There seems to be a million ways to make coffee! I can’t believe how many ways there are to make a simple beverage that has been around forever. Personally, I have made mine with a normal electric coffee maker, percolator, a coffee cone, french press and now the cold brew method. I haven’t heard of many people using it, but it is not new and we think it makes a pretty good cup of coffee.
A friend of mine turned me on to the cold brew method several months ago. She told me that it was a healthier way to brew coffee because it is much less acidic than coffee brewed with heat. It is easier on your stomach and teeth. It also has more flavor. You can actually taste the real flavor of the coffee instead of the acid. When you brew coffee with heat, the oils from the beans are released and turn into acidic compounds that make coffee taste bitter. This is the reason why most people need to add cream and sugar (or some fancy flavored syrup or fake milk/sugar product) to enjoy their morning cup. With cold brew, the oils remain intact and so does all the flavor.
Living off-grid, I had most recently made my coffee in a percolator. While I always enjoyed my morning cup, it seemed that I could never make the right amount. Sometimes my husband wanted one cup, sometimes he wanted two, and sometimes none at all. On days when everyone wanted coffee, I ended up having to discard grounds, load it up and make more. Inevitably part of the second pot was thrown out. Who wants to drink cold coffee? It turns out that as hot brewed coffee cools, your taste buds are able to distinguish more and more of that acidic/bitter flavor. It’s no wonder that very few people drink cold black coffee. I do not have that problem with cold brewed coffee. It makes a concentrated coffee “syrup” that you add to water (cold or hot). You can add as much or little as you want for the strength you prefer. It’s pretty simple. You can keep it in the fridge for up to two weeks or on the counter for a day or two, no need to make a fresh pot.
There are lots of fancy devices to make cold brew coffee. They range in prices from around $300 for the Yama to $14 for the Ronco. If you want to make cold brew coffee and buy a device to do it, there are many to choose from. I don’t need another gadget in my kitchen! And I really like my kitchen equipment to do double duty as much as possible. Here’s what I do. I use a 1 quart stainless steel saucepan. You could use a bigger one, but I like this size because it makes enough to use in one day. I don’t like to have to refrigerate it, so this works for us. I also like that I can filter all of it in one pour. You’ll see what I mean. I mix 1/2 cup of coffee grounds per 2 cups of water. I mix it all together in my pot and put the lid on. You need to let this soak for 12 hours or more. I usually filter one batch and fill my pot with my next batch at the same time, so it’s all one step. This is easier for me and ends up being around 24 hours. When I’m getting breakfast ready, I set a coffee filter in my cone over a pint mason jar. I pour my cold brew mixture into it. When all the water has filtered through, it is ready. Here’s when each person can decide how they like their individual cup. Put the coffee “syrup” into your cup and add hot or cold water. Start with 1 part syrup to 3 or 4 parts water. Adjust to your preference by adding more syrup or water. I’ve also added cold milk instead of water. Anyway you do it, it’s delicious! When I make my coffee cold in the summer, I don’t even have to heat water which means I use no fuel (propane or wood for me) whatsoever. That’s a win win!