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Cold. Brew. Coffee. Have you tried it? We’re not talking iced coffee here — which is typically brewed hot and then allowed to cool and poured over ice before serving.
Cold brew coffee, as you can guess…is brewed cold. You can buy it at Starbucks and other barista-style coffee shops, but it’s pricey. That’s because it takes more coffee beans to brew and also takes a lot more time to make.
Today, I’m sharing tips to make cold brew coffee at home without a French Press, espresso machine, or other fancy equipment. This isn’t a comprehensive guide to making cold brew coffee with all the finer points. Rather it’s a quick “how-to” so you can make it for yourself and decide if you like it enough to invest in any gadgets or equipment.
All you really need is time, patience and a few simple items to make your own cold brew coffee at home.
What’s to Like About Cold Brew Coffee?
Cold brew coffee is smoother tasting and less acidic than hot brewed coffee. It also has more caffeine, although you can easily control the caffeine by diluting it. I use it as a concentrate, adding water, ice or milk in different ratios, depending on how much of a “jolt” I’m going for.
Keep in mind — I’m not a coffee aficionado by any means. But I have to say I’m really enjoying my simple homemade cold brew this summer. The best part, in my view, is the smoother taste and lower acidity.
Note: While you brew the coffee cold, you can definitely heat it and enjoy it hot. Cold brew coffee will stay fresh in your refrigerator for up to a week, which is another plus.
Are you ready to make your own cold brew coffee?
- Here’s what you’re going to need:
- Freshly-ground coffee beans of your choice;
- Filtered water (or tap/bottled water);
- A Mason or other type jar to steep the coffee;
- A fine mesh strainer; cheesecloth, coffee filter or the Mason jar brewer below;
- At least 12 hours and up to 24 hours to steep the ground coffee.
Download a quick guide here.
If you’ve read this far and are ready to give cold brewing at home a try, you can download a handy pdf instruction sheet with just the basics. [Note if you’re not already a subscriber…this will add you to the Honest + Simple email list. You can unsubscribe at any time and there’s no spam ever.]
Big Batches of Cold Brew Are Coming in Our House!
I started my cold brew coffee experiments just for fun. But in the meantime, “someone” in our household has been diagnosed with ulcers (is that TMI?) and needs to reduce acid in their diet. So cold brew it is!
Since it looks like we’ll be making larger batches in our house…I decided to browse Amazon for a way to reduce some of the mess of straining the coffee. [Side note…I used a fine mesh strainer to start with and it worked okay.]
When You’re Ready for Cold Brew Equipment
I’m not sure if a Mason jar with a filter basket, cover and handle really counts as “equipment.” But to simplify the brewing and straining process, I decided to purchase a one-quart Mason jar brewer on Amazon. It’s available in a two-quart size, too. It’s well-designed, really cute and does the job!
If you have one of those fancy French Press machines, you’re probably clicking away or shaking your head by now at my low-tech approach! I hope we can still be coffee friends…lol.
In the meantime, I’m off to explore recipes using cold brew coffee. The Mason jar brewer from Amazon comes with a recipe booklet and I’ve already tried Chocolate Coffee with cold brew and cacao nibs — yum! I’ll be sure to share my finds in the weeks ahead.
Now it’s your turn. Let me know in the comments if you’re already a fan of cold brew or if you’re intrigued enough to give it a try after reading this.