I drink coffee. Lots of coffee. 4 cups in the morning and another 2-3 cups in the afternoon. Sometimes more. I keep it convenient and with cold brew coffee it’s almost too convenient. With the summer quickly approaching I’ll be swigging the cold brew coffee almost constantly. Over the past 3 years I have made cold brew coffee a part of my warm season life. I’ve also perfected the brew.
For those who do not know, cold brew coffee is nothing more than a coffee concentrate brewed slowly at room temperature. The long extraction at a lower temperature will bring out the flavors of the coffee without the bitterness that hot brewing typically does. Best of all, you can make your own cold brew coffee a home with minimal equipment.
- A one gallon jar or other brewing vessel of the same capacity
- A pitcher or sealable container for storing your cold brew coffee. You’ll end up with about 2 1/2 liters of coffee from this process.
- 14 ounces (about 400 grams) of coffee. Whole beans best if you have a grinder. You’ll want your coffee to be coarsely ground. Set your grinder for french press or the coarsest grind it will provide Also, medium to dark roasts lend a better flavor for cold brewing.
- a small scale for weighing your coffee.
Once you have your coffee ground and measured the rest of the initial work is nothing more than putting the coffee into your brewing jar and filling it the top with about 3 liters of cold water. It’s going to seem like you’re adding a very large amount of coffee to a not so great amount of water and that is exactly what you’re doing. Once the jar is filled to the top give it all a good stir so the coffee grounds are soaked well. If your jar has a lid screw it on or other wise cover it with a piece of plastic wrap and put it aside. The entire brewing process will take 24 hours. After 6 hours stir the mixture again so the grounds will settle to the bottom. Stir the mixture once again about 12 hours into the brew.
After 24 hours you are ready to strain the concentrate. I use a french press and find this the easiest way to do so. If you don’t have a french press you can use a screen mesh colander but you will get more grounds in your concentrate. Cheesecloth can also be used but the straining will be a much slower process. After straining the concentrate pour it into a sealable pitcher or container and place in your refrigerator. You can keep it refrigerated up to 2 weeks but a batch seldom lasts more than 4-5 days at my house. You can serve it however you desire but a general rule is 1 part concentrate to 2 parts milk or water. I prefer soymilk, a little brown sugar, vanilla and ice. You can also use the same ratio of concentrate to hot water for a quick cup of the smoothest tasting hot coffee you can make.