Spring has FINALLY arrived and hot summer days are on the way! This can only mean one thing… cold brew season is here! First things first, what is cold brew? Not to be confused with iced coffee, which is just hot coffee that has been cooled and served over ice, cold brew is coffee that has actually been brewed using cold water. Because you are using cold water rather than hot water, your extraction time (aka brewing time) is substantially longer but therefor more selective and most bitter compounds are left behind during the process. In addition, because the temperature doesn’t change, neither does the chemical process of the coffee and therefore your cold brew will last substantially longer and will taste just as good even after a week or two in your fridge.
Okay so now onto the important stuff, how do you make cold brew? It’s actually really simple and can be done in a variety of ways. Probably the easiest way is to use your French press if you have one. You could also use a nut bag or coffee sock (like the ones made by Toddy), purchase a cold brew maker (like the Primula Cold Brew Makers) or simply just leave the grounds lose in the water and pour the brew through a filter once it’s done. We tested out a many different coffee to water ratios to find the best one, and landed on 1:4. So 1 cup of coarse ground coffee to 4 cups of cold (ideally filtered) water. Add the coffee to your water and let it sit for 12-16 hours. We leave ours on the counter for 12 hours, but if you’re going to leave it in the fridge I would recommend going closer to the 16 hour mark. Once the time is up, plunge the french press, remove the coffee sock or pour your cold brew threw a filter and VOILA! You have cold brew concentrate. Unless you like really really strong coffee, it is important to note that the final product you have after this will be a concentrate and should be diluted it down with water and/or ice and/or milk (or even a little alcohol) to your liking. You can leave your cold brew in your fridge for up to two weeks, but I doubt it will even last that long!
Here are the steps again in an easy-to-read format:
1. Grind your Alternate Route Coffee – use a coarse ground!
2. Add 1 cup of coffee grounds to 4 cups of cold filtered water
3. Let sit for 12-16 hours on either your counter (12 hours) or in your fridge (16 hours)
4. After the time is up plunge the French press, remove the coffee sock or pour your cold brew threw a filter.
5. You now have cold brew concentrate. Dilute this down with water and/or ice and/or milk to your liking and enjoy!
6. Store in fridge for up to two weeks