How to Make Cold Brew Coffee at Home – 7 Ultimate Steps

Written by | Updated On July 31, 2020

It is blazing hot outside. And your mind urges for a refreshing, caffeinated sip of a cold coffee. We are sure that you are thinking about the brewed coffee of Starbucks right now. 

How about you put some effort into the weekends and prepare the supply of chilled beverages for the whole week? On a hot summer day, this drink can be a total game-changer. 

Are you in a panic that the coffee will end up tasting watery or overly bitter? Fear not! This guide to cold brew coffee will demonstrate how to make cold brew coffee at home. The method is so simple that a large container and a strainer are enough to replace a coffee brewer.

The main theme lies right there in the name. The coffee is brewed using cold or room temperature water instead of hot water. There are no need of special tools or devices as long as you have patience. All you need to do is mix ground coffee with water and steep the mixer in the fridge overnight.

The regular coffee is extracted at 91°C to 96°C, whereas the cold brew coffee is extracted between 2°C to 21°C. The coffee is worth the wait as it is downright incredible. There are lots of ways to make cold brew – Toddy Brewing System, Filtron, etc. People prefer those techniques for big batches. 

Are You A Brewed Cold Coffee Fan? Here Are Some Fun Facts For You:

  • The cold brew coffee is highly caffeinated. Don’t take it without dilution.
  • When other coffees upset your stomach, this one is quite good for health.
  • The water needs to steep for about 12 to 18 hours to soak up the coffee’s colour, flavor, and caffeine. This long-time process brings out the bitter compounds and produces delight and smoother results. 
  • When your mood swings and want to drink it hot, you can have that too! And the most fantastic part is the consistency in flavor. So, warm it up in the microwave. 
  • You can make a big batch for the whole week over the weekend. 

How To Make Cold Brew Coffee At Home Easily?

A visitor suddenly comes to your house, and you want to offer some beverages. Your cold brew coffee concentrate is the perfect thing to manage the situation. Hope that our guide to cold brew coffee can help you have delightful brunch-time in summer. 

Equipments you need:

  • Coffee grinders,
  • Jars or pitcher or mason jar (2),
  • Coffee filter or cheesecloth or handkerchief or nut milk bag (go for the one you prefer), 
  • And a fine mesh strainer. 

Step 1: First things first, you have to fix your water and coffee ratio 

The standard coffee to water ratio (according to Starbucks cold brew) is 8oz water to 1oz coffee grounds. That means 1 cup of water to around 1/3 cup coarsely ground coffee

( The conversions are followed according to the standard coffee measurements, which are – 10 gram per 2 Tbsp or 1.5 ounces per ½ cup.) 

You can customize the ratio according to your preference. If you love stronger coffee, increase the amount of ground in relation to water. Combine 1 cup of water with ½ cup coffee grounds. Or, for more have 2/3 cup ground coffee with 1 cup water) 

If you intend to have 5 servings, take 3 cups (24oz) of water and 1 ½ cups (4.5oz) coarse ground coffee as we prefer 8oz of water with 1.5 oz coffee grounds. 

When you are making the coffee in a 1-quart mason jar or French press, you will also need the same amount. 

Step 2: Picking up the great beans

Most of us crave for good coffee beans due to its rich flavors and weak blends have no place in our list.

The light to medium roast is more acidic, and the brewing process eliminates the acidity. On the other hand, the dark roasts come with more intense flavor and earthiness. 

You can have the best beans for a cold brew like Driftaway beans, Bizzy organic, Stone Street, etc.

Step 3: Coarsely grinding the coffee

The coffee brewing fanatics buy the best coffee grinders with so much interest to have a fabulous cup of freshly brewed coffee. But they end up tasting average and not-so-refreshing. 

Don’t worry. A small tweak can fix this!

If you use too fine coffee grinds, you will end up with over-extracted flavors that are bitter and unpleasant. Similarly, choosing too coarse grind will end up with under-extracted flavors which are sour, acidic, and salty. So, use conical burr grinders to have a perfect size, which is an extra-coarse grind. 

We prefer to do the process at home to get the fresh, most flavorful result. But you can always find the pre-ground coffee packs at the store. 

You can use a spice grinder in 1-second pulses to crush the beans. The coffee should look like coarse cornmeal of raw sugar. 

Step 4: Stirring properly 

Take your big jar or pitcher with an air-tight lid. A question may arise in your mind – how to make cold brew coffee in a mason jar? The process is the same. And we recommend using a mason jar as it comes with an air-tight lid. No biggie if you don’t have a jar with a top. It is okay to use a small plate to cover it. 

Then, add water followed by your preferred amount of coffee. Stir very well with a long-handled spoon to get everything flowing. The grounds should be thoroughly saturated with water.

Step 5: Let it steep!

The steeping time is flexible. Some suggest for 8 to 12 hours (overnight)  in the refrigerator. Some advice for at least 18 to 24 hours. The longer it steeps, the more intense your brew will be. Starbucks steeps coffee for a cold brew for almost 20 hours

If you have kept it for longer than needed, it will taste bitter. You can solve it by diluting it with extra water.

While going through the steps, you can ask yourself – Is my beloved french press no longer needed?

How to make cold brew coffee in a french press?

We have got the answers along with some good news to ease the process. You can use the sleek container not only for hot coffee but also for a cold one. All processes are almost similar.

After stirring the mixer, you have to place the french press plunger on top. Then, let it sit for hours in the fridge. Put it out and press down the plunger to push all the bits of grinds to the bottom. 

Step 6: How you can strain your cold brew

Straining is essential to avoid the murky, sludgy concentrate. There are various methods out there. Choose one from the following – 

  • Paper coffee filters: The thin basket paper filters in round seashell are good to go. 
  • A cheesecloth: Set your cheesecloth on a fine-mesh sieve and place on the jar.
  • A cotton handkerchief:  A transparent, lint-free cotton cloth can be used too. Just drape it across your fine mesh sieve. 
  • Using funnel: You can use a funnel to strain the concentrate. Place a coffee filter on the funnel and place the funnel over the jar or bottle. Pour the liquid and strain out the grounds.
  • Nut milk bag: Last but not least, the nut milk bag is quite good. It can filter quite a huge amount at a time. Place it on your measuring cup and pour the concentrate through it.

Now, choose a method that is manageable for you. While doing filtering, stir gently to help the liquid strain. And give it rest for a few minutes so that the cold brew trickle down. And while using the french press, we recommend you should not skip the filtering part. 

While you are done with straining, you can transfer them to air-tight jars. And store them in the refrigerator for 2 weeks. If you have diluted it, you can save it for 2 to 3 days in the fridge. 

Do not squeeze or press the grounds as it may release the bitter in the drink.

Step 7: Serve your brewed cold coffee

Now you can serve according to your taste. We prefer a 1:1 ratio that means 1 cup of brew and 1 cup of water to dilute it and ice cubes. You can also add oat milk, almond milk, or cashew milk for having a creamy beverage. 

Tips for brewing your coffee

  • Use filtered water if possible as it turns your drink even better.
  • Don’t over-steep your coffee grinds.
  • Remember to dilute your coffee. 

Why you should have cold brew coffee – 

  • The smooth and subtle sweetness is quite refreshing.
  • Once you have made it, you can enjoy it for about two weeks.
  • It is dirt-cheap than having a cup of coffee from the shop. 
  • You can make it earlier and have it in the busy mornings with your favorite muffins. 
  • No need for fussing with your coffee maker. 
  • Don’t require any ninja-level skills or any trained barista to serve you. 
  • The infusion of coffee has all the great flavor with caffeine. And it leaves the compound which makes your coffee bitter and sour. 

What if you want your brew cold coffee in 5 minutes?

You can do this experiment. 

  • Take your lightly roasted coffee beans.
  • Grind them in a coarse expresso size. 
  • Mix the grinds with water and stir thoroughly.
  • Transfer it in a beaker and blend thoroughly with an immersion blender. More blending delivers better extraction.
  • Pour it in a french press. Put the plunger on the top and press gently to the bottom.
  • You can then filter it for a clean coffee. 

Let us know if you like this method!

Faqs

Can I make a cold brew at home?

Yes, absolutely! Check out our recommended process, and you are good to go.

Can you use regular ground coffee for cold brew?

We recommend you to use coarsely ground coffee for cold brew. The regular ground coffee size is finer than needed, and you will end up with bitter taste.

What is the ratio of coffee to water for cold brew?

It is a 1:1/2 ratio that means 1 cup of water with ½ cup of coffee grinds.

What is the best coffee for cold brew?

You can go for either medium roasted or dark roasted. The thing you need to do is to customize the brewing time.

Is 8 hours enough for cold brew?

If you are short on time, 8 hours will be enough. But you need to do it at room temperature.

Is cold press coffee the same as cold brew?

No, the brewed coffee requires more time than press coffee.

Can we make cold brew coffee with instant coffee?

No, the instant coffees are already brewed. You only need to rehydrate it.

Conclusion

Could you understand the steps on how to make cold brew coffee fast and better? This is a potent tonic that delivers surprising caffeine jolt. We guess the guide to cold brew coffee has taken you to a cup of joe!  Without the steeping time, you only need 10 minutes for preparing your coffee. Before you sign out for the day, please make a promise to try the method, and share your experience!

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