July 30, 2022

How to Make Great Cold Brew Coffee

How to Make Great Cold Brew Coffee

What is Cold Brew Coffee?

  • Cold brew coffee is made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period of time (from 12 to 48 hours). Instead of using hot water to extract flavor from the coffee beans, cold brew coffee uses time. This extended brew time can create a smooth, less bitter coffee. Depending on the coffee to water ratio you use, it can be brewed to drink or made as a concentrate that you dilute with water or milk.

Cold brew pitcher

Why Make Cold Brew Coffee

  • Cold brew coffee is easy to make, so it is ready for you whenever you need that caffeine hit.
  • Homemade cold brew coffee keeps in the fridge quite well. It is best within 48 hours, but can be stored for up to a week or two.
  • Cold brew coffee can have less acidity and be easier to drink. If hot brewed coffee is a bit too acidic for you, cold brew may be right for you.
  • Homemade cold brew is much more affordable than buying it from a coffee shop every morning.
  • Cold brew coffee is easy to make in large quantities (especially if you have a larger container) making it the perfect option when making coffee for multiple people.
  • It’s a great mix-in for coffee cocktails - Giddy up!

Steps to Make Cold Brew Coffee

The process of making cold brew coffee is incredibly simple! 

  1. Use fresh roasted coffee
    Coffee beans are little packages of flavor that go through a lot to bring these wonderful tastes to your cup.  Certain beans, such as Colombian and Brazil are especially tasty has cold brews because they can be roasted to bring out rich, dark and smooth flavors.

  2. Coarsely grind your coffee beans.
    Because of the long steeping time, you want your coffee grounds to be ground fairly coarse so the coffee does not get over-extracted (similar to the coarseness of sea-salt)

  3. Combine coffee and water.  
    Mix the coffee and water together directly or use some sort of filter or mesh system to make the final straining of water from the coffee grounds easier.  Plenty of easy to use cold brew containers are available for under $30. 

  4. Wait 12-24 hours.  
    Cold brew requires time to slow-steep the coffee grounds with the water - usually somewhere around 24 hours works best. Experiment to find the timing that tastes best to you and works best with your schedule

  5. Filter & serve.
    If you’ve mixed the coffee and water together, you’ll need to use a cheese cloth or other filter to separate the coffee grounds. If you’ve used a cold brew maker with a filter you can simply remove the filter and your cold brew is ready to serve!

Final tips

  • Make as a concentrate or ready to drink?  
    When making cold brew, you can decide to make it stronger as a concentrate (1:5 coffee to water ratio) or more diluted and ready-to-drink (1:10).  These are good starting ratios, but adjust from there based on how you like it! 
  • Experiment with steep time.
    Start with a steep time of 24 hours, but there is a lot of flexibility here. In general you want to keep it to more than 12 hours and less than 48 hours, but anywhere in that window can yield great results.