Time warp into oblivion with this cold brew coffee – just as delicious as at your favorite coffee shop. This recipe is so easy to make!
You start your day. It’s early in the morning, but you can tell it’s going to be the kind of hot day where you sweat through your shirt by noon.
Hot drinks are out of the question, but you know you need a caffeinated beverage STAT to get yourself into gear doing all the adult things you don’t want to do that day. Cold brew has got you! In this post we go through the steps of making- not iced coffee, but DIY cold brew coffee.
At first I was intimidated by making cold brew coffee at home, thinking I didn’t have the right equipment or it was some highly scientific process.
When actually, making homemade cold brew is incredibly easy and you probably have all the things in your kitchen right now to make it. It’s also super budget friendly, given the fact a whole bag of coffee beans costs the same as one serving of cold brew from a coffee shop.
Plus, homemade cold brew coffee is perfect for busy mornings. No need to make coffee or stop at a coffee shop when you have a lovely, ice cold batch of cold brew ready to go in your fridge.
Cold brew vs. iced coffee
Yes, there is a difference between cold brew and iced coffee. Cold brew is a type of iced coffee made from coarsely ground coffee beans steeped in cold water for an extended period of time, usually 12 – 18 hours. After, it’s strained and served cold over ice.
This brewing process creates an ultra smooth, less acidic cold brew coffee. On the other hand, iced coffee is traditionally brewed hot, cooled, and then poured over ice. Since iced coffee was brewed hot, the acidity is still high.
How to make the best cold brew coffee recipe
Preparing cold brew at home is super simple and requires no fancy equipment. I’ll go through each step of the process so you can confidently make cold brew at home.
- Coarsely ground coffee beans are the first step to cold brew, the key word being coarsely ground. You don’t want to buy preground coffee from the store because it will be finely ground, which is ideal for a hot steeping process, not cold.
Buy a bag of whole coffee beans. If you have a coffee grinder- great! Set it on the coarsest setting, usually one designed for French Press coffee.
I do not have a coffee grinder so instead I used my processor, which works totally fine. If you have neither a food processor or grinder, no worries. You can either buy whole beans from your local coffee roaster or shop and ask them to coarsely grind them.
Another option is to grind them in the grocery store. A lot of major grocery stores have grinders in the coffee aisle that you can use right there.
- Combine with cold water. Once the beans have been coarsely ground, it’s time to add cold water and begin the brewing process. This is where the cold brew coffee recipe ratio comes in. The ratio is flexible depending on your personal preference, but I like a 1:4 for coarsely ground beans to water. You can double or triple the amount, as long as the ratio stays the same. This ratio makes about 4 – 8 oz of cold brew depending on how much you dilute it with milk or cream.
- When you’re ready to combine your grounds with water, this may seem obvious, but find a vessel that is large enough to hold the grounds and all the water. A quart sized mason jar, a pitcher, bowl, or French Press all work. When I make this cold brew recipe I typically double it (2:8 grounds to water) and I use a typical 64 oz sized pitcher that fits it perfectly.
Cover and steep
With your ground beans and water combined, you simply cover it with a lid or plastic wrap and let it sit out on your counter.
How long it steeps for depends on your schedule and preference, but at least 12 hours and no more than 18 hours.
I like to prepare my cold brew in the early evening- that way it can steep overnight and I know by the next morning it’s had at least 12 hours and is good to go.
- Strain your cold brew. You’ve waited 12 – 18 hours and now it’s time to strain the grounds from the coffee. If you’re using a French Press, simply press down the grounds using the filter inside. If you’re using a pitcher, mason jar or other container, you can use a fine mesh coffee strainer, reusable coffee filter, or fine mesh sieve. All work great.
- Store your brew. Now that you’ve strained your cold brew coffee, simply pour into a covered container and store in your fridge for up to one week. I usually quickly wash out the pitcher I used to steep it in, and then pour the cold brew back into it to store in the fridge.
How to make cold brew coffee concentrate
A cold brew concentrate is basically a stronger version of cold brew, then diluted with equal amounts of water or milk. For a stronger concentrate, use a 1:3 ratio.
Best Cold Brew Coffee Recipe
- fine mesh strainer
- coffee grinder
- quart sized mason jar or pitcher
- 1 cup coffee beans coarsely ground
- 4 cups cold water
- Place the grounds in a quart sized mason jar or similar container.
- Pour water over beans to saturate all of the grounds. If needed, gently stir to ensure all the grounds get saturated.
- Cover with lid or plastic wrap, and let rest on the counter for 12 – 18 hours.
- Place a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth over a bowl and strain.
- To serve, fill a glass of ice and add the cold brew. Add milk or cream as desired.
- Refrigerate remaining cold brew.