glass mug of cold brew coffee with cream and straw on a table

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee at Home

Author: David Kelley
glass mug of cold brew coffee with cream and a straw on a table
You can make a batch of cold brew coffee at home to enjoy it for up to a week.

There was a time when your only choice was a hot cup of coffee to jump-start and energize you for the day. But with the explosion of coffee shops and innovation in the coffee world, cold coffee has replaced hot coffee for many coffee enthusiasts. Even for those who still like to warm up in the morning with hot coffee, warm summer afternoons or evenings can be a great time to indulge your coffee senses with a cup of cold brew coffee made at home. It is one thing, however, to want to drink a good-tasting cold brew coffee, and another to be able to make it. Here is how to make cold coffee at home:

All That You Need

Start off by collecting the required ingredients and tools for your ‘coffee station’. You will need a vessel to brew your coffee in, a long spoon or a chopstick to stir with, a plastic wrap or lid, something to filter with, cold or room temperature filtered water, and freshly ground coffee beans.

There are several cold brew coffee makers on the market if you desire a specialty brewer. Most of these consist of a glass or plastic pitcher with a submersible filter basket. A French press can also substitute as a cool cold brew coffee maker, but you can do the job with any medium-sized glass container.

To achieve a high-quality cold brew with the best taste, do not purchase pre-ground coffee. Invest in good quality coffee beans instead and grind them yourself. A coarse grind is easier to filter after brewing and brings out a strong flavor that will be a treat for your taste buds. Alternately, you can buy coffee specially blended, roasted, and coarse-ground just for cold brew like our Two Bit Rush Coffee Roasters’ Cold Brew Blend. Just be sure your beans or ground coffee are fresh.

Take a cup of the coarse ground coffee and 4 to 5 cups of filtered water to produce 4 to 5 cups of cold brew coffee. If you want the quantity to be more or less, you can alter the amounts accordingly, but keep the ratio of coffee to water between to 1:4 and 1:5. Note: this is a much higher ratio of coffee-to-water than you are likely used to using for hot brewed coffee.

Mix and Stir

Put the coffee grounds into the glass container and slowly add water to it while constantly stirring it with a spoon. The infusion and mixing start right away and the color of the water begins changing.

Let it Steep While you Sleep

If you want your cold brew coffee ready in the morning, you need to start the steeping process at least the night before. Simply put on a cling wrap or lid over the glass container that has the water and ground coffee mixture in it and put it in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours. You can increase the duration as per your taste up to 24 or even 36 hours for a stronger brew. The time between dinner and breakfast is around the minimum time span for most people, so, if you can, place your cold brew in the refrigerator before bedtime your coffee should be ready sometime during the following day.

Filter the Grounds

You can use anything that does the job to filter your drink to do away with as many coffee grounds as possible. Netted cloths, market-available cone or flat-bottom coffee filters, or steel filter meshes are some good options for the job. Most of the dedicated cold brew makers have built-in filters. If you are using a French press, pushing on the plunger and pouring the coffee like normal shall do the trick. You can also use a funnel by placing the filter on its mouth so the drink goes directly into your cup or pitcher. Just remember to pour slowly to make sure not to make a mess of wet coffee grounds.

Serve or Store

Cold brew coffee made at home has a big advantage over hot brewed coffee in that it can be stored and kept fresh for days. Simply keep your cold brew in an air-tight container before refrigerating, and it will stay fresh for up to a week. This is a benefit with which hot coffee just cannot compete.

One thing to remember is that although many people enjoy it as it is, you might want to try it after diluting if you are making the recipe for the first time. The beverage you get out of this method is concentrated, resulting in a strong, bold taste with a fair amount of caffeine content. Simmply dilute your home made cold brew with cold water to your desired taste and strength.

Another advantage of diluting it is that you can dilute the mixture in hot water if you are in the mood for a warm coffee drink to obtain a great tasting cup of hot coffee. Just remember to never microwave it if you want to keep the integrity of coffee intact. Microwaves destroy the taste of cold brew coffee as they do of all the other kinds of coffee.

tall glass of cold brew coffee with milk swirling over ice on a table

Preparing cold coffee brew at home is easy and rewarding.

You can add milk, cream, and liquid sweeteners to your drink. However, granulated sweeteners and sugar do not mix and dissolve well in cold coffee so you might want to prepare sugary or sweet syrup to mix into your cold brew.

Cold brew coffee may be served over ice, but it is not the same thing as iced-coffee. Iced coffee is made by brewing hot coffee over ice. A great tip for either, if you do not want melting ice-cubes to dilute your cold coffee with more water, is to make coffee ice-cubes instead by freezing some of your cold brew ahead of time in ice-cube trays.

Sauces, marinades, and baked items which call for the use of coffee can benefit from the addition of this cold brew recipe as it lacks much of the bitterness of hot brew. The recipe also offers the taste of espresso without the need for a fancy machine, and it allows you to mix up delicious coffee cocktails with ease.

Everyone has their own tastes and preferences, but cold brew coffee holds additional benefits over hot coffee. It is less acidic as it is heat which extracts acid-producing oils from coffee beans. This may be of great benefit to coffee lovers who suffer from acid reflux and other stomach problems. You can make a big batch of cold brew coffee at home to enjoy fresh coffee for up to a week, and cold brew is naturally sweeter-tasting than hot coffee as it is heat which extracts bitterness as well as the acid from the beans.

Now that you know how to make cold brew coffee at home, your hot morning beverage just might find it has some competition.

Be sure to shop Two Bit Rush Coffee Roasters' coffees. We offer a selection of single origin coffees, curated blends, and flavored coffees. Roasted daily and delivered fresh.

Button link to Two Bit Rush Coffee Roasters coffee collection page

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