How To Make Cold Brew Coffee At Home

Written by:
Claire Iverson

Is there anything better than cold brew? It complements any summer activity, whether it be reading on the back porch or meandering through a farmer’s market. Cold brew is the perfect treat in the fall, when the weather is changing and you want to cling to that last remembrance of summer sun. And in the spring, it’s a beautiful reminder of heat to come.

So we’re going to teach you how to make cold brew.

No need to grab your wallet and run to the nearest café; for simplicity and affordability, make delicious cold brew coffee at home. And even then, you don’t need to purchase the Mr. Coffee maker or a Chemex. All you need is the grounds, a water jug, a filter (you could use a cloth napkin), and a little lesson from yours truly!

What’s The Difference Between Cold Brew and Iced Coffee?

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee At Home

Photo by John Paradiso

Comparing cold brew coffee to iced coffee is like comparing apples to oranges.

In a general sense, iced coffee is hot coffee poured over ice. Because of this, it often tastes bitter and watered down.

On the other hand, cold brew involves steeping coarse coffee grounds in cold or room-temperature water for twelve to twenty-four hours.

While both processes yield a caffeinated beverage, cold brew is sweet, crisp, and light.

The History of Cold Brew Coffee

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee At Home

Photo by John Paradiso

Pioneered in Japan in the 1600’s, cold brew became popular in the United States in the early 2000s, largely due to third wave coffee houses that were driven to innovatively expand their menus.

Today, independent coffee shops have continued innovating on the trend. You can find CBD-infused, nitrogen-infused, boxed, canned, and growlered cold brew around the country. Even the major players have hopped on board: chains like Starbucks and Dunkin’ have added cold brew to their permanent menus.

How To Make Cold Brew Coffee At Home

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee At Home

Photo by John Paradiso

As mentioned before, you don’t need fancy technology to make cold brew coffee at home. You can do it all yourself with only a few simple ingredients.

Get Your Coffee Beans

First, get some good beans. You can use any type of coffee bean to make cold brew, but we recommend a high-quality Arabica coffee bean from a local roaster.

Grind the Beans

After you’ve got your beans, you’ll want to grind them. May we recommend the Baratza Encore?

As cold brew requires a long steep time, you run the risk of the coffee turning bitter; to avoid this, grind medium-to-large-sized grounds. If you don’t own a grinder, coffee shops such as La Colombe Coffee Roasters sell coffee grounds meant for cold brew.

Add The Water

In a glass container, mix the grounds in room temperature or cold water. For optimal strength and flavor, cold brew connoisseurs recommend using a 1:3 ratio of coffee to water.

Steep Your Brew

Leave the mixture to steep, in the refrigerator or on the countertop, for twelve to twenty-four hours. The longer it steeps, the more concentrated the brew becomes. Like so many things in the coffee world, this process is about experimentation — try a few different steeping times to figure out what works best for you!

Strain The Cold Brew

After steeping, pour the contents into another glass container through a fine wire sieve or mesh — cotton fabric, pantyhose, or cheesecloth work, too.

Drink!

Cold brew coffee is more concentrated than regular coffee, so unless you want jitters or sweats, I recommend diluting your cold brew with milk or water. For safekeeping, keep any remaining cold brew covered in the fridge. The mixture will stay good for between one and two weeks.

How To Make Cold Brew Coffee At Home: Get Techy

If all those steps and materials sounded like too much, you can get a coffee maker to do the work for you.

For an all-in-one cold brew coffee maker, check out Ovalware’s Airtight Cold Brew Coffee Maker. For, for a little farmhouse flair, the Country Line Kitchen’s Cold Brew Mason Jar Coffee Maker. To save a little money, check out Bodum’s Cold Brew Coffee Maker.

And if you already have a steeping or storing vessel in mind, Geesta offers fantastic, ultra-fine mesh filters.

The Bottom Line On Making Cold Brew Coffee

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee At Home

Photo by John Paradiso

Making coffee at home is a cheaper, easier, and more eco-friendly way to enjoy the coffee experience. Cold brew coffee is no exception.

At any given café, buying a cold brew might cost $4 or $5. If you love cold brew, make it at home before you drain your bank account.

And as with any DIY process, making cold brew at home allows you to test and refine blends, flavors, and strengths for your unique palate.

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