This summer, I drank a lot of cold brew. As I traveled around Europe, it became clear to me that cold brew was trendy and available in many different cities we visited. One of the hotels we visited had a fantastic coffee boutique (to call it a coffee shop would be insulting). These guys were making cold brew by using the slow drip method, and it was delicious.
Note: cold brew is not the same thing as iced coffee which is hot coffee placed in ice (that will make it watery). Cold brew is coffee that is brewed with cold water - usually for many hours.
When I got home, I decided to give it a go. I read a lot about cold brew and purchased a few different devices to make some. I also bought some cold brew from blue bottle “in a can” to act as our “control.”
Making cold brew is pretty simple. Most of the machines involve some a contraption that takes your coffee ground and water. The only thing you do besides shake is wait. The waiting can vary from 8 to 24 hours. I feel that 8-12 hours is the sweet spot as that means I can make .75 to 1L of cold brew the night before and it will be ready to take to work the next day (or sip on during the weekend).
For my needs, I found that the simplest way to get a great cold brew at home is to purchase the Hario Cold Brew bottle from Blue Bottle coffee. I already get my coffee beans every two weeks from Blue Bottle (the Bella Donovan is perfect for pour-over), and so it was a plus that they grind and dose the exact amount of coffee that you need for a single batch of cold brew. I also like that the Hario is made of glass. Many of the contraptions I investigated were plastic.
Making a batch is drop-dead easy.
Open bag of ground coffee
Place into the mesh basket
Fill water up to fill line
Place in the fridge till the morning
I then take the filter out in the morning and put the bottle back in the refrigerator and talk about half of it to work (or my wife can take the rest).
It’s more expensive to buy the pre-ground packets of coffee from Blue Bottle than to grind your own. I could grind my own. I have chosen convenience since I don’t want to touch my grinder as it’s dialed in for my daily morning brew.