One of the great things to happen in home coffee brewing in recent years has been the innovation in cold brew coffee gear. What do I mean by innovation? After all, a cold brewer doesn’t require power or need to maintain a specific temperature. A cold coffee brewer is simply a vessel for letting ground coffee make contact with water for 12-24 hours. The innovation is making this process easier to get started and easier to clean up.
Back in the day the only non-DIY (do it yourself) option for cold brew coffee was a big old Toddy plastic bucket with that weird pad-like filter that needed to be cleaned and then replaced after every 10 or so uses. And it was fine for the time, but things are better now. Today you can purchase cold brew coffee makers that are glass, use metal filters and are both easy to setup and easy to clean up.
The Cold Brew Coffee Maker from Alkani is the latest example of a cold brew coffee maker that gets it right. The brewer uses a sturdy glass container which serves as both the brewer and the pitcher to store the brewed coffee. Along the side, you have volume markings indicating how much coffee is in the pitcher once the brew is complete. The Alkani has a thin metal filter with a handle, which makes it easy to remove once the brew is complete.
Step by Step Tutorial for the Cold Brew Maker by Alkani
Let me show you how easy it is to make cold brew coffee with the Alkani.
#1 Grind Coffee
No need for scales. Just grind 1 to 1.25 cups of coffee medium-coarse to coarse. See our Coffee Grind Chart for a visual explanation. I found that 1.25 cups is enough to fill the metal filter. I’m using a lighter roast. Darker roasts might take a few more beans, as coffee expands and becomes lighter in weight during the roasting process.
#2 Place Filter Into Cold Brewer
There is a metal ring with a rubber edge that serves as a collar to hold up the filter during brewing. Make sure it is in place. Once it is in place, lower the metal filter into the coffee maker.
I placed my AeroPress funnel over the Cold Brewer to prepare for the next step.
#3 Add Ground Coffee to Filter
This is actually the hardest step since you need to aim the grounds into the opening, but it really isn’t hard. Just get a funnel. I discovered the AeroPress funnel is the perfect size for loading up the cold brew filter with coffee grounds. If you don’t have an AeroPress funnel, you can roll up a piece of printer paper and hold it together with a piece of tape.
#4 Slowly Add Water Until the Grounds Are Covered
Slowly add water over the grounds. I do not use the markings on the side of the brewer for guidance. I’m filling the brewer so the water line is high enough to cover all the ground coffee. If you are using 1.25 cups of coffee, that means all the way to the top. if you are using less ground coffee, you won’t need to fill up the brewer with as much water.
#5 Wait 18-24 Hours
Let the coffee brew sit for 18-24 hours. I use my kitchen counter, but you could also place it in the refrigerator.
#6 Completing the Brew
When you remove the filter, some coffee will leak, so do this step at your sink. Place the filter in your sink and then either serve or store the finished coffee in the refrigerator. Later you can go back and empty the coffee grounds into a compost bin. The only step left is to clean your equipment so it is ready for the next brew.
Alkani vs Home and Above (Battle of the Cold Brew Coffee Makers)
I really like the Alkani Cold Brew Coffee Maker. It is similar to the Cold Brew Coffee Maker from Home and Above, which was covered in the post An Easy Guide to Making Cold Brew Coffee. There are a few differences:
- Alkani uses a thicker glass with a fatter bottom, which makes it more stable on the counter.
- Home and Above uses a thicker more sturdy metal filter.
- Both units have a slight opening that exposes the coffee to the air, but that opening is very small for both. If this is a concern, place a plastic bag or plastic wrap over the opening during brewing. Also because both units are not watertight at the opening, resist the urge to shake the brewer to accelerate the brewing or if you do, cover the top and agitate it slowly.
- If you use the container to store your coffee, the Alkani will take up more space horizontally (wider), and the Home and Above will use more space vertically (taller). I don’t use either for storage and instead transfer the coffee directly to mason jars.
Shortly after publishing the tutorial on the Cold Brew Coffee Maker from Home and Above, a bag of groceries tapped my brewer and it tipped over on the counter, rolled and then crashed to the floor. Glass everywhere. I believe had that happened to Alkani, it would not have tipped over and rolled onto the floor because the weight is mostly in the base. (The brewer was empty at the time)
The metal filter from Home and Above is thick and more sturdy, but it doesn’t impact the quality of the brew. I have used that filter since to brew directly into a mason jar.
I like both brewers, but between the two, I prefer the thicker bottom-heavy design of the Alkani. If I wanted a brewer that occupied less space on the counter and in the refrigerator, I’d give the edge to Home and Above.
If I could provide one improvement idea to either cold brewer, it would be to develop a cover to protect the glass. It could look and function similar to the one used to protect the glass on the Eva Solo Coffee Brewer.
Cold Brew Coffee is Not Rocket Science – The basics of cold brew coffee.
An Easy Guide to Making Cold Brew Coffee – Article and tutorial on the Cold Brew Coffee Maker from Home and Above.
Brewing photos by Joseph Robertson of Extracted Magazine, a digital coffee magazine published for iOS and Android.