I’m not exactly sure where you live, but here it’s 90 degrees plus, with a hundred percent chance of heat and humidity every day. I love coffee, but come mid-afternoon when the sun is beating down, even I have to admit that it’s too hot for for hot coffee. I crave coffee with ice cubes, a cup of Joe that will cool me down and keep me caffeinated. That’s when I turn to cold brew coffee.
What Is Cold Brew Coffee
Iced coffee and cold brew coffee are not the same. Iced coffee is brewing coffee like you normally would with a drip coffee maker or French Press, then adding ice cubes (use coffee instead of water for best results). Cold brew coffee is brewed without heat. Instead, the water sits in the grounds for 12 to 24 hours, slowly taking on the delicious flavors of the grounds. The result is a unique tasting concentrate that is smooth, full of flavors and with no bitterness. It also has very little acidity. I like to add a ¼ cup of the concentrate, then fill the rest of the cup with water, ice cubes and sometimes milk to make the perfect hot summer afternoon beverage.
Cold Brew Option #1
I’ve tried a handful of cold brew systems, so far this is my favorite cold brew system that I’ve tried and the one I currently have in the Daily Shot Of Coffee kitchen. It’s fairly easy to use, makes great cold brew coffee without the the grit (I’ve read the reviews of other systems that result in a gritty concentrate) and it’s relatively easy to clean.
- Designed to brew coffee with 67-percent less acid than coffee made with hot brew methods
- Patented cold brew system uses regular coffee beans to create super smooth hot coffee, but with no electricity required
- The Toddy Cold Brew System also makes tea, served hot or cold
- Set includes brewing container with handle, glass decanter with lid, 2 reusable filters, 1 rubber stopper, set of instructions, and recipe guide
- Get more out of your coffee beans, since the coffee concentrate stays fresh for up to 3 weeks
Cold Brew Option #2
Making Cold Brew With A French Press
You don’t have to buy something new just for cold brewing coffee. If you own a French Press, you can use it. The resulting concentrate is just the same, or at least pretty damn close to using the Toddy. Plus, it makes smaller batches at a time, which is a plus if you’re not sure that you’re going to need a lot or if you’re not sure if you’re even going to like it.
What You Need
- French Press
- Coffee – I like a medium roast whole bean that is coarsely ground. The medium and even light roasts, create a concentrate that still has a strong coffee flavor, but also has hints of spices or other flavors.
- Clean Water
- Add the coffee to the French Press. For my eight cup French Press, I use 8 tablespoons of ground coffee.
- Add water to fill the French Press.
- Stir it to make sure all of the coffee grounds are wet. You may want to stir, wait a few minutes and stir again just to make sure.
- In the refrigerator, let the coffee brew for 12-24 hours depending on hold strong you want your concentrate.
- Press down the plunger like you normally would and pour the concentrate into an air tight container. Resist the urge to pour every last drop and leave a little bit in the French Press. This should keep most of the grit out of your concentrate.
Remember that that this is concentrate so you’re going to want to add water or milk.
Don’t be afraid to experiment. Try different grinds, different coffees and different water-coffee ratios. Let me know what you find.
What’s your favorite way to keep cool and caffeinated during the summer?
Photo by rfong.