You might look at a cold-brew coffee maker and think to yourself that it isn’t tech—that it is just a glass carafe with a filter. You might even be right. But there is so much more to cold brewing coffee than just pouring water over coffee grounds in a glass carafe. There is precision, there is care and, in the end, there is some damn fine coffee.
There is also a fair bit of science behind how cold brew works in comparison to brewing hot, but the gist is that it creates coffee with a higher concentration of coffee to water. It is a process that requires patience and a true appreciation for coffee and the quality of the beans you’ve procured. The cold-brew method also creates a different flavor profile from the coffee, one that is sweeter and smoother rather than fragrantly acidic.
The most common way to make cold-brew coffee without a specialized carafe is the immersion method. This involves pouring some coarse grounds in a glass mason jar or other container, filling it with water and letting it sit overnight. After it has infused, you then pour it through a filter to clean out the grounds.
Cold-brew makers with filters are similar in the end result, though they tend to require fine-to-medium ground coffee and at least 20 hours of time in the fridge. With modern cold-brew makers, there are still a few different ways to mix the water with the coffee. Some use a filter within the carafe that infuses the water while keeping out the ground. Others use a double-drip method that slowly adds water to the grounds, which then drips coffee into a smaller carafe. Both require lengthy refrigeration after mixing, and you should drink both within two to three days before the coffee oxidizes.
Takeya Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker
The design of the Takeya cold-brew coffee maker reminds me of a French press, but don’t get them confused. This one comes in one-quart and two-quart sizes. With its airtight lid it can be stored on its side in the refrigerator, unlike most cold brew coffee makers that require standing up. However, if you are as paranoid as I am about putting liquid containers on their sides in the refrigerator, that feature doesn’t matter because it will never be on its side.