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Best iced coffee makers and cold brew machines 2023, tried and tested

Bring out the depth of flavour your iced joe needs with these coffee machines and overnight options

Zoe Phillimore
Thursday 31 August 2023 11:48 BST
<p>From lattes to iced americanos, here’s how to get your cool caffeine fix at home </p>

From lattes to iced americanos, here’s how to get your cool caffeine fix at home

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Fancy an iced coffee like you had on holiday in Greece, or saw on Love Island? Or maybe you’re a die-hard cold-brew aficionado. Either way, a cold-brew system or an iced-coffee machine is the way to get perfect results every time.

If you’re unsure what cold-brew coffee is, let us explain. It’s essentially coffee that’s brewed over a long period of time in cold water. Shocking, right? The results are a sweeter, deeper and less acidic tasting than when it’s made with hot water. You can serve it straight, on the rocks or with milk and you’ve got a very tasty drink indeed. And unsurprisingly, it’s got quite the fan following.

Iced coffee is usually made in the traditional way, then poured over ice and topped up with cold milk and whatever flavourings you like. But if that sounds like a bit of a faff, then there are machines that can take charge. This can be great if you’re really into your icy brews, because the machines will tweak how it makes the coffee to create a drink with a deeper flavour. This will counterbalance the cold ice and milk, which can inhibit the flavour somewhat.

Cold-brew coffee makers, on the other hand, are usually manual. You’ll need to load up the grounds (you want a coarse grind) and then pour over cold water. And unfortunately it won’t be ready to drink in minutes, rather you’ll need to leave it steep overnight or for at least eight hours – either in the fridge or just at room temperature. But trust us, sometimes it’s worth the wait.

How we tested

We looked at both cold-brew coffee makers and iced-coffee machines for this highly caffeinated round up. We used the same high-end groud for all our methods to ensure even results. Our method was to use cold tap water with the cold-brew makers, and stir and then leave overnight. With the ice-coffee machines we followed the instructions, looking at how good the icy brew was versus how much of a faff it would be to use.

Ultimately we wanted a coffee machine that would fit into our lives long term rather than just being an appliance that eventually gets relegated to the back of the kitchen cupboard.

Some of the gadgets we rated in our highly caffeinated round up

The best cold brew coffee makers for 2023 are:

  • Best overall – Hario cold-brew coffee filter in bottle: £29.76, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best automatic coffee machine – Delonghi eletta explore automatic coffee maker: £869.99, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best for on the go – Aeropress clear coffee maker: £49.63, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best drip coffee machine – Russell Hobbs attentiv coffee bar: £98.99, Amazon.co.uk

Hario cold-brew coffee filter in bottle

best cold brew coffee maker reviw
  • Best: Overall
  • Type: Cold-brew maker
  • Capacity: 750ml
  • Materials: Silicone rubber and glass
  • Brew options: N/a
  • Dimensions: 30cm x 8.7cm x 8.4cm

Once we got our head around how this bottle went together, it made short work of cold-brew coffee. It does still take eight hours to brew, but that’s time you can be sleeping overnight. Fill the filter with 55g of ground coffee (side note: you’re going to need a set of scales for the cold-brew life) and then pop the filter in the bottle, fit on the lid and then pour in 700ml of tap water. Stick it in the fridge and then it’s ready the next morning (or eight hours later). It’s quite a tall bottle, but it fit in our fridge door perfectly – it’s not very wide. We loved that we could just uncork it and pour some out easily. Plus, the coffee it produces is a sweet and rich flavour.

  1. £29 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Hario mizudashi cold brew coffee maker

Best bold brew maker iced-coffee machines review
  • Best: Jug-style cold-brew maker
  • Type: Cold-brew maker
  • Capacity: 1l
  • Materials: Glass, silicone rubber
  • Brew options: N/a
  • Dimensions: 11.99cm x 30xm x 11 cm

If you’re looking at making a few servings of cold brew – maybe you have a busy house, or one cup just doesn’t quite hit the spot – then this Hario jug could be the answer. We found it very tall, so you’re going to need to make sure you can fit it on a shelf in your fridge. But it’s simple enough to use, and really easy to clean too. Fill it with ground coffee and tap water – the instructions will tell you the ratio – and then stir well to ensure all the coffee is well soaked. After that, you leave it for at least eight hours and hey presto, delicious deep coffee flavour without a hint of bitterness. The glass jug looks stylish too, with a lab-flask-like design.

  1. £22 from Hario.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Delonghi eletta explore automatic coffee maker

Best bold brew maker iced-coffee machines review
  • Best: Automatic coffee machine
  • Type: Bean-to-cup machine
  • Capacity: 1.8l
  • Materials: Plastic, metal with titanium colour finish
  • Brew options: Cappuccino, cappuccino mix, latte macchiato, caffelatte, cold milk and flat white
  • Dimensions: 45cm x 26cm x 38.5cm

We are in love with this Delonghi coffee machine, and it seems the feeling is mutual as the machine remembers us – OK, it just remembers our favourite brew but relationships have to start somewhere! There’s a hopper for beans, and a slot for ground coffee, so you can select which cuppa you have each time. Handy if you have a decaf drinker around. It comes with a hot-milk frother and a cold-milk frother, which you can switch out easily and store in the fridge when you’re not needing it.

At a tap of the touchscreen you can select from a huge roster of coffees – for the purposes of this review, we obviously opted for the cold-only drinks. Cold brew is one of the choices here, as is cold lattes, cappuccinos, Americanos… you name it. Select your drink then the machine will take you through what to do, including how many ice cubes to put in your drink. The result is delicious coffees every single time. Thanks to the “cold extraction technology” this machine can make you a cold brew in five minutes, but the lattes are our favourites – as our machine will tell you.

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Rave Coffee Hario cold brew gift set

Best bold brew maker iced-coffee machines review
  • Best: Gifting set
  • Type: Cold-brew maker
  • Capacity: 1l
  • Materials: Glass
  • Brew options: N/a
  • Colourways: Mocha, brown, red
  • Dimensions: Not specified

Looking for a great gift for a foodie, coffee lover or hipster (or all three)? This gift set is perfect for them, or great for yourself if you’re cold-brew curious but yet to make some yourself. It includes a Hario cold-brew pot and Rave’s cold-brew coffee, plus the brand’s guide to cold-brews.

The coffee in the full-size packet has been ground very coarsely, which is exactly what you want for a cold-brew as it allows the depth of flavour to slowly percolate overnight. The pot is easy to use – fill it with 80g of the ground coffee and 1.1l of water, leave overnight and boom! There’s enough in this packet to make three batches of cold-brew, which is enough to keep you going and/or get totally addicted. You can re-order Rave’s cold-brew coffee and use the pot as many times as you like.

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Willow & Everett cold-brew maker

Best bold brew maker iced-coffee machines review
  • Best: For devoted cold-brew coffee fans
  • Type: Cold-brew maker
  • Capacity: 4l
  • Materials: Glass
  • Brew options: N/a
  • Colourways : One
  • Dimensions: 24.9cm x 31.8cm x 20.3cm

If you’re a busy household, or maybe even a small office where lots of people are into cold-brew, this cold-brew maker is a great shout. It has a whopping 4l capacity, but beware – that means it takes up a lot of real estate in your fridge. Fill the filter with ground coffee – you’re going to need more than 300g of the stuff – and then pour in the water. Twelve hours later you’ll be the proud owner of a vat of delicious coffee.

What we really liked about this cold-brew maker is that it has a tap, so you don’t need to take it in and out of the fridge – just leave it on the shelf in there and take what you need. We found this cold-brew maker super easy to use and quick to clean too.

  1. £24 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Breville iced+hot coffee machine

Best bold brew maker iced-coffee machines review
  • Best: For easy iced coffees
  • Type: Coffee machine
  • Capacity: 635ml
  • Materials: Not specified
  • Brew options: Iced, hot
  • Colourways: One
  • Dimensions: 2.9cm x 36.9cm x 18.4cm

This compact little machine is super easy to use, and a great option if you’re looking for a relatively frill-free coffee machine. Fill the filter with ground coffee, and the tank with water and then hit a button and hey presto – a good old-fashioned cuppa. We loved that it came with an insulated tumbler, so you can keep your iced coffees cold and take them on the go. It almost tricks you into thinking you’ve treated yourself to a Starbies. While this machine makes hot brews too, the cold function works differently, extracting a deeper flavour. We were impressed with the results – it tasted as good as the high-street favourites, and looked great too.

  1. £62 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Hario mizudashi cold-brew coffee maker

Best bold brew maker iced-coffee machines review
  • Best: Personal cold-brew maker
  • Type: Cold-brew maker
  • Capacity: 600ml
  • Materials: Glass
  • Brew options: One
  • Colourways: Mocha, red, brown
  • Dimensions: 11.99cm x 21.79cm x 11 cm

If you live in a small household, or just want cold-brew for one, then this Hario pot is perfect. It makes just over half a litre of coffee at once, which we found was enough for a day when topping up with milk and ice. It’s simple to use – add coarsely ground coffee to the filter, pour over tap water and leave to do its thing for at least eight hours. You then take out the filter and pour. It made a really rich cup of coffee, without any bitter aftertaste. We found this pot a winner as it didn’t take up huge amounts of space in our fridge too.

  1. £17 from Hario.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Breville iced coffee maker

Best bold brew maker iced-coffee machines review
  • Best: Dedicated iced coffee machine
  • Type: Coffee machine
  • Capacity: 625ml
  • Materials: Plastic
  • Brew options: One
  • Colourways: One
  • Dimensions: 15.6cm x 21.3cm x 32.9cm

Perfect for ice-coffee fans, this machine is designed to produce flavourful iced cuppas and that’s it. It brews the coffee to ensure a deeper flavour than you get from some regular hot-coffee machines, which stops your icy drink tasting watered down. Simply use the scoop included to fill the filter, and fill the tank. Press a button and voila, your iced coffee is served. We found adding ice to the insulated tumbler (included) was the best way to instantly cool our coffee as it came out. This machine is perfect if you want to get creative with your morning cup – it’s calling out to be combined with syrups, whipped cream and toppings.

  1. £39 from Asda.com
Prices may vary
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Aeropress clear coffee maker

Best bold brew maker iced-coffee machines review
  • Best: For on the go
  • Type: Coffee maker
  • Capacity: 250ml
  • Materials: Tritan plastic
  • Brew options: Hot and cold
  • Colourways: One
  • Dimensions: 12.1cm x 12.1cm x 29.8cm

If you travel a lot and hate the taste of hotel coffee, or just enjoy the ritual of making your own, the Aeropress is an amazing solution. It’s small and easy to pack as it’s not made of glass. It also takes around two minutes to make cold brew coffee. We just added our grounds, cold water up to the “2” mark on the gauge on our Aeropress and then stirred for a minute.

It’s all about the stirring with the Aeropress cold brew as it makes sure all the coffee comes into contact with the water. Then push the plunger down and a delicious cold brew pours into the cup underneath. You’re left with a great cuppa and a neat puck of ground coffee, so clear up is easy. The Aeropress can also make hot drinks in a similar way, and has a cult following with caffeine nerds.

  1. £49 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Hotel Chocolat the velvetiser

Best bold brew maker iced-coffee machines review
  • Best: For milky iced coffees
  • Type: Hot chocolate machine
  • Capacity: 200ml
  • Materials: Not specified
  • Brew options: N/a
  • Colourways: Copper, grey, white
  • Dimensions: 21.8cm x 11.9cm x 20.2cm

Designed by Dualit, Hotel Chocolat’s velvetiser is a durable and sleek little kitchen gadget. It’s well known for whipping up luxuriously thick and rich hot chocolates, but it can also do iced chocolate drinks and iced lattes. Simply plug in the base, slot the pot on the base and then fill with your choice of milk to the marker inside and tip in a sachet of latte powder from Hotel Chocolat.

As well as standard latte flavour, there’s also hazelnut, caramel and chocolate latte blends to try. They’re all dangerously tasty. Once you have added your ingredients, you just press the power button and the velvetiser whirrs into action, producing a light, whipped latte. It will be warm drinking temperature at this point, but fill a glass with ice and pour over the drink and ta-dah – you have yourself a delicious, rich iced latte. As we say, they’re dangerously good.

Use discount code “PARTNER15” for 15 per cent off the best cold brew coffee makers at Hotel Chocolat

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Hydracy water infuser pitcher

Best bold brew maker iced-coffee machines review
  • Best: For flexible use
  • Type: Cold-brew maker
  • Capacity: 1.5l
  • Materials: Glass and metal mesh
  • Brew options: One
  • Colourways: One
  • Dimensions: Not specified

If you like the idea of cold-brew coffee but don’t want a dedicated gadget, this jug by Hydracy is great. It’s designed to make cold-brew coffee (the glass jug is heat safe), but it can also brew tea infusions and even just infuse chilled water with fruit and herbal flavours. The metal filter inside can be filled with coarse-ground coffee, then filled with cold water and popped in the fridge overnight or for around 10 hours.

One drawback of this pitcher is that you need very coarse coffee otherwise it slips through the filter. We found using our spice grinder worked fine to get the right consistency, but this might be too much faff for some. However, it looks great with no plastic-y feel to it, and you can stick the whole thing in the dishwater.

  1. £32 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Russell Hobbs attentiv coffee bar

Best bold brew maker iced-coffee machines review
  • Best: Drip coffee machine
  • Type: Coffee machine
  • Capacity: N/A
  • Materials: Stainless steel
  • Brew options: Full bodied or mellow
  • Colourways: One
  • Dimensions: 34.7cm

If you’re a dedicated fan of old-school filter/drip coffee, this Attentiv coffee machine is a fantastic update to a traditional machine. The button-free machine has a touchscreen control to select the strength and size of your coffee – including a travel-cup size, which we thought is a nice touch. Although we were focused on cold-brew in this testing, it’s worth mentioning that the Attentiv has a warming plate so you can have a cup of hot coffee waiting for you whenever you want.

But onto the cold-brew process. You can insert the cold-brew filter into the carafe, and then hit the cold-brew function on the machine. The machine then pumps cold water into the carafe sporadically, ensuring all the ground coffee gets evenly wet and the extraction is effective. You can then keep the carafe on the hot plate (which isn’t warm during the cold-brew cycle) or pop it in the fridge to extract fully. We loved that this machine is fuss free yet isn’t a one-trick pony.

  1. £98 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Delonghi la specialista maestro

Best bold brew maker iced-coffee machines review
  • Best: Manual bean-to-cup machine
  • Type: Bean-to-cup machine
  • Capacity: 2.5l
  • Materials: Stainless steel
  • Brew options: Cold brew, espresso cool
  • Colourways: One
  • Dimensions: 41.9cm x 36.8cm x 46.5cm

Want a barista-quality machine that can also handle cold brew? Then this bells and whistles Delonghi machine is perfect for you. Tweak your coffee within an inch of its life, with eight grind settings (handy when you need very coarse ground coffee for cold-brew) and a milk steam wand. You can also select to use the automatic milk steamer if you’re short on time, energy or skill. We found the instructions incredibly comprehensive, but helpful rather than bewildering – great if you’re a keen coffee fan but don’t really know the ins and outs of making a top-notch cup.

Creating a cold-brew coffee on this machine is easy – set the grind to four to six, grind the coffee, tamp it down on the machine until you have the perfect dose, and then select “cold brew” on the dial of the machine. Attach the portafilter with a glass with ice under and your cold brew will be ready in minutes. The result is a smooth, sweet cold-brew that we loved.

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The verdict: Cold brew coffee makers

We loved the Hario bottle for its simplicity and the capacity it had paired with the relatively small amount of fridge space it took up. And it made as good a cold-brew as any other maker or machine on this roundup. If you’re looking for something a bit – ok, a lot – more zhuzhy, then the la specialista maestro from Delonghi is perfecto.

For a speedy cuppa joe that doesn’t compromise on taste, these are the best instant coffees to try

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