Fire Department Coffee
A glass of cold brew coffee

How To Make Cold Brew Coffee: 2 Freezin' Good Methods

November 18, 2020

Did you think that the sweet and refreshing cold brew that you tried last summer—and couldn’t stop thinking about ever since!—would only be available in the best third-wave cafés? Think again!

We have delightful news for you: we can teach you exactly how to make cold brew coffee at home with the most basic setup. 

How to make cold brew coffee that tastes as freezin’ good as the one in your local coffee shop

Just to clarify, cold brew isn’t the same as iced coffees. Those are made by adding cold milk and ice cubes to coffee that was brewed at hot temperatures, wheres cold brew coffee is a brewing technique that relies on cold water, time, and… well, your patience (find out all the cold brew vs iced coffee differences).

Even though it has higher caffeine levels, cold brews result in a slower release compared to hot-brewed coffee, so you won’t get any caffeine crash. It tastes sweeter, more mellow, and less acidic, too.

Method 1: Cold brew coffee recipe for big batches 

How to make cold brew coffee in batches

You’ll need coarse grounds (have you got a burr grinder for your coffee beans?), two large containers such as mason jars or a batch brewer, and either a cheesecloth or a drip-style paper filter.

1. Aim for a 1:5 coffee-to-water ratio

Cold brew coffee is much more concentrated than hot-brewed java, which usually involves a 1:15 ratio. You can either use a scale or a mug, adding five cups of cold water for every one cup of coffee to your mason jar or large container.

PRO TIP: for the most professional results, let your coffee grounds bloom by replacing around a third of it with hot water, pouring it onto them to cover them, and letting them degas for around 30 seconds before adding two-thirds of cold water.

2. Mix them and leave them for 15 hours

Stir the coffee and water mixture and place the container in the fridge. If it doesn’t fit, don’t worry: room temperature will do. Just make sure you find a cool spot. You then need to let it steep for at least 15 hours, so you’d better sleep, entertain yourself, or a bit of both.

3. Strain it 

After 15 hours, strain it into your second container using either the cheesecloth or the paper filter.

4. Add water, enjoy it, and store it

You can now add milk or water (aim for a 1:1 ratio) and ice cubes. Although it’s so refreshing that you’ll probably want to drink it all in one go, the good thing about batch brewing this coffee is that it can last up to 10 days in the fridge!

Method 2: Cold brew coffee recipe for French press

How to make cold brew coffee with a French press

If you’re not planning on quenching the thirst of your entire household, it’ll probably be more practical to brew it in smaller quantities. All you need for this method is your faithful French press and some coarse grounds!

1. Mix the coffee and water

Add 4oz of coarse grounds and 20oz of cold water (or do the bloom trick). If you have a smaller or bigger French press, just follow the usual 1:5 ratio. Don’t forget to stir it, but don’t press the plunger.

2. Let it steep overnight

This time, the container will definitely fit in your fridge. Easy! Let it sit for 14-16 hours.

3. Press the plunger and enjoy it

After pressing the plunger, transfer your cold brew coffee into a separate container if you’re not planning on drinking all of it in one go, follow the same 1:1 water ratio, and… enjoy it!  

Now, make sure you grab yourself the best coffee beans, and don’t forget to let us know which method you’re going to try!

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