If you are looking to buy a large batch cold brew coffee maker, you have a relatively simple task; there aren’t too many options on the market. The few options available are relatively similar in functionality, features, and price. The three big names are Oxo, Filtron, and Toddy. You can skip to the second half of the article for the comparison.
Cold brew is a slow preparation method because uses cold steeping. In the absence of heat, caffeine and other soluble compounds in the coffee bean extract slower. Cold brew can take up to 48 hours to make, depending on how strong you want the coffee.
To solve this problem, coffee people invented the batch cold brew coffee makers. The concept behind these devices is that you prepare a large and concentrated batch of cold brew that you use for a few days. We store the coffee concentrate in the fridge, and we dilute it with water or milk when we drink it.
The large batch coffeemakers use full immersion for the extraction because it is the most convenient method.
Cold brew is getting more and more attention from the coffee lovers’ world, and there are a few reasons for that. One of the most frequent causes is health related.
If you didn’t know cold brew, (not cold coffee), is less irritating to stomach and tummy. Most of the people who can’t drink the regular stuff anymore, turn to cold brew. They have none of the symptoms associated with drip coffee and can drink cold pressed coffee without any discomfort. More on the cold brew and health here.
Another reason is undoubtedly related to the subtle aroma and taste of cold brew; it is a very smooth coffee, almost sweet, with no acid. Also, it is not bitter at all like your regular cup of joe.
What Is Cold Brew?
You probably already know this, but is worth a short review. Cold brew is a method of preparing coffee, using cold water, or water at room temperature. Because of the low brewing temperature, we need a longer extraction time. The minimum extraction time is 12 hours, but typically, 24-48 hours soaking times are the best.
The longer steeping times maximize the total dissolved solids, which make up the body and taste of your coffee. It will also increase the quantity of extracted oils, which give your beverage aroma and flavor.
What makes cold press brewing unique, is the low steeping temperature. The low brewing temperature creates a different profile than all heat-based brewing types. Compounds present in a French press or drip coffee cup are absent in a cold brew.
Cold brew is not iced coffee. You can make iced coffee with any type of coffee: espresso, drip, French press. Iced coffee is a recipe, rather than a brewing method. The recipe for iced coffee consists of serving coffee cold-from-the-fridge, with ice cubes. You can also prepare iced coffee using cold brew coffee, and it will be a delicious beverage. You can also make it using cooled espresso, or cooled drip coffee as well.
Cold Brew Coffee Recipe
Whether you use a French press, a mason jar, and coffee filters, or the more sophisticated systems, and easy to use, the recipe is the same:
- Three to one water coffee ratio. For every cup of ground coffee, you pour in three cups of water.
- Stir or shake, to thoroughly soak all the coffee grounds
- Cover and let it sit for 24-48 hours
- Filter, add water, or ice cubes, or milk and drink
We use a lot of coffee beans in the recipe so our final cup is going to be a concentrate. For this reason, adding some water is not optional. Unless you want to shake for the next hour.
Keep it in the fridge during steeping, it’s safer. Let it steep for the whole 48 hours to obtain a full extraction. No matter what other people say, cold brew is better with longer steeping. You just need to dilute it more.
If you want to know more about the chemistry behind cold brew take a look at our article on 8 ways to make cold brew coffee.
We also have a hands-on approach on how to make cold brew at home.
What Is the Best Cold Brew Coffee Maker?
We tested Oxo, Filtron, and Toddy and they all have their plusses and minuses. There is no absolute winner here, but we can nominate Oxo as the overall winner. The small design upgrades improve the brewing experience and make a delicious cup.
Filtron is the filtering winner, with the clearest cup of all. If you don’t like sludge in your cup, you will love Filtron.
Toddy is the least expensive of all, and if you use their filter bags, it also makes a clean cup. Toddy, when using the filtering bags, is the least messy of all.
Filtron Cold Brew Coffee Maker
Filtron is one of the leaders on the cold brew market, and it has excellent reviews. You brew a few cups that will last you for weeks. Filtron is a smaller device compared to others, and it will brew 50 ounces of concentrated coffee. Filtron recommends using 1lb per brew, which gives you a concentrated coffee syrup. You will need to dilute the concentrate with water in a 1 to 6 proportion.
The brewing system has two recipients, one for the grinds and one for the water. The water container sits on top of the brewing container, which will hold the coffee grinds during brewing. There is also a rubber stopper for the brewing container, a filter pad made of felt, and a 50 ounces decanter. There is also a grounds guard that sits on top of the coffee, to stop it from floating, and ensures a proper water saturation.
Toddy Cold Brew Coffee Maker
Toddy is one of the most known cold press brewing systems, is the oldest cold brew system, and most trusted one. It is a simple system, built with durable materials, to ensure it a long life. The brewing kit includes:
- a brewing container
- a glass decanter, (56 oz)
- felt filter pads
- paper filter bags
- and a rubber stopper for the brewing container
Making coffee is very similar to Filtron’ system: add the grinds, water and let it steep for 48 hours.
After the 48 hours, you take the rubber stopper off and place the brewing chamber on top of the decanter.
The coffee gets filtered through the felt filter-pad, and you collect it in the decanter. Toddy claims that the coffee made in their coffee maker is 67% less acid than regular coffee.
Toddy has fewer pieces, which makes the maintenance and operation simpler, Filtron has a couple of pieces more which are supposed to improve brewing experience. The design with a grounds guard and the water container are meant to keep the coffee grounds from floating. This design ensures faster and complete saturation.
The Toddy filter bags are a nice addition, and it helps the brewing in a few ways: make clean up after brewing a breeze, they extend the life of the felt filter, they prevent clogging the filters during brewing, and they create a cleaner cup.
OXO Good Grips Cold Brew Coffee Maker
The cold brew coffee maker from Oxo is relatively new on the market, but it is as good as the older products from Toddy and Filtron.
There are a couple of improvements that I liked at this brewer, compared to the other two.
The brewing container has a rainmaker cover that ensures an even distribution of water over the grounds.
The other improvement is the switch to open the upper container after the brewing is finished. Compared to the rubber stopper, this is more convenient.
Ok, there is a third nice improvement: a mechanism that lets you remove the decanter before the brewing is complete. The auto-stop mechanism closes the valve when you remove the decanter, so there is no spilled coffee.
The filters are a little different than the felt pads from the competitors, but they work perfectly, they are reusable and easy to clean.
It is also worth mentioning that all the parts of this brewer are BPA free.
Oxo recommends a 1 to 4 ratio of coffee grounds to water, which is slightly different than the regular recipe. With their recipe, using 10 oz of coffee, and 5 cups of water, you will get 3.5 cups of coffee concentrate. You dilute that with water or milk to obtain around 14 cups of coffee.
Cold Pro 4 Commercial Brewing System 3.5 Gallons
If you need to brew really large batches, the Cold Pro 4 brewing system is one of the best options. It’s probably too big for a family’s needs, but it is an excellent option for a coffee shop or a restaurant.
I would love to have this for use at home, but it doesn’t fit in my fridge. And if you think to brew at room temperature, please, don’t. Cold brew coffee doesn’t spoil too fast, and you might be able to brew a batch outside of the fridge. But sometimes it does spoil, and you don’t want to make sick everyone that drinks your coffee.
The unit holds 3.5 gallons, and it is designed with convenience in mind. The brewing bucket is translucent, so you can easily see the liquid level. The materials are BPA free plastic, (High-Density Polyethylene). The system has a no mess filtration system, making the brewing a pleasant experience. You don’t need a colander, and the drainage system is a lift and twist system, very easy to use.