The best cold brew coffee recipe is also the easiest. In this video, I’ll show you how to make three different flavors, step-by-step:
– Original Black Cold Brew Coffee
– Vanilla Bourbon Flavor
– Mexican Chocolate Flavor
What’s so great about Cold Brew Coffee?
You’ve probably heard the term “cold brew” thrown around as a buzz word lately. So why all the fuss?
The advantages of cold brew is that it tends to be smoother, less bitter, and less acidic than standard “heat-brewed” coffee. Why is that? Because cold brew is made without heat or hot water. This is important because certain acidic compounds in coffee are only “activated” through heat. And while these compounds don’t necessarily taste bad immediately after they’re activated, the flavors turn rancid shortly after. (This is why that cup of morning joe doesn’t taste so great if you try to sip it again around noon.
Cold brewing takes these acidic compounds out of the equation. Since there’s no heat used – they’re never activated. The long, extended process of cold brewing results in an intensely-strong brew, but without the bitterness of regular coffee.
How do I drink cold brew coffee?
Most cold brew recipes produce a “coffee concentrate” – stronger than espresso. Too strong for most folks to drink straight. I prefer cutting it 50/50 with cold water, or with a splash of milk, half-and-half, or sweetened condensed milk.
How to make cold brew coffee – the basic process:
To make cold-brew coffee, you simply combine:
– 1 part coffee (by weight in ounces), and
– 8 parts ground coffee (by volume in ounces)
The portion size in the video results in 3 cups of coffee concentrate, which required 4 ounces of coffee and 32 ounces of water.
While this recipe uses an 8-to-1 ratio of water-to-coffee, some prefer it even stronger by using a 7-to-1 ratio.
To start the brewing process, simply combine the ingredients, stir, and allow to sit at room-temperature for 12-24 hours, stirring occasionally. No matter what container you use, do not completely seal it, as gasses will be released during the brewing process.
To filter it, simply line a strainer with a wet paper towel or coffee filters, and pour the coffee mixture through it into any bowl. Bottle and chill for at least 2 hours before serving (not required, but recommended).
Cold brew coffee flavors
The video covers two additional flavors I tested. Simply add the extra ingredients in with the grounds when you initially create the cold-brew mixture.
Vanilla Bourbon Flavor, add:
– 2 ounces of bourbon (or 4 teaspoons of vanilla extract)
– 1-2 tablespoons of sugar (diluted with a splash of hot water)
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 teaspoon almond extract
– 1 sliced vanilla bean (optional)
Mexican Coffee Flavor, add:
– 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
– 2 tablespoons of sugar (diluted with a splash of hot water)
– 1 teaspoon cinnamon
– 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
What kind of coffee should I use for cold brewing?
Cold brew is very forgiving, so as long as you use a course grind, you’ll be fine. (You’ll want the consistency of standard drip coffee, or coarser.) Since the extraction process is so long, it’s a great way to use-up old or stale beans.
Some people swear by light-to-medium roasts for cold brew. Others live adventurously and use dark roasts. Whichever you use, expect the end result to be exponentially more intense than it’s drip-brew alternative.
I don’t have fancy jars. Can I use a different container?
Absolutely! Any non-reactive glass or plastic container will work for both the brewing process and final storage. Plastic bowls and storage containers both work well. Heck, you can use a bucket as long as it’s food-safe. A towel can be used as a temporary “lid” during the brewing process.
Should I place it in the fridge during brewing?
Chilling generally slows the brewing process. Because of this, at room temperature will result in a stronger, more robust flavor. You can certainly place it in the fridge instead, but the cold water will slow the extraction process.
Cold brew shelf life:
Cold Brew Coffee lasts nearly 2 weeks in the refrigerator under sanitary conditions.
Other straining methods:
Instead of paper towels or coffee filters, you can use a french press or cheesecloth. Some prefer “paperless” filtration methods, since fewer flavorful oils get absorbed by the paper.
Let’s talk substitutions:
If you prefer not to use alcohol for the Vanilla Bourbon recipe, 4 teaspoons of vanilla extract is a decent replacement. Of course, it then just becomes “Vanilla” flavor, but it’ll still be delicious!
Do you like your coffee sweet?
The flavored versions of this recipe have a hint of sweetness, but if you prefer your drinks on the sugary-side, add a tablespoon or two of sweetened condensed milk to your serving glass. (Diluted sugar-water works well too.)
- 4 ounces of coarsely-ground coffee (by weight)
- 32 ounces of water (by volume)
- 2 ounces of bourbon (or 4 teaspoons of vanilla extract)
- 1-2 tablespoons of sugar (diluted with a splash of hot water)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 sliced vanilla bean (optional)
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons of sugar (diluted with a splash of hot water)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- Combine coffee and water in a large jar.
- (If making flavored coffee, add those ingredients as well.)
- Stir and loosely cover.
- Allow to sit at room-temperature for 12-24 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Filter the brew by lining a strainer with a wet paper towel or coffee filters. Pour the coffee through.
- Bottle and chill for at least 2 hours before serving (not required, but recommended).
- No matter what container you use, do not completely seal it, as gasses will be released during the brewing process.
- Lasts for 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator, subject to sanitary bottling conditions.
- Mexican Chocolate flavor adapted from Grady's Cold Brew Recipe.
Please feel free to ask questions and share your own experiences.
Music Credit: YouTube Audio Library
Recipe Credit: Mexican Chocolate flavor adapted from Grady’s Cold Brew recipe.
*FTC* – This is not a sponsored video.
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