Cold brew coffee is more than just an on ice pick-me-up, it’s a mid-week lifesaver.
Cold brew is the coffee that you can make during your Sunday meal-prep and enjoy all week long as the convenient caffeine that it is. Here’s how to make the perfect cold brew coffee, that your future-self will thank you for.
First things first, let’s cover the basics.
You need: a vessel to brew your coffee (pitcher, mason jar, French press, etc.), a filter (cheesecloth, self-pour coffee filter, etc.), water, a coffee mug, and, of coarse (pun intended), coffee!
Just like regular coffee, when you start making cold brew, the first step is to grind your beans. You want a coarse grind that’s about as thick as raw sugar. Keeping your grind coarse is important because it balances the extraction time of caffeine and flavor from the beans. If you have too fine of a grind, you risk over extracting the caffeine and creating a really harsh or bitter flavor. With a coarse grind, the thickness of the beans helps balance the extraction of caffeine and flavor so that you don’t really have to worry about being too precise with your steep time.
Your steep time is how long you keep your ground coffee in the water. How long to steep cold brew is a super particular question that varies among coffee aficionados and depends on your roast, coarseness of grind and of course, personal taste.
Letting your coffee steep overnight for about 8-12 hours is a good place to start with your cold brew ventures. Simply add water to your ground coffee and let it sit. Your water can be hot (if you want to speed up the brewing process), cold (if you want to be super fancy) or room temperature. You can place the entire brewing vessel in the fridge for an even more intense cold brew process, or you can just leave it out on the counter.
After your coffee steeps overnight, it’s time to start the filtration process. Pour your large pitcher of cold brew over a cheesecloth, press it down in your French press or enjoy it as is with its muddy texture.
Some things to note:
- Cold brew lasts! Would you ever think of drinking week-old regular coffee? Absolutely not. Cold brew, however, can last for up to two weeks in your fridge (although it’s best after a week), meaning you can make it in bulk! Alas, another point for cold brew.
- Cold brew is kinda like a cult. Basically, there’s a lot of info about cold brew out there. This is a great starting point, but if you want to peek down the rabbit-hole, you can learn a lot about cold brew and all the different techniques and gear associated with this caffeinated craft.
- Cold brew needs nice beans. Not trying to be a bean snob or anything but making cold brew requires a certain quality of coffee. Because you’re going to be steeping the beans for so long, it’s important to use a good bean with a nice flavor profile.
Written by Melia Grasska