Cold Brew Coffee

If you’re asking yourself, what is cold brew coffee? Well, then you’re already missing out. Even though it’s the dead of winter, this iced coffee is so silky smooth it doesn’t matter that it’s a cold beverage. And for all you coffee purists out there you can still drink this piping hot. I found out about this kind of coffee from my awesome roommate Brooke, who’s sister was at one point thinking about starting her own cold brew business in Denver. Over the past few months, cold brew has definitely been a staple in our apartment.

What you’ll need (makes 2 cups of coffee concentrate):

  • 3 and 1/2 cups of filtered water
  • 1 and 3/4 cups of coarsely ground coffee
  • Cheesecloth
  • Large pitcher

As all coffees are NOT created equal, don’t use the cheapest one on the shelf. For this recipe, I used Starbucks’ Christmas Blend.

Christmas blendFirst place the coffee grounds in a large pitcher. I use one that holds about two quarts and gives the grounds enough room to soak in the water.

DSC02061Pour your cold, filtered water over the grounds and stir with a non-metal utensil, such as a plastic spoon or wooden chopstick. Coffee experts state that metal alters the taste of the cold brew coffee so might as well err on the side of caution. You can also add a few shakes of cinnamon to the mixture. I’ve tried this before and it really makes the coffee pop!

DSC02064The most important part is that all the grounds get soaked so take care to make sure nothing sticks and you get in every nook and cranny of the pitcher.

Once you have completely stirred your coffee, simply cover tightly and pop the pitcher into the fridge.

DSC02068Let your coffee rest for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours. No need to stir as it sits. I like to make this at night and then strain then next evening so it soaks for the maximum amount of time.

DSC02070I like to strain my coffee directly into a mason jar. I cover the jar with a few layers of cheesecloth and pour in the soaked coffee grounds.

DSC02079Work in batches and slowly pour the coffee into the cheesecloth until all of the liquid has passed through the strainer. Don’t force the coffee into the filter, it will drip through slowly.

DSC02085Stop when you have reached the solids at the bottom of the pitcher. You can simply throw these away.

DSC02086Now you are left with a beautiful jar of cold brew coffee concentrate. Cover and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.


Personally, I think the best way to enjoy cold brew coffee just 1/2 cup of concentrate and 1/2 cup of milk (1:1 ratio). Though I usually take a spoonful of sugar with my hot coffee, this beverage is so smooth, without any bitterness, so there is no need for the additional white stuff (sugar is my crack people). The long soaking time also removes any acidity and brings out the the velvety, nutty notes you don’t get in a regular cup of coffee. As I mentioned above, you can enjoy this beverage hot by combining  1 part concentrate and one part boiling water. Just remember to dilute your concentrate a little bit or you will definitely find yourself with the jitters (been there).

Try out this simple recipe and let me know what you think! And if you make this today, your cold brew concentrate will be ready to alleviate the killer post-New Years Eve hangover.

Happy News Years everyone! Thanks for all the lessons 2013! 2014, I’m coming for ya!


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