How to Make Cold Brew Coffee
Cold brew coffee is amazingly simple to make at home. With my tips (and quick little video) you’ll have the perfect glass – and never have to buy it from the store again.
We’re smack dab in the middle of summer and it sure is hot out. Temps are in the 90’s in Southern California. That means I’m not longer brewing my Chemex coffee (though it’s still a favorite). Instead, I’ve switched to cold brew coffee for a cooling, refreshing and caffeinated beverage. And I’m seriously loving it.
You’ve likely had cold brewed coffee before, either at a coffee shop like Starbucks or from the supermarket in packaged containers, for the best grab and go drink. My favorite is Chameleon Cold Brew, because it’s one of the few that’s organic. But when you find out how easy it is to make cold brew coffee at home you’ll wonder why you haven’t been doing it all along.
Watch this quick video of my Cold Brew Coffee recipe:
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So what is cold brew coffee? An important question. Because cold brew coffee is not the same as drip coffee or regularly brewed hot coffee that’s been cooled or served over ice. Nope. Cold brew coffee never gets hot and instead of brewing in just a few minutes, it’s slow-brewed and steeped over 12-15 hours. This translates to coffee that’s slightly less acidic, less bitter and sweeter, more full-bodied in flavor.
But here’s why you’re really gonna love cold brew coffee. You can make a batch on Sunday and have fresh, homemade cold brew for the entire week. With no additional work. Awesome, right?
Watch the video above to see how easy it is to make cold brew at home. Then give it a try. One thing to keep in mind is that you’re actually making cold brew concentrate. And this is pretty potent stuff. Only drink this straight up if you want to feel jittery and buzzy for the rest of the day (which I don’t recommend).
Instead, what I recommend is to serve this up over ice or dilute 50/50 with water. I also recommend adding your favorite milk or creamer for a seemingly decadent, deliciously creamy, and definitely thirst-quenching beverage.
A Few Tips for Making Cold Brew Coffee
- Grind your beans at a medium coarse consistency ( the same consistency for brewing Chemex coffee). You don’t want finely ground coffee beans, which is what you’d use for drip coffee. I recommend this coffee grinder, if you’re looking to grab one.
- You’ll brew at a ratio of 4:1. Four cups of water to one cup of coffee beans. If you want more cold brew, just double this. And if you’re using a mason jar (as I am in the video), you’ll need to use slightly less to get it to fit – 3 cups of water to 3/4 cups coffee beans. Just keep the ratio consistent.
- You can steep the coffee in pretty much any container (though I recommend glass). I use a mason jar, but you could also use a french press or KitchenAid even has a nifty cold brew maker.
- Use filtered water for the cleanest cup of cold brew.
- Steep for at least 12 hours. After that, you can play around with the flavor. If you’d like it stronger, brew it longer – up to 24 hours. But I find that 12-15 hours usually keeps most coffee lovers happy.
- While the cold brew can steep on your countertop at room temperature, once you’ve strained it, keep the concentrate in the refrigerator. This will keep it fresh for a week or so. You could go a little longer, but the flavor is best when consumed in the first week.
- Don’t forget to dilute the concentrate. As mentioned above, serve it with ice, water or some type of milk or creamer. I usually add my favorite cashew milk, but you could also make a batch of slightly thicker, vanilla-flavored cashew creamer (just make the sweet version of my cashew cream – so good).
For a little breakfast inspiration and what to pair with this cold brew coffee, I highly recommend my chocolate waffles, cranberry almond biscotti or banana bread. Which all just so happen to be gluten-free and grain-free.
How to Make Cold Brew Coffee
Making cold brew coffee at home is amazingly simple. With just a little prep, you can enjoy delicious cold brew coffee all week long.
- 4 cups filtered water
- 1 cup coffee beans
Grind your coffee beans to a medium coarse consistency.
Add the water and ground coffee beans to a mason jar or other glass storage container. Then, leave it on your counter to steep for 12-15 hours.
Strain the coffee through a fine mesh sieve that's lined with a couple layers of cheesecloth over a large measuring cup or bowl. Alternatively, you could use a nut-milk bag or coffee filter on top of the sieve.
Pour the strained cold brew concentrate back into a clean mason jar and store in the refrigerator.
To serve, pour the cold brew concentrate over ice, with water or with your favorite milk or creamer.