How to Make The Perfect Cup of Cold Brew Coffee at Home
If you’re anything like me, you start your day with a big cup of coffee. Cold brew to be exact. But going to coffee shops every day (sometimes more than once) can get pretty expensive. But what if you could make the same quality cold brew right in your own home at one time for the whole week?
Cold brew vs. Iced Coffee
If you’re new to this cold brew thing, you might be wondering what exactly the difference is between cold brew and iced coffee. Well, cold brew is just that. It is brewed in room temperature or cold water for a long period of time, usually somewhere between 12-24 hours. Because of the absence of heat during the brewing process, it is smoother and less acidic than regular coffee.
- 2 vessels that hold water
- a fine mesh strainer with cheesecloth OR a French press
1. Grind. Use your favorite high quality beans that you normally would for hot coffee. I prefer a darker roast but it is totally subjective. If possible, grind the beans fresh at home or at the store right before use. You will need a coarse grind. A finer grind might result in murky coffee.
2. Brew. Combine the coffee grinds into filtered or bottled water. Filtered water will give your coffee a cleaner taste. Start with 1 part coffee to 4 parts water as a standard and adjust to your taste. You can double or triple that as well and so on. This measurement is just a suggested starting point. The more you experiment the better you will be able to get the ratio exactly to your taste. What you brew it in is also your preference. A large French press is the fastest, most efficient option as it eliminates the straining process altogether but mason jars, glass bowls or really any large container will work. I normally brew in a half gallon pitcher and strain it into another one. Mostly because they are what I already had on hand.
3. Stir. Stir in the coffee gradually until all grounds are incorporated and cover and refrigerate. If using a French press, put the cover on but do not push down. There is no need to stir further while the coffee brews in the fridge.
4. Steep. Let the coffee mixture steep for somewhere between 12-24 hours. I find that overnight is always the most convenient. I tend to brew for about 12-15 hours.
5. Strain. After the brewing process is over, depending on the vessel, either push down on the French press or use a fine mesh strainer with cheesecloth to strain the grounds into a new clean container. The coffee will drain slowly. Don't try to rush the process or it can impact the taste.
6. Chill. Cover and refrigerate to have your morning cup of cold brew all week long. I’ve heard it is good up to two weeks but I always finish mine before that time so I wouldn’t know!
And that's it!
The Perfect Cup
Remember, your cold brew is a concentrate. When serving, add water to taste. A general rule of thumb would be 1 part coffee to 1 part water or 2:1. However, I will say there have been days where I haven’t diluted it at all! Totally up to you. Add ice and your various favorite sweeteners, creamers or nothing at all.
- For an extra treat, add sweetened condensed milk or chocolate syrup to your cup.
- Also, if you take a long time to drink your coffee like me, make cold brew ice cubes so your coffee won't get too diluted or add the ice cubes to milk for a little pick-me-up.
© 2018 Alia Parisi