Buying Guides

Kitchenaid Cold Brew Coffee Maker Review: Cafe-Caliber Cold Brew

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There is no better way to start your day than with a cup of cold brew coffee. While this premium option has long been relegated to coffeeshops, costing you both time and money on your morning commute, it’s now possible to have cold brew every morning in the comfort of your own home.

But how do you know which model is right for you? Follow along, and we’ll break down the Kitchenaid Cold Brew Coffee Maker.

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What to Know Before Buying a Cold Brew Coffee Maker

Cold-brew is the ultimate in high-end quality in the coffee world. It is often confused with iced coffee, but they are, in fact, completely different products. Iced coffee is regular hot coffee served over ice; cold brew, on the other hand, is steeped for an extended period without ever heating the coffee.

That leads to a very distinct result. When coffee is exposed to heat, the beans release acidic oils, which create the stereotypical bitter coffee taste. Cold-brew doesn’t utilize heat, which results in a smoother, sweeter flavor. The extended steeping process also means a higher concentration of caffeine. That gives you a morning jolt even stronger than espresso, but with a much smoother taste.

Cold-brew has a wide variety of health benefits. For a more in-depth read, click here, but in short: cold brew helps boost cognitive function, burn weight, improve moods, and the lack of acidity is excellent for coffee enthusiasts with sensitive stomachs.

When purchasing an at-home cold brew coffee maker, there are several important factors to keep in mind. Chief among them, perhaps surprisingly, is size. You have to make sure the machine will comfortably fit in your refrigerator, and relatively comfortable to transport to your counter. There are also two styles to consider: immersion and slow drip.

To get the best results out of your cold brew coffee maker, grind your beans just before you brew them. The cold brew process makes the flavor less overwhelming, so this will allow you to get the full taste. You should also be sure to use a coarse grind.

Kitchenaid Cold Brew Coffee Maker: At a Glance

KitchenAid KCM4212SX Cold Brew Coffee Maker-Brushed Stainless Steel, 28 ounce

The Kitchenaid Cold Brew Coffee Maker is a very compact, beginner-friendly model that produces a tasty cup of cold brew. In a fairly unconventional design choice, the Kitchenaid model dispenses coffee from the same vessel in which the brew steeps. That helps it stay compact and portable but can lead to some sediment in your coffee.

It is reasonably intuitive to use, but it also includes a very detailed instruction manual that will be very helpful for beginners. It has an attractive and durable design, made from thick glass and stainless steel. It is small enough to fit comfortably in just about any fridge, and has a handle to move from your fridge to your counter smoothly; because of this compact design, though, it makes a smaller batch than many competitors.

Things We Like

  • Compact design; fits nicely in the fridge
  • Convenient built-in tap
  • Reusable filter: no need to buy paper filters
  • Easy to use; suitable for beginners
  • Portable design

Room for Improvement

  • Smaller capacity than many alternatives
  • Fine holes in stainless steel filter can lead to some grounds in your coffee

Kitchenaid Cold Brew Coffee Maker: In-Depth

Now let’s look a little deeper. Follow along, and we’ll break down the most important features one by one, so you can be as informed as possible before considering a purchase.

Dimensions

The coffee maker is 8” high with a 7” by 6.7” footprint. Be sure to measure your refrigerator so you are confident that you’ll have a space it can occupy. You’ll also need to be sure the footprint isn’t too big to find space on your counter.

The Kitchenaid Cold Brew Coffee Maker is one of the more compact models available. It should be able to fit fairly comfortably, and if it doesn’t, you might just not have room for an at-home cold brew. But if you live in a very compact space, take time to make sure you can accommodate it.

Materials

The Kitchenaid Cold Brew Coffee Maker has a sleek, clean design, made with mostly sturdy materials. A solid glass vessel is supported by a sturdy plastic base and chrome stainless steel trim. The pour spout is stainless steel, as is the reusable steeping basket as well. That has both functional and aesthetic appeal.

The glass vessel helps preserve taste and keep the coffee fresh for up to two weeks. You can make a full batch all at once, have one every day for two weeks, and the last will be just as good as the first. But the glass and chrome style looks subtle and attractive when left out on your counter. The sleek design matches any style of decor.

Reusable Stainless Steel Steeping Basket

The stainless steel steeping basket is both a strength and a weakness of this model. It’s reusable and easily washable, meaning you don’t even have to spend money on disposable filters. As any coffee enthusiast will tell you, those can add up faster than you’d realize. It also provides peace of mind that you’ll be able to have coffee every day without worrying about running out of filters.

The mesh is extremely fine, and there is a small handle that makes it incredibly easy to remove and wash the basket. But despite how fine the mesh is, it can lead to grounds in your coffee. That is a common problem with mesh filters of this sort, and Kitchenaid is no exception.

Built-in Tap

Once the coffee is brewed, the next concern, of course, is how easy it is to drink. With the Kitchenaid Cold Brew Coffee Maker, it’s as simple as could be. The machine has a built-in tap that allows you to easily dispense your cold brew. Simply twist the nozzle on the top of the tap, and coffee comes flowing.

The design avoids two common pitfalls. The canal begins at the very bottom of the tank, so no coffee gets left behind. Plus, the tap itself does not extend below the bottom of the base, so there are no issues with the space it takes up. The tap is convenient and efficient.

KitchenAid KCM4212SX Cold Brew Coffee Maker-Brushed Stainless Steel, 28 ounce

Handle

Transferring a full cold brew coffee maker from your fridge to your counter and back can be very tricky—and it will make a massive mess if something goes wrong. Thankfully, Kitchenaid dodges that problem with a sturdy carrying handle. The handle is large and solidly attached to the body of the coffee maker.

Despite its size, the handle does not cause the coffee maker to take up any additional space, as it comfortably folds down and out of the way when you aren’t using it. It appears sturdy and reliable—you don’t have to worry about the handle breaking while you use it. This feature makes it far more accessible to all users.

28-Ounce Capacity

Cold brew coffee makers are designed to make large batches all at once, with glass tanks designed to keep the coffee fresh for an extended time. The Kitchenaid Cold Brew Coffee Maker brews up to 28 ounces of coffee at a time. That is definitely on the low end for typical at-home cold brew coffee makers, a necessary concession to allow for its condensed size.

By mixing two ounces of cold brew with six ounces of milk or creamer, the 28 ounces can provide up to 14 servings. That precisely aligns with the two weeks that the tank will keep coffee fresh. It might not make as much as some competitors, but it’s still enough to last you for some time or to share with a large group.

Taste

Much of the flavor of your cold brew will, of course, be determined by the type of coffee beans you choose. But much of it will also be influenced by the brewing process. Obviously, all cold brew produces a subtler, sweeter flavor than traditional hot brewing. But the specific machine can have an influence as well.

The Kitchenaid Cold Brew Coffee Maker makes a tasty cup of coffee, especially for a beginner-friendly model. With a steady pour, you’ll get a solid coffee bloom, and the flavor is sweet and smooth. As we previously mentioned, you might get some grounds in your cup, but other than that, there are no knocks against the taste this coffee maker produces.

Instruction Manual

The machine is excellent for beginners, not only because of its intuitive process but because Kitchenaid provides extensive directions for its use. If you’ve never cold brew before, it can definitely be intimidating to make the switch. You don’t want to invest in a machine and then not be able to use it properly!

Thankfully Kitchenaid has you covered. Their user’s guide covers everything you need to know and features detailed instructions for everything from brewing to cleaning. For some of you, this might not make much of a difference. But for less experienced cold brewers it can give you the confidence you need to know you’ll get everything out of a purchase.

Final Thoughts

Cold-brew truly is the high-end, premium option in the coffee world. It not only gives you an extra jolt of concentrated caffeine, but it has a rich, smooth flavor without the sharp bitterness of traditional coffee. That is great for people with sensitive stomachs, as cold brew doesn’t have high levels of acidity as hot coffee. Cold-brew also helps burn fat and boost cognitive function. It’s delicious, and it’s healthy!

And it is no longer exclusive to cafes and coffee shops. You can start your day with a cup of cold brew every morning, without the cost or travel! One very solid at-home cold brew coffee maker is the Kitchenaid Cold Brew, Coffee Maker.

Like all options, this model isn’t perfect. But it certainly has its strengths as well. The Kitchenaid is great for people with limited counter space or a small refrigerator, thanks to its small, compact design. It’s an excellent option for beginners, given its intuitive process and detailed user’s guide. Plus, it simply brews a tasty cup of coffee.

But, of course, every model isn’t right for everyone. Given the compact size, the Kitchenaid only makes 28 ounces at a time. If you drink a ton of coffee or have a large coffee-drinking family, you might not want to have to utilize the extensive brewing process several times a week. Plus, while it isn’t the most expensive model available, it’s price tag is a bit heftier than some other quality options.

Alternatives

Here at Roastycoffee, we’ve already reviewed several cold brew coffee makers: check out our best-of list here.

If you’re looking for a high-quality option at a lower price point than the Kitchenaid, be sure to check out the Filtron Cold Coffee Concentrate Brewer. That comes in at about half the price of the Kitchenaid and makes about 50 ounces at a time. Plus, it’s a versatile machine, as it can brew traditional hot coffee along with cold brew.

If you want to try a truly premium model, you might consider the Yama Glass 6-8 Cup Cold Drip Maker. That model comes with a steep price tag, but a wealth of unique benefits. Where most cold brew coffee makers take up to 24 hours to brew the Yama Glass can have your coffee ready in just four. And it extracts all the flavor possible. However, the machine itself is very tall and may be difficult to store.

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If you’re really shopping on a budget, but don’t want to sacrifice quality, you might turn to the Coffee Gator Cold Brew Kit. For one of the lowest prices available, this coffee maker can brew up to 47 ounces at a time, with super-simple, easy-to-follow instructions.

The Bottom Line

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While there are other options that some coffee enthusiasts might find preferable depending on their needs, the Kitchenaid Cold Brew Coffee Maker is a rock-solid cold brew maker at a mid-tier price.

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