You Can Do Eet: Cold Brew Coffee

Whole Coffee Beans

Wanna try the latest coffee craze? Get inspired by a gal who’s bean there, done that.

I won’t be preparing a week’s worth of salads in mason jars or building my own pallet headboard anytime soon, but homemade cold brew coffee? Let me put my goot enough stamp of approval all up on that.

For those unfamiliar, cold brewing is an alternative method for making your morning cuppa that doesn’t involve the hot drip. I was originally turned onto cold brew by Uel Zing, a coffee biz in Bloomington, Ind., that specializes in cold brew. I was instantly drawn to the taste: paradoxically strong (BOOM! COFFEE! IN.YO.MOUF.) yet smooth (Bai, acid). Now it’s something of a craze, with even Starbucks getting in on the action.

After peeping cold brew guides online for more than six months, I finally decided to try it myself and was pleasantly surprised by how fuss-free the process is and how delicious the final result tastes.

I don’t know that I’ll drink my cold brew every day of the week (just as I wouldn’t hit up Starbucks on the reg), but it’s a simple-pleasure treat that elevates an average day just so.

So, how do you cold brew?

  1. Coarsely grind whole coffee beans.

Coffee Grinder in Action

2. Dump the grounds into a large lidded vessel, then pour cold/room temperature water over the grounds. I use tap water, but you can use filtered if you’re fancy like that.

3. Shut the lid. Swish it around. Wait about 12 hours.

Cold brew coffee brewing.

4. Set up a strainer over a pitcher and line it with cheesecloth or a coffee filter. (I like using cheesecloth because it’s sturdier and gives you greater coverage.)

5. Slowly pour the contents of your cold brew into your straining system, patting down the grounds gently with a spoon to extract as much water as you can.

Straining the cold brew.

It’s ready to serve however you like it! Pour it over ice! Warm it up in the microwave! Add milk! You do you.


Q: What are my startup costs?

A: I already had a strainer, a pitcher, and cheesecloth, but had to purchase a large mason jar and grinder. (The Internet, for once, unanimously agreed: Using a food processor to try to grind the coffee beans would be a gross misstep.). Those two items set me back $20.

Q: How long will this take me?

A: All told, this will take you about 15 minutes of actual work—and that’s a generous estimate; it’s less if you don’t dillydally. You so have to let the brew sit on the counter for 12 hours before straining and drinking, so plan accordingly.

Q: But, how MUCH coffee and how MUCH water????

A: Brewty is in the eye of the beholder. It’s really up to you. I used this Real Simple recipe as a guide on my first venture, but since then I’ve just sort of dumped grounds in and filled it up the rest of the way with water.

Q: Will cold brewing at home save me money?

A: Meh, depends. If you’re regularly going out to get your coffee, a definite yes. If you already brew your own coffee at home, it could be a wash or possibly end up costing you more if you use cold brew exclusively because you use a higher ratio of beans to water in cold brew.

Q: Does cold brew have more caffeine than hot drip coffee?

A: *insert confused-face emoji here* See what the kitchn has to say about the issue.


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