If you make coffee at home, I see no compelling reason not to make cold brew. Cold brewing results in smoother, more concentrated, and more highly caffeinated coffee, and a single batch can last you a long time. You can even drink it hot by diluting it with hot water instead of cold. In my opinion, it's not one out of many ways to make coffee: it's the objectively best way to do it.
Deal Alert: As of the time of this writing, the OXO Cold Brew Cofee Maker is down to $37 after clipping the $12.46 coupon, down from the usual $50.
Why Most Cold Brew Makers Are Bad
Unfortunately, most cold brew coffee makers aren't very good at making cold brew, which is an almost comically simple process. It's just ground coffee + water + time (about 24 hours) = cold brew. And yet! Almost every cold brew maker you can buy goes out of the way to keep the coffee away from the water by locking it away in some sort of filter basket that fills only some portion of the volume of the larger brewing container.
This will result in okay cold brew, but unless you're circulating that water somehow, only a fraction of the water water molecules will be in direct contact with the coffee grounds for most of the brewing process, resulting in a weaker brew than you could get if the coffee and the water were completely intermingled throughout the brewing vessel.
Why the OXO Is Better
And so the OXO cold brew coffee maker is, in essence, just a bucket where you throw in some coffee and some water, stir it into a type of mud, and then wait. Rather than filtering the coffee from the outset, the OXO filters only after you're done brewing, allowing the water and the coffee to maintain maximum contact for the entire brewing process. Just flip a switch on the brewer, and the coffee will strain through a reusable metal filter on the bottom of the bucket, and into the included glass carafe below.
Could you do this yourself with a large bowl and some sort of jury-rigged cheese cloth filter? Probably. But you're going to make a mess and curse your decision to not just buy the OXO, which makes the entire experience painless.
The OXO cold brew coffee maker calls for 10 ounces of ground coffee and 5 cups of water, which will typically net out to about 4 cups of coffee concentrate after accounting for evaporation. I usually use these 12 ounce bags of coffee from Amazon Fresh (the extra two ounces don't seem to matter), which typically run about $5 each, and I get enough cold brew concentrate from each to comfortably last for about a week and a half. So it's cheap, delicious, highly caffeinated, and with the help of the OXO...easy. Are you a cold brew convert yet?
OXO Cold Brew Coffee Maker | $50 | Currently $37 after clipping the $12.46 coupon