How do you make cold brew coffee at home? What is the best way to make cold brew coffee at home? Wondering how to make cold brew coffee at home without fancy equipment? You have come to the right place.
In this article, we will show you how to make barista-quality cold brew coffee at home. If you read and follow the tips we are going to share in this article, you will make your own delicious cold brew coffee at home than the local coffee you have been drinking.
The best part?
You don’t need fancy equipment. It’s also cheaper because you just need to follow the tips below.
In the end, we have included the most common questions concerning brewing delicious cold drip coffee.
Let’s get started.
Why do we prefer cold brew coffee than iced coffee?
Cold brew coffee is the preferred brewing method by many coffee lovers these days than iced coffee. Besides, cold brew coffee has plenty of benefits than iced coffee. Well, keep reading to know why we feel cold brew coffee is good for your health.
Impressive benefits of cold brew coffee
- Cold brew coffee is a mood booster due to the caffeine content it contains.
- It is less acidic than iced coffee.
- It can lower your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
- Cold brew coffee can improve your metabolism.
- It does not cause stomach problems, unlike hot coffee.
- You can make cold brew coffee and drink it for up to 10 days.
- If you like, you can make nitro cold brew coffee from cold brew coffee.
- …and it’s easier to make cold brew. You don’t need fancy equipment.
Overall, when compared to hot coffee or iced coffee, cold brew coffee can be easily made at home. Besides, you don’t need sophisticated machines. Also, it offers impressive health benefits.
How cold brew differs with other brewing methods
Many coffee lovers, when they read about the impressive benefits of cold brew, think that it’s just hyped to sell it to them. But that’s not true.
Here is the thing: To brew a good cup of coffee, many factors come into play.
First all, coffee beans pack plenty of different chemical compounds such as Furaneol and Malic acid.
Coffee brewing is the act of mining these chemical compounds and dissolving them in the water to get the cup of coffee we usually enjoy.
During the brewing process, Time and Temperature are the two important factors to observe. That’s where cold brew differs completely with other brewing methods.
When brewing hot coffee, we heat the water to boil, and this speeds up the extraction of these compounds. The higher temperature degrades the acids and oils and hence causing a quick reaction. In the end, the coffee becomes acidic and bitter.
On the other hand, the cold brew method does not involve high temperatures or hot/boiling water. You just need to give it a long prep time. And that’s why cold brew coffee has a smooth and mellow flavor because the oils and acids will not dissolve in water but the sweeter flavor compounds will.
Of course, you will need a strong coffee grounds-to-water ratio but cold brew coffee isn’t bitter or harsh. That’s why cold brew is becoming popular among coffee addicts. Besides, you can add more grounds if you want a strong cup of cold brew yet it won’t taste bitter but if you do that with hot coffee, you can see the bitterness even without putting a drop on your tongue.
What is cold brew coffee?
You are reading about how to make cold brew coffee at home but maybe you are wondering what the heck is cold brew coffee. We will define it for you. One may think it’s a similar type of coffee to iced coffee because of the term “cold” brew but it isn’t.
To brew iced coffee, you boil water, cool it, and then pour it in a container with ice cubes. Usually, iced coffee is brewed using the pour-over method.
With cold brew, we don’t use hot water. In this case, you steep cold brew coffee grounds in cold water (about 70 to 35 degrees Fahrenheit) for around 2 to 20 hours. Once ready, you sieve the grounds and you enjoy your coffee. As we have said, cold brew coffee is less acidic and can’t cause problems on your stomach.
What coffee should you use for cold brew?
While baristas may tell you coffee is all about your taste and preference, sometimes your preferred coffee may not be suitable for brewing cold brew.
The process of making delicious coffee is sometimes complex- you can’t compare it with making fine wine because there are many factors to observe to get the perfect cup of coffee you want. For instance, you will want to know:
- The coffee type
- How and where the coffee was ground and picked
- How it was processed and roasted
- The method of storing it
- …And many other factors
When it comes to cold brewing, you don’t have to scratch your head thinking about any of those factors. You will just need some cold water and patience.
Now let’s take a look at some few factors regarding cold brew.
The roast aspect
You can get confused when choosing the perfect roast for cold brew. Should you use light, medium or dark roast?
Ideally, what matters is what you prefer since there is no perfect coffee for cold brew.
However, we prefer to use dark roast to make cold brew at home because of the following reasons:
First, dark roast gives your cold brew coffee dark and rich flavors. Secondly, dark roasts aren’t costly. Light roasts are the most costly. You don’t have to spend much money on the light roasts yet you can get fruity flavors with dark roasts. Besides, a lighter roast will require a longer extraction time.
Although it’s crucial to choose the ideal roast for cold brew, you also don’t want to go wrong with the size of the grind.
Sure, you could use the best coffee beans, but if you get the wrong grind size, you won’t enjoy the flavor you are looking for.
So what’s the best grind size for cold brew? You need medium to coarse grinds. In case you are wondering how coarse grounds look like, they feel like beach sand between your fingers. That’s the best grind size since they will allow faster dripping than fine grind. Fine grounds sometimes produce bitter and harsh flavors due to over extraction.
Which’s better: Ground cold brew coffee grinds yourself or buy pre-ground coffee beans?
So you want to make cold brew coffee at home but you aren’t sure whether to use pre-ground coffee beans or ground them yourself.
Don’t get confused any longer.
Ideally, what the process of making coffee entails is to extract the coffee deliciousness from the beans.
In the past, people could boil the whole roasted coffee bean while stirring it. However, this could make the coffee bitter and very caffeinated. But this has changed over time.
There are good sides and bad sides when it comes to buying pre-ground coffee beans or grinding them yourself.
The good sides of grinding your own coffee beans
Grinding your own coffee gives you control over various things, although you must use the right coffee grinder. The coffee grinder you choose should give you consistent and even grounds to allow for optimum extraction of the flavor you are looking for.
In this case, you can use a burr grinder or a mill grinder. Your grinder should allow you to choose the grind size as well. As mentioned earlier, with cold brew, you need medium to coarse grinds as fine grinds will cause over extraction.
The bad sides of grinding your own beans
Being a coffee addict is costly than you may think. Well, don’t get discouraged.
Even if you prefer making coffee at home, you will have to spend money, especially if you decide to grind your own coffee beans. Whole coffee beans are costly than ground coffee. The quality is also different. Besides, it’s easier to notice bad and good coffee beans when you buy whole beans.
Also, if you decide to grind your own coffee grounds, you must make sure you use them before they become stale. You only have two to three weeks. Past that date, your coffee beans will no longer be usable. This is another bad side of buying whole beans.
Another bad side of grinding your own coffee beans is that it takes some time and can be messy. You will have to grind little grinds at a time and once you are done with grinding, you will have to clean the grinder- just imagine how much time you could waste.
The good sides of pre-ground coffee
Pre-ground coffee is convenient. If you are always on the go, pre-ground coffee beans would make the best option for you.
You can also carry pre-ground beans wherever you want to make coffee whenever you want it. However, if you decide to use pre-ground coffee beans, make sure you don’t buy them in bulk.
The bad sides of pre-ground coffee beans
Yes, pre-ground coffee beans are convenient; that we can’t dispute; but they aren’t without their drawbacks. And one of the bad sides of pre-ground beans is that they aren’t going to give you a fresh cup of joe as you could get when you grind your own coffee. 10 minutes after grinding, coffee beans start to lose their aroma.
Besides, the oils can absorb the smell around them that means you can end up with coffee that tastes strangely. Also, important gases such as CO2 can get lost when not stored properly.
Another enemy of ground beans is moisture. Moisture can dissolve the essential oils hence resulting in low quality coffee. You need to make sure there is no moisture around the place you store your ground beans.
So which coffee is the best coffee for cold brew?
Up to this far, the decision is upon you. If you want convenience, choose pre-ground beans. Note that making cold brew coffee takes some time so you have all the time to ground your own coffee and enjoy the rich flavors it offers.
Helpful tips on how to make cold brew coffee at home
If you have decided to make cold brew coffee at home, use these tips to have the best results.
- Add ice cubes- If you want your cold brew coffee to taste delicious, don’t dilute the flavor with water instead, make some coffee ice cubes and drop them inside your drink.
- Use medium to coarse grounds- Grind your coffee beans coarsely. Grinding your coffee beans finely could lead to over extraction which makes coffee taste bitter and harsh.
- Instead of tap water, use filtered water- Filtered water gives your cold brew coffee a sweeter taste than tap water.
- Allow the grounds to steep for at least 12 hours- You need to allow the coffee grounds sometime to permeate the water with all the flavors and if the grinds are too coarse, extend the steeping time even more. Just make sure you don’t extend the steeping time as doing so will make your coffee bitter and harsh.
It’s not a secret, up to this far, you’re sold; now let’s make some cold brew coffee.
How to Make Cold Brew at Home
- Enough amounts of coffee beans- depending on the amount of coffee you want to make (make sure you use medium to coarse ground coffee beans).
- Enough amount of water- depending on the amount of coffee you want to make (use filtered water instead of tap water).
Things you’ll use
- A mason jar or a French Press
- A paper coffee filter or cheesecloth- you can use a fine-mesh sieve instead.
The cold brew coffee making process
- Grind your coffee to medium or coarse grind. Here at Tech Coffee World, we recommend a ratio of1:5 with your water and coffee. We use 1 cup of coarsely grinds and 5 cups of filtered water.
- Add the grinds and the filtered water to your mason jar or French Press- You can use any large container you have but just make sure you stir the mixture thoroughly.
- Make sure coffee is fully saturated with cold filtered water and then steep for 12 to 15 hours in your fridge or at room temperature. Make sure your French press is completely covered to prevent the coffee from absorbing the aromas around it. Keep the plunger aside for later use if you are using a French Press.
- Plunge the French Press as usual. If you are using a mason jar or any other container, drain your brew through cheesecloth or paper coffee filter as you would normally do with drip coffee.
- Mix your brew with milk or water and enjoy it.
It’s that simple. No fancy equipment. No complex brewing process.
Here are the most common questions regarding how to make cold brew coffee at home.
Is cold brew coffee different from iced coffee?
Yes, it is! With iced coffee, you use hot water then serve it cold. You pour hot coffee over ice or refrigerate it for some hours before you drink it.
With cold brew, you steep coarsely grounds in the fridge or at room temperature for around 12 hours.
Cold brew coffee tastes smooth than iced coffee. It is also less acidic than hot coffee.
What’s the ideal ratio of coffee to water for cold brew?
As a rule, your coffee to water ratio should be 1:5. That is 1 cup of coffee to 5 cups of water- the size of a 32 ounce French Press. But depending on the size of the container you are steeping your cold brew coffee in or personal taste; you can double or triple the quantities.
Which coffee beans are best for cold brew?
This may depend entirely on personal taste. There are no perfect coffee beans for cold brew. However, you should avoid buying cheap beans. Just make sure you choose coffee beans with unique flavor qualities.
Use these tips to choose the right beans for cold brew.
- Use African coffee beans if you want a fruity flavor
- Use any beans from central or South America if you are going to mix your cold brew with milk or other additives.
Why is cold brew coffee so expensive?
Compared to hot or iced coffee, cold brew is less acidic and less bitter. Cold brew coffee has a mellow taste and rich in flavor. However, if you are going to drink cold brew at the coffee shop, you will buy it at a higher price than hot or iced coffee. Besides, it requires ample time to make cold brew. But you can cut down the cost by making yours at home.
Is cold brew stronger than regular coffee?
Although cold brew is made with a higher ratio of coffee to water it still contains less caffeine than regular coffee. That means it is less strong than regular coffee.
Should I make cold brew with filtered or tap water?
For better quality coffee, whether cold brew, hot coffee, iced coffee or any other regular coffee, use filtered water.
Can you use hot water to make cold brew?
Hot water will extract coffee much quickly and so it is not suitable for making cold brew. The good thing about cold brewing is that the process does not result in any chemical changes.
How long is too long to steep cold brew?
As a general rule, you should steep cold brew for at least 12 to 15 hours. But depending on the coffee, you can steep for around 18 to 20 hours. Just make sure to don’t extend steeping time past 20 hours as this will give you coffee with funky flavors.
Is cold brew coffee good for weight loss?
Well, although cold brew coffee is good to cut down that excess tummy, you need to follow it with a workout. Some people think they can lose weight by just drinking cold brew. It doesn’t happen that way. You must do some exercise as you drink it.
Can you make cold brew without a cold brewer?
If you want to take this brewing method a notch higher, you can use a cold brew coffee maker. But if you are on a tight budget, you can make cold brew at home without fancy equipment by following this guide.
What’s the special thing about cold brew coffee?
Cold brew is so special in many ways. A study by Toddy suggests that cold brew is 67 percent less acidic than iced or hot coffee. Cold brew coffee is also sweeter, smoother, and less bitter because the grounds are exposed to room temperatures.
Does cold brew coffee go bad?
Yes, cold brew can last for around 10 days if stored in the refrigerator but will start to taste funky once it stays longer than that. Ideally, aim to drink cold brew coffee within 7 days of making it.
What grind size should you use for cold brew?
Use medium to coarse grind for optimal extraction as finer grinds will result in over extraction and bitter coffee.
You can use a coffee grinder but if you don’t have one, you can grind your beans at the local coffee shop.
Also, if you have a manual grinder, make sure it can allow you to grind your coffee beans coarsely.
Let’s Cold Brew It!
So there you have it. If you have been wondering how to make cold brew coffee at home, we hope after reading this article, you can make it easily.
You don’t need fancy equipment to make cold brew coffee at home. You don’t have to be an expert to do it either. You just need to follow the guidelines we have highlighted in this article and you are good to enjoy a great-tasting cup of cold brew coffee.