Coffee when it’s hot?
With the weather this week predicted to reach the dizzying heights of over 35oC, we thought we should give a brew at home guide for cold brew. Cold brew on a summer’s day is extra refreshing when you don't want a hot coffee, is a great alternative. With many of our favourite coffee shops on reduced menus, how do you make it at home?
Brewing ratios for cold brew
The first thing to consider is the brewing ratios. When you make cold brew, cold water extracts the flavour from the coffee a lot slower than when you use hot water. So, when making cold brew, use twice as much coffee as you normally would – if you use two spoons of coffee for your cafetière (assuming 500ml), use four for your cold brew. It seems like a lot of coffee to use on one drink, but we promise it’s worth it!
How long does it take to make cold brew?
To make cold brew at home, if you want something a little lighter and less intense, we would recommend 12 hours brew time as a minimum. For something with more body and flavour (and you are planning well in advance) 18-24 hours is our recommendation. Use a coarse/medium grind of coffee for best results – anything too finely ground will result in an overly bitter drink.
Brewing methods for cold brew
There are loads of ways to brew coffee at home (in this blog, we explored the pros & cons of each) and some of these can also be used to make cold brew.
The French press/Cafetière for cold brew
For cold brew in the French press, add your ground coffee to the bottom of your beaker. Pour cold water on the top of (make it even better by using cold, filtered water!), making sure all the grounds have been covered and give it a good stir. Cover the cafetière and place in the fridge for at least twelve hours. Once ready to drink, give it another stir and then plunge and pour over ice.
Using the AeroPress
Last year came with the revelation that you could make cold brew in two minutes using the AeroPress, a lot of water and a lot of stirring (agitating the coffee). In this example, we are going to stick to more traditional methods and use the AeroPress in its inverted form. Start by putting the plunger in to the top of the chamber, then turn it upside down. Add the ground coffee to the chamber (again, double what you normally would), pour cold water over the top of the grounds, making sure to cover them all. Give it a good stir. Put the filter paper in the filter cap and wet the filter, put the filter on cap on top and place in the fridge for at least twelve hours. When you’re ready, flip back to the right way around (careful on this part not to spill any) and then PLUNGE. Serve over ice.
Pint glass or measuring jug
Not what you were expecting next was it? A pint glass or measuring jug is a great, easy way to make cold brew at home. It’s not as sophisticated as the other methods (you may end up drinking a few coffee grounds) but it means everyone can enjoy cold brew without any extra equipment. For this method, add your ground coffee to the bottom of your container and pour over some cold water. Give it a stir, cover and leave to sit for at least 12 hours in the fridge. Once you’re ready to drink, slowly pour over ice into your serving glass. Be careful, if you pour too quickly, you’ll get more of the grounds in your final brew and make it too bitty. If you want to avoid as many grounds as possible, use a spoon to block the end of the glass (as if you’re draining food!).
Coffee Ice Cubes
Coffee ice cubes are a great way to add ice to cold brew without diluting the flavour of the coffee. To make these, brew your coffee hot using your normal method, leave to cool and then pour into an ice cube tray. Once frozen, simply add to your cold brew - be warned, this means the caffeine content will be around three times that of your normal brew so drink with caution!
A great way to enjoy cold brew on a summer’s day is with tonic and lemon/lime. Make your cold brew using one of the methods above, then fill a glass halfway. Top up with tonic water. squeeze a wedge of lemon and/or lime and then add the squeezed fruit to garnish. Delicious and refreshing coffee mocktail for any time of the day. Add gin to make a "Turbo G&T" - a delicious, caffeinated alternative to the classic Gin & Tonic.
Cold brew is a great way to enjoy your favourite coffee in a refreshing format during the heatwave. As with a lot of coffee methods, trial different methods and brewing times to get a cold brew that suits your tastes. If all of this seems like too much effort to go to for a cold coffee, you can buy our Black Eye cold brew on Amazon – while it won’t be there for the weekend, it’s a great backup to have in the fridge and you get all the caffeine, without the hassle!