Cold Brew Coffee

Cold Brew Coffee is the fuel of our household when it’s hot out! NYC has had a bit of a hot spell this August (although the past 2 days have actually been bearable with less humidity), and the weather shows that it’s going to be in the 90’s the first week of September next week! So here’s some Cold Brew to get you through it.

Cold Brew is different from Iced Coffee – Cold Brew is brewed in cold/room temperature water for 10-12 hours, so it has very little acidity, and a different punch than Iced Coffee, which is usually just hot coffee over ice! Cold brewing coffee also tends to be a bit more viscous with a bit of a syrupy consistency, especially since you’re using so much ground coffee, and it is an extract that should be diluted before drinking.

Selecting the actual coffee for your Cold Brew – I highly suggest something from Africa or Latin America as those tend to translate better in Cold Brew coffee. Indo-Pacific coffees like Sumatra tend to have off flavors and comes off way too earthy in cold coffees. Here, I’m using a Peet’s Baridi Blend – it’s literally roasted to be brewed cold, and it’s a blend of African coffees. “Baridi” actually means “cool” in Swahili!

I use a coarse ground for my Cold Brew – the same grind I use for French Pressing coffee (it’s a coarser ground than what you would use for drip coffee).

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I use 1 cup of coffee ground for my 34 ounce (8 cup) French Press (with about 4 cups of cold filtered water). Coffee is 99% water, so use the best water you’ve got! I use NYC’s finest that has been put through a Brita.

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Add the coffee to the French Press, add water (stir with a wooden spoon to make sure all grounds get wet), cover (I use plastic wrap), then put in the fridge for 10-12 hours. I put mine in overnight! I prefer to do this in the fridge to inhibit bacteria growth.

Then I pull out of the fridge, then press (slowly). Here is what my French Press looks like with the top unpressed!

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I have my setup ready to go for a double filter system. The first filter is when the mesh of the French Press is pressed against the grinds to move the large coffee particles to the bottom. The second filter is when I pour the coffee from the French Press through a paper filter.

You can TOTALLY stop after you press the coffee (press, then just pour the coffee into another container). Alex is a bit spoiled and he doesn’t like the thick sludgy part that can invariably end up in the cup near the end of a cup of coffee, so I double filter it for him. I’m such a good wife! 😉

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As the coffee goes through the paper filter, the flow slows down considerably (due to the filter getting clogged with small particles), and since I’m super impatient I will normally go through about 4 paper filters to get the goods as fast as I can.

Here is how much coffee extract I get out of my French Press:

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I keep it as an extract in the fridge, then dilute it as I make my coffee in the morning. Dilute with water (or milk) at a 1:1 ratio, pour over ice cubes and enjoy!

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I love keeping a pitcher of Cold Brew in the fridge (it can be kept for about a week), and when my husband wakes up at an insanely early hour, he can help himself to coffee without waking me to make it for him! I can sleep until noon if I’m undisturbed. 🙂

What keeps you going through the day?

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