Why I love Cold Brew Coffee
You don't see me mention coffee too often on here; I am a tea lover through and through, and when I have the choice it's always green, black, white or tisane and plenty of hot water or ice.
Coffee is appealing, however, I have to be in the right mood for it; a mood usually prompted by social settings, weather or work environment. The aroma of coffee in the morning is lovely and I'm definitely not immune to its lure on occasion. As such, I always have a bag of store bought coffee beans in our pantry.
Nevertheless, I love to include cold brew coffee during the summer when chilled blends are on repeat. It's also cheaper to make at home at home rather than making a trip to the local coffee shop.
How Cold Brew Coffee Differs from Regular Coffee
- The biggest difference between cold brew coffee and a traditional hot water steep is that steeping grinds in cold water results in less acidity. This lower acid content makes for a coffee with a subtle sweetness.
- This recipe creates a cold brew coffee concentrate that holds more caffeine per cup. As such, you definitely need to dilute the final brew with water or almond milk etc. Instructions for diluting the concentrate are in the recipe.
- The ratio of grinds to water is another big difference. For every cup of water used, you need ¼ cup of coarsely ground beans. The ratio is flexible, but use this as a guideline to start from.
- The amount of caffeine in cold versus traditional brew is somewhat debatable. Because caffeine is water soluble, I share the opinion that cold brewing coffee beans results in higher caffeine levels simply because the steeping time is so lengthy (12-14 hours). Also, again don't forget that this recipe creates a concentrate which will have more caffeine per cup than regular coffee. Always dilute cold brew coffee.
- Cold brewing is a slower process which yields a final brew with rich flavour that doesn't degrade over time. Cold brew coffee concentrate lasts several days in the fridge and still tastes fresh.
- You can enjoy it many different ways. It makes excellent iced coffee, however, you can also enjoy it a room temperature. Moreover, you can heat it up like traditional drip coffee if you wish.
Easy Methods for making cold brew coffee concentrate
You can easily make cold brew coffee at home one of two ways:
- The French Press Method - simply add the ground coffee beans and water to a french press. Cover and let steep for 12 hours in the fridge, then filter with the press.
- The Mason Jar Method - Add all the ground coffee and water to a 1-quart mason jar, cover tightly and let steep in the fridge for 12 hours. Filter the coffee through several layers of fine cheesecloth, a clean linen, or use traditional paper filters.
Other equipment needed
Along with the above, you will also need a coffee grinder, or simply use a blender to grind the beans. You can use the coarse grind/french press setting on the grocery store coffee grinder.
6 Key tips to make quality cold brew coffee at home
- Use fresh coffee beans- use a medium-dark roast for a classic cold brew flavour, however, any coffee bean variety will work. Pick one you like!
- Use a coarse grind- finer coffee grinds can create a bitter and or cloudy brew.
- Steep with filtered water-as any coffee lover knows, water can make or break a cup of coffee. Use good filtered water whenever possible.
- Remember you're making a concentrate- you need to dilute the cold brew before serving otherwise it will be way too strong and make you wide-eyed and jittery all day.
- Don't over-brew- It takes 12-14 hours to properly steep the grinds- any longer and it may become bitter.
- Filter twice - if you have a really good french press, you may be able to skip this step. I prefer filtering the coffee through the french press and then a chemex coffee maker (affiliate link) with a paper filter for a crystal clear brew.
Why is my brew cloudy?
If your cold brew concentrate is cloudy, try filtering it a second time. If after a second filtration it's still cloudy, use a coarser grind.
How long does the concentrate stay fresh?
This recipe creates a cold brew coffee concentrate. As such, you will have enough to make 4 or 5 cups of coffee through the week.
Unlike hot coffee, cold brew will last several days covered in the fridge with no degradation in flavour. However, you will need to remove the grinds in advance if you plan to keep it longer than a day. Simply pour it into a glass storage vessel with a lid and keep refrigerated.
Want more recipe inspiration like this?
If you enjoyed this tutorial, you may be interested in trying my
HOW TO MAKE COLD BREW COFFEE
Learn how to make cold brew coffee at home. This recipe creates a cold brew coffee concentrate which can be diluted with either almond milk or water. You can also heat your cold brew coffee blend if you wish. This recipe makes enough cold brew coffee concentrate to make about 4-5 cups of coffee. The concentrate will last several days covered in the fridge with no degradation in flavour.
For the cold brew coffee concentrate:
- 1 cup coarsely ground coffee beans
- 4 cups cold or room temperature filtered water
For the Iced Cold Brew Blend:
- ½ cup cold brewed coffee concentrate
- ½ cup chilled almond milk or non-dairy milk of choice
- 1 tbsp agave nectar or maple syrup or a pinch of pure stevia extract to taste
- several ice cubes
Mix the ground coffee and water: In a large french press, or 1 quart mason jar with a lid, place the coarsely ground coffee and filtered water. Stir to ensure all the grounds are fully immersed and saturated with water. Cover and place in the fridge to steep for 12 -14 hours.
Filter the coffee: if using a french press, simply use the plunger filter. Alternatively, filter the steeped grounds through a fine mesh sieve, several layers of cheesecloth, or a double lined paper coffee filter (my preferred method). If your filtered brew is cloudy, filter once more (see notes below).
Make the blend: to your favourite mug or glass, add ½ cup of cold brewed coffee concentrate and sweetener of choice. Mix until the sweetener is dissolved. Add ice and pour in ½ cup of chilled almond milk or water.
Don't brew longer than 14 hours as this may create a bitter taste. If your brew is cloudy after a second filtration, it may be that your coffee grounds are too fine- again use a coarser grind. Cold brewed coffee will last several days covered in the fridge with no degradation in flavour. However, you will need to remove the grinds in advance if you plan to keep it longer than a day. Simply pour it into a storage vessel with a lid and keep refrigerated.