With the summer months approaching, it’s time to get excited about all the delicious cool drinks you can enjoy in the sun. Top of that list is digging the cold brew kit out of hibernation and batch-making delicious cold brew coffee to enjoy each morning.
Yes, your local coffee shop probably does a nice cold brew, but it’s so easy to learn how to make the perfect cold brew coffee at home for a fraction of the cost. So you no longer have to spend $3 per day or wait in line just to get your cooling morning caffeine.
Cold brewing coffee tastes very different from coffee that has been extracted with hot water. The long extraction in cold water mutes the acidity, making the coffee taste richer and sweeter.
So, do you need specific coffee beans to make cold brew?
Not at all. Whilst there will be some coffee beans that are better suited to this brewing style, it all comes down to your personal preferences. Generally speaking, darker roasts will taste best as they have more body to them so they stand up to the lower acidity levels.
No matter which coffee beans you choose for cold brew, the most important factor is the grind size. You need to use very coarse ground coffee due to the slow extraction by steeping. If you go too fine, you will end up with very bitter coffee.
This means you can choose from any of the Java Planet organic dark roast coffee beans which you can order ground coarse, choosing the single-origin flavor profile that suits what you like.
If you have a grinder at home, or even just a NutriBullet/ Ninja, you can grind your beans fresh to make cold brew. Or you can buy coffee grinder with little investment.
The grind size you are looking for is roughly the same as freshly ground peppercorns or kosher salt.
By grinding the coffee fresh at home, you will get the maximum flavor from the beans.
However, if you want the journey to caffeine to be as quick and easy as possible, coarse grind when ordering to get the best cold brew results.
By now, we hope you’re convinced that making cold brew is a great (and easy) idea. So, what equipment will you need?
Well, you can make cold brew with coffee equipment you already have in the house. Grab your trusty French press and you’re ready to go.
If you want to make a really big batch of cold brew then 2 large mason jars, a funnel, scale, and some paper coffee filters are all you need. So, for the price of 5 cold brew coffees from the big chain coffee shops, you can make a far superior cold brew at home that will last you weeks!
The key to making the perfect cold brew is the ratio of coffee to water. Your idea of perfect will depend on a few things. Firstly, how strong do you like your coffee? And secondly, do you want to make cold brew concentrate that later needs to be diluted with water or cold brew coffee that you can pour and drink straight away?
The answer to these questions is completely individual and will be down to your personal preference. However, as a good starting point, we recommend making it stronger than you think you’ll want, then dialing it back. Remember that you can always dilute your cold brew if needed, but it’s really difficult to make it stronger after it’s brewed.
If you’re just getting started with making cold brew at home, in our experience, these ratios are a good starting point:
For standard, ready-to-pour cold brew, use a ratio of 1 part coffee to 4 parts water.
We felt using a French press it made the cold brew stronger and we settled on 1 part coffee to 7 parts water for our brew.
You can also make a “concentrate” which you can then dilute with water, milk, or your favorite plant-based milk to make a delicious cold brew drink if you prefer. For this, use a ratio of 1 part coffee to 2 parts water.
What's great about making it yourself is you can adjust it to make your perfect tasting cold brew.
Measure out your coffee and water.
Mix your coffee grounds and water in a container (like a Mason jar) or French press
Leave in a cool, dark place for 12-24 hours. A good starting place is 16 hours, then you can adjust from there to get a strength that suits your tastes
If you are using a French press, push the plunger and pour your cold brew into a clean container. Or, if you have used a jar, strain the brew through a coffee filter into a clean container.
Store your perfect cold brew in the fridge to enjoy whenever you want
Be prepared to have fun and a little flexibility when making cold brew coffee as it may take a couple of tries to get it exactly how you want it. If it’s not strong enough, try steeping for a few more hours or adding more grounds. If it’s a bit bitter, then try steeping for less time or using fewer grounds.
However, after you’ve tried once or twice, you’ll be brewing a week’s worth of delicious cold brew coffee for a fraction of the price of the cold brew you can buy at a café. Plus, it will exactly match your preferences.
Flavored Cold Brew Coffee
If you’re a fan of flavored coffee or want something a bit sweeter and more exotic for summer, then you can try using flavored coffee beans to make your cold brew. It’s like a refreshing dessert in a glass!
Using a flavored coffee can give you a sweet morning caffeinated drink without having to add any sugar or syrups. As the cold brewing process will mute the natural acidity of the coffee, the sweet notes of Java Planet’s flavored coffee will be more prominent. A great choice is the Java Planet Cinnamon Vanilla which, when cold-brewed, delivers a delicious low-calorie summer drink.
As long as your keep your cold brew coffee in a sealed container, it can last a week to 10 days in the fridge… If you can keep your hands off it for that long!
Anything up to 2 weeks will still be drinkable. But the brewing flavor will deteriorate over time so it’s best to drink it all in the first week after brewing to get the best quality.
If you’re heading out the door and want to take your cold brew coffee with you, you might want a way to keep it cold on your journey.
To do this, you can add ice to your cold brew. However, this isn’t a perfect solution as it will dilute your coffee over time.
A better idea is to create cold brew ice cubes by freezing some of your cold brew batch in an ice cube tray. Doing this will allow you to have ice-cold coffee without risking diluting the great flavor.
There are so many options to use different coffee beans, flavored coffee, milk or cream, that you can experiment and combine these elements to make your perfect cold brew coffee drinks.
Be daring and try some new combos. Make some concentrate and mix it with oat milk. Or, maybe get some flavored beans to cold brew and try adding some milk and syrup. There’s also the option to drop something a little bit stronger into the mix, Jack Daniel’s Honey perhaps? Let your imagination run wild.
When you start with the fundamentals of how to make the perfect cold brew coffee and get some great-tasting coarsely ground coffee, the world is your playground!