Cold Brew Coffee: How to make the perfect cold brew at home

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Make Your Own Cold Brew

Current world events have us all staying inside and staying safe. That means your daily  trip to the coffee shop or cafe probably isn’t happening. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a cup of your favorite coffee at home.

 

And you don’t have to settle for the plain old cuppa of joe. It’s easy to make your own cold brew. 

The cold brew movement has gained steam because it’s easy to make at home, far less acidic than its hot brethren, tastes delicious, and can save you big bucks.

As the name implies, cold brew (sometimes called cold press) coffee is “brewed” by steeping coffee grounds in cold water for a long period of time. It’s not an iced coffee, which is coffee that was once hot and pour it over ice to chill. Cold brew is not only cold when you drink it, it is never heated.

Cold brew coffee is much more complex and delicious than iced coffee. Cold brew is bold, smooth, rich and has a syrupy consistency. It’s sort of like a like a cross between a shot of espresso and an iced-latte (if you add a splash of milk, half and half or your favorite creamer)

What you'll need to make the perfect cold brew coffee at home.

Coffee

1/2 pound of coarse grind (or ground for French Press)

Pro tip:

You can use whatever blend you like. I prefer dark roast and depending on the size of your brewing container, you may need to adjust the ratio. 

A wide mouth airtight container

For brewing the coffee

Pro tip:

Glass is better and easier to clean. It’s best if the brewing vessel has a gallon capacity.

A large, deep bowl

This will hold the coffee when you strain it.  

Pro tip:

It’s better if the bowl is deeper. This allows the coffee to be strained and not have the colander sit in the liquid.

A fine mesh strainer or colander

Use this to strain the coffee over a bowl.

Pro tip:

The finer the mesh in the stainer, the better. 

Cheesecloth or paper towels

This lines the strainer to ensure no grounds seep through with the liquid.

Pro tip:

You can find a package of cheesecloth at nearly any grocery store for about $4. If I don’t have cheesecloth on hand, I use paper towels. They work just as well. You just need to be a little more careful when disposing of the grounds. Avoid specialty “coffee socks” or other cold brew equipment. These kits and brewing bags are often pricey ($20-$30) and a lot messier for clean up.

A gallon jug or gallon pitcher

To hold the liquid cold brew and put in the fridge.
(You'll probably want a funnel, too.)

Pro tip:

Glass is better and it should have a lid.

Follow these simple steps to make the perfect cold brew coffee at home:

Bonus tip: Cold Brew Ice Cubes!

I like to make sure my cold brew is really cold. I wanted to add ice, but I didn’t want to water down the brew. So, I decided to make coffee ice cubes.

How to make Cold Brew Ice Cubes

To make ice cubes with my new cold brew coffee, I bought these colored ice trays that have a lid. (Not the OXO ones where you need to slide the lid. That was a mess.) Instead, these are from JOIE and they have a lid with a pop open top. I can simply leave the lid on and put hot coffee, which I make from my single brewer, and pour it into the tray without any spills or stains. I usually end up transferring all the cubes to a large plastic container with the lid and putting that in the freezer. That way I always have coffee cubes on hand

Use these frozen cold brew coffee cubes instead of regular ice cubes when drinking your cold brew coffee!

How to make perfect home brew coffee at home: IN DETAIL (Photo steps)

The first step of making your own cold brew coffee at home is to have course-ground coffee.
Using a wide mouth jar (if possible), put the coffee grounds, then add water.
After adding the water to the coffee grounds, stir it all up to be sure all the grounds are soaked in the water. Be sure to punch down the sides of the container to get all the grounds submerged.
After you've added water to the coffee grounds in a wide-mouth jar, set aside and let the steeping begin.
When it's time to strain the cold brew coffee from the grounds, get your strainer ready.
Also, get a big enough bowl to use for all the cold brew coffee to strain into.
Line your strainer with cheesecloth. Or, a simple, handy and economical alternative is to use paper towels. As you can see here, we have the strainer lined with paper towels, ready with our bowl.
When it's time to strain the grounds from the cold brew coffee, just pour it through your lined strainer, allowing the coffee to drip into the bowl.
You may not have enough room in the strainer to hold all of your cold brew coffee and the coffee grounds at once. You may need to pour through the strainer in a few pours. As you can see in this photo, the remainder of this cold brew batch is waiting to be strained.
While your cold brew coffee is filtering through the strainer, prepare your final storage jar and funnel.
When your cold brew coffee has filtered through the strainer, simply pour the fresh, delicious cold brew coffee into your favorite container. I like to use a growler.
This is the final product. Fresh, delicious, home made cold brew coffee. Store in the fridge and enjoy!
PRO TIP: Make "cold brew coffee ice cubes" to use when drinking your cold brew coffee without watering it down or diluting it further by using regular ice cubes that will melt and dilute your coffee.
Use these frozen cold brew coffee cubes instead of regular ice cubes when drinking your cold brew coffee!
The perfect cold brew coffee made at home!

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