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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate

by Tonya

Have you tried making cold brew coffee yet? It is the perfect way to brew coffee if you love to drink it iced. It makes a smooth, very strong coffee that can stand up to the dilutive effects of ice, water, and milk or cream. It's easy to make, too - it just has to sit around for a day while you do other things. 
Here's what you need:
12 oz of coarsely ground coffee
7 cups of water
A large bowl or pitcher for brewing
A fine mesh sieve
A few paper coffee filters
Optional: a nut milk bag to make the filtering process easier. You can see mine below, in the bowl. They are available at and at health food stores.

Here's what to do:

Pour the coffee grounds into the nut milk bag

and place that in your bowl or pitcher. If you're not using the bag, just pour the coffee right into the bowl.

Add 7 cups of water (if you are using more or less coffee, just adjust the amount of water used). You can see that I switched bowls. The glass one is more upright and narrower, so the coffee grounds were more easily covered by the water. This is why I think using a pitcher might be a good idea!

Now let it sit for 24 hours. It can stay out on the counter, so you don't even have to make room for a big bowl in your refrigerator.

Now it's time to strain it. Place a fine mesh sieve over a big bowl, place the nut milk bag full of coffee grounds on top, and let it strain until it stops dripping. If you aren't using the bag, strain the grounds however you wish - pour the grounds directly into a sieve, or maybe a colander lined with cheesecloth or coffee filters - use whatever you have around. 

The grounds can now be added to the compost pile or sprinkled around roses or other plants that like the acidity.

Now, you might be ready to drink the cold brew coffee, if you don't mind a little coffee silt in the bottom of your cup. I really like to remove all that and have the smoothest coffee possible, so I strain it again to remove as much silt as I can. This time, I line the sieve with a coffee filter and pour the coffee through. 

The filter may become clogged, so don't pour too much at one time. You can rinse the filter off and use it at least a couple times.

When that step is done, you can pour the concentrate into a container that fits nicely in the refrigerator - and is easier to pour from than a mixing bowl.

And it's ready to drink! I know some coffee drinkers like it really strong, so they might drink the concentrate straight. For most people, it will probably be tastier if you dilute it with water and milk or cream. I use about 1/3 coffee concentrate and 2/3 water and milk. 

Remember, the caffeine content is also concentrated, so you may want to start slowly with your first cup and see how strong it is. It will be different depending on which kind of coffee you choose, how coarsely ground it is, and how long you let it brew. 

Ah, a perfect summertime treat: a sunny day, iced coffee, monster cookie, and a good book. 

Some things to consider:
* You could make this in a french press and skip the sieve
* If you ever have leftover coffee, freeze it in an ice cube tray and use those ice cubes in your iced coffee to avoid diluting it
* You might like to brew it for a shorter amount of time - as little as 12 hours is recommended by some brewers. Experiment and find what best suits your taste buds