The Instant Cold Brewer will make you coffee in 20 minutes – is it any good?

It's all you need for easy, speedy coffee

Instant cold brewer on the countertop next to a cup of cold brew
(Image credit: Instant)
Homes & Gardens Verdict

This is a speedy, easy way to make cold brew coffee. I brewed four servings in 20 minutes, just make sure that you use coarse coffee grounds to avoid battling lots of sediment.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Smart and stylish

  • +

    Makes quick cold brew

  • +

    Easy to clean

  • +

    Good capacity

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Not perfect flavor-wise

  • -

    Some sediment slips through

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Cold brew is almost synonymous with summer. When it warms up, everyone wants to drink their coffee cooler and the smooth, sweet, iced tones of cold brew hit the spot every single time.

Since they became one of the most popular ways for people to consume their coffee, I've been testing the best cold brew coffee makers on the market. Most of them follow a slow brewing process since traditional cold brew takes a full 24 hours to make. However, models like the Instant Cold Brewer remove all the impatience from cold brewing.

I made some close-to-perfect cold brew in just twenty minutes with the Instant. It's simple, fun, and easy to use. Is it for you though? Here's everything you need to know.


Instant Cold Brewer on a white background

(Image credit: Instant)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Dimensions6.7 x 7.9 x 9.8 inches
Weight5.3 lbs
Capacity32 oz
Power15 watts
Dishwasher safeYes


Instant Cold Brewer unboxed on the countertop

(Image credit: Future)

The Instant Cold Brewer is one of my favorite cold brew coffee makers on the market and I knew that as soon as I unboxed it. I peeled back the plastic packaging (which is recyclable if you have a soft-plastic recycling center near you) to reveal a smart, compact coffee maker. 

On the countertop, this looked modern and premium. It has all the coffee maker hallmarks – the stainless steel jug looks like a milk carafe – without drawing too much attention to itself. Aesthetically, this is very pleasing.

Who would it suit?

Instant Cold Brewer on the countertop

(Image credit: Future)

The Instant Cold Brewer is a model dedicated to making cold brew coffee. If that's all you drink, this slim appliance will the the perfect addition to your kitchen. It's small enough to fit any kitchens, even my small urban one. 

Unlike classic cold brew coffee makers, the Instant will be ready with cold brew coffee in just twenty minutes. Which makes it perfect for impatient, or forgetful cold brew enthusiasts. There's no prep work needed days in advance. The other beauty of the Instant is how simple it is. Even first-time cold brew coffee enthusiasts will be able to make a delicious drink.

What was it like to use?

Instant Cold Brewer brewing coffee

(Image credit: Future)

Before I made any coffee in my cold brewer, I did a few maintenance tasks. Instant recommends making sure that the brew basket's bottom cap is securely fastened (this is where you empty the grounds from) and I gave all the parts a rinse. Once it was all clean, I placed the brew basket inside the glass pitcher, by slotting it through the handle housing lid.

Once plugged in, the base lit up with different strength and temperature controls. It made a chime too, which is a fun touch, but I wonder whether some users might want to disable it, since it could disrupt a sleeping house in the morning.

To brew coffee, Instant recommends following a 14:1 water-to-coffee ratio. This means using 3.5 scoops, or 18 tsp pf coarsely ground coffee with 16 oz of water, if you want to make two servings. That's what I started off with, thinking I could adjust the consistency to suit my preferences.

I filled the pitcher with filtered water, added my coffee to the basket, inserted it into the pitcher. I did leave some coffee dust behind on the countertop, but I'd rather wipe it off there than have it sat in my cup of coffee.

I set the Instant to brew two cups of coffee and was told that it would run for 15 minutes, which is impressively speedy. True to its promise, 

Cold brew made in the Instant Cold Brewer

(Image credit: Future)

I wanted to check that this was as good with big batches of cold brew as it was with small servings. To make enough cold brew for four, I doubled the quantities of coffee and water that I used for two cups of coffee. This needed 20 minutes to brew, which is five minutes longer than the smaller serving, but 20 minutes is still an impressive amount of time. 

Alternatively, if you enjoy the slower brewing process, the FlashExtract™ technology is impressive. You run it for five minutes on the power base and then sit it in the fridge for 12-16 hours. This slower method is undeniably smoother and sweeter, but it takes longer, of course.

The one factor worth considering is that you do need to pour from the Instant straight away. If you don't, it'll keep brewing and will stop tasting delicious.

How does it rate online?

Instant Cold Brewer making coffee

(Image credit: Future)

The Instant Cold Brewer is relatively new to the market, but it's been a popular addition to the ever-expanding cold brew coffee maker offering. On Amazon, it boasts 4.3 out of 5 stars. People found it easy to use and they enjoyed the well-considered features integrated, including the basket, which is easy to clean and the carafe, which is easy to pour from. 

I found a few reviews from people who struggled with cloudy coffee. Although I haven't seen them, I would put this down to the grind size, rather than any fault with the Instant. They need to be coarse. I did have some residue at the bottom of my cup, but if that bothers you, let your coffee settle before pouring from the carafe.

Purists say that they've made better coffee with overnight brewing and I would agree, but this is great if you want a quick convenient cold brew. 

How does it compare?

Instant Cold Brewer controls on the base

(Image credit: Future)

The Instant isn't the only speedy cold brew coffee maker on the market. Shine's Rapid cold brew coffee maker does offer a similar 20-minute brewing time. I would pick the Instant over the Shine, because it feels more premium, it's nicer to use, and it's quiet. There's not really a scenario in which the Instant is bettered by the Shine.

If you're looking at the flavors, there are better cold brew coffee makers on the market. The OXO makes a flawless cup of cold brew, but you'll have to wait the full 18 hour steep time to enjoy it. It's smaller than the Instant and you can use the OXO without needing to plug it into anything too, so if you know you're a bit of a snob, this is a good investment. 

Should you buy it?

Instant Cold Brewer on the countertop

(Image credit: Future)

The Instant Cold Brewer is perfect for a lot of cold brew coffee consumers. It's quick, simple, easy to use, and I like the modern aesthetic of it. The cold brew coffee that it makes might not be as perfect as an overnight brewer, but for the price and speed, it's excellent.

Laura Honey
eCommerce Editor

Laura is our eCommerce editor. As a fully qualified barista, she's our expert in all things coffee and has tested over thirty of the best coffee makers on the market. She has also interviewed Q-Graders and world-leading experts in the coffee industry, so has an intimate knowledge of all things coffee. Before joining Homes & Gardens, she studied English at Oxford University. Whilst studying, she trained as a master perfumer and worked in the luxury fragrance industry for five years. Her collection of home fragrance is extensive and she's met and interviewed five of the world's finest perfumers (also known as 'noses'). As a result of this expansive fragrance knowledge, she always puts quality and style over quantity and fads. Laura looks for products which have been designed simply and with thoughtful finishes.