Did you know that a Cold Brew Coffee does not mean Iced or Cold Coffee?

I run into a lot of coffee drinkers who are not quite sure what Cold Brew actually is or they think it is a specialty iced coffee with a big price tag.

Cold Brew is just another way to brew coffee! What makes it “cold” is that heat is not used in the brewing process.

How is it made? Medium coarse to coarse ground coffee is steeped in room temperature water for a period of 12-24 hours. The grounds are strained using a fine mesh strainer, cheesecloth, or a filter.  That’s it!

Cold Brew coffee has both advantages and disadvantages. Let’s start with the good stuff!

  • Cold Brew Coffee can be made as a concentrate or ready to drink.
  • It can be served hot or cold.
  • It can be made ahead in large quantities and stored in the fridge for about two weeks. It’s great to make ahead and take on the boat or camping when you don’t want to brew on the go.
    It is low in acidity. This means that those of us who can’t tolerate the acidity usually found in coffee, can usually enjoy coffee that is brewed using a cold brew method.
    This is what they use to make Nitro Coffee! If you haven’t yet tried that delicious drink, you are in for a treat!
    You can make this today! You can buy fancy cold brewing equipment, but chances are you already have what you need in your kitchen.  You can use your French Press to make cold brew. We like to use mason jars and cheesecloth.

Alright, what’s the bad news….

Well, it does take time (no immediate gratification here), and space (both for brewing and for storing), and a good bit of coffee since you are usually making a large batch. The biggest drawback for me is that there isn’t that incredible aroma that you get with a hot brewing method.

Should you try Cold Brewing? I think it is well worth a try! I don’t think it will ever replace traditional brewing methods, but it is a nice option to add to your coffee making skill set!

Here’s a quick recipe (you can scale up or down as desired):
Ready to drink = 2 gallons of water to 1 pound of coffee
Concentrate = 1 gallon of water to 1 pound of coffee. You can dilute the concentrate with hot or cold water, ice cubes, milk, cream, ice cream or any combination! If you are using hot or cold water use equal parts concentrate and water. Dilutions will vary with ice, milk/cream.