Cold brew, please

Just because I can’t get iced coffee at Starbucks doesn’t mean I can’t make it myself (except I don’t actually add ice–it’s cold enough). Cambridge has simply been too hot for hot coffee in the late morning (slash early afternoon). Thanks to some of our good friends (shout out to P and D!) we know how to make cold brew ourselves. We could buy a fancy toddy for the brewing but used the cafetiere (aka US french press or Australian coffee plunger) we already own instead.

Here’s how to make cold brew: put a bunch of coarsely ground coffee beans into the cafetiere.










Add cold water and stir. Note: use a wooden or plastic instrument to stir with to avoid scratching the glass.

Put the cafetiere/press/plunger in the fridge and let stand 12+ hours. You could let it stand much longer, say 24 hours, but this requires more advance planning.

Take the cafetiere out of the fridge. Put the lid on and slowly push the plunger down. This will trap the coffee grounds in the bottom. (I don’t know why I don’t have a picture of this.) Your coffee is ready to drink! Pour it in a mug and enjoy.

Cold brew fact (maybe): I read that cold brew has a lower acidity level than coffee brewed hot. Because of the lower temperature yada yada yada the chemicals interact differently. This means those of you bothered by coffee’s acidity may not have to dilute your cold brew with (soy) milk.

However, if you want to embellish your cold brew I’d recommend adding a splash of vanilla soy milk, brown sugar to taste, and a dash of cinnamon.


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5 Responses to Cold brew, please

  1. Sara says:

    yumm!!!! I am so glad you did that!

  2. Huzzah for cold brew!
    Cold brew also has WAY more caffeine. some say up to three times as much as hot brewed coffee. Because of this you definitely want to drink it in smaller portions, and or dilute it. Most recipes i’ve seen recommend dilution of coffee to water 2/1 or even 1/1.

  3. znorwood says:

    @”D”: I don’t think I buy that. See this article, for example: The article discusses a specific method of brewing cold-brew coffee, but I’m not convinced that, for one thing, regular brewing methods fail to extract at least two thirds of the grounds’ caffeine. Kaitlyn also found this table ( listing the caffeine content of various Caribou Coffee drinks, but of course I don’t know what recipe Caribou uses to make its cold-brew. We should find a food scientist and ask.

  4. Mama "T" says:

    Zach, don’t put all your faith in food scientists. Caffeine content may be observed and quantified by us regular joes… pardon the pun. I don’t know what recipe Sara and Lindsay use, but I can assure you that the caffeine content of their cold brew most certainly delivers at least a two-to-three-fold kick above their standard “hot” brew. It has been experientially measured in our home by the amount of extra time it took for middle-aged people like me to fall asleep after drinking it, versus after drinking the hot brew. I would think comparing both forms of coffee, prepared by the same individual (or in this case, the same duo) using similar beans, etc., would be a rather accurate comparison of results. I have great faith in your and Kaitlyn’s abilities to carry out your own at-home experiment. Unless you are needing to pull an all-nighter with the studying. Then just stick to the cold press! p.s. I really think Kaitlyn could pull off a how-to cooking show. For coffee. Not Kaitlyn’s Koffee Klass. But something.

    • hmsbadger says:

      Here’s the trick: lately we’ve been having coffee in the early afternoon, and it’s hard to tell if the coffee is having much of an effect at all. I’m not really willing to try drinking coffee before bed and seeing how difficult it is to sleep. Besides, everyone knows that caffeine’s effects are purely psychological. ;)

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