How to Make Cold Brew Coffee

If you search for how to make cold brew online, you will likely find about 10 different methods. I’ve probably tried all 10 and found this method to work best. Remember, we always prefer to use weight over volume for our coffee recipe. In another post I wrote a quick set of instructions for making cold brew, but I’ve been asked about this lately so figured it deserved its own post with more detail.

One thing to mention is that cold brew coffee is not iced coffee. Iced coffee is brewed hot and allowed to cool or brewed over ice to make it cold. The hot brew method extracts differently than the cold brew method. Cold brew is generally less acidic and has a more neutral taste. Iced coffee will have more of the notes that are specific to the bean and also uses less coffee.

One of the most important things about any coffee brewing is the grind size, grind too coarse and it tastes sour, grind too fine and it tastes bitter. However with cold brew we usually add water, milk or ice to suit our taste so that helps neutralize that. This is one brewing method where you don’t need to use your best and freshest beans, for many this is actually the way they use up stale beans without wasting them. Cold brew is also somewhat of a coffee hog in that our normal ratio is about 1:17 and we use 1:8 with cold brew so it requires a lot more coffee.

Cold brew is easy to make in large batches and can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Here is what you will need, you’ll likely already have some of this around the house. There is no need to buy a cold brew maker, unless you really want to.

Here is the process:

  1. Use a medium-coarse grind (around an 10 with my OXO Grinder) with a 1:8 ratio of grams of coffee to milliliters of water. You can use a larger vessel, but I usually use a 32 oz. mason jar and use about 94 grams of coffee and 750 ml of water. Give it a stir/shake to mix the water and the grounds.
  2. Let it steep in the refrigerator for 16-24 hours. Give it a stir/shake a couple times during that time.
  3. Use your metal coffee filter or sieve to remove all the coarse grounds while pouring into another vessel, I usually use a large measuring cup for easier pouring.
  4. After all the large grounds are out run it through a paper coffee filter. This may take a while, I usually pour half through a paper filter, then use a new filter for the second half. Lately, I have been using my V60 dripper and filter that I use for pour over coffee.
  5. Add water, ice or milk to your taste preference. Store it in the refrigerator.

Another way to do this is to make cold brew concentrate using the same method and a 1:4 ratio of grams of coffee to ml of water. Then you can add an equal part of water, milk or ice to taste.

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