We’re getting into the dog days of summer here in NYC, and while you may be working from home, there’s little doubt that you’re feeling the heat. For coffee lovers and caffeine addicts alike, a traditional hot cup of Joe can be a bit too much on a muggy day.
Luckily, there’s one way to enjoy cold coffee that’s both delicious and simple. Sure, you could buy pre-made cold brew coffee at the store or your favorite coffee spot, but once you realize how easy it is to make at home, you'll never go back. Stonehenge NYC is here to share the secrets of divine cold brew coffee.
What’s the difference between cold brew and iced coffee? Iced coffee is brewed hot and then cooled down. Cold-brew coffee stands above mere iced coffee by slowing down the brewing process, yielding a flavorful, smooth, and less-acidic beverage. Compare a cup of iced coffee to a cold brew and you’ll immediately notice the difference.
The only drawback to cold brew is the prep time. It’s not a lot of work, but brewing coffee cold takes way longer than brewing it hot. Be sure to prepare it 12-18 hours before you plan on drinking it. Brew a big batch of this stuff in advance and you’ll be set for the whole week.
You don’t need to be picky when it comes to beans. Simply use your favorite beans. If you traditionally buy them pre-ground, consider switching to whole beans. Grinding them just before brewing will yield a more fresh and flavorful brew. Don't worry about grinding your beans too finely--in fact, a coarse grind is preferable.
The ratio of coffee and water is important, but feel free to experiment. Start with a ratio of 1 cup of water for every 1 ounce of coffee. If the result is too weak or too strong for your taste, simply play with the ratio until you’ve perfected it.
You don’t need to be picky when it comes to your brewing vessel. Most cold brewers use a simple mason jar or coffee press. Simply combine your coffee and water in your vessel and stick it in the fridge for a minimum of 12 hours. If you steep your coffee for more than 24 hours, it’ll start to taste bitter, but that also may be just what you’re looking for. The shorter the steep time, the milder than brew.
What you pull out of your fridge the next day actually isn’t cold brew coffee. It’s cold brew concentrate. This stuff is way stronger than your average cup of coffee, so a bit of watering down will be needed. But first, you’ll want to strain the coffee grounds out.
This part is effortless if you’re chilling your concentrate in a coffee press. Simply press and pour. If you opted for a simpler vessel, you can simply put a coffee filter in a mesh strainer and slowly pour the concentrate over a bowl. This will strain out those icky coffee grounds.
If you’re absolutely caffeine-made, you could drink your concentrate straight-up, but we recommend combining it with an equal amount of water. 1 cup of concentrate will double into two cups of cold brew and can be stored in your fridge all week long. With a little bit of weekend prep, you’ll have cold brew all week long.
Serve your cold brew neat or on the rocks. Feel free to add cream and sugar if you’re feeling naughty. We’re confident this cold brew will knock your socks off just as well as anything you might buy. It’s the perfect way to start the day or to energize yourself on a hot summer afternoon.
Love our cold brew recipe? Be sure to share it with your friends. They’ll thank you!