If iced coffee season begins on the first humid, sun-streaked day when the thought of sipping a hot cup of java is too much to bear, when does cold brew season begin?
Some say that cold brew season is all year round, and for a good reason. Cold brew is not just cold coffee – it is, first and foremost, a preparation. And the result is something that might look like watered down coffee, but in reality, is delicious, sweet and chocolatey.
What is cold-brew coffee? And how do you prepare it?
Cold-brew is more than a slowed-down version of hot coffee; it’s a different product all together.
You steep coffee grounds in room-temperature water for six to 20 hours to make a concentrate that can be diluted with milk or any plant-based alternative and served over ice.
The process of eliminating heat and adding time to your brew gets rid of all the acidity that is contained in the beans. Without the bitterness produced by hot water, the cold-brewed coffee has hints of chocolate, even caramel.
And while hot coffee can change in flavour at different temperatures, cold brew is relatively stable, which makes it particularly well-suited to being served at parties.
If you’re new to the cold-brew cult or a long-time fan, peruse our ultimate guide to the best cold brew coffee below.
Bodum Cold Brew
The Cold Brew Coffee Maker can create up to 12 cups of coffee because Bodum understands that the cold brew process is a very social endeavour.
With this French press-like product, the cold brew could not be easier make. Just place the coffee directly into the pitcher and pour room-temperature water over the grounds. Store in the fridge overnight, depress the plunger and pour.
Made of non-stain plastic, it’s dishwasher safe and BPA free. This is coffee so good your guests will want to ditch their baristas.
Buy now £49.95, Bodum
Bruer Cold Drip
The Bruer Cold Drip is the equivalent of staring at an ant colony in a jar: it’s a fascinating conversation starter, and you’ll find an excuse to talk about it constantly.
Instead of mixing grounds and water, the Bruer lets water drip through the grounds using gravity. You just need to fill up the top section with water and ice, twist a knob at the centre to adjust the drip, and then let the magic happen.
Be mindful that the Cold Drip is made entirely of glass.
Buy now £78.00, Amazon
Hario Cold Brew Filter in Coffee Bottle
The Hario Cold Brew takes a minimalistic approach to coffee making. With only three parts, it’s great for beginners and die-hard cold brew fans. Also, it’s one of the cheapest cold brew options on the market.
With this bottle, you don’t need to have experience – you just need to be thirsty. Having said that, the Hario doesn’t leave you much room for fine-tuning your brew (if that’s what you’re after) and it only brews around four cups at a time.
But like all Hario products, it comes with a handy cheat sheet so that you know exactly the water to coffee ratio for the perfect cup of Jo.
Buy now £26.17, Amazon
Asobu Portable Cold Brew Coffee Maker
Portable is the key word for this Asobu Cold Brew. Made of super fine-double-walled stainless-steel filter and a spill-proof carafe, this coffee maker is compact and simple.
It also has a cool release button that lets the brew decant into the carafe which does a tremendous job at keeping your coffee cold for a long time.
The durability and portability of the Asobu compensate for its 32oz capacity.
Buy now £36.99, Amazon
Oxo Brew Compact
This tiny coffee maker can fit well onto every kitchen counter with its compact size. It comes with a glass carafe and a plastic brewer that houses the coffee grounds.
You can easily assemble and use it without ever looking at the instructions thanks to the markings on each of the parts for measurement.
It brews the strongest coffee you’ll ever sip in your lifetime, so be careful and dilute it with more water or plant-based milk when it comes out of the fridge.
Buy now £67.71, Amazon
Takeya Deluxe Cold Brew
Do you like to craft artisinal coffee but have no interest in the cleaning up process? The Takeya deluxe was created with you in mind.
The pitcher is dishwasher safe, but Takeya does recommend hand-washing for longevity. The coffee filter can be rinsed with water and then hand-washed with a bottle brush to remove any debris.
The Takeya prioritises functionality over design: it might not look like much, but if you have to store your cold brew horizontally in the fridge, the leak-proof, airtight lid works wonders.
Buy now £30.40, Amazon
Coffee Gator Cold Brew
The Coffee Gator is a straightforward, easy-to-use cold brew coffee maker.
Although smaller than other coffee makers, the Gator is sturdy and every piece of the glass pitcher is tightly fitted to prevent any leaks.
It disassembles easily and the bottom of the filter basket screws off for easy rinsing.
Getting started is pretty intuitive. Ground coffee goes into the filter basket, then water is poured over the top of the coffee through the hole in the lid. The instructions call for about 2.5 oz (75g) of coffee to 1.1 liters of water, which almost completely fills the brewer.
After a brewing time of 12 hours, you have a strong yet smooth coffee ready to sip.
Buy now £30.99, Amazon
Primula Deluxe Cold Brew
The Primula Deluxe Cold Brew is perfect for a solo experience and it’s proof that high-quality coffee makers don’t need to cost a fortune.
The temperature-safe borosilicate glass product weighs less than two pounds, and can even be run through the dishwasher, making clean-up a breeze.
It has both an air-tight lid to keep your drinks fresh for several days, and a sleek design that will slip into most refrigerator doors.
Buy now £27.58, Amazon
The Bodum Cold Brew is superior in brewing consistency and flavour. The French press-like system allows you to extract more flavour from your beans leaving you with a drink that is more concentrated than just watered-down coffee.
Time and time again, the Bodum makes smooth, delicious iced coffee with balanced acidity, a stronger aroma, and a cleaner finish than most other cold brew coffee makers that we tested.