DIY Cold Brew Coffee

by Kicking Horse Coffee

Nothing like a nice icy cold… you probably thought we were going to say beer, but at least we’ve got your attention! Now, imagine a favorite coffee blend as a cold brew, made at home and enjoyed for weeks. Cold brew coffee, sometimes referred to as cold press coffee, is not to be confused with iced coffee and blended drinks. It’s not just about adding ice to coffee. Cold brew requires a different extraction method. A great cold brew requires cold filtered water, coarsely ground coffee and a long steep time. Other than that it’s actually incredibly simple.

Here’s How
The easiest way to brew cold brew at home is to stick with a trusty French press. A standard mason jar and some sort of filter will work great too. The beauty of cold brew is not needing any fancy equipment, just a little time.

1. Grind the beans! A coarser grind will make the filtration process easier and the coffee far less bitter. Grinding too fine can heat up the grounds, which can negatively affect the cup.
2. Stir the grinds in the water to make sure they are fully saturated. Use a four to one ratio of water and coffee, four cups of cold filtered water to one cup of coarsely ground beans.
3. Add the grinds to a French press or jar.
4. Cover the brew to avoid absorbing any other aromas. If using a French press – don’t plunge. Place in the fridge for 12 to 14 hours.
5. Filter. If a press has been used, plunge as normal. Otherwise, recommended filtration methods include, old shirts, a mesh or fine colander, pour over cloth filters, paper coffee filters, nylon stockings, or cheese cloth… the possibilities are endless!

Prize Winning Filtration Method
What gets the prize for the best filtration in our book? Don’t mix the coffee straight with water. Instead construct a homemade tea bag and try a double filtration method. First, tie up the coffee in a paper filter. Then put the wrapped coffee in a nut bag, the kind that might be used when making almond milk at home. Plop it in the Mason jar and enjoy a clean bright cup of cold brew coffee.

What happens if you filter it too soon?
Since we are not using hot water for extraction we’re relying on saturation time. All the coffee flavor, all the dissolved solids are going to influence our cup. In that sense, premature filtration may result in lack of flavor and a weaker cup.

More or less caffeine in cold brew coffee?
Caffeine is water soluble so all the caffeine would inevitably be extracted during a lengthy cold brew process. The question then becomes how much coffee we are using relative to our water. Since cold brew generally uses more coffee than conventional hot methods, we typically notice more caffeine. This is why many people use cold brew as a concentrate to mix with ice and cream, made into a frap-a-something.

Cold Brew Benefits
• Less acidic. Cold brew coffee naturally seems sweeter because of its lower acid level. Not to be confused with acidity, which is often used to describe the lively, sharp, tangy flavor of a first sip of coffee.
• The use of cold water extracts the flavor of the coffee and leaves the bitter compounds behind.
• Cold brew drank today and then a few days later should taste the same. Keep it covered. We don’t want it absorbing any funkiness from the fridge. Cold brews can last up to two weeks in the fridge.
• Even though it may take more coffee to make, none goes to waste with a cold brew.
• A cold brew makes for a very smooth cup which highlights the coffee’s various flavor profiles.
• A little bit of cream and we have a lovely post-meal option.

Kicking Horse Coffee believes great coffee can be better. Their Fair Trade coffee is good for coffee drinkers and farmers alike. Fair Trade supplies the proactive tools, training, and practices for farmers to run smart, successful, and sustainable businesses.

The Kicking Horse Coffee blog can be found at

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