How to make Cold Brew Coffee that is easy, smooth and perfect for summer sipping! No fancy equipment required (just some good coffee 😉 )
I don’t want to admit it’s taken me until now to jump on the Cold Brew Coffee train, considering how much I love my coffee.
The thing is, I didn’t really understand the allure.
Whyyyyy did I need to start making my coffee a different way? I had a perfectly find coffee maker.
If we had leftover coffee, I’d stick it in the fridge to make myself an iced coffee later. Good enough right?
Cold brew coffee is a completely different thing, for a few reasons.
What is Cold Brew Coffee?
It seems redundant, but the biggest difference between cold brew and regular brewed coffee is that cold brew is brewed with cold water.
Whew. How many times can you say that fast?
One of the biggest differences is that hot water pulls the acid out of the coffee, which makes it harder on your body (stomach, teeth, etc.) and also affects the taste.
I know as I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that coffee can sometimes upset my stomach.
With cold brew coffee, it is so much smoother and even a little naturally sweeter, that I don’t have to offset that acidity with a whole whack of cream and sugar to be able to drink it (because truth be told, I am a bit of a wussy coffee drinker and I like it creamy!).
Though Huffpost says that regular brewed coffee does contain a higher level of antioxidants, so just to be sure I cover all my bases which enjoy both types of coffee on a daily basis 😉
What do I need to make Cold Brew Coffee?
You can use either a French Press or really any large jar or pitcher to make cold brew coffee, as long as you have some cheesecloth to strain it through to get all those grinds out.
Making Cold Brew Coffee using a French Press:
I like to use a French press, just because it makes the straining really easy.
Our French press is only a few cups (you can get larger ones), so if we want a large batch for a barbecue or to take along camping or just because we have 3 kids 7 and under… we’ll just a large glass pitcher and strain it.
It’s probably time to invest in a larger one!
Making Cold Brew Coffee in a jar or pitcher:
Combine your coffee and water in a large mason jar or glass pitcher. Let it soak for the recommended amount of time, then strain through some cheesecloth or a coffee filter (you can place these inside of a mesh sieve to make it easier).
How long does it take to make cold brew coffee?
Really the only downside with cold brew coffee is that there’s no instant gratification.
It’s recommended to let your coffee steep for 12-24 hours. We normally let ours sit at room temperature for 24 hours, which gives us a nicely concentrated coffee flavor.
If you don’t want to wait quite that long, 12-18 hours is sufficient, but I wouldn’t do any less than that.
What’s the difference between cold brew and iced coffee?
The difference between cold brew coffee and iced coffee is that cold brew is brewed with cold water, while iced coffee is usually considered to be made with leftover traditionally brewed coffee.
The truth is, iced coffee can be made with cold brew and, if you ask me, is even better made this way!
Which coffee beans or grounds make the best cold brew?
This is so totally a personal thing, and I don’t even really want to give an answer.
Our favorite coffee beans are a vanilla hazelnut variety from Costco, but you use what you like!
Dark roast, light roast, espresso, flavored — any will work. We prefer light or medium roast as dark roast coffee tends to be more bitter, but anything you enjoy the taste of will work just fine in this recipe.
Coarse ground coffee is generally recommended for cold brew coffee, but using store bought grounds is not really going to affect your results.
Cold Brew Coffee
- 2 cups filtered water
- 1/3 cup coarse ground coffee light or medium roast
- Combine water and coffee in a french press or large pitcher or jar with a lid. Be sure to stir to moisten coffee grounds.
- Let soak for 12-24 hours. Strain using the French press, a cheese cloth or coffee filter over a fine mesh sieve (see post above for more detailed notes).
- Sweeten or add cream as desired (if you wish to sweeten, I recommend a liquid sweetener or coffee syrup as sugar won't dissolve easily in cold coffee).