It doesn’t get much easier than cold brewing your own coffee. If I only had one item in my fridge, it would be a pitcher of coffee. Since moving to Austin, I drink iced coffee year round. I used to make it in single-pot batches, grinding the beans, hot brewing in the French press and then chilling after straining. But now I make large batches to save time and work. I also don’t use my good beans anymore. Cold brewing is less aromatic and just doesn’t impart as much flavor as hot brewing. It’s still good, it’s just a different thing. One advantage is that coffee’s bitterness doesn’t come out in a cold brew, so you can detect the subtler notes you might normally miss. It’s not going to taste like a hot cup of coffee, and should be enjoyed as a separate entity.
Note: Many cold brew recipes are intended to make a concentrate which should be diluted with hot or cold water before drinking. The following recipe does NOT need to be diluted. It’s ready to go.
When choosing your coffee, I recommend trying something completely different than you use for your hot brewing. Be adventurous and cast your coffee snobbery aside! I would never deign to brew Dunkin’ Donuts coffee with my French press. But cold brewing? Sure, why not.
I use my big beautiful pasta pot for this. It’s large enough for the job and the strainer comes in handy.
I put five cups of coffee grinds into the pot and 24 cups of room temperature water.
Give it a good stir, cover, and let sit for at least 8 hours. Don’t bother it or stir again. Let it do its thing.
When you’re ready to start straining, set up your vessels and equipment in an orderly fashion. You’ll want to move quickly and things can get messy.
I use a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth. (A paper towel works just fine if you don’t have cheesecloth.) I also place the pasta straining basket in the pot before ladling out the coffee. The coffee comes out perfect. Not a bit gritty.
This amount lasts me about three weeks. I change up the coffee I use all the time. Yuban really tasted great cold brewed, but I can no longer find it in the store. But everything I’ve brewed this way has been pretty good. As long as you use enough grinds and let it sit long enough, it should be flavorful and dark.