Unlike iced coffee, which is hot coffee poured over ice, there is no heat applied during the cold brew method.

Instead, freshly ground coffee is left to infuse in the water – which can take anything from eight to 24 hours. As such, this will require a little forward planning if you’re to quench your thirst. 

For best results we found using filtered water really made a difference to the finished brew, allowing the nuanced flavours of the ground beans to shine through. You should find that cold brew is a lot smoother and less acidic than an iced coffee but as we’ve mentioned, it will take much longer to prepare. 

Thankfully though, these appliances take a lot of the hard work out of the preparation for you without using electricity or batteries. And there’s no need to let the timeframe put you off, you can simply leave overnight and wake up to the perfect cold brew.

When considering which cold brew maker is best for you, there are two main things to consider. Firstly assess how much room you have for this new kitchen contraption. 

Some styles below fit neatly into a fridge door while others will require countertop space – both will need freshly ground coffee though. 

Secondly, think about how many cups you’d like to get out of your machine, below we’ve included a selection of personal bottles that can be enjoyed on the go, as well as larger capacities to quench the thirst of a couple for the whole working week.

Most have reusable parts that only need cleaning, while some others will require replacement parts once the original stash has been depleted.

A handy tool to have during the summer months, one of these machines would also make a lovely gift for the coffee addict in your life.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

Hario cold brew coffee filter in bottle: £32, Hario

Slimmer than the coffee pots from the same range but working in a similar way, we prefer this bottle version, which takes up less space in the fridge door but can also be drunk on the go. The compact design has a built-in filter for infusing your coffee and a secure rubber lid which kept our coffee fresh. Hario recommends pouring cold water over ground coffee, giving it all a little shake and leaving in the fridge for at least eight hours. The clever design means you can leave the filter in while you pour without any sediment getting into your drink. It’s available in just the two colours – a lighter brown colour as well as mocha. Super easy to use, this is a great value, no-fuss option.

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Soulhand cold drip coffee machine: £32.99, Amazon

Despite containing multiple parts this transparent glass machine was surprisingly easy to set up. You start by pouring a few scoops of ground coffee into the filter cup and covering that with one of the paper filters provided. Cold water and ice cubes are then added to a chamber that sits on top and very slowly drips through to the coffee below. You can adjust the speed of this, which will slightly impact the intensity of the finished coffee, but expect about seven to eight drips per 10 seconds on average. Making up to 300ml of coffee, we were very impressed with the purity of flavour and with a lifetime guarantee, this feels very good value. The kit comes with 50 paper filters to get you going but these will need replacing when you run out. A benefit of using this method is you don’t need to find space in the fridge, however, it will take up kitchen counter space instead.

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Bodum bean set cold brew coffee maker: £45.30, Bodum

While this might look remarkably like your ordinary French press, there are a few marked differences to ensure your cold-brew is up to scratch – namely an extra silicone lid. Simply add ground coffee to the carafe but instead of using hot water, you’ll need to use cold. Resist the urge to plunge at this point as the maker needs to be placed in the fridge overnight with the silicone lid securely fitted to keep the contents fresh. In the morning, swap the lids, plunge away and your cold-brew will be ready to enjoy. Super easy to use, all the parts can be popped into the dishwasher after use too.

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KitchenAid artisan cold brew coffee maker 5KCM4212SX: £129, KitchenAid

If you’re lucky enough to already own a KitchenAid appliance, you’ll know they are built to last. This cold brew coffee maker is no exception, made from a combination of thick glass and stainless steel that keeps your liquid fresh for up to two weeks. As such, it is quite heavy when full, but the handle makes it easy enough to manoeuvre. We placed ours on a shelf in our fridge (it won’t fit in the door) and poured directly into our glass with the tap, without any leakages. To make the cold-brew you’ll need to add freshly ground coffee into the reusable stainless steel steeper, fill with cold filtered water and leave in the fridge for a minimum of 12 hours (although we think 24 hours is preferable if you want a stronger flavoured brew). Easy to use and clean, the result was super smooth coffee but this contraption can also be used to make iced tea.

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Kilner cold brew coffee set: £16.95, Silver Mushroom

Kilner is a brand you’ll no doubt know and trust thanks to its sturdy glassware. Using the same embossed preserve style clip-top jar, this kit is specifically designed to make cold brew, coming with a few important extras. Firstly, the reusable stainless steel coffee filter and four muslin coffee squares – which can be washed and reused – ensure none of the ground coffee makes its way into the finished brew. To keep everything in place, the kit comes with 2m of twine (which made us feel very crafty but was a little fiddly) and the 2l clip-top jar itself where you’ll make your batch. Once ready (after at least 12 hours) you can serve in the two smaller handled jars provided. There’s also a recipe booklet to get you started.

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Full Circle Brumi cold brew bottle: £36.50, Trouva

If you don’t feel like committing to cold brew for the rest of your days, you might find this versatile bottle from Brumi a good option instead. It’s capable of making both hot and cold coffee (and even tea). The twist-lock lid felt secure and the double insulated glass means your hands never get too cold (or hot). Similar to the Hario version above, it contains a removable filter that you’ll fill with your ground coffee before leaving to infuse overnight, ready to grab and go in the morning.

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OXO Good Grips cold brew coffee maker: £45, Amazon

OXO is another well-trusted name in the world of everyday kitchen appliances and we found this sturdy piece of kit made a consistently good cold brew. We don’t think it looks quite as modern as the Soulhand one above but it follows a similar format, minus the addition of ice, which some may find more straightforward. The coffee grounds are added to the container, while their poetically named “rainmaker” ensures an even distribution of cold water across the coffee. There’s a simple lever that allows the liquid to be released into the glass carafe, which has a spout and measurements for easy pouring. Again, you can also make iced tea in the same way.

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The verdict: cold-brew coffee makers

While we were impressed with all the machines we tried, we think the Hario’s cold brew coffee filter bottle is well-made, great value, and really easy to use, clean and assemble. If you need a bigger batch, the sleek Soulhand cold drip coffee machine is the perfect option.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.