My rant of the week: people, stop overpaying for cold brew coffee!
There are a lot of different methods for brewing iced coffee, and I find this particular process to be the most consistently delicious. Another huge perk – it requires the least amount of thinking and mathematical conversions as compared to others I have seen. I don’t want to think, I just want to drink! You can Tweet that.
For those of you coffee hounds like me that typically butcher your attempts at a cold brew (iced) coffee at home by making it way too watery, this post is for you. Even though the dog days of summer are dwindling at this stage of the year, I love a refreshing cup of iced coffee no matter what the outside temperature is.
Here is a really easy method where you can keep iced coffee in a container on hand in the fridge for when you decide to spice things up and go for some high quality chilled caffeine. So when it’s time for a pick me up, stop drinking those energy drinks that are chalk full of nasty ingredients, stop overpaying for iced coffee out, and start brewing it yourself at home! Cue the Outkast chorus: “What’s cooler than being cool? ICE COLD!” So let’s cold brew some coffee.
1 cup coarse ground organic coffee beans (I favor a dark roast for my cold brew, but have fun with it and try different types of beans and roasts – the sky is the limit on different types of coffee to cold brew!)
4 cups filtered water
1 coffee filter (paper or metal/mesh)
2 glass containers/jars: large enough to let the coffee brew in refrigerator, and another one to pour the filtered mix to keep on hand in your fridge
- Take 1 cup of whole organic coffee beans of your choosing and grind on the coarsest setting of your coffee grinder. I highly recommend this one. (Side note: I am a coffee nerd, and, rather than measuring out one cup, I actually weigh my beans on a kitchen scale and have discovered that I really like the flavor of 94 grams of whole beans for making iced coffee. The reason for the measuring madness is that once you find a “coffee strength” that you really like, you can have a consistently delicious brew (hot or cold) by measuring your beans by weight versus just “eye balling” it in a measuring cup. There is no rhyme or reason to 94 grams, just my personal preference.)
- Pour the coarse ground coffee into your glass container/jar. Glass is important as I don’t want my coffee to leach any of those harmful chemicals from a plastic jar.
- Pour 4 cups of filtered water into the glass container over the coarse ground coffee beans
- Cover with a lid and put the concoction in the refrigerator for 12 hours and allow the cold brew magic to work
- After 12 hours, take this cold sludgy mix of coarse ground coffee beans and water and pour the mix into a filter over the other glass container/jar. You can use whatever type of paper filter you traditionally use for making coffee (e.g. a Chemex filter). I bought one of these metal/mesh ones because it is more sustainable than paper and because I use to make French press coffee. However, if you decide to use paper filters, consider composting your remains as it makes awesome compost for your garden or lawn.
- Now that you have your coffee/water mix that has gone through the filter, this new jar will serve as your “on hand” iced coffee to store in your refrigerator (mine typically lasts for about 5-6 “refills” throughout the week depending on pour sizes).
- Add ice to a cup or travel mug (you can play around with how much ice you like, but I usually fill half the cup with ice)
- Pour your mix into the cup of ice and fill half way, and then fill the other half with filtered water
- Stir, add a dash of whole organic milk or other sweeteners if you choose, and ENJOY!
These nine steps serve as the brewing foundation. One reason my interest in coffee has grown so much over the past few years is that brewing coffee is an art when you take the time to do it right versus the quick fix insta-cup variety. There are so many variables that can affect the flavor and taste of your coffee experience: the grind “coarseness” setting on the grinder, type of water, temperature of the water, amount of water, type of bean, type of roast, length of brewing, etc. It is almost statistically impossible to brew two different cups of coffee that taste exactly the same.
And for me, since brewing your own coffee takes a little time, it makes the whole process an experience, each and every time you do it. It is a great opportunity to carve out 5 – 10 minutes of your day to clear your mind before the gauntlet of to-do lists suck away your soul. That said, once you get this cold brewing method down, have fun, play around with tweaking the recipe to make it your own and please share some of your cold brew experiences with me!