24 June 2016

Cold Brew Coffee

Freshley made cold brew :)
With summer upon us, I've switched from hot tea in the morning to an iced, caffeinated beverage. One option I've been utilizing is to brew tea the night before and then chill it in the fridge overnight. I have also started making myself cold brew coffee as well, though. There are many benefits to cold brew for me. First of all, because it isn't brewed hot, you don't have to wait for it to cool and chill. Another benefit is that there is no smell of brewing coffee, which gives my husband a headache. It also stores and keeps much better than hot brewed coffee. I also think you get a stronger cup of coffee from less beans, so it's also cost efficient. I first tiptoed into the world of cold brew by buying the pre-made stuff from Trader Joe's, which is quite delicious. However, it is much cheaper to buy the beans and make it yourself. I found this to be a very helpful article for the how to: Cold Brew Coffee.

Cold Brew Coffee
This is more of a formula than a recipe strictly speaking. I like to make my cold brew in a quart sized Mason jar and then I store it in an old jam jar, that's just slightly smaller than that. So, the quantities I use are based on that. However, the formula for brewing I use is 1/4 cup of coffee grounds to 1 cup of water. So, if you're using a smaller or large container, just stick to that ratio.

1. Put 3/4 cup ground coffee (coarsely ground is best) and 3 cups of water in a large Mason jar. Stir a few times to make sure the water and coffee are incorporated. Leave in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours. I usually try to prep mine either the night before or in the morning when I use up my last batch of cold brew.

2. Strain the coffee into a clean, airtight jar for storage. I use a cone drip filter, but you can also use cheesecloth in a strainer or the like. Just make sure it's something that will filter out all the grounds. Store the concentrated coffee in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Mixed up and ready to drink!
3. To make a cup of iced coffee, you need to dilute your cold brew. I do 1 part coffee, 1 part milk, and 1 part water. Depending on how big my cup is and how much of a wake-up call I need, I usually do 1/2 to 3/4 a cup for each "part." Currently, I've been adding in a splash of creamer to sweeten and flavor my coffee, but I've also had great results with sugar and cinnamon. If you like a cup of black coffee, then simply do 1 part coffee to 2 parts water. Or, if you like really creamy coffee, you could always to 1 part coffee to 2 parts milk or the cream equivalent of your choosing. It's much more of an art than a science based on how you like your coffee. You may also find that you want more or less coffee to milk/water based on how strong you take your coffee.

And that's it! Super simple and ever so rewarding. If you're a fan of iced coffee, I highly recommend trying it at least once. Another pro-tip: Use reusable ice cubes in your coffee so they don't water it down. [I got mine at a discount store, but you can get them off Amazon. Here's a 30 pack of the kind I use for $10.99: Plastic Reusable Ice Cubes. I use them in all sorts of beverages that I don't want to get watered down- coffee, tea, smoothies, you name it!] If you don't have reusable ice cubes, then I recommend reducing the amount of water you put in initially to compensate for the melting ice cubes.

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