Have you tried a cold coffee brew at your favorite coffee chain and wished you could make a similar cup at home?
Cold brewed coffee has grown to be one of the biggest trends in the coffee scene. The best part is that you don’t need to be a seasoned barista or have special equipment to get the perfect cold brew.
Read on to learn how to make a DIY cold coffee brew. We also give you some tips for making the coffee and list some of the mistakes you need to avoid in the process.
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What Is Cold Brew Coffee?
Cold brew coffee is any coffee brewed with cold water to draw out the flavor slowly and give it a unique flavor that’s different from common coffee brewing methods that use heat.
Alternatively, some people drip cold water over a bed of coffee for hours to create a concentrate and enhance its flavor.
Note that cold brew coffee is different from iced coffee. Making iced coffee requires you to pour coffee brewed with hot water over ice. The flavor in iced coffee is extracted by high temperatures, while in cold brew coffee, the flavor is extracted with cold water. That makes the profile difference.
6 Tips for Making Cold Coffee Brew
Brewing coffee with cold water may sound like a simple process, but you also need to consider the type of coffee to use and the technique to get it right.
Here are some tips to have in mind when brewing coffee with cold water.
1. Pick the Right Coffee
While essentially any type of coffee will make a cold brew, there are some variants that tend to be better.
Freshly roasted and ground coffee is excellent if you’re looking for that fresh flavor with little to no bitterness. Avoid grinding all the coffee at one time, and instead, grind just what you need a few minutes before brewing.
Sweet and fruity coffee like Ethiopian coffee tends to leave sweet notes in your cold brew. It’s perfect for anyone looking for that lasting fruity taste.
The cold brewing process tends to leave some of the deeper aromatic elements of the coffee bean intact, unlike hot brewing which can extract the bitter elements. This is why cold brew tends to have more sweet characteristics closer to coffee’s original taste.
You can also use older coffee for that bitter, yet unique coffee taste.
Avoid using very finely ground coffee beans as they will over-extract. Over-extracted coffee is bitter and that’s not what you want.
2. Use the Right Type of Water
You need to be picky with the water you use to brew the coffee. Bottled or filtered water may be a better option if you don’t like the taste of regular tap water.
3. Steep Time
Allowing the coffee grounds to steep for up to 12 hours guarantees that unique flavor. Some people find that allowing the coffee grounds to steep for up to 24 hours works best. You need to experiment and decide the brew time that is ideal for you.
4. Be Careful About the Coffee-to-Water Ratios
Getting your coffee to water ratio right is one of the things you need to master when making a cold coffee brew.
Also, note that when brewing a cold concentrate, you may need to use more coffee and less water.
5. Experiment With Different Concoctions
You can add some twists to your cold brew coffee once you have the basics covered. Vanilla beans add a unique flavor during the steeping process.
Alternatively, you can add melted dark chocolate into your cold brew for a mocha-type coffee.
Caramel syrup, melted Nutella, and a dash of condensed milk also work well in cold brew coffee.
6. Storing Your Cold Coffee Brew
Cold brew coffee can last for close to 2 weeks. The trick is to store it in the fridge after it’s been brewed and filtered.
Use an airtight container for storage and avoid opening it often.
However, if you’ve added milk or other flavors, you should consume the coffee within three days.
Here’s a list of what you’ll need to get started and a recipe to follow for the perfect cold brew coffee.
What You’ll Need
- A fine mesh strainer
- Coffee filters
- A mason jar
- 1 ½ cups of coarsely ground coffee
- 3 cups filtered water
- Combine your coarsely ground coffee with water in a wide-mouth mason jar. Allow the mixture to rest for five minutes before stirring it again.
- Seal the jar and refrigerate for 12-24 hours.
- Take a fine mesh strainer and line it with a coffee filter. Pour the coffee through the strainer and your coffee is ready.
- Fill the glass with ice and pour the cold brew concentrate. Stir to combine. Refrigerate the remaining concentrate and use it within the first week.
If you have a stainless steel French Press, you can also make your cold coffee brew at home. The advantage of using a French press is that it makes it easier to strain out your coffee from the grounds.
All you need is to mix a cup of coarsely ground coffee with two cups of water in a container and refrigerate. Allow the coffee to steep for 12 hours and place the top on the French press. Push it down to strain out the coffee grounds.
Pour out the coffee into a different container and serve it with ice cubes.
Cold brew coffee is not only trendy but one of the best-tasting coffee drinks you can have. The amount of flavor and texture is unmatched. You don’t have to spend a lot at your local coffee joint, you can simply brew the perfect cup at home with our recipe above.