This cold brew coffee recipe makes a cold brew coffee that you drink neat. It gives you a very clean coffee with bright flavor notes and is smooth on your palate. Make the perfect cold brew coffee at home.
First things first, this cold brew coffee recipe does not make a concentrate.
This is actually very different from other cold brew coffee recipes you might see on the web as most recipes I've come across is about making cold brew coffee concentrate, even if they do not label it that way in the recipe title. The clearest sign if simply reading through the recipe where it will tell you to dilute the coffee with water or milk when you are ready to drink.
This recipe does not. This cold brew coffee recipe makes a cold brew coffee that you drink neat. It gives you a very clean coffee with bright flavor notes and is smooth on your palate (i.e., very low acidity).
Here is my very detailed guide if you are looking for a cold brew coffee concentrate recipe.
Cold brew coffee (not the concentrate) has a very light color and if brewed well, the taste is reminiscent of a tea. It should be very light, fruity, and aromatic.
The color will be a reddish brown and slightly translucent. It's a very pleasant drink on it's own and will give you a strong caffeine kick, but it is as far from the intenseness you get from an espresso as you can get.
We served this cold brew coffee when I used to manage a London coffee shop. It takes a bit more effort to make this cold brew coffee recipe (as opposed to a cold brew concentrate) because you need to be more precise and every little detail matters.
You can "cover up" a bad cold brew coffee concentrate with milk, but you can't with this, so make this cold brew coffee recipe when you really want to coax out all the complex flavors from a fine coffee bean.
The only thing I would recommend you add to this cold brew coffee is maybe a couple of cubes of ice. Think of it as drinking a fine whiskey neat as opposed to drinking Jack, which basically calls for Coke.
Great! Show me how to make cold brew coffee at home
I'll get technical in this post, but if you have any questions or if anything is not clear, feel free to shoot me an email. I'd love to help learn to make your own cold brew coffee.
What is the Cold Brew Coffee Recipe Ratio
What is the coffee to water ratio for cold brew? Here's the magic number:
I use 55 grams for 700ml of water. That's roughly a 1 : 12.7 ratio. For every 1 gram of coffee, you'll want 12.7 milliliters of water.
Remember -- unlike other recipes you might find, this cold brew coffee ratio does not make a concentrate. (It comes directly from the Hario Filter-in-Coffee Bottle, and is intended to make a neat coffee that does not require dilution).
I've worked out some of the most common coffee to water ratios that you might need, depending on the cold brewer that you use.
- 1500ml water to 118 grams coffee
- 1250ml water to 98 grams coffee
- 1 liter of water (1000ml) to 79 grams of coffee
- 750ml water to 59 grams coffee
- 700ml water to 55 grams coffee
- 500ml water to 37 grams coffee
Again, keep in mind that this ratio is for cold brew coffee, not cold brew coffee concentrate. Cold brew coffee concentrate is brewed differently, and I'll have a cold brew coffee concentrate brew guide posted soon.
What Water Temperature To Use For Cold Brew Coffee
As the name suggests, cold brew coffee is made with cold or room temperature water. I prefer to do a hot bloom (see below), and then fill up the rest of the bottle with room temperature water. Then, I let the coffee brew in the fridge.
Hot Bloom Cold Brew Coffee
Pure cold brew coffee, as the name suggests, is made with 100% cold water. Yes, this works. But personally, I always do a hot bloom when I make cold brew coffee at home.
The idea is that you add just enough hot water to wet the coffee grounds. It prepares the coffee for the cold water. From my experience, the hot water also helps release subtle fruity and floral qualities that cold water alone may not completely extract.
Technically speaking the reason for the hot water bloom is that it helps release trapped CO2 gas from the coffee grounds, allows the coffee grounds get a more uniform extraction, and helps release some easily dissolvable compounds which gives the coffee more depth of flavor.
It's up to you whether you want to do this extra step when you make your own cold brew coffee, but I highly recommend it. This photo shows you just how much water you need for the hot bloom. I literally just pour enough to wet the grounds. Wait a minute, then fill the entire bottle with cold water.
How Long Do You Brew Cold Brew Coffee?
Cold brew coffee should be left undisturbed in the refrigerator for 15-18 hours. The Hario directions suggest 8 hours, but after brewing this at least 100 times between working at the coffee shop and at home, I find that 15-18 hours is the optimal time.
After such time, you remove the coffee grounds (take out the entire filter basket entirely). This is the color of the coffee when you first pour in the cold water.
Cold brew coffee is always best fresh, but it will last in the refrigerator for a couple of days. The quality does decrease over time as flavors break down, and the coffee will start tasting flatter. So if you are after tasting all the complex notes in your coffee bean, don't let a fresh batch of this cold brew coffee sit.
What Grind Size Do You Use for Cold Brew Coffee Recipe?
Cold brew coffee should be made with coffee grounds that are coarsely ground. The best coffee grind size is somewhere between the grind size you would use for filter coffee and French press coffee, though closer to a French press grind.
The picture above will give you a helpful guide. Too fine a grind, and your cold brew may be gritty. Too coarse a grind, and the coffee may not be properly brewed.
What Kind of Water to Use When Making this Cold Coffee Recipe?
Water quality is such an important aspect of making cold brew. Personally, at home, we have an under sink double water filter with ceramic filters. At the coffee shop I used to work, we had an industrial water filter system.
Depending on where you live, tap water quality varies tremendously, and it will affect the taste of your coffee. Use the best quality filtered water that you can.
Which Cold Brew Coffee Maker To Use?
To get the best cold brew coffee, you need a good cold brew maker.
We have had our Hario for several years now, and love it. We make cold brew at home all summer long with this.
Why I Don't Use a French Press for Cold Brew Coffee
Some cold brew coffee recipes use a French press. I don't recommend it. A good cold brew coffee is delicious because it is a very clean coffee with light flavor notes. A French press does a terrible job at giving you that.
First a French press filter and plunger is really bad at keeping coffee grounds out of the finished coffee. So it's hard to get a very clean cup of cold brew coffee.
Second, when you go to push the coffee grounds down with the plunger, and pour the liquid out, it agitates the coffee grounds too much. Because this happens at the end of the brew time, it causes the coffee grounds to release more bitter flavors.
But here goes, if you must use a French press and do not have a cold brew coffee maker at the moment, make sure you at least use a secondary filter with the French press. After you pour your coffee out of the French press, pour it again through a normal paper filter. That will at least clean it up a bit.
Good luck and enjoy making cold brew coffee at home! Happy brewing!
Cold Brew Coffee Recipe - Make Cold Brew Coffee at HomePrint Recipe
- 57 grams coffee beans
- 750 milliliters filtered water
- 100 milliliters hot filtered water (approximate) - just under boiling point
- Grind the coffee into a coarse grind. The grind size should be between that of filter coffee and french press coffee. However, it depends on your coffee maker's filter basket size. Adjust accordingly.
- Pour the coffee grinds into the filter basket of your cold brew coffee maker and set it up so you can add water.
- Slowly pour the hot water over the coffee grounds, just enough so the coffee grounds are wet. (This is called a hot bloom.)
- Fill the rest of the cold brew coffee maker with water. Give the coffee grounds a very quick stir.
- Set in the refrigerator and allow to brew for 15-18 hours. When the coffee is ready, remove the coffee filter without agitating the coffee grounds too much. Allow any remaining coffee to drip out of the coffee filter basket.
- Serve cold. Any leftover cold brew coffee can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple days. The coffee will taste best the day it is done brewing, and will slowly lose flavor and become flat.