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How to make cold-brew coffee: Tips and tricks for the perfect summer brew

Jamie Stedmond
11 Apr 2022
How to make cold brew coffee
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Trends come and go in the coffee world but cold brew coffee is here to stay, and as coffee lovers we couldn’t be happier

The cold brew process produces a delightfully cool, delicate drink, perfect for sipping on hot summer days. While most of us are familiar with the coffee shop stuff, it’s also incredibly easy to make at home. If you want to learn how, read on for our step by step instructions on how to make cold brew coffee at home, our best ideas for add-ins and some key facts about the process to take your morning coffee to the next level.

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What is cold brew? Is it different from iced coffee?

While iced coffee may be a brew that’s cold, it isn’t the same as cold brew, though we can see why their names could lead to confusion. Iced coffee is usually prepared by pouring cooled espresso or filter coffee over ice and while this

can produce delicious results, it can also result in a watery brew as the ice melts. Furthermore, it usually has all the bitterness of a regular coffee, which the cold brew process omits.

Cold brew coffee is produced over a longer period of time, usually under cold conditions (i.e. in the fridge) and thankfully requires no barista training or expensive equipment to make a smooth, chilly cup time after time.

Why do people like cold brew coffee?

Cold brew has become a popular coffee making technique for a number of reasons. First and foremost, people enjoy the milder, less acidic flavours, as well as the more pronounced sweetness which the lack of acidity can bring out. This delicate flavour, paired with its cool temperature, make it the perfect way to get your caffeine fix during the warmer months – assuming it’s too early in the day to have an espresso martini.

There’s also the fact that it’s super simple to make – and forgiving too – as you don’t have to worry about burning your coffee grounds. Making a batch of cold brew for the house can save a lot of time on those bleary weekday mornings and can help you cut down on waste too, as cold brew even works well with slightly older coffee beans.

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How do I make cold brew?

Here are the steps for making cold-brew coffee:

  1. Prepare your beans or buy ground coffee. A coarse grind is preferable when making cold brew.
  2. Steep the coffee grounds in water (1:5 ratio of coffee to water) and store in a cold or ambient-temperature space for up to 24 hours.
  3. Pour your cold brew through a filter to remove the grounds and you’re done.

That really is all it takes. In coffee-making, we usually use heat and pressure to extract flavour (and caffeine) from our grounds, whereas cold brew infuses slowly over time, soaking up the richer, sweeter flavours and leaving behind the more bitter and acidic ones.

Cold brew also leaves room for fun experimentation, as you can work out what lengths of time and ratios of coffee and water produce the best results for you – you can even try brewing a more concentrated mixture that you later water down. Although if you don’t feel like playing scientist and just want your coffee already, go ahead with the ratio suggested above.

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What should I add to my cold brew?

You can add a variety of ingredients to your cold brew once you’ve made it. The obvious option is milk, or a plant or grain-based alternative. If you happen to have a milk frother with a cold setting, such as the Nespresso Aeroccino, you can use this to make yourself a delicious cold brew latte or coffee-based milkshake.

For extra sweetness, you can also try adding flavoured syrups or natural sweeteners like molasses or honey. Stick to liquid sweeteners, though, as granulated sugars won’t dissolve properly under the cold conditions. More ‘out there’ cold brew additions that we’ve seen include berries and fresh fruit, spicy extras like cardamom pods and cinnamon, and even ice cubes made out of frozen coffee to keep your coffee extra cold while keeping it nice and strong.

How long can I keep it after I make it?

After you’ve steeped and filtered your cold brew you should store it in your fridge. After this, it should stay fresh for up to a week but it’s best consumed within the first two days. For maximum freshness, store your cold brew in an airtight, resealable container and avoid opening it too often.

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