Note: 20 min prep time above does not include 24-hour brew time…

If you spend a little time up front you can make a low-acidic, delicious, satisfying, and high-quality cold-brew coffee that lasts for easily one week in the fridge (depending how many people are drinking it). This means no more daily coffee brewing needed, and access to the best coffee you’ll ever drink.

My husband, John Gibson, is the man behind all the cold-brew coffee we drink in our household, and he inspired this process.

Before you brew

  • Buy quality beansarguably the most important part of everything! Without good beans the cold-brew will never reach top-notch quality and the taste will be off.
    • Characteristics to look for:
      • Whole bean
      • Lighter roasta lighter bean is best for cold brew (not dark or espresso roasts)
      • Arabica over Robusta
      • Fair Trade
      • Single source or single geography unless you trust the roaster who’s blending the beans, eg. the brands we list below have great blends that are still high-quality
        • You want to avoid mystery blends from the big corporate brands
      • From remote regions, altitude, Central America, Africa, etc. 
      • Fresher is Better: Look for roast dates on the packaging and aim to get coffee roasted 14 days ago or earlier
    • Brands we like:
      • Blue Bottle
      • Modern Times
      • Stumptown
      • Portola Coffee Lab
      • Buy local: It doesn’t necessarily have to be organic, but if you can find a coffee roaster in your local area who’s known for awesome beans give it a shot.
      • Buy online: Look for a company that’s sharing all the characteristics listed above; eg. the brands listed above sell online, or even Bulletproof Coffee beans.
  • Other supplies

Next get started…

  1. Measure out water
    • Filtered water only, never tap. We use Reverse Osmosis water
    • For a 12 oz bag of beans, we use roughly 90 oz water. Less water to beans changes the flavor a bit. Experiment!
      • I still dilute the cold-brew that John makes with these ratios
    • Fill your gallon jar with the water
  2. Grind coffee beans 
    • Even when the bag says “12 oz” John likes to weigh beans on a kitchen scale to make sure he gets the bean-water ratio correct (optional step for the super anal)
    • Set grinder to the coarsest setting
    • Add beans and grind small batches at a time in your grinder
    • Add the coffee grounds to nut-milk bag preferably within 15 minutes of grinding 
      • The grounds emit carbon dioxide for about 15 minutes. After that they begin to oxidize which will cause off-flavors that will get in the way of your coffee experience
  3. Add the nut-milk bag with grounds to your gallon jar with water
    • Make sure bag’s well-tightened using the draw string
    • Place a cup or glass container over the nut-milk bag directly in the gallon jar—this holds the nut-milk bag in place and fully submerged, so it doesn’t float to the top
    • Cover the jar with lid or a linen cloth and rubber band
  4. Let coffee brew
    • Set a 24hour timer (or make note of the time in your head)—be sure to start the process at the same time you can tend to it tomorrow! (i.e. 5pm on a Thursday means you need to be available 5pm on Friday)
    • Leave it at room temp 
      • You can do it in the fridge but it takes longer to brew
  5. Now it’s the next day! Remove the nut-milk bag
    • Simply pull out the nut-milk bag trying to squeeze off any excess water/coffee so you don’t lose the liquid gold 😉
    • Save your grinds—these are wonderful to spread in your yard or garden (or compost pile!)
  6. Filter the coffee!
    • You’re not done yet—the cold-brew will have some residual sediment from the brewing process 
    • Set up the ceramic coffee dripper on top of a wide-mouth glass mason jar or your 2-gallon drink dispenser with spout
      • The ceramic coffee dripper sits nice and securely on a standard wide-mouth mason jar, but it is a bit of a loose fit on the drink dispenser that we have—we still can manage but there’s a greater likelihood of something tipping over or spilling
    • Lightly dampen a non-bleached coffee filter with filtered water
    • Put the wet filter in the ceramic coffee dripper, and form the filter to the ceramic dripper as best you can
    • Pour cold-brew from the gallon mason jar over and into the filtration set up—don’t overfill 
      • The coldbrew will make its way through the filter into your glass storage container and will be super pure
      • Once the ceramic dripper is empty, repeat the process until all your cold-brew is filtered 
      • This is a relatively slow process, but worthwhile for more pure coffee. Be patient! 
    • Transfer the filtered coldbrew to your large drink dispenser with spout 
  7. Enjoy! And…
    • That’s it. It seems like a lot, but once you get the hang of it, making cold-brew is an easy task and yields amazing coffee that will have you never looking back to your old brew methods.
    • When you pour a cup, assess how strong it is. If you’re like me, you may want and need to dilute even more. I pour an 8 oz glass and add another 2-3 oz water to dilute. 
    • Does it need doctoring up? We don’t think so. Cold-brew’s low acidity and high flavor profile means you don’t need to add creamer or sweeteners to make it drinkable! Of course, you can add your creamers or fats (coconut oil, butter) to make it bulletproof if using strategically, but we think cold-brew is best enjoyed black.

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