Summer is finally here and that means bring on the cold brew coffee drinks! With so many different cold brew coffee recipes out there, we tried the most interesting and tweaked them to perfection.
Basic Technique for Brewing Iced Coffee
Cold brewed coffee is coffee that is brewed without hot water, i.e. with cold water. Hot water extracts more acidic flavor compounds and bitterness so using a cold brewing technique produces a drink that is more smooth and less bitter. Currently, cold brew is all the rage and you can buy it in so many different forms. Making cold brew coffee is no great secret, nor does it require the ninja-level skills of a trained barista in order to master. You don’t even need much special equipment beyond a large container for making the coffee and a strainer.
Here’s how it works:
Grind the coffee coarsely, which you can do yourself at home or wherever you buy the beans. Combine the grounds with water. Start with one cup of beans steeped in four cups of water. Give it a good shake and let it sit for a few minutes. Give it a good shake again and put it in your fridge then let it steep overnight, 12-18 hours. When you’re ready to strain it, first pour it through a fine mesh strainer and then run it through a coffee filter. You now have a cold brew concentrate! Use 2 tablespoons per 12 ounces. You can mix it with hot water, cold water, or milk.
The Process – During this time, the coffee slowly infuses into the water, creating a strong, concentrated brew. Strain the next morning, and you’re ready to go.
The benefit of cold brew coffee. The slow infusion pulls all the great coffee flavor from the beans (and, yes, the caffeine – not to worry!), but leaves behind most of the compounds that can make coffee taste bitter and sour. Cold brewed coffee is incredibly smooth and almost sweet-tasting. Perfect for iced coffee.
You can also adjust the concentration of your cold brew coffee, making it stronger or less strong to suit your taste. Start with one cup of beans steeped in four cups of water. This will make a fairly concentrated coffee on its own, but it’s perfect for pouring over ice or mixing with milk – or both. If that ratio of beans to water isn’t quite to your taste, adjust it up or down until you hit the perfect balance for you.
Storage. You can make a big batch over the weekend, starting it on Saturday or Sunday night and straining it the next morning, and then stash it in the fridge for an easy coffee fix all week long. Simply pour the cold brew coffee into a glass and enjoy!