Easy Brewing: Cold Brew

 Brewing a cup of coffee isn’t hard: you could throw coffee grounds into hot water, wait a few minutes, call it coffee and drink it. But it wouldn't exactly be the best cup of coffee out there.  Luckily there are legions of coffee nerds out there who have figured out exact ways to brew near perfect cups of coffee. The issue is these methods usually require a precise attention to detail, expensive equipment and more time out of your morning routine than most people are willing or able to give. For die hard coffee nerds that’s great, but I don’t think it’s reasonable to assume that everyone is willing to spend a few hundred dollars and more than 15 minutes every day just for a better cup of coffee. This post is going to be the first in a series about how to make a better cup of coffee without breaking the bank or losing your entire morning.

Some basic rules from here on out:
-No specific or expensive equipment will be used. All these methods require are the brewer (and filters if applicable) and fairly standard kitchen equipment, such as a kettle and measuring cups.*
-All of these recipes will take less than fifteen minutes active time.
-The instructions will be simple, and easy to follow, with as few steps as possible.

We’re starting with what may be the easiest method of making coffee out there: cold brew. This is an easy method because you don’t need to worry about the temperature, and even the proportions don’t have to be exact to make a great batch of cold brew. The best part is, as long as you have a strainer and something large enough to hold a half gallon (a mixing bowl, a mason jar, a pot, anything will work), you have everything you need. These instructions are for a half gallon batch, but if you use the same ratio (1lb. of coffee to 1 gallon of water), you can brew batches as small or large as you like.

What you need:
-A half pound of coffee
-Large bowl/mason jar

Step 1: Measure out the coffee
Take a half pound of coarsely ground coffee (you can purchase a half pound or measure out about two and half cups), and put it in the container you’re going to brew in.

Step 2: Add water
Add in 8 cups of cool water. Stir.

Step 3: Wait
Cover and let sit at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours.

Step 4: Strain
Pour coffee through strainer into another container for storage (I find it helps to stir first so you don’t get a big clump of coffee grounds all at once).

Step 5: Add more water, serve
You can either store the concentrate, or add water to taste before storing it (we equal parts water and concentrate). Then serve over ice and enjoy!

If you want to learn more about why cold brew is great and what's happening when you make it, check out our old post here. Keep an eye out for more Easy Brewing posts in the future!

*Okay, so there's one exception to the specific equipment thing: if you really want good coffee, buy yourself a coffee grinder. There’s no way around it: preground coffee is going to lose it’s flavor long before you can get through it. And not a cheap blade grinder that turns half of your coffee to dust. A manual grinder that will make your coffee many times better is incredibly inexpensive. If you don’t want to put in the effort of grinding coffee by hand (and I don’t blame you), you can still find a decent automatic burr grinder for under $100. Believe me it's worth it.

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