Coffee is the essential first step of the day for many, but no longer does this only look like a hot cup of joe. The craze for cold brew coffee is still on the rise, with increasingly more of us choosing to begin our days with our caffeine on ice. Storebought cold brew options from concentrate are plentiful, and all of the major coffee chains offer countless cold drink concoctions. But, the cost of getting your daily fix can add up quickly, and at-home coffee makers can be pricy investments that take up precious counter space.
The good news is, there's another option; one so simple and obvious you may have overlooked it. Thankfully, it's an option that requires exactly zero pieces of expensive equipment or complex, bougie steps. Simply blend your favorite coffee beans in a standard blender, add the ground-up result to a mason jar with some water, and let the jar steep in the fridge overnight. With just some beans, a container, water, and a cheap filtration method like a strainer or cheesecloth, an always-on-tap supply of cold brew is yours. The trickiest step here is just having the forethought and patience to prepare it ahead of time.
Water + Grounds + Time = Cold Brew At The Ready
Depending on how strong and concentrated you like your coffee, suggested ratios for homemade cold brew vary a bit. A 1:4 or 1:3 ratio of ground beans to water are both great starting points. Whatever your desired strength, combine the coffee grounds with water in a container and let the mix sit in the fridge overnight -- at least 12 hours, though longer is perfectly fine. Then, strain the coffee through a cheesecloth or a fine mesh sieve. The cold brew will be ready to drink right away and will keep in the fridge for up to a week. Just like that, you've made a jar full of cold brew concentrate ready to mix with your choice of dairy or creamer. Your caffeine fix just became quicker, gentler on the planet, and so much cheaper.
If you're fuzzy on precisely what differentiates cold brew from iced coffee, you're not alone -- the cold coffee options out there are enough to make your head spin. The key difference to know is that cold brew involves slowly steeping coffee grounds in cold water, versus traditional coffee brewing methods, resulting in a milder, less acidic final product. Making your own cold brew takes more time and coffee beans, but the investment rewards you with smooth, easy-to-drink coffee that keeps well in the fridge and might just replace your coffee-shop habit.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.