The 4 Best Iced Coffee Makers
If you like saving hot coffee for colder days, the best iced coffee makers can help you get your daily jolt without the heat. Below, I’ve rounded up the best coffee makers for brewing this refreshing, chilled drink. Whatever your preference, there’s surely a pick for you.
Iced Coffee Vs. Cold Brew
First things first, it's helpful to understand the difference between iced coffee and cold brew. While they're both cold coffee drinks, the way they get there is quite different.
- Iced coffee: This is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: regular coffee that’s brewed hot, then poured over ice. Typically iced coffee is brewed extra strong since the ice cubes will slowly melt and dilute the coffee. That said, there's a convenient hack to avoid this. If you make ice cubes out of regular coffee, then you can brew as usual without fear of dilution. (That’s why I’ve also included a great ice cube tray that’s perfect for this task below). Iced coffee is relatively quick and simple to make, and offers the same caffeine boost that hot coffee would. Some coffee makers come with iced coffee brew settings, but you can also make iced coffee with a regular coffee maker.
- Cold brew coffee: This type of coffee takes time, a specific brew method, and a cold brew coffee maker. To make this tasty treat, you’ll need to soak course, ground coffee beans in cold or room temperature water for at least 12 hours. While cold brew coffee is smoother and less acidic than iced coffee, it’s also much more highly caffeinated, so keep that in mind if you’re particularly sensitive to caffeine.
With that in mind, it's time to take a look at the best iced coffee makers (and cold brew makers) on Amazon. All of them are highly rated, and there’s a pick for every budget. You can choose from single-serve models, or coffee makers that can hold 28, 32, and even 50 ounces of coffee at once.
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1. A Cold Brew Coffee Maker With A Spout For Coffee On Tap
This glass and stainless-steel cold brew coffee maker has an easy-pour spout for enjoying cold brew on tap. The aesthetically pleasing model is designed to sit on your kitchen counter or the shelf of your refrigerator (or you can rotate it back and forth, thanks to its convenient carrying handle). It can make up to 28 ounces of coffee at once and will keep your brew fresh for up to two weeks if kept in the fridge. It isn’t dishwasher safe, but reviewers say it’s a cinch to clean with soap and water.
A helpful review: “I love the design. It’s super easy to add and dispose of grinds and easy to pour. I’ve been saving so much money on iced coffee from my local Starbucks that’s it’s already paid for itself. Ironically I first saw this in a Starbucks promotional pamphlet in a parent magazine. Highly recommend.”
2. A Combination Coffee Maker With Five Brew Styles
At first glance, this combination coffee maker might seem a little pricey, but the fact that it brews both coffee and tea, hot or over ice, means that it's going to be a workhorse in the kitchen. It also comes with five brew settings: For coffee, those are: classic, rich, cold brew, over ice (which is brewed at a higher temperature than the cold brew), and specialty (which is designed for frothed drinks. Yes, this pick also comes with a milk frother!). For tea — which can be brewed via loose leaves or bags — those are: herbal, black, oolong, white, and green.
You can also brew six cup sizes with this machine, from single-serve pod coffee to a full carafe. The included double-walled, 50-ounce, thermal carafe can keep coffee hot for up to two hours. The only downside is the thermal carafe is not dishwasher safe.
A helpful review: “Great machine. Lots of variety in the types of coffee to brew. Really enjoy the over ice option for coffee and tea. Frothe[r] works very well and is very easy to clean.”
3. A Budget-Friendly Cold Brew Coffee Maker
This budget-friendly cold brew coffee maker is ideal for anyone new to cold brewing, since it's super easy to use: select your preferred grounds, dump them in the fine mesh filter, and brew overnight.
The pitcher and leakproof lid are made of BPA-free Tritan plastic, but the handle is silicone for a better grip. It can hold up to 32 ounces of cold brew coffee at once, translating into four eight-ounce servings. It’s small enough to fit in the door of your refrigerator, plus it’s shatter-proof and dishwasher safe (on the top rack).
A helpful review: “This thing is so simple, so easy to use, easy to make good coffee, and cleans up easy. I carry it in a bag and it jostles around and never spills even when upside down. It passes all the tests. I now make awesome cold coffee and it stores nicely and travels great. No more oils and acid. Just good, mellow, earthy coffee. I drink smaller volumes now, get a smooth intense flavor, and I can drink it black and eat pizza or a salad at the same time — it's that mellow [...]”
4. Worth The Splurge: A Premium Espresso & Iced Coffee Machine That Has A Built-in Steel Burr Grinder
With this price tag, the De'Longhi espresso machine is definitely an investment — but if you’re serious about your coffee, it might be worth the extra dough. Not only does it let you brew a range of drinks (espresso, long espresso, drip-style coffee, and iced coffee), it comes with a built-in, adjustable steel burr grinder, with 13 settings, for the freshest ground beans — and a milk frother for cafe-quality lattes and cappuccinos.
For iced coffee, it brews at a lower temperature, boasting that it’s full-bodied and never watered down. The machine also begins brewing in just 40 seconds so you get your coffee quick. The unit's one-touch customization allows you to choose your drink size and strength too. In terms of cleaning, it comes with a descaling solution and a cleaning brush for when you need to freshen the brew unit, and the drip tray is conveniently dishwasher safe. The only caveat: reviewers noted that the water reservoir is fairly small so you do have to refill it often.
A helpful review: "[I grew up overseas, having lived 20 years in Belgium, England, and Germany. I visited a lot of countries overseas as well, including Italy, so I have memories of superbly strong, yet svelty-smooth-creamy espressos from Italian cafes. This espresso-maker makes it far too easy - it feels like it's cheating. [...]Additionally, you can brew coffee over ice to ensure the proper amount of coffee is dispensed without your iced coffee tasting watered-down. There's a setting for just a regular cup of coffee (if you'd like to make a latte) [...]."
Also Nice: Silicone Trays For Making Coffee Ice Cubes
Made with 100% BPA-free, food-grade silicone, these ice cube trays are flexible, stackable, and easy to clean. With the two-pack, you can make up to 74 cubes at once. They come with removable lids as well to prevent freezer odors from getting into the cubes, and all the pieces are dishwasher safe.
A helpful review: “I like these plates. I bought them to make ice cubes for iced coffee. They worked very well, freezing the coffee perfectly into cubes. Extracting one cube at a time is also very easy. [...] I'm very, very satisfied."