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Coffee drinkers praise cold brew for its sweetness, depth of flavor, and lack of acidity. Its lengthy brew time is its biggest drawback. The $109 Gourmia GCM6850 Cold Brew Coffee Maker is one of a few kitchen appliances designed to speed up the process. Another is the $129 Dash Rapid Cold Brew. Both can whip up pitchers of coffee in minutes. However, Gourmia's machine has the edge since it's quieter and easier to use.
As coffee makers go, this one is far from simple. At the bottom of the brewer is a squarish base that accepts a wide pitcher. Inside are numerous parts including a coffee fountain, filter basket and lid, plus another lid for the pitcher.
It sounds complex, but the brewer's layout is elegant compared with the Dash Rapid Cold Brew's. The Dash Rapid splits the filter away from its pitcher, which means you have to handle more parts, and a base with two sockets.
I found the Gourmia brewer more enjoyable to use as well. First of all it's quiet. I could barely hear it running. By contrast the Dash emits a high-pitched whine while it brews. That racket is caused by its internal water pump chugging along. Both coffee makers function by pumping water in a continuous cycle from the carafe, through their coffee filters and back.
The Gourmia cold brewer isn't entirely problem-free. It's tough to see and line up the faint markings on its pitcher and pitcher lid. As a result, I found myself fiddling with lid all the time just to lock it. And like the Dash, it makes much weaker cold brew than I prefer.
It makes carafes of the stuff in as little as 4 minutes. That's a lot more convenient than the 12 to 24 hours cold brew usually requires. Still, I like my cold brew strong. To suit my tastes, I typically ran the brewer for its full 10-minute cycle. I do like the ice basket that Gourmia includes. It cools down coffee in the carafe when you pair it with the 6-minute chill program. The Dash brewer has no similar feature.
If it ever came down to deciding between the $109 Gourmia GCM6850 Cold Brew Coffee Maker and the $129 Dash Rapid Cold Brew, I'd go with the quieter, easier-to-use Gourmia. If you have the time and the craving for traditional cold brew that's rich, strong and complex in flavor, skip them both and buy the $49 Oxo Cold Brew instead. It takes a lot longer, but what it makes tastes vastly better.