Cold brew coffee has been seemingly ubiquitous over the past few years, and iced coffee seems just so old hat when it comes to this trendy new brew. But what exactly is the difference between cold brew and iced coffee, other than popularity? Iced coffee is basically a standard cup of hot, brewed coffee that is cooled down with, you guessed it, ice. Cold brew, on the other hand, is never hot. Instead, the coffee grounds are steeped in cold water for a long, long time, thus allowing the flavor to infuse into the water with slightly less bitterness.
As recipe developer Susan Olayinka points out, cold brew can also be quite simple to make, as is the case with this recipe. She also notes that “it doesn’t require any heat or electricity” and is “perfect for when the power goes out.” Still, in a pinch, it’s good to know that you can always make an off-the-grid coffee using this easy cold brew recipe.
Assemble the ingredients for this cold brew coffee recipe
You’ll only need two ingredients for this recipe: ground coffee and water. As for what type of coffee to use, that’s entirely up to you, but Olayinka suggests trying “different types of coffee beans to change up the flavor.”
Combine the ingredients
Mix the ground coffee with the water in a large pitcher or a jar with a lid. Be sure to stir the mixture up well or, if you’ve opted for a jar, put the lid on tight and shake it. You can tweak the amount of coffee grounds used in the recipe if you wish, explains Olayinka. “If you like your coffee on the weaker side, add a little less coffee. If you like your coffee strong, add a little more.”
Chill the coffee
Cover the pitcher or jar, and put the cold brew in the refrigerator. Let it sit and steep for at least 12 hours before you pour yourself that first glass, since otherwise your cold brew might be on the weaker side. The cold brew should be good for up to 5 days, although Olayinka notes that “after that, the coffee will start to lose its flavor.” She also says the cold brew should be stirred prior to serving, and you may want to strain the cold brew to prevent floating grounds from getting in your glass.
Customize your coffee
The standard way to drink cold brew is poured over ice, and you may also wish to add sugar, cream, or flavored creamer. Another suggestion Olayinka has is to make some ice cubes out of coffee, cream, or milk. These, she says, “will melt and create a lovely iced beverage” that will prevent a watered-down cold brew concoction.