Why Cold Brew Coffee
So why drink cold brew coffee instead of hot? To me, a lot of hot-brewed coffees are too bitter, acidic, and just dont taste great. Once I started cold brewing my coffee, I never looked back. Cold brew coffee is mostly the only kind of coffee I drink these days because it beats the socks off hot coffee.
Cold brew coffee is smoother, less bitter, and less acidic. Its concentrated, so you only need half of what youd normally drink. Plus, you can make a big batch and it will last the entire week!
Im able to use my favorite decaf and low acid coffee since I cant have caffeine anymore, and this creates an even smoother and less acidic coffee. The Healthwise coffee I buy is nearly 100% decaf though the Swiss water method, so it doesnt bother my sensitive system.
I didnt know too much about cold brewed coffee until I read this cold brew coffee how-to post on Food52 back in 2012. Getting an iced coffee isnt the same thing as a cold brew coffee, and if youre ordering a hot coffee with ice in it, youre missing out.
Good coffee houses cold brew their coffee to make sweeter and less acidic brew for perfect iced coffees. I was intrigued by this brewing method so I decided to try it for myself and see how well it stacks up to hot-brewed coffee. Since Ive been cold brewing, Ive hardly touched hot coffee and I dont like it when I do.
Ratio For Cold Brew Concentrate
More often than not, you’ll find that store-bought cold brew is actually a concentrate. This means that you’ll need to dilute it with water before drinking or you’ll have a very strong, highly caffeinated cup of coffee. We recommend this method when you’re using a smaller container, like a mason jar or French press . For a concentrate, you’ll use a 2:1 ratio of water to coffee for example 2 cups of cold water to 1 cup of coffee.
For The Best Cold Brew Use Coarsely Ground Coffee
A coarse grind size may appear to be chunky, even when you start to add the water. You can stir the ground with a spoon or shake in a mason jar to wet all the grounds.The coarse grind helps keep the grounds filtered out of the concentrate and makes it less bitter. The actual grinding process can heat the grounds which adds that bitter flavor from the acids produced.
If you mixed everything together in a mason jar, you will need to strain it through a nut milk bag or a fine-mesh strainer.
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Dunkin Donuts Iced Coffee Recipe
If Dunkin Donuts is your preferred coffee destination, you can get a close approximation of their ice coffee by using
2/3 cup of warm or cooled coffee, 2/3 cup of milk or cream, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 4 ice cubes.
For the most authentic taste, use Dunkin Donuts coffee. It is also best to add the sugar to the coffee while it is still warm so that it will dissolve. You can also melt the sugar ahead of time by adding an equal amount of water and microwaving it a few seconds until the sugar is dissolved.
Want To Learn More About Brewing Coffee
If you’re dying to know more about the ins and outs of cold brew coffee, I suggest you go back and read our first post on the topic:
This post has everything you need to know about what cold brew coffee is and how you can make it at home with just some beans, a coffee grinder, and a glass jar!
Have more questions? Ask me in the comments!
- 2 cardamom pods, cracked open to expose the seeds
- 2 to 4 tablespoons honey, to taste
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How To Strain Your Cold Brew
Once youre done steeping the coffee, youll need to strain the coffee grounds out of the water. A fine-mesh sieve or French press filter isnt sufficient . Most methods will suggest using cheese cloth, but I hate cheese cloth! Its difficult to work with and seems so wasteful.
I played around with other options and found two that work great. See my photos for examples of each. Choose one:
To strain, simply place the coffee filter into a small fine-mesh sieve, or drape your cloth over the sieve. Place it over a pitcher or liquid measuring cup, and pour the concentrate through it. Thats it!
Have I convinced you to try making cold brew coffee at home? Its so much cheaper than buying it from the coffee shop! Please let me know how it turns out for you in the comments.
Want to change it up? Try making cold brew iced tea. Like cold brew coffee, its more smooth and less bitter.
Aeropress Iced Coffee Recipe:
Just make coffee with your AeroPress the way you normally would. If youre just getting started with it, heres a great AeroPress Coffee Recipe from thekitchn.com but youll need to change the last step.
The only change is to plunge your coffee over a sturdy, thermal shock resistant glass/mug full of ice. Then add your favorite milk/cream and sweeten.
If you like the sounds of making iced coffee with an AeroPress but dont have one, this AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker comes with all the accessories and extra filters. The microfilters help keep grit from the coffee grounds out of your coffee.
But maybe you just want to know how to make iced coffee without the fancy stuff. Dont worry, its pretty easy.
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How Long Is Cold Brew Concentrate Good For
In the refrigerator it will last for 3 to 4 weeks, that is if it lasts that long. If you are the only coffee drinker, brew a large batch and freeze part in ice cube trays to defrost later.
The cubes will last months in the freezer, and you can brew less frequently. Or you can serve iced cold brew over the coffee ice cubes to keep your summer coffee from getting watery.
How To Make Cold Brew Coffee At Home
I come from the Lorelai Gilmore school of coffee drinking. I like my coffee really strong, really dark, really often, and preferably served to me by a cute guy in a backward baseball cap and flannel. Unfortunately, my body doesnt agree with my desperate desire to achieve Gilmore Girls levels of caffeine addiction.
I have to be very intentional with how I drink coffee. If I have any caffeine after noon, I cant sleep a wink at night. And ever since I was pregnant, too many cups of the tar-like coffee I love gives me the worst heartburn ever. Lots of folks have suggested moving to a lighter roast or even cutting out the coffee all together to solve the heartburn issue, but I found an even better solutioncold brew coffee!
If youve never made or had cold brew before , its exactly what it sounds likecoffee that is brewed without heat. Coffee is steeped over a long period of time with cold/room temperature water. Whats the advantage of doing it this way? Well, the big one for me and my esophagus is that it lowers the acidity of coffee without sacrificing flavor or boldness. So I still get my pitch black, rich cup of coffee, but with about 60% less acid than a regular hot brewed cup of coffee.
That reduction in acid also changes the flavorthere isnt a single hint of bitterness or that burnt flavor that you sometimes get when coffee is brewed with too hot water . Cold brew coffee is smooooooooooooooooooth.
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Mr Coffee Caf Barista
The ice coffee process is also relatively simple using a Mr. Coffee Café Barista. Add 1 tablespoon of sugar to a large cup. Brew a large espresso directly into the cup using your normal process. Stir in 1 cup of ice cubes along with ½ cup of half-and-half or milk. Add additional sweetener or flavorings as desired.
What About Iced Coffee
Technically, you can make iced coffee using your leftover coffee from the day before. However, it is generally recommended to make iced coffee fresh since leftover coffee will have a more mellow taste. In other words, the coffee simply wont taste as good.
You can use your leftover coffee by turning it into ice cubes, as described above. This method will not negatively affect the overall taste of the coffee. In fact, it should enhance it because your iced coffee wont be watered down as the regular ice cubes melt.
If you sincerely dont care about taste that much, then you can use leftover coffee to make iced coffee. For anyone who cares about the way their coffee tastes, we recommend making a new batch of fresh iced coffee instead.
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Why Make Cold Brew Coffee
Whats cold brew? Cold brew coffee is coffee made by soaking the grounds in water at cool temperatures. Its different from drip or brewed coffee thats made by percolating hot water over coffee grounds in a filter. Cold brew has become very popular at coffeeshops because of its deliciously smooth flavor. Its great for summer, but you can drink it all year round! Heres why to make cold brew coffee at home:
- Smooth flavor. The top reason for drinking it? It has a deliciously smooth, refreshing flavor.
- Makes a big pitcher. This recipe makes a big pitcher that you can drink off of for days! After hot coffee in the morning, its amazing to have a pitcher in the fridge for a quick afternoon coffee: which takes no time at all to make!
Brewing Tips: Stronger Is Better
The most important factor for making good iced coffee at home is strength. A common error people make when brewing iced coffee is using the same recipe they would use to brew hot coffee and then adding ice at the end. The problem with this method is the ice cubes melt and water down your coffee resulting in a weak, bland cup.
One way to avoid weak iced coffee is to make coffee ice cubes, but another way that we prefer is to make your coffee stronger from the start. Most hot coffee recipes recommend using between a 15:1 and 17:1 water-to-coffee ratio. For iced coffee, we like to use more coffee and typically aim for between a 12:1 and 15:1 water-to-coffee ratio.
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Iced Coffee Vs Cold Brew Coffee
Why might cold brew be a better way to make iced coffee? Lets break it down:
- Iced coffee is brewed with hot water which means more of the oils and acidic flavors are released, this can result in a bitter taste.
- Cold brew coffee is brewed with cold water so that does not happen because the oils and acids are not as soluble in cold water. The sweet compounds in coffee are soluble in cold water so cold brewing results in a smooth/mellow flavor.
- Cold brew can also be easier on people with a sensitive stomach, and because its brewing process brings out the sweet flavors better for people who are trying to cut down on sugar.
If you want to make your iced coffee from cold brew coffee youll need to plan ahead because its best to let it brew for 12 to 24 hours before you use it, otherwise you wont get the benefits of the mellow flavor.
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Other Ways To Make Iced Coffee
Other delicious iced coffee beverages include a Caramel Macchiato Frappe and Instant Iced Coffee.
To make a Caramel Macchiato Frappe, you will need 4 ounces of your cold-brewed coffee concentrate, 1/3 cup of cold chocolate milk, 2 tablespoons of caramel-flavored topping, 1 teaspoon of sugar, ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract, and 6-7 ice cubes.
The best way to make this drink is to place all of the ingredients into an electric blender and blend on high speed until thick and slushy. Itll have the consistency of a milkshake or a smoothie.
If you dont have an electric blender, you can use a cocktail shaker for decent results. Place all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker cap firmly, and shake vigorously for 2 minutes.
Pour into a tall glass. Finally add some whipped cream as topping. A glass of nice Caramel Macchiato Frappe is ready to serve!
If you dont have coffee concentrate available, this beverage can be made with instant coffee.
Just dissolve 1 teaspoon of instant coffee granules and 1 teaspoon of sugar into 1 tablespoon of very hot water. Stir until sugar and coffee is fully dissolved. Continue as above to blend or shake for a delicious frappe. Just like the name instant shows, it is easy and quick to make.
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Iced Coffee In A Pot Recipe
- Pour your filtered water into a stainless steel pot and bring the water to a boil
- Once your water boils remove it from the heat and allow it to cool for 1 minute
- Add two rounded tablespoons of medium to coarsely ground coffee per 8 ounces of water and stir until they are all wet
- Let the grounds brew for around 3 to 4 minutes
- Strain the grounds from the coffee using a cheesecloth or paper coffee filter
- Pour the strained coffee over ice in a thermal shock resistant mug/glass
- Add your favorite creamer/milk and sweeten
How To Make Iced Coffee At Home
Learn how to make iced coffee at home with our top barista tips. See how to make classic drinks like cold brew, iced lattes and Dalgona coffee.
Experience your favourite coffee shop at home with our top recipes and barista tips. Recreate classic drinks like iced lattes, cold brew, frappés and trendy whipped coffee.
For the ultimate selection of recipes, see our coffee collection.
How To Make Iced Coffee
Making delicious iced coffee at home is a cinch. Best of all, the secret to the best coffee is to eliminate heat from the process altogether. Cold-processed coffee is less bitter, and it allows you to control the dilution of the final product. We used Peet’s Baridi blend coffee beans, which are specially roasted for iced coffee, but any beans you like will do. Give the beans a few bursts in a coffee grinder, to a medium grind. Add 1/4 cup of the grinds to every cup of water you will use.
Add room-temperature water to the coffee grounds, and stir to combine. Cover with a lid, and leave the coffee at room temperature, agitating periodically, for 12 hours or overnight.
Strain the coffee through a coffee filter. Discard the grinds and the filter.
Meanwhile, make a simple syrup by combining equal parts granulated sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. Allow to cool, pour into a bottle, then refrigerate.
If desired, dilute the coffee by up to 50 percent water. Pour over ice, and add simple syrup and cream to your taste.
How To Make Iced Coffee With An Aeropress
The Aeropress is one of the most popular devices for manually brewing coffee on the market today. Like pour-over, it’s a manual brewing system. The process is a bit unique, but the basics are essentially the same. These instructions are for making a single serving of iced coffee with the Aeropress using the standard Aeropress brewing method.
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How Much Coffee Should I Use For Cold Brew
Now you may be wondering what is the best ratio for cold brew coffee? Of course, different ratios will depend on the recipe for cold brew coffee that you are using. However, as a general rule the ratio is four to one.
As you learn how to make cold brew coffee at home, it is important to get the ratio right in order to have better coffee later on.
When making cold brew, you should use a four to one ratio of water and coffee grounds. That means for every cup of coffee you put into your container, you should add four cups of water.
Make sure you plan ahead so that your container is the right size to make your cold brew.
Can I Strain The Cold Brew Using Paper Filters Instead
Definitely! I’ve found that the coffee filters veerrrryyyy sloooowwwwly through paper filters though, so have some patience. Stir the grounds occasionally since they compact over time, which slows down the straining process even more.
The upside to your patience is that you get very smooth coffee with zero grounds when you strain using a filter.
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