How to make cold brew coffee
Maybe it's summertime and you're looking to cool off, or maybe you just want to save a few bucks and skip the line at the cafe. Making cold brew at home is a great way to drink deliciously smooth and refreshing coffee, and it's really easy to do!
Today we'll walk through the basic steps for making cold brew at home, and a few different ways to tweak your brew for tastier results!
For cold brew, you want to aim for a coffee to water ratio around 1:6. It's easiest to measure this by weight, so grab a kitchen scale if you have one. For example, if we want a liter of cold brew (1000ml or ~32 ounces), we'd weigh out 167 grams of coffee.
If a liter sounds like a lot of cold brew, don't worry - the idea isn't to drink it all at once! Since cold brew takes several hours to make, we recommend making a large batch to use for several servings. If you're looking for a quick cold coffee fix, try an iced coffee instead - it's just as easy and delicious with less time commitment.
The most important part of making delicious coffee is using high quality beans. Different coffees present unique tastes, which will be most flavorful about 3 days after roast. To make the best possible cold brew, try a variety of different beans!
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Once you have beans, it's time to grind! For cold brew, you want your coffee to be ground coarsely, similar to what you would use in a French Press. Grinding just before brewing will keep your beans as fresh as possible.
The secret to a delicious cold brew comes down to patience. Once your coffee is ground, add the corresponding amount of cold or room temperature water to a pitcher, french press, or mason jar and stir to ensure all the coffee is immersed. Then put the lid on and let the coffee steep for 12-16 hours.
It's perfectly fine to leave the coffee on the counter to steep, or you can put it in the fridge. The longer the steep time, the more bold and flavorful your cold brew will be. 14-16 hours produces the most popular flavor, but you can wait as long as 20 hours if you like it extra strong. Try a few different batches to see what you like best!
After you've let your coffee steep, it's time to strain out all the coffee grounds so your cold brew doesn't over-extract. You can do this by pouring your cold brew through a cheesecloth if you have one, but pouring through a normal coffee filter like a Chemex works just as well.
Once you have strained the cold brew, it's ready to drink. Store it in the fridge in a sealed container and it should keep for about a week at peak flavor.
This cold brew concentrate tastes delicious and smooth on its own, but you can cut it 1:1 with water for a less intense, easy-drinking cup. And since you have multiple servings, you can also try out some different cold brew concoctions, like an at-home iced latte!A few of our other favorites include:
- - Cold brew with milk (1:1)
- - Cold brew and tonic water (1:2)
- - Cold brew shandy (2:3 with lemonade - trust us)
Adjusting your recipe to taste is simple. For stronger cold brew, steep for more time or increase the coffee in your brew ratio, and vice versa. The fun part of making coffee at home is trying things and figuring out which recipe is your favorite.