Cold brew coffee is everywhere these days and if you’re itching to make it yourself, I’ve got some helpful tips to help make your coffee wishes come true. If you’re wondering what exactly cold brew coffee is, it simply means that you steep coffee grounds in either room temperature or cold water for extended periods of time instead of hot water. Although it sounds easy enough, making good cold brew coffee is actually not as simple as it appears. So, I’ve scoured the net for some expert tips on making the best cold brew coffee you’ll have this summer!
Before we get into the actual steps of making coffee, let’s get into what you’ll need in order to make it. Making cold brew coffee is totally different from regular coffee and it’s probably the best way to enjoy iced coffee since you’re not just throwing ice over hot coffee and it’s more concentrated. What you’ll need is a French press, pitcher or jar, cheesecloth or coffee filter, another jar or container to pour the filtered coffee into, whole coffee beans, a coffee grinder and of course, water.
If you’re thinking about making cold brew coffee, you’re probably already choosy about the type of coffee you drink and what beans you use. Medium roast coffee is usually a safe bet. Be sure you don’t use instant coffee or any pre-ground coffee. If you want to get really fancy, you can choose coffee that is from a single region and has been roasted between 3-14 days before you grind them.
The next step to making coffee is to grind your beans. For best results, don’t grind your coffee beans until right before you’re ready to start brewing. As far as grinding goes, this depends on your preference. Some people like to grind their beans to a fine grind, others prefer a medium grind. Try out both and see which you prefer, but typically, a smaller grind produces a cloudier coffee.
Measuring out the ratio of water to coffee grounds is also based on personal taste. You’ll likely have to experiment a few times to see what you like best. Just to give you an idea, you can try roughly 1/3 cup of coffee grounds to 1.5 cups of water-which should make about one serving. Once you decide what your perfect ratio of coffee grounds to water is, you can change the size of your brewing container.
Now it’s time to pour the room temperature or cold water, preferably filtered, on the coffee grounds. You can use a large container, jar or French press to pour the water and coffee grounds into. If you don’t already have a French press, I wouldn’t go out and buy one just for the purpose of making cold brew coffee since you can make it just as good in a glass jar, pitcher or plastic container. The one advantage to a French press is that it’s easy to separate the grounds from the coffee once you’re finished brewing.
Once you’ve combined the grounds and water in whatever container you have, stir everything together with a long spoon so there aren’t any un-moistened grounds in the container. Now you’re ready to cover up your container and let it brew. If you’re using a French press, cover the top with foil or plastic wrap. If you’re using a jar, just use the lid it came with and either set it on your kitchen counter or the refrigerator, preferably overnight-the longer the better. Some people say 24 hours is perfect, but some will even brew it up to 72 hours!
For those who are making coffee with a French press, once you’re done letting it brew for however many hours you desire, remove the cover and press the grounds. This will separate the grounds from the coffee concentrate. The next step is optional for French press users, but if you want to make sure you don’t have any grittiness to your coffee, filter your coffee concentrate through a coffee filter or cheesecloth.
For those who didn’t use a French press, this next step is very important and probably the most cumbersome step in the cold brew coffee process. Pour your coffee through a mesh filter or cheesecloth at least twice to separate the grounds from the coffee. If you’re using a coffee filter to strain your coffee, put the coffee filter in a strainer to help keep the coffee filter in place. It might take a little time to filter your coffee, but be patient, it’ll be worth it!
Now comes the best part, drinking your cold brew coffee! You’ve waited a long time to enjoy your coffee so now you can pour it straight over ice, add some cream and sugar or dilute it with some water if it’s too strong for your liking. I’d be willing to bet that this iced coffee will be pretty close to, if not better than coffee house quality! Now you have delicious iced coffee that isn’t watered down or weak.
These are just some basic steps to get you started on making cold brew coffee. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll probably come up with your own tips to make your perfect cup of coffee. Have you ever made cold brew coffee before? How do you like to drink yours?