Cold Brew the Easy Way

Once upon a time – aka the fall of 2015 – I began to make my own cold brew iced coffee. I love iced coffee, and I’d found a recipe from Pioneer Woman that talked about how to make your own cold brew in large batches that would keep for some time. And she was right – it really is the best cold brew ever, an amazing recipe that I highly recommend. However, the recipe took a large amount of time, some giant equipment, quite a lot of cheese cloth for straining, and sometimes two people to have enough hands. Perhaps I’m just not as coordinated as the Pioneer Woman! In any case, I eventually discovered that the cost of the beans plus cheese cloth was roughly the same as getting pre-made cold brew in 1.5-liter bottles from the store. It definitely required less work to buy bottles, and less storage room for the giant mixing bowls that held several gallons of liquid each. The only major drawbacks of buying my cold brew was the plastic waste and the fact that I couldn’t get it decaf (as I’d been making it, since I tended to drink it in the afternoons).

(the first time I made cold brew, with baby Gavroche getting in on my attempt to photograph it!)

I’ve been doing a lot of research on coffee and caffeine these last few weeks. Since coffee is a suspect in my current health issues, I’m trying to determine exactly where the problem lies: in the caffeine, in the quantity, in the hot/cold factor, etc. During my research, I came across an article that talked about the differences between hot coffee and cold brew coffee. The article was great and had a lot of information in it that, with other research, will form the basis for some personal experiments. But that’s not the subject of this post. This post is about cold brew. The other thing this particular awesome article gave me was a quick, easy, effective way to make small batches of cold brew without all the hassle, cost, and mess of my old recipe. It’s simple:

(iced coffee in the garden, April 2019)

Measure your coffee into a glass jar, pour water over, stir, leave it overnight, and then pour through a coffee filter the next day. Even easier if you have a french press: measure your coffee into the press, pour water over, stir, leave it (plunger up) overnight, then push the plunger down to pour auto-filtered cold brew coffee the next day. And hey, since I prefer my pour-over to french press for hot coffee, the press just sits around doing nothing unless I’m making coffee for multiple peeps…might as well put it to use, eh?

I tried this out for the first time two nights ago. When I make hot coffee in my french press, I use four scoops (roughly 7 grams each) for the whole pot. That gives it the perfect concentration for me. (Every person has their own recipe for the right coffee ratios!) Since four scoops worked for hot coffee, I did the same for the cold brew: three regular and one decaf. I left the pot overnight in my fridge, sifted with the press-plunger, poured out perfectly-concentrated cold brew directly onto ice with some cream to top it off.

It was perfect. No plastic waste, much cheaper than buying, and tastes delicious. Now my biggest challenge will be not to drink the entire press of cold brew each day! Did I mention that I love iced coffee?

About Amanda

Agender empty-nester filling my time with cats, books, fitness, and photography. She/they.
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