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Are you Team Sweet Tea or Team Cold Brew? Why not both? You’re going to love making your own cold brew coffee, and you’ll love the money you save even more!
Okay friends, this is definitely our easiest recipe, so give it a read if this is your first time making cold brew coffee. We’ll go through the equipment you need, the coffee to water ratio, and a few fun ways to serve your brew!
Benefit of Cold Brew
For about 20 years, I had enjoyed making myself a small hot coffee every morning. But starting a couple years ago, I began experiencing a lot of stomach pain shortly after I’d drink my coffee. This was pretty worrisome, but as a coffee lover, I didn’t want to give up my daily cup, so I researched what else I could do.
There were a couple of options: Buy smooth blend coffee beans, or make the coffee with the cold brewing technique. (Or better yet, do both, as I did.) Coffee brewed in cold water will release far less acid from the coffee bean into your drink. And it worked! No more stomach pain.
Remember that iced coffee does not give you this same benefit. Iced coffee is typically hot coffee that is chilled and then poured over ice.
Cold Brew Equipment
I tend to have too many things on my counters and in my fridge, so I bought a small mason jar style cold brew maker. It has a metal mesh coffee filter that inserts into the mouth of the jar. It’s easy to hand wash, and I also pop all the parts in the dishwasher occasionally.
I probably would’ve bought a much bigger cold brew coffee maker if I had the space. I love the idea of this gallon-size model with spigot. This way, you only have to prepare your coffee every several days. It uses the same simple brewing technique with mesh metal filter. And it can just sit on a counter if it doesn’t fit in your fridge.
My other piece of equipment is a a hand-held milk frother to mix my coffee into the ice and creamer. And I sometimes use the frother in cream to make a cold foam topping.
You can make a 6 dollar coffee at home for pennies!
Choosing the Right Ground Coffee
You’ll find that there is coffee ground specifically for making cold brew. The beans are ground a bit more coarsely. It tends to be a more expensive option, and you don’t need to use this. Just make sure you’re not using a very fine ground variety, as some might escape through the mesh filter. I’ve used “regular” ground coffee, and it works fine in the cold brew maker.
Remember to choose a smooth blend if coffee gives you stomach issues. Smooth blend + cold brewing = happy tummy!
Process to Make the Cold Brew Coffee
To make your batch of cold brew, first fill your metal filter with coffee. You’ll want a coffee ratio of 1/4 – 1/2 cup of ground coffee for every 3 cups of water used. I stay on the low side with 1/4 cup of grounds; this is not overly strong but is quite flavorful if you brew it long enough. But you may want to use a 1/2 cup or more if you like your coffee strong! Adjust the amount for your preference.
Fill your mason jar or other container with water. Then put the cap on and just let it sit on the counter. Don’t pop it in the fridge; let it brew at room temp. It needs to sit for at least 12 hours, or up to 24, at room temperature.
Making a Specialty Coffee
Drinking coffee black or with a little cream and sweeter is always great for any day. I use the shelf-stable non-dairy Coffee Mate that comes in the pump bottle. (I was extremely surprised by how good it is.) But here are a few ideas for all you fancy coffee lovers.
- Replace your cream and sugar with eggnog. This is a wonderful holiday season option. (Works great for hot coffee too!) Be sure to top it with some nutmeg.
- For a Vietnamese style coffee, replace your cream and sweetener with condensed milk. Delicious!
- Make a cold foam topping with a hand-held milk frother. Sprinkle on some cinnamon or pumpkin spice mix for a festive flavor.
- For a weekend treat, add Irish Cream to your black cold brewed coffee. It may be cold, but it’ll still warm you right up in the winter!
I Forgot to Make My Cold Brew, Now What?
Oops, you didn’t start brewing your coffee last night, and now it’s morning and you’re out of luck. This is the WORST. Head over to your local coffee shop.
If you’re not a fan of the 12-hour wait time, you can buy a machine to make your cold brew whenever you want, in about 15 minutes. (It uses a “water tornado” technique, not hot water.)
Or, just keep some spare cold brews on hand. I keep a stash of Fire Department Coffee cans just for this occasion! These are also good for on-the-go.
Cold brew coffee concentrate is another product that can be purchased. You can find it at your local grocery store as an alternative to making your own.
We hope you’ll enjoy our cold brew coffee recipe!
Cold Brew Coffee
- 1 cold brew maker
- 1/2 cup ground coffee somewhat coarsely ground
- 3 cups water
- Pour 1/2 cup (or desired amount) of ground coffee beans into the metal mesh filter of your cold brew maker.
- Insert the filter into the cold brew maker.
- Fill the cold brew maker with cold water.
- Let the coffee sit and brew at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours.
- Pour over ice, add any cream and sweetener if desired, and enjoy!