My Cold-Brewed Coffee

published by Bacawind on Jul 9, 2009

Cold Brewed Coffee is a simple and delicious way to have fresh coffee without the bitterness. Saving the money, electricity, and heat of conventional coffee making methods.

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Coffee does not need heat to make it drinkable. Save the electricity, and the heat in the kitchen. On the contrary, heating your coffee adds bitterness. I’ll explain my set up, your situation will surely vary, but you’ll get the idea.

I drink a lot of coffee, so I make a gallon at a time. I use 1 to 2 cups of coffee grounds, to a gallon of water. Just dump the grounds in there. I gentle toss the jug over once or twice to get all the grounds wet, don’t agitate it, the grounds will soak up the water.

I then set the jug in a cool place, somewhere the temperature is going to be around 40 to 60 degrees is fine. Mostly on a shady cool area of my kitchen counter, but in the summer I keep it in the refrigerator.

I leave my jug to “cold brew” for 24 to 48 hours. At which time I strain out the coffee grounds. I use a colander or a strainer with a liner of paper towels, or all my unneeded coffee filters, or cheese cloth, to strain the coffee through the grounds.

My coffee grounds are left in the strainer, my fresh coffee drips through to a new jug. My old mixing jug is rinsed and new grounds and water go in, and it’s put back in the cool place. My fresh coffee jug goes in the refrigerator.

Things to consider:  I use a lot of coffee grounds to coffee because my fresh coffee is very concentrated, I don’t drink it straight. I figure if I’m going to make it, make it strong, then I can dilute it later.

I also let it sit for a longer time than most. If you were to drink it straight I’d use a half cup to cup of coffee grounds, to a gallon of water, and “cold brew” it for 12 to 18 hours or so.

I’m likely to reuse my coffee grounds, using the strained coffee grounds again, and adding a half to a cup of fresh grounds to the next jug of water. I like to use cloth as my straining material, so I can wash it and reuse it. I just rinse it out in the sink.

The down side is it takes a bit of time. Once you get your set up going, it is as fast as drip brewing coffee. I use the same jugs, over and over, for the same job, be it the brewing jug or the fresh coffee jug. I just dump the wet coffee grounds into the cleaned brewing jug, rinse the cloth and let it hang dry. I would use an old cloth, it will get stained from the coffee grounds.

Another factor is that cold brewed coffee has less caffeine than heated coffee. This could be seen as a pro or a con, depending on your position.

If your coffee starts to smell or taste a bit “veggy”, reminiscent of freshly cut grass after a rain, it’s because you need to wash your equipment, or it got to warm. Coffee will leave a film on the jugs and strainer, be sure to not just rinse, but also wipe your equipment off. If that’s not it, keep it refrigerated as it brews.

I have another page with further instructions and my recipe for how I make My Coffee, a frozen mocha type coffee drink. Come by and let me know how you like it.

5 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. # 1 by sven monk
    July 12th, 2009 at 9:50 pm #

    You’re starting with ground coffee, and you’re talking about using them TWICE…you’re clearly missing most, if not all, of your taste buds.

  2. # 2 by david nilsson
    September 14th, 2009 at 11:04 pm #

    JESUS, Sven, you are such a dick!

  3. # 3 by SeaHorse
    September 22nd, 2009 at 2:37 pm #

    Did you mean to say you use 1 to 2 cups of grounds to a gallon of water or 1 to 2 pounds to a gallon?

  4. # 4 by Jim Jones
    March 3rd, 2010 at 6:35 pm #

    I’m guessing 1-2 cups per gallon must be a typo. The manufacturers of the Toddy cold-brew system recommend using 1 pound of beans with 9 cups of water (about 1.75 pounds per gallon). Personally, I don’t need my coldbrew to be quite that concentrated, so I only use about half that much… by volume, that’s about one and a third cups per quart (this is exactly double the golden ratio of 2 Tbsp per 6 fl oz that’s best for hot brewing)

    Also, I’d disagree that cold-brew has less caffeine… it can get me jittery very easily. Room-temperature water has no problem dissolving just about all the caffeine in those beans when given 12-24 hours. On a related note, brewing at room temperature seems to give the best results; just refrigerate it once you’ve filtered it.

    I don’t like it so much as a hot beverage, since it lacks the rich body you get from the hot brewing methods, but for iced coffee it’s divine. Mix 1 part coldbrew to 3 or 4 parts milk and the result is rich and flavorful. The milkfats help bring out the best tones in the brew.

    Also, I’d have to agree with Sven… if you’re rebrewing used coffee grounds, your tastebuds must not be working right. Even with coldbrew, the used grounds contribute no good flavors, only a bland staleness.

  5. # 5 by Kimberly Peacock
    January 28th, 2012 at 9:45 am #

    Toddy cold brew system, did not invent cold filtered coffee, no more than Al Gore invented the Internet.

    Spanish Priests from a monastery invented cold filtered coffee.

    Just drives me crazy to see people crediting the toddy cold brew system, as having invented cold filtered coffee!

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