Now that the Fourth of July has passed, we are officially into the summer months. Although we drink hot coffee all year round at Thrasher Coffee, we also have a certain level of respect for the heat and for your lack of desire to think about hot beverages. The great thing about coffee is that it doesn’t always have to be served hot. In fact, cold-brewed coffee is quickly becoming the “next big thing” in specialty coffee. You can probably find a can or bottle of it in the beverage cooler of your local convenience/grocery store if you look long enough. But if you’re not into buying it by the bottle, you might consider making your own at home—it’s super-easy and delicious.
First, get a bag of coffee that you think will make a good cold brew. There may be some trial and error to find the right flavor, but most coffees that taste good hot should taste good cold. We recommend using our Liberty Blend for a great summer treat—it’s slightly chocolatey without being too heavy. One advantage to cold-brewing is that none of the bitterness of dark-roasted coffees comes through in the glass, so feel free to go dark if that’s your thing.
Next, measure out 8 oz. of ground coffee. If you grind it yourself, use a medium to medium-coarse grind—a little bit larger than sugar granules. Get a gallon pitcher and fill it with room temperature water. Use spring water or filtered water if you can—better water equals better coffee every time, hot or cold. Add the grounds to the water and gently stir to get all of them wet and submerged in the water. Put the lid on the pitcher and set out of the way for 24-36 hours. We recommend steeping at room temperature and refrigerating after, but you can steep in the refrigerator if you want.
After 24-36 hours (depending on desired strength), you will need to find a second pitcher (or similar container) to filter the coffee from the grounds. We recommend using a metal mesh strainer and cheesecloth to simplify the filtering, but dye-free paper towels work too. If necessary, filter again back into the original pitcher. Discard (or compost) the grounds and refrigerate the coffee until you’re ready to drink it. Take it straight, over ice, with milk or cream, sweeteners, etc.—drink it however you like. And for a quick hot cup, you can mix half refrigerated concentrate with half boiling water (although you may want to make the concentrate a bit stronger if you plan to do this regularly).
So there you have it: simple cold-brewed coffee that’s not watery without all the mess and frustration. Now go enjoy your summer…