Everything you need to discover and enjoy café-quality at home.
Yes, you can make delicious cold brew coffee that tastes like a barista made it in a coffee shop - and the best part is that cold brew is more simple than it may seem! No matter your coffee recipe or coffee brewing method, there are a few rules. First, use filtered water, it will make your coffee taste delicious. Second, grind your coffee coarse, think: the size of cracked pepper. Use room temperature or cold water. Lastly, don’t pour leftover coffee over ice, cold brew tastes better with fresh coffee.
While you can use most coffee beans in the cold brewing process, our favorite cold brew coffee beans are characterized by body and sweetness. Also, since cold brew isn't able to extract many of the acids found in regular coffee or hot coffee, it's best to make cold brew with coffee that's not focused on its acidity. After picking the best cold brew coffee beans, the cold brewing process involves submerging the coffee completely in water. To do so, you can use a large French press, tupperware container, or mason jar as your makeshift cold brew coffee maker. Just make sure that the brewed coffee is covered to avoid contact with oxygen.
Cold brew concentrate is the strong, condensed version of ready-to-drink cold brew. This coffee concentrate is achieved by using a closer ratio of coffee to water. By controlling the coffee recipe, you also control how much water you use with your coffee grounds and which flavor notes are pulled out. I generally like to use a 1:5 coffee to water ratio and play from there. This cold brew coffee ratio tastes delicious over ice cubes, however, keep in mind that the ice cubes will dilute the cold brew when they melt. Id you have a coffee subscription, try our Cold Brew Bags with 3 oz of coffee to about 28 oz of water for a strong cold brew. And for the coffee lover that prefers a sweeter profile, dilute the coffee ratio using clean filtered water, cream, or sweet flavors like vanilla or caramel.
Nothing gold can stay, leftover cold coffee included. Luckily, with the soft extraction of the cold brewing method, your coffee concentrate should last up to two weeks in your refrigerator with its most special flavor notes fading in about a week. If you dilute your cold brew coffee concentrate with cold water, expect your cold brew to only last two to three days. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do with cold brew before then to still get in your caffeine fix, like iced lattes or cold brew popsicles!
Because the coffee grounds sit in contact with cold water or room temperature water for many hours, your coffee grounds should be coarse, like kosher salt. The larger the grind size, the smoother the cold brew will be. It’s easy to see that when you use a finer grind or pre-ground coffee for your coffee grounds, you create a cloudy and muddy taste in your cold brew. To make the coffee flavor taste clean and delicious, make sure you’re using coffee grounds that are nice and coarse.
The question of when ice coffee goes bad is fairly subjective. Bad as in actually unhealthy to drink? If you refrigerate your pot of coffee it can last a few weeks and it’ll be totally fine (and if you think “if you refrigerate your coffee” is a silly qualifier, because who wouldn’t refrigerate the iced coffee drink, let me tell you from experience that refrigerator space in a small coffee shop is often at a premium). Bad as in worse-tasting than coffee cups enjoyed immediately after brewing? Well, as soon as your coffee is done, two undesirable things start happening. Oxidation (the same process that turns your bananas brown) hits, eventually making the coffee taste stale and disagree with your taste buds. Also chlorogenic acid in the coffee starts breaking down, turning into other more bitter acids that make your coffee taste off. Flash brewing, which cools your coffee immediately, slows these processes down somewhat, but after a few days you’ll be tasting the difference in your coffee cups. So try not to brew more coffee than you need for a few days and store it in an airtight container, and your odds of the freshly brewed coffee remaining delicious increase greatly.
So you’ve brewed a pot of coffee and didn’t finish it, can you throw it in the fridge and drink it cold the next morning? Heck yes you can use that chilled coffee to make iced coffee! Regardless of which brewing process you used to make it or the roast level you prefer, warm or hot coffee slowly cooled down will taste a little more stale and those flavor notes might not shine quite as much as they do in flash-brewed coffee. But if you’re already brewing hot coffee, refrigerating it in an airtight container until the next morning is super-easy and less wasteful, so you should absolutely use leftover coffee from the fridge!