Sunday, August 19, 2012

How To Cold Brew Coffee

I have loved coffee since I was an angsty teenager, hanging out for hours on end at the local Huddle House. However, when I was pregnant, even though I limited myself to a cup a day, that cup irritated my sensitive stomach.  I tried to go without my daily dose of caffeine, but not only did I miss the routine of my morning cup o' joe, I also suffered horrible caffeine withdrawal headaches. 

My husband is what I call a "Coffee Expert"; partly because he was a barrista at Jittery Joes when he was in college, but mainly because he is a coffee addict. You will rarely see him without a cup of coffee in his hand if it's before 2pm.  He is kind of like the boss in the movie Office Space.  Anyways, he recommended we try making cold brewed coffee, as opposed to hot brewed coffee.  

Instead of using heat (i.e. the coffee maker) to make a cup of delicious caffeinated nectar, you use the fridge. If you have ever had a cup of really smooth iced coffee, then you have probably had cold brewed coffee before; the method is primarily used for iced lattes at expensive coffee shops.  However, there is no reason that you cannot use cold brewed coffee to make your regular cup of hot coffee too.  It's great either way.

There are major benefits to using cold brewed coffee versus hot brewed coffee. The biggest benefit in my opinion is that it is less acidic, which means it is WAY easier on your stomach.  Before I switched to cold brewed, I was dishing out extra bucks to buy the sensitive stomach coffee grounds. No need if you cold brew it!  Another huge advantage of cold brewed over hot brewed is the taste. Cold brewed makes a smooth and less bitter coffee; and because of that, it really highlights the actual flavor of the coffee beans.  Now whenever I drink regular hot brewed coffee, all I can taste is burnt coffee grounds. Finally, because the taste is smoother (and less smothered in burnt-ness), you don't have to put as much cream or sugar in your coffee; so it's good for your waist too! See, it's a total win!

We make a big batch of Cold Brewed Coffee and keep it in a pitcher in the fridge, and it lasts about a week. We love not having to set (and clean!) the coffee maker every day; it saves us so much time.  

Okay, now that I've sold you on how awesome Cold Brewed Coffee is, let me tell you how to easily make it  yourself!


2 Cups Ground Coffee 
Reusable Coffee Filter or a Sieve
3 Large Bowls
3 Quart Pitcher


1. Put 2 cups of ground coffee and 8 cups of water in a large bowl. (If you want to make less, the ratio of coffee to water is 1:4)

2. Cover and refrigerate the coffee overnight; 12-24 hours. The longer you refrigerate, the stronger the brew.

3. Take the coffee out of the fridge, and carefully pour the coffee through a coffee filter or a fine sieve into a second large bowl. Empty the grounds from the filter (no need to get out out every single ground, but try to get out the bulk--a vigorous shake over the trash can usually does the trick).

4. Repeat the process again: pour the coffee through the filter into another large bowl.

5. Pour the the now-filtered-twice coffee into your drinking pitcher.

6. The pitcher should be about half full of coffee. Fill up the rest of the pitcher with water. (coffee to water ratio: 1:1).

7. Now your coffee is officially cold brewed and ready to drink! Make sure to keep it refrigerated.

8. You can drink it as an iced coffee:

Or you can microwave your coffee and drink it hot too! It's fantastic both ways.


Makes 3 liters of cold brew coffee

1. Mix 2 cups of ground coffee with 8 cups of water in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 12-24 hours.

2. Remove from fridge. Pour coffee mixture carefully through a coffee filter into another large bowl. 

3. Clean out the grounds from the coffee filter, and repeat the process: pour the coffee mixture through the filter again, and into another large bowl.

4. Pour coffee into a 3 quart pitcher. It should be halfway full. Fill the pitcher the rest of the way up with water (the coffee mixture to water ratio should be 1:1).

5. Keep refrigerated. Serve hot or cold. 



  1. Those are all the things i hate about coffee! i adore a good cup of strong coffee but its too harsh and i can always taste burnt . plus i cool it down anyway !

  2. I can barely stomach hot-brewed coffee now that I've been drinking cold brew for a year; it tastes burnt and kills my stomach.