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How to make cold brew coffee

Brian Sommer

What is Cold Brew coffee (i.e., a cold-brewed coffee)? "Cold Brew coffee is a delicious coffee speciality. Try it for yourself; it’s light - and delicious. "But I don’t like cold coffee!" No, well, few do. But cold-brewed coffee is thankfully something utterly different than the hot cup of coffee that you poured (and then forgot about) half an hour ago. We will help you make the most delicious Cold Brew, however you prefer it, plain, vanilla flavoured or perhaps even Guinness Cold Brew.

How to make Cold brew - cold brewed coffee

What is Cold Brew coffee? A Cold Brew is coffee that is entirely brewed without heating. And that’s the exact detail that works wonders for the taste.
But there are a few things that you need to take into account - and do a little differently.

So what is the difference between an iced coffee and a cold-brewed coffee, then? The answer lies in the taste. Although both iced coffee and cold-brewed coffee must be enjoyed cold, the iced coffee is first brewed hot, and then the coffee is poured over ice.

When the coffee is brewed without heating, the taste develops into a sweeter coffee free of the taste of bitter substances.

Are you looking for inspiration to serve a Cold Brew coffee?
In about 2 minutes, you will have read your way to the recipe, but if you can’t wait that long, you can find it at the bottom of the guide.

But perhaps you need to know the brewing method first,
- so let's start with the technical stuff, which is not that complicated.

Image of what you need to make cold brewed coffee - Cold Brew

The advantage of cold-brewed coffee is that the taste is allowed to develop slowly and naturally without bitterness.
Instead, the result is a sweet, mild, tasty and aromatically rounded cup of coffee - which opens your eyes to a whole new world of coffee taste.

We mean the thing about the open eyes quite literally. Because when you brew the coffee in cold water, all the caffeine is extracted from the beans while brewing.

And then you get a rather invigorating cup of coffee, without the coffee tasting too strong or bitter. (Not looking for the stimulating effect? Then try decaffeinated coffee beans instead.)

Cold brew takes its time - from 12 to 24 hours.

Yes, it’s a long time, but the individual processes in the brewing are easy. The methods themselves don’t require much more from you than a few minutes.

When your cold-brewed coffee is brewed, it can stay for up to 14 days in the fridge in a closed container.
So be sure to make plenty while you’re at it.

What you need to get started:

You can also buy ground coffee beans as long as they’re coarsely ground
- for cafetiere or coarser.

GIF of Cold Brew Coffee Brewing – cold brewed coffee

3 popular ways to brew Cold Brew

No matter which brewing method you go for, the actual brewing (extraction) happens in the same way.
You just have to pour cold tap water over the beans and let them soak in the water for 12 to 24 hours.
Then the coffee must be filtered, and for that, we give you the 3 most used methods to filter the coffee.

1. The cafetiere - perhaps the most popular brewing method

Pour an appropriate amount of coarsely ground beans into a coffee press, pour cold water on the beans and stir.

Now just leave your cafetiere in the fridge for anywhere between 12-24 hours before pressing the plunger to the bottom and pouring the coffee from the cafetiere.

2. The coffee filter is also a simple brewing method

The coarsely ground beans are first poured into a container that can hold the amount of cold-brewed coffee you want to brew. Then simply pour cold water on the beans and place the container in the fridge for 12-24 hours.
Remember to close the container with a lid while the coffee is brewing.

Finally, the coffee is filtered through a coffee filter.

GIF of filtering Cold Brew via a fabric filter in a Chemex jug

We use a Chemex jug for pour over coffee together with a recyclable fabric filter - but you can also use the filter holder (without drip stop) from your coffee machine, or a suitable size funnel and a coffee filter.
You may also want to use a sieve to filter out the coarse coffee grounds before pouring the coffee through the filter.

A little tip: It may take a while for the coffee to run through regular coffee filters as the fine coffee grounds can get stuck in the filter. It can sometimes be helpful to apply two filters in the filter holder.

3. Special equipment - for the connoisseur

The two previous methods are straightforward for most people, but some manufacturers have developed special jugs just for Cold brew.

The cold-brewed coffee itself hardly gets much better by using the equipment, but it can make the process of brewing, filtering and storing in the fridge a little easier.

How to make a tasty cold brewed coffee

Strong, mild, sweet, ice cubes - with or without milk?

The classic serving is with syrup, milk, and ice cubes. In the end, the distribution depends on your own taste - so you should probably taste it the first few times until you find out just how you like it.

We have used a distribution of milk and coffee of about half of each. You can use whatever milk (and quantity) you want. From skimmed to whole milk, or maybe you prefer a plant-based alternative.

You can even consider if you want to give almond milk or rice milk a go. Even if you usually prefer plain milk, almond milk, and rice milk, add a unique creamy consistency to the coffee - almost like heavy cream, just without the fat.

GIF by Cold Brew - cold brewed coffee with milk

Even though a cold-brewed coffee is sweeter in taste, most people would prefer to sweeten the coffee with a good syrup.
But syrup tends to settle to the bottom of the glass, so remember to stir well.

The selection of coffee syrup is now quite prominent in both supermarkets and speciality stores. The classic flavours are vanilla and caramel syrup, but maybe you are more into nut syrup? Try it out.

A little tip is to freeze your coffee leftovers in an ice cube tray.
Image of frozen coffee ice cubes Then you always have coffee cubes ready for your Cold Brew - or for a cup of ice coffee, for that matter.
Ice cubes made from coffee do not dilute the coffee taste as they melt.

Happy brewing from all of us at PriceRunner

We’re pretty sure that you’ll have a slightly different opinion on cold coffee from now on.

Image of 2 finished glasses of delicious cold brew - cold brewed coffee

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