How to Make Cold Brew Coffee | Coffee Gator

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee (A Beginner’s Guide)

on July 19, 2021
Cream being poured in cold brew coffee

There’s something at the forefront of every coffee connoisseur’s mind right now: cold brew. What is it? How does one make it? WHY is it so popular? Well, as someone who recently jumped onto the cold brew caravan, let me tell you why: It’s amazing. Simple as that. When I wake up 10 minutes before I’m supposed to start work and slowly crawl my way over to my desk like the emaciated drone I am, my refreshing and satisfying cold brew is waiting in the fridge for me. It’s honestly the only thing that keeps me functioning at half capacity between 9am-12pm. 


With all of the buzz you’re certainly hearing about this gloriously cool beverage, I’m sure you’re wondering how to make cold brew coffee yourself. Take my hand, my caffeinated companion, and with this cold brew guide I will show you how to make your own delicious DIY cold brew. 

 

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee At Home

Though making DIY cold brew coffee is slightly more complicated than just brewing regular coffee, it’s absolutely worth every minute. This hidden gem of a drink packs a lot of punch in one smooth sip. Now, there are a couple things we have to get into before we start: 

What Coffee to Use for a Cold Brew

There are so many coffee flavors to choose from, so this really depends on the flavor profile you’re looking for. Here are my recommendations for the best coffees to cold brew (in my experience): 

  • Ethiopia Suke Quto: This African coffee is perfect for those looking for a fruitier taste.

  • Guatemala Finca El Injerto Bourbon: This chocolatey coffee is great for a sweeter taste. 

  • House Blend: This blend will give you a basic well-rounded coffee that will go well with milk & sugar. You can’t go wrong here! 

Now that we have our coffee, it’s time to get into the nitty gritty: 

What is the Best Way to Cold Brew Coffee? 

Excellent question! There are several cold brew methods, but I’ve found one sure-fire way to get an excellent pour, every time. I’ll start with the cold brew recipe first, because it’s the easy part. Making the coffee gets a little time consuming. But stay with me and be patient - before you know it, you’ll know how to make cold brew coffee in no time at all! 

Like the turbulence of life, the best way to prepare the best cold brew coffee recipe is also the simplest. Funny how life works.

Basic Recipe

Buckle up. Here it is. 
  1. Ground coffee
  2. Water
  3. Milk & sugar (optional, obviously.)

That’s it! Simple, right? Now that that’s over, time to get serious. 

Preparation Instructions

  • If you haven’t already, grind the coffee. You’re going to want a coarse grind for the best results

  • Combine the grounds with filtered water.

  • Steep the coffee overnight, or between 12-24 hours. This is the time consuming part. But quality takes time, baby! While it’s steeping, the coffee slowly infuses with the water, which creates a strong, concentrated, and super smooth cold brew. 

  • Strain the coffee grounds out, so you don’t get a mouthful of coffee goo. A regular coffee filter and rubber band over a pitcher is a good way to do this if you don’t have any equipment! 

  • Pour your coffee over some ice. Add milk and sugar, if you want. I always do, because black coffee is too intense for my baby taste buds. 

 

What is the ratio of coffee to water for cold brew? 

Ratios are confusing because it always depends how much you’re making. Or maybe I’m just really bad at math, I’m not sure. Either way, the accepted coffee to water ratio for easy cold brew coffee is 12 ounces of coffee beans per 64 ounces of water. If that seems like too much, you can always cut it in half and see how that feels. 

Helpful Equipment

The following equipment will help take your coffee from bland to barista-level. 

  • Coffee Canister: This is essential for keeping your grounds in a safe, sleek, and stylish storage container. This sealed canister with a CO2-release valve is perfect for keeping your grounds fresh, and includes a measuring scoop! 
  • Coffee Bean Scale: Never second guess yourself or your measurements. This coffee bean scale is perfect for getting a perfect cold brew every time. 
  • Cold Brew Coffee Maker: This pitcher is the perfect combo for easier brewing. It’s a stylish pitcher with an included filter, measuring scoop, spout, leak proof lid, heat resistant glass, and a funnel for no mess stress! 

 

How to Use a Cold Brew Coffee Maker

The steps for how to use a cold brew pitcher are quite simple! 

  • Weigh out your coffee.
  • Add your grounds to the filter inside the pitcher. 
  • Gradually pour in the water.
  • Brew at room temperature for 14-16 hours (for amazing coffee, go a full 24 hours!)
  • Pour it over ice and add whatever you like! 

If you’re still a little confused, no problem. I’ve added some common questions with answers to help you out! 

Common Questions

Are you supposed to dilute cold brew? 

Yes. This is essential for truly enjoying the experience! Every coffee company dilutes their cold brew to negate the high caffeine levels in the already concentrated beverage. Be sure to dilute your cold brew with water or milk! 


How long should cold brew steep in the fridge? 

12 to 24 hours. I know I mentioned this earlier, but it’s important to reiterate how important it is to steep the coffee before drinking it. You want the full effects, right? The longer you steep, the better it tastes. I wouldn’t go past 24 hours though - if you wait too long, the grounds and bitterness will come back and give you a woody or dusty taste. Not fun.


Should you stir cold brew while steeping? 

Yes, but only once or twice. Stir it a bit right after you pour the water in, to make sure that the water covers all the grounds. Don’t stir in the middle of the process, as it can cause the grounds to become compressed, preventing it from releasing that delicious flavor. 


Can I reuse cold brew grounds? 

Yes! You can reuse them once, but after that you might not get enough caffeine or flavor out of them. The first batch will always be highly caffeinated, but you can still get a good chunk of caffeine and flavor if you steep them a second time. 

And now you know how to make cold brew coffee! You’re on your way to a cup of cold brew that will make you feel like you can run a marathon. Now you can enjoy your energizing, smooth cold brew and wonder why you ever drank hot coffee in the first place! 


Happy sipping! 


Contributing Writer: Aurora Detor

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