Home made cold brew iced coffee instructions by Hannah Mercer AST

What It Is:

Cold Brew (or Iced Coffee) is a little different than hot brewed coffee. It tends to produce coffee with a creamier mouthfeel, much less acidity (about 70%), and enhances different flavor notes of a coffee than a method using hot water. Often, cold brewed coffee methods produce a concentrate, which you can drink straight for an extra kick, or dilute using a 1:1 ratio with water to produce regular strength coffee. If the acidity of hot coffee bothers you, but you don’t like drinking iced coffee, warm up the cold brew in the microwave, or use hot water to dilute the concentrate.

What you Need:

A home cold brew system like the TODDY

OR

A container large enough to hold 8 quarts of water
A strainer (like a fine mesh, cheesecloth, cotton pillowcase, regular coffee filter)
Cool, clean water
1 lb Medium-Coarse ground coffee (similar to French Press)
Time

How to Do It:

  1. Place your coarsely ground coffee in the bottom of your vessel.
  2. Add 8 quarts (2 gallons) of water slowly, making sure to evenly wet all the coffee grinds.
  3. If necessary, use a clean spoon or stick to push down any coffee grinds that did not get wet.
  4. Wait anywhere from 12-36 hours, depending on your desired strength.
  5. Strain everything through your desired strainer. The smaller the holes, the less sediment you will see in the finished product.
  6. Store your cold brew in any container you like. The concentrate will stay good for up to two weeks in a refrigerated environment.
  7. Dilute to taste and enjoy.

People ask me all the time what’s one thing they can do to step up their coffee game in the morning. Once you go beyond buying high quality, fresh coffee, the answer is simple: buy your coffee whole bean and grind it fresh every morning. With that being said… there are hundreds of grinder options on the market, and choosing the right one for your lifestyle can be overwhelming. Here are a few questions, and suggestions, to help you find the right grinder for your morning brew.

  • How does it grind? Avoid getting a cheap blade grinder, which works a lot like a blender, and spend the money on a burr grinder. This type of grinder uses serrated metal discs to grind the coffee and produces more even grinds, helping to improve the flavor of your coffee. Beware though: an automatic burr grinder under $50 probably doesn’t have true metal burrs and could end up being just as bad as a blade grinder.
  • What’s your budget? The sky’s the limit when purchasing a grinder, but how much money are you willing to shell out? Manual grinders are a less pricey option, but they take more time to use. Expect to spend at least $40, which can seem like a lot, but for something that will greatly improve your coffee’s flavor, it’s worth it.
  • How geeky are you going to get? If you want a versatile grinder that can go from French Press to Turkish grind, be prepared to spend a little extra. The ability to fine-tune your grind will be worth it in the long run. If you just want to do a regular pot of coffee in the morning, you can stick to a more basic grinder without the bells and whistles and save some money.

Now for the suggestions… Like I mentioned, you don’t want to put money into a cheap burr grinder, which discounts most automatic grinders under $75. Below is a range of options for any price point. There are certainly more out there, but here are some of the best coffee grinders I’ve found.

Best Coffee Grinders

Hario Skerton Grinder – $40

Pros:

  • Affordable and good quality
  • Replacement parts are easily available
  • Very compact, perfect for small kitchens or travel

Cons:

  • Requires a good familiarity with how finely you want your coffee ground
  • If you are brewing more than a few cups it requires some time to grind
  • No hopper to store beans for a quick morning fix

Bodum Bistro Grinder – $70-$100 depending on outlet

Pros:

  • Very affordable burr grinder from a trusted manufacturer
  • Able to do a variety of grinds with easy adjustments
  • Replacement parts are easily available
  • Comes in fun colors

Cons:

  • Can be a little noisy
  • Grind quantity is set using a dial-timer function, so it can be easy to over-grind at first
  • Cleaning can be a little difficult

Baratza Encore – $130

Pros:

  • 40 settings for any brew method
  • Quiet and fast with a small footprint
  • Extremely good grind consistency
  • Baratza offers great customer service and resources

Cons:

  • Grinding compartment can be a little messy
  • Heavy, so not one to take on the road
  • Like the Bistro grinder, the Encore uses a dial-timer, so portioning takes practice

Baratza Vario – W – $560

Pros:

  • High quality burrs ensure consistent grind over a long lifespan
  • Programmable dosing feature grinds the same amount every time
  • Hundreds of grinder settings for the true coffee geek at home

Cons:

  • Not a cheap piece of machinery
  • Small hopper only holds 8 oz of coffee
  • Only displays weight in grams, so have your calculator and conversion charts handy

As always, we recommend using fair trade, organic coffee  for your coffee brewing.  Why not try coffee from the Cauca region of Colombia– grown by our friends at Fondo Paez?  Cheers & happy brewing!

It seems in the coffee world there is the ever-present question: “Which brew method is better?”. Professionals and avid home users alike will all champion one as their favorite, swearing that it produces THE BEST cup of coffee, every time. But with so many brew methods out there, they can’t all be right, can they? Well… yes. They can.

The Aerobie Aeropress and the ever-popular French Press are two heavy-hitters in manual brewing and often get compared to one another (unfairly, if you ask me). While they have a lot of similarities (easy to use, minimal cleanup, both are full-immersion brewing methods, etc.), comparing the two is really an “apples-to-oranges” conversation. But since this question gets asked time-and-time again… let’s have that conversation.

Read more

A French Press is one of the easiest and most recognized manual brew methods. Since they come in a variety of sizes they can be perfect for making a personal cup, or a brew for six people to share. This is often described as a “set it and forget it” method – perfect for beginners or for people who want an easy way to experiment with brewing variables like time or coffee-to-water ratio. French Presses are characterized by their full body and heavy sediment in the finished cup.

Equipment Needed:

Calculator
Timer
Gram scale
Serving Vessel (optional)
Filter
French Press
Freshly Ground Coffee (coarse)
Brew Ratio: 1 gram Coffee:15 grams water
Water Temperature: 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit
Brew Time: 4 minutes

How to Brew:

1) Add 20 grams of coarsely ground coffee to the bottom of the French Press.

2) Using a scale, slowly add 300 grams of water, making sure to evenly wet all the coffee. Start your timer as you begin pouring the water.

3) Once your water is added, place the lid on the French Press, and depress the plunger just far enough to hold the coffee under the surface of the water.

4) At four minutes, press the plunger all the way down, separating the coffee grounds from the water and stopping the extraction process.

If desired, pour the coffee from the French Press to another pre-heated serving vessel for serving.