I have always loved coffee. Whether it is hot, cold, or made into ice cream if it’s coffee I’ll take some. Recently cold brew has become one of my regular afternoon drinks which is starting to make a dent in my pocketbook. After doing a little recipe research on how to make cold brew, I made my first batch and honestly, it’s better than some of the retail cold brew I was buying.
Just for some clarification cold brew is not iced coffee. Repeat after me…cold brew is not iced coffee. What’s the difference? Cold brew is brewed using room temperature or cold water while iced coffee is made from pouring hot coffee over ice. Cold brew is a strong concentrate that can be mixed with water, milk, or your favorite creamer and is generally less acidic with a more mellow, less bitter taste.
Making cold brew coffee isn’t difficult and doesn’t require any special equipment. The typical recipe for cold brew uses some sort of glass container with a lid that requires you to strain out the coffee grinds. This isn’t a huge deal, but it was just one more step that I wanted to avoid. I decided to purchase a cold brew maker to save these steps. If you prefer, a French press works well or you can grab your favorite glass container.
I have included the steps for each method in case you decide to take the easier way out and purchase a maker, too.
Let’s Talk Beans
Before we get into the process, let’s talk beans. There are a couple of things to keep in mind…roast and grind.
Cold brew can be very forgiving so you don’t have to buy the most expensive beans. Lighter roasts will require a longer extraction or brew time to get the full flavor. While darker roasts are usually more affordable and have a richer, chocolatey flavor. Ultimately, it’s a personal flavor preference.
While roast is a personal choice, the grind is not. To get the best cup of cold brew you need to use coarse ground coffee. I recommend skipping pre-ground coffee unless the beans have been specifically ground for cold brew (I love Fainting Goats Nitro Cold Brew ground coffee). I recommend buying whole beans that you can grind yourself. This is the grinder I use and absolutely love it.
Let’s Get Brewing
Are you ready to make some cold brew coffee? It is super easy to make and it’s nice to have coffee ready to go for those afternoon pick-me-ups.
How to Make Cold Brew
- Coffee Grinder
- French Press, Glass Jar, or Cold Brew Maker
- Small Strainer needed if using a glass jar
- Cheese Cloth, Coffee Filter, or Cotton Flour Sack Cloth needed if using a glass jar
- 4 oz Whole Coffee Beans or Course Ground Coffee
- 32 oz Filtered Water
- Grind the coffee beans on the coarsest setting on your grinder. The grounds should look like coarse cornmeal, not a fine powder. If you normally buy ground coffee have it ground on a coarse setting. You'll need about a cup or 4 ounces.
Cold Brew Maker Option
- Add the ground coffee to the filter.
- Pour filtered room temperature water over the grounds.
- Brew coffee overnight (12-18 hours) in the refrigerator stirring occasionally.
- To stop the brewing process remove the filter and grounds then place container back into the fridge. No straining needed. Cold brew concentrate can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
French Press Option
- Add coarse ground coffee to the bottom of the French Press.
- Gently pour filtered room temperature water over the ground and stir to get all the grounds wet.
- Steep coffee for 14-16 hours at room temperature.
- Press and strain into a jar or vessel and store your cold brew in your refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Traditional Glass Jar Option
- Place your coffee grounds in the container you're using to make the cold brew.
- Pour the water over top and stir gently with a long-handled spoon to make sure the grounds are thoroughly saturated with water.
- Cover the jar with a lid and let the coffee steep for about 12 hours. The coffee can be left on the counter or refrigerated.
- Line a small strainer with cheesecloth or flour sackcloth, place over a large container and then pour the cold brew through the strainer.
- Transfer the cold brew to a small bottle or jar and store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Did you make this recipe?
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