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Cold Brew Coffee

No fancy gear or processes needed to make this killer cold brew coffee! Making cold brew coffee is not only easy, but also has many benefits. Learn the correct cold brew coffee ratios and the best way to make it to enjoy regularly!

Two tall glasses of iced cold brew coffee with cream

Ahhh, cold brew coffee. It’s like the mysterious older cousin of regular drip coffee and the cooler, older sibling of iced coffee. It can be smoother, richer, and better tasting. And it lives up to the hype.

Cold brew coffee is made chilled, never heated, and with a higher coffee to water ratio than regular drip coffee. It’s made by creating a concentrate which is then mixed with fresh water (and optional flavorings) when it’s time to serve.

Though stronger than drip coffee, cold brew actually contains less caffeine. The oils and sugars are extracted during the steeping process, and this creates a stronger flavor than traditional coffee methods.

And the best part? You don’t need any fancy equipment. No French press. No coffee pot. And with only two ingredients, there’s really no reason not to give cold brew coffee a try this summer!

Two tall glasses of iced cold brew coffee

The benefits of cold brew coffee

A cup of cold brew coffee isn’t just your standard cup of coffee. In fact, there are a long list of benefits to choosing it over the latter, such as a richer, stronger taste, lower acidity, and more.

  • Slightly less caffeine: For someone that wants to stick with coffee but is trying to cut back on caffeine, cold brew is a great choice because it has slightly less caffeine than drip coffee. (Per 16 oz there are 200 mg of caffeine in cold brew vs 260-360 mg in hot.)
  • Smoother taste: Cold brew has a smoother taste because it isn’t heated. You may not even need to add cream or sugar (health win!).
  • Easy to make: Cold brewing is an electricity-free method that doesn’t require a machine and can be done by naturally steeping coffee grounds.

The correct coffee to water cold brew ratio

Since we’re making cold brew coffee concentrate, we’ll be using 1 cup of ground coffee to 3 cups of cold water. Creating concentrate will make it possible to store cold brew in the fridge, which can then be added to fresh water when you’re ready to drink it. In total, you’ll be able to get 8 cups of finished, delicious cold brew from 1 cup of ground coffee.

A measuring cup filled with coffee grounds and a second measuring cup filled with water

How to make the best cold brew coffee

Making cold brew isn’t a difficult process. When broken down into steps, it actually only requires three parts! Here’s how it’s done.

  1. Steep the coffee: In a large pitcher or jar, combine ground coffee and water. Let it sit in the fridge for 12 to 24 hours.
  2. Strain the concentrate: Next, strain the coffee concentrate through a towel-lined mesh sieve (or use a French press).
  3. Add flavoring and serve: Fill a glass partially with coffee, and then top it off with water. I like to use ¾ coffee and ¼ water, but the ratio (which will determine how strong it tastes) is up to your preference. Top with cream, milk, or simple syrup to taste.
Pouring water into a mason jar filled with coffee grounds

Pour through cloth vs. French press vs. cold brew machine

There are three methods to making cold brew, so choose whichever works best for you! The pour through cloth is my personal favorite.

Pour Through Cloth
For the straining process, I prefer to use a pour through cloth because it’s simple and doesn’t require any special gear. Simply place the cloth over a cup or bowl, and slowly pour the coffee concentrate through. Let it sit and strain through, refraining from making the cloth overflow. Additionally, don’t squeeze the coffee grounds through – let them slowly strain.

French Press
If you do have a French press, they are great to use for making cold brew coffee. Measure out your coffee grounds and water, then add them to the press. Stick the lid on top and let the coffee steep for about 12 to 24 hours in the fridge. Press the plunger down, decant the coffee, and serve!

Here’s a great tutorial and description of the parts of a French press that may be helpful.

Cold Brew Machine
Finally, for the die hard coffee lovers that may be extra prepared for this recipe, using an actual cold brew machine won’t hurt!

Pouring steeped coffee through a pour over cloth to strain the concentrate

Choosing your beans and grinds

Go with your flavor preference when choosing your cold brew coffee beans. If you prefer a mild, less bitter taste, go with a blonder or lighter roast. Choose a darker roast if you prefer a stronger coffee flavor.

Note: For cold brew, darker roasts do tend to work better as far as flavor is concerned, as lighter roasts can sometimes get lost or muted.

As for choosing your grinds, be sure to select a coarser grind size. These work better for cold brew, as fine grinds can pass through the towels and create a gritty coffee. Cold brew grinds should be course like beach sand.

Cold brew coffee straining through a pour over cloth

Serving and storing cold brew

After steeping, cold brew concentrate can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 weeks. Add water, cream, and sugar when serving (you may need less cream and sugar than what you use for hot coffee).

Pouring cold brew coffee into a tall glass of ice

Recipes that are great for using cold brew coffee

Now that you know how to make cold brew, you can use it in other beverage recipes! Here are some delicious smoothies and coffee drinks that would work really well with cold brew. Enjoy!

Pouring cream into a tall glass of cold brew coffee

Cold Brew Coffee

No fancy gear or processes needed to make this killer cold brew coffee!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Beverages (Non-Alcoholic)
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cold brew coffee, cold coffee, how. tomake cold brew coffee
Diet: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Low Carb, Paleo, Raw, Vegan, Vegetarian
Occasion: 4th of July, Birthdays
Time: 60 minutes or more
Prep: 5 mins
Rest: 12 hrs
Servings: 2 cups coffee concentrarte
Author: Sarah Bond
5 from 1 vote

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup coarsely ground coffee 100 g
  • 3 cups cold water 700 mL

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Steep: In a large pitcher or jar, combine ground coffee and water. Cover and let sit in fridge for 12 to 24 hours.
  • Strain: Strain the coffee concentrate through a towel-lined mesh sieve (or a French press).
  • Serve: Fill glass partially with coffee, then top it off with water (I like ¾ coffee and ¼ water, but the strength is to your preference). Top with cream, milk, or simple syrup, to taste.

NOTES

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 to 2 weeks.

NUTRITION

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 0kcal | Carbohydrates: 0g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 0g | Sodium: 5mg | Potassium: 113mg | Sugar: 0g
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