Summer days beg for a good cup of iced coffee. While it is certainly possible to brew hot coffee, then refrigerate it and pour over ice, making cold brew at home is so simple, you might as well impress your friends (and your taste buds) with a tall glass of cold-brewed Carrabassett Coffee!
Cold Brew coffee is gaining popularity because of several factors. Many cold-brew drinkers say it’s easier on the stomach than coffee brewed with hot water. If you’ve been suffering from “coffee belly” after your morning cup, give the cold brew method a try and see if it helps! Cold brew coffee also tends to be less bitter, and sweeter in taste than hot brewed coffee. This is because the bitter flavor of coffee comes from adding heat and oxidization (in the roasting process as well as when brewing). Cold brew coffee is brewed (you guessed it) cold, so it eliminates any further heating and oxidizing. Any of our coffees can be used to make cold brew, but we would recommend a medium, medium/ dark blend, or dark roast for the richest flavor profile.
While you can purchase a cold brew system, it’s also possible to do it with items you’ll find in your kitchen. Our method, below, covers making cold brew with a simple mason jar, and paper coffee filter or cheesecloth. It’s important to use a coarsely ground coffee, such as for a French Press, in order to get a good extraction of coffee, but not end up chewing your last sip.
It’s important to note that this process makes a cold brew concentrate, which needs to be mixed with cold water before drinking. If you like a strong, bold cup of coffee, you can add less water before drinking; if you like your coffee a little bit weaker, add a bit more water. This is an area where you can play around to see what suits your tastes. The concentrate can be stored in your refrigerator for up to a week (if you can keep it that long without drinking it all up!) so this is a great project to start on a weekend, to prepare for the week.
Only potential downside: this brewing method takes a minimum of 12 hours. Keep that in mind, and start your preparations on Saturday, filter it on Sunday, and enjoy all week long!
How to Brew Cold Brew Coffee
- Measure your coffee grinds to taste- a decent ratio is ½ cup grinds to 1 cup cold water
- Combine cold water and coffee grinds in a jar
- Stir to combine
- Allow to sit at room temperature for a minimum of 12 hours or in the fridge for closer to 20 hours
- Place a paper coffee filter, or cheesecloth, into a metal sieve or use a rubber band to tightly secure a cheesecloth over the top of a clean jar
- Place filter over a clean jar and strain coffee through it to remove all grinds (this may take up to 30 minutes)
- Repeat straining process if desired
- Mix cold-brew concentrate 50/50 with cold water (or to taste) and serve over ice
- Cold Brew concentrate may be stored in the fridge for up to a week!