How To Cold Brew Coffee

Why?  Why would we want to cold brew coffee instead of sticking with regular hot brewing methods?

Well, so that you can make iced coffee.  Or iced coffee cubes for your iced coffee.  Or so you can make this awesome and healthy Chocolate Frappe.

In the past, I’ve simply hot brewed coffee as normal, then chilled it for about 24 hours until it’s cold enough to make cold coffee drinks.  That has worked just fine, and I assumed I needed some sort of special equipment to make cold coffee brew.  Thanks to those of you who shared your easy cold brew coffee methods, I now know it’s as easy as can be – without any special equipment!

Cold brew coffee is less acidic, and has a wonderful, smooth taste.  I’m loving this variety of coffee on a hot afternoon.  My favorite way to drink cold coffee?  Coffee ice cubes, cold coffee, and a shot of real cream.  It is heaven.  (And not at all sweet.  I love it that way, but my family thinks I’m crazy.  Yup.)

How to Cold Brew Coffee

How to Cold Brew Coffee

  1. Place 1/3 to 1/2 cup ground coffee (or more if you like your coffee really strong) in a French Press or quart-sized jar.
  2. Add 4 cups cold water.
  3. Allow this to sit on your countertop for 8-24 hours.  I usually start mine at night so it’s ready in the morning.
  4. If using a French Press, simply press filter down to separate liquid from coffee grounds.
  5. If using a quart jar, carefully pour your cold brew coffee through a coffee filter to separate liquid from coffee grounds.
  6. Refrigerate.  Or make Coffee Ice Cubes.  Or you can do what I do and make some coffee ice cubes then refrigerate the rest to use them together for cold coffee drinks.

Some instructions I’ve read suggest using quite a bit more coffee in this brew.  What has been your experience with this?

Are you a fan of cold coffee?

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Comments

  1. says

    I usually use 1c grounds (coarse grind) in a quart jar filled with water…it comes out stronger, more like a starbucks strength. I do mine on the counter for the full 24 hours. The coarse grind helps reduce the acidity while still getting the coffee flavor.

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  2. says

    oops…I forgot…I also use just 1 part coffee to 2-3 parts water if making hot coffee with the concentrate or if I’m making it cold I use 2-3 parts milk. Using more coffee makes it very concentrated. If you use it straight up it’s more of an expresso type strength (or as my husband says…it’ll put hair on your chest and clean the kitchen drain.)

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  3. Nia Hanna says

    I just use double the water for the quantity of coffee being used. And has anyone tried the Greek coffee? It is so good. This is a very fine ground coffee more like coffee powder. Our local grocer has a selection on the dial when you grind the beans that says “Extra Fine” or something of that nature. It is the finest grind the machine allows. I was taught to boil this coffee, remove from heat, boil again, remove from heat and boil a third and last time. I could taste a difference in flavor when compared to a coffee pot. I like it even better with the cold brewed method (I use an container large enough to hold 16 cups) the flavor is very bold!

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  4. Molly says

    I wish I liked cold brewed coffee – that would make summertime coffee so much easier! But after trying it maybe a dozen times, I finally realized I far prefer hot-brewed and then chilled coffee. Oh well, to each her own!
    (And I like my coffee straight from the fridge with some milk. No sweetener of any kind. My husband drinks it black – blech!)

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  5. Steph J says

    I do really enjoy the taste of cold brewed coffee, but I have had a hard time with the strength of it. If I dilute it too much, it doesn’t taste as good to me, but if I don’t I get pretty jittery, much more so than with regular coffee. Maybe I should try this with half-decaf beans?

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    Sandra Reply:

    I’ve run into the same problem, and I’ve tried several recipes. I like the flavor, but I don’t like the jittery feeling.

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  6. K. Ann Guinn says

    Cold-brewed coffee is our fun, new, delicious treat this summer! In the past, we also have brewed coffee (from regular to double strength), then refrigerated it to drink as iced coffee, but it was never excellent. This new method, which is similar to yours, but I think makes a stronger concentrate, is our favorite! It was even delicious using us some older beans we had sitting around (not our favorite). Here’s the link: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2011/06/perfect-iced-coffee/
    This makes such a strong brew, I don’t think you would want the coffee ice-cubes. It’s meant to be served over a FULL glass of ice, and is still quite strong, yet mellow. I didn’t realize cold-brewing was less acidic….a side benefit, as I have to monitor my acid intake due to recent health issues. Lastly, it’s till much more cost efficient than coffee shop coffees, and you can use whatever type of coffee you prefer!

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    Laura C Reply:

    I use this method too. I make a whole bag at a time.

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  7. Abigail says

    I use 2oz. of coffee per quart of water (I took that ratio from the Pioneer Woman’s recipe). My husband likes his coffee strong so sometimes I’ll add a little more coffee. We use regular ice cubes, and typically a ratio of 2/3 coffee to 1/3 milk. My husband likes to add a spoonful of Nesquik to his as well (I need a good recipe for homemade Nesquik…)
    Thai iced coffee is really good too: http://www.steamykitchen.com/16139-thai-iced-coffee-recipe.html

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  8. Lisa says

    Yes!!! Love cold brew coffee!!! So perfect for iced mochas in the afternoon! I make my quite strong, almost like a concentrate. It takes some time to figure out the right strength and flavor you prefer, so don’t be shy about trying different amounts of coffee grounds you use each time. I’ve found that using course ground works really well and makes some great tasting cold brew coffee!!!

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  9. Lori says

    Can we do the filtering through, say, a cheesecloth instead? Not sure if I even have filters lying around anymore. We do the keurig thing.

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    Laura Reply:

    Cheesecloth should work fine!

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    K. Ann Guinn Reply:

    The link I posted suggests cheesecloth, but I don’t have any yet, so it’s working well using paper towels over a sieve.

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  10. says

    Thanks so much for this tip! I usually do it the way you do by letting hot brewed coffee cool in the fridge. I don’t have a French Press, so I will try it in the quart jar as the acid in coffee often makes my joints hurt. (I still drink it, though, as it is my favorite!) Thanks, again, for the post!

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  11. Cheryle says

    Cold brewed coffee. What a great idea for power outages now that it’s hurricane season. Thanks.

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  12. Carie says

    Cold brew is also perfect for a Vietnamese Cafe SuaDa. Simply add sweetened condensed milk & enjoy:)

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