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When it comes to coffee, cold is the new hot! If you love coffee, you can’t have missed this latest big trend. Of course, we’re talking about cold brew! Uniting the great taste of coffee with the refreshing qualities of ice tea, cold brew is the perfect beverage for summer.
If you would like to make your authentic cold brew and simple iced coffee beverages in the comfort of your home, we’ve picked out three great coffee makers options…
Hario VIC-02B V60 Ice-Coffee Maker
|Size (inches)||6.2 x 10 x 5.4|
|Capacity||Up to 8 cups|
|Time to brew||Around 5 minutes|
The VIC-02B comes complete with everything you need to get started (except the actual coffee), including:
- plastic V60 dripper
- glass carafe
- plastic diffuser
- plastic funnel insert
- filter papers
For anyone familiar with the V60 (or pour over) brewing method, the VIC-02B is the same concept, except it can be used to make iced coffee. This means that the result isn’t strictly cold brew (in which the hot water never comes into contact with the coffee). However, the VIC-02B is simple to use and quickly produces a great iced coffee with minimal hassle.
To make your iced coffee:
- Place 300 grams of ice into the central holder (inside the carafe)
- Take one of the coffee filter papers, pre-moisten it and place it in the filter holder
- Add your ground coffee (a ratio of around 2 to 2.5oz of coffee per liter of water is about right)
- Fit the filter holder on top of the carafe
- Pour a little boiling water onto the coffee (using a regular kettle is fine, you don’t need one with a fancy long spout) and wait for 30 seconds (for all you science geeks out there, this releases the built-up carbon dioxide that’s stored up inside the coffee!)
- Continue to pour the boiling water onto the coffee grounds (aim for a quick and even pour)
- Wait for the boiling water to drip through the coffee and mix with the melting ice
For pour-over, aim for a total brewing time of around three minutes, including the time it takes the water to finish dripping after you’ve stopped pouring.
All of this might sound a little complicated, but it’s not. All you’re doing is pouring hot water over coffee and ice. Experiment with different coffees and brew times to find the best combination for you. Once the brewing has completed, you can remove the filter and ice holders, put the lid on the carafe and use it as a handy pouring jug.
What’s the verdict?
If your current method of making iced coffee at home is brewing a regular cup of coffee and leaving it in the fridge overnight, it’s certainly worth considering spending $25 (or less) on the VIC-02B.
As a bonus, if you remove the ice holder, you can use it to make hot coffee too – simply use the same brewing method, minus the ice. If you’re looking for a speedy iced coffee brewing method, you could also try the HyperChiller Iced Coffee Maker.
OXO Good Grips Cold Brew Coffee Maker
|9.5 x 9.5 x 14.7|
|Capacity||12 to 14 cups
(per carafe of concentrate)
|Time to brew||12 to 24 hours|
The OXO Good Grips Cold Brew Coffee Maker comes complete with the following (again, you have to supply your coffee):
- ‘rainmaker’ water delivery system
- ultra-fine reusable filter
- stopper with silicone seal
- borosilicate glass carafe
At this point you might be wondering if we’ve slipped in a typo, but, no, it does take up to a full day to make your cold brew coffee. For anyone unfamiliar with the cold brew process, you add cold (or room temperature) water to coarse ground coffee and let it sit for up to a day to release the aromatic flavors. The result is a less acidic and bitter beverage.
In fact, the process produces a coffee concentrate, which you can then combine with cold water to make your cold brew beverage. You can also mix the concentrate with hot water or milk if you prefer. The concentrate can be stored in the fridge for up to two weeks.
To make your cold brew:
- Fill the brewing container with coarse ground coffee (it is important to use coarse ground)
- Fit OXO’s ‘rainmaker’ filter on top
- Slowly pour over cold water in a circular motion (OXO recommends 10oz of coffee for 1200ml of water)
- Wait for the coffee grounds to finish bubbling (or ‘blooming’) to release the carbon dioxide
- Remove the filter and stir the grounds
- Go away and amuse yourself for 12 to 24 hours while the coffee brews!
- Flip the switch to begin the draining process
- Collect the cold brew concentrate in the carafe (the process takes about 20 minutes)
Overall, OXO has done a great job making the Good Grips easy to use and clean. There are also nifty features, such as the auto-stop which prevents the coffee concentrate from filtering out when the carafe is removed (so no flooded kitchen!). You can also stop the draining process mid-way through and restart it when you’re ready, allowing you to use some concentrate before it has all drained out.
What’s the verdict?
As you might have guessed, it takes a bit of time and effort to make a cold brew. However, OXO has put a lot of work into creating a versatile machine that takes the hassle out of the cold brewing process. If you’ve got your heart set on producing the flavor of cold brew at home, the Good Grips is certainly worth a look. A slightly cheaper, non-electric option is a longtime favorite, the Toddy T2N Cold Brew System.
Yama Glass Cold Drip Maker
|12 x 9 x 24.5|
(there’s also a 25 cup version)
|Time to brew||3 hours|
The Yama Glass Cold Drip Maker is made of glass compartments and tubes set within a tall wooden frame. It comes complete with:
- ceramic permanent filter
- glass coffee holder
We finish with something a little special. The Yama is a showstopper that produces iced coffee using yet another method. This time we’re talking cold drip. This is a relatively uncommon way of producing iced coffee, involving dripping cold water through ground coffee resulting in a strong brew.
To make your cold brew:
- Place medium/medium-fine ground coffee in the middle chamber (aim for around 2 to 2.5oz of coffee to 600ml water)
- Add a mixture of cold water and ice to the top chamber (just enough ice to keep the water cold)
- Set the drip to 40/45 seconds by carefully releasing the valve under the water chamber
- Leave the water to slowly drip through for about three hours (but do check on it every 30 minutes or so)
- The cold brew coffee will collect in the carafe at the bottom
With this method, you don’t get a concentrate to dilute. You can drink the coffee as it comes out, or poured over ice. The Yama can also be used to make tea.
Overall, this is a unique, but rather unwieldy, brewer/piece of artwork that would look awesome as the centerpiece on the table at a dinner party or sitting on the counter at a coffee shop (there are both 32oz and 124oz versions for home or commercial use). The coffee it produces is terrific, as long as you use a quality bean and pay attention to the drip time.
What’s the verdict?
If this were a beauty contest, the Yama would win hands-down. Fortunately, this pricey piece of coffee art also does the job when it comes to producing strong cold drip coffee. Of course, whether you want to splash out upwards of $250 for the ability to make cold coffee at home is up to you. If you fancy trying cold drip at a friendlier price, take a look at the Iwaki Water Drip.