With warmer weather upon us, the time is ripe for transitioning from our morning mug of hot coffee to a refreshing cold brew! As cold brew beverages continue to gain popularity, most local coffee shops have started adding them to the menu. However, what about those of us who prefer to stay home? Those of us who want to roll out of bed and have that deliciously cold coffee ready in the kitchen? Don’t worry, fellow cold brew lovers, our time has come. Making cold brew at home is actually quite simple! It just takes a bit more preparation than your usual hot brew. We’ve curated the perfect guide to making your own at-home cold brews. Just follow these steps and you’ll be sipping your ice-cold beverage in no time.
How to Make Cold Brew Coffee at Home
Although there are some fancy cold brew-making machines on the market, they aren’t particularly necessary. Making homemade cold brew is a simple process and doesn’t require much more than a bean grinder, but even that isn’t a must-have.
Step #1: Grind
Fresh coffee beans are the best option for your cold brew, as they offer a more robust flavor and an overall better taste. Plus, cold brews require coarsely ground coffee.
If you have a coffee grinder, grind your beans on the coarsest setting, also known as the French Press setting. If you don’t have a coffee grinder at home, K Brew will happily grind purchased coffee beans for you. (We can also suggest the best beans for a cold brew!) Tell us the beans are to be used for cold brews and we will know to grind them on the coarsest setting.
Step #2: Add Water
Once your beans are coarsely ground, it’s time to add water! You’ll want to find the right ratio for the amount of coffee you’re making. A general rule of thumb is the 1:4 ratio, meaning for every one part of coffee beans, add four parts of water. For most scenarios, start with 1 cup of coffee beans (which becomes about ½ cup after grinding) combined with 4 cups of water. However, everybody’s coffee preferences are different, and you should experiment over time, depending on whether you like stronger or weaker coffee.
Next, you’ll want to find the right container that will hold it all. Many people find mason jars to be very reliable for cold brews, but if you have a French Press handy, that will be more convenient in the long run (when it’s time to strain it!). Once the water and coffee are combined, making sure all the grounds are covered, then the jar can be sealed or covered with plastic wrap and placed in the refrigerator. It will need to steep for 12 – 24 hours. Again, the amount of time steeped is up to the coffee drinker’s preference; a longer steep time will yield a stronger, more robust flavor.
Step #3: Strain It
Once the coffee has steeped the desired amount, it’s time to strain it. There are several ways to do this, but the most important aspect is that whatever you’re using is fine enough to keep any of the grounds from passing through. If you’ve decided to use a French Press, then this part should be very easy! Simply push down the strainer as you typically would when making regular coffee. If you are looking for some great brewing tools like a French Press, check out our online store!
If you don’t have the French Press option, then you can use any fine mesh strainer or coffee filter. Some people have also been known to use cheesecloths or tea towels. Use whatever is accessible to you at the time—the important thing is just to filter out the grounds. Don’t forget to check out our blog article on all the ways you can use those used coffee grounds!
Step #4: Store Your Brew
Once you’ve strained out the grounds, then you’ve got what you need to have fresh cold brew all week long—or however long it lasts. This is technically considered “cold brew concentrate,” and is typically then dilated on a per cup basis, either with more water or your favorite milk or creamer.
When you’re ready to enjoy your cold brew, pour some over ice, add any cream or sugar, stir it up, and voila! Fresh cold brew at home.
Jazzing Up Your Cold Brew
There are a few things you could add to your cold brew to mix it up a bit, including various flavors and levels of sweetness.
If you have any flavorings on-hand, you can always add a few pumps of your favorites. Start small (one pump) and add from there. You can also add a spoonful of vanilla bean paste or a cinnamon stick, depending on what flavor you’re craving.
For natural sweetness, consider alternatives like honey or maple syrup. Just a pinch will take some of the bitterness out of the cold brew and add a bit of flavor.
If you prefer your cold brew stronger, then you probably want to dilute it as little as possible. If this is the case, then you can freeze leftover coffee in ice cube trays! When you’re ready for your cold brew, use these coffee ice cubes instead of regular ones.
Extra Cold Brew Tips
The cold brew-making process is so simple, but here are a few additional tips to keep in mind.
- Cold brews are typically less acidic than regular coffee, meaning you may enjoy a darker roasted bean than you usually prefer. Whereas a dark roast may taste too strong for a regular cup of joe, it may be just right in a smooth cold brew.
- If you want an even stronger cold brew, change up your ratio. Consider 1:3 or even 1:2 and use the resulting brew strictly as a concentrate, diluting with water or coffee when you’re actually ready to drink it.
- If you oversteep and the cold brew tastes too acidic, simply add more water to balance it out.
- Since the steeping process takes so long, remember to start the cold brew process well before you want to enjoy the beverage. This is a good process to add to your weekly meal-prep or planning.
Your Best Cold Brew
As with any good coffee, the secret starts with the bean quality. Here at K Brew, we have some incredibly high-quality options. You can purchase beans at any of our locations or online!
Not feeling like doing the process yourself? Visit us at any of our four locations and grab a refreshing cold brew. While you’re here, we’ll be happy to help you select the best coffee and answer any questions you have about making your own cold brew at home.