Learn How to Make Cold Brew Coffee the Easy Way

I won't lie. I prefer to start my day off with a big cup of hot java. Something about the steam swirling around and the hot mug warming my cold hands instantly brightens my day. My wife is the polar opposite. Her day hasn’t begun until she has her favorite tumbler filled to the brim with a delicious Iced Latte (never forget the straw).

Don’t get me wrong, I have had dreams about the perfect cup of cold brew coffee. I’m a white chocolate mocha kinda guy (yum), but my cold brew craving just doesn’t hit until later in the day.

For the longest time, if I wanted a cold coffee drink at home, I would brew strong hot coffee over ice. Think Japanese Iced Coffee. Unfortunately, the flavor was never as strong as the cold brew from our local coffee shop. The day I decided to make proper cold brew coffee at home was a game changer.

People sometimes mistake cold brew coffee with iced coffee, but the two preparations are quite different. This article will show you how to make cold brew coffee that rivals any café!

What is Cold Brew Coffee and Why Should You Drink It?

One of the best things about cold brew is how easy it is to make. Simply put, cold brew coffee is produced by immersing coarsely ground beans in cold filtered water for an extended amount of time. The mixture should be allowed to sit for at least 12 (up to 36 hours) before it’s filtered and served. That’s plenty of time to find a local buy here pay here dealer.

As a result of brewing at a lower temperature, the flavors that develop are fruitier and less bitter than traditional hot-brewed coffee. Cold brew concentrate can be stored in the fridge for 7-10 days (but it never lasts that long at my house).

Cold Brew Ratio

Coffee brewing ratios are all about maximizing flavor. The standard cold brew ratio is  1:3 to 1:5 (coffee grounds to water). For starters, try 30 grams of fresh ground coffee to each 250 mL filtered water (1 oz coffee to 1 cup water). This can be adjusted depending on how strong you like your drink. I tend to brew a more potent batch because I intend to add milk and sugar to create an iced latte.

How to Make Your Own Cold Brew Coffee at Home!

This cold brew coffee method is an easy and cost-effective way to make delicious iced coffee at home with minimal equipment. The longer you brew, the more concentrated it will become. I like it strong, so I tend to wait a full day and a half.

What you’ll need:

  • Two Large Mason Jars
  • Coarsely Ground Beans
  • Cold Filtered Water
  • Cheesecloth or Paper Coffee Filter for Straining

Steps to Brew

cold brew grind size

Grind Those Beans

Coarsely grind your coffee beans (the consistency of sea salt). Because this process will take hours instead of minutes, the coarse grind will gradually release all the flavors over time. The finer the grind, the more bitter your coffee will be after it’s brewed, and nobody wants a bitter cold brew.

Add Coffee Grounds and Water

Add your freshly ground coffee to the container and pour in filtered water. Stir once or twice with a long spoon to ensure that all of your coffee is saturated.

Cover, Set, and Wait

Cover your container and leave it on the counter or the fridge for 12-36 hours. You can periodically sample your brew after the first 12 hours until it reaches your preferred taste. I recommend letting it rest for at least 18 hours so that all the delicious qualities can be fully extracted.

Strain Into Second Jar

It’s time to strain the coffee grounds with either a cheesecloth or paper coffee filter. Grab your second large mason jar and place the cloth over the top. Press down slightly to create a large divet and secure the filter in place with either clothespins or a rubber band.

Slowly pour the concentrated cold brew through the filter into your second container.  Make sure to pour gently enough that your coffee grounds don’t fall out of the cloth!

How to make cold brew coffee

Serve and Store

Enjoy your cold brew now, or store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to drink. The colder temperature will make sure that all of those tasty flavors stay fresh!

Why Drink Cold Brew Instead of Hot Brewed Coffee?

The iced coffee method is an excellent alternative to hot brewed coffee in the summertime, but it’s also easier on your stomach. Cold brew is significantly less acidic than hot coffee because some acids are not pulled out as much with cold water versus hot water. Less acid means less acid reflux in people with sensitive bellies or those who suffer from GERD.

Tips for How to Drink Your Perfect Cup of Joe (Including the Best Way to Store It)

Because cold brew is more concentrated than either hot or iced coffee, you will want to dilute it with water or milk to your desired taste. I usually add a cup of cold brew concentrate and then fill up the rest of my glass with milk and some simple syrup for a delicious mid-afternoon pick-me-up!

To maximize the life of your brew, store in an airtight container and place it in the fridge. It will keep for up to 10 days, but I promise it won’t last that long!

Alternative Cold Brew Methods

There are various cold brew makers available, from simple, inexpensive plastic pitchers to more complex machines.

One device is called a cold brew sock (not an actual sock), where you place your coffee grounds inside the cloth and let it sit inside your brewing container. Once your brew is ready, remove the sock, and you are ready to go

More specialized cold brew devices will have an infuser that fits directly into the brewing container. These are great because the filters are reusable. Using a cold brew infusing device is more convenient than a DIY method because you brew and store within a single container.

What Beans Work Best for Cold Brew?

Traditionally, dark roast beans are used. But you can use any type of bean, from light roast to dark roast. It’s really up to your preference!

Dark Roast Coffee Beans

 Great because you get more pronounced flavors which work great if you plan to add milk and sweeteners. Dark roast coffee is more porous than light roast, so it will take less time to brew. This makes it easier to over-extract and pull out bitter flavors.

Medium Roast Coffee Beans

You still get great flavors, and the bean is a little more balanced than a dark roast, allowing for sweet and smokey notes.

Light Roast Coffee Beans

You get mild flavors, so this will work for cold brew if you like sweet coffee drinks. Just be warned that it won’t have a pronounced flavor and may taste weak compared to other options. Light roast beans are the least porous and therefore require the most time to brew.

Simple Cold Brew Ice Latte Recipe

Now that you’ve made excellent cold brew concentrate let me show you a quick recipe that I use to make Iced Lattes at home. All you need is milk and some simple syrup or honey!

cold brew latte

Pour Your Coffee

Pour 250 mL (about one cup) of cold brew into the bottom of a glass filled with ice.

Add Sweetener and Milk

Add in 15 grams (one tablespoon) of sweetener per serving, then fill the rest up with cold milk (or try using cold coconut milk for a vegan alternative).

Stir and Drink

Stir well until everything has dissolved into that delicious iced concoction! Go ahead and make it fancy by adding whipped cream to the top!

Final Thoughts

At my house, cold brew coffee is always in the fridge. It’s delicious and easy to make (just remember to plan ahead). Plus, it has less acid, so you can drink more coffee with fewer stomach aches. If you haven’t tried this method yet, don’t wait any longer–get out there and start brewing up some great-tasting cold brew for yourself today!

If you want more information on what beans to use or the best equipment then check out a few of our other pages.

About the Author Kris Silvey

About the Author Kris Silvey

As a semi-professional at-home barista and full-time software engineer, my love for coffee borders on obsession. By combining my passion for coffee with an engineering mindset, I strive to perfect my brewing process and share that knowledge with each of you.

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