It's summer, which means hot coffee in the morning sounds less than pleasant. Sure, supporting your local coffee shop is a good idea, but getting cold brew coffee from the coffee shop every morning can get a bit expensive, especially if you like your iced coffee with flavored syrups. Here's the thing, though: Cold brew coffee concentrate is incredibly easy to make at home. You can have your cold brew coffee any time you like and you don't need a special coffee maker or particular kind of coffee to get it with this easy cold brew method.
What is Cold Brew?
Cold brew, unlike espresso or your average cup of coffee you get from your coffee machine or french press, is brewed using cold water over a long period of time. When hot water comes in contact with coffee granules, it immediately extracts all the flavors very quickly, sometimes leaving you with an acidic brew or worst, a lackluster mug of coffee. With cold water, however, the coffee beans have enough time to extract their flavor without releasing its acidity. On top of that, Cold-brewed coffee is also smoother and sweeter, making it a great candidate for coffee drinks or for people who love black coffee but suffer from acid reflux.
How to Make Cold Brew Concentrate
To make cold brew concentrate, all you need is ground coffee, room temperature or cold water, a large jar or pitcher, and some time. Use your favorite coffee beans; no special blend is needed for a great cold brew. Take 2/3 cup of ground coffee and put it in a mason jar or pitcher. Add three cups of water and give the whole thing a stir. Cover the jar and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight; you can let the coffee sit in the brewing process for up to 24 hours.
This is the perfect application to used freshly ground coffee. Grind it yourself for a real treat.
Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Holler Mountain
The coffee flavor will be bold, so don't fear the small amount this recipe makes.
Place a strainer over a clean jar or pitcher; you want something with a fine-mesh sieve. Add a coffee filter or a layer of cheesecloth to the strainer and then pour the coffee mixture into the clean container. Discard the coffee grounds (or, better yet, put them in your compost pile).
How to Drink Cold Brew Coffee
Don't drink the coffee yet, unless you like your cold brew iced coffee really, really strong. What you have now is iced coffee concentrate, so add an equal amount of water, half-and-half or your favorite type of milk to the coffee concentrate. For a dairy-free option, coconut milk is excellent in cold brew coffee. Add your choice of sweetener or flavored syrups. For an extra kick, freeze coffee into ice cubes and use them in your cold brew to keep things chill and extra-caffeinated. The best cold brew is enjoyed over ice.
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Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate
- 2/3 cup coarse ground coffee
- 3 cups water
- In a jar stir together the ground coffee and water. Cover and chill in the fridge overnight and up to 24 hours.
- Add a coffee filter to a fine mesh sieve and pour the coffee mixture into a clean jar.
- To serve, mix equal parts of the coffee mixture with water. Serve over ice or use boiling water to enjoy a mug of hot coffee.