4 Steps to Make the Best Cold Brew at Home
For all the folks out there that love their coffee, cold brew is a great way to kick start a hot and balmy morning, or when the afternoon doldrums hit. Compared to hot-brewed coffee like pour-overs, drip coffee, espresso, and more, cold brew coffee is made with cool water and taste slightly sweeter, for a milder flavor that's also less acidic than regular iced coffee.
Making your own cold brew at home is the best way to enjoy your caffeine fix. It's hard to beat $5 a cup at a coffee chain, you'll be able to use your own favorite beans, and there's something to be said about the self-satisfaction and pride of waiting 12-24 hours and enjoying cold brew that's the product of your own labors!
The biggest secret? It's not hard to make your own cold brew.
Here's what you need to do.
4 STEPS TO AMAZING COLD BREW
1. FIND A CONTAINER
No need for anything fancy schmancy here, save yourself a few bucks and stay away from those specialized and expensive cold brew containers.
A wide-mouth mason jar like this Ball 64 ounce wide mouth mason jar or any container with a relatively large opening that holds around 64oz / 6 cups / 1.89 liters / 1,893 milliliters will work (just saved you some conversions!).
Make sure it also has a lid that can close tightly.
2. GET A FILTER BAG
There are quite a few filter options available out there, but a material like organic cotton is the best choice. You don't have to worry about odd flavors leaching into your cold brew from metal or nylon filters, and cotton fabric's small weave prevents any coffee sludge from staying behind in your finished cold brew.
There's also disposable paper filters. Although they may be convenient, let's do earth a favor and reuse our filters, and also save a few bucks along the way.
3. GET COFFEE
Make sure you have coffee at home. Feel free to use whatever coffee you have available. You don't need anything fancy schmancy here either. After you've done a few brews you can experiment with different beans - light, medium, dark, single/multiple origin, flavored, fancy ones, etc - and adjust to your taste.
For the really nicer coffee options, you can't go wrong with Stone Street, based out in New York, with their Dark Roast Colombia Arabica Single Origin pre-ground beans. Or try Bizzy's Organic Smooth & Sweet Blend.
The most important thing about your coffee grounds is the grind.
A course grind is key, think consistency of sea salt. The store-bought-pre-ground coffee is normally for drip brews machines like the one you (tolerate) at work. Ideally, buy whole beans and grind them at home right before you make a brew, preferably using a burr (and not a spinning-blade-of-death) grinder.
Or, feel free to grind in the store, but using - REPEAT AFTER MEEEE! - a course grind.
3. BREW YOUR COLD BREW
- WASH BAG: We recommend rinsing it in warm water and/or use a little dish soap.
- STRETCH the bag over your container (don't have a container? Go back to Step 1).
- GRIND & MEASURE COFFEE: grab your sea-salt course grounds and start with a 1 : 5 coffee grounds to water ratio and adjust from there. It's ok to use more water (1 : 8 ratio or more). If the cold brew ends up a bit too concentrated, just dilute right before you drink it, no one's judging you. In fact, we prefer a concentrated brew since it means we have a lot more for the coming week!
- CLOSE the bag by pulling the drawstring tight, cinch up the top of the bag, then tie the drawstring around opening.
- WAIT: The hardest part, wait for 12-24 hours and let chemistry work it's magic.
- REMOVE & SQUEEZE: After 12-24 hours, remove the bag and use your hands to squeeze the the bag. Feel free to use another container to help catch the dripping cold brew.
- CLEAN bag by following EASY TO USE AND CLEAN UP section above