The flavor of cold-brew coffee is determined by the quality of the beans and the water, the amount and grind of coffee used, and the length of time the grounds steep. These cold-brew coffee maker models make the process convenient, but unlike with hot brewing, they do not influence the coffee’s taste. 

1. Bruer Cold Bruer, $80

How it works: The Bruer cold-brew coffee maker stands out from the others we looked at because its process is flow-through. You place ice and water in the upper chamber, and a drop of water per second drips to the grounds. 

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The extract—ready to drink—collects below, yielding about 20 ounces. (Instructions for concentrate are included.)

Pros: The fastest per ounce, with no waiting for coffee to drain once it’s brewed. Permanent filter.

Cons: Makes among the least amount of drinkable cold brew coffee per use. The glass beakers on this cold-brew coffee maker, though easy to clean, can break.

2. Oxo Cold Brew 1272880, $50

How it works: Place the container on its stand, and add grounds and water. After 12 to 24 hours, place a glass carafe beneath the stand on this cold-brew coffee maker and flip the “brew-release switch,” on the bottom, which lets the concentrated cold brew coffee drip slowly through the built-in filter and into the carafe.

Pros: The brewing chamber can be separated from the stand, and at 7 inches tall, it fits easily into the fridge. The release switch keeps hands clear of the brew.

Cons: The lid on this cold-brew coffee maker doesn’t seal, as it does on some other models, and the filter clogged badly during one of our batches.

Five different cold-brew coffee maker models

3. BodyBrew The Bod, $80

How it works: Add grounds to the stainless filter basket (in the lower half), then add water to this cold-brew coffee maker. Once you attach the upper half, flip the product upside down, then back, to wet the grounds thoroughly. An optional hour timer will help you keep track of steeping time when you’re experimenting.

Pros: At 12½ inches, it fits easily into the fridge while steeping; the top chamber can also be replaced with a cover to reduce the height by 3 inches. It comes in black and two solid and three translucent colors.

Cons: This cold-brew coffee maker can be tricky to assemble.

4. Toddy Cold Brew System, $40

How it works: The upper chamber’s lower recess holds a filter and a stopper. After cold brew coffee has steeped, you remove the stopper from this cold-brew coffee maker and the filtered extract fills the glass lower container.

Pros: It makes about 48 ounces—the most of these models—which yields twice that much drinkable coffee. The brew chamber is unbreakable plastic and can be used with other containers.

Cons: The handle, which wraps around the upper chamber, is flimsy. Removing the stopper can be messy; the filter needs replacing ($3.75 per pair) after about 10 uses.

5. Fellow Duo Coffee Steeper, $100

How it works: A stainless steel chamber atop a glass carafe, this cold-brew coffee maker lets you make cold brew coffee or hot coffee. To release coffee through the filter into the carafe, you twist the two parts of the top chamber.

Pros: At 15 inches high, it’s small enough to fit into the fridge, and its permanent fine filter ensures no gunk at the bottom of your cup.

Cons: If you’d like to fill two 16-ounce travel cups, you’re out of luck: This unit and the Bruer make the least cold brew coffee of the five models—roughly 20 ounces at a time, depending on the strength of the coffee.

Editor's Note: This article also appeared in the June 2016 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.