Cold Brew for You –

Summertime Coffee Refreshment

 The cold brew coffee craze is here.  According to the National Coffee Association, U.S. consumption of cold brew coffee increased a staggering 300% over the last seven years.  Cold brew coffee splashed onto the American scene about the year 2015.  Introduced by Starbucks, cold brew soon caught on with other stores like Whole Foods and Dunkin’ Donuts.  Cold brew can now be found, brewed and bottled, in almost every grocery store and gas station in the country.
 For the uninitiated, cold brew is not simply iced coffee.  Iced coffee is regular hot brewed coffee that is cold.  Cold brew coffee is brewed cold, more like a coffee tea.  The cold brewing process brings out various flavor notes, different than regularly brewed coffee.  Cold brew coffee is typically less acidic than hot coffee or iced coffee, and because of the extended extraction time, has a higher caffeine content.
 Cold brew has existed since the 1600s in Japan, where it is known as Kyoto Coffee.  It is believed that Dutch traders may have originally developed the process of cold brewing coffee at sea and carried it with them to Japan.  
 French soldiers in the mid-19th century returning from Algeria brought a form of cold brew back home with them.  This concoction soon found its way into French cafes.  There is evidence that Civil War soldiers in this country enjoyed a similar version of cold-water coffee, affectionately known as camp coffee.  In the early 20th century, cold brew coffee was even a thing in Cuba, where a special cold water brewing process was used.
 My wife is a big fan of cold brew coffee.  What follows is our redneck recipe and method with instructions.  No special equipment is needed.  All that is required is some good coffee, a Mason jar, a refrigerator, some clean kitchen towels, and a bit of patience.

Easy Recipe – Brief Directions
Pour 2 cups ground coffee into large wide-mouth Mason jar / add 4 cups water / place in refrigerator for approx. 12 hours / strain coffee / add ice and 5 cups cold water to concentrate / drink and enjoy!

 Here are detailed directions for our cold brew.  I prefer detailed directions.  This is exactly the way we make it…
 You will need 6 oz. (1/2 bag) of fresh whole bean coffee (preferably high-quality specialty coffee) / two extra-large wide mouth Mason jars / a wire kitchen strainer / several clean flour sack kitchen towels / one gallon good tasting bottled or spring water.
 Place 2 cups freshly ground coffee in large wide-mouth Mason jar (for best flavor, grind beans just prior to brewing – course grind recommended).
 Add 4 cups bottled water (do not use tap water or your cold brew coffee will taste like mud).
 Stir gently – make sure all grounds are thoroughly soaked.
 Cover jar and place in refrigerator for approximately 12 hours – or overnight (cover with cloth and rubber band so coffee can breathe – do not use jar lid).
 Stir again 1-2 times during brewing period, but do not stir just prior to straining (if coffee is settled in jar floating grounds are minimized and straining will be easier).
 After coffee has been in fridge for approximately 12 hours, remove jar and strain contents 3 times.  Strain first using a wire kitchen strainer.  Strain an additional 2 times using flour sack kitchen towels.  Use a clean towel each time you strain.  If necessary, you can repeat straining until coffee grounds are removed and brew is clear and free of sediment (about 3 times total is perfect).  Do not over strain.  Coffee will be stronger and have better flavor if loosely strained with kitchen towels.  Paper coffee filters can be used, but cold brew will be weaker and many of the coffee oils that add delicious flavor will be removed.
 After coffee is strained and saved in a clean jar, add a lid.  This is your concentrate, or cold brew syrup.
 Add water to taste when ready to make your cold brew coffee.  You will have approximately 4 cups of concentrate when finished.  We suggest adding approximately 5 cups cold water to your concentrate, along with 1 ½ cups of ice.
 Cold brew concentrate can be kept in your fridge for several days if needed.  Add water to taste when ready to drink.  Enjoy!

© 2024 Jody Dyer