Sunday, June 7, 2015

How to Make Cold Brew

I have to be honest with you, I LOVE my coffee. The best part of waking up really is coffee in my cup. I like a low acid, dark roast, and I grind my own beans. To me, the whole act is a part of the ritual that adds to the enjoyment. As much as I like that hot cup of coffee first thing in the morning, I also love a tall, cool glass of iced coffee on a hot summer afternoon. I used to treat myself to an iced coffee from a local coffeehouse once a week. Then I learned about cold brew. Wow! For years I had actually deluded myself into thinking that the coffeehouse's ice coffee offering was actually good. Boy, was I wrong. Having made my own cold brew, I now see that what I had been drinking, and paying dearly for, was really rather watery and tasteless. Never again will I buy iced coffee.
Making cold brew is very simple, the only downside is that you must plan 1-2 days ahead. The ratio of freshly ground coffee to water is really up to you and your personal tastes, but I find that one cup of freshly ground coffee (I use the medium grind setting) to three cups of water works perfectly for me.
Place the grounds into a French press or quart Mason jar if you don't have a French press, and then slowly pour the water on top.
Stir everything together.
Cover the top of the press with plastic wrap and secure with a rubber band. If using a Mason jar, simply seal with the lid.

Put the coffee and water into the fridge and leave it there, undisturbed for 24-48 hours. There is an ongoing debate among cold brew enthusiasts as to the ideal length of time.  The first time I made this I put it in the downstairs fridge and completely forgot about it, so mine chilled for 48 hours. The end result was exactly what I was looking for, so now I always go with that.
After the allotted amount of time has passed, separate grounds from water with the plunger, and strain. 

I have found that the easiest way to strain the cold brew is by pouring it through a filter attached to a little four-cup coffee pot. If you don't happen to have something like this available, you can strain it through strategically placed coffee filters, or multiple layers of cheesecloth.  The idea here is not only to separate the grounds from the liquid, but also to remove any and all silt. You want your coffee syrup (as it is now called) to taste bright and clean.

Once strained, store your syrup in the fridge for 7-10 days. Mine never lasts that long. I pour mine into a tall, ice-filled glass and add a splash of chocolate syrup and cream. So delicious!
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Linda said...

My very first cup of coffee at age 5 was cold - it was Mom's leftover cup, and I felt very grownup. I started drinking coffee with my folks when I was 14, because it smelled so good, and it was boiling hot (literally) from the percolator. I feel the same as you about my first cup in the morning, and I've always loved it hot and very strong (with an embarrassing amount of International Delight). I never thought I'd like cold coffee, but your post makes it look very appealing!

Marigene said...

I couldn't live without my 5-6 cups of coffee every day...but it has to be black, no sugar or I just can't drink it. I am not a big fan of iced coffee, but think I will try the cold brew method. Will let you know what I think, Pattie!

Doreen@foxdenrd said...

I didn't start to drink coffee until I was well into my thirties. Now, don't even try to talk to me in the morning until I've had my coffee.

Your last picture has me sold Patti. It looks so tempting, so I just may give this a shot.

Alexis @ Chemistry Cachet said...

I love coffee! And I love cold brew! It is so much easier (and cheaper) to make it at home. This post reminds me to make some again soon! Thanks for sharing! p.s - I am stopping over from Metamorphosis Monday :) Have a great rest of the week!

Alexis from

Rustown Mom said...

This method looks easy - the lat time I made it, I strained through a fine mesh sieve, then through the cheesecloth layers. It took about 2 days for the process because I like strong coffee, so I steeped mine two days or so, too. It was wonderful!!