So, I’ve wanted to post this recipe for a while so here I am posting my recipe for Cold Brew Coffee.Today is part one, the actual coffee concentrate recipe, tomorrow I’ll post part two for how to make an individual cup from the concentrate.
Now, this isn’t the only recipe out there and I’m not claiming that it’s the best — but it’s pretty darn good if you ask me. So, what is Cold Brew you might ask? Well, it’s basically a cold coffee concentrate. Cold brew coffee is great because the coffee never gets heated during the brewing process, meaning you pretty much don’t have to worry about over brewing and getting bitter, burnt coffee. Also, the strength is easily adjusted to personal preference. The amount of coffee I make lasts a week, but when it’s really hot it’s not uncommon for us to have to make cold brew 2-3 times a week. Between me and my mother, we can really consume some cold brew.
Now, I was going to do this really nice step by step photo tutorial ala Pioneer Woman, however, somebody had already started a fresh batch of coffee and I didn’t want to wait to post the recipe. I took some pictures, but not as extensive as I would have liked. If you want to see some step by step photos I recommend you check out The Pioneer Woman’s post about cold brew coffee — her recipe makes a much larger amount than mine does, but she has awesome photos, so it you’re a visual person you might like to check it out. (Also, you should try her version with the sweetened condensed milk — sounds weird but it is oh so good)
So, here’s what you’re going to need.
1 Quart Jar w/Lid — you’ll need another container about the same size when you strain the coffee grounds from the concentrate
1 – 1 1/3 Cups Ground Coffee
1 Quart Water
- Picking your container. Okay, first things first, you need something to hold the coffee in. Here at my house, that’s a 1 Quart mason jar with a lid. This particular recipe makes just under a quart of cold brew. Just about anything with a lid will do, as long as it holds at least a quart of liquid.
- Picking your coffee. The beauty of this is that you can pretty much use any ground coffee that you like. Pick something that tastes good to you. So, if you like the iced coffee at Starbucks I would suggest using Starbucks ground coffee. Lately, we’ve been using the cheap coffee from Aldi’s. (Sorry, some of my pictures were a little blurry — caffeine does that to you). For cheap coffee it tastes pretty good and for the price we are getting a lot of value out of this can considering the price we would have to pay per cup to purchase iced coffee. So, don’t be afraid to use the cheap stuff if you have to, if it tastes okay to you, than it’s going to be fine. You can also use espresso, it makes a coffee concentrate that is to die for, but you definitely don’t need to use as much to get the same punch. Note: You can also use Decaf if you want the taste without the buzz.
- Measure out your coffee. I would suggest starting with 1 cup of coffee grounds, unless you know that a) your coffee is on the mild side or b) you know you want a really strong concentrate. In either of those cases, I would go with 1 1/2-1/3 cups of ground coffee. Just remember, the darker the roast the richer the concentrate, so if you’re using a dark roast coffee or espresso, I would suggest starting with 1 cup and adjusting later if this isn’t strong enough for you.
- Throw it all together. Another beautiful thing about this is that you literally dump everything in the same container and let it do it’s thing. Dump your coffee grounds into the jar and add water! My jar won’t quite hold the whole 1 quart of water, because the grounds take up a portion of my capacity, but if you use a slightly larger container get as close to 1 quart of water in there as you can. Now, stick the lid on there and shake it up a little to distribute the grounds a little so their not all at the top of the jar.
- Let it set overnight.That’s it, just let it sit. You can leave it out on the counter to set if you like, however, my mom and I let ours set in the refrigerator. That way, when we strain it the next morning it’s already cold and we can use it right then. We are not patient when it comes to our coffee — we want it now.
- Strain the concentrate.So, after setting overnight you should have a beautiful dark rich coffee-colored liquid. However, it’s going to have lots of coffee grounds hanging out and unless you like the gritty feeling you’re going to want to strain it. This is where the other container comes into play because you’re going to need a separate container to strain the groundless liquid into. There isn’t a right or wrong way to strain the grounds away, just so long as you’re happy with the level of ungroundiness (I just made that up — I is smart). You can use a strainer, cheese cloth, etc. You might have to strain it more than once to get all of the grounds out. We actually use a Melitta Pour-Over Coffee Maker to strain ours. One nice thing about this is that it only requires one straining because you use a coffee filter. We have a large one with an actual coffee pot that comes with it, it’s really handy. The smaller ones are actually pretty cheap — however, you don’t need anything fancy to strain your coffee, just do what works for you.
- Refrigerate cold brew.You’ll want to refrigerate your cold brew to store it. I’m not sure how long this technically can keep, we never have any more than a week so I’m not sure what the shelf life is.
And that’s pretty much it! For real, it’s really easy. After all is said and done, you should have this:
This has already had a couple of cups made from it, but you should end up with roughly a quart of cold brew coffee. From here you can make all manner of coffee drinks, tomorrow I’ll post about how I use it for the iced coffee that I posted yesterday.
I’m not entirely sure how many drinks you can get out of 1 quart. I’ve never counted, but the amount of drinks you get out will depend on how you dilute the concentrate. My mom and I, we don’t dilute the concentrate at all, however, if you do dilute it you will get much more out of the quart than if you don’t dilute. Now, when I say we don’t dilute it, we’re not drinking this straight out of shot glasses, we just don’t add water to it before we use it for our coffee drinks. It’s all about personal preference.
So there we go, the recipe that my family uses to make our Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate, which gets turned into Iced Coffee. If you have any questions, or have a tip or suggestion about making coffee concentrate, feel free to comment and let us know! Like I said, this isn’t the only method out there.