Cold-brew coffee is perfect for the hot months of summer. It offers a smooth, sweet and rich flavor that’s delicious poured over ice on sunny days. Best of all, making cold-brew coffee is easy. If you’re looking for an alternative to hot coffee this summer, here’s how to try making your own cold-brew.
Making Cold-Brew Coffee Concentrate at Home
Making cold-brew coffee doesn’t require any fancy equipment. While there are specialized kits available that streamline the process, you likely already have everything you need to make a batch of cold-brew.
All that’s required is coffee, water, a brewing container and a filter. Glass Mason or Ball jars work well as brewing containers, but any container that holds water is suitable. For a filter, use either a fine mesh sieve or a cheesecloth.
Once you’ve gathered these items, follow these steps to make your first batch of cold-brew coffee:
- Measure out 1 liter (1,000 grams) of cold or room-temperature water.
- Weigh out 8 ounces (227 grams) of coffee.
- Grind the coffee on a finer grind (such as what you’d use for an Aeropress).
- Pour the water into your jar or other brewing container.
- Stir the coffee grounds into the water so they’re submerged.
- Let the mixture steep for 12 hours.
- Filter out the grounds from the cold-brew coffee.
At this point, you have cold-brew coffee concentrate. The yield may seem small, but cold-brew has more caffeine than hot and iced coffee, so it’s usually diluted. This recipe should produce enough concentrate for a couple to each have one cup of cold-brewed coffee for a week.
To store your cold brew, keep it in your glass jar or brew container. As long as the concentrate is stored covered and in a refrigerator, it should taste good for a week.
Using Your Cold-Brew Coffee Concentrate
When you’re ready for a cup of cold-brew coffee, simply combine the concentrate with some cold water. Start by using 1 part concentrate and 3 parts water, and then adjust that ratio to your liking. Combine, pour over ice and enjoy!
Alternatively, you can combine your cold-brew concentrate with milk rather than water. The rich, smooth flavor of cold brew goes especially well with milk. You may find that you prefer it this way, even if you normally don’t add cream to your coffee.
On the occasional cool, rainy day, you can enjoy your cold-brew concentrate hot. Instead of combining it with cold water or milk, heat up some hot water. The resulting cup won’t taste like an Aeropress or manual pour-over, but it’ll still be delicious. You’ll likely notice that it’s smoother than other brewing techniques (and a lot easier to make when you’re getting ready for work on a weekday).
Getting Creative with Your Cold-Brew Coffee
For some more fun, there are a number of other ways to enjoy cold-brew coffee. You might want to try:
- Using your concentrate in place of water when making cookies or brownies, as the concentrate’s strong flavor is well-suited for baking
- Making New Orleans-style cold brew, which includes chicory in the brewing stage
- Brewing Vietnamese Iced Coffee, which is a sweet variation of iced coffee that’s actually brewed hot
Finding Great Coffee for Cold Brewing
If you’re looking for some coffee that will taste great cold-brewed, check out our subscription options. We offer four different roast profiles that produce unique and delicious cold brews.
And for a more wide range of choices, check our Coffee Chronicler’s Best Beans for Cold Brew.