How To Make Cold Brew Coffee
Smooth cold brew coffee is easier to make than you think. You can make cold brew coffee in a mason jar overnight for a refreshing caffeine boost the next day. Less acidic, sweet and addicting….you’ll be sipping this long into the cooler fall months.
Originally published in September 2016 and updated on July 3, 2019.
I’m sure you all have heard the cry from one of your friends……”Must.Have.Cold.Brew.” I see it pretty frequently from a couple of my Facebook friends and I always see it featured on Instagram. Those lucky dogs.
I say this because MOST of the time when I have the chance to stroll into my local Starbucks without my pint-sized boss in tow and order one venti cold brew with cream and sugar….they respond with “We’re all out today.” 🙁 Cue epic adult-sized tantrum.
I think I’ve scored a commercial cold brew coffee exactly 3 times this summer. THREE. And let me tell you this…it was enough to become seriously addicted.
Now, I don’t have to even leave my house to get my cold brew fix because I make it at home. And a big batch of it lasts me about a week….that’s even with two people tapping into it every single day.
It takes about 5 minutes to whip it up and then you have to wait…..a long time, like 12 hours….so planning your cold brew is crucial. You should get started today.
What is Cold Brew Coffee?
So, if you’ve been living under a rock these past five years and don’t know what Cold Brew Coffee is I’m here to help. Cold Brew is NOT Iced Coffee….iced coffee is simply coffee that’s been brewed in the normal fashion and then poured over ice.
Cold Brew Coffee is coffee that’s been “brewed” in the refrigerator overnight or for a period of time before the ground beans are strained and you’re left with a beautifully dark, homemade cold brew coffee concentrate that you can use whenever you get the craving.
Homemade Cold Brew Coffee is much less expensive than buying it at the coffee shop and it’s much less bitter than iced coffee.
My favorite things about cold brew are:
- It’s easy to make
- It’s super refreshing
- It’s ready to go when you are
- And you can heat it if you’re really in the mood for hot coffee
How to Make Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate
I begin by procuring a huge mason jar. This was harder than I thought it would be because…did you know it’s canning season? So, the huge jars were hard to find because everyone is stocking up for winter like a bunch of squirrels.
I succeeded in finding a 10 cup mason jar so I could make a double batch in one session.
The magic formula for me was one cup of coarsely ground coffee beans to 4 cups of water. I felt this was best in achieving a strong cold brew concentrate without it tasting overly bitter. Mix it all together in your mason jar and then lid up.
Allow the mixture, which will look pretty nasty, to steep on the counter overnight. The longer it steeps, the more flavorful the concentrate will be.
Line a fine mesh sieve with a paper towel and place the sieve over a large pot or bowl. Strain the concentrate and the return the strained concentrate back to the mason jar. Discard the grounds. Lid up the jar and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Basic Cold Brew Coffee Ratio
When making Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate you’ll need the perfect ratio of coffee ground to water to prevent bitterness and get the maximum amount of coffee flavor. If you feel the concentrate is too strong, you can dilute it when it’s finished brewing.
Here’s how to do it:
- Per one cup of water, you will need exactly 1 ounce (by weight) coursely ground coffee. I start with about 1/2 cup coffee beans which yields about 1 cup of ground coffee.
- When the coffee has brewed, there will be a little less concentrate left behind than the amount of water you started with because it gets absorbed into the coffee beans.
- If you have an extra large french press, you can start with 5 ounces of coffee grounds and 5 cups of coffee. You will end up with approximately 4 1/2 cups of concentrate.
When you’re ready to fix up a glass or mug of your homemade cold brew coffee, you’ll want to pour the perfect cold brew coffee ratio of concentrate and water. I like about one cup of concentrate to 1/2 cup of water but you can totally play with the ratio to make the perfect cup for yourself.
How to Strain Your Cold Brew
When your cold brew coffee concentrate is ready, you will need to strain it to remove the coffee grounds.
To do this you have a couple options:
- Mesh Sieve – My favorite way and the most practical in terms of tools needed, I line a fine mesh sieve with a paper towel and arrange over a glass jar or container. Pour the coffee concentrate through the sieve and discard the coffee grounds.
- Coffee Filters – Place the coffee filter in the mesh sieve and arrange over a glass jar or container. Pour the coffee concentrate through the filter and discard the coffee grounds. Depending on the thickness of the filter, this could take a little longer.
The BEST Coffee for Cold Brew Coffee
I like to buy whole beans and grind them myself so I can make the grind a bit more course than a regular coffee grounds. I also like to use a dark roast or other strong coffee bean to maximize the flavor.
Again, you can use whatever coffee beans you prefer or you can just add more water if you feel the flavor it too intense.
And you have one refreshing energy booster. It’s great for a crowd because you can make big batches and serve it with some pretty paper straws. It goes extremely well with these colorful canapés or this Pinterest favorite coffee cake!
And if you’re looking for more cold brew coffee recipes to feed your addiction check out THIS Vanilla Coconut Cold Brew, it’s quick and amazing….or this Coconut Mocha Iced Coffee….OR my new favorite, this one is drenched in Salted Caramel…check it out!
How To Make Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate
- 1 cup coarsely ground coffee beans I prefer a darker roast for deeper flavor
- 4 cups cold water
- 1 mason jar
- Place the coffee grounds and cold water in the mason jar.
- Seal and steep for 6-12 hours...or overnight.
- Strain through a fine mesh sieve lined with a paper towel.
- Return the concentrate back to the mason jar and discard the grounds.
- Refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks.
- To serve, stir one cup of concentrate with 1/2 a cup of water and serve over ice.