Cold brew coffee has gained popularity in recent years as coffee lovers discover the smoothest, purest cup of iced coffee they've ever had. Follow along as we dive into everything you need to know to easily make the most delicious cold brew at home.
The first thing to understand is that Cold Brew is not the same thing as iced coffee, which is hot-brewed and then chilled. Instead, it's made by steeping coarsely ground coffee beans in cold water for an extended period, which extracts the flavor without the acidity and bitterness that can come from hot water.
Making your own cold brew coffee at home is easy and has the added benefits of being healthy and economical.
LOWER ACIDITY The extended steeping time allows for a gentler extraction of the properties of the coffee, creating a coffee that is lower in acidity. Some studies have shown that cold brew is up to 70% less acidic than regular brewed coffee. If regular coffee upsets your stomach, try some cold brew and see for yourself.
SMOOTHER LESS BITTER TASTE Cold brew creates a characteristically smooth, non-bitter flavor because of the combination of the cold water and the slow extraction process. Hot water will extract more of the bitter flavors.
ECONOMICAL If you've tried cold brew at your favorite coffee shop, you know how expensive it can be. You can make a whole batch at home for about what you'd pay for one drink at a coffee shop.
MORE CAFFEINE The extended steeping time allows for more efficient extraction of caffeine from the ground coffee, resulting in a stronger caffeine concentration. This is important for those who rely on their coffee for that energy boost.
VERSATILE The concentrated nature of cold brew allows for a variety of serving options. Dilute it with milk or water and add ice for a refreshing iced coffee. Heat it up for a hot cup of coffee with the same smooth, less acidic profile. Cold brew can also be used as a base for lattes and mochas. And for those who imbibe, cold brew makes a great addition to espresso-type cocktails.
HOW TO MAKE THE PERFECT COLD BREW AT HOME
The process couldn't be simpler – just add cold water to ground coffee and steep. But, to get the smoothest and most flavorful taste, there's much more you need to know.
THE COFFEE It goes without saying to start with freshly roasted, freshly ground coffee beans. Signature Coffee has crafted a unique organic blend to maximize a smooth, rich and mellow taste. Check it out here. However, whatever coffee you use, grind it to the consistency of coarse sea salt. Too fine a grind will produce a more bitter brew and allow sediments to pass thru the filter.
THE RATIO OF COFFEE to WATER Because you're making a concentrate, don't be alarmed by the amount of coffee in this process. If you search the internet, you'll see a wide variety of coffee-to-water ratios. It boils down to personal taste, but a good starting point is a 1:4 ratio of coffee to water and adjust accordingly to how strong you like the final concentrate. A little hint here from Jahamama – add a pinch of kosher salt to the grounds to round out the flavors.
THE LENGTH OF TIME TO STEEP Here again, recipes vary, and call for steeping anywhere from 12 to 48 hours before straining. Personally, we found that a 24-hour steep time delivers the best flavor. Steep the coffee at room temperature.
FILTERING YOUR COLD BREW CONCENTRATE French Presses and special cold-brew coffee makers have filters built into their design. However, these can still allow some fine sediment to seep through. If you absolutely hate the sediment, then pour the concentrate through a coffee-filter lined fine-mesh strainer. Be sure to refrigerate your cold brew at this point.
HOW TO DILUTE AND SERVE YOUR COLD BREW Once you have the coffee concentrate, you can pour out exactly how much you want, when you want, then add water or milk to dilute to your liking. We suggest you start with a 1:1 ratio of concentrate to water as a good starting point.
HOW TO PERSONALIZE YOUR COLD BREW The options for making this cold brew your own is only limited by your imagination. Add a dash of cinnamon or cardamom pods to the grounds. Muddle mint leaves with equal parts sugar and water on the stovetop for a refreshing syrup to add to your iced brew. Grate fresh orange zest for a bright citrus taste. You get the idea…
EQUIPMENT NEEDED You don't need any special equipment to create your cold brew at home. You can use a mason jar or large pot and a strainer. A French press will also work. Our favorite is the Cold Brew coffeemaker offered here. It's engineered to fit perfectly within your fridge door or shel. It has a stainless steel rust-free superfine mesh, medical-grade stainless steel filter & cap, a BPA-Free silicon airtight seal, and extra-thick borosilicate glass. And it all goes in the dishwasher.
Try making your own cold brew at home. The result is a rich, full-bodied coffee that is perfect for sipping on a hot summer day. We think you'll fall in love at first sip.
Wishing you a fabulous summer filled with peace, love, respect,