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Cold-Brewed Coffee?

oakjoan Jun 27, 2007 02:10 PM

In today's NYTimes food section there was a recipe for cold-brewed coffee which brought back memories of my childhood.

My mother had several friends from Holland who always made coffee in this manner, i.e., steeping coffee grounds in water on the counter overnight. Does anybody use this method these days? I'm going to try it myself tonight. We'll see how it turns out tomorrow. The article mentioned both iced coffee and hot coffee made from this base.

  1. k
    kkbriggs Jun 27, 2007 02:12 PM

    There's a good recipe in the Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook. I can't remember the exact proportions right now, but it is delicious! If you need the recipe, I can post it later.

    1. beetlebug Jun 27, 2007 02:28 PM

      I make cold brewed coffee concentrate in the summer. It makes great ice coffee.

      I take a lb of coffee (about medium grind) and I add 9 cups of water to it. I do a quick stir and then keep it in the fridge for about 12 hours. I try and do this around dinner, this way I can strain and drink the coffee for breakfast.

      I then strain the coffee through one of those single serving coffee things (the one that goes on top of a cup). I go through about 6 filters by the time I finish straining it. Be patient and have something else to do. It takes a while for the water to drain from the grounds. Sometimes, I help it along by pressing down on the grounds.

      This coffee is nice and strong. I add a bit of water to dilute it. I also use this to make the Zuni coffee granita.

      16 Replies
      1. re: beetlebug
        orangewasabi Jun 27, 2007 05:16 PM

        BB, are you using the same coffee grinds you prefer for hot coffee or do you need to go with a stronger (or milder) bean for cold/iced coffee.

        I am so keen to try your technique, thanks for posting it. Lately I have been using MMR's technique of just refridgerating two cups, but it's doesn't taste quite the way I want it to.

        1. re: orangewasabi
          MMRuth Jun 27, 2007 05:34 PM

          FWIW - the technique per the NYT is to use coarsely ground coffee beans, and then to dilute 1:1 - I imagine that the overnight steeping increases the strength of the product.

          1. re: orangewasabi
            MMRuth Jun 27, 2007 05:39 PM

            Here's the link to the NYT article:

            http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/27/din...

            1. re: MMRuth
              beetlebug Jun 28, 2007 06:21 AM

              Thanks for the link to the article, MMRuth. I missed it the first time around.

              The author nailed differences right on the head. The cold coffee concentrate is incredibly smooth and lacks the bitter aftertaste that a machine can cause.

              Thanks to this thread, it reminded me, last night, to throw a batch in the fridge. I use a medium to coarsely ground coffee. Probably more medium than coarse and it's been fine. Now, I am patiently waiting for it to drip through the filter, adding more of the original batch, changing the filter. It does take a bit of time but it is worth it. A lb of coffee brews over a (wine) carafe of concentrate.

              1. re: beetlebug
                Mandymac Jun 28, 2007 11:07 AM

                I tried it last night and didn't get the greatest results--Instead of concentrated coffee, I got a coffee-tea. I had to stop for coffee on the way to work for the necessary caffiene. The flavour was all right, as it did lack the bitterness of hot brewed coffee. But so weak!

                Anyone thoughts on what I did wrong? Perhaps my grind was too coarse or eight hours was too little? I would very much like to cold-brew this summer!

                1. re: Mandymac
                  beetlebug Jun 28, 2007 12:40 PM

                  I suspect that you didn't let it steep enough. I let my brew sit in the fridge for a minimum of 12 hours. I think the extra four hours can make a difference. Also, my batches are always quite strong - I tend to buy dark roast coffee beans for all my coffee. This tastes more like straight espresso than coffee.

                  As for the grind, I honestly don't know how much of a difference it would make. Also, after you strained it, did you add too much water to the concentrate? That may have also been why it tasted weak.

                  Good luck.

              2. re: MMRuth
                oakjoan Jun 28, 2007 09:43 PM

                THIS IS IN RESPONSE TO MMRUTH

                Thanks, MM.

                I realized I didn't include the link when I started this thread but was too lazy to go back and do anything about it....maybe I need a cup of coffee to perk me up, eh?

                1. re: oakjoan
                  MMRuth Jun 29, 2007 06:55 AM

                  No problem. I've actually not gotten around to doing this yet - so will have to browse through the posts and then give it a try tonight.

              3. re: orangewasabi
                beetlebug Jun 27, 2007 06:56 PM

                I buy strong coffee for my hot coffee too. I buy equally strong coffee for the cold coffee concentrate. I think the cold coffee concentrate is more intense after the cold brewing process, probably cold it steeps in the fridge for about 12 hours. Usually, I drink my hot coffee black. With the cold coffee concentrate, I add a smidge of water and a smidge of soy bean milk.

              4. re: beetlebug
                j
                JGrey Jun 27, 2007 06:03 PM

                I've done this with coffee and chicory, as per the Commander's Palace cookbook. Really good, and forestalls the bitterness/motor oil problem I usually have w/ chicory coffee.

                1. re: beetlebug
                  b
                  bakergal Jun 28, 2007 10:25 AM

                  How long can you safely keep the concentrate in the fridge, beetlebug? I see that you refrigerate the steeping grounds, while NYT recipe steeps them at room temp. Do you think that makes a difference? I like yours -- sounds nice and strong. Lol, I thought NYT picture was iced tea!

                  1. re: bakergal
                    beetlebug Jun 28, 2007 10:51 AM

                    I wouldn't steep the grounds for more than 24 hours. I suspect if you do, the coffee will become bitter due to oversteeping but I've never tested that theory out.

                    I don't know if there would be a difference between counter or fridge. I keep it in the fridge to keep the water cold. This way, when I am straining it, it's already chilled so I can drink it instantly.

                    I also don't think there is any real difference between the NY Times recipe and mine. The Times just yields a lot less. I would rather have a batch on hand v. having to wait 12 hours every day.

                    1. re: beetlebug
                      h
                      Hungry Celeste Jun 28, 2007 12:18 PM

                      I'm super-lazy, so I buy cold coffee concentrate from CoolBrew, made here in Louisiana. It makes the AM iced coffee easy-peasy...just pour, add milk or soy, and you're done. Buy online at http://www.coolbrew.com/

                      1. re: beetlebug
                        c
                        Claudette Jul 12, 2007 10:18 AM

                        I've let mine steep for more than 24 hours, unrefrigerated, and it's fine (but I live in the SF bay area, where it's not very hot in the summer).

                        Personally, bakergal, I find that it's not an exact science: use more coffee if you want it stronger, or vice versa. The biggest difference is in the choice of coffee beans - the better you like the beans, the better you'll like the coffee, just like for any other brewing method.

                      2. re: bakergal
                        b
                        bolddeceiver May 14, 2008 09:49 PM

                        After it's strained, it will keep several weeks. "Off" or "stale" taste in coffee -- the classic "sat in the office caraffe half the day" flavor -- results from the natural oils going rancid. They do this quickly at temperature (a matter of hours), and eventually when chilled (within a day or so). These oils don't extract at cold temperatures (or at least extract so slowly as to be negligible in your final product), so your chill will last (unless you're like me and drink it all up in a matter of days!)

                      3. re: beetlebug
                        beetlebug Jun 29, 2007 06:36 AM

                        A quick clarification - I steep the coffee grounds with *cold* filtered water and then I throw it in the fridge.

                      4. MMRuth Jun 27, 2007 02:31 PM

                        I'm going to do this tonight. My usual practice in this heat (amplified by the 1.5 hour power outage in NYC this afternoon) is to make about three cups of coffee early in the am, and to refrigerate two cups and drink them later in the morning as "iced coffee". I don't have coffee filters though, so may have to make do with my fine strainer or some cheese cloth.

                        1. b
                          blackpointyboots Jun 27, 2007 05:31 PM

                          The process we used to use was a pound of decent ground french roast coffee. Put that in the bottom of a clean big glass pickle jar (the big restaurant kind). Fill it with water and put it in the fridge overnight. We would then strain it through a sieve with a coffee filter in it. It has a richer flavor and can really pack a caffeine punch.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: blackpointyboots
                            d
                            david kaplan Jun 27, 2007 10:16 PM

                            Interesting that you feel a stronger caffeine kick. The cold-brew method has long been used by people who want low-acid coffee. People whose stomachs can't handle regular coffee can do well with cold-brewed. Less acid, though apparently more caffeine.

                            1. re: david kaplan
                              b
                              bolddeceiver May 14, 2008 09:44 PM

                              My understanding is, the acids and oils that upset people's stomachs don't extract at cold temperatures (or at least extract much more slowly); apparently this is also the reason that cold-brewed coffee, once brewed, will keep for weeks, wheras even refrigerated, hot coffee goes off; that "off" flavor supposedly comes from the hot-extracted oils going rancid.

                            2. re: blackpointyboots
                              e
                              Enso Feb 12, 2011 11:13 AM

                              Actually, lower acidity and lower caffeine.

                            3. k
                              katecm Jun 28, 2007 07:22 AM

                              Would a French press work for this?

                              15 Replies
                              1. re: katecm
                                operagirl Jun 28, 2007 07:27 AM

                                I don't see why not! Cool too because you're not wasting a coffee filter. The NYTimes recipe only calls for 1/3 C. coffee grounds and 1 1/2 C. water for the cold-brewing stage, and that amount would certainly fit into a coffee press. Brew on, Kate!

                                1. re: operagirl
                                  geminigirl Jun 28, 2007 12:27 PM

                                  Good call on the french press, I'm gonna try tonight as well! Do you think it will still need a double strain?

                                  1. re: geminigirl
                                    b
                                    brendastarlet Jun 28, 2007 12:37 PM

                                    I use a French Press, the Bodum 8-cup one. I use three-four heaping tablespoons of ground coffee (my favorite is La Semeuse, but anything will work) and let it steep until it cools. Then I pour it into a glass juice pitcher (the kind that fits into the fridge door) and let it chill overnight. When I make iced coffee, I put ice in first, then the coffee, then about a quarter-inch of milk, sometimes more milk if I feel like it. I don't add cold water because the ice melts and dillutes it enough for me.

                                    Some people insist on sugar syrup with iced coffee, because granulated sugar does not dissolve well in cold coffee. I use either Splenda or just skip sweetener all together.

                                    I'm amazed that cold-brewed iced coffee isn't more widely available. I have never had a problem finding it on the east coast or in the south, but here in the Midwest, eight out of 10 times, they can't make it for me. I know the places in Ann Arbor that can and that's who gets my business.

                                    By the way, DON'T throw out your coffee grounds. Use them on your roses. If you put some water with the used coffee grounds, you can take them right out to the garden and pour them around the base of the rose bush.

                                    1. re: brendastarlet
                                      geminigirl Jun 28, 2007 04:53 PM

                                      Thanks, I made a batch a couple of hours ago so it should be ready for breakfast!! I made according to the times article 1/3 cup to 1 1/2 water, but doubled the recipie...

                                      Also, can I throw the grounds on most plants in general since I don't have roses?

                                      1. re: geminigirl
                                        e
                                        Enso Feb 12, 2011 11:14 AM

                                        Yes, pretty much anywhere in the garden is fine.

                                  2. re: operagirl
                                    e
                                    Enso Feb 12, 2011 11:15 AM

                                    I use a Toddy, which has an inexpensive, multiple use filter pad.

                                  3. re: katecm
                                    beetlebug Jun 28, 2007 12:41 PM

                                    I think this is a brillant idea especially if you only want a few cups. Saves all the straining time too. I don't think you would need to double strain - isn't that the purpose of the plunger? But what do I know, a French Press has always been too much maintenance for me in the am.

                                    1. re: beetlebug
                                      i
                                      itstangy Jun 28, 2007 12:43 PM

                                      I use my french press also for coffee as well as for tea. I think it is much easier than having to buy coffee filters or whatnot to strain out the ground.

                                      1. re: itstangy
                                        k
                                        Keramel Jun 29, 2007 08:00 AM

                                        I use a french press every day for hot coffee. I find it easier than dealing with a regular coffee maker - but to each their own. I would like to try it with the cold-brewed method, but I have a feeling some of the fine sediment would remain, since it does for my regular coffee. Anyone have any idea if that's the case?

                                        1. re: Keramel
                                          geminigirl Jun 29, 2007 09:22 AM

                                          I did this with the cold this morning and there was still a bit of sediment, I didn't really notice it thought till the end of the cup. In the future I might try and put it through a coffee filter and see if that makes any difference.

                                    2. re: katecm
                                      Raedia Jun 29, 2007 09:29 AM

                                      Wait, so how do you cold-brew it with the french press? Refrigerate the entire thing, and then press it in the morning? Or brew it in the jar and then transfer to the press for filtering?

                                      1. re: Raedia
                                        beetlebug Jun 29, 2007 01:43 PM

                                        Keep in mind, I don't own a FP, but, I think this concept is worth exploring for cold coffee concentrate. My thoughts are:

                                        Using the NYT proportions (unless you have a giant FP that can hold a lb of coffee)

                                        Cold water with the coffee (grinds should be thicker, using the medium/coarse grind) in the FP
                                        Fridge for 12 hours
                                        Press in the am.

                                        This way, it saves the step of straining through a filter and if the grind is coarser, there won't be any sediment at the bottom of the cup.

                                        1. re: Raedia
                                          geminigirl Jun 30, 2007 02:58 PM

                                          yep, this is what I did, doubled the Times recipie, put it all in the FP and stuck it in the fridge overnight. had some hot for breakfast and then later in the day for iced cofee. I have to experiment with the ratio of concentrate to water, but I did notice the smoothness right away, esp. with the iced more than the hot.

                                          1. re: geminigirl
                                            MMRuth Jun 30, 2007 05:42 PM

                                            Well, I started mine a couple of hours ago in the FP - used the recipe on the NYT site. So, I guess I'll put it in the fridge before we go to bed, and check it out in the am! BTW - when I told my husband about this, he said that this method is often used in Guatemala - that the "extract" is served along with boiling water, and you mix it to your desired strength.

                                            1. re: MMRuth
                                              e
                                              Enso Feb 12, 2011 11:17 AM

                                              Putting it in the fridge is not necessary. We leave it on the counter overnight. I don't know if the concentration of flavor/caffeine/acidity would be much affected either way.

                                      2. b
                                        bakergal Jun 28, 2007 02:33 PM

                                        I think I worded my question wrong the first time, so let me try again, lol. Once the mixture is filtered, then how long can it safely be stored in the fridge? Can I make a week's worth, or just enough for one or two days? I suppose the excess can be frozen into coffee ice cubes. I'm so excited about this!

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: bakergal
                                          h
                                          Hungry Celeste Jun 28, 2007 02:43 PM

                                          It keeps quite a long time, if you seal the container from outside air (in other words, not an open pitcher or jar). A week or two is fine. The commercial product I use has no preservatives or stabilizers, and it tastes just fine for a month.

                                          1. re: bakergal
                                            beetlebug Jun 29, 2007 06:34 AM

                                            Oops. Boy, did I read your post incorrectly. I agree with Hungry Celeste about a week or two. Honestly, mine doesn't last longer than a week because we finish it within a few days. A lb of coffee is probably around 3-4 days worth for 2 people.

                                            1. re: beetlebug
                                              e
                                              Enso Feb 12, 2011 11:19 AM

                                              One end of the range(!!)...our two people use the concentrate from 8 oz of ground coffee in about 2 weeks.

                                          2. operagirl Jun 28, 2007 03:53 PM

                                            I brewed some last night as per the NYTimes instructions, and it's really delicious. Not bitter at all, and has those caramelly/chocolatey notes the article mentioned, for sure. So good and refreshing with a big glug of skim milk!

                                            1. thesu Jun 28, 2007 09:21 PM

                                              I made the super-concentrated recipe that appeared in the NY Times Magazine in May. It works great! I posted the recipe and pic on my blog: http://www.sugoodsweets.com/blog/2007...

                                              1. femmenikita Jun 29, 2007 07:13 AM

                                                Don't forget to freeze some for coffee ice cubes, as someone mentioned above, and then toss them in the blender with organic milk or soy to make your own frozen coffee drink. I usually throw in a couple hunks of dark chocolate and half a banana. Quite delish.
                                                On another note: if you can handle the acidity, Central and Latin American coffees work SO beautifully as iced coffees in the summertime. I was a barista for 6 years of my life and I am convinced that cold-brewed Guatemalan or Brazilian coffee with square ice cubes in a tall glass is one of the great pleasures of living. It's refreshing and sparkles in the cup. Wonderful black with a slice of lemon.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: femmenikita
                                                  operagirl Jun 29, 2007 03:36 PM

                                                  I just happen to have used Brazillian coffee for mine and yep, it's delicious!

                                                2. b
                                                  bakergal Jun 29, 2007 07:49 AM

                                                  Well, I used the NYT recipe because I'm running low on coffee, and had only about 1/3 cup left. I can't believe how smooth and rich the coffee is! With skim milk and lots of sugar (I know, that doesn't make sense), it's just TOO easy to drink. I'll make it a little stronger next time, and then it'll be perfect! Thanks to all for your ideas. I see what you mean -- no way it will last two weeks!

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: bakergal
                                                    h
                                                    Hungry Celeste Jun 29, 2007 11:01 AM

                                                    Seek out some coffee & chicory, which makes for a delicious iced coffee.

                                                    1. re: Hungry Celeste
                                                      s
                                                      shallots Jun 29, 2007 03:25 PM

                                                      Ok, Celeste, there goes my last half bag of Community. DH will just have to buy more next time he goes south.
                                                      I do miss being able to buy it already extracted at Dorognac's.

                                                      1. re: shallots
                                                        h
                                                        Hungry Celeste Jun 30, 2007 05:31 AM

                                                        Buy it online at coolbrew.com.

                                                  2. NeNePie Jun 29, 2007 04:03 PM

                                                    I loved my Toddy coffemaker. Toddy specializes in cold-brew coffee equipment. I used it for a long time until, during the northridge earthquake, it flew out of the refrigerator and splattered coffee concentrate all over the walls of my kitchen and dining room. I came to associate the smell with misery.. Dang. But the Toddy sure is a terrific thing. It's just a big filter housing that fits onto a decanter. You steep the ground coffee for a day or so and then unplug a little cork to allow the concentrate to drip slowly into the decanter. You can use the concentrate with hot water or make a splendid iced coffee with ice and milk. http://www.toddyproducts.com/

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: NeNePie
                                                      frankiii Jul 3, 2007 02:30 PM

                                                      I second the kind words about the Toddy coffee maker. I make iced coffee with it all summer. It is much easier than messing with multiple filters. Good stuff

                                                    2. h
                                                      HLing Jun 30, 2007 11:42 PM

                                                      I used to make my cold-brewed coffee with a French Press, but I no longer have one. Now I use a big glass jar, and the Japanese extra fine disposable tea filters. I found a link of something that had similar insert method (where you fill and then flip the openings outward to keep grounds inside), but the material of the ones i use are a lot finer, and denser. It has the name Selena on it that's English, the rest I can't decipher.

                                                      Anyway, I put fresh ground coffee in about four of these little bags, put them at the bottom of the glass jar. Then the jar is filled with ice cubes made from good filtered water, to the brim, then some cold filtered water is added, just enough to immerse the coffee bags (a quarter of the jar, no more), then i let it sit in the refridgerator over night, or actually up to 24 hours. When I opened it there was half of a ice cube left, the rest have melted, and I get very cold, fragrant, and smooth coffee. No grounds. They stayed inside the bags nicely. Immediate gratification :)

                                                      Normally I don't add sugar to my coffee, but sometimes I make this brown sugar syrup that's like the Japanese Black Sugar Syrup by lightly pan toasting the brown sugar until it's toasty and about to melt, then adding a little water, simmer til it gives golden bubbles and is nice and thickened.

                                                      The syrup added to ice-brewed coffee is amazingly good as the almost-carmalized sugar has a great aroma. Then if I have Ronnybrook Farm heavy creme, then I'd lightly whip some and pour it so that it stays on top.....

                                                      I love slow coffee....

                                                      http://www.inpursuitoftea.com/PhotoGa...

                                                      1. MMRuth Jul 1, 2007 05:48 AM

                                                        So, I finally got around to doing this yesterday afternoon, using my French press. I used 1/3 cup coarsely ground coffee (La Semeuse Classic) and 1.5 cups of cold filtered water. Left it on the counter overnight and put it in the fridge around 5:15 am (after pressing down the plunger) when the dog thought it was time for his breakfast. At 8 am I pulled it out - it was cold, and I poured some into a glass to taste it - v. strong. I used the recommended proportions - 1/2 coffee, 1/2 cold water, and added some half and half. Tasted a bit weaker than I like, so I added more concentrate. Next time I think I'll use more coffee to make the concentrate. Very tasty, and has a very "clean and crisp" taste - not quite sure how else to describe it.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: MMRuth
                                                          b
                                                          bakergal Jul 1, 2007 09:56 AM

                                                          Lol, MMRuth, I read your post and thought, "Why are you using half coffee concentrate and half water? And when I looked at the NYT recipe, that is indeed what it says. Well, such a dummy I am! I used the straight concentrate (at least I made that part according to their recipe) over ice cubes, with about 1/4 cup milk and 1/2 Tbl. sugar. It was good. So I can imagine that yours tasted weak!

                                                        2. b
                                                          brownie Jul 2, 2007 09:38 AM

                                                          getting to this later than everyone else due to having forgotten for the past several days to start the process....guess i need coffee! my questions is this: how best to make this coffee hot? is it better to boil up a 1/2 of water and combine? Possibly also heat the milk, too? While I like ice-coffee later in the day, I really like a hot cup in the AM.
                                                          Also, glad to see the discussion on the FP, as I decided to try that, not having any filters onhand.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: brownie
                                                            m
                                                            mightycheesehead Jul 2, 2007 10:06 AM

                                                            I was intrigued by this thread so I decided to make iced coffee yesterday using the NYT recipe and compare it to my usual iced coffee. I like my iced coffee pretty milky (like the Vietnamese iced coffee), but not sweet.
                                                            For my usual iced coffee, I usually chill strong coffee (that I make in my moka pot) in the fridge. To serve, I add a couple of ice cubes, 1/2 cup of coffee and 1/4cup to 1/2 cup of milk (depends on my mood).
                                                            Compared to my usual recipe, I find that if I use the NYT iced coffee concentrate, it made a weak cup of iced coffee. There is not much "intense" coffee flavour and doesn't really stand up to the milk.
                                                            I'll have to try it just diluted with water next time to see if it is worth making again in the future.

                                                            1. re: mightycheesehead
                                                              MMRuth Jul 2, 2007 10:49 AM

                                                              I agree that it was on the weak side - but I'd try diluting w/ the milk and not with water maybe. I used half and half - maybe since that requires less "liquid" than milk would, it would dilute it less as well.

                                                          2. b
                                                            bakergal Jul 3, 2007 09:49 AM

                                                            For those, like me, who are using paper filters, it goes more easily if you:

                                                            1) put an ordinary metal strainer inside the paper filter to catch most of the grounds before they go into the paper filter, and
                                                            2) use the cheapest, thinnest private-label filters you can find.

                                                            1. c
                                                              chrisinroch Jul 3, 2007 09:52 AM

                                                              That sounds terrible. Steeping with the grounds overnight sounds like it would be bitter and hyper-caffeinated.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: chrisinroch
                                                                MMRuth Jul 3, 2007 10:56 AM

                                                                The thing is, it is not bitter at all - very smooth. Can't speak to the hyper caffeinated issue.

                                                                1. re: chrisinroch
                                                                  b
                                                                  bakergal Jul 3, 2007 01:09 PM

                                                                  The Toddy site (same method) says the method yields coffee with lower acid and lower caffeine. They give figures for the acid, but not caffeine. The taste definitely isn't bitter. Very smooth and rich. Give it a try! What have you got to lose -- just 1/3 cup coffee.

                                                                2. smittys Jul 3, 2007 04:18 PM

                                                                  Dudes, I'm a convert! I tried this for the first time on Sunday night and it's seriously great. In the summer I'm addicted to the iced coffee served by my favorite coffee shop and I could never understand why theirs is so much tastier than other places. Fortuitously I saw one of the workers mixing coffee & water in a 5 gallon bucket on the same day I read this post. Here's my method (today I tried it with Ethiopian yirgacheffe and it was great--my favorite coffee for hot coffee is from Chiapas and I didn't really like that iced so much).

                                                                  I bought a 2-liter jar with a flip-top and a rubber seal. Around 5:00 last night I mixed 1.5 cups of medium-ground coffee with 7 cups of cold filtered water in a stockpot. I covered it and refrigerated it. Around 8:00 this morning I set the jar in the sink with my #6 Melitta plastic cone over it (it fits perfectly!) with a paper filter inside. I balanced a metal strainer inside the paper filter and poured the coffee from the stockpot in, filling up the filter about 3-4 times. As someone else said, the metal strainer caught most of the grounds so it doesn't block up the paper filter and only took about 10 or 15 minutes to drain through. I poured about 12 oz. into a glass and added about 3 oz. cold water and ice. This amount will provide about 5 or 6 glasses and the rubber seal will keep it from picking up any weird flavors in the fridge. It's delicious and cheaper than spending $2 per glass at the coffee shop (assuming I limit myself to a glass or two a day!

                                                                  1. j
                                                                    JennS Jul 9, 2007 11:05 AM

                                                                    I used the NYTimes recipe over the weekend. There were 5 of us, so we tripled the recipe and let it sit in a pitcher in the fridge overnight. Delicious, but the coffee "concentrate" didn't need much diluting, certainly not the amount of water the recipe called for. We all found that it was perfect with just ice cubes and milk to dilute.

                                                                    I bought the Bodum 8-cup French press and want to try cold-brewed coffee with it. Can I put the grounds and cold filtered water in the press and leave it in the fridge overnight and just press in the morning, or is there a better method?

                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                    1. re: JennS
                                                                      MMRuth Jul 9, 2007 01:54 PM

                                                                      I agree about the concentrate not being so concentrated, and I did exactly what you describe with my French press.

                                                                      1. re: MMRuth
                                                                        b
                                                                        brownie Jul 10, 2007 07:45 AM

                                                                        I felt exactly the same way, which made me wonder, is using the FP a bad idea?
                                                                        I feel like I'm missing something... Maybe I should just brew it up in a jar and do the filtering like the non-FP users are doing it.

                                                                        1. re: brownie
                                                                          h
                                                                          HLing Jul 10, 2007 08:57 AM

                                                                          As a glass jar user I don't really dilute it, either. The way I make it it is very easy for iced coffee since it's not just chilled, it's made of ice. When I want to drink it hot, I just use one of those Turkish coffee maker (just happens to be what I have) or whatever you use to heat up small amounts of milk quickly - the kind that has a long handle and a pouring spout - and bring a cup of the ice brew quickly up to just about boiling. It somehow keeps the good flavor and still not have the "cooked" taste.

                                                                          One thing to get used to is the color of the cold brew. It's doesn't need to be black black to have flavor. I find that our perception and expectation sometimes fools us so that if it LOOKs weak, we pre-judge it to be weak coffee when it's actually full of flavor.

                                                                          1. re: brownie
                                                                            j
                                                                            JennS Jul 10, 2007 10:12 AM

                                                                            Let me clarify -- I have not yet used the FP. I brewed in a pitcher and filtered it following the NYTimes recipe, and found that it didn't need to be diluted (by taste). We also found that there was a slight chalkiness, or residue left on your tongue.

                                                                            Anyway, I'm going to try the FP method tonight for tomorrow morning's coffee and I'll report back.

                                                                            1. re: JennS
                                                                              b
                                                                              brownie Jul 11, 2007 08:02 AM

                                                                              HLing, I didn't realize, the first time, that the color was going to be so different! Glad I'm not experiencing something off. Thanks for pointing that out. JennS, do report back! I've sort of given up...

                                                                              1. re: brownie
                                                                                j
                                                                                JennS Jul 12, 2007 06:16 AM

                                                                                Two nights ago we made coffee with the French press and only let it sit for 8 hours, which was not enough time -- it tasted too watery. Last night we let it sit for 12 hours and it was really good. We used 1/3 cup ground coffee to 1.5 cups of water and didn't need to add any additional water to dilute.

                                                                                We still haven't perfected the recipe but that's more due to beans and milk than due to method. We were using Illy espresso coffee beans (are these meant to make coffee or espresso or both???) which I wasn't crazy about and we only had skim milk in the house -- I usually take whole milk in my coffee. So tonight we try again with different beans and milk!

                                                                      2. b
                                                                        bolddeceiver May 14, 2008 10:01 PM

                                                                        Here's a great drink some barista friends and I came up with uses cold-brewed strong coffee (originally done with toddy-method, but it works with steep-n-filter too). We originally invented it to replicate an Italian bottled beverage called Bibicaffe.

                                                                        It's basically a sparkling iced Americano. Put a few fingers of espresso-strength cold-brewed coffee (I use a 24 hour steep with a coffee-water ratio of 1:4) in the bottom of a pint cup, add ice, and fill to the top with seltzer from a siphon bottle (or bottled sparkling water, but come on, what's classier than having your own siphon bottle?). At the coffee shop I usually get it with half a pump of vanilla syrup; at home I'll dissolve a level spoon of vanilla sugar, made by sticking a couple of whole vanilla bean pods through slits cut in a pound bag of sugar and leaving it for a month or so.

                                                                        I know what you're thinking -- "Sparkling coffee? Has this poor chap been the victim of some recent blunt head trauma?" I know the feeling; it struck me as strange once, too. But give it a try on the next hot summer day. It's very refreshing. I don't know about you, but if I'm hot and sweaty I don't really want a tall glass of milk, even if it has coffee and ice in it. This is much more pleasing, in my opinion.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: bolddeceiver
                                                                          eliah May 15, 2008 05:48 AM

                                                                          Bibicaffe is delicious! And seeing as how I can't seem to find it out here in NC, I will definitely try this recipe.

                                                                        2. d
                                                                          DishyDiva Jun 13, 2008 12:19 PM

                                                                          Hey Java Hounds!

                                                                          So I finally got around to opening my Toddy cold brew maker and filled it with coffee & water as per the instructions. My question is, can I cover it while it brews? My kit didn't come with a cover but I don't like the idea of leaving it uncovered. I don't want the contents of my fridge to smell like coffee nor do I want my coffee to absorb fridge odours. What do you think?

                                                                          UPDATE: I just found the answer to my question, at the back of the instructions. Duh!

                                                                          Thanks.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: DishyDiva
                                                                            c
                                                                            cafetoasta Jun 25, 2008 04:37 PM

                                                                            I suggest leaving it out of the fridge for best extraction in a 12-18 hour frame. We dilute ours 2 parts concentrate to 1 part water as the ice will melt as you drink it cold. I used to sell iced coffee at festivals and the later into fall we went the longer the extraction would take as the temperature dipped into the 40's at night.

                                                                            I agree with the lower acidity, however I wholeheartedly disagree with the notion that this is a lower caffeine product. I drink hot coffee in large amounts and a single 16 oz cup of toddy coffee can give me the shakes and sweats.

                                                                            We use dry-processed lightly roasted Ethiopia Yirgacheffe. Sweet, peachy and darn tasty.

                                                                            1. re: cafetoasta
                                                                              e
                                                                              Enso Feb 12, 2011 11:26 AM

                                                                              http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&am...

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