The $25 Takeya Cold Brew Coffee Maker is both easy to use and affordable. Priced at half as much as competing products such as the $50 Oxo Cold Brew, and $15 less than similar devices from Toddy and Filtron, Takeya's cold-brew gadget is extremely budget-friendly. Despite its low cost, the Takeya Cold Brew has the chops to make quality coffee with little mess or hassle.
Essentially a plastic pitcher, the Takeya Cold Brew consists of just four parts: the pitcher, a handle and spout section that screws down around its lip, a mesh filter and an airtight lid.
To kickstart the brewing process first pour 32 ounces (1 quart, 0.95 L) of water inside the pitcher. Next add 14 to 16 tablespoons (8 ounces, 227 grams) of coarsely ground coffee to the filter (what Takeya calls the "infuser") and attach it to the lid. Finally screw the lid (and linked filter) securely into place, give the whole apparatus a couple good shakes, then slip it into the refrigerator. After 12 to 24 hours, roughly overnight, remove the brewer from the fridge, pour and serve.
I found cold-brew coffee created by the Takeya pleasingly low in acidity and bitterness, but also consistently weak and diluted, a big difference from the rich and syrupy elixir from the Oxo Cold Brew.
A quick refractometer reading confirmed my suspicions. I measured my test batch to have a TDS percentage (total dissolved solids) of 2.1 percent, a lot lower than my Oxo-made cold brew (5.4 percent). Even so the Takeya coffee also had more unpalatable grit and coffee particles than the Oxo Cold Brew coffee.
As a result the $25 Takeya Cold Brew Coffee Maker is better than nothing if you're on a tight budget. Otherwise I suggest splurging a little extra for the $50 Oxo Cold Brew Coffee Maker for a higher-quality, stronger drink.