As the summer approaches and the weather begins to improve (wishful thinking here and fingers crossed), cold brew coffee begins to make an appearance. I want to write a few lines about how you can concoct a cold brew at home without making it too complicated.
However, let me begin by stating that I like my coffee hot and black, without any “additives” like sugar, milk, cream or any sort of powder. I tend to enjoy my coffee for 10 minutes or so and that time has become my sanity break. Thus, I tend not to go for espressos but rather a pour-over or an americano. Nonetheless, I do not mind trying any sort of coffee and I rarely shy away from a coffee unless it is really, and I mean really, bad. In fact, the last time I did not finish a coffee was in Marcala, Honduras. I spent a whole week with my father at an organic farming retreat hosted by COMSA (Cooperative Organica Marcala) and we stopped for a quick breakfast on our way back to El Salvador. That coffee was so disgusting that its memory has been imprinted in my brain. Anyhow, back to cold brew before I digress too much.
First, what type of coffee is good for cold brew? In theory, you can use any coffee. In practice, most people recommend Kenyan coffee since the beans tend to be complex in flavours and full-bodied, which would shine through when coffee is extracted at low temperatures.
Now it gets tricky. I will provide you with two ideas for you to try at home.
1) Chilled Coffee:
I use a V60 but any pour-over method would work. Weight 125 Gms of ice and add it to your glass server. Grind 15 Gms of coffee for pour over and then prepare your brew with 150ml of water. As the coffee drips over the ice, it will begin to chill. You can adjust the weights as you see fit whether you prefer a stronger or milder cold coffee.
2) Cold Brew:
I use a French press for this one. I add 15 Gms of coffee, coarse ground, to my French press. Then add 250ml of room temperature water or even water that is a bit chilled. You can notice from the picture that the French press is not even at half, so you can just adjust your proportion to add more water. I leave the press in the fridge overnight and press it the next morning. It should be good to go. You can then transfer it to another container and sip as needed.
There are multiple ways to approach cold brew or chilled coffee. From a slow dripper to cotton socks for tea-like infusions, in the end, it is up to you to experiment and try. However, I decided not to get any more coffee stuff at home, since I already have way too many brewing devices. So, whenever I feel like a cold or chilled coffee (every blue moon) I just default to what I have handy.
Happy brewing and let me know if you have any other methods you
would like to share.