How to Make Cold Brew Coffee
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Cold brew coffee is a refreshing way to start the day! Learn how to make cold brew coffee with just two simple ingredients and an easy method. Enjoy the smooth, sweet, and balanced flavor of this cold brew recipe.
Who says that you can’t make cold coffee and skip the heat this summer? As we are heading into yet another heat wave here in the UK, I am looking for more ways to keep refreshing. And this cold brew coffee recipe is one of my new favorites.
Once you learn how to make cold brew coffee at home, you’re going to love the flavor and taste! And it’s also so easy to make. I am sure you’re never going to want to make coffee any other way. But, if you are not a big caffeine fan, why not try my cold brew tea recipe instead?
What Is Cold Brew Coffee
Cold brewed coffee is a drink that’s become very popular in coffee shops. The cold brew concentrate is stronger than regular drip java because you get a lot more caffeine in the same amount of liquid. The other main difference with hot brewed coffee is that cold brew is never exposed to heat which means a sweeter result.
For a regular cup of joe, you’d use hot water to draw out the caffeine and flavor from the beans. However, with a cold brew recipe, you rely on time for the extraction. Steeping the coffee in cold water over several hours (up to 24) allows for more balanced and smooth flavors that are sweeter and less acidic.
Cold Brew Vs Iced Coffee
Making cold brew coffee is different than making iced coffee. With a cold brew recipe, you are slow steeping the beans (usually coarsely ground) in cold water for a long time.
With iced coffee, most of the time, the coffee is just brewed hot as normal. The hot coffee is then poured over ice to chill. So, while this process does indeed give you a cold coffee, it tastes different because of the different methods.
Cold Brew Ingredients
All you need to make this DIY cold brew coffee is listed below. This just might be the best cold brew recipe there is.
For the homemade cold brew concentrate you need:
- Coffee beans: Choose your favorite coffee blend or beans(coarsely ground).
- Water: Use drinking/filtered water, at room temperature.
To serve the cold brew: As this recipe will make a concentrate when serving, you will “cut” the strength by adding more water, ice, or your favorite milk.
Cold Brew Coffee Ratio
Usually, the concentrate is not consumed straight as it is very strong and highly caffeinated. So, depending on how strong you like your coffee, you will dilute it with some water. I recommend trying a 1:1 cold brew ratio, to begin with. This would be 1 part concentrate and 1 part water in your mug.
For a stronger cold press coffee, you can use a ratio of 2:1 coffee to water.
How to Cold Brew Coffee
First, make sure you are using coarsely ground coffee beans. I like to grind the coffee with my coffee grinder but you can also buy the beans pre-ground or grind them at the store (choose the French press/coarse option). You can choose any type of flavor of beans that you’d like, so have fun changing this up every time you make it.
Once the coffee is ground up and ready, place it in a container that fits in your fridge – a large mason jar or a bottle.
Pour in the cups of water and close the lid. Then place the container in the fridge and let the coffee steep overnight or even up to 12 hours to 24 hours. The longer that you steep the coffee, the more flavor that it’ll be.
Coffee Brewing Methods
Once your cold brewer is ready, you will need to strain it.
Strain the Coffee by Hand
Sieve the concentrate – I like to stir and pour the coffee over a nut milk bag. You can also use a coffee filter (paper filter) or a cheesecloth placed over a sieve to catch the grounds and keep them out of your cup.
Keep the concentrate in a clean air-tight bottle or jar and store it in the fridge.
French Press Cold Brew
You can also use a french press – place the coffee and water in the French Press and steep overnight, then press to separate the coffee grounds.
Pour the concentrate into a clean bottle.
How to Serve Cold Brew Coffee
Remember that the cold brew coffee concentrate is fairly strong, so best to dilute it with some water when serving – 1:1 ratio (or adjust to taste).
You can also add ice to your coffee mug though this is optional.
You can play with the add-ins as well. “Doctor” up your cup of coffee however you’d like it. You can add milk, sugar (or sugar simple syrup which will dissolve easily in the cold liquid), or different flavors of coffee creamer!
I also have a great vanilla syrup recipe that would be a perfect addition.
How to Store Cold Brew Coffee
Once you make this simple cold brew blend, you can store it for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.
No, they’re not the same. The coffee concentrate is stronger in flavor than cold brew coffee. It is what we are making with this recipe.
If you have coffee concentrate, you want to water it down or dilute it with more liquid to lessen the flavor and strength.
Some people like their coffee cold! It also has a more mellow and balanced flavor.
And it’s a great way to prep ahead. You will have the coffee ready and waiting in the fridge for whenever the caffeine craving strikes.
There are many pros to making and drinking cold brew coffee. First, it is a refreshing drink on hotter days that gives you a boost of caffeine as well!
Cold brew coffee also has a smoother taste, and you can easily make a big batch that keeps cold in the fridge.
On the other hand, it can be hard to find that perfect ratio until you’ve made it a few times. Brewing coffee cold also takes longer than having a cup of hot coffee from the coffee maker.
Keep in mind that making cold brew coffee shouldn’t be a chore. This is a fun brewing technique that will result in a quality cup of coffee.
If you’re new to having coldbrew coffee, try it and see what you think. It’s crazy easy to make and just may convert you to loving the chilled coffee life.
However, if you do prefer a hot cup of joe, you can heat the cold brew and drink it hot. It will still have a smoother less acidic taste.
More Coffee Recipes
If you try this cold brew coffee recipe, I’d love to hear your thoughts/questions below. Also, I’d appreciate a recipe card rating below, and feel free to tag me in your recipe recreations on Instagram @Alphafoodie!
How to Make Cold Brew Coffee
- 4 cups water
- 3.5 oz coffee
- Make sure you are using coarsely ground coffee beans. You can choose any type of flavor of beans that you'd like and you can switch it up every time.
- Place the ground coffee in a container that fits in your fridge – a large jar or a bottle.
- Pour in the water and then place the container in the fridge overnight or even up to 12 hours to 24 hours.
- Strain the coffee. I like to pour the coffee over a nut milk bag. You can also use a coffee paper filter or a cheesecloth placed over a sieve to catch the grounds and keep them out of your cup. You can also use a french press. You can initially place the coffee and water in the French Press, steep overnight, then press to separate the coffee grounds.
- Keep the concentrate in a clean air-tight bottle or jar and store it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. The concentrate is fairly strong, so best to dilute it with some cold water when serving – 1:1 ratio (or adjust to taste).
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.