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How to Make Cold Brew Coffee at Home

coffee coffee beans

There are a lot of reasons to love cold brew. Unlike iced coffee, you can control the concentration so that you don’t end up with a diluted drink.

And since the grounds aren’t subjected to heat, cold brew has a different chemical profile than coffee made with hot water. This results in lower levels of acidity, which means a smoother cup that’s more mellow on the stomach.

Cold brew is popping up everywhere from local cafes to national chains, but it’s also easy (and cheap) to make at home. Just follow these simple steps.

What You Need
Coarsely ground coffee. This is important. A fine, espresso-like grind will result in a cloudy and over-extracted cup.

A jar or large container. Plastic or glass, you don’t even need a lid – anything in your kitchen that can hold coffee and water will be fine. A French press or Mason jar are Instagram-friendly options, and there also specific contraptions for gadget enthusiasts.

Cold water. The ratio of coffee grounds to water is subjective and depends on personal taste – about 1/3 cup of ground coffee per 1.5 cups of cold water. (For a standard 32-ounce French press, 3/4 cup beans for 4 cups of cold water.)

Filter. Unless you are using a French press, you’ll need a coffee filter or a fine-mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth.

What to Do
In your container, pour in the coarsely ground coffee.

Gradually add the water and stir gently, making sure all the coffee grounds are moistened.

Cover (using cheesecloth if your container doesn’t have a lid).

Steep
Let the coffee sit at room temperature overnight, or for 12 hours. Don’t rush this.

Strain
If you are using a French Press, simply press down on the plunger to move grounds to the bottom and pour.

Otherwise, strain your brew through a coffee filter or a fine mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth into a large pitcher (or bowl or whatever else you’d like to store your cold brew in).


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