Cold Brewing Coffee at Home

By Anonymous Paul on 31 July, 2014


Still on the subject of coffee: I recently experimented with cold brewing at home. It sounds so technical but it just really means steeping coffee in room temperature water. As opposed to, obviously, using hot water.

There are differences in the final product besides temperature. Heat tends to bring out the acidity of the beans and in cold brewing you basically end up with a low acid brew. Very clean and very smooth. But since the beans are steeped for a longer period of time in cold brewing, a lot of caffeine  will also be extracted, making for a very potent cup.

You’ll need:

Coffee beans, coarsely ground just before using.

Water (preferably not distilled)

Using a French press is probably the most convenient way to go, but any glass receptacle will do

Fine mesh strainer or coffee filter (if not using a French press)

12 hours (sorry, no instant gratification)

Essentially there is a 1:4.5 ratio and it’s simple enough to follow. I guess if you’re used to a certain type of measurement (grams, ounces, etc..) then go for that. But I used straight out in cups. So, for example, I have ½cup of coarse ground coffee I would then add 2¼ cups of water to it. Gently stir and that’s about it. Seriously. Then leave it on the kitchen counter or in the refrigerator for 12 hours. You can tweak proportions, grind and steep times later on depending on preference.

The next morning (assuming you make this before going to bed), if you used a French press then simply push down on the plunger and transfer the coffee to a clean glass carafe. (Plastics absorb scents and aromas and may detract from the end product.) Otherwise just filter out the grinds.

You may be thinking “all that wait for just 2¼ cups of coffee?” But one should treat the brewed liquid as a concentrate. Try using one part coffee and then diluting with 3 parts water or milk. Or lots of ice. Or if you’re a little hardcore you can do half-and-half. There are debates whether or not cold brewing actually produces a more caffeinated product; but I have to tell you I could feel the caffeine circulating in my veins after the first cup. It is potent. But flavor wise; it’s really very mellow and honeyed. Nuanced and refreshing. Also dependent on the type of beans used. You can try light to medium roasts as seen in this previous post. But it’s another easy and cost effective way to enjoy coffee. No baristas required.


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