Cold-brewed coffee uses the same principle as sun tea: You don’t need hot water to get flavor. In the land of coffee, this means putting grinds in cold or room-temperature water and letting them sit for 12-24 hours.
There are many new gadgets that could bring ease to your cold brew process, but it can be made simply at home with tools you already have. Combine (fair trade) grinds and water in a large glass jar in a 1:8 ratio and allow them to steep for 18-24 hours at room temperature.
For a half-gallon mason jar, add 1 cup of coarsely ground fair trade coffee.
Filtering is a little tricky, but the DIY version uses a cheese cloth or nut milk bag to roughly filter the first pass into a large mixing bowl, then another pass through, this time back into the jar for storage. Jamie Oliver’s website has a thorough how-to.
Why Make Cold Brew?
I know, I know, it seems like hot beverage weather. But there are reasons to drink cold brew year round... because the coffee never come into contact with heat, its oil-based acidic compounds are never released. This lowers the acidity of the final product—great for folks who may want to avoid acidic foods for physiological reasons, but also for anyone wishing to better appreciate the subtle nature of the beans: You’re much more likely to taste the floral, chocolate, or citrus notes of your favorite fair-trade varietal.
One of the biggest benefits? “Your day-old cold-brew won’t taste stale like day-old coffee” (Michael Meyer for thedailybeast). Cold brew can keep in the fridge for up to three weeks!
Caution: Drinking cold brew out of a mason jar may cause other hipster-like attributes to occur
Did you know?
The Co-op sells nitro cold brew on tap in our Lebanon store. It comes out of a tap near the beverage case in our cafe area. Don't worry, the nitrogen isn't bad for you- it's actually found to be a vasodilator when studied in food like beets. This type of cold brew tends to taste sweeter than a regular iced-coffee (so may not need sugar). I highly recommend trying a cup on your way to do some local holiday shopping!
Have other health concerns about coffee in general? check out this well-researched blog post about the pros and cons.