Over the past year or so the cold brew style of making iced coffee has exploded around the United States, and for good reason. Cold brew is unmistakably less bitter than hot brewed iced coffee and has a simple, velvety and slightly sweeter taste. As we inch our way into the warmer months of the year, now is the time to perfect your cold brew iced coffee.
By Molly Nugent
The only down-side of cold brew coffee, really, has been the cost. Most times coffee shops will charge extra for an iced coffee, and even more for cold brew. Your daily caffeine kick has gone from $2.00 per day to $3.50. That means your summertime spending on coffee, assuming you buy one cup o’ cold brew joe five times a week for three months, is $210. Think about what you could have bought with that extra money instead. Many cold brew lovers have done the math on their own and come to the same conclusion: Why not do a cold brew at home and save money? The answer is that there is no reason not to.
1. Try a light espresso roast.
While you can cold brew any old coffee lying around your house, selecting a light espresso roast will bring out the cleanest flavors. Dark roasts tend to bring out more bitter flavors, which is not usually what you want in a cold brew.
2. Grind the beans right before you brew them.
As with all coffee and espresso, the more recently the beans have been ground, the better the cold brew will taste. Make sure to have them coarsely ground as well as it will produce a clear liquid. Finely ground beans will make the coffee much cloudier.
3. Invest in a reusable filter.
This won’t make the coffee taste any different, but if you plan on making a lot of cold brew throughout the summer, there’s no reason not to invest in a reusable filter. Nut Milk Bags are great and can be found for cheap at Target or Online.
4. Steep the coffee in a sealed container.
This will reduce oxidation and make your coffee taste better. Ball jars, water pitchers or French presses will work just fine. The ratio should be 1 part coffee to 4.5 parts water.
5. Let the coffee steep for at least 12 hours.
Suppress the urge to drink the coffee early. It will be well worth the wait if you let it steep for at least twelve hours. More, if you like the coffee stronger. The end result is a concentrated brew that you add ice or milk to.
Whether you’re drinking the coffee on your way to work or relaxing and sharing with friends, be proud of what you’ve made (and how much you saved doing it!).
If you’re new to cold brew, here is a recipe and a video to watch for a more detailed explanation of the process.
Food, travel and art are three of Molly's biggest passions and she loves to combine them whenever she can. Whether it's coming up with a new and exciting recipe to try out in the kitchen or taking photographs, Molly is most happy being creative and eating well.