Cold Brewed Coffee: How to Make, Benefits, Best Recipes, and Top Brewing Gear

Cold Brewed Coffee: How to Make, Benefits, Best Recipes, and Top Brewing Gear

Cold brewed coffee is a type of coffee made by steeping coarsely ground beans in cold or room-temperature water for 12-24 hours. This method produces a coffee concentrate that you can dilute with water, milk, or cream according to your preference. Unlike traditional hot brewing methods, cold brewing extracts flavors slowly, resulting in a smoother and more robust flavor profile.

How Is It Different From Iced Coffee?

While both cold brewed coffee and iced coffee are served cold, there are significant differences. Iced coffee is brewed hot and then cooled, either by refrigeration or pouring over ice. This process often leads to a more acidic and bitter taste compared to cold brewed coffee. Cold brewed coffee, on the other hand, utilizes a no-heat method, reducing acidity and bitterness. Additionally, iced coffee tends to have a lighter body, whereas cold brewed coffee provides a richer and more concentrated flavor. For those sensitive to acidity, cold brewed coffee is a preferred choice.

The Brewing Process

Selecting the Right Coffee Beans

Choosing the right coffee beans is essential for cold brewed coffee. Opt for coarsely ground beans, as finer grinds can create a muddy texture. Medium to dark roast beans are ideal, as they offer a robust and smooth flavor profile. Ensure the beans are fresh to enhance the final taste. Look for beans labeled specifically for cold brew, which are often optimized for this brewing method.

  1. Measure Coffee and Water: Use a ratio of 1 cup of coarsely ground coffee to 4 cups of cold, filtered water. Adjust the ratio based on your taste preferences.
  2. Mix and Steep: Combine the coffee grounds and water in a large jar or pitcher. Stir gently to ensure all grounds are saturated. Cover the container and refrigerate for 12-24 hours. The longer the steeping time, the stronger the brew.
  3. Strain the Mixture: Use a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth to strain the coffee grounds from the liquid. Ensure no grounds remain to prevent bitterness.
  4. Store and Serve: Transfer the strained coffee concentrate to a clean jar or bottle. Store it in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, dilute the concentrate with water, milk, or your preferred choice of liquid. Add ice for a refreshing cold brew experience.

Following these steps will help you create a smooth, flavorful cold brewed coffee at home, offering a refreshing alternative to traditional hot coffee.

Health Benefits of Cold Brewed Coffee

Lower Acidity and Its Effects

Cold brewed coffee possesses lower acidity than hot brewed coffee, attributed to its no-heat brewing process. Reduction in acidity could benefit those with sensitive stomachs or acid reflux issues. Lower acidity may also contribute to fewer dental issues, as high acidity can erode tooth enamel. By opting for cold brewed coffee, you minimize these potential health risks.

Caffeine Content and Its Impact

Cold brewed coffee maintains a higher caffeine content compared to regular hot brew. Increased caffeine levels can enhance alertness and improve cognitive functions. Higher caffeine concentration might also boost metabolic rate, aiding in weight management. While beneficial for many, if you’re sensitive to caffeine, considering the strength of the brew is advisable before consuming large quantities.

Homemade Recipes

You can create various cold brew coffee recipes at home to match your preferences. Classic cold brew involves steeping coarsely ground coffee beans in cold water for 12-24 hours. If you prefer a twist, consider a Vanilla Almond Cold Brew. Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract and a splash of almond milk to your cold brew concentrate.

For a touch of sweetness, try a Honey Cinnamon Cold Brew. Mix a tablespoon of honey and a teaspoon of ground cinnamon into your cold brew. Another option is a Mint Chocolate Cold Brew, where you add a few crushed mint leaves and a bit of chocolate syrup to your drink. These variations allow you to enjoy diverse flavors without leaving home.

Commercial Brands and Their Offerings

Numerous commercial brands have embraced the cold brew trend, offering a range of options. Starbucks provides ready-to-drink cold brew bottles, including vanilla sweet cream and caramel dolce. These products cater to different flavor profiles.

Stumptown Coffee Roasters is known for its high-quality brews. Their cold brew offerings include the original, nitro, and seasonal varieties. Chameleon Cold-Brew offers organic options, including black, vanilla concentrate, and mocha. These brands ensure access to premium cold brew coffee, even on busy days.

StarbucksVanilla Sweet Cream, Caramel Dolce
Stumptown Coffee RoastersOriginal, Nitro, Seasonal Varieties
Chameleon Cold-BrewBlack, Vanilla, Mocha Extend

These options illustrate the variety available in commercial cold brew, meeting diverse tastes and preferences.

Reviewing Equipment and Accessories

Best Cold Brew Coffee Makers

Selecting the right cold brew coffee maker can elevate your brewing experience. Models such as the Toddy Cold Brew System, Hario Mizudashi, and OXO Good Grips Compact Cold Brew Coffee Maker offer user-friendly designs and high-quality results. The Toddy Cold Brew System features a simple setup with a reusable filter that ensures smooth coffee. Hario Mizudashi combines elegance with functionality, offering built-in filtering and an easy-pour spout. OXO Good Grips provides an efficient design with automatic draining and a compact form perfect for small spaces.

Essential Accessories for Cold Brewing

Quality accessories enhance cold brewing. Reusable filters, like those from Toddy and Hario, help maintain consistency and reduce waste. Airtight containers, such as those from Fellow Atmos, keep your brew fresh longer. Cold brew concentrate can benefit from specific scales like the Hario V60, ensuring you achieve the right coffee-to-water ratio. A quality grinder, such as the Baratza Encore, allows you to freshly grind beans to the optimal coarseness needed for cold brewing.


Cold brewed coffee offers a delightful and refreshing alternative to traditional hot coffee. Its unique brewing process brings out a smoother, less acidic flavor that’s perfect for those with sensitive stomachs. By choosing the right beans and equipment, you can easily craft delicious cold brew variations at home. Whether you prefer Vanilla Almond, Honey Cinnamon, or Mint Chocolate, the possibilities are endless.

Investing in quality cold brew makers and accessories can elevate your brewing experience. With the right tools, you’ll enjoy consistently great results. So, explore the world of cold brewed coffee and discover your new favorite way to enjoy this beloved beverage.

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