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Best Cold Brew Coffee Makers of 2019

Consumer Reports’ tests reveal the top automatic and manual models from Cuisinart, KitchenAid, Ninja, and more

A CR test engineer pours water into a cold brew coffee maker
A CR test engineer pours water into a cold brew coffee maker.
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The hottest trend in coffee? Cold brew.

Unlike the traditional brewing process that uses hot water and a medium to medium-fine grind, cold brew involves steeping coarsely ground coffee in cold or room-temperature water over a longer period of time—anywhere from 12 to 24 hours. This yields a more-concentrated brew, which you dilute with cold water and/or ice for a refreshing cup (or with hot water for a hot cup).

The resulting coffee tends to taste smoother than the standard stuff, with less acidity and bitterness.

But Consumer Reports' recent tests of cold-brew coffee makers found that some are more up to the task than others. And not all of them handle cold brew in the manual process described above. Automatic models, which plug into an outlet like a standard coffee maker, cut down brew time to as little as 4 minutes.

“We found that automatic models are more difficult to clean than manual models since they often have more parts,” says Ginny Lui, CR’s test engineer for coffee makers. “But their relatively short brew times still make them a compelling option.”

Lui’s team tests cold-brew coffee makers for convenience, including how easy they are to set up, use, dispense coffee, and clean. And our expert coffee taste tester evaluates each machine's brew. Those results are compiled into an Overall Score for each model.

Below you’ll find the five best cold-brew coffee makers from our tests, two automatic and three manual models from Asobu, Cuisinart, KitchenAid, Ninja, and Primula. They’re listed in alphabetical order, not in order of CR rank.

CR members can click each model name for detailed ratings and reviews. To see more options, check out our complete cold-brew coffee maker ratings. And for more on all of the types of coffee makers we test, see our coffee maker buying guide

1
Best Automatic Cold Brew Coffee Makers
Cuisinart Automatic Cold Brew Coffeemaker DCB-10
Cuisinart Automatic Cold Brew...

    Cuisinart Automatic Cold Brew...

    CR’s take: The Cuisinart Automatic Cold Brew Coffeemaker DCB-10 performed better than automatic models that cost nearly twice as much. It does well across all our tests, and it's the only model to receive a Very Good rating for ease of cleaning. Most parts are dishwasher-safe, unlike the other models in its class. This Cuisinart comes with a glass carafe (not plastic, like some competing models) and brews in 25 to 45 minutes.

    2

    Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System CP307
    Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System...

      Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System...

      CR’s take: The Ninja Hot & Cold Brewed System CP307 is a full-fledged drip coffee maker with a cold-brew mode. It performs well across the board, especially when it comes to convenience, earning an Excellent rating in that test. It uses an insulated stainless steel carafe and makes cold brew in 18 to 20 minutes. We also tested it as a standard drip coffee maker, and it receives strong scores in all of those tests, too. If you want to bounce back and forth between hot and cold brewing, this could be a great option.

      3
      Best Manual Cold Brew Coffee Makers
      Asobu Insulated Portable Brewer KB900
      Asobu Insulated Portable Brewer KB900

        Asobu Insulated Portable Brewer KB900

        CR’s take: The Asobu Cold Brew Insulated Portable Brewer KB900 is more expensive than most of the other manual models we tested, but it's a superior performer. In our lab tests it offers superb convenience and is the only model in our ratings with a Very Good rating for taste. The Asobu isn't dishwasher safe, but it has a stainless steel insulated carafe (rare for a manual model) and brews in 12 to 24 hours depending on how strong you want your coffee to be.

        4

        KitchenAid Cold Brew Coffee Maker KCM4212SX
        KitchenAid Cold Brew Coffee Maker...

          KitchenAid Cold Brew Coffee Maker...

          CR’s take: The KitchenAid Cold Brew Coffee Maker KCM4212SX is the most expensive manual model in our ratings, but it offers the smallest claimed capacity at 28 ounces—almost half that of other top-rated models. And our testers found its glass carafe unusually heavy. Despite those shortcomings, this KitchenAid model does well in our performance tests, even receiving a Very Good rating for ease of cleaning. It can brew in 12 to 24 hours depending on how concentrated you like your coffee.

          5

          Primula Burke Cold Brew Coffee Maker PBPBK-5101
          Primula Burke Cold Brew Coffee...

            Primula Burke Cold Brew Coffee...

            CR’s take: The Primula Burke Cold Brew Coffee Maker PBPBK-5101 is the most inexpensive cold-brew coffee maker in our ratings—and it’s one of the best. It receives an Excellent rating for convenience. This Primula comes with a glass carafe, and most of its parts are dishwasher-safe. It’s the only model that calls for a full 24 hour brew time, but you might find the results worth the wait. 

            9
            Cold-Brew Coffee Makers Rated
            Access Ratings
            Daniel Wroclawski

            I'm obsessed with smart home tech and channel my obsession into new stories for Consumer Reports. When I'm not writing about products, I spend time either outside hiking and skiing or up in the air in small airplanes. For my latest obsessions, follow me on Facebook and Twitter (@danwroc).