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The Beginner’s Guide to Cold Brew Coffee


Cold Brew coffee, by definition, is simply the process of steeping coffee grounds in room temperature or cold water for an extended period of time. The result of this process is much different than what you would get by simply icing a hot brewed coffee. The lack of heat prevents many of the solubles in the coffee from completely dissolving resulting in a coffee with a much lower acidity, enhanced smoothness, greater sweetness, and generally little to no bitter component. The longer brewing time and higher coffee to water ratio are necessary to give the water more time to extract those solubles from the coffee grounds.

At Water Street, we have a unique Cold Brew called Iced Coffee with a BANG! It’s brewed with a custom blend of lighter to medium roasts and we love it for it’s sweetness and chocolate notes (not to mention a serious caffeine kick)! But many of our customers want to know about the process. Can I make a successful Cold Brew at home? The answer is absolutely yes! Below, we’ve included a step by step process using the Cold Brew on the Go with lots of Water Street tips and tricks that will let you make your own Cold Brew anywhere, anytime.

How to Cold Brew

1. Find an appropriate vessel for brewing your coffee. We recommend the Cold Brew on the Go, but anything from a french press to an iced tea pitcher will work just fine!

2. Choose a coffee you love!  

At Water Street, we use a special blend called Iced Coffee with a BANG! We also recommend to our customers that they try out cold brewing with a coffee that they already enjoy hot. Different roasts provide different characteristics, so feel free to experiment!

3. Begin with fresh coffee grounds and filtered water.

• Coffee should be ground on the coarsest setting.
• You will need a 1:8 ratio of coffee to water. (Ex. To make a quart, use 4 oz. of coffee to 32 oz. water.)

4. Place grounds into the container.

The Cold Brew on the Go already has a filter component that you place the grounds into. Don’t worry if you don’t have a filter – we’ll cover that in a bit – just pour your coffee grounds directly into the bottom of your preferred brewing pot.

5. Pour the pre-measured, room temperature or colder water over the grounds.

6. Cover and steep in the refrigerator for 12-18 hours, keeping in mind that the longer you let it brew the stronger the coffee will be.

7. After preferred steep time, remove the filter and dispose of the coffee grounds. If you are using a brewing vessel that does not have a filter system it will be necessary to filter out the coffee grounds. Coffee filters used for regular brewed coffee work great!

8. Hooray, your cold brew coffee is ready! Be careful though, that coffee will have 2-3 times more caffeine than your regular cup of joe.

Cool Tips:

• Grind coffee as coarse as possible, it should look like breadcrumbs.
• If the grind is too fine the coffee will over-extract and create a gritty, cloudy coffee that doesn’t taste good.
• The final product of a cold brew coffee can be treated as an “extract” and watered down to have more of the taste and caffeine content of a regular brewed coffee.
• Natural Processed coffees add a nice sweetness to your cold brew, almost like sugar has been added.