Cold brew took the coffee world by storm when it started gaining popularity over the past few years. It felt almost any coffee shop or restaurant you walked into they had it. Even outside the US where cold coffee drinks are less popular started serving it.

One of the main benefits of cold brew coffee, besides the fact that it’s very caffeinated, is that the recipe is straightforward but also versatile. 

Lucky for you cold brew coffee is very easy to make at home and we’ll show you exactly how.

What Is Cold Brew?

Cold brew coffee is a type of coffee that’s made by steeping coffee grounds in a refrigerator over a long period of time, typically 24 hours. It is typically much more concentrated and caffeinated than drip or french press.

Cold brew is usually served over ice with milk or cream. Although, due the subdued bitter flavor, you can drink cold brew coffee straight.

The process to make cold brew:

First, you’ll need your ingredients. All you need:

  • Coffee beans
  • Water

Yes, that’s it.

How about a fancy coffee machine? Nope. All you’ll need is a container, chinois strainer, and cheesecloth. 

  • 1. Grind your coffee beans on the coarsest setting. They should be chunky, similar to the texture and size of salt.
  • 2. Place your coffee grounds in a container and add water. Stir until the coffee is thoroughly moistened.
  • 3. Let your coffee steep for 18 to 24 hours.
  • 4. The next day, strain your mixture through a chinois and cheesecloth. Don’t press down on the coffee while it is straining.
  • 5. At this point, your coffee is ready to drink! If there is some silt leftover put the concentrate in the refrigerator until the silt settles at the bottom of your container.
  • 6. Pour your cold brew concentrate into another container, leaving the silt behind.
  • 7. Add water until you have a 1:1 ratio of clean water to coffee.

You’ll notice I didn’t mention a proportion of coffee to water. That’s because it depends on personal preference. The less water you use the stronger your concentrate will be. The best bet is lean on the side of stronger because you can always balance it with water later.

Takeaway Tips for Making Cold Brew Coffee

Here are some helpful tips as you adjust the ratio of water to coffee.

  • If you want to create cold brew concentrate, just skip adding water. Be warned, though, that concentrate is very strong and slightly bitter, so it’s best to dilute it with water, milk, or cream.
  • For a stronger brew, use a higher ratio of coffee grounds to water.
  • If you prefer a less concentrated cold brew, add more water in the last step.
  • Cold brew coffee and cold brew concentrate are also excellent bases for making coffee smoothies, frappes, and iced coffee due to its concentrated flavor and caffeine level.

Whether you’re looking to add a new item to your morning routine or always crave an ice cold drink this will be for you.

Play around with the recipe and you will surely find the right mix for you.

Differences Between Drip Coffee and Cold Brew

There are several main distinctions between cold brew and drip coffee:

  • Cold brew coffee is stronger than regular coffee. Cold brew coffee is, on average, much more potent and caffeinated than drip or french press coffee. Plus, because the coffee is already cold, you don’t have to worry about diluting it with ice.
  • It has a smooth texture. When making hot coffee, the boiling water burns the beans, which gives the brew an acidic and bitter flavor. Cold brew coffee steeps at room temperature or in the refrigerator, so you get a rich and smooth taste without the bitterness.
  • Cold brew coffee recipes are versatile. If you want to create a strong coffee concentrate, you can easily add more coffee grounds to your cold brew recipe. If you want to tone down the strength, you can use fewer grounds.
  • You can make it in bulk ahead of time. Because cold brew coffee takes so long to make, you can easily prepare one big batch and portion it out as necessary. One batch of cold brew coffee can stay in the fridge for two weeks.

Although stronger the taste differece for cold brew is very noticable. Many drinkers describe it as smooth and less bitter than cold drip and on first sip most notice the same.