Sunday, August 23, 2015

Chris's Foolproof Cold-Brew Coffee

My spouse has spent I-don't-know-how-many hours tinkering with his cold-brew, which is now my favorite coffee anywhere.  He finally typed it up for us:  

There are two great things about making cold-brew coffee. First, this method results in a very low-acid brew. The coffee is sweet and chocolatey, and great for mornings or before a long run. Second, once you make a pitcher of this, you've got coffee in an instant for at least a week. 

The key here is the nut-milk bag. I've tried this just pouring the coffee through a filter or cheese cloth, and it takes forever and creates a big mess. With the bag, this is no harder than making a pot of tea.


2 cups dark-roast coffee, medium grind
4 cups cold water
1 large bowl
1 large pitcher
(Optional) large coffee filter or cheesecloth + mesh strainer

This is a coffee-inefficient brew method, but fortunately you can use an inexpensive preground coffee. I usually use a store brand french roast.Eight O' Clock works great, too. There's no reason you can't grind your own, but I don't think it is really worth the effort here.

Here goes nothing:

1. Put the coffee in the nut milk bag, and the nut milk bag and the water in the bowl.

2. (Optional) Put something heavy on the nut-milk bag to keep it below the surface.

3. Put the coffee (in the nut milk bag in the water in the bowl) in the refrigerator for 12-18 hours, You can stir it up once or twice if you remember.  Set a phone alarm so you don't let it sit too long.

4. Remove the nut milk bag from the bowl, giving it a good two-handed squeeze to get the last of the good stuff out.

5. Ladle or pour the coffee concentrate from the bowl to the pitcher.  A bowl with a spout makes this easier.

6. (Highly optional) If you want to be really persnickety about this (like me), put a large coffee filter or cheese cloth in a strainer and pour the coffee through that into the pitcher to remove any fine sediment that got through the nut milk bag.  

Now you've got a coffee concentrate that will last for a week in the fridge, probably two if you get a hermetic pitcher.

The recipe can be scaled as long as you maintain the water-to-coffee ratio.

Again, it's a concentrate, so when ready to enjoy, pour over ice and add an equal amount water. (Or, if your name is "Sarah," about 2 parts water to one part concentrate,) Milk and simple syrup are optional but delicious. 

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