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We like to think of the Takeya Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker as the S’well or HydroFlask of cold brewing: Fill it up, put the lid on, throw it in your bag and go anywhere with it. This brewer is intuitive, and despite being one of the largest-capacity cold brewers we tested, unlike our other favorites its portable! It’s also among the least expensive cold brewers we checked out, so if you like to take your coffee with you and you have a little more space in your fridge, this maker’s for you.
Best iced coffee maker for travel and commuting
The all-plastic Takeya Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker turns out 1.8 liters of fantastic cold brew — a greater volume than some of its simple-carafe brethren — and is the lightest, easiest model to throw in a weekend bag without fear of breakage for on-the-go brewing for a group or larger family.
The Takeya carafe and lid are made of a solid plastic, and the filter is mesh and plastic, which means the entire cold brewer is durable and pretty much unbreakable. The brewing process is the same as the other brewers we recommend — fill filter with grounds, add water to carafe, screw on lid, sit quietly for a day — but the directions for this one specifically call for the user to shake the carafe a couple of times during brewing to mix and activate the grounds and the water. (Stirring or otherwise mixing the brew is a good idea, no matter which cold brew maker you’re using, and if you want more info, we’ve put together a primer on cold-brew coffee making.) The lid is surprisingly secure, so there isn’t any leakage during shaking.
The carafe is big and tall — it makes 1.8 liters, or 1.9 quarts, of cold brew, placing it among the largest capacity brewers we tested. It is also the most affordable brewer we tested, but it was as efficient and well-performing as any of the other brewers in our testing pool.
For a plastic brewer, the Takeya is quite nice-looking, though doesn’t provide as high-end a user experience as the glass brewers we checked out. Its minimal design makes it feel more sophisticated than you’d expect from the construction; however, because there are no measurement markings on the carafe, the coffee-brewing experience isn’t as precise as with the other models we tested (if you want precision, the Ovalware has a full set of metric and imperial markings). If you’re making less than 2 quarts, you’d have to measure out both your grounds and your water outside of this setup, but if you’re going for the maximum brew, you just add grounds and water and fill to the top, as you would when refilling a Brita water carafe — you just stop when it looks full.
You’ll want to take care when you’re brewing with the Takeya. The instructions direct the user to turn the carafe on its side in the refrigerator during steeping. During one of our first test brews, a bit of coffee dribbled out. During subsequent brews, we better secured the lid and didn’t experience any leakage.
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Best overall cold brew coffee maker
The Takeya Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker is a perfect way to make refreshing coffee drinks on the go
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