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Making your own Cold Brew Iced Coffee is a total money saver, plus it’s super easy to make at home. It’s our favorite to have in the fridge all summer long. Making cold brew coffee is so easy! You simply just add water to coffee, stir, cover it and let it steep!
How To Make Cold Brew Coffee
WELL! It officially really feels like Summer. 90 degrees all last week and I’m seriously at the point of retiring my morning hot coffee for ALL iced coffee. It’s August and it was bound to happen already. BUT, don’t give me hot coffee watered down with ice. I want some good, strong cold brew; and it’s EASY to make!
Why cold brew over regular iced coffee
The difference between iced coffee and cold brew is essentially the brewing process. Cold brew is brewed without any heat. Ground coffee beans are steeped in cold or room-temperature water for between 12 and 24 hours.
This process creates a flavor with less bitterness than your typical iced coffee, since it oxidizes over a longer period of time than hot-brewed coffee! Also, the acids and oils released when making hot coffee remain in the bean, making for a smoother taste. We just love it, and it couldn’t be easier!
How do you make it?
Let’s break this down into five easy steps!
Step 1: Pour 1 3/4 cup ground coffee into a pitcher or large container.
Step 2: Pour 4 cups of water into the pitcher.
Step 3: STIR.
Step 4: Cover with plastic wrap and let steep for 12 hours.
Step 5: Remove plastic and place a cheesecloth over a beverage dispenser, additional pitcher, or large container. We highly recommend making a dip in the cheese cloth and not pulling it so tight, so the coffee can sit in it well. Pour coffee over the cloth.
Step 6: Store in the refrigerator in mason jars or containers of choice. Now simply add ice and serve as desired!
No cheesecloth? No problem!
Create a filter: Use a coffee filter, cheesecloth, a clean pillowcase, or fine mesh strainer. Note that you may have to strain a few times depending what you use.
How long should you let cold brew coffee steep?
Good question! I like to leave mine overnight, or roughly 12 hours!
What about using a French press?
You can! I don’t use this method personally, but here is what you’d do:
- Place the ground coffee in the base of your French Press and cover with cold water (don’t push down your French Press plunger)!
- Place your French Press in a cold, dark place for 12-15 hours (refrigerator or any space).
- Once done, push down your plunger and pour over ice.
BOOM! Fresh, delicious cold brew. Ready for the heat wave.
Cleaning your cheese cloth:
- Rinse your cheesecloth in hot water or place it in hot water to soak until you have a chance to wash it. After soaking, rinse again. Try to remove as many bits of food as possible before you start to wash it. Use only food safe soaps (I use Branch Basics).
- Wash then dry the cheesecloth in a dryer, or hang it outside to dry in the sun if hot out!
So you’ve made it… now:
Do you dilute when ready to drink?
Make your own milks, too!
Watch me make it in this video:
How To Make Cold Brew Iced Coffee
- 1 3/4 cups ground coffee your favorite smooth, non-bitter coffee
- 4 cups filtered water
- Step 1: Pour 1 3/4 cup ground coffee into a pitcheror large container.
- Step 2: Pour 4 cups of water into the pitcher.
- Step 3: STIR.
- Step 4: Cover with plastic wrap and let steep for 12 hours.
- Step 5: Remove plastic and place a cheese cloth (I use a few layers, if you use to many, your cold brew won't go through) over a jar, beverage dispenser, or an additional pitcher. You may want to tie it down with a rubberband. Pour coffee over the cloth.
- Store in the refrigerator in mason jars. Now simply add ice and serve as desired!
Has anyone made this cold brew as vietnamese coffee? Adding sweetened condensed milk??
How finely ground should the coffee be? Will this work with decaf beans? Thanks!
Honestly, I’ve made it with finely ground for drip, but I know that medium grind is best.
FINALLY someone smart enough to use the word “steep” when talking about Cold Brew! I was beginning to think that I was using the wrong word.
That being said, I’ve been making cold brew for my wife twice a week for five years. As you pointed out, coffee making doesn’t get much easier than this. In addition to ease, cold brew also makes the smoothest coffee known to mankind. You can even use burnt and bitter industrial coffee and cold brew will make it “less” bitter.
Here’s a few tips that I’ve picked up along the way for making the smoothest cold brew on the planet.
1. Start with beans that are already naturally smooth (not bitter). I like Central American beans for this reason, specifically Costa Rican or Nicaraguan.
2. Make sure the beans are not over roasted. A vast majority of coffee in America has been way over roasted. If it’s black don’t use it.
3. Make sure the beans are “fresh” roasted. All roasted beans start going stale and thus bitter in 30 days. And no amount of space age packaging can change that fact. Unfortunately, most roasted coffee in America has been sitting in warehouses or on store shelves for months if not years. Buy fresh.
4. Grind your whole beans with a burr grinder. If you can see the blades, it’s not a burr. Burr grinders produce a very consistent grind; set to “fine”, then100% of the grounds are fine; set to “course” then 100% of the grounds are course. That is not true of blade grinders, which produce a mixture of fine, medium, and course. Burr grinders run $50-$100. BUT, I’ve using the same grinder twice a day for 5 years. Save some money and buy a used burr grinder on Amazon for $40.
5. Where to buy naturally smooth (not bitter) beans? Just search the internet for “Smoothest Coffee Beans” and there are several good choices there.
Thanks Lexi for spreading the word about Cold Brew!
Thanks for sharing the iced coffee, I love coffee and if it is cold yummy!!
Amazing! I keep buying these at Costa, I love them!
Will definitely make them myself from now on!
Debs @ https://tiger-mint.com
If you can’t compost but want to use the grounds in the garden, can you just sprinkle them around the plants? How much is too much?
I’d Google that question and perhaps find a gardening blog as I’m not an expert in this area!! 🙂
I love cold brew and making it weekly. I was getting tired of cleaning the cheese cloth or my nut bag. Finally I just put it through the coffee pot (pot was not on) and let it strain threw there. So much easier & faster!
YESSS! It’s officially cold brew season!
I’m obsessed with making my own cold-brew! So much cheaper to make it yourself, and super easy too!
I have a really dumb question…how do you clean the cheesecloth? Or do you just throw it away? Thanks! I drink cold brew every day, even in winter. It is an expensive habit! I love the jar with the spout on it!
NO. That’s a great question. It’s a little tedious but can be reused.
Immediately rinse your cheesecloth in hot water or place it in hot water to soak until you have a chance to wash it. After soaking, rinse again. Try to remove as many bits of food as possible before you start to wash it.
Use only food safe soaps since regular household soaps contain toxic chemicals that may soak into the cotton fibers and later come into contact with your food.
Lemon juice, white vinegar and baking soda can also be useful for loosening up crusty bits and removing stains. You can add any one of these ingredients to soaking water. Use 1/2 cup to 1 cup per gallon of water, depending on how grimy the cheesecloth is. You can make a baking soda paste to scrub out stubborn stains. Be sure to rinse the cheesecloth thoroughly, because even lemon juice and vinegar may attract pathogens or fruit flies.
Dry the cheesecloth in a hot dryer, or hang it outside to dry in the sun if you have adequately hot temperatures to dry it quickly.
After doing it this way for several months, I hit upon the idea of using my French press coffee maker and it works wonderfully – plus no straining the grounds! I also use the grounds in my composting, so no waste here.
Thanks for sharing that you use your French press. I was wondering if this worked!
Hi! I was wondering how long can I store the Coffee in the refrigerator until it gets bad? Thanks!
I’d say a week!
cold brew all the way!
do you refrigerate it while it is steeping?
Cold coffee for summer days like these!
Is it 1 and 3/4 cups of coffee powder for 4 cups of water?
What coffee do you like to use?
Yes! 1 and 3/4 cup. You can use any! I use an organic local brand by us, or sometimes in a pinch the ground dark Trader Joe’s!