How To: Make Cold Brew Coffee

image6 (2)I’ll be honest, the coffee snob in me will most likely be disappointed at most of the latest coffee trends. However, I’m extremely happy that every one seems to be boarding the cold brew train. Cold brew is a delicious alternative to watery, tasteless ice coffee. It seems fancy, and something only your local barista could conjure up, but you can very easily brew this stuff right at home.

I do every week. My girlfriend and I make a big pitcher of this glorious stuff every week, especially now that summer has arrived. It only takes a little bit of preparation, and a little bit of patience while it brews, but once it’s ready, you’ll have enough to last you cup after cup whenever you want it. Plus, it’s super cheap, and can save you many trips (and dollars spent) down to the coffee shop when you’re in need of a fix. Cold brew is a great alternative to regular iced coffee or iced espresso for many reasons. First of all, it’s much more delicious. It’s also very low in acid, and very high in caffeine, both of which many people find extremely helpful. All hail cold brew, the most magical coffee of them all.

Probably the best part about making cold brew at home is that you’ve got more of an opportunity to make it just how you want it. You pick the beans, how long it brews for, everything. This results in a pretty damn perfect cup of cold goodness. Beware, though, this also can result in drinking a whole lot of it because it’s so awesomely catered to your preferences.

To make cold brew at home, you’ll need:

-Coffee. You choose the beans. However, I find that the darker the better. Ideally, you want to the beans to be ground coarsely, like a french press grind. I will list below the ratios of how much coffee to water you can use for making your cold brew.
-Coffee filter(s). A large, sack like coffee filter is most preferred for brewing cold brew, because it works the easiest. However, when making coffee for this tutorial, I realized I was out of those, so I ended up using a bunch of tiny ones, and it worked out just fine.
-A pitcher. I recommend getting a large pitcher that has a spout at the bottom, so that you can easily serve yourself that liquid gold. But, a regular pitcher will work find if that is all you’ve got.
-Water. Cold and filtered is ideal.

First, get your beans ready. As I stated above, you’ll want your beans to be ground more coarsely. I prefer using dark, rich coffee with a heavy chocolate note, because that is what I like and what I find tastes most incredible when brewing cold. Though, you can use whatever the heck you want. Where I normally get my coffee and have it ground was closed when I went to make this, so I had bought Lavazza’s Gran Selezione, a dark, sweeter blend. I told the woman at the counter to grind it to a french press setting for me, and it came out super coarse. It wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, but the coffee tasted perfectly fine. The grind of the beans isn’t a vital step in this process, so there’s no need to fret too much about it. Since the coffee is going to brew for so long, you’re pulling everything out of those beans, so how they’re ground won’t make a world of difference. image1 (2)The next step is to place your beans in a filter. Now, there are many options for this step. Ideally, you’ll want a very larger filter, or a filter bag to put your beans in. On the internet you can find filters made for cold brew, or these things called “nut milk bags”, used for making things like almond milk at home. Those work very well, but if you’re short on money or time, regularly sized filters will do just fine, they just take a bit more time. I only had very small filters at this time, and figured I would just give them a go to see if it even made a difference. I placed about 2-3 tablespoons of coffee into the filters, then tied them up with rubber bands. Regardless of your filter, you’ll want to make sure it’s tightly sealed shut. My filters ended up looking like cute little coffee dumplings. image2 (2)Now, just to add your water! And to wait. I have found that the optimal brew time is about 20 hours. I usually start my brew in the afternoon, so that it is ready by the next morning. Typically, I make it on a Saturday or Sunday, so that I have a full pitcher ready to enjoy throughout the whole week. So, get your beans in the pitcher, pour in the water, then let it all steep for 20 hours. After that, you’ll notice the deep, rich brown color of the coffee. It makes my hairs stand up just looking at it.

image3 (2)Thoroughly ring out your one large filter or your many small ones, just be sure not to rip them. In those filters sits some seriously rich and delicious coffee, so be sure that you let all of that out before you call this stuff done. But once that is done, you’ve got yourself some tasty, tasty cold brew, friend.

image5 (2)Pour it over ice, and you can choose to add milk, sugar, or whatever you please. Some people like to dilute it a bit with water, but I personally don’t find that necessary. All that matters is that you’re drinking this magical beverage, Fangirls. I don’t want you to go on in life without experiencing the out of body experience that comes along with drinking coffee this good. image4 (2)

Coffee to Water Ratios for Brewing Cold Brew.
These are what I believe to be the best ratios for making cold brew at home, starting with a full five pounds of coffee and working out way down to about half a pound.

5 lbs : 14 liters
2.5 lbs : 7 liters
1.25 lbs : 3.5 liters
.65 lbs : 1.75 liters

Happy brewing!



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