How to craft cold brew in your kitchen
In a few simple steps, you can create cold brew almost identical to the one at your favorite corner coffee shop. Here are some tips that describe how to make cold brew coffee at home.
Step 1: Find (or make) coarsely ground coffee beans
While it may seem like the easiest option to pick up a bag of freshly ground coffee beans, most pre ground coffee is usually too fine for this method, which is probably the right size for a traditional drip coffee maker, but not for cold brew.
For the ideal height of freshness and coarseness for homemade cold brew, it’s recommended to invest in a quality coffee grinder with multiple grind level settings to adjust the coarseness and fineness for each unique brew.
Use the coarsest (or close to it) setting on your grinder for cold brew (typically the one designated for making French press coffee). If you don’t have a grinder or are unsure how to grind coffee beans, you can stop by your local coffee shop and ask them for coarsely ground beans (if you let them know you’re making cold brew, they’ll know just how coarse you need them).
Step 2: Combine your coffee grounds with water
After grinding your coffee beans, you’ll want to combine them with cold or room-temperature water (filtered water is best). The combination, or steeping process is where all the magic happens, and the flavors from the beans extract slowly into the cool water. You can use a variety of sturdy vessels, including:
● A stainless steel bowl
● A large glass jar or bottle
● A wide-mouth mason jar
● A ceramic or glass pitcher
In your steeping vessel of choice, you’ll want to put the grounds in your container first and then pour the water over them, ensuring they’re all fully submerged. Use a spoon to gently press on the coffee and make sure your grounds are thoroughly soaked.
Step 3: Cover and let it steep
Let the mixture sit for as little as 8 or up to 24 hours, depending on how strong you like your cold brew.
For a more mild flavor, brew it for only 8 hours. If you prefer a more robust flavor profile, lean on the side of 18 or 24 hours—perfect for letting rest overnight. To let it steep, cover the container with a lid or plastic wrap, and set it in your fridge.
One major benefit of cold brew is that it’s a pretty forgiving coffee drink. If you accidentally let it steep for longer than you intended and you notice it’s stronger or more acidic than you like, all you have to do is dilute the batch with water.
Step 4: Strain your cold brew and enjoy
Once you’ve brewed and steeped the cold brew, it’s time to strain it. If you opted to make your cold brew in a French press, all you need to do is push down on the coffee filter.
If you used a mason jar, pitcher, or other wide-mouth container, use a strainer that’s fine enough to catch all of the grounds. Here are some options you can use to strain your brew:
● Fine mesh sieve topped with a fine cloth – If you have a fine mesh sieve in your kitchen, you can top it with a culinary cloth, like a cheese cloth or a nut milk bag, and use it to catch the coarse coffee grounds.
● Fine coffee strainer – If you’re an avid tea or regular coffee drinker, you may already own a fine mesh coffee strainer. Layer it over a mason jar or other large container and pour the cold brew over it, allowing the strainer to catch the grounds and filter the coffee.
Once you’ve separated the liquid from the grounds, you can mix your cold brew with any syrups, sweeteners, and milks or enjoy it as-is.