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Are you searching for a coffee machine that prepares the kind of coffee even the best coffee maker can’t? In that case, the best iced coffee maker is the perfect investment to ensure you don’t waste time or money waiting at a cafe for delicious coffee. You just have to add coffee grounds to the coffee maker’s filter, fill water in the water tank, and add ice to the carafe. Wait a few minutes after these steps and you’ll be slurping amazing iced coffee from the comfort of your home.
With these coffee makers, you’re generally looking at features like a well-insulated carafe with water and ice level markings and a tight seal to lock in the aromatic coffee compounds. Quick chilling technology and an over-ice button that brews the perfect iced coffee intuitively are also features to look for.
Sounds like a lot to take in? Don’t worry, we’ve done all the homework for you and simplified it in this buying guide. Keep reading to learn about iced coffee makers.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: A safe choice for health, this model uses BPA-free Tritan plastic. It also incorporates a non-slip silicone handle into its design. An airtight lid keeps it from leaking when pouring your beverages.
The material used in the production of this design is BPA-free Tritan plastic. This is a safe option health-wise, making this an excellent option if you want to stay away from toxic materials. There is also an air-tight lid that keeps coffee fresher for longer and alleviates any spillage concerns. Unfortunately, this model is known for making a weaker brew than some other options on the market. If this is a dealbreaker for you, there are better alternatives available.
You’ll enjoy a non-slip silicone handle that makes serving coffee a snap. It also allows you to easily transport this compact carafe from place to place as you need to. A fine mesh coffee filter is installed that removes the need to use messy paper filters. Beyond this, it is also a highly compact model that is small enough to fit in most refrigerator doors. This makes it an excellent option for those with limited storage who want cold brew on tap.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: This model has earned accreditation from places like the U.S.F.D.A. for adhering to strict food safety standards. It also uses a laser-cut filtration system to ensure non-grainy beverages.
If you want to make barista-style beverages in the comfort of your own home, this is a great model to start with. It can help you create a delicious cold brew in just a few easy steps. You can also use this multi-functional model for iced tea if a person in your household doesn’t like coffee. However, the filtration system does take up quite a bit of room. Because of this, it can only brew at around a 26- to 28-ounce capacity.
The laser-cut filter is a grade above permanent systems in competing models. It keeps grounds out of your pour with ease, ensuring a smooth cup of coffee every time. The lid features a silicone dual-sealing system. This provides an airtight lock when the cover is firmly pressed on the carafe. One seal hugs the carafe itself, while the second one is at the top of the filter assembly.
Award: BEST FOR EASY MEASUREMENTS
WHY WE LIKE IT: You can use this model to store your beverages for up to two weeks. It also has a multi-functional design that allows you to make iced teas. The permanent filtration system makes clean-up much more manageable.
You’ll love how easy it is to measure for this coffee maker. This is because there are measurements right on the carafe in both cups and milliliters. No matter which system of measurement you use, you’ll be able to read these markings easily. However, you might want to keep in mind that the coffee or tea you make in this model might not be as concentrated as you’d like. If this is a dealbreaker, you’ll be better off looking at other options.
Beyond this, you can easily lock in the freshness of your coffee for up to a staggering two weeks. This means you’ll have a cup of cold brew at the ready for a much longer time than competing models might offer. It uses an 18/8 medical-grade stainless steel filter that has been laser cut. The lid cap is made out of the same durable material. There is a non-slip rubber cushion base for added protection of the carafe.
Award: BEST FOR SPECIALIZED BREWING
WHY WE LIKE IT: The dual-brewing capabilities of this model mean that you can make a single cup or a whole pot whenever you need one. You’ll also have multiple styles for brewing available to choose between.
If you need to brew multiple sizes, this is a great option to go with. You can choose between a single cup or making an entire carafe full of coffee. It also does far more than cold brew, although that is a significant function. You’ll be able to enjoy tons of hot options, as well. Unfortunately, they do not make this brewer capable of brewing on as high of a temperature as other options might. If super hot coffee is your thing, you’re better off looking elsewhere.
This coffee maker is known for brewing a smooth, delicious cup that has bold flavor notes. It also is specially designed to make tea, whether from loose-leaf or a bag, using the specially designed tea brewing basket. This multi-functionality means that every person in the house will be able to use this model, even if they don’t care for coffee. A built-in frother can also take hot or cold milk and turn it into a silky, smooth foam within seconds.
Award: BEST FOR EASY CLEAN-UP
WHY WE LIKE IT: You won’t have to handwash this compact option since it can be machine washed. It also has an ergonomic design that’ll make it comfortable to hold while serving. The permanent filtration system is a nice touch.
This system is fantastic for making delicious cold brews of coffee at home in the same style that a barista would make at your favorite cafe. You’ll love how rich and smooth each carafe is when you follow the directions provided by the manufacturer. However, you’ll want to keep your eye out for loose coffee grains in your brews. The permanent filtration system in this design seems to leave something desired for some consumers.
A streamlined design means that this is a perfect option for both beginners and more advanced coffee consumers. All you need to do is add in your favorite ground coffee, correctly measure out the cold water, and then allow it to brew in your fridge overnight. From there, you’ll have up to 52 ounces of smooth, fresh cold brew to enjoy at your leisure. This means you can expect up to six cups of coffee from a single brew session.
Award: BEST FOR COMPACT SIZE
WHY WE LIKE IT: You’ll enjoy the highly compact nature of this option. It’s easy to store away when not in use or even travel with you. Beyond this, it has an easy-to-use design that is friendly even for beginner users.
An overnight option, this model will ensure that a cold carafe is waiting for you in the morning when you wake up. It steeps overnight while you sleep so that your morning can run that much smoother. This model also offers an easy clean-up process with dishwasher-safe components included. However, you’ll want to keep an eye out for coffee grounds in your brew. This system is known for leaving behind tiny remnants, which might be a turn-off for some consumers.
You’ll enjoy the mesh filter that’s constructed from high-quality stainless steel. This is a long-lasting material that will keep your filter in good shape for a long time to come. The easy-pour dispenser ensures that you won’t have difficulty serving this coffee to yourself or guests. There is a leak-proof lid, so you don’t have to worry about making a huge mess whenever you’re using this model to pour coffee.
An iced coffee maker prepares cafe-style iced coffee with a hot, concentrated brew that drips right into an ice-filled carafe. Those who prefer their coffee cold and find it difficult to stop at coffee shops for their daily caffeine fix will find this machine particularly useful. With a highly functional iced coffee maker, you can have your iced coffee ready in just a few minutes, right at home.
The basic features for brewing a well-extracted cup of iced coffee are essentially the same as a traditional coffee maker, with a few notable differences. Like any other coffee maker, the best cold brew coffee makers exhibit a reusable metal/mesh filter, the ideal time and temperature settings for proper extraction, and a well-insulated carafe.
Like the best french press coffee machines, you’ll also find cold brew machines that are compact and easy to use, especially single-serve iced coffee machines that brew one cup at a time. You’ll often find that you can brew regular hot coffee with an iced coffee maker as well. This is, in part, because all iced coffee starts off as hot coffee.
Iced coffee makers tend to be pricier than traditional coffee makers because of their additional features. The double-walled carafe keeps the coffee chilled for longer and prevents sweat droplets from forming on the outside. Depending on the brew size, the device comes with water and ice level lines that indicate the perfect measurement.
The quick chilling technology and the over-ice button are responsible for cooling hot, concentrated brew in a carafe of ice. Manufacturers of these machines also guarantee leak-proof airtight seals and dishwasher-safe parts. Alternatively, you can find an iced coffee setting as an extra function of larger and more expensive hybrid coffee machines.
Although cold-brewed coffee is a frosty delight, it initially goes through a hot brewing process that brings out its aromatic compounds and gives it a bold flavor.
Iced coffee machines have a simple three-step preparation process. First, you add filtered water in the base tank as indicated in the user manual or by the water level marking on the carafe. The water will flow through a tube and come in contact with a heating element that raises its temperature, ensuring the hot water brings out all the delicious flavors from the ground coffee beans.
Second, scoop freshly ground coffee into the reusable filter. An iced coffee maker’s manual generally instructs you to add extra coffee to prevent dilution when the ice melts in the later stages. The last and most crucial step that distinguishes cold brewers from regular coffee makers is filling the carafe with large ice cubes. Once you’ve done that, you can press the start button.
In four to five minutes (sometimes longer), a hot, concentrated brew will drip into the ice-filled carafe, leaving you with a medium-bodied, ice-cold java that retains the coffee bean’s natural flavor. If you like, you can add a dash of milk or sweetener as well.
Since all iced coffee was once hot coffee, it’s possible to prepare iced coffee using a hot coffee maker. The secret lies in the concentration of the brew, so you have to add extra ground coffee to ensure the ice doesn’t make your drink bland when it melts in the carafe. Alternatively, you can freeze iced coffee cubes and use them instead of plain ice.
Most U.S. households own an electric coffee maker, highlighting that coffee has become an integral part of our lives. If you’re a passionate coffee drinker, you know how essential your morning caffeine boost is to keep you powered through the day (or for a couple of hours). When summer creeps in, it’s only natural to swap out your hot coffee with a chilled caffeine-packed drink.
How long an iced coffee maker lasts comes down to how well you maintain it. The general lifespan of a quality coffee machine is 5 years, but it can last much longer with proper maintenance and care.
The tough stains leftover from coffee oils and mineral deposits tend to disrupt your coffee maker’s heating unit and water flow, so this part tends to break down first. You’ll want to clean the inside of the machine with a vinegar and water solution at least once a month and ensure quick replacements of cracked filters and other machine parts.
It’s best to avoid poor-quality coffee makers made of inferior parts since it’s likely to cause you trouble and breakdown within 1 or 2 years.
Now that you’ve considered bringing home an iced coffee maker and avoiding the daily cafe pitstop, there are certain features, alongside the budget, to take into account before narrowing down your final selection.
The simplest and most compact (single-serve) coffee maker is about the size of a water bottle, making it portable enough for you to carry with you wherever you go. It’ll generally feature quick chilling technology, a carafe with water and ice level lines, and an over-ice button.
You’ll also find larger iced coffee makers with substantial water reservoirs that can preserve water for 3-4 days. With these, you won’t have to refill water every time you want your coffee, but they will take up a lot of space. Most manufacturers mention the coffee machine dimensions on their website, so make sure to measure your designated space before purchasing.
Similar to a traditional coffee machine, a crucial feature of an iced coffee maker is to brew coffee grounds perfectly with hot water. The high heat results in quicker extraction and a distinctive bold flavor, so that when properly chilled with ice, the aromatic compounds get sealed within the carafe.
But keep in mind that even a slight increase in heat may be excessive, and can lead to burnt coffee beans and an overwhelmingly bitter cup of coffee. In comparison, a lower temperature won’t lead to proper extraction. To avoid this, most well-built coffee makers maintain a brewing temperature between 195°F and 205°F, which is the ideal coffee-brewing temperature. It’ll help to have a look at the coffee maker’s temperature claims to ensure it’s a high-quality machine.
Time and temperature claims go hand in hand. You’ll often find that low-grade coffee makers compensate for low temperatures with a longer brewing time. This is not a viable solution as it still leads to improper flavor extraction, resulting in a coffee that tastes sour and flat. Look for iced coffee machines that quickly brew coffee at high temperatures.
If you want an easy-to-use coffee maker that makes a splendid cup of ice-cold coffee with just the click of a button, you won’t need custom brewing options. Simple coffee makers are hassle-free, less expensive, and goof-proof so that you never go wrong.
But if you want your coffee to taste a specific way, then you’ll want a machine that lets you control the water temperature, brew strength, and other aspects of the brewing process.
Combination and simple iced coffee makers are similar in that they produce refreshing iced coffee. But they are worlds apart when it comes to price, size, and extra capabilities.
Combination coffee makers are versatile machines that make not only iced coffee but hot coffee, lattes, and cappuccinos, as well. They boast a wide range of settings, from over-ice brew mode and a built-in milk frother to brew-strength control and brew size adjustment. So, for a family with varied coffee interests, a combination coffee maker is ideal. On the downside, they tend to be larger and pricier than regular iced coffee machines.
A standard iced coffee maker is a perfect pick for you if you don’t want to deal with the hassle of variety and controls. You just have to follow three easy steps for a cup of your beloved iced coffee.
Your budget will determine the quality and the features that come with an iced coffee maker. While high-end machines tend to cost over $200, some can be as low as $50. When considering the price, you must make a wise choice so that you don’t deal with clogged tubes and a leaky filter basket when you could instead be sipping your coffee.
As you move higher up in price, you’ll not only get quality coffee but also other high-end features. You’re looking at an in-built frother, different brew size settings, a coffee grinder, and even an option to brew various drinks—from espressos to frothy chai lattes—with a single hybrid model.
An iced coffee maker and a regular coffee maker have similar brewing techniques. The only difference is that a regular coffee maker prepares hot coffee, while an iced coffee maker features an ice-filled carafe into which the hot coffee drips. It’s possible to make iced coffee with a traditional coffee maker (and vice versa).
Most decisions have to deal with your budget, temperature and time concerns, and the size of the iced coffee maker. Given their hefty price, it’s essential to consider and compare the attributes of different machines before arriving at a decision.
This is most likely a case of hard water buildup. You can run a vinegar solution through the machine once every month to loosen up debris and keep your iced coffee maker in good working condition.
Bland coffee is a result of ice cubes in the carafe melting and watering down your coffee. There are two ways you can fix this. One, make sure to add an extra scoop of coffee into the filter. Two, you can always make coffee ice cubes and use them instead of plain ice in the carafe. An iced coffee maker provides perfect measurements for the amount of water, ice, and coffee grounds.
Yes, iced coffee makers are easy to use as they have a simple three-step process. However, when an iced coffee option is a part of a hybrid coffee maker, juggling various settings and controls may feel complicated to some users.