Cold brew coffee is brewed using room temperature or cold water, which prevents extraction of the bitter, organic acids one normally gets with hot brewing.
The result is a flavorful, smooth cup of iced coffee.
I’ve done it myself and if I wasn’t so lazy, I’d make it all the time!
Even though there are many ways to do it, the easiest is using a proper cold brew coffee maker. It’s like a regular plastic bottle but with a special filter compartment in the inside which stores the coffee grounds.
This Ovalware RJ3 Cold Brew Coffee Maker makes immersion easy and comes in 2 sizes:
- 34 oz
- 51 oz
All you do is add your coffee grounds to the filter compartment, add cold water to the bottle, put both parts together and wait 12-24 hours for the coffee to fully brew.
I know that’s a long time to wait for coffee, but you can make it in batches and it’s well worth the wait!
Considering how popular coffee syrups have become over the past few years, I’d imagine your coffee loving friends will be able to appreciate this treat just as much as I would.
There are loads of different brands to choose from, but Torani and Monin are the industry leaders.
This Torani Variety Pack has 4 great flavors to enhance your cup:
- French Vanilla
The Caramel syrup completely changes the taste of my homemade iced lattes. Don’t believe me? Check out this great Caramel Brulee Latte recipe!
Why syrup over plain ol’ sugar?
Serious coffee shops have been serving up simple syrup for ages because regular sugar doesn’t dissolve quite as well in an iced drink as it does in a hot drink. You get a little bit of taste but nothing much more than that.
Syrups completely change that.
They balance perfectly with the coffee and milk to make for a great experience.
For those reading a holiday gift giving guide, it may be a little late to enjoy an iced latte. But that doesn’t mean your friends won’t enjoy these syrups.
- Capable of brewing either single cups or full pots of hot coffee
- Versatile modes for concentrated Iced and Specialty drinks
- Revolutionary Cold Brew mode for smoother, low-acid coffee steeped at lower temps ready in just 10 minutes
- Thermal carafe available
- Milk frother included
- Good at a lot of things but not great at any one thing
- Milk frother only whips milk and doesn't heat it up (microwave/stovetop required)
Ninja has 4 series of coffee makers, ranked below from simplest to most feature-rich
- Ninja Coffee Brewer: Your standard coffee maker for small and large pots.
- Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker: Ninja Coffee Brewer + concentrated Over Ice and Specialty modes
- Ninja Coffee Bar: Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker + Cafe Forte mode (extra rich cup) and frother (most models)
- Ninja Hot & Cold: Ninja Coffee Bar + Cold Brew mode, tea basket accessory, and upgraded design
This review is for the Ninja Hot & Cold with the following model numbers depending on whether they have a thermal carafe, glass carafe, or no carafe:
- Thermal Carafe: CP307, CP307C
- Glass Carafe: CP301, CP301C
The Ninja Hot & Cold is the upgraded version of the now-discontinued Ninja Coffee Bar, adding the following features to the standout, revolutionary coffee system:
- Cold Brew mode for smoother coffee steeped at lower temps in just 10 minutes
- Dedicated tea cartridge (no more mixing of coffee and tea flavors)
- Larger 50 oz water reservoir (vs 43 oz)
- Much sleeker updated design
Like the Ninja Coffee Bar, the Ninja Hot & Cold has 5 different brew modes:
- Classic: Your standard cup of coffee
- Rich: A richer cup of coffee
- Iced: Even richer and intended to be brewed over ice, which melts and dilutes it
- Specialty: Stronger still and intended to be used for cappuccinos, etc.
- Cold Brew: A less bitter cup of coffee brewed at lower temps in just 10 minutes
As far as the thermal vs glass carafe models mentioned:
- Thermal Carafe System: Comes with a 50 oz double-walled, vacuum-sealed, stainless steel thermal carafe which will keep the coffee hot for up to 2 hours.
- Glass Carafe System: Comes with a 50 oz glass carafe. Unlike the Thermal Carafe System, the Glass Carafe System also comes with a warming plate.
Let's jump to our Buyer's Guide below to help you decide whether the Ninja Coffee Bar is for you.
- Digital LCD display with numeric grind time and size setting indicators makes precision grinding much easier
- 60 macro and 10 micro grind adjustments means 600 different grind sizes
- Durable, reliable build and an excellent value
- Noisy motor is a little less powerful than comparable grinders
- Coarsest grind size is still too fine for French press
- Needs frequent cleaning if you regularly use very dark, oily beans
Your next (first?) great coffee grinder will meet a few key criteria:
- Offer grind sizes for the type of coffee beverage you prefer
- Yield a consistent, reliable grind size and volume
- Be durable enough to work for years
- And, of course, be in your price range!
With an impressive array of features and consistent, reliable grinding performance, there’s a good chance this grinder is for you.
A great 100% Kona coffee, Blue Horse was my go-to for a whole year before I decided to switch things up.
(Now I’m drinking Ethiopian and Kenyan coffees.)
This roast is similar to the Koa Coffee 100% Kona above but it’s a little heavier on the chocolaty flavors.
If you sit at a desk all day on a computer, then you know how annoying it is when your drink has been reduced to a lukewarm cup of swill (and I imagine you have friends that do, too).
It’s not quite warm enough to be enjoyable, but not quite cold enough to stop drinking.
I know it’s an annoying situation to be in and I feel I’ve found the perfect product to fix:
The USB Mug Warmer.
It connects right to your computer and keeps your coffee hot up to 140°F (60°C) for as long as you’d like, no matter how long you’ll be in the office.
To me this sounds like the perfect gift for someone who wants to enjoy their coffee past the first three sips.
Plus, it’s not a seasonal gift so it could be given to someone as a birthday present or even just something to cheer them up.
It’s certainly something I would love to get!
- Includes Keurig's upgraded system for richer coffee and quieter brewing
- No pod-scanning technology so brews both licensed and unlicensed K-Cup pods
- Brews both single-serve pods and 60 oz carafes
- Full 60 oz carafe isn't as robust as coffee from a dedicated drip coffee maker
- Carafe pour spout has tendency to drip
- Compared to K-Duo Plus, water reservoir is fixed in rear of brewer making it harder to access and refill
- Doesn't come with a water filter kit
In August 2014, Keurig unveiled their new Keurig 2.0 brewers that expanded the single-serve giant's reach by allowing users to brew up to 30 oz carafes of coffee.
Customer reaction was mixed as Keurig's 2.0 brewers, numbered from K200-K575, featured pod-scanning system ("DRM" or Digital Rights Management) that locked out unlicensed K-Cups and wasn't compatible with the original My K-Cup. (Keurig would later unveil a 2.0 My K-Cup.)
Keurig also found it challenging to support their 2.0 brewers, which brewed 10 different sizes from 4-30 oz using 4 different types of pods: K-Cup, K-Mug, K-Vue, and K-Carafe.
Ultimately, Keurig scrapped the 2.0 system and went back to the basics: single-serve brewing with K-Cup pods.
But they still wanted to offer a dual-use brewer that brewed everything from single cups to full carafes.
Enter the Keurig K-Duo series with 3 similar brewers.
The K-Duo is the middle of those 3 brewers. How do they differ?
- K-Duo Essentials: Lose the K-Duo's 6 oz brew size and Strength Control feature
- K-Duo Plus: Add a thermal carafe (instead of glass carafe) and a swivel reservoir for left, right, and rear positioning
Regardless of which K-Duo model you choose, all of them brew up to 60 oz carafes (double the volume of the discontinued 2.0 brewers) using a reusable Keurig Gold Tone mesh filter and ground coffee.
Enjoying these on a cold Christmas day with a warm cup of coffee while watching Christmas movies before heading off to meet the family for dinner will feel like heaven to any true coffee lover.
It’s the one day of the year that they can fully pig out with anyone looking down on them, and you can be a part of it!
OK, you may only be a small part, but they’ll still be thinking of you. To me, that sounds totally worth it.
This invention really makes brewing your morning coffee so much easier and can be used by absolutely anyone.
The Incred-A-Brew coffee maker blew my mind when I first saw it, and I couldn’t believe I (or anyone else) had never thought of it before.
It’s just so simple: a little mug-shaped container with a coffee filter at the bottom.
How does it work?
- Put your coffee grounds in the top container with some hot water.
- Wait 2-4 minutes for it to brew.
- Place it on a mug for the coffee to be poured out the bottom.
It’s as easy as that.
The secret is the pressure valve in the bottom, which seals the Incred-A-Brew shut until you place it on top of your mug.
It also has a removable strainer which makes sure the coffee grounds don’t make their way into you cup and comes with a drip tray to keep your countertop clean and free of liquids.
I don’t know about you but this would certainly make my Monday mornings a lot easier!
The MiniPresso, as the name suggests, is a small, portable espresso machine that fits easily inside a rucksack, making it perfect for things like camping and backpacking.
There are 2 versions:
- MiniPresso GR (uses ground coffee)
- MiniPresso NS (uses Nespresso OriginalLine-compatible capsules)
It’s pretty easy to use once you become familiar with all its parts.
Pretty much all you do is put your coffee grounds in the filter at one side, put the hot water in at the other side and squeeze it through using the hand pump.
Because the MiniPresso uses hand-pump pressure to extract your shot, it doesn't reach the requisite 9 bars of pressure for true espresso.
But what it does make is very espresso-like, mostly lacking a rich crema.
But you aren't buying the MiniPresso to replace your home espresso machine. You're buying it for on-the-go convenience.
To that end, it's a fantastic compromise between cost, quality, and convenience.
The novelty mug is a timeless classic even if it really is so simple.
If you get the message just right, then it could start someone’s morning off with a laugh.
And this one seems extremely relatable.
You also can get personalized mugs, but there are thousands of pre-designed novelty mugs to choose from on Amazon all on different topics. Literally, when I typed in “novelty mug” over 100,000 results came up!
Try it for yourself.
(And speaking of novelty items, a pink coffee maker could be perfect for the person you know who loves everything pink.)
- No muss, fuss, or confusing extra features
- Pressurized portafilters and Pannarello steam wand require no skill to use
- Pulls a very hot shot
- Sturdy build with some stainless steel components
- Compact, lightweight, attractive machine
- Discontinued model
- For more experienced home baristas, the pressurized portafilters put a ceiling on how great your shot can be
- Can take anywhere from 5-15 minutes to heat up
- No Auto-Off feature
This entry-level model has a lower price point and limited features, but DeLonghi did that with one goal in mind:
To make an affordable, fool-proof espresso machine.
Pull single or double shots with the included pressurized portafilter, or pop in an E.S.E. soft pod to get a rich, hot espresso with minimal hassle.
The Pannarello steam wand is a great addition on an entry-level machine — just submerge the wand in your milk and activate steam mode with no manual frothing required — and the whole unit is compact and durable.
The one feature I find sort of useless is the attached tamper. I’ve never been a fan of the up-press tamper affixed to the espresso machine.