Easily make a batch of cold brew at home and skip the long drive-thru line at the coffee house. If you have never tried cold brew coffee, this is your chance to enjoy it.
Making Cold Brew Coffee at Home
While there are many ways to make iced coffee at home, the most delicious way is most certainly the cold brew method. The cold brew technique requires nothing more than combining together cold water and ground coffee and allowing it to steep overnight, which makes a concentrate that is ready to be diluted with water.
Why cold brew? The cold brew method creates a very smooth cup of coffee that contains very little acidity and bitterness.
The cold steeping process makes a smooth, mellow cup of coffee that has very little acidity or bitterness.
Years ago, on one of my Hawaii trips, when cold brew coffee was still mostly an unknown art, I was able to spend time with a new and upcoming cold brew creator who had just released his first batch of cold brew into the marketplace. He taught me everything he knew about making cold brew at home and I immediately started making my own at home. That was maybe five years ago? I have played with proportions and methods over the years and have finally settled on this foolproof way of making the perfect batch of cold brew at home.
I know you’ll love it like I do.
What You Need to Make Cold Brew Coffee
It doesn’t take many ingredients to make cold brew coffee, only two to be exact.
- water – I prefer distilled water when it comes to making cold brew. I’ve settled on this after many batches. I find that distilled water works best as cold extractor and is free of almost all diluted solids. Distilled water really captures sugars that tap water does not. Can you still use tap water? Yes, taste is always subjective, but over the years I have had the best results with distilled.
- medium-coarse ground coffee – getting the grind is really important and keeps the cold brew from turning bitter while it steeps. You’ll want the coarseness to mimic that of raw sugar. If grinding the beans yourself, it’s best to do it in small batches.
GET THE FULL (PRINTABLE) COLD BREW COFFEE RECIPE BELOW. ENJOY!
One of the most important aspects of making cold brew coffee is to strain the grounds slowly once they have steeped overnight.
Commercially made cold brew relies on gravity to slowly strain remove the cold brew from the grounds. The only way to replicate this simply at home is to strain the cold brew as gently as possible through cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer. Some people do both.
Make sure to not press or squeeze the brewed coffee grounds – this will extract the bitter flavors we are hoping to avoid. Working in batches helps this process greatly.
Plan at least thirty minutes of time for proper staining to take place. Let gravity do all the work.
Cold brew extracts all the deliciousness of coffee with none of the acidity or bitterness that shows up with drip brew, and this is all done via cold extraction.
I have found that soaking the grounds for just twelve hours makes a weak and astringent cold brew. However, after eighteen hours of steeping, the brew is super smooth.
For best results, do not let the cold brew steep for more than twenty hours before removing the grounds.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Make Cold Brew in My French Press?
Yes, I love making cold brew in my French press because it already has a very fine mesh screen, so you will not need the cheesecloth when it’s time to strain it. You can wrap the top with a piece of plastic wrap when you need to place it in the fridge.
Where Did You Get the Lidded Container Pictured in this Post?
This particular container was purchased at Hobby Lobby, but you can use a large mason jar if you don’t have access to Hobby Lobby. If you’re going to use a large, quart-sized mason jar, you will need to reduce the ingredients to ¾ cup of coffee grounds to 3 cups water.
Where Do I Find Coarse Ground Coffee?
I prefer to grind my own beans with a coffee grinder. If you do not have a coffee grinder, usually your grocery store has an available grinder, Costco has one too for grinding any beans you purchase from them.
Where Do I Get a Metal Mesh Strainer Good for Coffee?
If you have a traditional coffee maker, it most likely came with one. If not you can get an appropriate mesh strainer online. Your regular kitchen strainer/sieve will not work as the holes are too big and the coffee grounds will pour through.
How Long Will Cold Brew Coffee Last?
After the coffee has been strained, it will last in the fridge for up to one week while maintaining the proper flavor.
Coffee Cake to Enjoy with Your Cold Brew Coffee
Through scientific research it has been discovered that coffee and cake really do go well together. The results all boiled down to the effects of caffeine in how we respond to sweetness. Caffeine was found to dull our receptors and make us crave something sweet to go alongside each cup. Here are a few of my favorite coffee cakes I love to enjoy with my favorite cold brew.
- Loaded Blueberry Coffee Cake
- Raspberry Almond Coffee Cake
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake
- Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake
- Pumpkin Crumb Coffee Cake
- Cranberry-Orange Coffee Cake
- Fresh Cherry-Almond Coffee Cake
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How To Make Cold Brew Coffee
- 1 cup coarsely ground coffee
- 4 cups cold distilled water
- In a large container with a lid, combine the coffee and water, stir gently until well combined, and place the lid on.
- Place the jar into the fridge overnight for at least 18 hours, but not more than twenty.
- Place a mesh sieve over another large pouring container and line it with two sheets of cheesecloth or medal mesh coffee strainer as seen in the photos. Pour the coffee mixture over the cheesecloth or through the sieve very slowly until all of the liquid is drained.
- This is a concentrate, so you will need to add more water to make it palatable. I use a 3 to 1 ratio for my cold brew coffee, so 1/2 cup of cold filtered water to 1-1/2 cups of the cold brew concentrate, both poured over a tall glass of ice.
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