If you know me well, you're probably aware of my love of coffee, and specifically Flat Whites. And while I continue to drink these on cool summer mornings, I often turn to Cold Brew coffee as my mid-day and weekend drink of choice during the hot summer days here in Northern California. There's just something about a refreshing glass of Cold Brew coffee on a warm summer morning out on the patio. Bliss!
Bonus? Cold Brew is SUPER easy to make yourself at home!
I usually make a big batch of Cold Brew coffee concentrate on the weekend, so I can just pour myself a tumbler in the mornings and have Cold Brew coffee all week long at work. And you can even keep a contained in your office fridge for a mid-day pick-me-up at work.
Pro Tip: use any extra cold brew you have on hand (or make an extra batch) and freeze it as ice cubes so your iced coffee doesn't get watered down as it melts. I use a Yeti/HydroFlask/Ozard Trail insulated tumbler and it stays cool for the entire workday so I can casually sip Cold Brew all day long.
Both hot coffee and cold brew require the same ingredients and tools, so if you can make one you can make the other. So what do you need? Ground coffee, water, a pour-over dripper, a couple of paper coffee filters (or at home I used a reusable filter) and a storage vessel. We'll get more into the details below, but if you're packing coffee makings for a camping trip, you've pretty much got what you need for Cold Brew too.
And did you know that Cold Brew coffee can be brewed cold or room temperature?
When I'm at home I put my Cold Brew coffee mixture in the fridge ... set it and forget it overnight. But it can just as easily be made at room temperature (it just doesn't need to brew quite as long).
And you may be asking yourself what's so special about Cold Brew coffeee? Isn't it the same thing as iced coffee? Nope!
Iced coffee is just that. Coffee that's been brewed the traditional way (with hot water) and then cooled. But Cold Brew coffee is brewed with room temperature or cold water, and uses time rather than heat, to brew the coffee.
I think Cold Brew has a milder taste and often drink it black, whereas iced coffee can be a little more bitter and is often served with milk (and sugar). And honestly I get enough "iced" coffee as a mother of two toddlers when I just forget to drink my hot coffee in the mornings.
So there really is a distinction with a difference between these two coffee brewing methods!
Check out my go-to recipe for summer Cold Brew Coffee, below.
Do you prefer one method over the other? Cold Brew or Iced Coffee?
- Two 1-quart glass containers (I use canning jars with a plastic lid) (one for brewing, one for storing)
- Coffee dripper/single pour over cone + filter (I just use the filter basket from my coffee maker and a GoldTone reusable filter)
- Measuring cups
- 2/3 cup ground coffee (medium-coarse grind is best)
- 3 cups water
In a glass jar, stir together coffee and cold water. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
Strain twice through a coffee filter. This Cold Brew concentrate can be kept in your fridge for 7-10 days.
To serve: Pour into a tall glass or tumbler filled with ice, mix 2/3 coffee concentrate with 1/3 water, adding a splash of whole milk if desired.
This recipe can be sized up (or down) quite easily if you need to make batch for a party or large crowd!
Recipe adapted from New York Times Cooking