How to Make a Solid Cold Brew at Home

Before I knew anything about specialty coffee, I was one of those people that didn't enjoy the taste of bitter, hot coffee. Cold brew completely changed my perception of coffee. Blue Bottle's New Orleans Cold Brew, in particular, was a deliciously smooth drink that, with a bit of milk, reminded me of chocolate milk. Much like I do with anything I truly enjoy, I started to try and figure out how to make it myself. It turns out, it wasn't too difficult.

I started experimenting with brewing in a large pot and filtering using a strainer and cheesecloth. I eventually discovered that a small investment in the Toddy cold brew system paid tremendous dividends. If filters out the grounds perfectly, leaving you with a sediment-free, crisp, smooth cup of coffee.

You may also use any other method of filtering the beans from the coffee. I have used all of the following with decent results in the past:

  • French Press
  • Kitchen strainer followed by paper filter
  • Cheesecloth

Here's my recipe:

5 cups filtered water at room temperature
8 oz course ground coffee

Add the coffee beans to an appropriately sized pot (one that can hold 5 cups of water). Pour the filtered water into the pot. Stir to make sure all of the beans are wet. Cover loosely to allow for some of the CO2 to escape as the coffee brews. Wait 12 hours and filter.

You'll have made a coffee concentrate that you can dilute with ice, water, milk, or any other way you'd like!

Try "the natural" beans for cold brew, they make a delightful, slightly fruity cold brew that stands on its own or can be paired with a hint of milk and simple syrup.