How to Make Cold Brew Coffee at Home
Wow it’s hot out there. Well, we shouldn’t really be complaining. We complain all winter that it’s too cold. Too wet. Too windy. Too yuck.
But wow it’s hot.
So hot in fact that we were supposed to publish this blog last week but our marketing manager melted along with her laptop. Don’t worry, we recovered the document and are finally ready to tell you exactly how to make cold brew coffee at home.
Your Guide to Making a Cold Brew
First things first, what exactly is cold brew and why is it different from iced coffee? Cold brew is freshly brewed coffee that uses cold water to extract the flavours and caffeine over a long time. The end result is a much less acidic brew, with a naturally sweeter taste. It’s different from iced coffee, which just involves pouring an espresso shot over iced milk (add syrup if you’re basic).
For the past few years, we’ve seen high street coffee chains getting into cold brew. It’s becoming more popular, and renowned for its much more delicate taste. One of the reasons we love a cold brew is it allows us to taste the different tasting notes from our house lighter roast. This Mexican single origin has a spicy undertone which you’d certainly miss if you drowned it in milk.
With that being said, some of our favourite videos to watch are people slow pouring milk over cold brew coffee. Absolute heaven. Feel free to tag us in any videos you see that are like this, we’re obsessed with coffee content. You are allowed to put milk in your cold brew, and we won’t judge you for it.
If you haven’t tried a cold brew yet, you’ll be pleased to hear it’s easy to make at home. All you’re going to need is coffee – you need a coarse grind so it will be much easier for you to get whole bean coffee and grind it at home. You also need a One Brew or something that you can make cold brew coffee in. At £26.99, you can’t really go wrong with the One Brew but the balls are in your court.
Once you’ve got all the kit you need, follow the simple steps below to start your brew. We’d obviously love to see what you come up with so send us any pictures, recipes or videos that you can! We’re also open to guest posters at the moment – got some exciting coffee-related news to share? Pitch your story idea to Beth by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now then, let’s find out just how easy it is to make cold brew coffee at home.
Grind Your Coffee
We all know coffee tastes better when you grind fresh at home, and a cold brew is no exception. In fact, when it comes to making cold brew you need a fairly coarse grind. As you’re unlikely to be using coffee ground this coarsely for anything else, you’re pretty much always going to need to grind fresh.
This is when an electric coffee grinder is really useful. The Core All Grind has 40 different grind settings, grinding your freshly roasted coffee as fine as pressurised portafilter espresso all the way up to cold brew coarse. If you’re serious about your coffee set-up, you need a decent bean grinder.
How much coffee you grind depends on what you’re using to make your cold brew. A quick search on Amazon shows you hundreds of different options.
Now, as much as we’d all love to throw £300+ away at a cold brew maker that gets shipped from China in 3 – 5 weeks I’m pleased to let you know that there is an easier solution. The One Brew by Barista & Co (yes, by us lol) can make cold brew.
It can also make a hot brew, loose leaf tea, or iced tea. I’m biased, but this is my favourite bit of kit.
Let’s say you’re making a cold brew in your One Brew, you want to grind around 30g of coffee beans. This coffee maker is single serve so if you’re using a different bit of kit then you’ll need to work out the ratio. On average, for cold brew you’re looking at around 30g of coffee to 250g of water.
Choose Your Coffee Maker
As you now know, you can make cold brew really easily with the One Brew. This blog post isn’t even trying to sell it to you. If I’m being honest, I don’t know how to make a fresh cold brew without a One Brew.
With that being said, you’re allowed to use a different coffee maker if you want. That’s fine, I guess. These instructions might not be a perfect fit for you, but hopefully they’ll point you in the right direction.
For argument’s sake, we’re going to say you’ve already chosen your coffee maker (the One Brew of course). And because you’re very well behaved, you didn’t skip step 1 and we’re all currently sitting here looking at some coarsely ground coffee.
The next step is to scoop your ground coffee into the glass beaker. I use a coffee measuring spoon to estimate 15g at a time – you’ll need 2 of these for a cold brew. If you don’t have a scoop spoon you should get a fairly accurate measurement using heaped tablespoons.
If you’re not using a One Brew, your cold brew maker should have come with instructions that will give you more information about the coffee-to-water ratio. Always remember to increase the amount of coffee when using a cold brewing method. It takes a little bit longer to extract all the flavours.
Don’t roll your eyes at me like that. This step isn’t as black and white as you’d think.
Usually, when you make a fresh coffee you want to boil the water and then leave it for a minute or so to drop to the perfect temperature. But you don’t do that when it comes to cold brew. No way hosay.
Do you have filtered water at the ready? Nice and cold? Crisp? Fresh?
Pour it into your One Brew. No fancy circle motions are required, just stop pouring when you reach the line. Once you’ve filled up the glass beaker, just slide the filter lid back on. Make sure the silicone seals
Okay that step wasn’t too complicated, but we do always get asked whether or not you use hot water to make a cold brew. The answer is no. You should only use cold water to make cold brew coffee at home.
Put it in the Fridge
Somewhere in your kitchen is a big appliance, probably white, that will make a quiet whirring sound if you pay enough attention. I need you to walk over to it and open the door. This is your fridge. It’s used to keep things (like coffee) cold.
You might need to shuffle a few bits around if you’re anything like me. Make some space on one of the shelves. Then all you have to do is put your One Brew, full of cold water and coarse ground coffee, into the fridge.
Close the door and walk away. Leave your cold brew to do its thing for around 12 hours or overnight so it’s fresh for the morning. It’s entirely up to you what you do while you wait. Maybe take a look at our coffee accessories sale?
Pour Slow Over Ice
Did you wait the full 12 hours like I suggested? Your cold brew is at ultimate extraction, packed with flavour and ready to be poured over ice. Start with your favourite glass and fill to the brim with ice. Personally, I always choose cubed but there’s something to be said for crushed ice in a cold brew.
Now head over to the fridge where you left your cold brew brewing. Take out the One Brew and start pouring slowly into the glass. Ideally, the pour will last about 30 seconds. If you notice the filter start clogging, you’re pouring too fast.
This is also the time to decide whether you’d like to add milk or not. I like my cold brew black as the longer extraction time creates a natural sweetness. But milk’s good too. I’ve yet to try a cold brew that I didn’t like…
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Cold Brew Coffee
It is a strange concept. And you've got a lot of questions. So let's break them down with this cold brew FAQ.
What is the Difference Between a Cold Brew and Iced Coffee?
A common mistake is people thinking that cold brew coffee and iced coffee are the same thing. They are actually very different.
One of the biggest differences between a cold brew and iced coffee is the brewing time. An iced coffee is brewed within minutes whilst a cold brew is steeped for 12-24 hours in the fridge. This lengthened brewing time is why cold brew coffee is more full-bodied, smooth, and aromatic compared to a that of an iced coffee which is medium-bodied and well-balanced.
Another big difference between the two popular coffee drinks is the brewing method. An iced coffee is brewed as hot coffee and poured over iced, whilst a cold brew is brewed by steeping cold or at room temperature.
A cold brew can last up for two weeks whilst an iced coffee should be consumed within the day of making it.
For these reasons, a cold brew it often more expensive than an iced coffee.
Does Cold Brew Have More Caffeine?
Interestingly, yes, a cold brew coffee contains 22.8% more caffeine than a drip brew. This is due to the slow extraction / brewing time creating a more concentrated beverage compared to your usual hot cup of coffee. If you’re a caffeine addict, the cold brew is certainly for you!
What Grind Size is Best to Make a Cold Brew Coffee?
The recommended grind size for a cold brew is medium to coarse grind. As with every coffee, whole beans that are ground fresh with an electric grinder such as the Core All Grind, make for the best tasting coffee.
The grind for a cold brew should not be finer than the texture of coarse sea salt and it should have the feel of beach sand when rubbed between your fingers.
This coarse grind allows for an easier and faster filtration process which allows for maximum extraction of the sweetness of the coffee, meaning the cold brew has a much less bitter taste.
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