangelists. Providing a full flavor and a simple set up, it has become a perennial favorite. The glass storage container holds up to 56 oz, and comes with a rubber stoppered lid for spill free storage, while the plastic brewing pot rests easily on your counter in the infusion stage and then hooks securely over the rim of the storage decanter when draining. The plastic handle doesn’t always hold up to the full weight of a full tub of soaking grounds, and it takes a little skill to remove the rubber cork for drainage, but over all the Toddy is an elegant and simple cold brew solution.
For reduced acidity, but all the richness of coffee flavor, the Filtron Cold Brew is the coffee maker you want. It is easy on sensitive stomachs, and great for health conscious caffeine addicts. Soak your grounds in the coffee bowl for twelve to twenty-four hours, then drain into the 50 oz decanter. Your concentrate will store in the refrigerator for up to six weeks, so you you never have to wait for a pot to brew, just add hot water to your concentrate for a steaming cup, or ice cubes and cream for a summer treat. One downside to the Filtron, though, is that it has a lot of separate parts, which can be a bit difficult to keep track of.
The OXO Good Grips provides a sturdy base, avoiding the top heavy precariousness of other cold brew coffee makers. The Rainmaker distribution device ensures that the water you pour into your grounds is spread evenly across them, making for a richer, fuller flavor. When brewing is complete, OXO has eliminated the tricky business of pulling out a stopper while positioning your concentrate over the receptacle; instead, when your grounds have steeped and your brew is ready, put your carafe in place and then just flip a switch to fill it up with syrupy goodness. One carafe is twelve to fourteen cups of delicious coffee, and the included silicone sealed stopper keeps your concentrate fresh until the last drop. Though the base adds extra stability, it also means the OXO takes up more counter space than other cold brewers, but if space is not an issue, the OXO may be the mechanism for you.
Cold brew, for all its delights, can be a little bit labor intensive. Sometimes your hectic life leaves you really in need of a set and forget coffeemaker. In those troubled times, Bruer comes to the rescue. Whether you want a dark syrup or a lighter, more readily drinkable concoction, the valve adjustment in the water tank allows you to adjust how long the grounds brew before the final product drips down into the pitcher below. So you can prep your beans, pour the water, and walk away without needing to check back. The Bruer, while a beautiful coffeemaker, is on the delicate side. For those with more thumbs than fingers, this might be a choice to be weighed heavily.
Not only does the Yama Cold Brewer look like a fantastical steampunk invention, but it cuts the recommended brew time in quarters, at least. While twelve to twenty four hours is the common allotment for cold brew concentrate, the Yama suggests merely three. Instead of immersing grounds in cold water and leaving to soak, this unique contraption works much like a drip coffee maker, but without the drain on your electricity. Put the cold water in the top, the grounds in the middle, and in a few short hours your favorite beverage is ready to enjoy in the bottom carafe. The Yama has a few more moving parts and fiddly glass tubes than most cold brewers, but cleaning aside, it is one cool piece of hardware.