It’s totally necessary for hot-latte and hot-coffee drinkers to switch up their beverage of choice in the summer, because it’s just not refreshing to drink something warm in 80-degree heat. Iced coffee is a great option for a morning pick-me-up, but who wants to lose out on valuable cup space (i.e., caffeine intake) to make room for ice? Cold brew differs from regular iced coffee in that it’s made with cold water, and the coffee grounds are never heated (to make the iced version, you simply brew your coffee as normal and then chill it).
If you use the right water-to-coffee ratio, you’ll get the jolt of caffeine you need to keep you going all day long. (Plus, cold-brew coffee isn’t as harsh on your stomach, since it’s never heated, which is what ups the acidity factor.) According to Food52, the optimal cold-brew coffee ratio is 3/4 cup coarsely ground coffee to every 4 cups of cold water. Since cold brew is actually pretty pricey, it’s worth learning how to make your own at home. Below, we’ve rounded up three of our favorite cold-brew coffee recipes (including a helpful step-by-step video from Food52). Scroll through, and then get “brewing.”
WITH A FRENCH PRESS
This recipe relies on the cold-brew coffee ratio of 3/4 cup ground coffee to 4 cups cold water. The trick is to make sure you don’t ground the coffee too much; otherwise, the beverage will be cloudy. Add the coffee grounds to the bottom of a French press and slowly add water, stirring gently. Put the top on the press, but don’t plunge it. Let it sit at room temperature for at least 12 hours. Once your waiting is over, press down the plunger and pour. You can keep the java refrigerated for up to two weeks. To see the full process, the video from Food52 below will walk you through all the steps.
WITH A SIEVE
Cold-Brew Coffee Concentrate
This recipe calls for you to put coffee grounds in a large pitcher, add water, and stir. Cover the pitcher with a cheesecloth and keep it in place with a rubber band. Let it sit for up to 15 hours at room temperature (or just overnight). Then, use a fine sieve to strain the mixture into another pitcher. Next, put a coffee filter into the sieve, and strain the liquid one more time into the original pitcher (once it’s rinsed). Add ice cubes, milk, or even some water, and you’re good to go.
IN A MIXING BOWL
Cold-Brew Caramel "Frappuccino"
This cold-brew coffee is vegan, gluten-free, and totally simple to make. The recipe calls for dark-roast coffee grounds, which you put in a large mixing bowl, add water to, cover with plastic wrap, and then refrigerate overnight. In the morning, you simply strain the liquid with a coffee filter. To fancy up the drink, add date caramel and almond milk ice cubes for a tasty, DIY take on a Frappuccino.
What’s your favorite way to make cold-brew coffee? Tell us below. Up next: how to make coffee ice cubes.