Tall glass towers and giant plastic buckets are often seen behind the counters of coffee shops, holding gallons of delicious, smooth cold brew concentrate at a time. These contraptions lead many to believe that brewing cold brew coffee is too difficult or too complicated to attempt. This could not be further from the truth.
Cold brew coffee is one of the simplest things to make in the coffee world. There’s no technique for pouring hot water, no particular equipment you have to go looking for, and the brewing process is so forgiving that a child could do it with great results.
Part of what makes the process so simple is that you likely already have everything you need:
- A Vessel
- A Filter
When you put all these together, along with some patience, you end up with a delicious, refreshing drink.
Equipment and Ingredients
While any container that doesn’t taint the flavor of its contents will work, such as water vessel or a mason jar, the french press proves extremely effective and is not difficult to find if you don’t already own one.
The glass carafe of a french press is perfect for brewing over several hours, since it doesn’t give any flavor to the cold brew coffee. The fine metal filter makes the final step of separating the concentrate from the coffee grounds a breeze as well.
Any paper or cloth filter will work when it’s time to filter the mixture when the brewing is complete. Using a french press enables you to filter out most of the grounds in a matter of seconds, so when you pour the liquid through a second filter, it takes no time at all to separate the few remaining grounds.
For this guide, we’ll use a Hario V60 cone and one of its filters to finish out the process. Any coffee filter should work, as well as a cheesecloth or clean sock – if you’re desperate.
Don’t forget to use coffee when you want to make some cold brew. You won’t get far without it. For this method, a coarse grind (same as you would use for a french press) is ideal, since let the brew will take place over twelve hours. You can grind the coffee yourself, or we can send coffee to you at the perfect coarseness.
Using hard water to brew coffee often results in muddy flavors that lack sweetness. Unless you live in a lucky area that has naturally soft water without any noticeable flavors, use purified water.
The French Press Cold Brew Coffee Method
The hardest part about cold brewing coffee is the timing. Most recipes encourage ten to fifteen hours of brewing time. We’ll just stick with twelve. Make sure that you will be available to filter the coffee twelve hours from when you begin the brewing.
- Weight out 70 grams of coffee using a kitchen scale, grind it coarsely, and pour it into the french press.
2. Pour 500 millilitres (or 500g if you still have your scale out) of water over the coffee, saturating all the grounds.
3. After five minutes, carefully use a spoon or the french press filter to gently submerge the coffee grounds that have formed a crust at the surface of the water. This allows all the grounds to extract evenly for a balanced final cup. Set a timer for twelve hours.
4. When the brewing time has elapsed, plunge the french press metal filter and pour the liquid coffee through a second filter (paper or cloth) to give you a clean cold brew concentrate. You can store the concentrate in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Time to Drink
When you’re ready to have a refreshing glass of cold brew coffee, take some cold brew concentrate and cut it with an equal amount of water, then add ice. If the drink is too strong, add a little more water to balance it out. If it is not quite strong enough, pour in a bit more concentrate. You’re the ultimate judge of ideal strength for you.
While purchasing a glass of iced coffee at your favorite coffee shop is convenient, brewing it yourself is far more rewarding.
To give brewing cold brew coffee a try, grab a bag beans from Hook Coffee and we’ll send a fresh bag to your door. If you don’t have a grinder at home, select the “French Press” grind size and the brewing becomes even easier.