How to Make Cold Brew Coffee at Home
One of the hottest trends in coffee right now is Cold Brew Coffee. Surely you have been seeing a lot more of it in coffee shops and in the refrigerator case of your local grocery store lately. But have you wondered what it is, and how it differs from your typical iced coffee?
Here at Charleston Coffee Roasters, we make our own cold brew that is super smooth, rich, and flavorful. We package it in a handy glass Mason jar that has just enough room on top if you want to add some cream. So you can just open the jar, adorn it however you like, and start drinking. Our Cold Brew is only available at select Whole Foods markets in the Southeast region. Or you can make Cold Brew at home. It’s pretty simple, just follow our how-to below.
WHAT BEANS SHOULD I USE?
You can use any of your favorite Charleston Coffee Roasters coffees to make Cold Brew. You might especially enjoy one of our lighter roasts for Cold Brew, but really any of our coffees will do.
GRIND IT RIGHT
For Cold Brew, we recommend using grounds that are a fairly coarse grind, similar to how you would grind your beans for the French Press method. Use a burr grinder to freshly grind the beans if you can, so that the grinds are fairly even in size. You are looking for the grinds to be about the texture of coarse sand.
KNOW YOUR RATIO
With Cold Brew, you are really making a coffee concentrate. You can then use the concentrate as-is, but typically you will want to dilute it with a little more water or ice when ready to drink it.
So your coffee ratio will be a little stronger than normal. We suggest starting with this ratio: 1 cup of grounds for 1 quart (ie, 4 cups) of cold water. Start with this ratio, and then if you like it stronger or weaker, you can adjust as you like.
LESS STRAIN WHEN STRAINING
The coffee and the water are going to sit together in a jar (preferably glass) for at least 12 hours, and up to 24 hours. You can just combine the coffee grounds and the water in the jar all together, and then strain out the grounds with a fine-mesh filter or paper coffee filter once the time is up. Just be sure to double strain it if you don’t want the “fines” (aka, the grit from coffee grounds) in your cup.
Or you can make it easier on yourself, and put the coffee grounds into an unbleached cotton or muslin pouch with a drawstring at the top. This makes for super easy straining when your Cold Brew is ready, since you just lift the pouch out of the jar, let the coffee drip back into the jar, and then you are ready to go. The added bonus about using a brew pouch is that it is reusable, and eco-friendly too. Madesco makes a great sized Reusable Cold Brew Coffee Filter Pouch that you can get on Amazon.
STEP BY STEP
Now that we have everything ready, here is the step-by-step method for making great Cold Brew coffee at home:
- Measure out 1 cup of medium ground Charleston Coffee Roasters coffee, and put into a brew pouch.
Or you can place the grounds directly into a glass quart jar, if not using a pouch.
- Carefully push the bag into a glass quart jar, and open the top of the pouch so that it covers the opening of the jar.
- Slowly pour 4 cups of water into the pouch sitting in the jar, making sure that you wet all of the grounds. Do not pour too fast or the grounds will float and overflow the jar.
If you are not using a pouch, just pour the water into the jar and stir to combine with the grounds. Close the jar.
- Once all of the water has been poured through the grounds, pull the drawstring closed and close the jar.
- Place the jar on the counter or in the refrigerator, and let sit at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours. The longer you wait, the stronger the coffee will be. You might want to experiment to find what you like.
- When ready, open the jar and remove the pouch, allowing the coffee to drip back into the jar.
If not using the pouch, strain out the grounds using a fine-mesh filter or a paper coffee filter. Strain twice if desired.
- To serve, you can drink the coffee concentrate as-is. Or you can dilute it with ice and/or water, cream or milk, or with your favorite spirit to make a coffee cocktail!
*Note: If using the brew pouch, it is easy to clean and reuse. Just turn the bag inside out to dump out the grounds. Save the grounds for compost or to use in your garden. Rinse the pouch and let dry, and you are ready for your next batch of Cold Brew!