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I May Never Buy Iced Coffee Again — Thanks To This $30 Cold Brew Maker

Refinery29 logo Refinery29 2021-09-14 Karina Hoshikawa
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I’m more of a tea drinker than a coffee drinker, but not even I can resist the siren song of cold brew. As delicious as it is, it’s also lowkey the expensive habit; IMO, anywhere in the $4-5 range is average, and $6-7 is pricey but not unheard of.

But here’s the thing about the uber-popular drink: It’s relatively simple to make in theory. Here’s the gist: As the name suggests, cold water is used in place of scalding H20, which is how flavors are extracted via pour-over, french press, or drip machine. While cold brew takes much, much longer (12+ hours versus mere minutes), the result is a smoother, less acidic coffee flavor that makes the long wait well worth it for the refreshing sip.

In practice, however, making your own cold brew can be messy, and some brewing systems can yield watery, less potent cups of coffee. Looking for a fool-proof way to make my favorite summer coffee drink at home, I found this Amazon-approved cold brew maker with plenty of hype. Drawn in by reviews that claim it can create “liquid gold” overnight in the fridge, I knew I had to try it.

Could I really get mess-free cold-brew at home for a fraction of the price I was paying at my favorite corner spot? Keep reading for a newbie’s experience with the Primula Glass Coffee Maker.

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The Process

Whenever I get a new kitchen gadget, I probably read the instruction booklet at least four times to make sure I don’t somehow find a way to mess up. After making sense of the attachments and steps, I gathered my coffee grounds and got to business. Luckily, we happened to have a bag of L.A.-based roaster Groundwork’s cold brew blend on hand, but any coarse-ground beans should do the trick.

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I got the 50oz size, which comes with the glass carafe, brew core, flavor mixer (more on this later), and pour lid. The first step is to measure out 15 tablespoons of coffee. This ended up being kind of tedious, so an easy solve is to measure out a little less than a cup of ground coffee (16tbsp = 1 cup).

The next step is to fill up the carafe with five cups of water. I measured this out the first few times I made coffee in this, but now I just fill it up most of the way with filtered water from my fridge. (The capacity of the pitcher is just over six cups, so I just eyeball it a few inches from the top.) Once I screw the lid back on, I put it in the fridge — and now we wait.

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The Results

As you can see above, the immediate result is rather unappetizing barely-opaque coffee. However, patience is a virtue, and within hours it started to more closely resemble a deep, rich brew. The next day, I had a pitcher of cold brew ready to go. Because the grounds are in the strainer core, you simply pour your brew over ice and are good to go — no annoying straining required. If you have flavors or syrups to add, once you remove the core, you can use the flavor mixer. Other than that, it’s all set. The carafe makes about 4 servings of cold brew, more if you tend to add a lot of milk or cream.

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I’m barely exaggerating when I say that a full 24 hours of slow-steepin’ in the fridge produces the smoothest, tastiest coffee I’ve ever had. But don’t just take my word for it; the Primula cold brew maker has racked up over 6,800 reviews, the majority of which are five stars. “I am a true coffee addict and I can tell you this way of prepping coffee is incredible both in flavor results and ease of use,” reads one glowing testimony. “It saves money and makes better coffee than average coffee shop cold brew,” writes another customer. “In my case, I spend about $12 on coffee beans per week with this cold brew maker. Translate that to coffee shop term, I’d spent about $17 on coffee per week. So this coffee maker breaks even in two months.”

Another reason I love the pitcher is that it makes clean-up a breeze. Unlike many other cold brew makers or DIY methods, you’re not left with messy coffee grounds. To make cleanup easy and mess-free, the core has a bottom that screws off to dump grounds in your trash or compost bin.

This cold brew maker is possibly my best buy of the year.

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Primula Glass Coffee Maker, $27.87

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Now that I can make my own cold brew without financial constraints, the drink recipes are endless. Imagine adding cold brew to your morning protein shake. Or how about a little Bailey’s Irish Cream with your cold brew?

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All in all, I couldn’t be happier with this cold brew maker. I was seriously impressed at how delicious the taste was (I’m convinced that in a blind test, this would be just as good or better as a $7 bougie cold brew from my local coffee shop) and how easy it was to make and clean. I already am kind of obsessed with it, and I’m not even an intense coffee drinker! It’s currently on sale for just under $30 on Amazon, so don’t waste another moment before investing in this major upgrade. Your taste buds (and wallet) will be glad you did.

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