I have never been a big coffee drinker. My family was raised on hot tea, so coffee was never a part of my life until just a few years ago. I drink 1 cup in the morning, and occasionally a cup of half-caff in the afternoon when I get coffee with my big sister on Sunday afternoons (our little tradition these days).
For me, coffee is more than a means to an energetic end – I love the taste and smell of quality coffee. There is nothing quite like finding new flavors and trying new blends (Red Velvet Cupcake, anyone?). Folgers doesn’t cut it! Dark Canyon Coffee in Rapid City, South Dakota, is one of my favorite coffee roasters. They make the best tasting coffee! It’s fresh and the flavored coffees are fantastic, especially Highlander Grogg: a blend of Butterscotch and French Vanilla. All I can say about that blend is WOW. I am currently trying their CinnaDoodle flavor – it tastes like a snickerdoodle!
I didn’t know too much about cold brewed coffee until I read this article by Food 52. Apparently when good coffee houses make iced coffee, they don’t use chilled hot-brewed coffee, which gets bitter when chilled. Rather, they cold-brew the coffee to make a sweeter, more concentrated, and less acidic brew for perfect iced coffees. I also learned that cold-brewed coffee is called toddy (thanks Ari!).
I was intrigued by this brewing method so I decided to try it for myself and see how well it stacks up to hot-brewed coffee.
The Food 52 tutorial recommended using fresh, course ground coffee so you don’t end up with cloudy coffee. But I only had fine ground coffee on hand so this is what I used. I used my Newman’s Own organic espresso blend coffee that was fine ground. Also, this is a really easy way to brew some coffee ahead of time. Unless you are a true stickler, you don’t have to worry too much about specifics (like grind size), just find a really good quality coffee to start with.
Easy Steps for Cold Brewed Coffee:
- Grind your coffee beans course, OR use any ground coffee you have on hand
- Place 1/3 cup coffee grounds to 1-1/2 cup filtered water in your container of choice
- Adjust the above proportions to your taste; my coffee was finely ground so I used more water
- I used my french press to make clean-up easier, but my press is small. If I want more coffee, I use a large mixing bowl or batter bowl with a lid.
- Stir up the grounds so they are all wet
- Let sit on counter or in fridge to brew for 12 hours
- Press your grounds if using a french press, then pour through cheesecloth to filter out any additional grinds
This was really easy to make and the coffee did taste sweeter, less bitter, and less acidic. It was also more concentrated, so I actually used a little less than my regular 1 cup in the morning. Since it’s already cold, I just added cold almond milk – no ice necessary! The beautiful thing about cold brewing coffee is that if you brew enough of it, you can cold brew on Sunday and have coffee made up for the entire week ahead! Now that is a time saver 🙂
Update 4/2014: These days I cold brew my coffee in larger batches – 1 cup grounds to 5-6 cups cold water in a large pitcher/batter bowl. I whisk the grounds in then cover and let it sit in the fridge overnight. I pour it through a juice bag/nut milk bag into a pitcher and keep it in my fridge. I use slightly less than 1 cup each morning, so this batch usually lasts me a full week (I’m the only one in my house that drinks coffee). On occasion I heat up a cup of coffee and make bulletproof coffee with it. Yummy!