I feel kinda silly writing a blog post on cold brew, since it’s so easy to make, but I guess it seems weird not to include it on my website since it’s such a huge part of my diet. I have a coffee addiction. A big one. I limit myself to drinking coffee twice a day, but in actuality, I want to drink it all day long. The second I finish drinking it, I wish there was more, and the only reason I eat lunch is so that I can earn my second cup of coffee.
The first time I ever had cold brew was at cafe gratitude about 10 years ago. They explained the process to me as being a healthier way to consume coffee that required no heat (except for in the roasting of the coffee beans of course). My favorite thing to order from cafe gratitude since then has been their coffee milkshake made with cold brew.
Then, a couple of years ago, I started seeing cold brew being sold in bottles at stores. My friend Eidelyn got me some Stumptown cold brew for my birthday a couple of years ago, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Buying cold brew is rather pricey (around $10 a bottle), so making your own is a good compromise (because obviously living your life without it is NOT an option).
It’s super easy to make, and the great thing is that you can use coffee that isn’t as high of quality and it still comes out tasting really good. Blue Bottle coffee in San Francisco uses peaberry beans to make their iced coffee. Apparently the peaberry bean is kind of known for making good iced coffee, so I use it for my cold brew.
I’ve noticed that everyone makes theirs a little differently, so my way is just one of many.
The first thing of importance is to grind the beans to a medium-coarse grind. I use a burr grinder so I usually set it to 3.5, which is about the same coarseness I use when grinding for french press coffee. The amount of beans depends on how much cold brew you want to make. I try to use a ratio of 1:6, with 1 part coffee grounds and 6 parts cold water. My french press happens to be the larger one, so it can hold 1 cup of grounds and 6 cups of water.
Without a french press, you can just make this in a jar or a bowl. It doesn’t really matter where you soak the coffee as long you remember to stir it every few hours. When you add the water, make sure it’s room temperature or colder. And then give it a good stir so that all the grounds become wet.
I usually brew mine for about 12 hours. Some people only brew it for 8 hours. You can experiment and see how mild or flavorful you like yours.
To strain it, you can either use a french press or just pour it through a filter on a chemex or a coffee dripper. I’ve been so hard up for coffee before that one day when I left my chemex at work, I rested a funnel in the top of a glass pitcher. Get creative with whatever you have lying around.
You can drink the cold brew as is over ice.
Or if you’re like me and you like your coffee to taste like coffee flavored ice cream, you can add coconut creamer…
Then, if you’re a vegan glutton like me, you can add coconut whipped cream to the top of yours.
You can also use this cold brew to make a cold brew cooler, a coffee milkshake, which is kind of like a vegan frappaccino.