What We Like
Simple setup and cleanup
Instructions are very easy to follow
Airtight lid prevents any leakage
What We Don't Like
Overpriced for what it offers
Coffee tastes plain
Some people swear by cold brew coffee, which is supposedly nearly 70 percent less acidic than a regular cup of Joe. Rather than using hot water to extract flavor, coffee grounds are instead steeped in cold water for hours and then filtered, resulting in a smooth, delicious brew. But getting it to-go every day adds up quickly. To save money, you can always invest in a cold brew coffee maker.
One such product is the Takeya Cold Brew Coffee Maker, a non-electric option available in 1-quart and 2-quart models that make four and eight cups, respectively. Due to its durable design and secure seal, this brewer is known for its portability (and not to mention for being an awesome gift). Through multiple batches and cleanings over the course of a few weeks, we tested its performance and ease of use. Read on to see if it’s worth trying.
This coffee maker consists of four pieces: a lid, silicone handle, removable filter, and the pitcher. Since everything comes assembled upon arrival, using the appliance the first time is very self-explanatory. To start brewing, we first added our coffee grounds (the included user guide recommends using 14 to 16 tablespoons) into the filter and twisted the filter into the lid. We then filled the Takeya pitcher up three-fourths of the way with cold, filtered water and lowered the filter into the pitcher.
We then sealed the lid, shook it up, and placed in the fridge for 24 hours. The user guide recommends refrigerating for 12 to 24 hours. Once the brewing period was over, we removed the filter, and the cold brew was ready to serve.
Performance: Strong, but basic
Following the recipe, we found that the resulting cold brew coffee concentrate was indeed strong, but it lacked much flavor. It did produce a lot of coffee, though, because the concentrate needed to be diluted with water or milk, allowing each batch to last us a good while.
We found that the resulting cold brew coffee concentrate was indeed strong, but it lacked much flavor.
While the instructions recommend leaving the vessel in the fridge for 12 to 24 hours, we noticed that concentrate-quality brew took at least 24 hours. The result was much more watery when we allowed it to brew for only 18 hours. We also noticed that some grounds made it into the cold brew batch, despite using very coarse grounds.
Design: Functional, but not the most attractive
Overall, the aesthetic of this coffee maker is very simple. It’s basically a clear, BPA-free plastic pitcher with a black lid and handle. The temperature-resistant Tritan plastic feels durable; unlike with other glass cold brew coffee makers, we didn’t have to worry about it breaking if we dropped it or banged into something by accident.
The handle is made of non-slip silicone. We found this to be a useful feature because it allowed us to firmly grip the coffee maker for easy transport and pouring. The leak-proof, airtight lid let us store it in the fridge on its side if we didn’t have the room vertically. This is a very handy feature that also means it packs well for travel. In our tests, we found that the container didn’t leak at all.
The leak-proof, airtight lid let us store it in the fridge on its side if we didn’t have the room vertically.
Still, the design is nothing special, so if you’re looking for something that has more style, this wouldn’t be at the top of our list.
Cleaning: A breeze
One of this product’s top features is the ease of cleaning: Just disassemble all of the pieces and stick them in the top rack of the dishwasher.
The filter takes a little more work before placing in the dishwasher because it’s filled with coffee grounds, but it’s easy to do. We simply disposed of the grounds in the trash. Any remaining coffee grounds left in the filter came out when we rinsed it upside down under running water. After that, the filter was ready to be placed in the dishwasher with the rest of the components.
Price: A bit overpriced
The Takeya cold brew coffee maker retails for around $25. Many cold brew competitors that cost around the same price offer extras such as measurements on the carafe’s siding, a unique design, or even an included recipe booklet. Though the Takeya cold brew coffee maker does perform its function of making cold brew coffee concentrate, it fails to do much else, which makes the price tag seem a bit hefty for what you’re getting in return.
Takeya Cold Brew Coffee Maker vs. County Line Kitchen Cold Brew Coffee Maker
County Line Kitchen’s cold brew coffee maker is another competitor which retails around the same price as the Takeya. With this mason jar-style brewer, which we also tested, you can make up to 1.5 quarts of concentrate, compared to the 1 quart that the Takeya can brew. However, for a few extra dollars, you can also buy the bigger, 2-quart version of the Takeya.
But the County Line also offers measurements on its siding and has a unique style that can complement a rustic kitchen. In the end, we think the County Line Kitchen’s product gives you a lot more bang for your buck.
- Product Name Cold Brew Coffee Maker
- Product Brand Takeya
- UPC 885395103105
- Price $24.99
- Weight 1.3 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 5 x 7.5 x 9.5 in.
- Capacity 1 qt. (4 c.); 2 qt. (8 c.)