On a summer morning, there are few things cooler and more satisfying than a sip of iced coffee. Cold brew coffee is simple to make, but it does take a full 24 hours of steeping. It’s worth the wait though. Have a batch of this rocket fuel strength concentrate ready to drink, and you’ll be happy for the rest of the week.
Whether you like a light or dark roast, your cold brew should always be smooth and somewhat sweet. It’s not difficult to learn how to make cold brew coffee at home but it’s more complicated than pouring water over a batch of ground beans and forgetting about it. We’ve got some tips to improve your cold brew coffee making skills so you can pour the best cup every time.
Fresh, high-quality beans will give you the best cold brew result. If you’re thinking it’s a waste to use your super high-end, single-origin beans on cold brew you are mistaken. We’re not saying that you need to overspend but using your favorite beans that you like for hot coffee will yield you a great batch of cold brew as well.
Coarsely ground beans
Cold brew required a specific grind. Large, coarsely ground beans—something close to the consistency of sugar—will make your brew smooth and sweet. Don’t use pre-ground beans as these are usually too fine to use. Finely ground coffee will cause bitter coffee, which no one wants.
The right ratio
As an example, the ratio of good cold brew should be eight ounces of ground coffee to eight cups of water—which is one ounce of coffee per cup. Depending on the batch size you’re looking to make, you can scale this up or down easily and get the same tasty results.
The quality of the water in your cold brew will make a surprisingly big difference. Use water from a store-bought bottle, a filter on your sink or a filtered pitcher over water straight from your sink.
Cover and refrigerate the cold brew for at least 18 hours or up to 24 hours. If you rush this process, you’ll have weak or astringent coffee instead of the sweet caffeinated nectar you were after.
After your coffee has been properly steeped, it’s time once again test your patience. Rely on gravity to gently remove the cold brew from the grounds. You’ll need to strain the cold brew through a cheesecloth and a strainer. Avoid pressing or squeezing the coffee grounds, as that will extract bitter flavors.
Serving it up right
Cold brew coffee is made with more coffee grounds to water in order to pull out the best flavors. When you’re ready to drink, dilute it with water, creams or milks to cut the intensity. Not only does this keep your caffeine consumption at a reasonable level, but it also will mitigate the bitterness.
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