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When it comes to brewing coffee, cold brew has found its way into the limelight.
A simple google search will reveal multiple buzz words surrounding this delicious way to brew coffee: Immersion methods. Japanese drip methods. Cold Brew makers. Mason jars. Kitchen scales. Ratios. Carafes. Concentrates.
Sounds complicated doesn’t it. Complicated, and I’ve still got a list of how-to questions at this point too!
How much coffee do I use? How much water do I add? How long does it last? Do I have to buy a cold brew maker or can I use something I have on hand (like a french press or a simple mason jar)? What type of coffee do I need to use?
Cold brew doesn’t have to be complicated. There are some tried and true simple ways to make it, and here’s where you’ll find those basics. First we’ll discuss what cold brew is and isn’t, then we’ll look at three simple ways to make it.
Though the name and temperature make it sound like this could be true, the reality is, cold brew coffee is NOT iced coffee. To differentiate:
- Brewed normally (using hot water)
- Chilled or served over ice
- Is still often characterized by a bitter flavor
Cold Brew Coffee
- Typically uses more coffee
- Brewed over a longer period of time
- Brewed at room temperature, or in a refrigerated environment
- Typically has a naturally sweeter flavor
When brewing coffee, normally hot water is used to pull out all of the delicious flavors of ground coffee beans. With cold brew, time is the agent used to pull out these flavors.
Actually, there’s an order to which these compounds are extracted.
- Plant fibers
In traditionally brewed coffee, the heat that brings out the flavor is also responsible for making the coffee more acidic.
Brewing coffee with cold water over a longer period of time can actually make the acid content lower. Studies show the acid content in cold brewed coffee is decreased by 60%, and some say it can decrease by as much as 67%.
Lifeboost coffee is naturally a low acid coffee, so using cold brewing methods is a double win!
Making cold brew coffee is simple. All you need is time, coarsely ground coffee, filtered water and a few other tools depending on the method you choose to make your brew.
Here we’ll explore three popular methods: Mason Jar, French Press, and OXO.
When making cold brew in a mason jar, I like to use a 32 ounce jar. This size allows for a 1:4 coffee to water ratio. In other words, you’ll use 1 cup of coarsely ground coffee and 4 cups of filtered water.
If you don’t have a 32 ounce jar, or feel like this would yield more than you would need, you can always adjust the amount. For instance, with a 16 ounce jar, you can use ½ cup coarsely ground coffee and 2 cups of filtered water. Here, we’ll do our how-to with a 32 ounce jar.
Total items needed:
You can enjoy this brew immediately, or you can store for later in your refrigerator. Some prefer to enjoy as-is, or you can dilute to your liking.
All cold brew coffee must be refrigerated after brewing. If you dilute initially, your brew will last roughly three days. If you do not dilute your mixture after brewing, your cold brew should last for 7-10 days.
The french press method definitely has my vote as the easiest method of making cold brew. You only need:
As with the mason jar method, we’ll once again be using a 1:4 coffee to water ratio.
You can pour the remaining cold brew into a glass jar or pitcher to store, or you can simply replace the plunger after emptying the grounds and store it in your french press.
As always, cold brew must be stored in your refrigerator where it will last for 7-10 days, unless you decide to add water to dilute the mixture where it will then only remain fresh for roughly 3 days.
When using an OXO cold brew maker, their recommended ratio is measured in ounces, but still uses a 1:4 coffee to water ratio. They recommend 10 ounces of coffee to 40 ounces of water. You can certainly stick with the ratio we’ve used throughout this article if that makes things simpler (1 cup coarsely ground coffee, to 4 cups filtered water).
And, as always, this needs to be stored in your refrigerator.
Check out this youtube video to see the OXO cold brew maker in action:
Many prefer a 1:4 coffee to water ratio for making cold brew. Keep in mind as you brew, if this is too strong for you, you can always use this as a concentrate and dilute with water or your preferred creamer or milk.
Diluted cold brewed coffee concentrate will last roughly 3 days in your refrigerator. Undiluted cold brewed coffee can last between a week to ten days, with quality and flavor decreasing each day over a week.
While cold brew can be made at room temperature, be sure that you are storing it in the refrigerator.
For a good, strong brew, 24 hours is recommended, but many have concluded that anywhere between 18-24 hours will work.
You can make cold brew with light, medium, or dark roast coffee. It truly is up to your own taste buds here. (My favorite way to make cold brew is to use Lifeboost dark roast in a French press.)
You’re going to want to use a coarsely ground coffee bean for cold brew.
While this is truly subjective, making cold brew in a French press is easiest for me and is my preferred method.
While you do not have to use filtered water, always know that the better the quality of your ingredients, the better quality your final product will be. This is why we recommend filtered water and Lifeboost Coffee.
Cold brew coffee does not have less caffeine, but it is less acidic.
MEDICAL DISCLAIMER This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Charles Livingston nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.