Cold-brew coffee is tasty, lower in acid and all in all (in my opinion anyway) easier to make at home with less washing up. So let’s dive into how to cold brew at home without having to buy the fancy coffee pots, cold brew bottles, or setups that look like they belong in a laboratory!
You Always Have a Choice – Hot Brew or Cold Brew
The hot brew is made using hot water, whereas cold brew uses cold water. Both have their benefits and will produce different results, so it’s worth experimenting to see which you prefer.
I usually stick to cold brew as I find it produces smoother results with less acid (and my stomach thanks me for it), oh and bonus – I can make several days’ worth in one go, less washing up too. The downside to cold brew is you need to remember to make it in advance – as the brewing process takes between 12 and 24 hours.
Both hot coffee and cold brew can be as low-tech as you like, they’re a bit fiddly but completely doable with just a jug, a filter, and something to hold the filter (I’d use a sieve or a heatproof funnel if you’ve got nothing else).
New to coffee? No problem – check out the Ultimate Guide for Coffee Newbies.
Coffee Filter Tips
Rule number one of making great tasting coffee using a coffee filter – paper filters taste gross (but only for the first bit of water through), so never put your coffee into a dry filter. Instead, put your filter into its holding device and filter some plain water through it – the water can be hot or cold just make sure that you throw it away before the coffee brew goes in – as I said, it tastes gross. If you don’t believe me, have a smell of it before you put it down the sink.
But if you don’t have a paper filter – don’t worry too much. You can use cheesecloth, a tea towel, or any other finely woven fabric – just make sure it’s clean and hasn’t been washed with strong detergents or fabric softeners – ick, floral flavoured coffee!
Making Cold Brew – the Minimal Tools Method
For cold brew, add the coffee grounds to the jug and pour cold water over it. I use 1 part coffee to 6 parts water – and I measure by eye. Once you’ve figured out what you like, then adjust it to your taste. Allow it to steep for 12-24 hours, although if it goes longer it’s not usually a problem (mine has gone to 48 hours before when I forgot it by accident).
Once it’s steeped, strain it through a fine filter into a clean jar (with a lid) and keep it in the fridge until needed – be careful, treat it like espresso! You can either use this cold brew straight away or store it in the fridge for a few days before using it. The longer you leave it in contact with the grounds (or the more grounds you put in), the stronger your coffee will become.
To Use Your Cold Brew
- Warm up your mug with hot water, then discard this water
- Add the equivilant of an espresso shot (or a double if you like it strong!)
- Top up with just boiled water.
Prefer to Watch Me Make Cold Brew?
So, will you be trying to make your own cold brew? Let me know in the comments.