How to Make Cold Brewed Coffee

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cold brewed coffee

Elizabeth Karmel, AP

Cold brewed coffee is no more complicated than it sounds. Instead of running hot water through ground coffee, you use cold. And instead of straining the water through it quickly, you steep the grounds in it for longer, as much as 8 to 12 hours.

The result is a rich coffee concentrate that is worth the wait. You then dilute the concentrate to produce a cup of coffee that is light, yet rich and virtually acid-free. This is because the grounds steep slowly, which is a gentler extraction process than traditional brewing.

There are a few points to consider when making your perfect brew. For cold-brewed coffee, you must use coarsely ground coffee. If you use a fine grind, it will be difficult to strain the coffee and your iced coffee will be filled with sediment. I use a 4-to-1 ratio of water to coffee. It is easy to remember and makes a good strong coffee “concentrate,” but not too strong.

Another iced coffee tip — whenever you have leftover coffee (no matter how you make it), pour it into ice cube trays and freeze. Then when you make iced coffee, use those cubes instead regular ice. This way as the ice melts, your coffee just gets better rather than watered down.

A final note about sweeteners. Anyone who loves iced coffee surely has noticed that granulated sugar doesn’t dissolve well in cold beverages. So instead use simple syrup (sugar and water mixed at a 2-to-1 ratio, simmered, then cooled), agave syrup or even maple syrup.

Recipe: Cold Brewed Coffee

Yield: 8 servings.

This recipe walks you through prepping the iced coffee and gives you the proper proportions for each serving. Since cream and sweetener are such an individual matter, we leave those to you. Start to finish: 8 to 12 hours.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups spring water
  • 1 generous cup coarse ground coffee

Instructions

  1. In a glass jar slightly larger than 1 quart, combine the water and coffee. Stir well. Cover the jar and refrigerate overnight, or at least 8 to 12 hours.
  2. When ready to strain, uncover the jar and stir. Line a mesh strainer with several layers of cheesecloth, then set it over a large bowl. Pour the coffee mixture into the strainer and let the coffee concentrate drip into the pitcher. Depending on the size of your strainer, you may need to do this in batches. Discard the coffee grounds.
  3. Pour the coffee concentrate into a clean glass jar and refrigerate until ready to drink.
  4. To serve, fill tall glasses with ice and any desired sweetener or cream. Pour 1/2 cup of the coffee concentrate into each glass. Stir and serve immediately.
http://food.lohudblogs.com/2015/07/22/how-to-make-cold-brewed-coffee/

This post was originally published July 15, 2013. 

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About Author

Megan McCaffrey is a food writer for The Journal News and contributor to the Small Bites Blog. She has a degree in Digital Media from Fordham University and a fondness for good craft beer. She loves to bake, read cooking blogs and taste all the Lower Hudson Valley has to offer. Megan lives in Ridgefield, Connecticut with her husband and three kids.

1 Comment

  1. Standard cold brew, not concentrate with water added, can easliy be made in a French press. Just add the coffee and water, then stir and put in the fridge 12-24 hours. Slowly press down to strain the grinds, then pour. Super easy and tasty!

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