Coffee! We’re all addicted, right? Right?! Summer usually just means switching from your coffee sleeve to a straw, but with the cold brew coffee craze hitting every coffee shop in town it seems everyone’s favorite beverage has some competition.
Iced Cofee vs. Cold Brew
So what’s the big deal anyway? Aren’t cold brew and iced coffee the same thing? Well, if you’re asking me that, you’ve obviously never had cold brew. You can tell the difference in the taste! Here’s a little cold brew 101: cold brew is made by steeping coffee ground in cold filtered water. You know, the same way you would make coffee minus the heat. It takes longer to brew, but if you like full flavor and subtle sweetness in your coffee, it’s the way to go.
Iced coffee is made by brewing coffee twice as strong in your favorite traditional method and then cooling it. This gives the coffee a lighter body. Cold brew is brewed overnight (or rather, we prefer to brew it overnight) in cold filtered water, giving it a lower acidy taste and making it smoother. So if you were wondering what makes cold brew coffee better, the answer is the taste! Of course, this is a personal preference though so we’re totally not judging if you’re still an iced coffee drinker.
How To Make Cold Brew Coffee
The process for making cold brew took me some trial and error, to be honest, but once I got my recipe down I have not gone back to iced coffee. I might be a tiny bit particular about my coffee. Just a touch. I like to fresh grind my beans every time I make coffee because I really can taste the difference. My favorite coffee grinder for regular daily cups is the Bodum Bistro Electric Blade Grinder because it’s compact and perfect for grinding up just enough for one pot, but you do have to eyeball the grind.
When we partnered with Bodum on a tutorial I was beyond excited to find out that they make a Cold Brew Coffee Maker! My first thought was “my cold brew is going to look so much fancier than pouring it out of a giant mason jar.” Then I realized not only that but it was also going to make my life so much easier.
I love my Cold Brew Coffee Maker because it comes with a flat lid so you can pour in your coffee and water and then cover to store in the fridge overnight without the handle of the French Press taking up all the room. Once your coffee is brewed, you just secure on the press top and push down like a regular French Press and it has a handy little pour lock so you don’t accidentally spill coffee all over your fridge (been there too many times).
The below recipe for cold-brewed coffee specifically uses this cold brew coffee maker, which will make your life easier if you love coffee. However, you can definitely repeat these steps with any kind of container. The recipe cold brew recipe below is from Bodum, the coffee masters, so if you follow it carefully, you will definitely have the best tasting cold brew!
How To Make Cold Brew Coffee
WHAT YOU NEED:
- The Bean Cold Brew Coffee-Maker
- Bodum Bistro Burr Grinder
- Fresh filtered water (1300 grams)
- Wooden/plastic stirrer
- Kitchen scale
- Bodum Pavina Double Wall Glass
- Coffee beans – whole (use your favorite beans; light, medium, or dark roast)
- Bodum recommends a medium to dark roast for best result (163 grams)
PREPARATION & EXECUTION:
In order to make delicious tasting cold brew, you’ll need to grind your coffee beans with the correct coarseness. This is KEY. If you’ve ever tried making cold brew with espresso ground coffee, you know what I mean. If you’ve never done that, I do not recommend.
- Cold brew requires a coarse grind, just like your French Press. If you do not have a burr grinder, you can use a blade grinder. A blade grinder will often produce an uneven grind, hence a burr grinder is preferred. If you’re using a blade grinder, grind the coffee until it resembles sea salt.
- We are using a 1:8 coffee to water ratio. What does that mean? It means that for every gram of coffee, we add 8 grams of water. The bean has a total capacity of 51 oz, 1.5 L, or 1500 grams. This water to coffee ratio is two times stronger than normal. Cold brew is best when it is very bold, so it doesn’t get watery when you add ice and milk.
- On your scale, weigh 163 g. of coffee beans. (1300/8 = 162.3). Why 1300? We need to allow space for the coffee beans, and since the total capacity of The Bean is 1500 grams, and the coffee takes up nearly 200 grams, we need to subtract 200 from 1500 for a total 1300.
- Now that you have your coffee measured out, it’s time to grind. On the burr grinder, twist the arrow to the French Press illustration, which is located to the far right. Set the timer to 20 seconds, add the coffee to the hopper (funnel) and press the start button. Keep going until all the beans are ground. You may have to empty the glass container a few times.
- Once you’ve ground all the coffee, transfer it to The Bean. Place The Bean on the scale and tare. Add 1300 grams of water, and stir to ensure all coffee beans are completely saturated. Put on the lid and place in the fridge for 12 hours. Don’t rush this.
PROTIP: Make it when you get home from work, and it will be ready for you in the morning.
- After 12 hours, your cold brew coffee is ready. Remove from fridge and replace the lid with the plunger. Press down.
- Plunging should be easy. Do not use force. If you experience difficulty pressing down, you can remove the plunger lid and give it a gentle stir. You can also raise the plunger a bit and slowly press down.
- Your cold brew is ready to be served. Dilute with water, ice, and/or milk. Since the cold brew is stronger than normal, it is recommended to dilute for optimal taste.
PROTIP: If you’re not happy with the taste of the final product, you’re likely either:
1. Over-extracting – the brew time is too long; or
2. Under-extracting – the brew time is too short (try with 18-24 hours). Experiment with the contact time until you get the right balance for your taste. Every bean is different.
We also got a chance to try out these super sleek Bodum Pavina double walled glasses. I’m sure you’ve seen other double walled glasses like these before, but these are my favorite so far. They are so light and beautifully designed. They keep your cold brew cold and your regular brew hot. Since I got them, I’ve used them for just about everything. There’s no condensation to worry about on those (too) humid Chicago summer days and my cup is never too hot when I’m drinking tea out of them. Big fan over here. Also, the shape and weight make them the perfect stemless wine glass (just saying).
Have more tips to add to this article? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook!