Hi everyone! I’m back with another homemade coffee treat! This one is just in time for the warm weather!
There’s something about a good cold brew coffee that hits the spot on a sunny day. Just add some ice and a splash of cream (or enjoy it black) and you’ve got a refreshing, delicious treat to sip while soaking up some rays. Making a large batch at home not only keeps this drink close at hand for convenience, but it’s also surprisingly simple and low cost!
You most likely already own everything you need to make your own cold brew. The ingredients and tools I used were:
-Whole bean coffee
-Large glass jar with lid
-Flour sack tea towel or cheesecloth
I’m all about getting the best result with the simplest steps, so my methods and tools usually reflect those preferences. 🙂 Before we get into the process, here are my top tips to help you get the best results:
First of all: start with good quality coffee. Since you’re only putting two ingredients into this (coffee beans and water), you don’t want to skimp on anything. Treat yourself to some fresh, high-quality beans. If you’re fortunate enough to have a local coffee roaster nearby, ask them if they recommend a specific blend for a cold brew. For this batch, I went with the recommendation of the knowledgeable barista at my local coffee shop. I’ve also used a Kona blend in the past with excellent results. The flavors of a blend/roast shine through in cold brew, so have fun selecting your beans! Also, while pre-ground beans will work fine, I highly recommend grinding them yourself! This way you get the freshest possible grind and can control the coarseness. With a recipe, this simple, details like this make a difference!
Also, you’ll want to use filtered or distilled water. Any water will do, but for best results, use the purest water available. Higher quality ingredients mean tastier cold brew to enjoy later!
You’ll also want to ensure every tool is very clean. Several of the items will be in contact with the coffee for extended periods of time. To help keep the coffee from absorbing any odd flavors, I prefer to use freshly cleaned glass jars, wooden spoons, and lint-free towels. Which leads me to my next tip:
When you’re ready to strain your coffee, prep your tools before removing the coffee from the refrigerator. Since I make mine in such a large jar, I need both hands available to hold the jar while pouring. I like to prop a colander over a large bowl, then line it with a damp tea towel. This system catches all the grounds, filters even the fine grounds beautifully, and allows me to focus on the huge jar. For those of you worried about staining towels, feel free to use cheesecloth! Personally, I *love* flour sack tea towels. I use them for everything and love the fact that they’re more “green” than cheesecloth (which is is usually a one-time use item).
To keep everything clean and avoid staining, I do the following:
1. Give the towel a quick shake to remove any potential lint. 2. Rinse the towel to flush away any last bits of lint or dust. This also helps avoid drastic staining from the coffee. 3. Ring out excess water and place towel in the colander. 4. For cleanup, immediately rinse towel with hot water and launder as usual. For extra good measure, pre-soak with a little oxygen bleach. Your towels should be good as new!
Lastly: don’t rush it. You can let this brew for 24 hours, so be sure to plan ahead. It’s also extremely simple so each step really does make a difference. Take time to ensure the steps are done well. Enjoy the simplicity of it all, allow yourself time to soak in the smells, and make this a relaxing experience for yourself. The more you enjoy the process, the more likely you are to enjoy the result and want to make it again!
Cold Brew Coffee
*Please note: My old, amazingly large glass jar is perfect for huge batches. Divide or multiply this recipe to fit your needs or jars!
2 cup coarsely ground coffee (or between 2-2½ cup whole beans)
8 cups water
Coffee grinder (if using whole beans)
Large glass jar with lid
Colander (optional)Flour sack tea towel or Cheesecloth
Bowl (for straining coffee)
If using whole beans, use short bursts in a coffee grinder until the beans are coarsely ground. Place ground coffee in a clean glass jar. Add water and stir thoroughly to ensure all the grounds are completely saturated. Ensure lid is screwed on tightly and place the jar in the refrigerator. Allow to steep minimum of 12 hours, preferably 20-24.
Prep tools for straining (see notes above about cheesecloth vs tea towels). Remove cold brew from refrigerator and stir. Pour over the cloth and allow to slowly strain. After most of the liquid has drained out, you can lift the cloth and ring out those last drips from the grounds. Pour your delicious, fresh cold brew into a pitcher or rinsed jar and store in the refrigerator. Enjoy!