Making cold brew coffee at home is so easy, and far cheaper than buying at coffee shops! Keep some in your fridge to have delicious iced coffee whenever the mood strikes.
For a short time during my preteen years, my oldest sister and I would drive to church separate from the rest of our family so that we could stop by the Starbucks across the street on our way.
At this point, I had just begun what I now refer to as my Babysitting Empire. (It was serious. I had business cards.) I had been able to make a pretty chunk of change from my neighborhood childcare monopoly, all of which I kept in a cash register in our basement. I imagined this was how all professionals stored their money. Each Sunday, I would go to my cash register and grab a five dollar bill to buy whatever kind of frappuccino my preteen self was into at the time.
If you've ever made a habit of regularly buying specialty drinks at Starbucks, you know this gets expensive quickly. One fateful morning I went to grab a five dollar bill and - to my surprise - there was nothing left in the register. So, I did what any sister would do and loudly and publicly accused the most culpable of my siblings of stealing my hard earned cash. The saga unfolded. Drama ensued. A lecture about income and expenses was given. Basic addition/subtraction was reviewed.
It was a hard lesson in personal finance, which left me totally paranoid of frequenting any coffee shop.
Learn from my mistakes. Don't break the bank this summer by buying all of the cold brew. Making your own is the easiest! And it's approximately one thousand times cheaper than buying it at a coffee shop.
Keep your cash in the cash register. Where it belongs.
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE COLD BREW
Cold brew differs from regular hot coffee in that it is brewed with cold or room temperature water. The coffee grounds and water are mixed together and left to steep for 8-24 hours. Then the grounds are filtered out and you're left with delicious cold brew. So simple!
If you've ever used regular hot coffee - even once it's cooled to room temperature - for iced coffee, you probably know that it is especially bitter once you put it over ice. Plus, the ice cubes used to chill it tend to overly dilute the flavor.
Cold brew is so popular for iced coffee because the brewing process prevents coffee from becoming overly bitter, and you can store it in your fridge so it's already cold!
BEST COFFEE GRIND FOR COLD BREW
Because the water and coffee grounds are in contact for so long when making cold brew coffee, you'll want a coarse grind. Anywhere from a French press to medium coarseness will work here. A finer grind might make your cold brew bitter, and will definitely be more difficult to filter out completely.
COLD BREW RECIPE RATIO
For cold brew - use 1 ounce coffee: 2 cups water.
For cold brew concentrate - use 1 ounce coffee : 1 cup water.
The recipe below is for regular cold brew that will be ready to use as-is once it's made. Just add any sweetener or creamer as desired.
If you're short on fridge space, or you don't have a container big enough to steep the full amount, you may want to consider making a cold brew concentrate. This uses half the amount of water for a super strong cold brew. When you're ready to serve, fill your glass halfway with the concentrate and the rest of the way with water.
Scale this recipe up or down using the ratios above!
A couple items that are especially useful to have for making cold brew.
- A large container with a lid for steeping. I love my glass KitcenAid mixing bowl for this! It has a lid, and the spout is particularly helpful when it comes time to filter the mixture.
- A container for storing. Any pitcher or carafe will do. I have a couple of these inexpensive carafes.
Cold brew will last up to a week in the fridge, but will be freshest in the first 5 days. Store it in your fridge so it stays super cold!
Homemade Cold Brew Coffee
- 4 ounces coarsely ground coffee (about 1 1/2 cups ground coffee)
- 8 cups room temperature water
- Combine coffee grounds and water in a large glass bowl. Stir to combine and cover. Steep at room temperature for 8-24 hours.Strain the mixture through a coffee filter into an airtight container and cover. Cold brew will keep in the fridge for a week, but is freshest within the first 5 days. Serve over ice with whatever creamer/sweetener you like!