How to Rock Your Own Cold-Brew Coffee

For the Love of Coffee

It’s no secret.  I’m a coffeeholic.  I love my morning cup of joe with a passion amounting to ridiculousness.  My husband knows that the surest way to get me out of bed is to tell me that there is a fresh cup of coffee on the counter or a fresh pot brewing.  Some mornings, he’s nice enough to bring it to me while I’m still in bed, just to get me to wake up.

One of the best things about our marriage is his understanding of my coffee addiction.  Adam doesn’t like coffee, but he knows it’s basically my love language, so he has learned to brew coffee for me – a true labor of love for one who thinks the stuff is gross!  He also knows a trip to the local coffee shop is a great reward for me, and he never allows us to head out on a road trip unless I have a salted caramel latte or a cup of cold-brew with cream in hand.

Cold-Brew, the new “cool kid”

I first encountered cold-brew coffee at one of my favorite coffee shops in Pendleton, the Buckin’ Bean.  I stopped in to grab an iced latte with caramel to cool me off during a Park Play Day event with a hundred or so local kids, and the girl behind the counter asked if I wanted cold-brew.  Intrigued, I said “Sure!” and she handed me one of the best cups of cold coffee I’d ever had.  It was smooth, had no bitter after taste, and didn’t get watery as the ice melted in the hundred-degree heat.  I went home and started researching cold-brew right away.

I was intrigued to discover that the cold brewing method results in lower acidity.  Coffee “solubles,” the oils, chemical compounds, and acids that are extracted during the brewing process break down more quickly at high temperatures – meaning that the flavorful stuff comes out faster when heat is applied.  However, those compounds tend to degrade and oxidize in boiling water which is what gives coffee a sour, bitter flavor.  This doesn’t happen during the cold-brew process, resulting in coffee that is smooth and sweet, without the bite of regular coffee.  Cold-brew coffee also packs a higher caffeine content per cup than regular drip brewed coffee.

While doing my research, I came across several fancy contraptions for making cold-brew coffee.  Some of them cost more than an espresso machine!  Unwilling to spend a big chunk of money on coffee-brewing apparatus, I dug deeper into the wonders of Pinterest and discovered how easy it actually is to make your own cold brew!  After several experiments, I came up with a method that works great for me and creates a cup (or six) of cold-brew coffee that really rocks!

How To Rock Your Own Cold-Brew Coffee

You will need a few simple items that most everyone has laying around.  If you don’t, it will cost you around $20 to get what you need.

Cold-Brew Coffee Tutorial

I don’t have a favorite coffee, although I do enjoy Costa-Rican Tarrazu and Ethiopian Yirgachaffe.  While I love some of the more exotic roasts out there, I can’t always afford $20 a bag, so most days I’ll get the cheap stuff.  It still tastes good enough and is easier on the checking account!  I usually buy whole-bean coffee and grind it myself, but lately, I’ve been lacking the time and so I’ve been getting pre-ground coffee.  It definitely doesn’t taste quite as good, but it’s still coffee and it still works!

To make a rocking cold-brew, take your first container (Mason Jar), and put 6 to 8 scoops of coffee in it.  A scoop of coffee is officially 2 Tablespoons, but I like to round my scoops…I never measure anything precisely, so I’d say I probably put between 3/4 and 1 cup of grounds in my jar.

Next, add water.  I personally filter my tap water, but if you’re not too picky, go ahead and just fill it up!  The coffee grounds will foam a little, so let them settle and add a bit more if needed.  The water will immediately start taking on the brown color of coffee but will start out pretty pale.  Either stir the grounds and water together or put on a lid and give it a good shake.  Then set it on the counter and leave it for 12 to 24 hours.

Cold-Brew Coffee

After it’s brewed, you will have a rich, dark colored concentrate.  You might notice that the cold-brew does not have the same full scent of freshly brewed hot coffee, but don’t worry.  It still tastes amazing!

Next, line your strainer with the coffee filter.  Many tutorials I have found online for making cold-brew coffee call for using cheesecloth, or even a french press, but I find that these methods leave a cloudy residue and that’s no fun.  A coffee filter will strain out even the tiniest particles, so I would definitely recommend going this route.

Coffee filter for Cold-Brew Coffee

Now, set your lined strainer over your pitcher and SLOWLY start to pour the coffee into it.  Slow is key here – if you go too fast, your filter will move and possible overflow.  Pour in just enough coffee to fill the filter and let it strain through before adding more.

Cold-Brew Coffee Method

The muddy, grainy stuff from the jar is transformed into a lovely, dark, clear brew.

Cold-Brew Coffee Strainer

Once it’s all run through, keep adding more coffee until the jar is empty.  As the coffee filter gets fuller, you may need to let it sit for a while between adding more coffee.  Eventually, it will all be filtered and ready to enjoy!  Make sure to leave the filter and strainer in place until all the liquid coffee has filtered through so you don’t waste any – and so it doesn’t make a mess dripping across your kitchen on its way to the compost.  Just trust me on this one!

Filtered Coffee Grounds for Cold-Brew Coffee

That’s it!  You now have delicious, rich, non-acidic Cold-Brew Coffee!  It will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, but coffee never lasts that long when I’m around…

Cup of Cold-Brew Delicious

My favorite way to enjoy is in my giant mug from Pioneer Woman, with plenty of farm-fresh raw milk.  If I need an extra treat, I’ll add some homemade caramel sauce for an extra dose of amazing!  How do you like your cold-brew?  Let me know in the comments!

Cold Brew with Fresh Raw Milk


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